Earth ChangesS


Oscillation Rules as the Pacific Cools

Pasadena, Calif. -- The latest image of sea-surface height measurements from the U.S./French Jason-1 oceanography satellite shows the Pacific Ocean remains locked in a strong, cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, a large, long-lived pattern of climate variability in the Pacific associated with a general cooling of Pacific waters. The image also confirms that El Niño and La Niña remain absent from the tropical Pacific.


Pacific Decadal Oscillation
© NASA/JPLA cool wedge of lower-than-normal sea-surface heights continues to dominate the tropical Pacific, ringed by a horseshoe of warmer waters. The continuation of this long-term cool phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation stacks the odds against a wetter-than-average winter/spring in the southwestern United States.

The new image is available online here.

The image is based on the average of 10 days of data centered on Nov. 15, 2008, compared to the long-term average of observations from 1993 through 2008. In the image, places where the Pacific sea-surface height is higher (warmer) than normal are yellow and red, and places where the sea surface is lower (cooler) than normal are blue and purple. Green shows where conditions are near normal. Sea-surface height is an indicator of the heat content of the upper ocean.


Moderate earthquake hits Pakistan

Islamabad: A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake struck mountainous southwestern Pakistan today, seismologists said, but there were no immediate
reports of any casualties.

The shallow quake, at a depth of just 10 kilometres, was centred 46 kilometres from Quetta, capital of Baluchistan province, the US Geological Survey said.

Better Earth

Solar Link to 50% of Warming During the Past 100 Years?

There is a new paper 'in press' in Geophysical Research Letters by Eichler et al entitled, 'Temperature response in the Altai region lags solar forcing.'

The Abstract states:

The role of the sun on Earth's climate variability is still much debated. Here we present an ice core oxygen isotope record from the continental Siberian Altai, serving as a high-resolution temperature proxy for the last 750 years. The strong correlation between reconstructed temperature and solar activity suggests solar forcing as a main driver for temperature variations during the period 1250-1850 in this region. The precisely dated record allowed for the identification of a 10-30 year lag between solar forcing and temperature response, underlining the importance of indirect sun-climate mechanisms involving ocean induced changes in atmospheric circulation. Solar contribution to temperature change became less important during industrial period 1850-2000 in the Altai region.


UN Blowback: More Than 650 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims

The UN global warming conference currently underway in Poland is about to face a serious challenge from over 650 dissenting scientists from around the globe who are criticizing the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. Set for release this week, a newly updated U.S. Senate Minority Report features the dissenting voices of over 650 international scientists, many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN. The report has added about 250 scientists (and growing) in 2008 to the over 400 scientists who spoke out in 2007. The over 650 dissenting scientists are more than 12 times the number of UN scientists (52) who authored the media hyped IPCC 2007 Summary for Policymakers. The U.S. Senate report is the latest evidence of the growing groundswell of scientific opposition rising to challenge the UN and Gore.

Better Earth

Great Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 set off tremors in San Andreas fault

In the last few years there has been a growing number of documented cases in which large earthquakes set off unfelt tremors in earthquake faults hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miles away.

Eye 2

Starving horses forced to live among carcasses at 'horror' farm

Scores of horses ponies and donkeys were left to starve among rotting
horse eye
© n/a
carcasses at a family-run farm in the worst case of animal cruelty vets had ever seen, a court heard.

Hooves and body parts of horses were discovered scattered around Spindle Farm at Hyde Heath in Amersham, Buckinghamshire as well as a mound made up of bones and skulls, it was claimed.

A total of 140 animals needed rescuing from the horse trading business run by the Gray family which was described as a 'horror scene' by RSPCA.

Many animals were allegedly left with little food or dry bedding and were crammed into pens that were ankle deep in their own faeces.

Evil Rays

John Stossel vs Robert Kennedy on global warming

Kennedy calls John Stossel a liar. "The science of global warming is settled," says Kennedy. "On every mountain range on earth, the glaciers are shrinking."

Oh really.
  • What about the 31,000 scientists who have signed a petition questioning the IPCC's global warming scenario?
  • What about the fact that all five glaciers on California's Mt. Shasta are growing?
  • What about the fact that glaciers on Mt. Logan, Canada's tallest mountain, are growing?
  • What about the fact that the Nisqually glacier on Washington's Mt. Rainier is growing?
  • What about the fact that Crater Glacier on Washington's Mount St. Helen's is growing?
  • What about the fact that Mont Blanc Glacier the highest mountain in France and western Europe almost doubled in size in just four years?
  • What about the fact that Alaskan glaciers are growing for the first time in 250 years?
  • What about the fact that glaciers are growing in Norway?
  • What about the fact that glaciers in the western Himalayas are growing?
  • What about the fact that all 50 glaciers in New Zealand are growing?
  • What about the fact that that the Antarctic Ice Sheets are growing?


Best of the Web: The killer frost for global warming

Global freezing
Turn up the heat, somebody. The globe is freezing. Even Al Gore is looking for an extra blanket. Winter has barely come to the northern latitudes and already we've got bigger goosebumps than usual. So far the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports 63 record snowfalls in the United States, 115 lowest-ever temperatures for the month. Only 44 Octobers over the past 114 years have been cooler than this last one.

The polar ice is accumulating faster than usual, and some of the experts now concede that the globe hasn't warmed since 1995. You may have noticed, in fact, that Al and his pals, having given up on the sun, no longer even warn of global warming. Now it's "climate change." The marketing men enlisted by Al and the doom criers to come up with a flexible "brand" took a cue from the country philosopher who observed, correctly, that "if you've got one foot in the fire and the other in a bucket of ice, on average you're warm." On average, "climate change" covers every possibility.


Deadly pistol shrimp stuns prey with sound as loud as Concorde

pistol shrimp
Super shrimp: The pistol shrimp is only 2cm long but can make a noise louder than Concorde's sonic boom.
A prawn which can make a sound louder than a jet engine has been found in British waters. Pistol shrimps - which stun their prey by snapping their claws together to create a deafening 'crack' - normally live in the sub-tropics.

Despite being less than an inch long, the creatures can emit an astonishing 218 decibels - louder than a gunshot.


Nanoparticles from melting glaciers could trap carbon

nanoscale iron particles
© Riaswell et al./BioMed CentralTwo forms of nanoscale iron particles (rods and granules) can be seen in high-resolution pictures of ice.
The increasing number of icebergs breaking off Antarctica may have an unexpected benefit. According to one team of scientists, the bergs could feed carbon-loving plankton. If they are right, melting icebergs could - theoretically - slow global warming. Just how great an effect this would have remains to be seen.

Rob Raiswell of the University of Leeds, UK and colleagues trained high-resolution microscopes on ice sampled from icebergs in the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic glaciers from which they are born.

They found nano-sized particles of iron, between five and 10 millionths of a millimetre across. The team believe that because of the size and structure of the particles, the iron could be assimilated by phytoplankton.

"Most of the ground-up rock carried by icebergs is thought to be inert," says Raiswell. "However, the high resolution microscopy shows there are small amounts of iron nanoparticles. They simply could not be seen except by these techniques."