Earth ChangesS


Canada: More Cold Temperature Records Broken

The Arctic high pressure system that has held Western Canada in its icy grip is starting to ease off. Not before more records were broken Wednesday and this morning.

Additional Information

Temperature records were broken across Western Canada. In some cases by a substantial amount. See below for details.

March 12, 2009 (as of 9am EST)


Station New Record Old Record Year
Kindersley Airport -25.5C -19.7C 1989
Cranbrook -16.0C -15.6C 1976

March 11, 2009


Australia: Turtles take Pacific highway

Loggerhead turtles
© Matthew BouwmeesterSwimming frenzy ... loggerhead turtles make a 20,000 kilometre voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
It's the trip of a lifetime, a circuit of the Pacific Ocean with a stopover near Peru.

Just like in the movie Finding Nemo, Australia's young loggerhead turtles make this 20,000-kilometre voyage by riding the ocean currents, new research shows.

Turtle researcher Michelle Boyle said that soon after the little loggerheads hatch on the Queensland coast they head for the water.

Only five centimetres long, they go into a swimming frenzy, she said. "They swim pretty much non-stop for 24 hours like little clock-work wind-up animals so they can get out to the offshore currents."


NASA solicits new studies on the current solar minimum

Sun 2002 2008
This is interesting. It seems that NASA has taken an interest in the current solar minimum and is getting ready to launch one or more studies about it. They are soliciting proposals.

From this NASA document (PDF here)

ROSES-09 Amendment 1: New proposal opportunity in Appendix B.9:
Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 23

This amendment establishes a new program element in Appendix B.9 entitled Causes and Consequences of the Minimum of Solar Cycle 23. This new program element solicits proposals to study the causes and consequences of the minimum of Solar Cycle 23. Proposals are encouraged that take advantage of this opportunity with studies of domains ranging from the center of the Sun through terrestrial and planetary space environments to the boundary of the heliosphere. High priority will be given to studies addressing the interaction between various regimes.

Notices of Intent to propose are due April 17, 2009, and proposals are due June 5, 2009.

Comment: Let's take another look at those bullet points -

Causes - Solar output
  • Lowest sustained solar radio flux since the F 10.7 proxy was created in 1947;
  • Solar wind global pressure the lowest observed since the beginning of the Space age;
  • Unusually high tilt angle of the solar dipole throughout the current solar minimum;
  • Solar wind magnetic field 36% weaker than during the minimum of Solar Cycle 22;
  • Effectively no sunspots;
  • The absence of a classical quiescent equatorial streamer belt; and
  • Cosmic rays at near record-high levels.
  • With the exception of 1934, 2008 had more instances of 3-hr periods with Kp=0 than any other year since the creation of the index in 1932;
  • Cold contracted ionosphere and upper atmosphere; and
  • Remarkably persistent recurrent geomagnetic activity.
Interesting how all the man made global warming rhetoric drowns out much of any talk in the mainstream regarding something so significant as what is going on with the sun right now. Ask an average person if they are aware of any of this information. Then ask that same person what they have heard about global warming.

News and science has been turned over to the pop culture media and left the average person without a clue as to what is really going on in their own reality.


Forecasters see chilly spring for U.S. Northeast

A colder-than-normal start to spring is in the cards for the U.S. Northeast this year, signaling an extended heating season in the world's largest heating oil market, forecasters say.

"For the remainder of winter and the first half of spring, temperatures will be a little below average in the Northeast ... then in the second half it will start to go above average," said Jeff Johnson, long-range forecaster at DTN Meteorlogix.

Forecasters say spring-like temperatures which straddled the 60s Fahrenheit in some areas of the Northeast last week gave way by Thursday to below normal temperatures in the 20s to 40s Fahrenheit (minus 7 to plus 4.5 Celsius) in the region.

"The milder temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday will be a thing of the past on Thursday," said in its near-term outlook, adding it sees cooler temperatures from New York State to New England with highs running below average.

Bizarro Earth

Clear Skies Have Become Less So Over Time, Data Show

More than three decades of data showing how clear, or unclear, the sky over land has been should reveal how changes in air pollution have affected climate change, according to a University of Maryland-led team of researchers.

The data show that what the researchers call clear sky visibility over land has decreased worldwide since the early 1970s because of an increase in aerosols, which are solid particles or liquid droplets suspended in air. Aerosols, which include soot, dust and sulfur dioxide particles, are created by the burning of fossil fuels, industrial processes and burning of tropical rain forests. Aerosols pose a threat to human health and the environment, the researchers said.

Comment: ' "Increased aerosols in the atmosphere block solar radiation from the Earth's surface, causing an overall "global dimming," the researchers said." '

Wouldn't "global dimming" due to particles in the air tend to make things colder? The aftermath of volcano eruptions certainly supports that hypothesis.


US: Strong winds push ice into beachfront homes along Saginaw Bay

Saginaw Bay ice destroys homes
© Rebecca Craig | Times PhotoMountains of ice crept up the beach and over sea walls of Linwood homes early Monday morning. The ice made its way into backyards, broke windows and spilled inside homes on the shoreline.

Tim Boutell said he and his wife heard the screech of "metal on metal," and then screamed themselves Sunday night as walls of ice pushed toward their Kawkawlin Township home along Saginaw Bay.

"About 9 p.m. my wife, Beth, heard some noise and I kind of disregarded it until she went downstairs to peek outside, and she obviously screamed. And then I looked out and saw the ice piled up and moving toward the house," said Tim Boutell, 50, owner of one of about 36 Bay County homes evacuated due to invading ice.

Boutell said he told his daughters, who were watching TV, to get up, get a bag and get out.

"Then (we) went down knocking on the doors of a few older folks who lived out here," Tim Boutell said. "We got them out, and then got out."

Cow Skull

Australia: Oil spill could be worst environmental disaster

Australian oil spill 2
© AAP: Dave HuntThe spill is blanketing the once pristine south-east Queensland coastline
Premier Anna Bligh says a massive oil spill of up to 100 tonnes that is blanketing the once pristine southeast Queensland coastline could be the state's worst environmental disaster.

Premier Anna Bligh has declared Moreton Island, Bribie Island and parts of the Sunshine Coast as disaster zones.

Ms Bligh told AAP the amount of oil that had leaked was a lot more than the original 30-tonne estimate.

"It may well be the worst environmental disaster Queensland has ever seen," Premier Bligh said.


Underwater volcano near New Zealand blows its top

An underwater volcano off New Zealand has lost more than 300 feet in height, suggesting a recent "fairly catastrophic" eruption, scientists said.

The volcano, Rumble III, is about 200 miles offshore and part of the South Kermadec Ridge. The volcanic cone rises more than 7,000 feet from the sea floor.

Cornel de Ronde, one of the chief scientists on a research ship operated by GNS, a scientific agency owned by the New Zealand government, said that the volcano has changed shape since it was mapped in 2007, The Dominion Post reported. The top of the summit cone is now almost 1,000 feet below the surface, and the 2500-foot-wide crater has almost filled in.

Bizarro Earth

5.5-Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Four Regions in Chile

A magnitude-5.5 earthquake rocked four regions in northern and central Chile, including the capital, on Wednesday, but no injuries or damage were reported, officials said. The temblor occurred at 10:06 a.m. and affected the Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Santiago and O'Higgins regions, the National Emergency Management Office said.

The University of Chile's Seismology Institute, meanwhile, said the quake's epicenter was located 165 kilometers (103 miles) northeast of the town of Los Andes and some 230 kilometers (143 miles) from Santiago in the Andes mountains.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 15.5 kilometers (9.6 miles), the institute said.

Bizarro Earth

5.0-magnitude earthquake hits central China

The U.S. Geological Survey says a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck central China's Sichuan province near the border with Gansu province.

The agency said Thursday the quake's epicenter was 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of the city of Mianyang, which was one of many places in Sichuan devastated by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake on May 12.

The quake left nearly 90,000 people dead or missing.

There were no immediate reports of casualties, but the official Xinhua News Agency said it could be felt in the provincial capital of Chengdu.