Earth ChangesS

Life Preserver

Scientific evidence now points to global cooling, contrary to U.N. alarmism

Opponents of the Waxman-Markey "cap and trade" bill would do well to invoke recent scientific studies that show global surface temperatures have not increased since 1998, contrary to what climate models have predicted.

U.S. policymakers who cite "consensus" on man-made global warming as justification for anti-emission regulations are relying upon outdated and misleading material from the United Nations that deliberately omits the influence of natural forces, according to climate skeptics. In fact, a growing body of evidence now points to the emergence of another cooling cycle that could persist for decades.

Dr. Don Easterbrook, a geologist and professor emeritus at Western Washington University, has presented data that shows a cooler and wetter climate is in order for the next 25 to 30 years. The Pacific Ocean has a warm temperature mode and a cool temperature mode known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO, he said in a recent study.

Bizarro Earth

US: Record Lows Dispel Global Warming Myth

Former Vice President Albert Arnold Gore Jr., the father of the great global warming hoax, is having a serious problem with Mother Nature: She's refusing to cooperate with his campaign to convince the world that our planet is well on the way toward barbecuing itself on a spit fashioned from carbon dioxide (the dreaded CO2).

Gore's problem with the climate is . . . well . . . the climate. It simply won't do what he says it should be doing. Instead of raising the planet's thermostat to heat, it's turning on the air conditioning to cooling. In summer!

This is August, midsummer, and it is usually hot and steamy here in the United States. To Gore's discomfort, it's been downright chilly in much of the U.S.


Sunspots, climate change and the sleepy sun: Some deeper science

sunspotless days
The year 2009 has moved into 8th place in the rankings of years with the most sunspot-free days since 1900.

The top 10 are shown in the accompanying graph; three of these have been in the past three years.

In fact, 2008, which was the quietest solar year in a century, could be bettered by 2009. If 70% of the remaining days in 2009 are sunspot free, we'll pass 2008, bumping it into 3rd place. The greatest number of sunspot free days since the year 1900 was in 1913, with approx. 320. The math shows that this record at least is safe for another year.

Another measure of solar sleep is the 10-centimeter radio flux streaming out from the nearest star to Earth. This too has been at very low levels in 2009, continuing the trend of the past two years. Much research shows that lower solar "wind" leads to more intergalactic particles reaching the earth's surface, and possibly more cloud formation. Perhaps this is how solar changes relate to Earth temperatures. More particles provide more collection sites for water vapor to condense, hence more clouds.

Some people have said that there is a correlation between this year's stone quiet hurricane season and the persistently slow solar output, but there is no empirical data to support this.

While there is probably some influence on the longer-term ocean temperatures (roughly correlated with the 11-year solar cycle) as related to solar variance, this year's tropical downturn is more likely a result of persistent wind shear over the tropics and slightly cooler than average sea temperatures.

Che Guevara

'Consensus' Takes Another Hit! More than 60 German Scientists Dissent Over Global Warming Claims! Call Climate Fears 'Pseudo 'Religion'; Urge Chancellor to 'reconsider' views

More than 60 prominent German scientists have publicly declared their dissent from man-made global warming fears in an Open Letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The more than 60 signers of the letter include several United Nations IPCC scientists.

The scientists declared that global warming has become a "pseudo religion" and they noted that rising CO2 has "had no measurable effect" on temperatures. The German scientists, also wrote that the "UN IPCC has lost its scientific credibility."

This latest development comes on the heels of a series of inconvenient developments for the promoters of man-made global warming fears, including new peer-reviewed studies, real world data, a growing chorus of scientists dissenting (including more UN IPCC scientists), open revolts in scientific societies and the Earth's failure to warm. In addition, public opinion continues to turn against climate fear promotion. (See "Related Links" at bottom of this article for more inconvenient scientific developments.)


Answering 3 simple questions

Why is it so difficult to get straightforward answers to three simple questions about climate change?

Senator Steve Fielding, an engineer who understands the distinction between facts and fanciful computer models, recently posed three questions regarding climate change to Minister Penny Wong.

The Minister, through her Department of Climate Change, provided answers to those questions based largely on advice from Professor Penny Sackett (Chief Scientist of Australia) and Professor Will Steffen (ANU Climate Research Centre).

The "answers" often evaded the issues raised by Senator Fielding, and mostly discussed peripheral, if related, issues. The answers also shifted the usual goalposts, arguing, for example, that global average atmospheric temperature was not a desirable measure of global warming - despite its consistent use by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for more than 15 years. Rather, the Department now wants to use ocean heat content as their prime measure.

A measured scientific audit of the Minister's replies to the three climate questions was provided later by Senator Fielding's four independent scientific advisers.


Media Spin: New York Times Blames 2009's Record Cold on Natural Factors -- But Blamed Record Warmth in 2000 on Man-Made Global Warming!

The media and climate fear promoters appear to be in overdrive trying to spin recent global cooling and particularly the "year without a summer" in many parts of the U.S. [See: Earth's 'Fever' Breaks! Global temperatures 'have plunged .74°F since Gore's film released and Climate Fear Promoters Try to Spin Record Cold and Snow: 'Global warming made it less cool' ]

The New York Times reports that the record cold of 2009 is due to natural variations and even warned skeptics of man-made global warming not to be "buoyed" by the brutal cold.

The New York Times' remarkable front page article on July 31, 2009 titled "In New York, It's the Summer That Isn't" by reporter Sam Roberts detailed the record breaking cold summer in New York. The article warned "this could be the coolest summer on record" and "this will have been the coolest June and July since either 1903 or 1881."

But the 2009 article explained "this summer's unusually mild temperatures should not buoy global warming skeptics."

Why? The Times has the answer, noting "a persistent high-level jet stream has sent cooler air streaming from the north and northwest."

Ok. Fair enough, "natural variations" caused a record cold breaking summer in 2009, according to the Times. But the question looms, how did the paper explain record warmth nearly a decade ago? Surely, if natural variations in climate can cause a record-breaking cold summer, then it would stand to reason that record breaking warmth would have a natural cause as well?

Monkey Wrench

Crows use multitools, but do they plan ahead?

Tool-toting New Caledonian crows may be smart, but are they schemers?

The cunning birds can sculpt twigs into hooks and wield multiple tools in succession to obtain an otherwise unreachable snack. This kind of behaviour has prompted some scientists to conclude that the birds plan their actions ahead of time to achieve a goal.

However, new experiments led by Joanna Wimpenny and Alex Kacelnik at the University of Oxford cast doubt on that conclusion.

Bizarro Earth

Shaking the Earth: How Water Helps Tectonic Plates Slide in New Zealand

New Zealand is the site of one of the world's youngest subduction zones, where the Pacific Plate of Earth's crust dives beneath the Australian Plate. Now, a University of Utah study shows how water deep underground helps the subduction zone mature and paves the way for it to generate powerful earthquakes.

The study in the Aug. 6 issue of the journal Nature "expands our understanding of the sources of earthquake failure," says Phil Wannamaker, the study's main author and a geophysicist at the University of Utah's Energy and Geoscience Institute.

"It hasn't been on people's minds that fluid-generating processes way out of sight reach up and cause damage right under our feet," he adds.

Understanding how one of Earth's moving tectonic plates can dive or subduct beneath another to create earthquake-generating faults is important because subduction and faulting "are major processes all over the world," especially in the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean, Wannamaker says.

Cloud Lightning

Lightning Kills 10, Injures 12 in Eastern India

© Wiki
Ten people were killed and 12 injured when lightning struck a house during a funeral ceremony in western India, the Calcutta Telegraph said on Wednesday.

The tragedy occurred on Tuesday evening in the courtyard of a house as some 35 people sat down to eat in Atkulla village, around 135 km (83 miles) from Kolkata (Calcutta).

An eyewitness, Subodh Pramanik, was cited by the paper as saying: "I saw an electric flash roll across the courtyard and I froze."

Health officials said that the force of the single bolt killed eight people instantly. "One died in hospital. Two of the injured have suffered 80% burns and their condition is critical," Dilip Kumar Jha told the paper.


Tiny Bird, Tiny Genome

Study finds hummingbirds have pared-down DNA

© Chris C. WittSmall genomes and flight appear to go hand in hand, and black-chinned hummingbirds (above) have the smallest genome of surveyed birds, reports a new study
Flying with excess baggage is a drag, but hummingbirds have mastered efficient packing. The tiny hoverers have less DNA in their cells than any other previously studied birds, reptiles or mammals, researchers report online August 5 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Among hummingbird species, however, genome size doesn't vary along with body size, suggesting that birds' DNA was pared down before the diversification of today's hummers.

Scientists have long noted the link between small genome size and high metabolic rates - a notion first put forth in 1970 by Polish scientist Henryk Szarski. Bats and birds have the smallest genomes of backboned creatures, and flightless birds tend to have bigger genomes than fliers. The genome, or full book of genetic instructions, is typically present in every cell. So lugging around a smaller genome means you can have smaller cells, the thinking goes. Smaller cells mean a larger surface-to-volume ratio and more efficient gas exchange, all the better to fly with. (The metabolic rate of hummingbirds is thought to approach the theoretical maximum.)