Earth ChangesS


Name 3 clear signs of the coming Thermageddon

burning world

OK, so my art is a bit tongue in cheek. But it does fit the disaster theme of the topic.

This op-ed piece in the Herald Sun is interesting, because it touches on many of the points covered here on WUWT. This is the first time I've seen all these collected in one article in a major newspaper. Andrew Bolt routinely uses material from WUWT, and this is the first time I've been able to reciprocate. There are some truly unique points raised by Bolt that are indigenous to Australia that we haven't discussed here, but they are valid for discussion nonetheless. In cases where we have covered a point on WUWT, I've made a footnote link [in brackets] - Anthony


Australian scientists celebrate Great Barrier Reef comeback

Great Barrier Reef
© unknown

Despite dire predictions about the impact of climate change on Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef, researchers have found that badly-damaged coral has managed to repair itself. Scientists say, although this is a heartening discovery, the threat of global warming to the world's largest coral system has not diminished.

Scientists have warned that the Great Barrier Reef - which stretches for more than 2,500 kilometers down Australia's northeast coast - is likely to bear the brunt of warmer ocean temperatures.

A major concern has been the bleaching of coral, where the sensitive marine organisms wither under environmental stress caused by increased water temperature, pollution or sedimentation.


Australian Antarctic Division: Can solar variability influence climate?

Scientists have long searched for linkages between solar variability and weather. The sun varies on a wide-range of time scales, most dramatically on an ~11 year cycle which is strongly associated with the number and extent of sunspots on the sun and the occurrence of aurora at high latitudes. While correlations of weather and solar variability have been reported, often-times to disappear when further measurements become available, no viable mechanism for the strongest associations has been confirmed. One difficulty is that the variable solar energy, despite sunspots and aurora being spectacular, is but a small fraction of 1% of the total solar energy. Any mechanism for changing weather and climate by solar variability must involve influencing the distribution of the energy within the weather system. One possible mechanism is via the Earth's geoelectric field.


Mayday - May Day!

Arctic Sea Ice Extent thru April 2009
© National Snow and Ice Data Center

May 1st is May Day . "Mayday" is a universally understood distress call signifying that an aircraft or other vessel is headed on a collision trajectory. 2009 Arctic ice extent is on a collision trajectory with normal, which could be disastrous for AGW alarmists. "May Day" is an international holiday celebrated on May 1. In the Soviet Union it celebrated the worker's "liberation" from capitalism, though they hadn't yet thought up "cap and trade" at that time.

I have more news to report about the ongoing mystery of why NSIDC shows Arctic ice extent much closer to the 1979-2000 average than NANSEN is to the 1979-2007 average. It should be the other way around.


Portuguese Men o'War invade Mediterranean for first time in a decade

© AlamySwarms of poisonous Portuguese Men o'War have been spotted off Spain
Anyone planning to take a Mediterranean holiday in defiance of the plunging pound may be stung by something more painful than the exchange rate: the killer Portuguese Man o' War, one of the world's most poisonous jellyfish. The graceful glutinous creature, whose trailing tentacles carry a potentially lethal poison, was spotted this week off Spain's favourite beaches for the first time in 10 years.

Swept by westerly winds through the Gibraltar Strait from its north Atlantic habitat, Physalia physalis is set to colonise the Med and cause more pain to beleaguered holidaymakers.

Clusters of up to 50 Men o' Wars, which are not strictly jellyfish but floating colonies of microscopic hydrozoans, are drifting off the Murcian resort of San Pedro del Pinatar on Spain's Costa Calida. Scientists say they could soon invade waters around the Balearic Islands and advance towards the Catalan coast.

With a sting 10 times stronger than an ordinary jellyfish, it presents a more dangerous threat than the annual jellyfish invasion of beaches in Spain, France, Italy and North Africa.


Dogs Are Aggressive If They Are Trained Badly

© Kim NguyenAmerican pit bull terrier.
Many dogs are put down or abandoned due to their violent nature, but contrary to popular belief, breed has little to do with a dog's aggressive behaviour compared to all the owner-dependant factors. This is shown in a new study from the University of Córdoba, which includes breeds that are considered aggressive by nature, such as the Rottweiler or the Pit Bull.

The conclusions, however, are surprising: it is the owners who are primarily responsible for attacks due to dominance or competition of their pets.

The research team from the University of Córdoba (UCO) has determined a series of external factors which are inherent to the dogs in order to understand their aggressiveness, and they have observed that external, modifiable and owner-dependent factors have a greater influence on the animals.


When Industrious Ants Go Too Far

Nature is full of mutually beneficial arrangements between organisms - like the relationship between flowering plants and their bee pollinators. But sometimes these blissful relationships have a dark side, as Harvard biologist Megan Frederickson describes in an article in The American Naturalist.

Generally, the relationship between ants and plants is a great example of biological mutualism. Myrmecophyte plants - otherwise known as ant-plants - often provide home for several species of ants. The plant shelters ant colonies in hollow spaces in its limbs or leaves. The ants, in turn, protect the plant against threats from other insects or encroaching vegetation. The ants get a home; the plant gets protection - everybody wins.

But sometimes the delicate balance is tipped toward one partner or the other.


Fish May Actually Feel Pain And React To It Much Like Humans Do

© iStockphoto/Dieter SpearsFish don't make noises or contort their faces to show that it hurts when hooks are pulled from their mouths, but a Purdue University researcher believes they feel that pain all the same.
Fish don't make noises or contort their faces to show that it hurts when hooks are pulled from their mouths, but a Purdue University researcher believes they feel that pain all the same.

Joseph Garner, an assistant professor of animal sciences, helped develop a test that found goldfish do feel pain, and their reactions to it are much like that of humans.

"There has been an effort by some to argue that a fish's response to a noxious stimuli is merely a reflexive action, but that it didn't really feel pain," Garner said. "We wanted to see if fish responded to potentially painful stimuli in a reflexive way or a more clever way."

Garner and Janicke Nordgreen, a doctoral student in the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, attached small foil heaters to the goldfish and slowly increased the temperature. The heaters were designed with sensors and safeguards that shut off the heaters to prevent any physical damage to a fish's tissue.

Bizarro Earth

Southeastern Iran - Earthquake Magnitude 5.6

© US Geological Survey
Date-Time Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 10:04:30 UTC

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 01:34:30 PM at epicenter

Location 27.855°N, 61.502°E

Depth 106.8 km (66.4 miles)

Distances 195 km (120 miles) SSE of Zahedan, Iran

260 km (160 miles) NW of Turbat, Pakistan

315 km (195 miles) NNE of Chabahar, Iran

1290 km (800 miles) SE of TEHRAN, Iran


Moscow sizzles in record-breaking temperatures

sunny moscow
© Unknown
Moscow enjoyed record temperatures for April 29 with highs of 24.7 degrees C (76.5 F), breaking the previous record set in 1999 by 0.2 degrees C, the capital's Meteonovosti reported on its website on Wednesday.

The record was set at 3:00 pm local time [11:00 GMT] and according to the website, temperatures could rise even higher later in the day

"This is not the final reading of today's maximum temperature. With sun and a light wind, it may be higher by the evening...therefore, the final maximum temperature will be registered in the late evening," the website reads.