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Fri, 27 Jan 2023
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New Zealand Teen Fights Off Shark with Body Board

A teenage New Zealand girl bitten by a shark bashed it over the head with her body board until it let her go, she said.

Lydia Ward, 14, was in waist-deep water with her brother on Monday at Oreti Beach on the country's South Island when the shark - believed to be a broad-nosed seven gill shark - grabbed her hip. She said she did not notice the shark until the attack was under way.

"I saw my brother's face and turned to the side and saw this large gray thing in the water so I just hit it on the head with a boogie board," Ward told National Radio, adding that she had read about a surfer who fought off a shark attack with her board. "That's what she did, and that's what you're meant to do."

Document

Leaked climate change emails scientist 'hid' data flaws

Key study by East Anglia professor Phil Jones was based on suspect figures

Phil Jones, the beleaguered British climate scientist at the centre of the leaked emails controversy, is facing fresh claims that he sought to hide problems in key temperature data on which some of his work was based.

A Guardian investigation of thousands of emails and documents apparently hacked from the University of East Anglia's climatic research unit has found evidence that a series of measurements from Chinese weather stations were seriously flawed and that documents relating to them could not be produced.

Better Earth

Can you see what it is yet? How a flock of starlings can look just like a bird, a duck and even a turtle

Flocks of starlings are renowned for forming a variety of shapes in the sky.

But on this occasion they must have been overcome by vanity - and created a giant starling for us ground-dwellers to admire.

The countless creatures created the awesome display by using the winter breeze as the low-setting sun caused the sky to glow red.

Image

Birdwatching: The giant starling formation over the setting sun was spotted in Taunton, Somerset
The amazing spectacle was spotted over Taunton, Somerset.

Elsewhere, starlings created a bizarre image of a rubber duck in the sky as they flew in formation across Britain.

Sun

Proof of warming is melting rapidly

President Obama picked an odd time to remind people he's in league with the global-warming alarmists. He did so in his State of the Union address.

He put in a pitch for his economy-hobbling, government-expanding global-warming "cap-and-trade" plan. This in the very same speech in which he declared he's focusing anew on creating jobs and reining in bureaucracy.

Odder yet, Obama also took the occasion to declare, as he has before, that science is on the side of global-warming alarmism.

Such an assertion has never been more in doubt than right now.

Magnify

Amazongate: new evidence of the IPCC's failures

Image
© Lee Foster / Alamy
The claim in an IPCC report that 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest could disappear through global warming turned out to be unfounded
It is now six weeks since I launched an investigation, with my colleague Richard North, into the affairs of Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the hugely influential body which for 20 years has been the central driver of worldwide alarm about global warming. Since then the story has grown almost daily, leading to worldwide calls for Dr Pachauri's resignation. But increasingly this has also widened out to question the authority of the IPCC itself. Contrary to the tendentious claim that its reports represent a "consensus of the world's top 2,500 climate scientists" (most of its contributors are not climate experts at all), it has now emerged, for instance, that one of the more widely quoted scare stories from its 2007 report was drawn from the work of a British "green activist" who occasionally writes as a freelance for The Guardian and The Independent.

Last week I reported on "Glaciergate", the scandal which has forced the IPCC's top officials, led by Dr Pachauri, to disown a claim originating from an Indian glaciologist, Dr Syed Husnain, that the Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035. What has made this reckless claim in the IPCC's 2007 report even more embarrassing was the fact that Dr Husnain, as we revealed, was then employed by Dr Pachauri's own Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (Teri). His baseless scaremongering about the Himalayas helped to win Teri a share in two lucrative research contracts, one funded by the EU.

Cow Skull

Genetically Modified Forest Planned for U.S. Southeast

International Paper and MeadWestvaco are planning to transform plantation forests of the southeastern U.S. by replacing native pine with genetically engineered eucalyptus

By adopting eucalyptus as a tree stock, the United States would simply be catching up with countries like Brazil, which has leveraged vast tree plantations in recent decades to pivot from a net wood importer to an exporter. While the South saw a rise in pine plantations during this time, pine cannot compete with eucalyptus for sheer growth rate, the company says.

"The United States is behind the game on this," said Les Pearson, ArborGen's director of regulatory affairs. "Lots of countries around the world have been growing eucalyptus for many decades."

Indeed, primarily because of competition from South America, demand for traditional American tree pulp has gone slack. This sagging industry could allow up to 10 million acres in the Southeast to be repurposed for fast-growing eucalyptuses, according to corporate estimates.

Question

Simulated volcanic eruptions to block sun

A geoengineering project to block the sun by simulating volcanic eruptions would be 100 times cheaper than cutting greenhouse gas emissions, climate change scientists said.

A global plan to put man-made particles into the atmosphere to deflect the Sun's heat would rapidly lower global temperatures until cuts in carbon dioxide emissions took effect, they argued.


Bizarro Earth

Mild Quakes hit Southern Mindanao

Cotabato City - A mild earthquake hit southern Mindanao early Sunday, the second in 48 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

No one was reported injured or property damaged in the 4.8 magnitude tremor that occurred at 7:26 a.m.

Phivolcs monitored the center of the earthquake at 106 kilometers south-east of Gen. Santos City with a depth of 196 kilometers.

Phoenix

US: Hundreds of Quakes Are Rattling Yellowstone

Denver - In the last two weeks, more than 100 mostly tiny earthquakes a day, on average, have rattled a remote area of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, putting scientists who monitor the park's strange and volatile geology on alert.

Researchers say that for now, the earthquake cluster, or swarm - the second-largest ever recorded in the park - is more a cause for curiosity than alarm. The quake zone, about 10 miles northwest of the Old Faithful geyser, has shown little indication, they said, of building toward a larger event, like a volcanic eruption of the type that last ravaged the Yellowstone region tens of thousands of years ago.

Alarm Clock

US: Deadly fish virus now found in all Great Lakes

A deadly fish virus that was first discovered in the Northeast in 2005 has been found for the first time in fish from Lake Superior, report Cornell researchers. That means that the virus has now been documented in all of the Great Lakes.

The viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus ( VHSV ), which causes fatal anemia and hemorrhaging in many fish species, poses no threat to humans, said Paul Bowser, professor of aquatic animal medicine at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.