Earth ChangesS


Hydraulic Gas Drillers Skirt Law, Put Water Supplies at Risk

A new report on hydraulic gas drilling says that the practice is injecting toxic petroleum distillates into thousands of wells, threatening drinking water supplies from New York to Wyoming. What's more, the Environmental Working Group says that hydraulic gas drillers regularly skirt the law, and that federal regulators look the other way.

The Environmental Working Group report is entitled "Drilling Around the Law." According to the report, distillates from hydraulic drilling include kerosene, mineral spirits and a number of other petroleum products that often contain high levels of benzene, a known human carcinogen that is toxic in water at even minuscule levels. Drillers inject these substances into the earth under extremely high pressure in a process called hydraulic fracturing that energy companies use to extract natural gas and oil from underground formations. The process, known as "fracking," fractures the rock to allow additional gas and oil to flow to the surface.

Comment: For more information about the issue of Hydraulic Drilling read the following article from an editor at SOTT: Water For Oil: The Devil's Bargain For Natural Gas

Cloud Lightning

Snow brings traffic trouble and school closures to the UK again

© Peter Macdiarmid/Getty ImagesSnow has caused renewed problems on the roads in parts of England and Wales.
Met Office issues severe weather warnings for parts of England and Wales while Environment Agency warns of floods

The snow returned to parts of England and Wales today, yet again causing problems on the roads and school closures.

Severe weather warnings were issued by the Met Office for parts of south-west and western England and Wales. About 8cm of snow fell on some high ground and there were flurries as far south as ­Hampshire and as far east as ­Surrey and in the Midlands.

At the same time the Environment Agency warned householders and businesses in the Midlands and the north-east to expect flooding. The risk may grow in coming days as the thaw causes river levels to rise.

Gloucestershire was one of the areas hardest hit by the snow. Schools in the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean were closed. The county council said gritters were back out treating all A and B roads on higher ground but lorries were getting stuck on the steeper hills.


Global Warming propaganda outlet The Guardian says "Get ready for seven-foot sea level rise as climate change melts ice sheets"

© Unknown"The polar bears, won't somebody please think of the polar bears!?"
The IPCC's 2007 report missed out the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets which would be the key drivers in dramatic sea level rises. From Yale Environment 360, part of the Guardian Environment Network

The reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are balanced and comprehensive documents summarizing the impact of global warming on the planet. But they are not without imperfections, and one of the most notable was the analysis of future sea level rise contained in the latest report, issued in 2007.

Comment: 'Not without imperfections'? How about 'completely cooked'?

Cooked! US government's central role in fudging the data behind 'global warming'

Given the complexities of forecasting how much the melting of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice sheets will contribute to increases in global sea level, the IPCC chose not to include these giant ice masses in their calculations, thus ignoring what is likely to be the most important source of sea level rise in the 21st century. Arguing that too little was understood about ice sheet collapse to construct a mathematical model upon which even a rough estimate could be based, the IPCC came up with sea level predictions using thermal expansion of the oceans and melting of mountain glaciers outside the poles. Its results were predictably conservative - a maximum of a two-foot rise this century - and were even a foot lower than an earlier IPCC report that factored in some melting of Greenland's ice sheet.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning strikes two planes near California airport

© Ethan Miller, Getty Images/file
Burbank - Two Southwest Airlines airplanes have been struck by lighting while landing at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport.

Southwest spokeswoman Marilee McInnis says the flights to Burbank from Sacramento and Oakland landed safely Wednesday morning after being struck while approaching the airport amid heavy rains.

She says a flight attendant reported a pain in her arm and was hospitalized. No other injuries were reported.

The two Boeing 737s were taken out of service and passengers with continuing flights were put on other planes.

McInnis says all aircraft are built to withstand lightning strikes, which can occur during flights through stormy weather.


Strange weather pattern over southwestern Australia

© Australian Bureau of Meteorology
A contact in Australia just alerted me to what he describes as "very strange weather taking place over the southwest of Australia". He told me to go to the national weather satellite images if I could not open the images he attached (See left). By the time I had discovered the e-mail and checked, the large clearly defined ring had mostly dissipated but still was just visible on a time loop which was spiraling counter clockwise (Low Pressure system).

The image below is what my contact sent which shows a wide band ring covering many hundreds of miles across the south west of Australia with a small dot (presumably cloud) shown just right of center.

Cloud Lightning

Storms keep hammering Northern California

With fresh snow in the Sierra on Tuesday, thunderstorms in the Sacramento Valley and stirring winds causing multiple power outages, Mother Nature is giving Northern California a preview of big weather events to come.

By week's end, a continuing series of storm fronts is expected to dump 5 to 10 feet of snow in the mountains and drench the Valley as winds and wet conditions threaten trees and power lines and challenge freeway commuters.

But with drought-starved reservoirs shallow and local creeks and streams parched by a long drought, regional flood control officials predict little danger for Valley communities that historically have been vulnerable during heavy downpours.

Bizarro Earth

Experts: Haiti at Risk for Another Big Aftershock

New York - Haiti can expect more aftershocks in coming weeks, and while the usual pattern suggests they will become weaker and less frequent, another one as strong as Wednesday's jolt is certainly possible, scientists say.

The battered nation has felt more than 45 significant aftershocks since the Jan. 12 quake. Wednesday's event, originally estimated at magnitude 6.1 but later revised to a 5.9, tied an earlier aftershock as the strongest so far.

These events are a sign the land is adjusting to "the new reality of the rock layers," said Bruce Pressgrave, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Eric Calais of Purdue University, who has studied earthquake potential in the region, said aftershocks could continue for several weeks and that another jolt as strong as Wednesday's would not be surprising.

"They will be less and less frequent, but large ones can still strike," he said. So buildings are still at risk, especially those already weakened, he said.

While a 6.1 magnitude earthquake sounds almost as strong as a 7.0 earthquake, the difference of the destructive power between the two is greater than an order of magnitude. Unlike temperature scales, in which units of increase are constant, the method used to measure earthquake magnitudes is logarithmic. What this generally means is that the amount of shaking at ground level caused by a 5.0 earthquake is 10 times less than that caused by a 6.0 earthquake and 100 times less of that caused by a 7.0 earthquake.

Bizarro Earth

6.5 Magnitude earthquake rocks Mexico-Guatemala border

An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale struck the border between Mexico and Guatemala. No injuries or deaths have been reported. However, there are conflicting reports about the magnitude of the quake.

Seismologists at Nicaragua's Institute of Territorial Studies have measured an earthquake at 6.5 on the Richter scale on the border between Mexico and Guatemala, according to France 24.

There have been no reports of injuries, deaths or damages.

The United States Geological Survey measured the quake at 4.9 on the Moment Magnitude scale and located the quake 75 miles northwest of Tonala, Mexico, reports AFP.

The earthquake struck at around 3:32 a.m., local time.

This is the second time an earthquake has struck near Guatemala.

Digital Journal reported on Monday that a 6.0 magnitude quake hit the Pacific Coast of Guatemala.


Climategate: Something's Rotten in Denmark ... and East Anglia, Asheville, and New York City

The familiar phrase was spoken by Marcellus in Shakespeare's Hamlet - first performed around 1600, at the start of the Little Ice Age. "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" is the exact quote. It recognizes that fish rots from the head down, and it means that all is not well at the top of the political hierarchy. Shakespeare proved to be Nostradamus. Four centuries later - at the start of what could be a new Little Ice Age - the rotting fish is Copenhagen.

The smell in the air may be from the leftover caviar at the banquet tables, or perhaps from the exhaust of 140 private jets and 1200 limousines commissioned by the attendees when they discovered there was to be no global warming evident in Copenhagen. (In fact, the cold will deepen and give way to snow before they leave, an extension of the Gore Effect.)

But the metaphorical stench comes from the well-financed bad science and bad policy, promulgated by the UN, and the complicity of the so-called world leaders, thinking of themselves as modern-day King Canutes (the Viking king of Denmark, England, and Norway - who ironically ruled during the Medieval Warm Period this very group has tried to deny). His flatterers thought his powers "so great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back."

Arrow Up

Canada's polar bear population has doubled in last decade: 'Becoming a problem,' locals say

© BBCSo I was in the area...
Polar bears, the lumbering carnivores of the arctic, continue to be the poster bear - er, child - for global warmers everywhere who are convinced the baby seal munchers are being driven to extinction by man's irresponsible release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Next to whales, the cuddly fur balls enjoy a special place on the "Animals to Love" list. Grown-ups adore them (provided it's from a safe distance), and grade-school kids who can't find Greenland or Manitoba on a map raid their penny jars to save them.

But are the denizens of the deep north facing extinction? Are they in desperate need of saving? It depends on who you ask.