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Mon, 20 Feb 2017
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Drought


Bizarro Earth

Earth 'overdue' for magnetic pole reversal

© Shutterstock
The Earth's magnetic field, magnetic poles and geographic poles.
Earth's magnetic field may be about to reverse, which could have devastating consequences for humanity.

Scientists think that Earth is long "overdue" for a full magnetic reversal and have determined that the magnetic field's strength is already declining by 5 percent each century. This suggests that a fully reversal is highly probable within the next 2,000 years

Earth's magnetic field surrounds the planet and deflects charged particles from the sun away, protecting life from harmful radiation. There have been at least several hundred global magnetic reversals throughout Earth's history, during which the north and south magnetic poles swap. The most recent of these occurred 41,000 years ago.

During the reversal, the planet's magnetic field will weaken, allowing heightened levels of radiation on and above the Earth's surface.

The radiation spike would cause enormous problems for satellites, aviation, and the power grid. Such a reversal would be comparable to major geomagnetic storms from the sun.

The sun last produced such a storm that struck Earth during the summer of 1859, creating the largest geomagnetic storm on record. The storm was so powerful that it caused telegraph machines around the world to spark, shocking operators and setting papers ablaze. The event released the same amount of energy as 10 billion atomic bombs.

Researchers estimate that a similar event today would cause $600 billion to $2.6 trillion in damages to the U.S. alone. National Geographic found that a similar event today would destroy much of the internet, take down all satellite communications, and almost certainly knock out most of the global electrical grid. The Earth would only get about 20 hours of warning. Other estimates place the damage at roughly $40 billion a day.

A similar solar event occurred in 2012, but missed Earth.

Info

Study relates Atlantic hurricane frequency to sunspot activity

© Rojo-Garibaldi et al. (2016)
Figure 1. Annual hurricane count in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea over the period 1749-2012. Red line indicates the linear trend.
Paper Reviewed

Rojo-Garibaldi, B., Salas-de-León, D.A., Sánchez, N.L. and Monreal-Gómez, M.A. 2016. Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea and their relationship with sunspots. Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 148: 48-52.

Although some climate alarmists contend that CO2-induced global warming will increase the number of hurricanes in the future, the search for such effect on Atlantic Ocean tropical cyclone frequency has so far remained elusive. And with the recent publication of Rojo-Garibaldi et al. (2016), it looks like climate alarmists will have to keep on looking, or accept the likelihood that something other than CO2 is at the helm in moderating Atlantic hurricane frequency.

In their intriguing analysis published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, the four-member research team of Rojo-Garibaldi et al. developed a new database of historical hurricane occurrences in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, spanning twenty-six decades over the period 1749 to 2012. Statistical analysis of the record revealed "the hurricane number is actually decreasing in time," which finding is quite stunning considering that it is quite possible fewer hurricanes were recorded at the beginning of their record when data acquisition was considerably worse than towards the end of the record. Nevertheless, as the Mexican research team indicates, "when analyzing the entire time series built for this study, i.e., from 1749 to 2012, the linear trend in the number of hurricanes is decreasing" (see figure above).

As for the potential cause behind the downward trend, Rojo-Garibaldi et al. examined the possibility of a solar influence, performing a series of additional statistical analyses (spectral, wavelet and coherence wavelet transform) on the hurricane database, as well as a sunspot database obtained from the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center of the Solar Physics Department of the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Therein, their exploratory analyses revealed that "this decline is related to an increase in sunspot activity."

Igloo

Ice age cycles linked to orbital periods and sea ice

© Jung-Eun Lee/Brown University
The Southern Hemisphere has a higher capacity to grow sea ice than the Northern Hemisphere, where continents block growth. New research shows that the expansion of Southern Hemisphere sea ice during certain periods in Earth’s orbital cycles can control the pace of the planet’s ice ages.
Providence, R.I. — Earth is currently in what climatologists call an interglacial period, a warm pulse between long, cold ice ages when glaciers dominate our planet's higher latitudes. For the past million years, these glacial-interglacial cycles have repeated roughly on a 100,000-year cycle. Now a team of Brown University researchers has a new explanation for that timing and why the cycle was different before a million years ago.

Using a set of computer simulations, the researchers show that two periodic variations in Earth's orbit combine on a 100,000-year cycle to cause an expansion of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere. Compared to open ocean waters, that ice reflects more of the sun's rays back into space, substantially reducing the amount of solar energy the planet absorbs. As a result, global temperature cools.

"The 100,000-year pace of glacial-interglacial periods has been difficult to explain," said Jung-Eun Lee, an assistant professor in Brown's Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Studies and the study's lead author. "What we were able to show is the importance of sea ice in the Southern Hemisphere along with orbital forcings in setting the pace for the glacial-interglacial cycle."

The research is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Info

Ancient figures from Ghana reveal trading routes of prehistoric African civilisation

© University of Manchester
Figurine from Northern Ghana.
Researchers from The University of Manchester have completed the very first biological analysis of ancient terracotta figurines found in Ghana, which were created by an unknown civilisation and have become iconic representations of prehistoric African art.

The items were found in Northern Ghana's Koma Land region by Prof. Ben Kankpeyeng and Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan (The University of Ghana). Prof. Timothy Insoll, (formerly at The University of Manchester, now at The University of Exeter), and Dr. Natalie J. Swanepoel of the University of South Africa joined the research in 2010 and 2011 during which some of the figurines were recovered. Many of the figurines are thought to represent ancestral figures or animals, and they reveal the clothing, hairstyles and weapons favoured by the ancient culture.

The hundreds of figurines excavated so far suggest a high level of ritual activity at the site. Some of the figurines contain hollow cavities, which the researchers believe substances were poured into during these rituals.

Snowflake Cold

Global Warming? Too Much Snow Closes Ski Resorts, Amazing Light Pillars & California Drought Erased in One Storm

© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
With over 10 feet of snow falling in the last weeks in California and Colorado, ski resorts closed from too much snow, highways completely cut off and with one storm, California filled all of its reservoirs again. So much for the doom and gloom of the IPCC telling us the drought would intensify due to CO2 warming and Gore told us our children would never know what snow is again.


Comment: As the global warming hoax spirals out of control, evidence suggests that the world is on the brink of a new ice age. See also:


Cloud Precipitation

Science, politics, morality and climate change - Professor John Christy

Geoff Derrick writes: The John Christie talk is one of the best I have seen for a long time, keeping things simple but very very effective in the message. It should be compulsory viewing while still in holiday mode to take 1 hour off and watch the main event. It is just simply excellent, logical observation at work here.
© The Huntsville Times
John Christy, the director of the Earth System Science Center at the UAH, has also been criticized for his views on global warming.
Professor John Christy, Alabama state climatologist speaks on science, politics and morality as they relate to climate change "action".
Recorded December, 2015.


Snakes in Suits

'Threshold not crossed': Village idiot Boris Johnson denies Saudi bombing massacres in Yemen breach international law

© Naif Rahma / Reuters
Boys stand on the collapsed roof of a mosque, which has been recently hit by a Saudi-led air strike, in the northwestern province of Saada, Yemen.
The UK government does not believe that Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign in Yemen violates international law, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said, defending the UK's arms sales to Riyadh and expressing support for the Arab kingdom.

"So far, we do not believe that there has been a clear risk of a breach of the international humanitarian law," Johnson told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show, referring to the Saudi actions in Yemen and adding: "At the moment, we do not think the threshold has been crossed."


Comment: Pray tell what the "threshold" is? How many civilians must die?


The foreign secretary then reaffirmed the British allegiance to the Arab kingdom by saying that the UK is "supportive" of Saudi Arabia and has a "longstanding partnership" with it, as he defended the British government's policy of selling weapons to the Arab country.

Comment: Boris is a joke and now needs impression management from the government: BoJo no go: UK politicians told to stop calling Boris Johnson 'Boris' - report
Officials in the UK's Foreign Office have told government ministers to stop referring to Boris Johnson as "Boris" because it's "making his job impossible," a report says, citing a leaked edict.

The Mail on Sunday is reporting that Johnson's colleagues have been issued an edict by bureaucrats in the Foreign Office to stop making jokes about him as they are interfering with the office's work.

Johnson is frequently a source of fun for political allies and enemies alike. He was even trolled by Prime Minister Theresa May during the Conservative Party conference earlier this year.


There has been quite a number of controversial and unfortunate situations that could have contributed to building this perception of the Foreign Secretary: like the time he flattened a 10-year-old boy in a rugby game in Hong Kong, or the time he got stuck on a zip-line, or when he referred to the continent of Africa as "that country."

The Foreign Office edict says that MPs and officials should stop referring to him as "Boris" and start calling him "Foreign Secretary" in order to make him appear more statesmanlike.



Cloud Precipitation

Atlantic Hurricane season ends above normal in count says NOAA scientists

As the Atlantic, eastern Pacific and central Pacific 2016 hurricane seasons end today, NOAA scientists said that all three regions saw above-normal seasons.

For the Atlantic, this was the first above-normal season since 2012. The Atlantic saw 15 named storms during 2016, including 7 hurricanes (Alex, Earl, Gaston, Hermine, Matthew, Nicole, and Otto), 3 of which were major hurricanes (Gaston, Matthew and Nicole). NOAA's updated hurricane season outlook in August called for 12 to 17 named storms, including 5 to 8 hurricanes, with 2 to 4 of those predicted to become major hurricanes.

Five named storms made landfall in the United States during 2016, the most since 2008 when six storms struck. Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Matthew struck South Carolina. Tropical Storms Colin and Julia, as well as Hurricane Hermine, made landfall in Florida. Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005.

Sun

As drought takes over Colorado, Denver nears record snowless streak


U.S. Drought Monitor Report released Thursday.
Colorado has been fully taken over by drought. And for the metro area, things are moving into a historic snowless territory.

The drought has dramatically expanded recently. Thursday's drought monitor indicates that more than 98 percent of the state is in a drought, up from only 10 percent at the start of the year.

For most, a dry weather pattern took over in midsummer when the rains ended.

And little snow has materialized. The mountains have had barely 5 to 10 inches across most of the ranges. Denver has yet to see its first snow.

In Denver, the last snow was May 1. The number of days without snowfall is at 193 as of Thursday, the eighth-longest streak since 1948.

In 1992, Denver went 211 days without snow and 2016 might rival that record.

The latest measurable snowfall in Denver was Nov. 21, 1934 and that record might fall this year unless the persistent warm, dry weather pattern breaks down soon.

Seismograph

Powerful magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes near Christchurch, New Zealand

© USGS
Powerful M6.6 earthquake strikes Amberley, New Zealand
A powerful earthquake has hit northeast of Christchurch, a city in New Zealand, according to the US Geological Survey.

Twitter reports from locals talk of "enormous" shaking felt in Wellington and Cheviot.

The quake was centered 46km from the town of Amberley with about 2,000 people, and 70km from the town of Kaiapoi with 10,000 residents, according to the USGS. The tremor had a shallow depth of 5 km.


Comment: Spaceweather.com reports:

Minor geomagnetic storms and Arctic auroras are likely on Nov. 13th as Earth moves through a stream of high-speed solar wind. Visibility of auroras will be muted somewhat by the glare of the waxing supermoon.