JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Around the world seismic measurements were quieter during lockdown

Something that marks how strange times are, was that in March and April, a group of seismologists found seismic activity fell by 50% at 185 stations around the world (at least in certain high frequency bands from 4 – 14 Hz). For example the three graphs below show seismic activity in Brussels, Barbados and New Zealand. A slight downturn happens at Christmas but the lockdown period fell far below that.

For the first time seismologists could identify small quake signals they had missed before.

Co-author Dr Stephen Hicks, from Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, said: “This quiet period is likely the longest and largest dampening of human-caused seismic noise since we started monitoring the Earth in detail using vast monitoring networks of seismometers.

Who knows what they might figure out now they have a handle on human background “noise”.

(B) Lockdown effects in hiFSAN compared with audible environmental noise and independent mobility data in Brussels, Belgium. (C) Lockdown effect in Barbados compared to noise levels in the last decade (in gray) and correlation with local flight data at the Grantley Adams International Airport (TBPB) (24). (D) Lockdown noise reduction recorded on borehole seismometers in [...]

Stop the press: Solar panels could stop Earthquakes

Experts predict a warmer world will be “geologically turbulent”. Join the dots, get a solar panel, and stop the world cracking up ok?

Below one national news outlet speculates about the effects storms, melting ice and floods have on crustal plates, and fault lines. It’s possible, unknown, or at least not-entirely-ruled-out that man-made CO2 could maybe theoretically lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. The story contains stacked “ifs”, “buts”, “coulds” and caveats, plus some links that are not-statistically-significant and several “unknowns”.

This is essentially one-sided scientific rumour mongering. Quick let’s transform our economy.

h/t Andrew V

This is what our future looks like if climate change goes unchecked

Jamie Seidel

… experts predict a warmer and more geologically turbulent future for the planet.

The US Geological Survey has discovered there is one link between weather and earthquake.

Just one link?

Major storms, such as cyclones and hurricanes, can produce substantial changes in atmospheric pressure. This sometimes triggers a ‘slow earthquake’ – a slow but steady movement that does not create any noticeable jolt.

“They note that while such large low-pressure changes could potentially be a contributor to [...]

1970s Spock documentary — Climate scientists believe the next ice age may have already started

Watch Spock in the 1970s describing how climate scientists were predicting a mile high wall of ice that could cover Canada down to Boston “in your lifetime”, and it may already have started. Commenter Bulldust found Gary Orsum’s droll commentary on that documentary. Great stuff.

Best part begins from 5:45 mins on:

In 1977 the worst winter in a century struck the United States… one desperate night in Buffalo, eight people froze to death…

the brutal Buffalo winter might become common all over the United States. Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way.

Temperatures have been dropping for thirty years…

With 40 years headstart on climate scares, Orsum has all the answers.

Leonard Nimoy: Arctic cold and perpetual snow could turn most of the inhabitable portions of our planet into an Arctic wasteland.

Sure says Orsum, but there are ways to allieviate that threat even with your primitive caveman technology, just get the kids to take Fridays off school.

The opening five minutes explaining how he’s not a denier though he keeps being called one. Readers here have lived that landscape already. Just say “lukewarmer” and [...]

Glaciers on the move: Two minutes of extreme climate change on Swiss Alps, Italian beaches

The next ice coming to Europe might look something like the last ice age shown in this simulation. A time when Venice will be top of a long paddock that stretches to Albania.

In school children are taught to hyperventilate about the last 30m retreat of glaciers that never stayed put ever.

Instead, they could be studying this… (click to start)

At the 24,000 year BC point glaciers have wiped out Zurich, Bern, Geneva.

Image the effect on people if this were shown everytime a Swiss Alps disaster story was run?

OK, so it is a model

Advance and retreat of the Alpine glaciers during the last glacial cycle from Julien Seguinot on Vimeo.

About 25000 years ago, Alpine Glaciers filled most of the valleys and even extended onto the plains. Using a computer model that contains knowledge on glacier physics based on modern observations of Greenland and Antarctica and laboratory experiments on ice, help from traces left by glaciers on the landscape, and one of the fastest computers in the world, this animation is an attempt to reconstruct of the evolution of Alpine Glaciers in time from 120000 years ago to today.

Meanwhile, WWF [...]

Scottish summers not doing anything they haven’t done for 800 years already

Gotta love a long unbroken proxy.

Scientists looked at 44 pines sites across the Scottish Highlands and used their tree rings to create a continuous temperature series for the last 810 years. Showing admirable restraint, they did not paste on adjusted thermometer records to create a hockey stick effect. Instead we can see that Scottish summers were just as warm in the 1300s, the 1280s and around 1500 as well.

The rate of warming is not unprecedented. The temperature is not unusual. But thermometers don’t tell the same story as the tree rings in the last 50 years. They both can’t be right. Either the tree rings are always unreliable thermometers or the thermometers are placed near ice cream trucks and adjusted up-the-kazoo?

Thanks to CO2Science:

Rydval et al. extended “the previously published Scottish dendroclimatic record (Hughes et al., 1984) by nearly 500 years,” in order to create an 810-year-long proxy over the period AD 1200-2010. The reconstruction was derived from a network of 44 Scots pine (Pinus Sylvestris) sites across the Scottish Highlands from both living and subfossil samples that correlated well with summer (July-August) temperatures.

In placing the most recent warming of the instrumental [...]

Now that was “climate change” 8200 years ago — California lashed by 150 years of storms

Don’t tell me that cold is nice and the climate was ever ideal

A few scientists thought that the climate was stable and well behaved during the Holocene until we invented coal power and the Ford Model T and everything fell apart “unprecedentedly”.

But 8200 years ago things apparently got pretty wild. See the GISP graph below where there was a three degree fall in temperatures suddenly (circled in red below). A new study found that at the same time China and California also cooled. Strangely, this cooling effect probably did not produce calm, happy days for the Californians at the time. Instead it looks like they got 150 years of intense winter storms and a lot of wet weather.

UPDATE: This graph shows the ice-core data up until 1855. The last 150 years (1705 to 1855) are highlighted in red to show the warming as the Earth began coming out of the LIA. Obviously that red line would continue up further if it was drawn to the present.

Looks like real climate change….

The reason for the sudden snap is possibly that a couple of massive glacial lakes in North East America collapsed and suddenly drained out [...]