Sunday 21 June 2015

The Dying Earth - headlines - 06/20/2015

An image of Whanganui taken by a resident.

Several states of emergency remain in force in the lower North Island after widespread flooding that's being called a huge disaster.

Rural roads near Whanganui could be closed for a month or more, while drinking water is being brought in to a small communtity in South Taranaki.

Hundreds of Whanganui people were forced to leave their homes last night and they are being told not to return under any circumstance.

The eastern part of the city remains isolated because bridges are unsafe

Flooding seen from Bastia Hill in Whanganui - photo by Adam Sinclair

Mumbai Braces for More Rain After Downpour Stalls Financial Hub

Downpours are again forecast for parts of Mumbai after the heaviest June rainfall in a decade on Friday stalled commuter trains and closed schools in India’s financial hub.

Mumbai received 15.6 centimeters (6.1 inches) of rain in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, the weather office said on its website. The storms stalled the city’s three major train lines that carry 8 million people daily before service was restored today, the Press Trust of India reported.

Cars and motorcycles floated in flooded streets, and taxis and other public transport shut down, television images showed. Authorities advised people to stay indoors, while navy and National Disaster Response Force personnel were put on standby, NDTV television station reported.

Karachi breaks 10-year record with 45 degrees scorching heat

Karachi faced its hottest day in a decade on Saturday with the temperature touching a 10-year record of 45 degrees Celsius, the meteorological department said.

A spokesman for the meteorological department said that the heat-wave is likely to continue on Sunday (June 21), which will be the longest day of the year.

The city is expected to receive rainfall on Monday and Tuesday, said Ghulam Rasool, the director-general of the meteorological department.

The highest ever recorded temperature in Karachi was 47.8 degrees Celsius, recorded in May, 1938.

Several Russian cities, including Moscow and Kursk, were partly flooded on Saturday. While streets turned into "rivers" as sewer systems failed to cope with the torrents of water, local authorities said that everything was "normal."

Bare Slopes Leave Chile Ski Resorts Feeling Like California

Valle Nevado

Santiago, which sits below the ski resorts, has seen just 1.2 centimeters of rain this year, 86 percent less than normal, and there is none forecast for at least another seven days. The situation gets more complicated for Valle Nevado and the other ski resorts in the Andes mountains by the capital in a week or so, when package tours start to arrive from countries such as Brazil.

People began skiing toward the end of May last year, with the resort officially opening June 14. This year there isn’t so much a shortage of snow, as a complete absence

18 June

The National Weather Service is warning of record heat in Southern Arizona for Friday and Saturday, with temperatures spiking as high as 10 degrees above normal. People and pets outdoors or without air conditioning will face an elevated risk of heat-related illness as the mercury climbs as high as 116 degrees.

An upper-level ridge of high pressure will bring dangerously high temperatures to the desert Southwest this weekend, NWS said. Daytime highs are expected to reach near-record levels. An excessive heat warning has been issued for locations below 4,000 feet, effective 11 a.m. Friday through 9 p.m. Saturday.
Several US states hit by early wildfire season

It's going from worse to worst each week in California.

Suffering in its third year of drought, more than 58 percent of the state is currently in "exceptional drought" stage, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map. That marks a huge jump from just seven days ago, when about 36 percent of the state was categorized that way.

Exceptional drought, the most extreme category, indicates widespread crop and pasture losses and shortages of water in reservoirs, streams and wells.

If the state continues on this path, there may have to be thoughts about moving people out, said Lynn Wilson, academic chair at Kaplan University and who serves on the climate change delegation in the United Nations.

"Civilizations in the past have had to migrate out of areas of drought," Wilson said. "We may have to migrate people out of California."

Wilson added that before that would happen, every option such as importing water to the state would likely occur— but "migration can't be taken off the table."

Warm river temperatures in Oregon trigger die-off of threatened salmon

Hundreds of spring Chinook salmon have been found dead in Oregon rivers over the past week, in a sign that abnormally high water temperatures are taking a toll on the threatened species, wildlife officials said on Friday.

Low snowpack linked to a historic drought has prevented icy-cold runoff from entering rivers as normal this year, according to federal hydrologists.

Temperatures in the Willamette River, a tributary of the Columbia River, have risen from 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 Celsius) to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 Celsius) over the past week, about 12 degrees F (6.5 Celsius) higher than it was the year prior, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Rick Swart said.

"Anything above 70 degrees, the fish are really stressed," Swart said.

Lack of snow of Ice in the Himalayas

Photo - Kevin Hester

From Kevin Hester

I have just come back from Nepal leaving 2 days before what I consider a climate change enhanced earthquake that killed thousands and destroyed monuments that have stood for centuries, some since the 13th century. This photo shows how little snow was in Nepal 7 weeks ago. The photo was shot at approximately 3500m with the snow line another 1000m higher. In NZ we still have glaciers 300m above sea level in the North Island reiterating Guy's contention that we could be one of the last habitable places on earth with i's attendant responsibilities and problems.”

Everest in the distance. We are about 3500m at this point, note the lack of snow and ice.

Following a four-year review, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will next month remove the eastern cougar from its list of endangered and threatened species — where it has been for the last 43 years.

The big cat, which once roamed North America from Canada to South Carolina, will no longer receive Endangered Species Act protections.

Having a moribund economy helps but fair play to the EU for making a start. Every bit slows down the 6th great extinction.


For the first time in forty years, the world’s C02 emissions have been held in check. Though they continue to rise in North America, China’s decreased for the first time in re

Ecuador is planning to auction off three million of the country’s 8.1 million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies, Jonathan Kaiman of The Guardian reports.

The report comes as oil pollution forced neighbouring Peru to declare an environmental state of emergency in its northern Amazon rainforest.

Ecuador owed China more than $7 billion — more than a tenth of its GDP — as of last summer.

In 2009 China began loaning Ecuador billions of dollars in exchange for oil shipments. It also helped fund two of the country’s biggest hydroelectric infrastructure projects, and China National Petroleum Corp may soon have a 30 per cent stake in a $10 billion oil refinery in Ecuador.

Climate change has caused Alaska’s glaciers to melt so quickly that a one-foot thick layer of water could completely cover the entire state of Alaska every seven years, according to a new study.

Alaskan glaciers have lost 75 billion metric tons of ice every year from 1994 through 2013, The Washington Post′s Chris Mooney reported from the study, which was recently accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. Mooney also reported that the Columbia Glacier (see GIF above) alone has been sending 4 billion metric tons of water into the oceans every year.

Alaska’s melting glaciers are “punching far above their weight” when it comes to contributing to sea level rise, CBS News‘s Michael Casey pointed out, referring to how Alaska only holds one percent of the Earth’s glacial ice volume, with most of the Earth’s ice found in Antarctica and Greenland’s ice sheets.

But as the authors of the new study explained, “Despite Greenland’s ice covered area being 20 times greater than that of Alaska, losses in Alaska were fully one third of the total loss from the ice sheet during 2005-2010.”.

Heavy downpours have swollen rivers in China's Hubei Province, sweeping away houses and forcing thousands to evacuate

Five people died and another four are still missing following torrential rains in central China's Hubei Province, according to the Chinese state agency Xinhua.

Scientists have found elevated levels of cancer-causing chemicals in the drinking water in North Texas’ Barnett Shale region — where a fracking boom has sprouted more than 20,000 oil and gas wells.

Researchers from the University of Texas, Arlington tested water samples from public and private wells collected over the past three years and found elevated levels of heavy metals, such as arsenic. Their findings, released Wednesday, showed elevated levels of 19 different chemicals including the so-called BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylenes) compounds.

The Heartland Institute got out ahead of the curve, publishing a piece titled Is The Global Left Counting on Pope to Split the Catholic Church Over Global Warming? back in May. Take a moment to ponder this:
Has the Left finally come out with a method that will destroy the power of the Church to cause further damage to an already weakened Church, having been busy for years preparing for this moment? Not to be forgotten is the unholy alliance of international communism with the jihadi Islamists.

According to the article, the Pope’s stance on global warming is part of a left-wing communist conspiracy to… do something. You can read the whole thing here.

Steve Milloy, co-founder of the conservative Free Enterprise Action Fund, offered up a plethora of shocked tweets, calling the pope a communist and saying climate change is not real.....

A talk describing my experience seeing climate change while working at Crater Lake and Everglades National Parks over the past 20 years.

Seeing climate change in our National Parks

Seasonal park ranger and climate change communicator Brian Ettling describes his experience seeing climate change while working at Crater Lake and Everglades National Parks. He gave this presentation at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Florissant, MO on April 26, 2015

Summer officially begins on Sunday in the northern hemisphere, but the wildfire season in the US is already well underway. Sparked largely by a drought in the west, several states have spared no efforts in battling ongoing wildfires.

Hawaii's honeybee population dropping

Honeybees are responsible for pollinating millions of dollars worth of crops in Hawaii. Should the bees vanish entirely, experts say it will have a huge impact on Hawaii's economy.

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