Category: Climate Change


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Pelamis platurus, related to the cobra family (Elapidae)
Yellowbelly Sea Snake      Carpenter0     Wikipedia.org

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El Nino washes a SECOND posionous sea snake onto popular California beach which has not seen any for THIRTY YEARS

For the second time in two months, a rare deadly sea snake has washed ashore at one of southern California’s most popular beaches.

A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by volunteers for the Surfrider Foundation in Huntington Beach, the Los Angeles Times reported.

In October, a two-foot-long yellow bellied sea snake was discovered slithering onto Silver Strand State Beach in Ventura County, but it died shortly after being taken to a US Fish and Wildlife Service office nearby.

The venomous sea serpent, known to scientists as Pelamis platura, was first spotted in 1972 during an El Niño in San Clemente.

 

Deadly: A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake (above) was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by the Surfrider Foundation

Deadly: A dead 27-inch-long male yellow bellied sea snake (above) was discovered last week during a coastal cleanup campaign by the Surfrider Foundation

The latest yellow bellied sea snake discovered was found at the popular Huntington Beach in California (file photo above)

The latest yellow bellied sea snake discovered was found at the popular Huntington Beach in California (file photo above)

A descendant of Australian tiger snakes, experts believe the arrival of the sea snake is a harbinger of El Niño because the last time it appeared in California was during the weather system in the ’80s.

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NaturalNews

 

Sea lions

(NaturalNews) The Marine Mammal Center rescued over a hundred sea lions in a 10-day period off the West Coast of California in the winter of 2015. The influx of stranded sea lions is a sign that the health of the ocean is deteriorating. From January 1 to February 12, 2015, National Geographic counted nearly 500 rescued sea lions, an amount that is alarming scientists. Something has gone awry in the West Coast waters.

The sea lions are not finding food, they are losing strength, and many are starting to wash ashore. The startling trend didn’t start in 2015. The number of stranded sea lions began rising in the winter of 2013, when scientists started noticing waves of sea lion pups washing ashore. Scientists believe the ocean’s temperatures have shifted. Warmer currents may be affecting food sources that the sea lions depend on. Others see problems in ocean water acidity. The animals are being forced to go on longer quests to find food. Many of the pups are being left behind, stranded, while their parents search for food.

One-third of sea lions born last summer wiped out

The death of this sentinel species is an indication of changes in ocean climate and ecosystem. Sea lion prey, which include sardines and crayfish, are reportedly disappearing in numbers as well, forcing the starving sea lions to go on longer quests in search of food. Scientists are concerned about ocean pH and rising acidity of the waters. According to San Jose Mercury News, marine biologists warn that, if the trend continues, an entire generation of California sea lions could be wiped out.

When speaking to NBC News, Sea World San Diego senior veterinarian Hendrick Nollens reported, “We had rescued 19 California sea lions in January [2013]. This year we already rescued 87 pups in that same month. So this event seems to be much larger.”

According to the Daily Breeze, the “unusual mortality event” wiped out two-thirds of the sea lion pup population off the West Coast in 2013.

Rehabilitation centers are taking several hundred pups in this year to save the species from total extinction.

NOAA wildlife biologist Sharon Melin confirmed that most pups captured in the wild in 2013 were only half their weight. After they are released back into the wild, they are expected to maintain their weight. When Melin went on a research trip in September 2013, she reported that the weight of the pups was still low. She brought back the bad news: “We’ve told the centers to prepare for the worst.”

The U-T San Diego concurred, reporting that pups in the Channel Island rookeries continued to struggle despite rehabilitation efforts. On average, pups were 19% below their average weight, even after rehabilitation.

Jim Milbury of NOAA Fisheries says that West Coast sea lions have a birth rate of about 50,000 a year, and San Diego 6 reported on Jan. 28, 2015, that nearly 1 of 3 pups born the previous summer have already died.

If 33% of pups born in 2014 have already died, then based on the average birth rate, over 15,000 have passed away in that short time frame.

Ocean water acidity on the rise, subjecting aquatic life to disease

According to Jennifer Palma of Global News, ocean health is deteriorating, indicated by a die off of scallops and oysters. “Getting pacific oysters and scallops is next to impossible; the industry is in crisis. … So what’s killing the Pacific oysters and scallops? A possible combination of factors including warmer oceans, decreasing acidity levels and potentially disease,” she said in a report.

University of British Columbia marine microbiology professor Curtis Suttle is concerned about changes in the pH of ocean waters. “The hypothesis — there’s a working hypothesis –w is that these changes, these excursions in pH, are making the shellfish vulnerable to infection by diseases that they would normally be resistant to.”

Sources for this article include:

http://enenews.com

http://enenews.com

http://enenews.com

http://www.dailybreeze.com

 

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About NaturalNews

The NaturalNews Network is a non-profit collection of public education websites covering topics that empower individuals to make positive changes in their health, environmental sensitivity, consumer choices and informed skepticism. The NaturalNews Network is owned and operated by Truth Publishing International, Ltd., a Taiwan corporation. It is not recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit in the United States, but it operates without a profit incentive, and its key writer, Mike Adams, receives absolutely no payment for his time, articles or books other than reimbursement for items purchased in order to conduct product reviews.

The vast majority of our content is freely given away at no charge. We offer thousands of articles and dozens of downloadable reports and guides (like the Honest Food Guide) that are designed to educate and empower individuals, families and communities so that they may experience improved health, awareness and life fulfillment.

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The New American

 

Friday, 04 December 2015

At UN Summit, Obama Blames America for Global Warming

Written by 

 

Speaking at a United Nations “climate” summit in Paris, Obama blamed America for alleged man-made global warming and claimed that the nation embraces its responsibility to “do something” about the alleged problem. That “something,” of course, at least in the administration’s view, involves redistributing the wealth of embattled U.S. taxpayers to Third World governments and dictatorships for climate reparations, as well as shackling the American economy with draconian controls to reduce emissions of what serious scientists know as the “gas of life.” Sounding like a wannabe messiah, Obama even claimed that “we finally determined we would save our planet.” However, lawmakers in Congress and the American people have made clear that they neither believe in the increasingly discredited anthropogenic global-warming (AGW) theory nor in the alleged solutions to the supposed problem.

Dictators and other heads of state have typically arrived at UN conferences toward the end of the show. This time, however, hoping desperately to secure a global “climate” agreement where past summits have failed, UN organizers decided Obama and other “world leaders” should show up at the start. Obama complied, spewing gargantuan amounts of CO2 and arriving in Paris to deliver various speeches hyping the AGW theory, along with illegal pledges to hand out your money. “I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it,” Obama claimed at the ongoing conference, which featured some 150 dictators and heads of government and state.

Of course, Obama is not the “leader” of the “world’s largest economy.” His job description is to serve as the chief executive of the federal government, to faithfully execute the laws, and to uphold and defend the Constitution. His other claims were even more ludicrous. For instance, the notion that America recognizes its alleged role in creating the alleged problem could not be more wrong. According to a Pew survey released last year, just 40 percent of Americans even believe the increasingly discredited AGW theory. And without a doubt, far less than that would agree that the nation should shackle its economy and redistribute its wealth to Third World regimes under the guise of dealing with a problem that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not even believe exists.

Obama also apparently sought to deceive his fellow rulers by touting his unconstitutional and illegitimate decrees, without noting that the American people’s elected representatives, state governments, and the courts are currently in the process of dismantling those decrees. “Over the last seven years, we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions,” he told the UN and its member regimes, touting half-baked, taxpayer-funded “renewable energy” schemes imposed by the federal government (such as the now-bankrupt crony solar company Solyndra, which put huge sums of taxpayer funds into the pockets of Obama donors). Obama also touted his rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and the “the first-ever set of national standards” purporting to regulate what Obama referred to as “carbon pollution.”

 

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Obama blames America for non-existent global warming

September 24, 2014 6:52 AM MST
Barack Obama speaks at U.N. climate summit.

Barack Obama speaks at U.N. climate summit.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

 

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FULL Speech HD: Barack Obama at Paris Climate Conference (Cop21)

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Published on Nov 30, 2015

FULL Speech HD: Barack Obama to give final statement on last day in Paris (Cop21) chttps://youtu.be/Nq5oG6kIIPA

 

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US President Barack Obama holds news conference at Paris Climate Summit – COP21

 

NOAA Scientists In Standoff With Congress Over Climate Study – Newsy

 

 

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GLOBAL WARMING? NASA says Antarctic has been COOLING for past SIX years

ANTARCTIC temperatures have cooled over the past six years, according to US space agency NASA.

PUBLISHED: 07:51, Sat, Nov 28, 2015 | UPDATED: 12:58, Sat, Nov 28, 2015

Heimdal Glacier in southern Greenland, in an image captured on Oct. 13, 2015, from NASA Langley Research Center's Falcon 20 aircraft flying 33,000 feeNASA

Heimdal Glacier southern Greenland, from NASA’s Falcon 20 aircraft at 33,000 feet above sea level.

An intensive scientific study of both Earth’s poles has found that from 2009 to 2016 overall temperature has dropped in the southern polar region.NASA’s Operation IceBridge is an airborne survey of polar ice and has finalised two overlapping research campaigns at both the poles.In the last few weeks NASA has revealed the overall amount of ice has increased at the Antarctic and the amount of sea ice has also extended.Coupled with the latest announcement of slight cooling in the area, it has fuelled claims from climate change deniers that human industrialisation is not having the huge impact on global tenperature as often is claimed.

Map showing the extent of ice during the NASA studiesNASA

Map showing the extent of ice during the NASA studies

 

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Examiner.com

New paper claims no pause in warming, but unaltered data says otherwise

November 25, 2015 9:20 AM MST
Authors Naomi Oreskes (L) and Erik Conway attend the 'Merchants of Doubt' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Photo by Aaron Harris

 

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Next: How NOAA rewrote climate data to hide global warming pause

 

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Nasa Earth Observatory

Earth is Cooling…No It’s Warming

 

 

In 1967 Hansen went to work for NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in New York City, where he continued his research on planetary problems. Around 1970, some scientists suspected Earth was entering a period of global cooling. Decades prior, the brilliant Serbian mathematician Milutin Milankovitch had explained how our world warms and cools on roughly 100,000-year cycles due to its slowly changing position relative to the Sun. Milankovitch’s theory suggested Earth should be just beginning to head into its next ice age cycle. The surface temperature data gathered by Mitchell seemed to agree; the record showed that Earth experienced a period of cooling (by about 0.3°C) from 1940 through 1970. Of course, Mitchell was only collecting data over a fraction of the Northern Hemisphere—from 20 to 90 degrees North latitude. Still, the result drew public attention and a number of speculative articles about Earth’s coming ice age appeared in newspapers and magazines.

 

Graph of Northern Hemisphere temperatures, 1860 through 1970

Initial efforts to observe Earth’s temperature were limited to the Northern Hemisphere, and they showed a cooling trend from 1940 to 1970 (jagged line). Scientists estimated the relative effects of carbon dioxide (warming, top curve) and aerosols (cooling, bottom curve) on climate, but did not have enough data to make precise predictions. (Graph from Mitchell, 1972.)

But other scientists forecasted global warming. Russian climatologist Mikhail Budyko had also observed the three-decade cooling trend. Nevertheless, he published a paper in 1967 in which he predicted the cooling would soon switch to warming due to rising human emissions of carbon dioxide. Budyko’s paper and another paper published in 1975 by Veerabhadran Ramanathan caught Hansen’s attention. Ramanathan pointed out that human-made chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs) are particularly potent greenhouse gases, with as much as 200 times the heat-retaining capacity of carbon dioxide. Because people were adding CFCs to the lower atmosphere at an increasing rate, Ramanathan expressed concern that these new gases would eventually add to Earth’s greenhouse effect and cause our world to warm. (Because CFCs also erode Earth’s protective ozone layer, their use was mostly abolished in 1989 with the signing of the Montreal Protocol.)

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This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Source: [[LINK||http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/icecore/||NOAA]])

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)

The Earth’s climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
– Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.1

Earth-orbiting satellites and other technological advances have enabled scientists to see the big picture, collecting many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate.

 

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The evidence for rapid climate change is compelling:


  • Republic of Maldives: Vulnerable to sea level rise

    Photograph by Shahee Ilyas  

    Malé, capital of Maldives  Wikipedia.org

    Sea level rise

    Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century.4

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  • Global temperature rise

    All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880.5 Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years.6 Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase.7

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  • Warming oceans

    The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters (about 2,300 feet) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.8

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  • Flowing meltwater from the Greenland ice sheet

    Shrinking ice sheets

    The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 cubic kilometers (36 to 60 cubic miles) of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost about 152 cubic kilometers (36 cubic miles) of ice between 2002 and 2005.

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VOA Voice of America

California Drought Affects Winter Refuges for Migratory Birds

Sandhill cranes land in flooded fields at the Sandhill Crane Reserve near Thornton, California, Nov. 3, 2015. The state's ongoing drought has left millions of waterfowl that migrate from northern climes to California with fewer places to land, seek food.

Sandhill cranes land in flooded fields at the Sandhill Crane Reserve near Thornton, California, Nov. 3, 2015. The state’s ongoing drought has left millions of waterfowl that migrate from northern climes to California with fewer places to land, seek food.

Reuters

With their red heads, 2.13-meter (7-foot) wingspan and a trilling call, migrating Sandhill Cranes provide a dramatic sunset spectacle as they land by the thousands in wetlands near Sacramento each night during the fall and winter.

But the state’s ongoing drought has left the cranes, along with millions of other waterfowl that migrate from Canada and other northern climes to spend the winter in California, with fewer places to land, threatening their health as they crowd in on one another to seek shelter and food.

“They’re left with fewer and fewer places to go, which will start to have impacts on their population,” said Meghan Hertel, who works on habitat issues for the Audubon Society in California. “They can die here from starvation or disease or be weaker for their flight back north.”

Beloved sight

The cranes are a beloved sight in California’s Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys when they arrive each fall.

Tourists flock to see them as they take off en masse at dawn or land in a series of swooping, trilling groups as the sun goes down.

 

 

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Queen Mary's Psalter shows men harvesting in 14th century Europe

Climatologists Piece Together a Millennium of Droughts and Downpours

© Photo: Wikimedia commons
Environment
22:00 07.11.2015(updated 22:08 07.11.2015) 

The new Old World Drought Atlas of droughts and wet weather in the Old World gives climate scientists greater perspective on current weather phenomenon.

Climate scientists have produced an atlas reconstructing weather conditions over the last millennium, in an effort to understand more about current changes to the weather.They hope their Old World Drought Atlas (OWDA) will allow for a greater understanding of climate forecasts.

“Climate model projections suggest widespread drying in the Mediterranean Basin and wetting in Fennoscandia in the coming decades largely as a consequence of greenhouse gas forcing of climate,” write the scientists in their paper, published in Science Advances on Friday.

The researchers used archaeological tree ring data to measure more than a thousand years of European weather. They compared their findings to historical accounts of severe droughts, wet weather events or other catastrophes, and found that the tree ring data corresponds with many documented incidents of extreme weather.

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The 700 Year Old Weather Chart That Gives Me Butterflies

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Oh, and look at 1741, and the terrible drought. The trees are showing the results of the cold and dry spell that began in 1739. This is the year of the great Irish famine, and it killed millions as well. Here’s what the paper has to say about the 1741 map:

The Irish famine of 1740–1741: This event has been attributed to unusually low winter and spring temperatures in 1740, resulting in crop failures and subsequent famine (17). The OWDA is not well suited for determining temperature anomalies because it primarily reflects warm season hydroclimate. However, climate field reconstructions of seasonal precipitation from documentary and early instrumental data (18) indicate that spring-summer rainfall over Ireland in 1741 was well below normal relative to the modern average. Drought over Ireland may therefore have contributed to the severity of the famine through its negative impact on food production in 1741. The OWDA map of 1741  indicates severe drought over Ireland that also extended over England and Wales, consistent with previously reported record rainfall deficits.

 

Fig. 2 OWDA maps of known years of hydroclimatic extremes

Is it just me, or does this give you the willies? It’s like looking at that big high pressure over the NW Atlantic on the night of April 14,1912. The Titanic survivors reported the ocean as still as a mill-pond, and I have the surface weather map that proves they were right. That’s how I feel about these rainfall charts. That horrible famine was seven long centuries ago, but the trees still remember, and they tell us that those old faded pieces of parchment were not exaggerating. It was real, and it left millions dead, and millions more in grief.

 

This Old World Drought Atlas will have great benefits in climate research, and historians will find them invaluable as well, but they also give us a warning. Our limited 100 years or so of written weather records can be deceiving. We think we know what a bad crop year is, and how long a bad drought can last, but our lifetimes are rather short, and perhaps we are fools. Knowing this makes fooling with our planet’s temperature control even more egregious.

The paper is open access and you can read it all HERE.

 

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An intolerable unimaginable heat forecast for Persian Gulf

Associated Press

FILE In this June 10, 2010 file photo, an Asian laborer avoids the direct sun by working behind a wooden sign, as he works on a manhole alongside of an under construction road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Parts of the Persian Gulf by the end of the century will on occasion will be just too hot for the human body to tolerate, if carbon dioxide emissions continue on current trend, a new study says. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
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FILE In this June 10, 2010 file photo, an Asian laborer avoids the direct sun by working behind a wooden sign, as he works on a manhole alongside of an under construction road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Parts of the Persian Gulf by the end of the century will on occasion will be just too hot for the human body to tolerate, if carbon dioxide emissions continue on current trend, a new study says. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — If carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current pace, by the end of century parts of the Persian Gulf will sometimes be just too hot for the human body to tolerate, a new study says.

How hot? The heat index — which combines heat and humidity — may hit 165 to 170 degrees (74 to 77 Celsius) for at least six hours, according to numerous computer simulations in the new study. That’s so hot that the human body can’t get rid of heat. The elderly and ill are hurt most by current heat waves, but the future is expected to be so hot that healthy, fit people would be endangered, health experts say.

“You can go to a wet sauna and put the temperature up to 35 (Celsius or 95 degrees Fahrenheit) or so. You can bear it for a while, now think of that at an extended exposure” of six or more hours, said study co-author Elfatih Eltahir, an MIT environmental engineering professor.

While humans have been around, Earth has not seen that type of prolonged, oppressive combination of heat and humidity, Eltahir said. But with the unique geography and climate of the Persian Gulf and increased warming projected if heat-trapping gas emissions continue to rise at current rates, it will happen every decade or so by the end of the century, according to the study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

 

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TakePart.com

Australia Approves Massive Coal Mine—Again
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Australia Approves Massive Coal Mine—Again

Just two months after an Australian federal court threw out the government’s approval of one of the world’s largest coal mines because of its expected impact on an endangered snake and lizard, the country’s environment minister has green-lighted the project again.

That means the Indian-owned Carmichael mine in the state of Queensland is back on track to produce an amount of coal that, when burned, would exceed the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 52 countries. Over its 60-year lifetime, it could emit 128 million tons of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, according to a Greenpeace report. Environmentalists also fear the project will damage the iconic Great Barrier Reef.

“Minister [Greg] Hunt’s reapproval risks threatened species, precious groundwater, the global climate, and taxpayers’ money,” said Peter McCallum, spokesperson for the Mackay Conservation Group, which brought the challenge of the mine to the federal court.

 

RELATED:  Why the World Needs to Shut Down Coal-Fired Power Plants Faster Than Ever

 

In August, a federal court ruled that then Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s conservative government had illegally ignored evidence showing the mine would damage prime habitat of two endangered critters: the yakka skink—a type of lizard—and the ornamental snake.

 

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End Of The American Dream

The American Dream Is Becoming A Nightmare And Life As We Know It Is About To Change

Puzzle Last Piece - Public Domain

 

One of the biggest steps toward a one world government that we have ever seen is happening this week, and yet barely anyone is even talking about it.  In fact, it is even being called a “new universal Agenda” for humanity.  Those are not my words – those are the words that the United Nations is using.  If you don’t believe this, just go look at the official document for this new UN agenda.  You won’t have to read very far.  The phrase “new universal Agenda” is right near the end of the preamble.  Officially, the name of this ambitious new program is “the 2030 Agenda“, and it is being hyped as a way to get the whole world to work together to make life better for all of us.  And a lot of the goals of this new agenda are very admirable.  For example, who wouldn’t want to end global poverty?  But as you look deeper into what the UN is trying to do, you find some very disturbing things.

If you didn’t like Agenda 21, then you really are not going to like the 2030 Agenda, because the 2030 Agenda takes things to an entirely new level.  Agenda 21 was primarily focused on climate change and the environment, but the 2030 Agenda goes far beyond that.  As I have noted previously, the 2030 Agenda addresses economics, agriculture, education, gender equality, healthcare and a whole host of other issues.  It has been argued that there are very few forms of human activity that do not fall under the goals of the 2030 Agenda in one way or another.

The UN says that this new Agenda is “voluntary”, and yet virtually every single nation on the entire planet is willingly signing up for it.  In the official document that all of these nations are agreeing to, there are 17 sustainable development goals and 169 very specific sustainable development targets.  You can read them for yourself right here.

 

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ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news

 

 

 

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Tree rings reveal nightmare droughts in Western U.S.

May 1, 2014
Source:
Brigham Young University
Summary:
Scientists extended Utah’s climate record back to 1429 using tree rings. They found Utah’s climate has seen extreme droughts, including one that lasted 16 years. If history is repeated in the rapidly growing Western states, the water supply would run out based on current consumption.

Scientists extended Utah’s climate record back to 1429 using tree rings. They found Utah’s climate has seen extreme droughts, including one that lasted 16 years. Credit: Image courtesy of Brigham Young University

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If you think the 1930s drought that caused The Dust Bowl was rough, new research looking at tree rings in the Rocky Mountains has news for you: Things can get much worse in the West.

In fact the worst drought of this century barely makes the top 10 of a study that extended Utah’s climate record back to the year 1429.

With sandpaper and microscopes, Brigham Young University professor Matthew Bekker analyzed rings from drought-sensitive tree species. He found several types of scenarios that could make life uncomfortable in what is now the nation’s third-fastest-growing state:

  • Long droughts: The year 1703 kicked off 16 years in a row with below average stream flow.
  • Intense droughts: The Weber River flowed at just 13 percent of normal in 1580 and dropped below 20 percent in three other periods.
  • Consecutive worst-case scenarios: The most severe drought in the record began in 1492, and four of the five worst droughts all happened during Christopher Columbus’ lifetime.

“We’re conservatively estimating the severity of these droughts that hit before the modern record, and we still see some that are kind of scary if they were to happen again,” said Bekker, a geography professor at BYU. “We would really have to change the way we do things here.”

Modern climate and stream flow records only go back about 100 years in this part of the country, so scientists like Bekker turn to Mother Nature’s own record-keeping to see the bigger picture. For this study, the BYU geographer took sample cores from Douglas fir and pinyon pine trees. The thickness of annual growth rings for these species is especially sensitive to water supply.

 

 

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