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Tropical Fish Cause Trouble as Climate Change Drives Them Toward the Poles

This spotlight parrot fish (Sparisoma viride) was spotted grazing on coral Marine ecologist Adriana Vergés emerged from a scuba dive in Tosa Bay off the coast of southern Japan last week and was amazed at what she'd seen: A once lush kelp forest had been stripped bare and replaced by coral.

The bay is hundreds of miles north of the tropics, but now "it feels like a tropical place," said Vergés, a lecturer at New South Wales University in Australia.

The undersea world is on the move. Climate change is propelling fish and other ocean life into what used to be cooler waters, and researchers are scrambling to understand what effect that is having on their new neighborhoods. They are finding that the repercussions of the migration of tropical fish, in particular, are often devastating. Invading tropical species are stripping kelp forests in Japan, Australia, and the eastern Mediterranean and chowing down on sea grass in the northern Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic seaboard. More

 

Scientists have worked out the likely cause of that enormous crater in Siberia

siberian crater to hell The mystery of what caused that gigantic crater in the Yamal Peninsula of Siberia may have been solved. And the reason is scarier than all those totally valid theories involving aliens and meteorites.

Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scientific Centre of Arctic Studies in Salekhard, Russia, visited the massive cavity after it was discovered by reindeer herders in mid-July.

Plekhanov believes the roughly 100-foot wide hole, which was found in a region of northern Siberia so remote it is called “the end of the world,” was caused by an explosion of methane gas, which is normally trapped in the permafrost. More

 

Republican Calls Climate Change A Hoax Because Earth And Mars Have 'Exactly' Same Temperature

Mars and Earth share a temperature In a condemnatory speech last week against the Obama administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency carbon emission regulations, Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R) claimed that man-made climate change is scientifically implausible because Mars and Earth share “exactly” the same temperature.

Smith, the owner of a mining company called Mohawk Energy, argued that despite the fact that the red planet doesn’t have any coal mines, Mars and Earth share a temperature. Therefore, Smith reasoned, coal companies on Earth should be exempt from emission regulations.

According to NASA, the average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit -- 138 degrees above Mars' average of -81 degrees. More

 

River in China mysteriously turns blood-red

Residents say Chinese river turned blood red within an hour There will be blood!

In a story straight out of Exodus, a river in eastern China has mysteriously changed to a crimson color.

The river’s plague-like transformation was noticed early Thursday by residents in Zhejiang province who said they initially noticed a weird smell coming from the area, ABC News reports. Locals said the river appeared perfectly fine around 5 a.m. local time, but less than one hour later, people suddenly noticed the blood-red metamorphosis.

Upon inspection, investigators with the Wenzhou Environmental Protection Bureau were unable to find any specific causes for the bloody incident. More

 

Climate change could make red hair a thing of the past

Christina Hendricks redhead ginger REDHEADS could become extinct as Scotland gets sunnier, experts have claimed.

The gene that causes red hair is thought to be an evolutionary response to the lack of sun in Scotland.

Redhead colouring allows people to get the maximum vitamin D from what little sun there is.

Only one to two per cent of the world’s population has red hair but in Scotland the figure is about 13 per cent, or 650,000 people.

However, the figure could fall dramatically – and even see redheads die out completely in a few centuries – if predictions that the country’s climate is set to become much sunnier are true.

Dr Alistair Moffat, boss of genetic testing company ScotlandsDNA, said: “We think red hair in Scotland, Ireland and the north of England is adaptation to the climate. We do not get enough sun and have to get all the vitamin D we can. More

 

Great Lakes ice cover from brutal winter could lead to a chilly summer

Huge chunks of ice remain near Marquette on Sunday, June 1, 2014 The Winter of 2013-14 demands that it be remembered.

A relatively cool spring will give way to a colder-than-usual summer locally, all because of the continuing impacts of the intensely frigid, snowy winter, scientists said. And at least one Great Lakes ice researcher thinks that the domino effect could continue into a chilly fall and an early start to next winter — and beyond.

The reason is the unusually late ice cover that remains on the Great Lakes. Heading into May, the Great Lakes combined remain 26% ice-covered, with Lake Superior still more than half-blanketed in ice. By comparison, at this time last spring the lakes were less than 2% covered with ice.

The remaining levels of ice cover are amazing, said Jia Wang, an ice climatologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

“This prolonged winter will affect summer temperatures. This summer will be cold, and then a cooler fall,” he said. More

 

California governor links wildfires to climate change

the fires in California rage on California Gov. Jerry Brown is linking the recent wildfires that blazed through San Diego County to global warming, saying on Sunday that the state is on the "front lines" of climate change, which is making its weather hotter.

Almost a dozen fires caused more than $20 million in damage last week, and Brown said the drought-stricken state is preparing for its worst wildfire season ever.

"We're going to deal with nature as best we can, but humanity is on a collision course with nature," Brown said on ABC.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has responded to more than 1,500 fires this year, compared with about 800 in an average year, and the state firefighting agency went to peak staffing in the first week of April instead of its usual start in mid-May. More

 

Scientists say Australia's Tony Abbott is engineering an 'environmental train wreck'

Australia barrier reef LONDON — An “environmental train wreck.”

That’s what leading environmental scientists say that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has engineered, in less than one year in office. They say the changes he’s implementing could result in irreversible damage to some of the world’s most fragile ecosystems.

And they say they are “screaming in the dark” to get the country’s ultra conservative government to take a more sustainable course, so far with little luck.

Of course, not everyone agrees with the scientists, or at least with their priorities. Abbott came to power last September promising to abolish the country’s landmark carbon and mining taxes, and cut “green tape” that he said hindered development. More

 

America’s power grid at the limit: The road to electrical blackouts

vulnerable power grid Americans take electricity for granted. It powers our lights, our computers, our offices, and our industries. But misguided environmental policies are eroding the reliability of our power system.

Last winter, bitterly cold weather placed massive stress on the US electrical system -- and the system almost broke. On January 7 in the midst of the polar vortex, PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Organization serving the heart of America from New Jersey to Illinois, experienced a new all-time peak winter load of almost 142,000 megawatts.

Eight of the top ten of PJM’s all-time winter peaks occurred in January 2014. Heroic efforts by grid operators saved large parts of the nation’s heartland from blackouts during record-cold temperature days. Nicholas Akins, CEO of American Electric Power, stated in Congressional testimony, “This country did not just dodge a bullet -- we dodged a cannon ball.” More

 

We should give up tying to save the world from climate change, says James Lovelock

James Lovelock, who first detected CFCs in the atmosphere and proposed the Gaia hypotheses Saving the planet from climate change is ‘beyond our ability’ and we should stop wasting time trying to tackle global warming, a leading scientist has claimed.

James Lovelock, who first detected CFCs in the atmosphere and proposed the Gaia hypotheses, claims society should retreat to ‘climate-controlled cities’ and give up on large expanses of land which will become inhabitable.

Lovelock, who has just published his latest book A Rough Ride To The Future, claims we should be ‘strengthening our defences and making a sustainable retreat.’

“We’re reaching an age in history where you can no longer predict the future with any hope of success. “We should give up vainglorious attempts to save the world. More

 

Massive Extraterrestrial Rock Hit Earth 13 Millennia Ago, According to Nano-Evidence

another rock strike from space About 13,000 years ago, a chunk of a comet or asteroid hurtled into the atmosphere at a shallow angle, superheating the atmosphere around it as it careened toward the surface. The air grew hot enough to ignite plant material and melt rock below the object's flight path. Within a few microseconds, atmospheric oxygen was consumed and the freed carbon atoms condensed into nanodiamond crystals.

An air shock followed several seconds later, lofting these nanodiamonds and other carbon particles into the atmosphere, spreading them around. Mega mammals starved, unable to forage on the scorched earth, and human populations dwindled. The shock on the atmosphere was enough to lower global temperatures for a thousand years.

This is according to a new study of ancient Mexican nanodiamonds, and it's another salvo in a longstanding ancient-climate dispute. The study bolsters the controversial argument that an asteroid impact might have chilled the planet during the Younger Dryas, an abrupt and very short cold interval that started about 12,900 years back. More

 

What will really happen when the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts?

Yellowstone caldera Lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park is a massive underground reservoir of magma, capped by the park's famous caldera. 640,000 years ago, a super eruption rocked the region. What would happen if another such event blasted the park today? We asked USGS geologist Jake Lowenstern, scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Most volcanic activity in Yellowstone would not qualify as "super eruptions," in which 1,000 km3 or more material is ejected from a volcano. Lowenstern told io9 that supervolcanoes are "very large, single eruptions" that usually last for about a week. But, unlike what you'll see in certain television specials and Hollywood films, even a super eruption at Yellowstone wouldn't endanger the whole United States. It also wouldn't cause the kind catastrophe you might expect. More

 

Experts Fear Nuclear Famine: “A Disaster So Massive in Scale that No Preparation is Possible”

no way out of disaster At last count, there are eight countries in the world that have officially designed, developed and tested nuclear weapons. Another two (Israel and Iran) deny they have built or are building such weapons, but the probability that Israel has them and that Iran is building them is believed by members of the international community to be extremely high.

That being said, it’s only a matter of time before a madman at the helm in any of these ten nuclear-armed states decides to push the button. With the global economy in shambles, the world’s super powers mobilizing military assets, and hundreds of trillions of dollars in unservicable debt soon to be realized by the financial community, how long before history rhymes with previous large-scale events that culminated in the fall of the Roman empire or the World Wars that devastated tens of millions of lives in the 20th century?

War, it seems, is inevitable. Not just because of the many problems faced by mankind, but because of the nature of mankind itself. More

 

1859 solar event would be catastrophic today

sun gets acting up and we be in trouble On a cool September night in 1859, campers in Colorado were roused from sleep by a "light so bright that one could easily read common print," as one newspaper described it. Some of them, confused, got up and began making breakfast.

Farther east, thousands of New Yorkers were rushing onto their roofs and sidewalks to gaze up at the heavens.

The sky was glowing, ribboned in yellow, white and crimson.

At the time, it was a dazzling display of nature. Yet if the same thing happened today, it would be an utter catastrophe.

The auroras of 1859, known as the "Carrington Event," came after the sun unleashed a large coronal mass ejection, a burst of charged plasma aimed directly at the Earth. When the particles hit our magnetosphere, they triggered a fierce geomagnetic storm that lit up the sky and frazzled communication wires around the world. Telegraphs in Philadelphia were spitting out "fantastical and unreadable messages," one paper reported, with some systems unusable for many hours. More

 

Are you ready for the Viking Apocalypse? Norse myth predicts world will end this Saturday

fear the Norsemen We’ve survived the Mayan apocalypse and Y2K, but be afraid – the end of the world is coming…again.

This time it’s the Viking apocalypse that is allegedly set to destroy Earth, with Norse mythology claiming the planet will split open and unleash the inhabitants of Hel on February 22.

According to the Vikings, Ragnarok is a series of events including the final predicted battle that results in the death of a number of major gods, the occurrence of various natural disasters and the subsequent submersion of the world in water.

The wolf Fenrir is also predicted to break out of his prison, the snake Jormungand will rise out of the sea and the dragon of the underworld will resurface on Earth to face the dead heroes of Valhalla – who, of course, have descended from heaven to fight them. More

Climate change profs burn skeptical book

book burning by climate professors Two environmentalism professors at San Jose State University were photographed hosting their own private book burning party.

The offending text, “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism,” challenges the validity of man-made global warming.

The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank, sent the book to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at SJSU. Department chairperson Dr. Alison Bridger and assistant professor Dr. Craig Clements eagerly posed for a photo depicting them applying a lit match to “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism.”

The photo initially appeared on the department’s website with the caption, “This week we received a deluge of free books from the Heartland Institute… shown above, Drs. Bridger and Clements test the flammability of the book.” More

 

Abrupt Climate Disaster Threat Raises Call for Early Warning System

environmental changes threaten lives The threat of sudden climate change disaster—from the poles melting to farmlands failing—is real and requires an early warning system, an expert panel suggested on Tuesday.

Looking at "tipping points" for global warming disasters, the National Research Council panel report on "abrupt" climate impacts finds noteworthy risks of sharp, sudden sea-level rise, water shortages, and extinctions worldwide in coming years and decades.

"Climate change is real, it is happening now, and we need to deal with it," says James White of the University of Colorado, Boulder, who headed the panel. "Step number one is to recognize the points where we stand on the threshold of abrupt impacts." More

 

Waterless World: China’s ever-expanding desert wasteland

thirsty Gobi NAIMAN QI, INNER MONGOLIA, China — Over the last three years, San Qinghai has had to dig four new wells, each one deeper than the last.

The village's old stone wells used to go down 30 feet. But the 31-year-old Mongolian farmer and shepherd’s new wells descend 140 feet to reach groundwater.

Squinting and wearing a ragged gray sweater, San pointed to several acres of dry, brittle corn behind his house. He said he lost a third of his crop this year.

"The winters have been getting colder, and there hasn't been much rain," he said. "I'm worried that the sandstorms will destroy my crops. It's been getting worse."

Long days in the dry air and punishing sun have left deep creases in his leathery skin, making him look older than his age. After gazing at the field, he tosses a few dry husks into a horse’s feed trough and plods back home on the village’s narrow lanes. The streets are soft and thick with sand. More

 

Government Report Confirms That A Major Solar Event Will Be A Kill Shot For The United States

solar flare kill shot An official report prepared by John Kappenman, an independent consultant, was commissioned by The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2010. The report is summarized in The JASON report on Impacts of Severe Space Weather on The Electrical Grid, project number 13119022.

JASON is an independent group of some 60 scientists that advises the United States government on science and technology that could have national implications. It is run by the non-profit making MITRE Corporation in Virginia. There is a massive amount of information in the report which was published in November 2011.

For the technically minded, transformers are discussed in detail, highlighting the problems that space weather impacts could, and does have on them. There are examples from around the world of the damage caused to electrical grids when a coronal mass ejection hits the Earth. There are details of different types of space weather, their effects and likely outcomes of such incidents. More

 

UN's 2C target will fail to avoid a climate disaster, scientists warn

A house on the beach of Doun Baba Dieye, northern Senegal, lies in ruins after sea level rise The limit of 2C of global warming agreed by the world's governments is a "dangerous target", "foolhardy" and will not avoid the most disastrous consequences of climate change, new research from a panel of eminent climate scientists warned on Tuesday.

In a new paper, the climate scientist Professor James Hansen and a team of international experts found the most dangerous effects of a warming climate – sea level rise, Arctic ice melt, extreme weather – would begin kicking in with a global temperature rise of 1C.

Allowing warming to reach 2C would be simply too late, Hansen said. "The case we make is that 2C itself is a very dangerous target to be aiming for," he told the Guardian. "Society should reassess what are dangers levels, given the impacts that we have already seen." More

 

Which Hollywood-Style Climate Disasters Will Strike in Your Lifetime?

How likely are extreme climate scenarios In a just-released report, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has taken an extensive look at the scary side, the dramatic side…let's face it, the Hollywood side of global warming.

The new research falls under the heading of "abrupt climate change": The report examines the doomsday scenarios that have often been conjured in relation to global warming (frequently in exaggerated blockbuster films), and seeks to determine how likely they are to occur in the real world. More

 

Impact Risk Hiked for 400-Meter-Wide Asteroid

deadly rocks from space MOSCOW – NASA has upgraded the impact risk for a massive asteroid recently discovered by Ukrainian observers that will pass close to the Earth in 2032, although a collision remains unlikely.

According to an update on NASA’s Near Earth Object Program site, the impact risk is now 1 in 9,090; up from 1 in 63,000 at the time the asteroid, identified as 2013 TV135, was discovered.

However, the updated figures still mean that the chance of the asteroid completing a safe flyby is 99.989 percent, slightly down from 99.992 percent in the original estimate. The 400-meter-wide asteroid, discovered by an observatory in Ukraine’s Crimea earlier this month, is one of two asteroids to currently rank above zero on the 10-degree Torino Scale, which estimates asteroid impact hazards. More

 

Al Gore weighs into debate over links between bushfires and climate change

Al Gore - where did he get his environmental degree? Former US vice-president and environmentalist Al Gore says there is a proven link between climate change and bushfires.

This week, a United Nations official said the devastating fires in New South Wales proved the world is "already paying the price of carbon".

Prime Minister Tony Abbott dismissed the comment on Wednesday, accusing the official of "talking through her hat". He argued that "fire is a part of the Australian experience" and not linked to climate change.

"Climate change is real, as I've often said, and we should take strong action against it, but these fires are certainly not a function of climate change - they're just a function of life in Australia."

But Mr Gore, a Nobel laureate for his work to fight climate change, has told the ABC's 7.30 that climate change will bring about more extreme weather. More

 

Pacific Ocean cools, flattening global warming

 Pacific ocean near Catalina Island The flattening over the past 15 years of a rise in the world's average surface temperature springs from a natural cooling pattern in the eastern Pacific Ocean, climate scientists reported Wednesday.

That leveling off fed part of the skepticism toward global warming predictions in recent years, but researchers behind the new report see this "hiatus" as a pause in an inevitable climb.

"Our results strongly confirm the role that (man-made) emissions are having on the climate," says climate scientist Shang-Ping Xie, senior author on the Nature journal study. "At one point over the long term, the effect we are seeing in the Pacific will stop. I'm confident the bigger increases in warming will resume."

For now, the "hiatus" in global warming has left average surface temperatures lodged about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for the past century. The top 10 warmest years on record have all come since 1998 as a result, but none looks markedly warmer than another. More

 

Scientists discover what’s killing the bees and it’s worse than you thought

where's the bees?As we’ve written before, the mysterious mass die-off of honey bees that pollinate $30 billion worth of crops in the US has so decimated America’s apis mellifera population that one bad winter could leave fields fallow. Now, a new study has pinpointed some of the probable causes of bee deaths and the rather scary results show that averting beemageddon will be much more difficult than previously thought.

Scientists had struggled to find the trigger for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) that has wiped out an estimated 10 million beehives, worth $2 billion, over the past six years. Suspects have included pesticides, disease-bearing parasites and poor nutrition. But in a first-of-its-kind study published today in the journal PLOS ONE, scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a witch’s brew of pesticides and fungicides contaminating pollen that bees collect to feed their hives. The findings break new ground on why large numbers of bees are dying though they do not identify the specific cause of CCD, where an entire beehive dies at once. More

 

Bluefin tuna caught off California contains radiation from Japan's Fukushima plant

 Pacific bluefin tuna It is the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

"We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive caesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the US and Japanese governments.

Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. More

 

South America in massive deep freeze

cold spell in South America“Unprecedented Cold For South America This Week.” “Cold is coming. A lot!”

Second pulse of cold air reaches Uruguay.

Very cold in coming days in Rio Grande do Sul, especially at the beginning of next week, warned Luiz Fernando Nachtigall on July 18. Intensive polar air will invade the Southern Cone.

Cold is coming. A lot! Temperature lower than normal at the beginning of next week. This is shown above the map generated from the data of the meteorological model operating in the United States (NOAA / NCEP). The center of South America will see the greatest anomaly.

Notice that the polar jet stream reaches the province of Buenos Aires. The temperature at the Ezeiza airport is at 9am only 5 ° C with rain and windy. In Montevideo, Carrasco Airport, was 16 º C. An automatic weather station particular near the Prado, in the Uruguayan capital, indicated temperature even lower with gusts of 65 km / h. The polar wave led to sharp and strong cooling. More

 

Global Warming Sparks Fistfights and War, Researchers Say

Pakistani flood survivors fight over relief goodsClimate change will probably trigger more human conflict, according to an article in the journal Science.

An examination of 60 separate studies, including one stretching back to 10,000 B.C., found that individuals, groups and nations are “substantially” more likely to become involved in physical conflict in hot weather and heavy rain.

Climate change is expected to drive up temperatures in many regions, which will “systematically increase the risk of many types of conflict” ranging from barroom brawls and rape to civil wars and international disputes, according to the article.

“The strongest evidence is that high temperatures really matter,” said Solomon Hsiang, one of the study’s authors. “A few degrees warmer is always worse.” Higher temperatures affect people through a combination of geographical, sociological and physiological factors, he said. More

 

Mysterious hum driving people crazy around the world

doomed to hear the humIt creeps in slowly in the dark of night, and once inside, it almost never goes away.

It's known as the Hum, a steady, droning sound that's heard in places as disparate as Taos, N.M.; Bristol, England; and Largs, Scotland.

But what causes the Hum, and why it only affects a small percentage of the population in certain areas, remain a mystery, despite a number of scientific investigations. Reports started trickling in during the 1950s from people who had never heard anything unusual before; suddenly, they were bedeviled by an annoying, low-frequency humming, throbbing or rumbling sound. More

 

China outsources carbon emissions to poorer areas

carbon everywhere and we are doomedChina is outsourcing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within its own borders, a study has found.

This is much like the way in which rich countries in the West have long turned to China to produce cheap goods, thereby outsourcing dirty emissions.

Poorer areas such as Inner Mongolia produced 80% of CO2-related emissions for goods used in richer coastal areas such as Beijing and Shanghai.

The scientists, writing in PNAS, are concerned this trend will spread. That is, if China continues to adopt Western consumer habits, they could look to further outsource their carbon emissions to developing countries. The researchers examined CO2 emissions flowing between different regions of China and abroad. More

 

Young Frankenfish: Meet the Terrifying Offspring of GMO Salmon and Wild Trout

It was previously believed that transgene fish, like GMO salmon, couldn't reproduce with their wild counterpartsIt doesn’t happen often in nature, but now and then, a wild Atlantic salmon (yes, there are still a few left) mates with a brown trout and has hybrid offspring.

This ability to reproduce between species had some Canadian scientists curious: If a genetically modified Atlantic salmon were to come in contact with a brown trout, would it too be able to have little transgenes babies? The answer is yes, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. And it turns out that those offspring carry the genetically inserted trait that allows them to grow faster than their Mother-Nature-made cousins. Much faster. In fact, the hybrid offspring outgrew their genetically tweaked parents as well. More

 

Barack Obama to cut emissions in vow to save planet

Barack Obama talks climate change out of one hole and spews carbon out the other In sweeping proposals released after four years of frustrated efforts, Mr Obama ordered new curbs on carbon emissions from power plants and called for America to ready its defences against an already-changing climate.

The president also surprised environmentalists by signalling he would reject a controversial oil pipeline if it was found to “significantly exacerbate” the problem of carbon pollution.

“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that is beyond fixing,” Mr Obama told students at Georgetown University. “As a president, as a father and as an American I’m here to say we need to act.”

Mr Obama first promised a new push on climate change during his inagural address on a freezing morning in January, warning that failing to cut emissions “would betray our children”. More

 

World's cities to expand by more than twice the size of Texas by 2030

Building denser cities like Manhattan could be part of the answerCities worldwide are on track to expand by nearly 580,000 square miles – more than twice the size of Texas – in less than 20 years, according to experts at a major international science conference.

Yale University professor Karen Seto said the North American suburb had “gone global, and car-dependent urban developments are more and more the norm.”

The world’s population is expected to grow from the current 7 billion to about 9 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations.

Experts meeting at the Planet Under Pressure 2012 conference in London said in a statement released by the organizers Tuesday that unless changes were made, “humanity’s urban footprint” would increase in size by 1.5 million square kilometers (nearly 580,000 square miles) by 2030. More

 

French Ski Resort To Open For Skiing in June For The First Time In History

June ski season for first time ever in FranceIt’s been a cold 2013 so far in Central and Western Europe. Last weekend snow fell in Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

Europeans are wondering whatever happened to global warming. Climate institutes, who just years ago predicted warm, snow-less winters, have turned 180° and are now insisting that the Little Ice Age-like conditions that have gripped Europe over the last 5 years are actually signs of global warming after all! Fortunately, very few people believe them.

Not only has snow become more frequent in the winter, but now ski slopes in the French Pyrenees are reporting that they will be open for (snow) skiing in June – the first time in history the French Local here reports. More

 

Hungarians unite as 'worst-ever' floods threaten Budapest

Budapest floodsHungarians are setting aside their differences in a race against time to defend their historic capital Budapest and other areas from what the prime minister predicted will be the "worst floods of all time".

As water levels broke records in the west ahead of an expected peak on Monday, thousands of volunteers joined soldiers and emergency workers -- often crossing traditional social boundaries to make some unlikely alliances -- to roll up their sleeves and don rubber boots.

Students, boy scouts and sports clubs helped to make up and install more than two million sandbags stacked at 16 high-risk locations along the 760 kilometres (475 miles) of the raging Danube River rushing out of Germany and Austria on its way to the Black Sea. More

 

Melting Ice Opens Fight Over Sea Routes for Arctic Debate

melting arctic iceWhen 16th and 17th century European explorers sailed west in pursuit of a trade route to Asia, their search for a Northwest Passage was foiled by Arctic ice.

Five hundred years later, melting icecaps have set off a global race to control new shipping lanes over the North Pole. Just as the discoveries of Ferdinand Magellan and Vasco de Gama gave seafaring Portugal routes around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, the opening of the Arctic, with its shortcut from the Atlantic to northeast Asia and its untapped oil reserves, can redraw the geopolitical map and create new power brokers.

When the U.S., Russia and six other major stakeholders of the Arctic Council meet May 15 in the northernmost Swedish city of Kiruna, they’ll be joined by nations with observer status, including China and the European Union, that are angling for an elevated status in the diplomatic club and a greater say in the region’s future. More

 

Klamath Basin water wars heat up as drought threatens

A fisheries staffer for the Karuk Tribe weighs juvenile salmon in March as part of a tagging and monitoring program on the the middle Klamath River watershed in northern California KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- For decades, this rural basin has battled over the Klamath River's most precious resource: water that sustains fish, irrigates farms and powers the hydroelectric dams that block one of the largest salmon runs on the West Coast.

Now, one of the nation's fiercest water wars is on the verge of erupting again. New water rights have given a group of Oregon Indian tribes an upper hand just as the region plunges into a severe drought.

Farmers and wildlife refuges could be soon cut off by the Klamath Tribes, which in March were granted the Upper Klamath Basin's oldest water rights to the lake and tributaries that feed the mighty river flowing from arid southern Oregon to the foggy redwoods of the Northern California coast.

Within weeks, the 3,700 members of the tribes are poised to make use of their new rights to maintain water levels for endangered Lost River and Shortnose suckers, fish they traditionally harvested for food. Under the "first in time, first in right" water doctrine that governs the West, the Klamath Tribes can cut off other water users when the river runs low. More

 

Pacific to suffer worst climate change impacts

Pacific is doomed, says alarmists The World Bank is urging the international community to heed the plight of Pacific island countries and take action on climate change.

The bank's vice president for Sustainable Development, Rachel Kyte, says Pacific nations will suffer higher sea level rise than other parts of the world.

She says the impact of climate change will threaten the very existence of some countries in the Pacific.

Ms Kyte also warns Australia will see some of the most extreme droughts, with summer temperatures of over 40 degrees becoming commonplace.

She has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat a lack of action on climate change is undermining efforts by the World Bank to address global poverty. "Imagine we've laid the table, ready for the economic and social solutions to ending poverty and building prosperity," she said. More

 

Cut world population and redistribute resources, expert urges

Paul Ehrlich says we face 'catastrophic or slow motion' disasters unless population is brought under control and resources redistributed The world's most renowned population analyst has called for a massive reduction in the number of humans and for natural resources to be redistributed from the rich to the poor.

Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University in California and author of the best-selling Population Bomb book in 1968, goes much further than the Royal Society in London which this morning said that physical numbers were as important as the amount of natural resources consumed.

The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.

"How many you support depends on lifestyles. We came up with 1.5 to 2 billion because you can have big active cities and wilderness. If you want a battery chicken world where everyone has minimum space and food and everyone is kept just about alive you might be able to support in the long term about 4 or 5 billion people. But you already have 7 billion. So we have to humanely and as rapidly as possible move to population shrinkage." More

 

UK's coldest spring since 1963 claims 5,000

very cold winter kills 5000+ in UKFreezing Britain's unusually harsh winter could have cost thousands of pensioners their lives.

This month is on track to be the coldest March for 50 years – and as the bitter Arctic conditions caused blackouts and traffic chaos yesterday, experts warned of an 'horrendous' death toll among the elderly. About 2,000 extra deaths were registered in just the first two weeks of March compared with the average for the same period over the past five years.

And for February, 3,057 extra deaths were registered in England and Wales compared with the five-year average for the month.

“Earthworms play an essential part in determining the greenhouse-gas balance of soils worldwide, and their influence is expected to grow over the next decades,’ reads the abstract. “They are thought to stimulate carbon sequestration in soil aggregates, but also to increase emissions of the main greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.” More

 

As Earthworms Are Blamed For “Global Warming”, Ecologists Suggest Killing Polar Bears

worms are destroying the earthThe world of global warming alarmists is increasingly resembling a madhouse, with conservationists falling over each other trying to salvage the last shreds of credibility. Very funny. What makes the situation hilarious, is the fact many eco-zealots inadvertently put out increasingly panicking publications that look more like satires than studies.

As the Daily Caller reported on in February of this year, a new foe has been appointed to “accelerate” global warming: earthworms.Yes, you’ve heard it right. Earthworms. Besides the fact that there is no global warming, and therefore the very premise is faulty, earthworms are now joining the growing list of evildoers who get the blame for global warming. The report states:

“Earthworms play an essential part in determining the greenhouse-gas balance of soils worldwide, and their influence is expected to grow over the next decades,’ reads the abstract. “They are thought to stimulate carbon sequestration in soil aggregates, but also to increase emissions of the main greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.” More

 

'Rapid' heat spike unlike anything in 11,000 years

pay the piper with heat from aboveA new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike.

Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century.

Scientists say it is further evidence that modern-day global warming isn't natural, but the result of rising carbon dioxide emissions that have rapidly grown since the Industrial Revolution began roughly 250 years ago.

The decade of 1900 to 1910 was one of the coolest in the past 11,300 years — cooler than 95 per cent of the other years, the marine fossil data suggest. Yet 100 years later, the decade of 2000 to 2010 was one of the warmest, said study lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University. Global thermometer records only go back to 1880, and those show the last decade was the hottest for this more recent time period. More

 

After studying Russian meteor blast, experts get set for the next asteroid

Russian meteoriteThe meteor that blew up over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk 11 days ago has provided a new focus for the effort to establish an international asteroid warning system, one of NASA's top experts on the issue says.

Lindley Johnson, the executive for the Near Earth Object Observation Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said that the Feb. 15 impact is certain to become "by far the best-documented meteor and meteorite in history" — but at the time, he and his colleagues could hardly believe it was happening.

"Our first reaction was, 'This can't be. ... This must be some test of a missile that's gone awry,'" Johnson told NBC News. More

 

High-flying bacteria spark interest in possible climate effects

Seemingly squeaky-clean clouds are made by filthy bacteria-laden airRavaged by arid winds and ultraviolet rays, some bacteria not only survive in the upper atmosphere but might affect weather and climate, according to a study published on 28 January in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In one of the first attempts to explore atmospheric microbiology at high altitude, researchers analysed air samples from a six-week hurricane-research mission by NASA in 2010. A total of 314 different types of bacteria were collected in air masses around 10 kilometres above the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the continental United States. Although the scientists trapped only a small amount of material, bacteria accounted for around 20% of all particles — biological and non-biological — a higher proportion than in the near-Earth atmosphere.

“I’m really, really surprised at the high bacterial density at these high altitudes,” says Ulrich Karlson, an environmental microbiologist at Aarhus University in Denmark, who was not involved in the study. “This is clearly a harsh environment.” More

 

Bucket Falls Midair From Military Aircraft, Damages Vehicles

bucket falls from skyA five-gallon bucket fell from a military aircraft Wednesday night and damaged vehicles in a Miramar auto repair shop, San Diego Fire Department officials said. The bucket crashed through the roof of Renegade Performance in the 6300 block of Marindustry Drive sometime between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday.

An RV and several vehicles were impacted by the pieces of the ceiling and bucket that shattered when the bucket fell through. The RV sustained the bulk of the damage.

The bucket accidentally fell from an MCAS-based MV2 Osprey at about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, said Lt. Tyler Balzer with MCAS Miramar. Balzer said the bucket was strapped down, but at some point it came loose and fell through the auto repair shop.

The bucket broke apart upon impact, spilling the cleaning solution. The bucket contained "non-toxic environmentally friendly" material, said San Diego Fire Department Battalion Chief Glen Holder. A HazMat team was called to the scene Thursday afternoon as a protocol measure. They have not yet determined if the material is toxic or not. More

 

Wall of sand hits Western Australia coast

the dust had been picked up on land in the Indian Ocean An enormous wall of dust has hit part of Australia as residents brace themselves for a tropical cyclone.

The stunning images of the wild dust storm were captured by tugboat works and aeroplane passengers near the town of Onslow in north-western Australia.

Local reports say the huge swathes of red sand and dust had been picked up by strong winds in the Indian Ocean before being dropped near the town.

The tsunami-like wave of sand could be seen travelling for miles and dwarfed ships out at sea.

Alto Biobio, a community about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Copahue, is under the heightened alert. The governor and emergency officials in Biobio province met Sunday afternoon to discuss possible scenarios, including establishing a plan in case a mass evacuation is deemed necessary. More

 

Red alert issued for volcano on Chile-Argentina border

Copahue volcano spews ashes in Caviahue, Argentina Chilean authorities on Sunday issued a red alert -- the most severe in their warning system -- that the Copahue Volcano, high in the Andes mountains on the border with Argentina, might be poised for a significant eruption.

In a statement, Chile's Geological and Mining Service stressed that no mandatory evacuations have been ordered around the remote volcano, which lies about 280 kilometers southeast (175 miles) of Concepcion, though the closest roads to it are in Argentina. Even though the seismic activity suggests a minor eruption, the agency decided to raise the alert level because it could not rule out a major eruption. The service warned specifically about potentially dangerous mudslides within a 15-kilometer (9.3-mile) radius of the crater.

Alto Biobio, a community about 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Copahue, is under the heightened alert. The governor and emergency officials in Biobio province met Sunday afternoon to discuss possible scenarios, including establishing a plan in case a mass evacuation is deemed necessary. More

 

Growing food in the desert: is this the solution to the world's food crisis?

On the vine … the blemish-free crop The scrubby desert outside Port Augusta, three hours from Adelaide, is not the kind of countryside you see in Australian tourist brochures. The backdrop to an area of coal-fired power stations, lead smelting and mining, the coastal landscape is spiked with saltbush that can live on a trickle of brackish seawater seeping up through the arid soil. Poisonous king brown snakes, redback spiders, the odd kangaroo and emu are seen occasionally, flies constantly. When the local landowners who graze a few sheep here get a chance to sell some of this crummy real estate they jump at it, even for bottom dollar, because the only real natural resource in these parts is sunshine.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that a group of young brains from Europe, Asia and north America, led by a 33-year-old German former Goldman Sachs banker but inspired by a London theatre lighting engineer of 62, have bought a sizeable lump of this unpromising outback territory and built on it an experimental greenhouse which holds the seemingly realistic promise of solving the world's food problems. More

 

Canadian government 'knew of plans to dump iron into the Pacific'

Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada As controversy mounts over the Guardian's revelations that an American businessman conducted a massive ocean fertilisation test, dumping around 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off Canada's coast, it has emerged the Canadian government may have known about the geoengineering scheme and not stopped it.

The news combined, with Canadian obstructionism in negotiations over geoengineering at a United Nations biodiversity meeting in Hyderabad, India, has angered international civil society groups, who have announced they are singling out Canada for a recognition of shame at the summit – the Dodo award for actions that harm biodiversity.

They are criticising Canada for being one of "four horsemen of geoengineering", joining Britain, Australia and New Zealand in opposing southern countries' efforts to beef up the existing moratorium on technological fixes for global warming. More

 

Fukushima Reactor 2 radiation too high for access

checking for radiation Radiation inside the reactor 2 containment vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has reached a lethal 73 sieverts per hour and any attempt to send robots in to accurately gauge the situation will require them to have greater resistance than currently available, experts said Wednesday.

Exposure to 73 sieverts for a minute would cause nausea and seven minutes would cause death within a month, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

The experts said the high radiation level is due to the shallow level of coolant water — 60 cm — in the containment vessel, which Tepco said in January was believed to be 4 meters deep. Tepco has only peeked inside the reactor 2 containment vessel. It has few clues as to the status of reactors 1 and 3, which also suffered meltdowns, because there is no access to their insides.

The utility said the radiation level in the reactor 2 containment vessel is too high for robots, endoscopes and other devices to function properly. Spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said it will be necessary to develop devices resistant to high radiation. More

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