15th June - Today's News

My brother and his family were over here from Brisbane at Christmas and Courtney & Nicole loved the cold frosty weather we had, so no doubt they're also enjoying the cool weather at home now as a big frost chills southern Queensland - though it's not quite as cold as it was when they were in England.

Another month, another report on the Greenland ice sheet and sea level rises. I don't think any 2 have ever entirely agreed with one another! Anyway, these time we're told Greenland ice sheet melting faster than expected; larger contributor to sea level rise than thought - expect a new paper in July showing the ice sheet isn't melting at all ...... It doesn't help the public when so much (apparently) conflicting information is out there. And more confusion likely now that it's been found that Carbon emissions linked to global warming in simple linear relationship - which on the face of it seems to contradict the general understanding of a non-linear 1c temp increase per doubling of CO2 ...... In any case, it doesn't help the cause of those who argue no amount of CO2 has any effect on temperature. Meanwhile more research suggests Maybe it's raining less
than we thought.

Electricity was still out over the weekend for thousands in Texas following the storms earlier in the week. But I'm please to report that power has now been restored.

African bird species could struggle to relocate to survive global warming. Then again they could not. It reminds me of the assertion that the Scottish crossbill could become extinct because it has nowhere to migrate to if temperatures increase in the Highlands. Ignorning the fact that temperatures used to be warmer in the Highlands just a few thousand years ago - and the crossbills had no problems them. Given the daily, let alone annual, variation in temperatures experienced by most species on the planet, it's highly unlikely and temperature change alone will affect them, and major shift in vegetation - which might have an impact - take time. In the crossbill's case, they'll simply migrate higher up the hillside as the pine forests march back up to their old treeline. For African birds, I'd suggest deforestation and other landuse change wrought by man is a far bigger concern than a slight increase in temperature.

Drought has been affecting much of Iraq for a while now, seriously affecting food production. But it's okay, because it's all the Turks fault. Actually, the headline is misleading - Turkey isn't actually being blamed for the drought but is being accused restricting water flow down the Euphrates - which though watering Mesopotamia, rises in the Turkish mountains where it's also a handy source of hydroelectricity and indeed water for the Turks. This is likely to be an increasing problem in many parts of the world as our demand for water (and electricity gernerated from water) increases and many countries 'share' the same rivers. And that's wholly irrespective of any precipition pattern changes caused by other human activity - though no doubt the popular media will still cast the blame on AGW.

It's surprising just how many people around the world get struck by lightning every day. Some have a lucky esecape such as the Air Cadet Leader struck by lightning while he cooked frankfurters. Aircraft are frequent targets but usually land safely as in Canada where a New Zealand aircraft was hit by lightning, and more tragically we hear of a Chinese couple struck dead by lightning onGreat Wall. However when we hear from Malaysia that lightning kills three drug addicts we can perhaps be excused for feeling a little less saddened. Personally I think the simple solution is to always take me along with you - it's years since I even saw a distant ground strike, let alone experienced a full blown overhead thunderstorm!

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