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Wed, 03 Mar 2021
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

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Global Warming or Global Cooling?

The title link is to a great article showing how different sources of historical temperature data tell conflicting stories. Data from NASA implies that global temperatures are increasing while information from the UK Meteorological Office, University of Alabama and Remote Sensing Systems clearly show that temperatures have been falling for quite some time. To further confuse matters, the often cited NASA data did not support global warming until the raw data was massaged to no longer match the original measurements. Older temperatures were interpolated and adjusted downwards, and recent temperatures were presented as higher than the actual raw values that were initially recorded.


Climate change and the recent dengue fever outbreak

Earlier in April of this year the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the health of hundreds of millions of people might be put at risk by the effects of climate change.


New Jason Satellite Indicates 23-Year Global Cooling

Now it's not just the sunspots that predict a 23-year global cooling. The new Jason oceanographic satellite shows that 2007 was a "cool" La Nina year - but Jason also says something more important is at work: The much larger and more persistent Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) has turned into its cool phase, telling us to expect moderately lower global temperatures until 2030 or so.


Chilean volcano captured blasting ash

Chile's Chaiten Volcano is shown spewing ash and smoke (centre left of image) into the air for hundreds of km over Argentina's Patagonia Plateau in this Envisat image acquired on 5 May 2008.

The 1000 m-high volcano had been dormant for thousands of years before erupting on 2 May, causing the evacuation of thousands. Chaiten Volcano is located in southern Chile 10 km northeast of the town of Chaiten on the Gulf of Corcovado.

Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument processed this image at a resolution of 1200 m.

Satellite data can be used to detect the slight signs of change that may foretell an eruption. Once an eruption begins, optical and radar instruments can capture the lava flows, mudslides, ground fissures and earthquakes.

Chile's Chaiten Volcano is shown spewing ash and smoke into the air for hundreds of km over Argentina's Patagonia Plateau in this Envisat's Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) image, acquired on 5 May 2008.


Bee disappearance reaches Northern Ireland: Strange case of the missing bees

Bees are usually the hardest workers in County Armagh orchards, pollinating the apple blossom - but this year fruit growers complain that many bees have simply not turned up.

Bee-keepers, too, are worried about the crash in numbers and some are describing the problem as colony collapse disorder.

Some hives are lying empty


US: Dying bats in the Northeast remain a mystery

Investigations continue into the cause of a mysterious illness that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of bats since March 2008. At more than 25 caves and mines in the northeastern U.S, bats exhibiting a condition now referred to as "white-nosed syndrome" have been dying.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently issued a Wildlife Health Bulletin, advising wildlife and conservation officials throughout the U.S. to be on the lookout for the condition known as "white-nose syndrome" and to report suspected cases of the disease.

USGS wildlife disease specialist Dr. Kimberli Miller advises that "anyone finding sick or dead bats should avoid handling them and should contact their state wildlife conservation agency or the nearest U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service field office to report their observation."


UN says 1.5 million people 'severely affected' by Myanmar cyclone

Some 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" by the Nargis tropical cyclone that hit Myanmar at the weekend, a UN official said on Thursday.

Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar last Saturday, devastating large parts of the country. The death toll, which currently stands at over 100,000, is likely to rise further as rescue workers struggle to reach remote settlements, while the nationwide number of displaced people could reach millions.


Mysterious haze covers south Palm Beach County

A fire burning in the dried-up bed of Lake Okeechobee is the most likely source of that smoky smell pestering residents in southern and western Palm Beach County.

The Division of Forestry, the Boca Raton Fire Department dispatchers, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue all report several calls from residents in the Boca Raton area complaining of smoke. But earlier in the morning, its source was elusive.


Under the ice lurks a 'strange' Arctic monster

Canadian fish scientists are opening a window into the mysterious world of the Greenland shark -- the top predator in the Canadian Arctic about which almost nothing is known.

Except this, says Steve Campana of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography: "These are very, very strange sharks."

Its meat is poison. Its mouth is far under its body. It has almost no spine. It's so lethargic that it doesn't even snap at the scientists who hook it and attach a radio to it.

And it may live 200 years.

Bizarro Earth

Huge landslide hits Dorset's Jurassic Coast

It began as a low rumble on Tuesday night, but soon giant chunks of land "the size of cars" were cascading into the sea off Dorset. By yesterday morning, a 400m section of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast between Lyme Regis and Charmouth had disappeared, in what has been described as the biggest landslide Britain has seen in a century.