Yup- we did break the weather.

"The frequency of downpours and heat waves, as well as the power of hurricanes, has increased so dramatically that "100-year storms" are striking some areas once every 15 years, and other once rare events keep returning like a bad penny. As a result, some climatologists now say global warming is to blame.
... In a warmer world, air holds more water vapor, so when cloud conditions are right for that vapor to form droplets, more precipitation falls. Man-made climate change is also causing more droughts on top of those that occur naturally: attribution studies trace droughts such as that gripping the Southwest to higher sea-surface temperatures, especially in the Pacific.
...Hurricanes have become more powerful due to global warming. For every rise of 1 degree Celsius (most of it man-made) in surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, rainfall from a tropical storm increases 6 to 18 percent and wind speeds of the strongest hurricanes increase by up to 8 percent. As the new report acknowledged, "the strongest storms are becoming even stronger." Atmospheric conditions that bring severe thunderstorms (with hail two inches across and wind gusts of at least 70 miles an hour) and tornadoes with a force of F2 or greater have been on the rise since the 1970s, occurring about 8 percent more often every decade. Get used to it, and don't blame Mother Nature." LINK

Is this really something to be voted on in a poll? Really?

wildly inappropriate. wildly.

Fires in California could last for months.

"Lower-than-average rainfall and record levels of parched vegetation likely mean a long, fiery summer throughout Northern California, according to the Forest Service's state fire outlook released last week.
The fires burning now could take weeks or months to bring under full control, the report said.
Those blazes were mostly sparked by lightning storms that were unusually intense for so early in the season. But summer storms would probably be even fiercer, according to the Forest Service." LINK

Ok, We're so fucked. No ice at the north pole this year.

"It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.
Thepolar regions are experiencing the most dramatic increasein average temperatures due to global warming and scientists fear that as more sea iceis lost, the darker, open ocean will absorb more heat and raise local temperatures even further. Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, who was one of the first civilian scientists to sail underneath the Arctic sea ice in a Royal Navy submarine,said that the conditions are ripe for an unprecedented melting of the ice at the North Pole.
"Last year we saw huge areas of the ocean open up, which has never been experienced before. People are expecting this to continue this year and it is likely to extend over the North Pole. It is quite likely that the North Pole will be exposed this summer – it's not happened before," Professor Wadhams said." LINK

global warming to increase terrorism- really? we didn't know this?

"Global warming could destabilize "struggling and poor" countries around the world, prompting mass migrations and creating breeding grounds for terrorists, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council told Congress on Wednesday.
Climate change "will aggravate existing problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions," Thomas Fingar said. "All of this threatens the domestic stability of a number of African, Asian, Central American and Central Asian countries."
People are likely to flee destabilized countries, and some may turn to terrorism, he said.
"The conditions exacerbated by the effects of climate change could increase the pool of potential recruits into terrorist activity," he said.
"Economic refugees will perceive additional reasons to flee their homes because of harsher climates," Fingar predicted. That will put pressure on countries receiving refugees, many of which "will have neither the resources nor interest to host these climate migrants," he said in testimony to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming." LINK

Biofuel is leading to hunger for the poor of the world, what the hell is Barrack Obama thinking?

I don't think he's thinking this through. There's something seriously wrong with a Democrat when I'm thinking that McCain has a better grasp on an issue. I mean, what's so hard about "Let's not use food to run our cars, because those people are starving, and that would be evil?"

"Mr. Obama was in the midst of a campaign swing through the state where he would eventually register his first caucus victory. And as befits a senator from Illinois, the country’s second largest corn-producing state, he delivered a ringing endorsement of ethanol as an alternative fuel." LINK to NYT article about close relationships between Obama and biofuel industry.

"Mr. McCain advocates eliminating the multibillion-dollar annual government subsidies that domestic ethanol has long enjoyed. As a free trade advocate, he also opposes the 54-cent-a-gallon tariff that the United States slaps on imports of ethanol made from sugar cane, which packs more of an energy punch than corn-based ethanol and is cheaper to produce."

"The replacement of traditional fuels with biofuels has dragged more than 30 million people worldwide into poverty, an aid agency report says.
Oxfam says so-called green policies in developed countries are contributing to the world's soaring food prices, which hit the poor hardest.
The report's author, Oxfam's biofuel policy adviser Rob Bailey, criticised rich countries for using subsidies and tax breaks to encourage the use of food crops for alternative sources of energy like ethanol.
"If the fuel value for a crop exceeds its food value, then it will be used for fuel instead," he said.
"Rich countries... are making climate change worse, not better, they are stealing crops and land away from food production, and they are destroying millions of livelihoods in the process."
One UN adviser went as far as describing biofuels as a "crime against humanity". LINK

Exurbia, over?

"Suddenly, the economics of American suburban life are under assault as skyrocketing energy prices inflate the costs of reaching, heating and cooling homes on the outer edges of metropolitan areas.

As the realization takes hold that rising energy prices are less a momentary blip than a restructuring with lasting consequences, the high cost of fuel is threatening to slow the decades-old migration away from cities, while exacerbating the housing downturn by diminishing the appeal of larger homes set far from urban jobs.
In Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Minneapolis, homes beyond the urban core have been falling in value faster than those within, according to analysis by Moody's

Some now proclaim the unfolding demise of suburbia..." LINK

California's flora- headed out?

"Two thirds of California’s unique plants, some 2,300 species that grow nowhere else in the world, could be wiped out across much of their ranges by the end of the century due to rising temperatures and changing rainfall, according to a major new study.

Those plant species that cannot migrate fast enough to higher altitudes or cooler coastal areas could face extinction due to greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet, according to researchers.

California’s flora face a potential “collapse,” said David Ackerly, a plant ecologist at UC Berkeley, who was the senior author of the paper. “As the climate changes, many of these plants will have no place to go.”

Half of the plant species that are unique to the continental United States grow only in the Golden State, from towering redwoods to slender fire poppies. Under likely climate scenarios, many would have to shift as far as 93 miles from their current location — a difficult task given slow natural migration rates and obstacles presented by surburban sprawl." LINK

More Rhode Island goodness...

"It's the talk of town. A massive sinkhole shocked this community of West Warwick Monday night, nearly swallowing up a minivan with a couple inside.
The ground gave way to a hot spot right on Main Street in the Phoenix Square area. Paul Spera was driving the car, when the ground suddenly opened up before his eyes.
West Warwick town officials say a water main break caused the chaotic scene. People around town say all the digging in the community sparked the sink hole.
Kent County Water is now on a mission to replace most of the existing water lines that are nearly a century old. " LINK

Ridiculous weather in Rhode Island today.

Thunder, lightning, hail, flash floods. Horrible.
That's hail in the picture! I think that's Pawtucket.

"Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island were hit hard earlier this afternoon with severe thunderstorms, flash flooding and massive amounts of large hail." LINK

Jellyfish taking over the oceans.

"There are about six and a half billion of us on this planet, whereas a fluther of jellyfish (collective-noun aficionados also accept a "smack") measuring just 10 square miles to a depth of 11 metres that wiped out a Northern Ireland salmon farm last year was said by marine scientists to have contained "billions" of mauve stinger jellyfish.

...Traditionally, jellyfish plagues have only been a concern once every decade or so. Many are now blaming their increasing frequency on climate change.

...Back on shore, rats, slugs and snails, foxes, mosquitoes, wasps, cockroaches, rabbits and pigeons are already enjoying our warming climate. Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council said last year that complaints about rats had doubled in just 12 months and its chief rat catcher said climate change was partly to blame." LINK

Tuna fish, headed out?

"Urgent measures to save falling stocks of tuna in the world's second-biggest tuna fishery, the eastern Pacific, must be launched at a key international meeting this week, conservationists are demanding.
Closures of the fishery, both by area and by time, must be brought in to protect tumbling Pacific populations of skipjack and bigeye tuna, leading environmental groups warn.
..."Bigeye and yellowfin tuna populations are falling and the average size of captured fish is shrinking, a clear sign that those tuna are in dire need of conservation measures," the environmental groups say.
How to eat sustainably
Opportunities for consuming tuna in an environmentally friendly way are steadily diminishing. In the past the concern was for the "bycatch" species – that is, where other marine creatures such as dolphins were being accidentally caught. Accordingly, tuna could be certified as "dolphin-friendly". But now concern has moved on to the tuna itself. There is only one tuna fishery – the American Albacore Fishing Association in San Diego, California – which is certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Other fisheries are cause for concern, but the worst is thought to be the Mediterranean and Atlantic fishery for bluefin tuna, which conservationists consider to be close to collapse. Recently the World Wide Fund for Nature called for a boycott by retailers, restaurants and consumers of Mediterranean bluefin tuna so that the species might have a chance to recover before it is too late." LINK

Crikey. This sounds surprising and really unpleasant!

"Officials in a remote Baffin Island community said Saturday conditions appear to have stabilized after a flash flood looked as though it might wash the community away from underneath.

Heavy rain and unusually warm 13-degree temperatures produced rapid snow melt in the surrounding mountains and hills and led to a flood last weekend.
So much water blasted down the Duvall that it carved a 10-metre channel through the permafrost, right down to bedrock. It damaged both of the town's bridges sufficiently that a majority of the community's 1,600 residents were cut off from the water reservoir, sewage lagoon and garbage dump.
Fears of subterranean erosion were then raised as large cracks and sinkholes began to appear between the town and the river.
"More large cracks (were) appearing, more sinkholes,'' said Mongeau. "We had a telephone pole that literally, before our eyes, dropped 15 feet into the ground.''
With more rain and warm temperatures forecast, Mongeau is unsure whether the current stability will last.
"At this point they're stable; tomorrow, who knows,'' he said.

Private geo-tech companies should be on site shortly to use ground-penetrating radar to find out exactly what's stirring beneath their feet. Science professionals already studying the situation are dumbstruck by what's happening.
Although Mongeau stresses his opinion is not scientific, he believes the root cause of this occurrence, and many other in the eastern Arctic, is global warming. He said ice patterns have been shifting and locals are noticing the arrival of new species to the area, like capeline -- a small fish used to catch cod.
"Fishermen have been fishing these waters for 40 years and they've never seen one,'' he said. "We're pulling them out in large numbers right now.'' LINK

This is slaughter. Christ what a country. I feel sick.

"Pvt. David Dietrich had a history of cognitive problems. He struggled in boot camp at Fort Knox, Ky., striking at least one of his superiors as unfit for the military. Dietrich was so slow at processing new things, some fellow soldiers called him Forrest Gump.
...He was sent for psychological evaluations at least twice, yet somehow Dietrich advanced—from Fort Knox to Germany and on to Iraq in November 2006. Eight weeks later, at 21, Dietrich was killed by a sniper while conducting reconnaissance from an abandoned building in Ramadi.
...his superiors had serious misgivings about the troubled soldier. One of them says he worried that Dietrich would pose a danger to himself and others if he was sent to Iraq and pushed to have him processed out of the military—only to be rebuffed by higher-ups.
...Dietrich pined to be a Marine—his grandfather had been one—but failed the aptitude test. He then contacted an Army recruiter and said he wanted to serve as a base fireman, having been a volunteer in Marysville's fire department. Somehow, at the Army's enlistment office, Dietrich managed to pass the same standardized military-recruitment test he'd failed in the Marine office. When he showed up alone to sign his contract, he was offered a $19,000 bonus to be a scout and to ship out within weeks, according to Army records." LINK

Intense article about plastic marine debris.

"We still have limited tax dollars to spend and scarier nightmares to fear. No one — not Pallister, not Moore — will tell you that plastic pollution is the greatest man-made threat our oceans face. Depending whom you ask, that honor goes to global warming, agricultural runoff or overfishing. But unlike many pollutants, plastic has no natural source and therefore there is no doubt that we are to blame. Because we can see it, plastic is a powerful bellwether of our impact upon the earth. Where plastics travel, invisible pollutants — pesticides and fertilizers from lawns and farms, petrochemicals from roads, sewage tainted with pharmaceuticals — often follow. Last June, shortly before my voyage in the Opus began, Sylvia Earle, formerly N.O.A.A.’s chief scientist, delivered an impassioned speech on marine debris at the World Bank in Washington. “Trash is clogging the arteries of the planet,” Earle said. “We’re beginning to wake up to the fact that the planet is not infinitely resilient.” For ages humanity saw in the ocean a sublime grandeur suggestive of eternity. No longer. Surveying the debris on remote beaches like Gore Point, we see that the ocean is more finite than we’d thought. " LINK

Extreme weather unfolding exactly as predicted. No one can really claim to be surprised, here.

Good article- one poor guy was on his way to visit family in Cedar Rapids, and had to turn around to go back because his home was wiped out in a tornado. Damn, dude.

"Snowfall and ice storms have turned into rainfall, tornados and flooding, leading many in East Iowa to wonder what is next? Could the weather get worse?Extreme weather has become so common that if people haven’t been affected themselves, almost everyone knows someone who has.

Snowfall and ice storms have turned into rainfall, tornados and flooding, leading many in East Iowa to wonder what is next? Could the weather get worse?Extreme weather has become so common that if people haven’t been affected themselves, almost everyone knows someone who has.

...According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there was only a 0.2 percent probability of flooding of the magnitude seen in Cedar Rapids. The National Weather Service described it as an historic event with water levels never before seen.

“There is no question now that the climate is changing on a global scale,” said Gene Takle, an Iowa State University professor of geological and atmospheric sciences. “The evidence is so overwhelming.”

“If the climate is changing, you can’t stop it over the next 50 years,” Takle said. “What’s coming is coming and we better be prepared to adjust to it.” LINK

Ok, someone forgot to take their happy pills today. I can't believe this is an AP article!

"Everything seemingly is spinning out of control
By ALAN FRAM and EILEEN PUTMAN Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON—Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. Polar bears are adrift. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. Wars without end rage in Iraq, Afghanistan and against terrorism.
...Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone.
Americans need do no more than check the weather, look in their wallets or turn on the news for their daily reality check on a world gone haywire.
Floods engulf Midwestern river towns. Is it global warming, the gradual degradation of a planet's weather that man seems powerless to stop or just a freakish late-spring deluge?
It hardly matters to those in the path. Just ask the people of New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina. They are living in a city where, 1,000 days after the storm, entire neighborhoods remain abandoned, a national embarrassment that evokes disbelief from visitors.
Food is becoming scarcer and more expensive on a worldwide scale, due to increased consumption in growing countries such as China and India and rising fuel costs. That can-do solution to energy needs—turning corn into fuel—is sapping fields of plenty once devoted to crops that people need to eat. Shortages have sparked riots. In the U.S., rice prices tripled and some stores rationed the staple.
Residents of the nation's capital and its suburbs repeatedly lose power for extended periods as mere thunderstorms rumble through. In California, leaders warn people to use less water in the unrelenting drought. " LINK

Midwest flooding still going strong, worse than predicted, California baking in the heat.

"Amid the battle to hold back the swollen Mississippi River, some towns in northeastern Missouri and Illinois got an unwelcome surprise Saturday as river levels rose higher than projected.
National Weather Service meteorologist Ben Miller speculated that forecast models simply had been unable to account for the amount of water flowing into the Mississippi from the three rivers that saw major flooding in Iowa - the Cedar, Iowa and Des Moines rivers.
"Honestly, the models didn't do well with it because it was so far out of the range of normal," Miller said." LINK

And out on the West coast,

"On the second official day of summer and the fourth consecutive day of the heat wave, hundreds of thousands of Angelenos flocked to city pools and beaches as temperatures rose to triple digits in many areas.
...The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had 50 crews working to restore power to about 4,000 customers in North Hollywood, Canoga Park, Reseda, Northridge and other areas.
..."This is a combination of extreme heat and, consequently, extraordinary demands for energy and a strain on our system," Ramallo said. Officials urged people to avoid running major appliances in the afternoon, when energy demand is highest, and to keep thermostats at 78 degrees." LINK

And more wildfires, too!
"Wildfires were scattered around Northern California on Sunday, many of them started by lightning, as crews farther south were close to containing a blaze that had forced thousands to evacuate." LINK

Iowa- how much is nature and how much is man?

""I sense that the flooding is not the result of a 500-year event," said Jerry DeWitt, director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. "We're farming closer to creeks, farming closer to rivers. Without adequate buffer strips, the water moves rapidly from the field directly to the surface water."
Corn alone will cover more than a third of the state's land surface this year. The ethanol boom that began two years ago encouraged still more cultivation.
Between 2007 and 2008, farmers took 106,000 acres of Iowa land out of the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to keep farmland uncultivated, according to Lyle Asell, a special assistant for agriculture and environment with the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). That land, if left untouched, probably would have been covered with perennial grasses with deep roots that help absorb water.
The basic hydrology of Iowa has been changed since the coming of the plow. By the early 20th century, farmers had installed drainage pipes under the surface to lower the water table and keep water from pooling in what otherwise could be valuable farmland. More of this drainage "tiling" has been added in recent years. The direct effect is that water moves quickly from the farmland to the streams and rivers.
"We've lost 90 percent of our wetlands," said Mary Skopec, who monitors water quality for the Iowa DNR. " LINK

Hm... West Nile mosquito spray killing lobsters?

Oh, man. This end of the world stuff can be really depressing sometimes.
Climate change is bringing tropical diseases (such as West Nile Disease) to non-tropical places (like Rhode Island) where these diseases kill people. So local governments have been laying down mosquito killing poisons to try to save people's lives, but...
"lobstermen believe the methoprene is stunting the growth of young lobsters, much as it does to mosquito larva.
Emotions are rising on both sides. Lobstermen have seen their catches fall by more than half in the last several years, causing nearly every one of them to lose money and some to quit and sell their boats. On the state’s side, no one wants to have to say they didn’t do everything they could to protect Rhode Islanders from disease.
“We figure there won’t be a lobster industry in a short time if this keeps up,” said Dellinger. “All the state wants to do is control us, but you can’t keep polluting the environment and still get fish.”
Local lobster catches topped off in 1999 with about 3,500 tons. Each of the following years got progressively worse. In 2005, the last year with complete figures, the take was less than 1,500 tons.
In response, the lobstermen have greatly reduced the number of traps they set and accepted one new size restriction after another designed to leave lobsters in the water longer so they can successfully reproduce.
Still, the catch remains low. And many lobsters, particularly those caught close to shore, are coming up with a disfiguring, and still unexplained, shell disease.
What they are not seeing is even more disturbing — young lobsters. " LINK

Gah! England under slug attack!

"Gardeners have been warned to expect an epidemic of slugs over the next few months.
The wet and mild weather throughout spring has made perfect conditions to create 'the stuff of nightmares' for gardeners.

Experts claim there could be up to 200 slugs per cubic metre of soil, four times the usual amount, with each capable of eating double their weight in plants each day. " LINK

Flooding in New Orleans, too- 3-5 inches of rain fell in just an hour and a half.

"Storms that have dumped heavy rain and caused widespread street flooding across the metro area this morning are starting to move out of the worst-affected areas, the National Weather Service reports.
Radar indicated that 3 to 5 inches of rain fell this morning in an hour and a half over much of New Orleans. As much as 1 to 3 inches more is possible. About 3 to 6 inches of rain has fallen in Jefferson Parish, including Metairie, Harahan, Old Jefferson, Bridge City and Avondale.
Several feet of water filled streets in parts of Uptown and Central City, stalling smaller cars and covering sidewalks. Louisiana State Police are en route to close Airline Drive and Clearview Parkway, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office." LINK

Damn, this makes Iowa look dry...

"Heavy rains that hit southern and eastern China have left at least 62 people dead or missing, while over one million residents have been evacuated, the government and state media said Sunday.
More than 1.27 million people have been evacuated in the hardest hit regions, with large swathes of farm land submerged and economic losses already amounting to over 10 billion yuan (145 million dollars), it said.
In parts of Guangdong, up to 415 millimetres (16.6 inches) of rain fell in a 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday, the report said, while the freakish weather dumped up to 451 millimetres in parts of neighboring Fujian province. " LINK

Alaska salmon, headed out?

"With a sickening thud, another hefty and handsome salmon lands in the waste barrel, headed for the dogs.
More Alaskan salmon caught here end up in the dog pot these days, their orange-pink flesh fouled by disease that scientists have correlated with warmer water in the Yukon River.
The sorting of winners and losers at Moore's riverbank fish camp illustrates what scientists have been predicting will accompany global warming: Cold-temperature barriers are giving way, allowing parasites, bacteria and other disease-spreading organisms to move toward higher latitudes.
"Climate change isn't going to increase infectious diseases but change the disease landscape," said marine ecologist Kevin D. Lafferty, who studies parasites for the U.S. Geological Survey. "And some of these surprises are not going to be pretty."
Mary Ruckelshaus, a federal biologist with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, has been running climate models to peer into the future for Pacific Northwest salmon. Those models predict that salmon will become extinct without aggressive efforts to preserve the clear, cool streams needed for spawning, such as planting trees to shade streams and curtailing the amount of water siphoned off by farmers."It's sort of a time bomb," Ruckelshaus said. "If people don't have a plan for it, it can be disastrous when it hits." Her models didn't factor in the potential for emerging diseases, such as the one that Kocan, her former professor, has been studying."
It's the kind of redistribution of disease that can be expected with climate change, Kocan said: "Everything is getting warmer, and that's how climate change is going to redistribute all kinds of disease. Parasites have their optimum conditions -- upper and lower limits. We'll notice where they show up but not necessarily where they disappear."" LINK

Nasty fish disease in Lake Michigan

"The deadly fish disease Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) has been found in yellow perch in the Lake Michigan waters off Milwaukee. The finding comes a week after VHS was detected in round gobies found dead on beaches in South Milwaukee, the first such finding in southern Lake Michigan. " LINK

So awfully familiar

Cedar Rapids

New Orleans

6.9 earthquake in Northern Japan.

"TOKYO - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 struck northern Japan on Saturday, NHK television reported."

Sharks, headed out?

"Some shark populations in the Mediterranean Sea have completely collapsed, according to a new study, with numbers of five species declining by more than 96 percent over the past two centuries.
...Particularly troubling, the researchers said, were patterns indicating a lack of females of breeding age, which are essential if populations are to recover even with new conservation measures.
Sharks take years to reach sexual maturity and, unlike most other fishes, produce small numbers of young, making them particularly vulnerable to overfishing. Populations have declined worldwide, but experts say the Mediterranean — bordered by many countries with diverse rules and fished intensively for centuries — has had bigger losses of sharks and other large predatory fish, including tuna." LINK

No gas for you. Tanker driver's strike already messing up the UK.

"Petrol pumps began running dry within hours of the start of the tanker drivers' strike yesterday.
'Sold out' signs appeared at garages as motorists ignored the Government's plea not to panic buy.

People attempting to fill up in more remote areas suffered the worst shortages yesterday but even in London there were garages that sold out.
Experts said up to 1,000 petrol stations could be left without fuel by next week, pushing the price of diesel past the £6-a-gallon mark. " LINK

Surfing in Cornwall, headed out?

"It is Britain's answer to the Hawaiian North Shore: an expansive golden beach with strong hollow waves that has been the British surfer's paradise since the 1970s. But now Newquay's famous Fistral Beach faces a crisis: it is losing its sand.
A season of vicious storms has left the usually well-covered seabed sparse and dotted with dangerously exposed rocks.
The main theory as to why so much of the sand has been swept off the beach is a change in the winter wind. "The prevailing wind in Cornwall is normally a south-westerly", said Mr Benney, "but this winter we've had a lot of north-westerlies, and environmentalists think that is having an effect on the sand."" LINK

Coal train ambushed by environmental protestors...

I'm not sure if this is the most effective thing to do, but it does sound energetic, and kind of sweetly idealistic, what with the hiding in cow parsley and all...
"Climate change campaigners halted a coal train yesterday outside Drax, Britain's biggest power station, and shovelled its contents on to the only line into the plant.
More than 20 tonnes of coal blocked the tracks as protesters strung ropes between the train and the girders of a river bridge as police watched from a distance. More than 30 protesters swarmed aboard the 21-wagon freight service. Hidden in banks of cow parsley beside the line to Drax, North Yorkshire they struck at 8am after watching two empty trains arrive to collect ash in the previous two hours." LINK

And none shall enter Paradise.

"All roads into the town of Paradise were closed late Thursday evening because of an 8,000-acre wildfire that's forced hundreds of people from their homes.

This is the latest among several fires this week fueled by extreme north winds, heat and low humidity. Dozens of homes and other structures have burned this week in Northern California, with the other big fires located in the Butte County town of Palermo, in Stockton and in eastern Sacramento County." LINK

Last century for our civilization?

Looks like this will be some must-see TV.
"Are we living in the last century of our civilization? Is it possible that all of our technology, knowledge and wealth cannot save us from ourselves? Could our society actually be heading towards collapse?
According to many of the world's top scientists, the answer is yes, unless we take action now.
This September, in Earth 2100, a dramatic ABC News 2-hour broadcast, the greatest minds across the globe will join together in a countdown to the year 2100 to tell us what we must do to survive the next century … And what may happen if we don't.
Experts say that extreme changes in climate, combined with dwindling resources, famine, war and disease have the potential to create a post-apocalyptic world in less than a hundred years. Harvard University and Woods Hole climatologist John Holdrens says we cannot continue going down the same path.
"If we continue on business as usual, we are going to see more floods, more droughts, more heat waves, more wildfires, more ice melting, faster sea level rise," Holdren said.
"We really have less than a decade to start getting this right. If we're still dragging our feet in 2015 I think it really becomes at that point almost impossible for the world to avert a degree of climate change that we simply will not be able to manage without intolerable cost and consequences." LINK

So. Much. Faster.


"Rapid Arctic sea ice loss could triple the rate of warming over northern Alaska, Canada and Russia and trigger permafrost thawing that unleashes extremely potent greenhouse gases, according to a new study.

Our study suggests that, if sea ice continues to contract rapidly over the next several years, Arctic land warming and permafrost thaw are likely to accelerate," lead author David Lawrence of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said in a statement.

Arctic sea ice extent shrank to a record low last summer, more than 30 percent below average, while air temperatures over land in the western Arctic were unusually warm from August to October — reaching more than 4 degrees F above average.
Researchers used a climate model to study whether the two events were related, and found that when sea ice melts quickly, the rate of Arctic land warming is 3.5 times greater than the average 21st century warming rates predicted in climate models. "LINK

Cedar Rapids, Iowa - levees broke, town is flooded, power is out. No freaking way.

It looks so sadly familiar...

"Rescuers had to use boats to reach many stranded residents in the city of 120,000, and people could be seen dragging suitcases up closed highway exit ramps to escape the water. It wasn't clear just how high the river had risen because a flood gauge was swept away by the swirling water.

..."We are seeing a historic hydrological event taking place with unprecedented river levels occurring," added Brian Pierce, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Davenport. "We're in uncharted territory — this is an event beyond what anybody could even imagine."
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said storm and water damage to infrastructure will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, as dozens of bridges have been damaged or destroyed. Nine rivers were at or near record levels, he said.

Cedar Rapids' power was out for most of downtown, complicating rescue efforts, city spokesman Dave Koch told NBC News.
The new evacuations follow a 150-foot breach in an earthen levee early Thursday.

A tornado in the western part of Iowa late Wednesday killed four Boy Scouts and injured dozens.
"This has been a remarkable onslaught of weather — everything from flooding, unbelievable rain and of course tornadoes — all descending at once," Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff told reporters near the scout camp.

"This is major flooding," weather service hydrologist Karl Sieczynski said of the Mississippi.
Meteorologist Bill Karins of NBC's WeatherPlus added: "We are in the middle of a historic flood event in the Upper Mississippi Valley. Most major Iowa rivers are cresting at all-time record levels and this water will soon raise the Mississippi River to its second highest levels in recorded history north of St. Louis.
"The Mississippi River predictions for Burlington, Iowa, call for the crest to be a one in 100-200 year flood, second only to the Great Flood of 1993, which was considered a 500-year flood event," he said. "On the consumer side, thousands upon thousands of acres of farmland will be flooded for weeks with incredible crop losses." " LINK

I loathe everyone in this article. Sometimes I really can't stand the NYT.

REVIEWING her wardrobe earlier this season, Elizabeth Marvin had a moment of reckoning. “How did this closet become so massively overstuffed?” she mused, disconcerted by the sight of so many Marni jackets, Chloé bags and Jimmy Choo shoes jostling for space on the racks. “From my green perspective, part of me feels guilty about being such a major consumer.”
But Ms. Marvin, the New York sales director for the National Audubon Society and a self-described “major environmentalist,” felt neither so guilty nor so strapped that she planned to stop shopping cold turkey. “Instead of buying that Chloé jacket that I want right now,” she said, “I’m much happier purchasing something at a consignment store that is much less.”

Unbelievable lawsuit going on- wow.

"A group of real estate developers and property owners in La Manga del Mar Menor - a spit of sandy, low-lying coastal land and Murcia's premier beach resort - are threatening to take Greenpeace to court over its graphic predictions of what global warming may do to the area, which they say have caused house prices to plummet.
The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs plan to present unless Greenpeace agrees to an out of court settlement of almost EUR 30 million in damages, comes more than six months after La Manga featured prominently in a photo book published by the environmental organisation that was intended to shock Spain into action on climate change.
Greenpeace says the book is a graphic portrayal of the conclusions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has predicted that global warming will cause sea levels to rise around the world over the coming decades.
"We want to create alarm and a call to action," Juan López de Uralde, Greenpeace's director in Spain, said when the book was published.
" It has sunk the real estate market: no one is buying and everyone has put their apartments up for sale," Abad claims.He says his clients are seeking EUR 27 million in damages to cover the decrease in the value of their properties." LINK

Crumbling infrastructure!!!

"Big-city mayors told Congress on Thursday that they are overwhelmed by the infrastructure needs of their regions and cannot maintain well-functioning water systems, roads and rail networks without more federal help...

The issue of the country's deteriorating transportation systems came under scrutiny last year with the collapse of a bridge in Minnesota that killed 13 people. Although experts believe that a poor design led to that collapse, the mayors sounded an alarm about decay throughout the system and its long-term effects on the U.S economy.

The American Society of Engineers estimates that bringing the nation's transportation and resources networks up to a properly functional level would require $1.6 trillion and five years of work. Still, the mayors say, even that wouldn't accommodate the new strains placed on roads in coming years." LINK

Fears of grain crops failing, exacerbating food crisis.

"In a year when global harvests need to be excellent to ease the threat of pervasive food shortages, evidence is mounting that they will be average at best. Some farmers are starting to fear disaster.

American corn and soybean farmers are suffering from too much rain, while Australian wheat farmers have been plagued by drought.

“The planting has gotten off to a poor start,” said Bill Nelson, a Wachovia grains analyst. “The anxiety level is increasing.” LINK


Dolphin tragedy in Cornwall. Dolphin tragedy in Madagascar. So long and thanks for all the fish...

"For this was the day the dolphins came to die. From the moment they headed up a tidal estuary from the deep waters of the south Cornish coast, they were virtually doomed.
Yet for several hours they kept coming. Wave after wave of them made the fateful journey along the receding waters of the Percuil River and surrounding creeks near Falmouth on Sunday night - either in pursuit of food, it is thought, or in response to the call of the dying.
The result was one of the most horrific scenes to confront coastguards and animal rescue groups for years - the worst mass stranding in nearly three decades. At least 21 dolphins died and several were in such poor condition they had to be put down. " LINK

"Some 55 dolphins have died, after coming ashore on a beach in the northwest of Madagascar, conservationists said on Monday." LINK

Storms still shredding the Midwest.

"Flooding worsened across the Midwest on Monday, with several homes being washed away in Wisconsin when water from a swollen lake spilled over a dam and soldiers helping residents sandbag as rivers rose fast in Indiana and Iowa.

In Wisconsin, water spilled over the dam at Lake Delton, taking out a road as it created a channel that washed three large homes into the Wisconsin River. Two other homes were damaged. No one was hurt as the area had been evacuated earlier.
Ten deaths had been blamed on stormy weekend weather, most in the Midwest.
In Indiana, President Bush late Sunday declared a major disaster in 29 counties after up to 10 inches of rain caused record flooding along already swollen rivers. "Flood water levels are greater in some locations than they were during the great Indiana flood of 1913," the U.S. Geological Survey reported, and "more heavy rainfall is predicted for tonight." " LINK

Just in time for people to flock to the beaches...

The heat wave is breaking records, but scope out the water before you dive in at the beach! "Hundreds of Providence city workers were sent home for the day with pay Monday because of the excessive heat. " link

"Two Separate Great White Shark Sightings Reported Near Martha's Vinyard

But no one should run screaming from the water yet, according to a state expert who studies sharks.
Despite the cultural fear of sharks, often attributed to the movie "Jaws," it is not unusual to see the species off the Cape and Islands, said Greg Skomal, a fisheries biologist who specializes in studying sharks for the state Division of Marine Fisheries.
"There are great whites off the coast of New England, although the species is relatively rare," he said.
"I did not observe the animal or animals myself, but the two people who reported them are experienced, credible sources."
The accounts by Capt. Buddy Vanderhoop of Aquinnah and Capt. Scott McDowell of Chilmark are similar. Both described an animal around 15 feet long and wide in girth." Link

Caribbean monk seal- gone.

"After five years of futile efforts to find or confirm sightings of any Caribbean monk seals — even just one — the U.S. government on Friday announced that the species is officially extinct and the only seal to vanish due to human causes." LINK

Feeling extra DOOMED!

Well, the market tanked, oil spiked, ridiculous numbers of tornadoes are erasing whole towns in the midwest, and worst of all (ok, for me!) - it is going to get stupidly hot. In June.

"That once glorious sunshine will scorch, burn, and become unbearable. The sweet smell of blooming flowers will be lost in breezes that are soupy and stifling. Air conditioners will be lugged out of basements even though snow shoveling is still a fresh memory.
Spring is expected to come to an abrupt end this weekend as temperatures top 90 degrees in Boston on Saturday, igniting what may be the year’s first three-day heat wave. In Western Massachusetts the mercury may creep up near triple digits.
"Normally we don't see these temperatures until late July or early August," said Charlie Foley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton. "We will be just a touch away from real tropical, sultry, New Orleans-style weather." LINK

Southern Spain turning to desert...

"Swaths of southeast Spain are steadily turning into desert, a process spurred on by global warming and poorly planned development.

...This year, farmers are fighting developers over water rights. They are fighting one another over who gets to water their crops. And in a sign of their mounting desperation, they are buying and selling water like gold on a rapidly growing black market, mostly from illegal wells.

Southern Spain has long been plagued by cyclical droughts, but the current crisis, scientists say, probably reflects a more permanent climate change brought on by global warming. And it is a harbinger of a new kind of conflict.

The battles of yesterday were fought over land, they warn. Those of the present center on oil. But those of the future — a future made hotter and drier by climate change in much of the world — seem likely to focus on water, they say." LINK

Americans acting like Swedes? What?

Interesting article about the likely coming of $200 a barrel oil...
"Suddenly, Americans are acting differently; if not exactly like Swedes, then not quite like themselves, either....
Now many (though not all) serious people take $200 oil—and the prospect of another '70s-style oil shock—seriously. Goldman Sachs warned that the $200 barrier could be hit within the next six to 24 months.
That's way too fast for comfort (or should be) even for those who welcome high gas prices as a way to induce energy conservation and fight global warming. Already skyrocketing oil prices are causing real pain for ordinary people, threatening global economic growth, and reviving the specter of inflation." LINK

Swallows dying, reason unknown.

"The recent deaths of nearly 100 cliff swallows near the public dock at Lower Otay Lake – plus five deaths reported yesterday at El Capitan Reservoir – have created a stink and prompted an investigation by the county veterinarian.
“I wouldn't say this is normal to see a colony like that experience such a high number of losses,” said Nikos Gurfield, the county vet.
Gurfield is looking for West Nile virus and avian influenza, two diseases that have captured a lot of attention in recent years, as well as lesser-known possibilities. He said the deaths may be related to a lack of food for the birds, and he's asking for a review from pesticide experts. " LINK