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Mon, 29 Nov 2021
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Dominoes

The game is up for global warming believers

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Power station emitting steam and smoke
Charles Moore reviews The Age of Global Warming by Rupert Darwall (Quartet)

Most of us pay some attention to the weather forecast. If it says it will rain in your area tomorrow, it probably will. But if it says the same for a month, let alone a year, later, it is much less likely to be right. There are too many imponderables.

The theory of global warming is a gigantic weather forecast for a century or more. However interesting the scientific inquiries involved, therefore, it can have almost no value as a prediction. Yet it is as a prediction that global warming (or, as we are now ordered to call it in the face of a stubbornly parky 21st century, "global weirding") has captured the political and bureaucratic elites. All the action plans, taxes, green levies, protocols and carbon-emitting flights to massive summit meetings, after all, are not because of what its supporters call "The Science". Proper science studies what is - which is, in principle, knowable - and is consequently very cautious about the future - which isn't. No, they are the result of a belief that something big and bad is going to hit us one of these days.

Some of the utterances of the warmists are preposterously specific. In March 2009, the Prince of Wales declared that the world had "only 100 months to avert irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse". How could he possibly calculate such a thing? Similarly, in his 2006 report on the economic consequences of climate change, Sir Nicholas Stern wrote that, "If we don't act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least five per cent of global GDP each year, now and forever." To the extent that this sentence means anything, it is clearly wrong (how are we losing five per cent GDP "now", before most of the bad things have happened? How can he put a percentage on "forever"?). It is charlatanry.

Snowflake Cold

Hundreds of dead and dying palms legacy of big chill in Florida

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© MARK KULAW
What's up with all the dead palms?

From the towering palms at Pensacola International Airport to backyard cabbage palms, the legacy of this winter's unprecedented freeze in early January left hundreds and hundreds of damaged or dead palm trees.

The harsh cold, which saw temperatures in the teen for an extended period, took a toll on plant life in the area, but palm trees in particular have suffered, leaving folks wondering whether they will come back if pruned or whether they should be removed.

"A lot of the palm trees that you see in the area are not recommended for the zone that we're in," said Carol Lord, an environmental horticultural technician at Escambia County Extension. "So they may not come back."

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Hardiness Zone Map that provides information that helps gardeners determine what plants will grow in their area.

Cloud Lightning

Baseball-sized hail, heavy rain and tornadoes pound the Midwest and Southern U.S. states

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Thunderstorms were crawling across a large swath of the Midwest and South on Thursday, spawning suspected tornadoes in Missouri and Texas, and slamming several states with large hail and heavy rain that prompted a handful of water rescues.

Four people were injured in Texas when a suspected tornado destroyed a farmhouse and a mobile home Thursday night near Merit, about 40 miles northeast of Dallas. Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said the injuries weren't life-threatening, though he didn't have details.

Storms pummeled the North Texas college city of Denton with hail as large as baseballs, leading to reports of broken windows and other damage. The National Weather Service in Tulsa noted reports of hail up to the size of ping pong balls and strong wind gusts.

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Bug

Beekeeper loses all his 500,000 honeybees due to long harsh winter in Holland, Michigan

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Beekeepers in West Michigan are calling it a 'crisis', which has only gotten worse from several months of extreme cold.
A local beekeeper who lost all of his honeybees this winter and he says it's happening across the state.

Anyone can look at Don Lam's beehive and see piles of dead honeybees. However, for Lam, each hive also tells the story of a struggle to survive. "They vibrate their wing muscles and that vibration is similar to shivering," says Lam, a beekeeper in Holland.

It was a fight that his nearly half a million honeybees lost to a long, harsh winter. "They had eaten there way all the way to the top, had run out of food, and they couldn't move over because it was too cold," says Lam. "In some cases they froze to death because the cluster got too small and in other cases they starved to death."

Comment: See also: The death and global extinction of honeybees


Ice Cube

Worst ice in decades: Ships turn back after ice damage on Lake Superior

Morro Bay
© Unknown
The USCGC Morro Bay

Ice is still four, five, even eight feet (2.4 m) deep in places.


"This is delaying the start of the shipping season," says reader Greg. "The last shipping season came to an abrupt end and the local steel mill was forced to truck in raw materials instead of by the usual and much less expensive lake freighter method."

Duluth, Minnesota (28 Mar 14) - The start of the 2014 shipping season has ground to a near halt by some of the worst lake ice in recent history.

The Presque Isle freighter and the Morro Bay cutter have sustained damage from the powerful ice and are being forced to return to the Twin Ports for repairs.

Ice Cube

Harsh winter leads to starvation, death for waterfowl across Michigan

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© Cory Olsen | MLive.com
Dead waterfowl line the shore of Lake Macatawa near the Holland State Park Tuesday.
Harsh winter conditions have led to a large number of waterfowl deaths across the state, something Greenville resident Stephen Schnautz has seen first hand.

Schnautz, 33, a waterfowl hunting and ice fishing guide, said he's seen a variety of species that just couldn't make it through the winter.

"I've seen diving ducks, loons, swans, gulls, a little bit of everything," Schnautz said. "I've been down to the Kalamazoo River and seen dead birds on the river bank. They're everywhere."

The losses aren't just around West Michigan, Schnautz said.

"I guide on Saginaw Bay and I've seen them all the way down to Lake Erie," Schnautz said. "They're in Muskegon, Traverse City, up in Ludington, too. I've mostly seen canvass backs, redheads, long-tailed ducks and some types of mergansers.

Michigan DNR wildlife outreach technician Holly Vaughn said the die-off can be attributed to the amount of ice coverage on inland lakes as well as the Great Lakes.

"Most of the birds that are washing up are diving birds like canvass backs, redheads, long-tailed ducks and some types of mergansers," Vaughn said. "It's mostly because they weren't able to get to their main food source.

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Ice Cube

Montreal shipping company uses drones to navigate Arctic ice

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© Fox News
It turns out that all the Titanic needed was a drone.

A Montreal-based shipping company has become the first in the world to use drones to scout out ice hazards as its freighters navigate through the waters of the Arctic.

The company, Fednav, has found the drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are able to transmit crucial information back to the wheelhouse, allowing ship captains to thread their way through frozen waters and dodge icebergs, like the one that sank the iconic ship more than a century ago.

"The use of UAVs is proving to be extremely beneficial to identify many ice features that should be avoided ahead of the vessel, as well as identifying open water leads to improve voyage efficiency," Thomas Paterson, Fednav senior vice president said in a statement. "In addition, the deployment of drones fitted with top-quality cameras, gives the ice navigator another useful aid when making important decisions while transiting heavy ice regimes, and in turn, improved safe navigation."

Attention

U.S. farmers face planting issues as cold conditions and drought linger

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"Damp soil leftover from winter, melting snow and lagging temperatures mean a lot of places are going to have a slow planting period across the Midwest, northern Plains and the Great Lakes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said.
AccuWeather Global Weather Center - AccuWeather.com reports despite the official start of spring, lingering effects of the winter season will cause planting delays this year.

While the South will be right on schedule weather-wise for prime planting with looming frost concerns, delays will become more and more likely with every mile heading north.


Frozen Ground, Soil to Create Delays

Coming off a frigid, snow-filled winter for areas from the Great Lakes to the Ohio Valley and Northeast, spring will shape up to be mostly cool and wet.

"Damp soil leftover from winter, melting snow and lagging temperatures mean a lot of places are going to have a slow planting period across the Midwest, northern Plains and the Great Lakes," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dale Mohler said.

Lemon

Lingering winter delays planting season by weeks in New Hampshire

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Farmers, gardeners say they're weeks behind

The calendar may tell farmers and gardeners to get out and start planting, but that's impossible right now.

The late-season cold and snow is wreaking havoc with New Hampshire's growing season.

If Abby Wiggin of Wake Robin Farm had her way, her plants would already be in the ground.

"Last year, we planted peas on March 21," she said. "It's April 2 now, and I can't get a tiller out in the field."

It's the same in fields across the state. Some farms are two to three weeks behind schedule. Home gardeners and the gardening retail business have been slow to start, too.

"As far as people coming in to shop, we're two weeks behind," said Beth Simpson of Rolling Green Nursery.

Snowflake Cold

April snowstorm in Minnesota could be record breaking

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© AP/Paul Sancya
Prince was wrong. It's not "Sometimes It Snows In April." It's "Always It Snows In April."

OK, it only seems that way after the brutal winter we had this year, and the extended winter we had last year. But many Minnesotans are understandably at the breaking point with the news that a spring snowstorm is expected to dump possibly more than a foot of snow in many parts of the state.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for most of the state, including the Twin Cities. The warning is in effect from Thursday afternoon until Friday night.

WCCO director of meteorology Mike Augustyniak says that the storm should begin with a wintry mix in the Twin Cities. Then it will eventually begin to turn over into heavy, wet snow late Thursday into Friday morning. The period of accumulating snow could last up to 12 hours, Augustyniak said.