Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 14 Dec 2017
The World for People who Think

Extreme Temperatures

Sherlock

5000 cave paintings discovered in Mexico; likely made by early hunter-gatherers

Nearly 5,000 cave paintings have been discovered in a mountain range in a section of northeastern Mexico near the U.S. border.
Image
© National Institute of History and Anthropology in Mexico
A photo of one of the cave paintings discovered by archaeologists in Mexico near the U.S. border.
Archaeologists were stunned by the find, as previous research did not suggest pre-Hispanic groups resided so far north. The red, white and black paintings were found in 11 different sites, and were likely made by early hunter-gatherers. The images depict humans in activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering, and animals like deer, lizards and centipedes.

"The find [is] important because with this we were able to document the presence of pre-Hispanic groups in Burgos, where before we said there were none," said archaeologist Martha Garcia Sanchez of the Autonomous University of Zacatecas.

"These groups escaped Spanish control for almost 200 years," Garcia Sanchez said. "They fled to the San Carlos mountain range where they had water, plants and animals to eat. The Spaniards didn't go into the mountain and its valleys."

Igloo

Rapid cooling triggered Bronze-Age collapse and Greek Dark Age

ice age
Of course the politically correct verbiage is "climate change."

Between the 13th and 11th centuries BCE, most Greek Bronze Age Palatial centers were destroyed and/or abandoned throughout the Near East and Aegean, says this paper by Brandon L. Drake

A sharp increase in Northern Hemisphere temperatures preceded the wide-spread systems collapse, while a sharp decrease in temperatures occurred during their abandonment. (Neither of which, I am sure - the increase or the decrease - were caused by humans.)

Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures cooled rapidly during the Late Bronze Age, limiting freshwater flux into the atmosphere and thus reducing precipitation over land, says Drake, of the Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico.

This cooling and ensuing aridity could have affected areas that were dependent upon high levels of agricultural productivity. The resulting crop declines would have made higher-density populations unsustainable.

Indeed, studies of data from the Mediterranean indicate that the Early Iron Age was more arid than the preceding Bronze Age. The prolonged arid conditions - a centuries-long megadrought, if you will - lasted until the Roman Warm Period.

Comment: Speaking of 'collapse of civilization', read Laura Knight-Jadczyk's latest research
Comets and the Horns of Moses (The Secret History of the World) for a more enlightened study of civilization's recurring collapses.


Fish

What is causing hundreds of fish to die?

Temperatures, just as News 4 reported in March


Buffalo, N.Y. - Canalside is just weeks away from being packed with people attending summer events. But visitors could be met with hundreds of dead fish in the water.

Hundreds of dead fish started washing up from Lake Erie, the Niagara River and their tributaries in March, and News 4 reported after concerned viewers called about the dead fish. And though it's been months, you can still find dozens of them floating in the Commercial Slip.

Donald Zelazny, the DEC's Great Lakes Program Coordinator, said, "This is actually one of the larger die-offs of these fish that we've seen in quite a while."

So it's no surprise that people who see them are worried about disease and pollution. But the DEC now has biological evidence of what it has said all along: these fish, a member of the herring family called "gizzard shad," died of natural causes.

"They're very susceptible to cold temperatures and temperature fluctuations. So we generally see a die-off of this particular type of fish every year," Zelazny explained.

Snowflake

Anchorage, Alaska sets new record for longest snow season- 232 days!

232 days - it took over 30 years for Anchorage to set a new record for the longest snow season on record. The National Weather Service measured 2/10ths of an inch just after 9 p.m. Friday and 1/10th Saturday morning - breaking the old record of 230 days set in 1981-1982. Anchorage police responded to 22 crashes, 4 with injuries and 37 vehicles in distress between midnight and noon Saturday. Police say roads were wet and not icy midday and "motorists should use caution if the temperatures drop below freezing. Other parts of the city had much higher amounts of snow, however official measurements must be consistent and observed at the Sand Lake forecast office. The recent snowfall also broke the daily record for liquid precipitation, lowest maximum temperature for May 17, and a host of other records. NWS says Saturday evening's forecast calls for "mostly cloudy with isolated snow showers in the evening...then partly cloudy after midnight - lows in the upper teens to mid 20s and north wind to 15 mph." For Sunday, the forecast will be mostly sunny, highs in the 40s, and light winds, according to NWS. -NBC
Image

Arrow Down

Manatees are dying in droves, Florida says 'too bad'

Red tide' and a loss of sea grass account for some manatee deaths, but researchers believe undiscovered factors are also at play.

Image
© Kallista/Getty Images
The NOAA is launching a study to investigate the factors behind the recent rash of manatee deaths
A record number of endangered manatees are dying in Florida's algae-choked waterways. So far this year, 582 manatees have died, more than any year on record, according to preliminary numbers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Pat Rose is an aquatic biologist and the executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, an organization devoted to preserving the animal. In his interview with TakePart, Rose reports the estimated minimum population of these gentle beasts is only 3,100 adults. That means their population has decreased by more than 10 percent in just four months.

A total of 247 of these have died in the southwest of the state due to an explosion of a red-hued algae called Karenia brevis, also known as a red tide.

This pesky microorganism produces neurotoxins that can kill manatees by causing them to seize to the point where they can't make it to the surface - or even lift their head out of the water - to breathe.

The large marine mammals are also dying in the eastern part of the state, in Brevard County near Orlando. Rose says a gradual die-out of sea grass, upon which the manatees feed, has combined with blooms of brown algae and likely other unknown factors to kill nearly 150 more manatees. Since 2010, about 30,000 acres of sea grass have been wiped out.

Luckily, it appears that both events are winding down, and the rate of manatee deaths appears to be slowing. But that's cold comfort for Rose, since the number of threats to manatees appears to be growing, and little is being done to address the problem.

Traditionally, boat collisions have been the biggest killer of manatees; they're vulnerable since they're large, slow-moving and often hang out on the surface. Until this year, at least 41 percent of all manatee deaths resulted from these collisions, and likely more, because not all of these deaths are reported or detected.

Comment: The one of the other supposedly 'undiscovered factors that are also at play', but nevertheless well reported, are the unusually cold water temperatures experienced along the Florida coast in recent winters.

See -

http://www.sott.net/article/221068-279-Manatees-die-of-cold-chill-in-Florida


Smiley

Climate control - lather, rinse, repeat

Climate Control Shampoo
© Tresemme.com
We always talk about and are lectured to about how "weather is not climate". Of course that's a flexible meme, because now when the weather turns hot or bad, climate is to blame.

I had to go to Walmart today to pick up something, and as I walked down the aisles looking for things, this jumped out at me. Unfortunately, it was so ridiculous, it made me laugh out loud, and I got stares. So, I'm sharing this humor with you.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before some enterprising company did this.

Gotta love that "defend your hair against bad weather" line. Now even when CO2 or weather modification driven hordes of tornadoes descend upon us in retaliation for our climate sins, we can avoid bad hair days.

Of course, shampoo only goes so far. They need "climate control body spray" to really be effective.

Snow Globe

Wacky weather producing one of Alaska Interior's craziest spring migrations on record

Image
© Jim DeWitt/Frosty Feathers Images
Crazy migration

Part of a huge flock of sandhill cranes take to the air after being scared by a bald eagle in Delta Junction on Saturday night off Barley Way. Photographer Jim DeWitt estimated there were 3,000 cranes in the flock.
Fairbanks - Birds of all kinds are arriving in dizzying numbers and many long-time birders say they have never seen such a concentrated wave of migrating birds in the Tanana Valley.

Bud Johnson in Tok estimates there were 100,000 sparrows descending on that area Tuesday. He reported seeing continuous flocks along the sides of the highway, and came home to hundreds of songbirds in his yard. White-crowned, golden-crowned, fox and tree sparrows mixed with juncos, rusty blackbirds and Lapland longspurs. Other viewers saw Lincoln's and Savannah sparrows and gray-crowned rosy-finches.

"I have never seen anything like this ever," Johnson said. "The ground is just in constant movement and the singing (mostly from the white-crowned sparrows) is insane."

Among bird-watchers, there is a phenomenon called "fallout," which is when a large number of migrating birds make landfall because they run into storm systems. Usually this happens along the coast, where exhausted birds touch down on the first solid ground they find. It's possible a combination of the late spring breakup and a current weather front has caused this unusual spring gathering.

"This is turning out to be the most spectacular spring migration I think the Tanana Valley has seen in recent memory," Fairbanks birder Nancy DeWitt wrote in an email. "First, there were the unprecedented numbers of swans and white-fronted geese in the Delta barley fields (many of which are still there) accompanied by the biggest flocks of Canada geese and pintails I've ever seen, now followed by what Steve Dubois says is the largest concentration of sandhill cranes he's seen in his 28 years there.

"Add in the numerous bluebird sightings (I've lost count), cloud after cloud of Lapland longspurs moving through the valley, thick groups of varied thrush at Fort Greely on Saturday night, and now the sparrow fall-out in Tok Bud describes, and I am just beside myself with glee," she said. "I assume most of this is weather related, but what happened and where along the migration route that balled up all these birds? I suppose the fact that a lot of the valley is snow-covered and many ponds and lakes are still frozen is also concentrating birds, but would sure love to know if anyone tracked migration radar data over Canada in the past month.

Snow Globe

May storm dumps heavy snow in interior Alaska, Denali National Park

Image
© Tina Graham
Carol and Haze Elliott, from South Carolina, brave the snow near the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge. At first, they were excited about the snow, feeling like they were really having an Alaskan experience. “It can stop now,” they joked.
Christmas music played Friday in the lobby of the McKinley Chalet Resort, just outside Denali National Park and Preserve.

It was fitting, considering the weather outside.

A heavy spring snowstorm dumped enough snow in the area to cancel some local events, keep people from driving and surprise a few tourists.

A winter storm watch remained in effect until this morning.

"The guests are actually enjoying the experience," said Craig Pester, district manager of Aramark's Denali resorts. "We had to change a couple tours around so they didn't get the full experience, but all the guests are very happy. They're kind of making it part of their adventure."

Indeed, the Elliotts who are visiting from South Carolina thought the snow was pretty exciting, as they huddled behind an umbrella. What an Alaska experience, they said.

A visitor from Germany came north for better weather and ended up camping in the snow at Riley Creek Campground. He took it all in stride.

Snow Globe

Late snow delaying annual bird migration across Alaska

Cold air across so much of Alaska, so late in the year, has delayed summer for the winter weary and left thousands of international travelers in holding patterns. An unexpected bonanza of migrating birds are reportedly hunkered down northwest of Denali National Park and Preserve. In the Delta-Tok region, thousands more cranes, swans, geese, and swallows than usual are waiting out conditions unusual even for Alaska.

Birds often "ball-up" in foul weather, congregating along coastlines and then fly over vast Interior Alaska in waves. Not this year. One local birder told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner he'd never seen so many stopped over, all at once, in more than 20 years.

Arctic air pushing southward and smaller low-pressure systems have kept cold weather lingering. Up to 6 inches of snow was forecast over the weekend in Anchorage, with accumulation likely in Fairbanks as well, the National Weather Service predicted, though ground temperatures would melt most of it.

Normally, late May sees warmer air from the Gulf of Alaska pulled north across the state, but for now, at least, much of Alaska remains near freezing or colder.

"It is a real fluke. We just haven't gotten into our summer pattern yet," meteorologist Dan Peterson said. Next week, forecasts called for highs in the 50s and 60s from Anchorage, in Southcentral Alaska, north to Fairbanks.

Butterfly

UK's rare spring butterflies make a late show

The UK's spring butterflies are being welcomed by enthusiasts, but weeks later than they usually arrive.
Image

Threatened pearl-bordered fritillaries finally emerged at the end of April

The second-coldest March on record contributed to the delayed emergence of many rare species, according to the charity Butterfly Conservation.

"First sightings" recorded by the public showed the insects typically appeared a fortnight later than normal.

One rare species - the grizzled skipper - emerged a month later than last year.

The pearl-bordered fritillary was another rare butterfly to make a late show. Last year the insects were first spotted on 1 April but were not recorded until 27 April this year.

Threatened wood whites could be seen by 10 April last year, but this year were delayed until early May.

And the Duke of Burgundy butterfly made an appearance in late April this spring, around three weeks later than last year.

Last spring saw butterflies emerging earlier than normal following an unusually mild February and March. But the extreme wet weather that followed resulted in a terrible year for most species.

Butterfly Conservation's findings, which focus on the UK's rare and threatened species, show a large contrast with last years' spring sightings.