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Tue, 20 Oct 2020
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Arctic dimming causing 'devastating' forest decline

Norilsk forest
© Dr Alexander Kirdyanov
Widescale pollution has caused devastating forest decline east of Norilsk, Russia.

The largest-ever study of tree rings from Norilsk in the Russian Arctic has shown that the direct and indirect effects of industrial pollution in the region and beyond are far worse than previously thought.

An international team of researchers, led by the University of Cambridge, has combined ring width and wood chemistry measurements from living and dead trees with soil characteristics and computer modeling to show that the damage done by decades of nickel and copper mining has not only devastated local environments, but also affected the global carbon cycle.

The extent of damage done to the boreal forest, the largest land biome on Earth, can be seen in the annual growth rings of trees near Norilsk where die off has spread up to 100 kilometers. The results are reported in the journal Ecology Letters.

Comment: It would appear that part of the problem is that these studies are performed with foregone conclusions, and assumptions science knows more than it does; that human activity is the primary cause of changes on our planet, and that we understand the complexities of plant and soil life better than we really do .

Pierre Lescaudron explicates the more likely drivers of global dimming - some that are not factored into the models mentioned above - and their effect globally - not just in the Arctic - in his book with Laura Knight-Jadczyk Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection:
Global dimming

Global dimming is the reduction in the amount of solar radiation received on Earth's surface during fair weather. One of the main causes of global dimming is atmospheric dust. Numerous scientists have demonstrated that a global dimming trend has been in
process for decades.

There's been some debate as to whether atmospheric dust induces a net warming effect on the planet (because it absorbs more than it reflects radiation), or whether it induces a net cooling effect (because it reflects more than it absorbs radiation). In 2008, atmospheric scientist Richard Hansell tested and measured the net effect of atmospheric dust particles on temperatures and concluded that although atmospheric dust both absorbed and reflected solar radiations, it induced an overall cooling effect:
The analysis showed that over half of dust's cooling effect is compensated for by its warming effect. The finding, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, could clarify scientists' understanding of how dust influences moisture fluctuations in the atmosphere and surface temperatures around the planet.
As shown in the diagram below, researchers from the Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences found a significant reduction, globally averaged 2.7% per decade, in solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface over the last 50 years.
global dimming
© Stanhill & Cohen
Reduction in solar irradiance over the period 1950-2000.
In the 90's an inversion occurred and our planet experienced a global brightening in some regions. Then, after the year 2000, global dimming restarted in certain areas and became overall more chaotic with different continents experiencing opposite trends.

Now, according to mainstream science, global dimming is man-made, caused by the accumulation of aerosol particles in the atmosphere due to industrialization. The trend inversion noticed in the 90s is attributed to the ban of several types of aerosols and other anti-pollution measures. However, a paper published in 2005 showed that over the period 1986-2000, although a slight dimming was occurring over land, a brightening occurred over the oceans.

global dimming 2
© Pinker et al
Irradiance over the period 1982-2002. Land measurements on the left (global dimming), ocean measurements on the right (global brightening).
If human activity was indeed the cause of global dimming, and the reduction in human aerosol use the cause for the brightening observed in the 1990s, a brightening over land should have been observed and, possibly, a delayed brightening over the oceans (due to air circulation), since most industrial sources are located on continents. But the paper referenced here shows exactly the opposite.

Since 2000, dimming has been observed in numerous places, including China, India and the whole southern hemisphere, despite the relatively lower presence of anthropogenic pollution in this less industrialized hemisphere. We can deduce from this that while human pollution might indeed affect the amount of sunlight reaching the surface, it's obviously not the only cause and its effects are probably negligible in the larger context.

Unlike human pollution, cometary activity could, at least partly, explain both the global dimming observed above the oceans during the 1990s and the dimming since 2000.

Between 40 and 400 tons of extraterrestrial material is estimated to enter the Earth's atmosphere daily 214,215 most of it arriving in the form of cometary dust. These estimates calculated years ago do not, however, take into account the recent surge in cometary activity. If we factor in the 655% increase in confirmed fireballs (see AMS statistics above) over the past eight years, the quantity of cometary dust entering Earth's atmosphere should be at least six times higher than that generally estimated; that is, daily incoming dust measuring between 260 and 2,600 tons.
He later goes onto to explicate how a rise in cosmic rays accelerates cloud formation, global dimming and global cooling, and that, while this appears to be a more recent phenomenon, with an increase of 13% in just 3 years, their impact on further cooling the planet will also likely have an affect on tree growth in the Arctic, a factor also not accounted for in the study above.

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Brilliant pink auroras are dazzling the Arctic Circle amid an ongoing solar storm

The northern lights appear pink over Tromso, Norway, on Saturday night.
© Markus Varik/SpaceWeather.com
The northern lights appear pink over Tromso, Norway, on Saturday night.
The northern lights may even dip into southern Canada

Mesmerizing curtains of colorful lights shimmered across the night skies above the Arctic Circle on Saturday and Sunday, with luminous pillars lighting up the landscape beneath shades of green, purple and pink. Skywatchers fixed their cameras pointing upward, the spectacle witnessed from Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada. It was a display of the northern lights, or aurora borealis.

The ordinarily ephemeral show lasted for hours as a powerful geomagnetic storm transformed bursts of energy from the sun into a palette of pastels. Energy hurtling toward Earth from the sun poured along the magnetosphere, the magnetic field that surrounds the planet. Like a natural sunscreen protecting us from damaging high-energy particles, it transforms protons and cosmic radiation into innocuous visible light.

Eye 2

Signs and Portents: Woman discovers 2-headed snake inside home in Alexander County, North Carolina

An Alexander County woman was surprised this weekend after finding a baby, two-headed snake inside of her home.
© Dave Faherty
An Alexander County woman was surprised this weekend after finding a baby, two-headed snake inside of her home.
An Alexander County woman was surprised this weekend after finding a baby, two-headed snake inside of her home.

Jeannie Wilson nicknamed the snake "Double Trouble" after she discovered it in her sunroom.

She believes the one-foot long snake is a rat snake.


Italy's coldest September in 50 years

September snow falls near Rome

September snow falls near Rome
Temperatures plunge suddenly as Italy battered by torrential rain.

Italy's incessant rain and sudden drop in temperature in recent days have resulted in the country's coldest September for 50 years, reports Italian media.

Over the weekend, temperatures in Italy plunged by between 10 and 15 degrees, leading to snow falls much earlier than usual.

The spell of bad weather, triggered by a belt of cold air from northern Europe, has been particularly intense in Milan and Turin which recorded 5°C and 4°C degrees respectively on the night of Sunday 27 September.


Mount Buller hit by 16 inches of spring snow in Victorian Alps, Australia

Mount Buller resort
© Mount Buller
Mount Buller resort
It's the middle of spring, but Victorian Alps have turned into a wintry wonderland following the cold blast that swept through most of the state at the weekend.

Mount Buller recorded more than 40 centimetres of fresh snow, one of its largest snowfalls of the season.

Mount Buller resort's Rhylla Morgan said it was a real taste of winter.

"It went from spring back to winter very quickly," Ms Morgan said.


Beartooth Highway closed due to 3-4 foot snow drifts in Wyoming

© WYDOT Public Relations Specialist Cody Beers
Wyoming Department of Transportation Public Relations Specialist Cody Beers said on Monday, Sept. 28 that a portion of Beartooth Highway has been closed.

He noted there are 3-4 foot snow drifts at the summit of the pass.

"Beartooth Highway (US212) will remain closed until further notice from the Long Lake barricade on the Wyoming side of the Wyoming/Montana border to the MT/WY state line," Beers said.

Beers said that the National Parks Service is monitoring the road.

"It may be reopened if the winter weather moderates," he added.

Cloud Precipitation

Deadly floods and and landslides in Vietnam after 13 inches of rain in 24 hours

The Disaster Management Authority in Vietnam reports that 2 people have died and 7 others injured in northern provinces following heavy rains and landslides from 26 September 2020.

Hanh Cu in Phu Tho recorded 338mm of rain in a 24 hour period to 27 September.

Rain triggered a landslide causing a house to collapse in Ha Hoa District, Phu Tho, killing 2 people.

Across the province, 7 people were reported injured and 3 bridges and roads at over 30 points were damaged or destroyed. As many as 61 houses were damaged in Phu Tho, while heavy rain in Lao Cai caused damage to 12 houses.

Rain related damage, in particular to crops, was also reported in Ha Giang and Yen Bai provinces.


Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: This is what happens when global growing seasons shorten

Indian Farmers told to deal directly with multi-national companies to sell food, Europe orders Romania to give crops to the collective. Record cold and out of season events in both hemispheres as all signs point to 2021 as the roll over year for global food production in the Grand Solar Minimum.


Comment: For more information, images and videos, see: Early snow in the northern hemisphere, late in the southern

Cloud Precipitation

Flood inundates 17,135 hectares of croplands in Kurigram, Bangladesh - 6 inches of rain in 12 hours

© Dhaka Tribune
At least 60,000 people are marooned and road communication has been snapped in many parts of the districts

About 17,135 hectares of cropland has gone underwater in nine upazilas of Kurigram district during the fifth phase flooding triggered by the onrush of upstream water and heavy downpours.

The flood can damage homesteads and croplands of thousands in the district, say residents of these areas.

The local office of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) says the district experienced 156 mm rainfall in the last 12 hours, from 10pm on Saturday to 10am on Sunday.


Last weekend of September brings early snow on Romania's mountain road Transalpina

Those driving on Romania's high-altitude road Transalpina last weekend had first seats to a preview of the upcoming winter season.

The temperature dropped to 1 degree Celsius on Transalpina on Saturday afternoon, and the rain turned into sleet and even snow in some places, local Stirileprotv.ro reported. Fortunately, the thin layer of snow that covered the road did not cause problems for drivers, even if the cars were not equipped for the winter.