22nd July - Today's News

It happened in 2007, but still interesting to read the results of a newly published study showing that a massive dust-storm in China circled the world in 13 days. Rather quicker than Phileas Fogg!

Today's solar eclipse has now passed (it occurred in the early hours of the morning UK time) but here's a few of some of the stories relating to it:

Crowds flock to Bangladeshi town for solar eclipse

Clouds play foul at Taregna

"I'll remember it for the rest of my life"

Longest solar eclipse of the century envelopes Asia in darkness


In Tasmania, the weather is wild, wet and a little bit balmy

Drought threat for Bangladesh as monsoon fails

24 killed, jundreds homeless in Mongolia floods

Following the shrinking Soay sheep, we find, in the "well they blame it on everything else" file that fish are shrinking in response to global warming.
Fish have lost half their average body mass and smaller species are making up a larger proportion of European fish stocks as a result of global warming, a study published Monday has found.

"It's huge," said study author Martin Daufresne of the Cemagref Public Agricultural and Environmental Research Institute in Lyon, France.

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Daufresne and his colleagues examined long-term surveys of fish populations in rivers, streams and the Baltic and North Seas and also performed experiments on bacteria and plankton.

They found the individual species lost an average of 50 percent of their body mass over the past 20 to 30 years while the average size of the overall fishing stock had shrunk by 60 percent.

Obviously over-fishing and the policy of catching larger fish and not smaller ones has absolutely nothing to do with it ...... does it?

While commercial and recreational fishing did impact some of the fisheries studied, it "cannot be considered as the unique trigger" for the changes in size, the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found.

Of course not ....

The Daily Mail asks 'Is this the world's most crowded swimming pool' with a series of - slightly amusing - pictures of the Chinese cooling off during their current heatwave. A little more seriously, in Shanghai they have the first red alert issued as city hit by scorcher.

Although really political news, I couldn't end today without mentioning this story: wind turbine factory occupied by staff to protest against closure. I have to admit I hadn't realised it was a Danish owned firm, but still the fact that the owner of a rival company - that does not build turbines in Britain but wins rather a lot of contracts here - is a major financial contributor to the Labour Party cannot go unmentioned. I don't like wind farms. But I consider this story shows our government's true colours. And they are very definitely not green.

And finally, I know I shouldn't, but I can't resist posting up this 'story': Ancient map disproves global warming. The story appears to have been posted in all seriousness too....

A recently discovered and publicized ancient map of the globe disproves the theory of man-made global warming. The enormous significance of the map has only now become apparent as Congress considers sweeping legislation intended to combat global warming supposedly caused by human activity.

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The map demonstrates that Antarctica had been extensively explored and mapped long before it was known to the Western world. Since Antarctica was much warmer when some of the source-maps were drawn than it is today, the theory that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are the primary cause of climate change must be given up.

I will however resist suggesting that this just shows how desperate the deniers have become. Those interested in the Finneus Map could do worse than read Paul Heinrich's article on TalkOrigins.

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