Earth ChangesS

Evil Rays

An exceptionally soggy June for many in US

Washington - Mud season has been extended. From North Dakota to Long Island, rain after rain after rain has dampened spirits and swamped roads. Picnics and kids' baseball games have been washed out, rescheduled and rained out again. Big-time sports, too.

_ In Farmingdale, N.Y., Tiger Woods' defense of the U.S. Open championship was delayed Thursday as rain pelted an already soaked course and postponed most of the first round until Friday. "Where's my canoe," England's Ian Poulter wrote on his Twitter feed.

_ In Bismarck, N.D., heavy rain swamped streets, stressed storm sewers and stalled vehicles. Roads were shut down, and the roof of a bowling alley collapsed under the weight of water.

_ Rainfall has totaled 5.32 inches so far this month in New York's Central Park, more than double the normal 2.17 inches for the period.

"This has been a very rainy spring," observed Victoria Cahn, 27, dodging puddles on a lunch run from her office on the University of Pennsylvania campus. "Usually in June we have the air conditioning on half the time at least."

The lifelong Philadelphia resident said, "I'm a volunteer sailor on the (1883 tall ship) Gazela ... and we've been trying to find dry time to work outside on the weekends, and it just hasn't been there - we always find ourselves interrupted by a thunderstorm or two."

The City of Brotherly Love has sloshed through 3.40 inches of rain so far this month, far above the 1.81 normal reading.

Cloud Lightning

US: Another round of severe weather in North Dakota

Mother Nature added insult to injury tonight in Abercrombie. After getting 8 inches of rain Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, the city got hit with another round of severe weather tonight and another 2 and a half inches of rain.

20 homes there already had some kind of water damage, some with as much as 4 feet of water; WDAY 6 Reporter Travis Skonseng is live with the latest.

Crews are scrambling with a struggling sewer system that just can't keep up with all the water. The past few days have swamped much of town.

Fire officials are trying to pump out water from the flooded town into fields. Many ditches are already full. Tonight, several inches of water are standing in streets and water is right up to homes.


US: Corpse flower offers rare bloom at California gardens

corpse flower
© unknown
Thousands of visitors have flocked to the Huntington Botanical Gardens today to see the brief bloom of a corpse flower, a plant famous for its rotting smell and its rare flowering, which happens once every few years or more.

The last time the corpse flower bloomed at the gardens in San Marino was in 2002, and the last time before that was in 1999 -- the first recorded bloom in California's history. Many have been monitoring the Huntington flower's progression in recent days. Once the bloom was announced Tuesday at 2 p.m., the deluge began.

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia mud volcano may last 30 years: expert

Indonesia's devastating 'mud volcano' could keep spewing for the next 30 years, filling the equivalent of 50 Olympic-size swimming pools every day, a top Australian expert warned.

Curtin University of Technology's doctor Mark Tingay, who has just returned from the disaster site in East Java, said about 100,000 people remained under threat from subsidence three years after the volcano first erupted.

"In effect, the whole region around the vent hole is sinking by about two to five centimetres each day due to the rising mud level, causing more damage to suburban villages and triggering frequent bursts of flammable gas around homes," he said, according to a Geological Society of Australia statement.

Better Earth

Midnight sun: Night-shining clouds light up dark skies of Britain

Noctilucent clouds in england
© Mark Humpage/'Noctilucent' or 'night-shining' clouds form at the outer limits of the upper atmosphere and reflect the sun's light long after it has gone down over the horizon.
With the sun dappled across these white clouds and a deep blue sky, it appears dawn is about to break.

But this remarkable photograph of an English rural landscape near was taken at midnight and shows the rare phenomenon of 'night shining.'

The shimmering clouds form at an altitude of around 55 miles above sea level and are made up of tiny ice droplets. Because they are so high up in the atmosphere the sun is able to illuminate the clouds from below the horizon.

Called 'noctilucent' clouds, which literally means 'night-shining' in Latin, they are normally spotted in polar regions during the summer months.

But stunned residents spotted a rare glimpse of the clouds lighting up Leicester's skyline shortly after midnight on Thursday morning.

Comment: Notice the twist pointing once again to man-made global warming. However, a more plausible explanation is an increasing accumulation of cosmic dust at the highest altitudes. Especially disturbing is that the composition of this dust suggest the earth is entering a debris-filled region of space, upping the odds of a catastrophic collision with extraterrestrial objects. We would recommend a careful reading of the Comets and Catastropes series, starting here.

Better Earth

After 90 Years, the Wolverine (Just One) Returns to Colorado

© unknownWolverine
The last time wolverines were known to live in Colorado, Theodore Roosevelt had just died and women had not yet won the right to vote. But now, 90 years later, researchers using radio tracking devices have followed a wolverine into the state.

The scientists concede that the return of one animal to a species' ancient range is hardly cause for jubilation. "Somewhat of an anomaly," Rick Kahn, an official in the Colorado Division of Wildlife, called it in a statement.

But the researchers hope their efforts to track the young male, designated M56, will help explain why only an estimated 250 to 500 wolverines remain in the lower 48 states and what their fate might be in the face of development and climate change.

Wolverines live in Alaska and Canada, and "we know they used to be in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, California and Washington," said Robert M. Inman, who directs the Greater Yellowstone Wolverine Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society, the organization that also runs the Bronx Zoo.

But "it is one of the most elusive and just mysterious creatures," Mr. Inman added. "Few people have seen them."


The US Government's New Climate Report: Shading Science for Alarmism

"Imagine if an industry-funded government contractor had a hand in writing a major federal report on climate change. And imagine if that person used his position to misrepresent the science, to cite his own non-peer reviewed work, and to ignore relevant work in the peer-reviewed literature. There would be an outrage, surely . . ."
- Roger Pielke Jr. on Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (June 2009)
The U.S. Global Climate Change Research Program (CCSP) report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, is a major disappointment, particularly for some of us who labored to not only correct the small things but to get the big picture right. The political side won with stubbornness and persistence. Reality lost with an overall description that many of the impacts from climate change are greater (worse) than the best science allows. The result is an advocacy document parading as a scientific assessment.


Systematic Misrepresentation of the Science of Disasters and Climate Change

Let me start this post by stating that I am a strong supporter of action on both adaptation and mitigation policies related to human-caused climate change. At the same time I have seen some disturbing things take place in the scientific community. And it is just my luck that the area where I have observed the most shenanigans is the area in which I have considerable expertise -- disasters and climate change.

This post summarizes and reviews the systematic misrepresentation of the science of disasters and climate change in major science assessments, partly for my own purposes, but also to explain that there is a pattern of behavior taking place in this community that should be of concern to anyone who cares about the integrity of science, regardless of their position on climate policies and politics.


Mystery of the Missing Sunspots, Solved?

© NASAA helioseismic map of the solar interior. Tilted red-yellow bands trace solar jet streams. Black contours denote sunspot activity. When the jet streams reach a critical latitude around 22 degrees, sunspot activity intensifies.
The sun is in the pits of a century-class solar minimum, and sunspots have been puzzlingly scarce for more than two years. Now, for the first time, solar physicists might understand why.

At an American Astronomical Society press conference today in Boulder, Colorado, researchers announced that a jet stream deep inside the sun is migrating slower than usual through the star's interior, giving rise to the current lack of sunspots.

Rachel Howe and Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory (NSO) in Tucson, Arizona, used a technique called helioseismology to detect and track the jet stream down to depths of 7,000 km below the surface of the sun. The sun generates new jet streams near its poles every 11 years, they explained to a room full of reporters and fellow scientists. The streams migrate slowly from the poles to the equator and when a jet stream reaches the critical latitude of 22 degrees, new-cycle sunspots begin to appear.

Howe and Hill found that the stream associated with the next solar cycle has moved sluggishly, taking three years to cover a 10 degree range in latitude compared to only two years for the previous solar cycle.

Comment: This article sounds very much like a public relations attempt to salvage the colossal computer model failures that predicted a super cycle for solar cycle 24.

Recall this recent article on SOTT:

Solar cycle computer model with 98 percent forecasting accuracy a complete failure

The basic reality is that the modelers do not know what is going on. We only understand the science to a given point and beyond that we are learning. The problem is that so many in the scientific community now run on political energy and saving face as long as they can is more important than being honest about what we do and do not know.

This article is being mentioned on other sites as well. Here is a comment from the Watts Up With That site from a leading solar researcher, Leif Svalgaard:
Leif Svalgaard :

This press release is just NASA PR-machine hype. We have not 'solved' the problem. Even if we assume that the 'jetstream' has anything to do with the generation of spots [and I personally think it is the other way around] we have just moved the problem [rather than solving it] because now the question is "why was it slower?" Furthermore the 'critical 22 degrees' is not based on anything other than having happened once before.

What we have is a well-orchestrated CYA attempt: our [i.e. NASA-supported] models [predicting a super-cycle] were thwarted by this strange delay of the oscillation, but are basically correct [I think not].
FYI, 'CYA' is an acronym for Cover Your A##.

And another commenter from the Solar Science blog:
John A :

Wow. Even Leif thinks its a dubious correlation at best.

I have two points to make about predictions about the current Solar Cycle:

1. Predictions about the next solar cycle have been persistently wrong.
2. Solar physicists are ignoring the wrong predictions without explanation rather than dealing with their failures.

It ain't science, folks. Its guessing. One day someone will get lucky and lead an entire science astray.

A more general observation is that predicting the future is exactly what it used to be - very, very difficult to pull off unless you can induce amnesia in your audience or appeal to their venality or both.

I suppose that could be the theme of the blog. It didn't start off that way, but I'm depressed that solar physicists don't appear to be addressing the failures of their models.
You can search SOTT for 'sunspot' or 'solar' and read many articles and papers on what is currently up with the sun.

Here is a good place to start:

A Cheshire Cat - Will Sunspots disappear entirely by 2015?

Cloud Lightning

US: Midwest storms cause flooding, spawn tornadoes

Lightning in Kansas
© Associated Press/Orlin WagnerLightning strikes behind a windmill on a farm near Baldwin City, Kansas, Monday, June 15, 2009
Another round of storms in the Midwest has damaged homes and businesses, flooded streets and knocked out power to thousands.

In Minnesota, an apparent tornado struck the town of Austin on Wednesday, uprooting trees, knocking down power lines. At least one person was reported with minor injuries.

The National Weather Service said the storm sent debris flying, flipped cars on their sides and sent trees through roofs.

Abercrombie, a small town south of Fargo, N.D., has been overwhelmed by almost 8 inches of rain in 24 hours.

In the small Missouri town of Norborne, straight-line winds from a thunderstorm reached more than 74 mph, knocking down the walls of one buildings and damaging roofs and trees.