Earth ChangesS

Cow Skull

China declares emergency as drought bites

Lidong Village - China has declared an emergency over a drought which could devastate crops and farmers' incomes, official media said on Thursday, threatening further hardship amid slumping economic growth.

The drought gripping parts of central and northern China has sent Zhengzhou wheat futures prices CWSK9 up 5 percent this week but physical prices W-EXWZGZ-GEN have not moved, with most investors confident the country's reserves and last year's big harvest can offset any fall in wheat production this spring.

But the drought could hurt the incomes of farmers in Henan, Anhui and other populous provinces when many have lost factory and construction jobs after China's growth faltered in late 2008.


Black Wolves: The First Genetically Modified Predators?

Black Wolf
© Marco Musiani, University of CalgaryBlack wolves dominate packs in the forests of North America, while white wolves are more numerous in the treeless tundra.
Emergence of black-colored wolves is the direct result of humans raising dogs as pets and beasts of burden, according to new research by a University of Calgary biologist published today by the prestigious academic journal Science. And dark coloring may also aid the survival of the species as wolf habitat is affected by climate change in the future, the study suggests.

"Although it happened by accident, black wolves are the first example of wolves being genetically-engineered by people," said Marco Musiani, an internationally-recognized expert on wolves and a professor in the U of C's Faculty of Environmental Design. "Domestication of dogs has led to dark-colored coats in wolves, which has proven to be a valuable trait for wolf populations as their arctic habitat shrinks," Musiani said. "It also shows that human activities can help enrich the genetic diversity of wild animal populations, which is a very unexpected finding."


Global warming conference at -6 degrees

Talk about great timing.

Buffalo State College hosts the national teach-in on Global Warming Situations today - a day the local temperature bottomed out at minus 6 degrees.

No evidence of global warming here, at least not this morning, when unofficial reports to the National Weather Service listed temperatures as low as 9 degrees below zero elsewhere in Erie County.

"We didn't have temperatures forecast to be quite that cold," weather service meteorologist David Zaff said this morning. "When you have snowpack on the ground and clear skies, temperatures can plummet. It's called radiational cooling."

That cooling phenomenon, under mockingly clear skies, posed a hardship for some morning commuters and some finger-numbing discomfort for others.


Ancient sponges leave their mark

© D. FikeThe rocks date to a time of dramatic glaciation on Earth.
Traces of animal life have been found in rocks dating back 635 million years.

The evidence takes the form of chemical markers that are highly distinctive of sponges when they die and their bodies break down in rock-forming sediments.

The discovery in Oman pushes back the earliest accepted date for animal life on Earth by tens of millions of years.

Scientists tell Nature magazine that the creatures' existence will help them understand better what the planet looked like all that time ago.


Deadly H5N1 avian flu found in Hong Kong birds

Scientists check ducks
© AFP/deHK officials check ducks for avian bird flu.
Hong Kong: A dead goose and two dead ducks found on a Hong Kong island last week have tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu, officials said on Wednesday.

The birds were found on January 29 and 31 on a beach on Lantau island and preliminary tests showed they had tested positive for H5 avian influenza.

Further tests confirmed it was the H5N1 strain of the virus, a spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said in a statement.


China's Drought May Make Birds More Susceptible to Avian Flu

A drought in northern China that has limited drinking water to almost 4 million people may also be making birds more susceptible to the deadly H5N1 avian-flu strain.

The lack of rainfall in Shandong, Shaanxi and other northern provinces since October causes stress for local fowl, said Hong Kong Veterinary Association President Veronica Leong, who specializes in birds. "Any sort of stress would make birds more susceptible to disease," she said by e-mail today.

Bird flu killed five people in China last month, three of whom were from regions experiencing drought. Lo Wing-Lok, a health adviser to the Hong Kong government, said yesterday China has an outbreak of bird flu among poultry that its government hasn't reported.

Cloud Lightning

No rain in Beijing for 100 days

Drought Reservoir
© Xinhua PhotoPhoto taken on Feb. 2, 2009 shows the droughty reservoir in Yiyang County of Luoyang city, central China's Henan Province
Beijing -- It has not rained in Beijing since October 26, a period of 100 days, making this the longest drought on record since 1971. The meteorological department says the dry weather will continue through early February but in the second half of the month the capital may see 4 or 5 millimeters of snow.

The drought has seriously affected the growth of winter wheat in areas round the capital. In the worst hit areas the fields are cracked and dry and the wheat has withered. The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) says the drought is the worst for many years in terms of duration and the area affected.


Propaganda Alert: California farms, vineyards in peril from warming, U.S. energy secretary warns

'We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California,' Steven Chu says. He sees education as a means to combat threat.

Reporting from Washington - California's farms and vineyards could vanish by the end of the century, and its major cities could be in jeopardy, if Americans do not act to slow the advance of global warming, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said Tuesday.

In his first interview since taking office last month, the Nobel-prize-winning physicist offered some of the starkest comments yet on how seriously President Obama's cabinet views the threat of climate change, along with a detailed assessment of the administration's plans to combat it.

Comment: As said at the end of the article, a large amount of real-world data, increasing number of studies, a growing chorus of scientists are showing global warming for what it is: a hoax. And the fact that the new energy secretary of the Obama administration is spreading that lie does not exactly help to inspire our confidence.

Bizarro Earth

Australia Battles Floods in North as Crocodiles Enter Towns

Emergency services in northern Australia are battling the worst floods in three decades as residents report shortages of supplies and crocodiles swimming through towns inundated by water.

Almost 3,000 homes have been flooded and 30 people evacuated in the northwest of Queensland state, the Department of Emergency Services said. Supplies are being airlifted to towns cut off by rising waters in the region west of Cairns, it said.

"It's like looking out into an ocean," Donna Smith, acting manager of the Albion Hotel in Normanton, a town inland from the Gulf of Carpentaria, said by telephone today. "There is a 5-meter crocodile swimming by, but the biggest problem is that we're running out of beer."

Magic Wand

West Antarctica warming data flawed and manipulated

Professor Eric Steig last month announced in Nature that he'd spotted a warming in West Antarctica that previous researchers had missed through slackness - a warming so strong that it more than made up for the cooling in East Antarctica. Whew! Finally we had proof that Antarctica as a whole was warming, and not cooling, after all. Global warming really was global now.

The paper was immediately greeted with suspicion, not least because one of the authors was Michael Mann of the infamous "hockey stick", now discredited, and the data was reconstructed from very sketchy weather station records, combined with assumptions from satellite observations. But Steve McIntyre, who did the most to expose Mann's "hockey stick", now notices a far more embarrassing problem with Steig's paper.

Comment: Foot in Mouth disease is becoming an epidemic in the Global Warming community.

Another research paper latched onto by the global warming promoters, published in Nature, articles broadcast on NASA's website, PhysOrg, Science Daily, Live Science,, all the news agencies, all the online news sites. 1.7 million pages on the Internet with references to the work of Steig and his bad and falsified data.

Does anyone think that all these sites and organizations will now publish this new information? Remember how the global warming promoters work. The hack job by George Monbiot of Christopher Booker mentioned in the above article is a classic example of the pathology in action. If you are not sure how it works, take a look at all the links in the above article. When you read george Mobiot's hack blog, scroll down the page to the comments of 'geoffchambers'.

geoffchambers comment:
Claims 4 5 and 6:
There are no satellite data before 1979. The West Antarctica warming which Steig claims to have found exists in data from just one out of six surface stations used in the study. This station is given the wrong longitude and latitude coordinates by Steig. Some of the data is wrong, and some is infilled from a different station without acknowledgement. When Steve McIntyre revealed this on ClimateAudit, Gavin Schmidt closed comments on the RealClimate blog, and the British Antarctic Survey removed the faulty data from their site without explanation.
Global Warming in Action!