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Perth, Australia in shock as month's worth of rain falls in a few hours and city is battered by golfball-sized hail

A severe storm has battered western Australia causing widespread flooding and mudslides. It's also left tens of thousands of people without power in one of the world's most isolated cities, Perth. Homes and cars have been damaged by hail stones the size of golf balls and a number of schools have closed. Winds reached more than 120 kilometres per hour, while almost a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours. Insurance claims 'catastrophic' damage with of over $100 million.


Satire - New Study Suggests News Climate Is Warming

A new study suggests that the IPCC is losing 10% of it's credibility mass every month, and could have completely disappeared by Christmas.

"It's shrinking faster that we thought" said Anthony Watts the renowned skeptical blogger, who led a small team of dedicated bloggers, analysing over 10,000 news articles and blogs on the Internet. "Not one of them contained the phrase 'The IPCC is innocent'", explained Mr. Watts, "Not even their unofficial web-site RealClimate.org"

Intrepid Spoof reporters sought comments worldwide. Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, the eminent Himalayan glacier expert, was interviewed as he emerged from his hairdresser's salon in downtown Delhi. "It's a travesty!" he exclaimed, "I have newspaper cuttings and a 1988 photograph to prove it".

Dr. Pachauri posed for photographs before he continued. "There was just one small error" he explained. "They wrote their reports in English. If they'd used Sanskrit, none of this would have happened".

Magic Hat

Climate Change - GISScapades

Inspired by this thread on the lack of data in the Arctic Ocean, I looked into how GISS creates data when there is no data.

GISS is the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a part of NASA. The Director of GISS is Dr. James Hansen. Dr. Hansen is an impartial scientist who thinks people who don't believe in his apocalyptic visions of the future should be put on trial for "high crimes against humanity". GISS produces a surface temperature record called GISTEMP. Here is their record of the temperature anomaly for Dec-Jan-Feb 2010 :

© Goddard Institute of Space Studies
Figure 1. GISS temperature anomalies DJF 2010. Grey areas are where there is no temperature data.
Now, what's wrong with this picture?

The oddity about the picture is that we are given temperature data where none exists. We have very little temperature data for the Arctic Ocean, for example. Yet the GISS map shows radical heating in the Arctic Ocean. How do they do that?

The procedure is one that is laid out in a 1987 paper by Hansen and Lebedeff In that paper, they note that annual temperature changes are well correlated over a large distance, out to 1200 kilometres (~750 miles).

("Correlation" is a mathematical measure of the similarity of two datasets. It's value ranges from zero, meaning not similar at all, to plus or minus one, indicating totally similar. A negative value means they are similar, but when one goes up the other goes down.)

Evil Rays

Climate Change - Picasso Brain Syndrome

© Joanne Nova
Stefan Lewandowsky's ABC article on climate change is headlined "Opinion Versus Evidence". Then with dead-pan delivery, he lists the "evidence", but it's all...opinions.

The question of delusion is looming. I mean really, is this a cry for help? There are not many laws of reason that Stefan leaves unbroken. He appeals to authority, attacks the "man", and talks about everything bar the evidence on climate change. Is he serious? "Trust me", he says, the world is warming because AIDS is real, mass-murderer Ivan Milat was guilty, Lord Monckton is only a non-voting member of the House of Lords, a few skeptics are burko, 97% of paid climate scientists agree that we ought to be worried and keep paying them, someone has discussed the actual money that climate scientists earn (How could they!), and to top it off, the IPCC report is 3,000 pages long !

Not to mention that Google Scholar ("I'm so technical") finds lots of hits (thanks to Vice President Al Gore, who arranged for the US Government to pay billions of dollars to his favorite researchers, and who also is on the Google advisory team), plus the world has got warmer in the last 150 years. So carbon must have done it, eh?


Series of earthquakes under Mount Melimoyu hint at another Chilean volcano erupting

© NASA STS 060
Mount Melimoyu, Chile
Is another Chilean volcano awakening? Melimoyu volcano in the Aysén region of southern Chile, a glaciated stratovolcano with a summit elevation of 2400 m and a distinctive horned profile, has been making some seismic noise over the past few days. Chile's state geological service SERNAGEOMIN reported on 20 March that three earthquakes, two of magnitude 3.3 and one of magnitude 5.0, were detected on 17 March beneath Melimoyu. The earthquakes, which have been felt by people in towns near the volcano, continued at a lower level on 18 March.

The earthquakes were detected by the University of Chile's seismological network and by the network set up to monitor the eruption of Chaitén volcano, which is 140 km north of Melimoyu. The foci were located beneath Melimoyu, at depths of between 3 and 22 km. As of the publication of the SERNAGEOMIN bulletin on 20 March the seismic activity was continuing with magnitudes between 2.0 and 3.0 and frequencies of up to 2 earthquakes per hour; during the activity of 18 March the frequency had reached 8 earthquakes per hour. However, no visual anomalies have been detected at Melimoyu.


Kamchatkan volcano 'Shiveluch' emits plume of ash seven kilometres high

© Jeff Schmaltz
Reports from Russia say that the Kamchatkan volcano Shiveluch has produced an ash emission to an estimated altitude (based on seismic data) of 7 km. KVERT reports that the ash plume was associated with a 'shallow seismic event' lasting four minutes. No ashfall on nearby settlements has been reported, and KVERT says that this event poses no danger to local communities.

No volcanic ash advisory has been issued by Tokyo VAAC for this event.


Iceland volcano could have world consequences

Reyjavik - Blasts of lava and ash shot out of a volcano in southern Iceland on Monday and small tremors rocked the ground, a surge in activity that raised fears of a larger explosion at the nearby Katla volcano.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.1 - Mindoro, Philippines

Phillipines Earthquake
Earthquake Location
Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 05:29:31 UTC

Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 01:29:31 PM at epicenter

13.744°N, 120.069°E

72.4 km (45.0 miles)

105 km (65 miles) W of Batangas, Luzon, Philippines

120 km (75 miles) S of Olongapo, Luzon, Philippines

125 km (80 miles) WNW of Calapan, Mindoro, Philippines

135 km (85 miles) SW of MANILA, Philippines


Northern Ireland eels suffer mysterious decline

© Stock File / FIS
The eel fisheries of Lough Neagh and Lough Erne are in a poor state.
There have been dire warnings about the future of Europe's largest eel fishery at Lough Neagh: numbers of elvers returning to Europe's rivers and lakes have been mysteriously dropping for years, but this season the decline has hit more fisheries than ever before.

Since 1983, Lough Neagh fishermen have been noticing the low numbers of glass eels returning from the Sargasso Sea spawning grounds.

With a view to the future, they took action, re-stocking their fishing grounds with glass eels bought from healthier fisheries such as the Severn estuary, and that has allowed them to continue meeting their quota of adult eels.

But last season the Severn estuary was the latest fishery to be hit by plummeting glass eel returns and prices for glass eels have shot up - posing a challenge for the Lough Neagh Eel Fishermen's Cooperative as they struggle to find ways to re-stock the lough, reports the Belfast Telegraph.


UN body to look at meat and climate link


Livestock's Long Shadow calculated meat-related emissions from field to abattoir
UN specialists are to look again at the contribution of meat production to climate change, after claims that an earlier report exaggerated the link.

A 2006 report concluded meat production was responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions - more than transport.

The report has been cited by people campaigning for a more vegetable-based diet, including Sir Paul McCartney.

But a new analysis, presented at a major US science meeting, says the transport comparison was flawed.

Sir Paul was one of the figures launching a campaign late last year centred on the slogan "Less meat = less heat".

But curbing meat production and consumption would be less beneficial for the climate than has been claimed, said Frank Mitloehner from the University of California at Davis (UCD).

"Smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat," he told delegates to the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in San Francisco.

"Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries."