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Thu, 27 Jan 2022
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Satellites spot new penguin colonies by their poo

emperor penguin colonies
© Thorsten Milse/Robert Harding/Rex Features
Breeding emperor penguin colonies like this one in Halley Bay can stay in one spot on the ice for eight months, creating a characteristic reddish-brown spot of guano.
Looking for penguins? The fastest and easiest way is to spot their poo from space, say researchers.

Peter Fretwell and Philip Trathan of the British Antarctic Survey located 38 emperor penguin colonies on winter sea ice all the way around Antarctica by spotting patches of their faeces, or guano, in satellite images. Ten of the colonies had not been observed before.

Red Flag

The cloud with no name: Meteorologists campaign to classify unique 'Asperatus' clouds seen across the world

Whipped into fantastical shapes, these clouds hang over the darkening landscape like the harbingers of a mighty storm.

Image

Stunning but undefined: The clouds loom over the skies of New Zealand - but unfortunately words can't describe this dramatic vision from the heavens
But despite their stunning and frequent appearances, the formations have yet to be officially recognised with a name.

They have been seen all over Britain in different forms - from Snowdonia to the Scottish Highlands - and in other parts of the world such as New Zealand, but usually break up without producing a storm.

Bizarro Earth

Global warming scientist who boasted he could 'slaughter' skeptics in debate, backs off

Professor Stephen Schneider of Stanford University, a prominent proponent of man-made global warming fears, appears to be backing off of his boast that he could "slaughter" skeptical scientists in a global warming debate. In a May 24, 2009 interview, Schneider publicly boasted any skeptical scientist would be "slaughtered in public debate" against him.

But after many dissenting scientists happily took up the debate challenge, it now appears Schneider is shying away from any such debate.

"I certainly will not schedule some political show debate in front of a non-scientific audience," Schneider told the San Francisco Examiner in a follow up June 1, 2009 article.

"A presidential like debate format with shallow staccato jibes and no nuanced arguments, no--confusion only in that style. I never do those anymore," Schneider explained.

Former Colorado State Climatologist Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. publicly accepted Schneider's global warming debate challenge just days after it was issued. "I would be glad to debate Dr. Schneider...he represents a narrow perspective on climate science," Pielke Sr. said on May 24, 2009. [Editor's Note: Climate Depot was copied on many emails from scientists writing to Professor Schneider accepting his debate challange and Climate Depot also received numerous notes from many scientists eager to accept Schneider's debate challenge in the past week.]

Blackbox

How Many IPCC (and Other) Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research?

The measured global temperature record which started around 1856 shows that the Earth was in a warming cycle until around 1880. The CO2 record shows that CO2 was increasing by about 0.21ppmv/year over this period. During the cooling cycle which followed from 1880 to 1910, the CO2 concentration increased at a rate of about 0.30ppmv/year.

The next warming cycle from 1910 to 1942 saw a dramatic increase in global temperature, but the rate of increase in CO2 concentration only grew to 0.33ppmv over this time period. The well documented global cooling period from 1942 to 1975 that had the world concerned about an impending return to the equivalent of the Little Ice Age, had a contemporaneous rise in atmospheric CO2 that equated to 0.63ppmv/year; almost twice the increase in CO2 of the precious warming cycle.

During the warming that took place from 1975 to 1998, the rate of CO2 increase took another dramatic jump to 1.54ppmv/year, but this was followed by an increase to 1.91ppmv/year that we are currently experiencing during the present ongoing cooling cycle. Each successive cooling cycle has had an increase in the rate of CO2 growth over the previous warming cycle, indicating that there is no possible correlation of CO2 with global warming.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 4.9 - Mendoza, Argentina

Image
© US Geological Survey
Date-Time

* Tuesday, June 02, 2009 at 03:52:22 UTC
* Tuesday, June 02, 2009 at 12:52:22 AM at epicenter

Location: 32.595°S, 68.724°W

Depth: 29 km (18.0 miles)

Region: MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

Distances: 35 km (20 miles) NNE of Mendoza, Argentina

120 km (75 miles) S of San Juan, Argentina

205 km (125 miles) ENE of SANTIAGO, Chile

960 km (600 miles) W of BUENOS AIRES, Argentina

Black Cat

Why cats fail to grasp string theory

Image
© Loliloli, Wikimedia Commons
Now we know why cats never get bored of chasing string. A new study has found that domestic felines don't seem to understand cause and effect connections between objects.

Chimpanzees, tamarin monkeys, parrots and ravens all understand that tugging on one end of a string will bring a treat at the other end closer. Pigeons and human infants don't; and cat lovers dismayed at their pets' lack of nous can console themselves with the knowledge that dogs don't either.

"There's no reason to think that cats are more stupid than dogs," says Britta Osthaus, a comparative psychologist at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK, who led the study. "I've done quite a few tests and I always find that dogs just don't get it."

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 4.9 - Potosi, Bolivia

Image
© US Geological Survey
Date-Time

* Tuesday, June 02, 2009 at 02:35:26 UTC
* Monday, June 01, 2009 at 10:35:26 PM at epicenter

Location 21.272°S, 68.130°W

Depth 25.4 km (15.8 miles)

Region POTOSI, BOLIVIA

Distances: 155 km (95 miles) NNE of Calama, Chile

230 km (145 miles) ENE of Tocopilla, Chile

240 km (150 miles) ESE of Iquique, Chile

1365 km (850 miles) N of SANTIAGO, Chile

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 6.5 - Vanuatu

Image
© US Geological Survey
Date-Time

* Tuesday, June 02, 2009 at 02:17:07 UTC
* Tuesday, June 02, 2009 at 01:17:07 PM at epicenter

Location 17.763°S, 167.878°E

Depth 39.6 km (24.6 miles)

Region VANUATU

Distances 45 km (30 miles) W of PORT-VILA, Efate, Vanuatu

245 km (155 miles) NW of Isangel, Tanna, Vanuatu

260 km (160 miles) SSE of Luganville, Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

1860 km (1160 miles) ENE of BRISBANE, Queensland, Australia

Bizarro Earth

New Type of Cloud Found

new type of cloud found
An unusual type of storm cloud could become the first new variety of cloud to be officially identified in more than half a century.

Meteorologists believe they have discovered a new classification of cloud after the unique formation has been spotted in skies around the world.

Experts at the Royal Meteorological Society are now attempting to have the new cloud type, which has been named "Asperatus" after the Latin word for rough, officially added to the international nomenclature scheme used by forecasters to identify clouds.

Better Earth

Babysitting whales give mums time for a snack

Image
© SplashdownDirect/Lisa Steiner/Rex Features
I'm popping down for a quick squid. You stay with your auntie.
Only adult sperm whales are able dive into deep waters to hunt for squid, so who looks after the kids? Babysitting mums, that's who. Shane Gero of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and colleagues tracked two populations of sperm whales in the Caribbean and Sargasso seas to see what happened when mother whales dived for food.

The Sargasso mothers formed a babysitting circle, taking it in turns to watch over other calves and go hunting themselves. The babysitters even allowed the other mums' calves to nurse if they were hungry. The smaller Caribbean population had fewer mothers, so calves were left with a close female relative instead.