Earth ChangesS


Scientists flip-flop on Antarctic melting

When dealing with the latest hysterical claims about global warming, it's essential to keep in mind a fundamental principle of science: Theories must be testable. A scientific theory describes a predicted outcome and one or more means by which the theory can be tested.

Far from supporting a sound scientific theory that humans are creating a global warming crisis, last week's assertion by prominent global warming alarmists that Antarctica is getting warmer illustrates the flip-flopping nature of global warming predictions.

Antarctica was first inserted into the debate when Al Gore, in his movie "An Inconvenient Truth," referred to Antarctica as a "canary in the coal mine" indicating human-induced climate change. After Gore asserted icebergs breaking off the West Antarctic ice sheet proved Antarctica was feeling the effects of human-induced global warming, real scientists pointed out that most of Antarctica has been getting colder for decades. Although a small portion of West Antarctica is warming, scientists noted this was the exception to an overall Antarctic cooling pattern.


Best of the Web: Despite the hot air, the Antarctic is not warming up

© alaska-in-pictures.comBlue Antarctica Icebergs
A deeply flawed new report will be cited ad nauseam by everyone from the BBC to Al Gore, says Christopher Booker.

The measures being proposed to meet what President Obama last week called the need to "roll back the spectre of a warming planet" threaten to land us with the most colossal bill mankind has ever faced. It might therefore seem peculiarly important that we can trust the science on which all the alarm over global warming is based, But nothing has been more disconcerting in this respect than the methods used by promoters of the warming cause over the years to plug some of the glaring holes in their scientific argument.

Another example last week was the much-publicised claim, contradicting all previous evidence, that Antarctica, the world's coldest continent, is in fact warming up, Antarctica has long been a major embarrassment to the warmists. Al Gore and co may have wanted to scare us that the continent which contains 90 per cent of all the ice on the planet is heating up, because that would be the source of all the meltwater which they claim will raise sea levels by 20 feet.

However, to provide all their pictures of ice-shelves "the size of Texas" calving off into the sea, they have had to draw on one tiny region of the continent, the Antarctic Peninsula - the only part that has been warming. The vast mass of Antarctica, all satellite evidence has shown, has been getting colder over the past 30 years. Last year's sea-ice cover was 30 per cent above average.

Evil Rays

Best of the Web: A climate change reality check

global cooling
One year ago, I believed that man-made global warming was true, with temperatures rising dangerously due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.

I also believed that a consensus of the international scientific community supported these conclusions.

I based these beliefs on information from the popular press, television and political leaders.

Then I began some real research on the topic.

I quickly discovered three critical things:
  • First, the Earth has experienced significant warming over the past 18,000 years that has nothing to do with human activity.
  • Second, more recent temperature variations demonstrate that there is little or no correlation between levels of atmospheric CO2 and temperature.
  • And third, there is no "consensus" among scientists on climate change.
To understand the science of climate change, you must first know that very accurate historic temperature data going back thousands of years are available through analysis of dead corals in ocean sediments as well as ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica.

You must also understand what the Earth was like 18,000 years ago. Back then, our planet was at the peak of its most recent major ice age. At 18 degrees Celsius, average ocean surface temperatures were 5 degrees lower than they are today. Half of North America and Eurasia were covered by massive ice sheets thousands of feet thick and sea level was more than 400 feet lower than today. Then, the Earth began a dramatic warming and the ice age ended.

Cloud Lightning

US: 5 Killed as Ice Storm Hits Midwest and South

A winter storm stretched from Texas into Midwest on Monday, knocking out power to hundreds, making roads treacherous and leading to at least five traffic deaths.

As the storm moved across Oklahoma and sections of Texas, highway and emergency crews braced for icy conditions in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky and the southern slices of Indiana and Illinois.

A truck driver died in Oklahoma when his semi skidded off an icy stretch of turnpike near Chandler, authorities said. The victim's name wasn't immediately released. Another deadly accident also occurred on Interstate 44 near Afton.

Better Earth

Earthquake Rocks Indonesia

An intense earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale rocked the southwest of Sumatra, Indonesia at 1939 GMT Monday, the Hong Kong Observatory said in a news bulletin here early Tuesday morning.


Study finds troubling pattern of Southern California quakes

The southern stretch of the San Andreas fault has had a major temblor about every 137 years, according to new research. The latest looks to be overdue.

Large earthquakes have rumbled along a southern section of the San Andreas fault more frequently than previously believed, suggesting that Southern California could be overdue for a strong temblor on the notorious fault line, a new study has found.

The Carrizo Plain section of the San Andreas has not seen a massive quake since the much-researched Fort Tejon temblor of 1857, which at an estimated magnitude of 7.9 is considered the most powerful earthquake to hit Southern California in modern times.

But the new research by UC Irvine scientists, to be published next week, found that major quakes occurred there roughly every 137 years over the last 700 years. Until now, scientists believed big quakes occurred along the fault roughly every 200 years.

The findings are significant because seismologists have long believed this portion of the fault is capable of sparking the so-called Big One that officials have for decades warned will eventually occur in Southern California.

Better Earth

New weather warning after storms kill 21 in France and Spain

As hundreds of thousands are left without power, forecasters fear floods will follow worst weather for a decade

Emergency services struggling with the aftermath of Saturday's storms in France and Spain faced a new spate of victims as four people died and more than 100 were hospitalised after inhaling carbon monoxide from electricity generators.

With 680,000 people still without electricity in France and 50,000 in Spain, families have been using their own generators to power their homes, businesses and farms

But Michèle Alliot-Marie, the French Interior Minister, warned of the dangers today as hospitals dealt with victims poisoned by generators they had installed without proper ventilation.

"People must be more vigilant," she said as officials called for private power generation units to be placed outside.

Bizarro Earth

5.0-magnitude earthquake jolts NW China

An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale jolted northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region at 9:47 a.m. Sunday, according to the state earthquake authority.

The earthquake occurred in Xibe Autonomous County of Qapqal, 700 kilometers from the regional capital Urumqi. The epicenter was at 43.3 degrees north latitude and 80.9 degrees east longitude at a depth of 10 kilometers, the China Earthquake Administration said Sunday.

Better Earth

An Earthquake Occurred in the Republic of Yakutia

An earthquake measuring 5.3 points occurred in the Republic of Yakutia (Sakha) on Tuesday morning, at 06:30 local time.

According to the Yakutsk seismic station, the earth jolts were felt in the city of Tynda. However, there were no negative consequences. The shifts of the Earth's crust occurred at a depth of ten kilometers in a thinly populated area.


Tasmania: Sympathy for the Devil

Tasmanian devil with tumors
© Menna JonesTasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease
Efforts to save the endangered Tasmanian Devil have been boosted by the raising of $13,200 at a charity dinner in New York last week. The money was raised as part of Tourism Tasmania's G'DAY USA 2009 Activities in the United States according to a Tasmanian Government press release.

Speaking from New York, Tasmanian tourism minister Michelle O'Byrne told reporters the money was raised from gifts and the holding of a silent auction. She added the cause for the devils was supported by messages from over 300 high-profile wildlife lovers who attended the event.