11th June - Today's News

Another wet day in parts of Britain yesterday. I recorded a total of 20.5mm of rain - which compares with an average for the whole of June of around 55mm. I'd already had over 55mm last weekend ..... so looking like a wet month round these parts!

The rain resulted in some problems with flash floods in Sheffield - thankfully not anything like so bad as June 2007 though - and in Wales. I doubt we've seen the end of the rain either.

So why is it always so wet this time of year? Well partly it's down to what some call the European Monsoon - though recent years have been somewhat worse across Britain than usual due to the jet stream maintaining a more southerly track though much of the summer. Whether it finally shifts north to give us a heatwave later in July or August remains to be seen, though my inkling is that August will be a bit warmer, drier and sunnier than last year.

Still, not as bad as in China which has been lashed by a deadly flood season that's left at least 16 people dead so far.

In India the news is bad for a different reason as there seems indications that their Monsoon looks subdued.

Japan sets 'weak' climate target - but at least it's slightly realistic. I guess the "greenies" would rather they announced an 80% cut? And then conveniently ignore the obvious question: how? After all, the target doesn't need to be met till 2020 so not our problem, is it ...... I've never understood this idea of targets anyway. Surely if you want to cut carbon emissions (and there are good reasons for doing so regardless of their impact on global warming - yesterday's news about acidification of the oceans being just another example) the best target is "as much as we can". It might be 1% it might be 99%. Anything is better than nothing. Targets are just there to be missed. And when you see you;re going to miss your target by a lot, you stop worrying about trying to reach it at all. Daft. But that's humans for you - not an ounce of common sense between the whole 6,780,000,000 of them.

One way to reduce carbon emissions is to generate energy from wind farms instead of coal and gas. Except there may be a problem arising: research suggests winds are dying down! This despite posters on the abovetopsecret conspiracy forum maintaining there's been more wind this year and of course it's all a plot ......

In Australia, towns razed by the horrific fires on Black Saturday have seen snowfall this week - a bitter sweet gift: making it looking pretty today but ensuring more of a mess to clear up when it melts in with the soot.

An interesting new study suggests a possiblity that Typhoons trigger earthquakes on Taiwan - I wonder whether in addition to changes in air proessure, increased precipitation may also be a factor? As suggested in a study published last year: heavy rain can trigger earthquakes? Perhaps the authors of these 2 papers might like to get together over a cup of tea some time?

Finally, problems for the Martians - they may only have a few billion years of solar system life left before Mercury gives them the boot! Just don't tell fans of Velikovsky!

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