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Sun, 19 Aug 2018
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Drought

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Mass extinction: Vatican embraces science to battle immense threats to humanity

Vatican
© Stefano Rellandini / Reuters
A general view of Saint Peter's Square, Vatican.
One in five species already face extinction on our planet, population growth projections are bewildering and climate change shows few, if any, signs of abating. Now, a group of experts are meeting to tackle the problem in the unlikeliest of venues.

Leading biologists, ecologists and economists from around the world have been invited to a conference in the Vatican this week, where the impending mass extinction event facing our planet will be addressed and possible solutions formulated.

"By the beginning of the next century we face the prospect of losing half our wildlife... The extinctions we face pose an even greater threat to civilization than climate change - for the simple reason they are irreversible," biology Professor Peter Raven, of the Missouri Botanical Garden told the Observer.

"That the symposia are being held at the Papal Academy is also symbolic. It shows that the ancient hostility between science and the church, at least on the issue of preserving Earth's services, has been quelled," said economist Sir Partha Dasgupta, of Cambridge University.

Comment: To understand what's going on, check out our book explaining how all these events are part of a natural climate shift, and why it's taking place now: Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection.


Cloud Precipitation

California drought continues to abate as flooding becomes the new crisis

California floods
© Getty Images
A man boards a bus on a flooded street as a powerful storm moves across Southern California on February 17, 2017 near Sun Valley, California.
After years of extreme drought, Southern California is now completely free of the worst conditions following recent rains that brought flooding, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor.

Also, the state's Central Valley region where agriculture is dominant continued to show improvement from abnormally dry conditions.

"The precipitation that fell this week continued to reduce long-term drought in California," the monitor said Thursday. "Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, which have been the epicenter of drought in California in recent weeks, received much-needed rainfall."

The monitor said more than 8 inches of rain was reported at two stations near Santa Barbara and almost 7 inches nearby at Ojai. Ventura County's community of Thousand Oaks also experienced well over 6 inches of rain.

"It's been raining a lot and gone a tremendous way towards eliminating surface drought conditions in California," said Richard Heim, a meteorologist with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 's National Centers for Environmental Information and the author of this week's monitor.

Added Heim, "We felt it was time that the extreme drought [category] went away." He said this week's monitor is the first time since Aug. 6, 2013, that California is free of "extreme" drought conditions.

Comment: The recent Oroville dam crisis is a wake up call for the aging California water system.


Bizarro Earth

Climate changes alarm: Colorado River drought woes could affect 41 million Americans

Colorado River, Arizona, USA
© Marc Rasmus / www.globallookpress.com
Colorado River, Arizona, USA
Residents of the Southwest US will almost certainly face drought because of water loss in the Colorado River caused by global warming, according to scientists. By mid-century the water levels will drop by 5 million acre-feet, a new study says.

Researchers from Colorado State University and University of Arizona are predicting the Colorado River will suffer up to a 55 percent reduction in volume by the end of this century, due to global warming. That will be concern to the 41 million people in seven states of the American Southwest that use the river's supply for drinking water, and affect the water supply for six million acres of farmland.


The scientists began investigating after noticing that recent Colorado flows were lower than water managers expected, given the amount of precipitation. The projected loss is equal to the amount of fresh water used by 2 million people a year.

Researchers looked at the drought years of 2000-2014, and found that 85 percent of the river's flow originates as precipitation in the Upper Basin, the part of the river that drains portions of Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. The team found during 2000-2014, temperatures in the river's Upper Basic were 1.6 degrees F (0.9 C) higher than the average for previous 105 years.

Comment: Man made global warming didn't cause the megadrought in the 16th century, and it's not going to be the cause of a future one. Any solutions involving that bogus claim are useless. This is not to say that such kinds of megadroughts are not on the way. They very well may be, but the earth changes we are seeing are not so black and white as some pseudo-climate scientists would like them to be.

See also: Water shortage: Colorado river groundwater disappearing at 'shocking' rate


Sun

The poorest region in Brazil suffers worst drought in a century

drought in Brazil
© AFP/Evaristo SA
Remains of donkeys and cows during the region's worst drought in a century.
A cow's skull lies baking in the sun and nearby another dead cow rots, symbols of the desolation gripping northeastern Brazil during its worst drought in a century.

Farmer Kerginaldo Pereira, 30, walks through the dust and cactuses in dismay. There are in all about 30 skeletons of cattle, donkeys and other farm animals in a sort of open-air cemetery set aside in his settlement of Nova Canaa, in Ceara state, to avoid spread of disease. "Most are animals that died of thirst or hunger. Sadly, that's the reality. So many animals have died in these five years of drought," Pereira told AFP.

The semiarid northeast of Brazil, known as the Sertao, is use to rain shortages but no one can remember a drought like this. There has been almost no rain since 2012 and the leafless, desiccated landscape has the appearance of having been in a vast fire. Rivers and reservoirs that used to serve rural populations are not coping. The authorities estimate that reserves are at six percent capacity, with some completely emptied.

Experts say that a cocktail of factors has produced the disaster: a strong El Nino in the Pacific, heating of the north Atlantic and climate change that has seen temperatures in Ceara rise by 1.3 degrees Celsius (2.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in 50 years.

Bizarro Earth

Earth 'overdue' for magnetic pole reversal

Earth's Magnetic Field
© 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

Annual hurricane count in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
© 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

Ice Ages
© 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

Figurine from Northern Ghana
© 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

global warming hoax cartoon
© 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.
John Christy
© 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.