Nine blue whales ‘probably crushed to death by ice’

Nine blue whales “probably crushed to death by ice”

Warning: Disturbing images!
9 Apr 2014 – According to, “several endangered blue whales have been found dead in ice off Newfoundland – probably crushed to death by ice, says the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).”

Dr. Jack Lawson, a researcher with DFO, said the whales were around 20 metres (65 ft) long – the “length of two school buses.”
Blue whale carcasses on the ice on SW coast of Newfoundland – Credit: Dept of Fisheries & Oceans
The massive whales are accustomed to ice, but this has been a particularly bad year for sea ice off Newfoundland.
“We’ve had ferries unable to get across to Newfoundland. We’ve had ice breakers having a real tough time moving through this stuff. It’s under a lot of pressure and it’s thicker than it has been in the last few years,” Lawson explained.
“So, it’s just too much for them.”
Thanks to Stephanie Relfe for this link

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93 Members of Harvard Faculty Call on University to Divest From Fossil Fuels

93 Members of Harvard Faculty Call on University to Divest From Fossil Fuels

Today, 93 faculty members of Harvard University sent an open letter to the president and fellows of the school, calling on the corporation to divest from fossil fuel interests.

In signing the letter, faculty members expressed disappointment with the April 7 statement from President Drew Faust that divestment is an option the University is not willing to consider.
According to Harvard Faculty Divest, President Faust’s statements claim that while Harvard owns a very small fraction of these stocks representing a small fraction of its endowment, the school will exert greater influence if it continues to hold these shares than if it openly divests. This indicates a misunderstanding of the purpose and goals of divestment, and ignores the lessons of the past.
The faculty members point to the misinformation perpetuated by the fossil fuel industry, saying the industry seeks to promote the denial of accepted science and exert an undue degree of influence on government, while marketing a product that we cannot afford to continue consuming. 
The letter goes on to reference the extreme weather, rising levels of acidified oceans and reductions of biodiversity from the unstable global climate that represent major threats to human health as documented consequences of fossil fuel extraction and consumption that the University cannot afford to ignore. 
The conclusion of the letter reads:
We know that fossil fuel use must decrease. To achieve this goal, not only must research and education be pursued with vigor, pressure must also be exerted. If there is no pressure, then grievous harm due to climate change will accelerate and entrench itself for a span of time that will make the history of Harvard look short.
Prescott College Passes Landmark Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution
Hundreds of Students Participate in Walkout, Call for Gov. Patrick to Act on Climate Change

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New Paper Corroborates the Solar-Cosmic Ray Theory of Climate

New Paper Corroborates the Solar-Cosmic Ray Theory of Climate

A paper published today in Environmental Research Letters corroborates the Svensmark cosmic ray theory of climate, whereby tiny 0.1% changes in solar activity are amplified via the effect on cosmic rays and cloud formation, which in turn may control global temperatures. The authors find cosmic ray variations due to changes over solar cycles may have as much as 10 times larger effect than previous studies have estimated. The paper also finds that a tiny 0.2C temperature increase increases the cosmic ray induced cloud condensation nuclei by around 50%, thus acting as a natural homeostatic mechanism. According to the authors, “The effect of solar cycle perturbation on [cloud condensation nuclei] based on present study is generally higher than those reported in several previous studies, up to around one order of magnitude [10 times]…Our global simulations indicate that a decrease in ionization rate associated with galactic cosmic ray flux change from solar minimum to solar maximum reduces annual mean nucleation rates, number concentration of cloud condensation nuclei larger than 10 nm… by 6.8%, 1.36%…respectively. The inclusion of 0.2 °C temperature increase enhances the CCN [cloud condensation nuclei] solar cycle signals by around 50%.”

As pointed out by Dr. Roy Spencer, 

“The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”

This new paper finds annual mean cloud nucleation rates may vary 6.8% over solar cycles, far more than the 1-2% change in global cloudiness required to change global temperature. 

The solar-cosmic ray theory of climate is only one of many solar amplification mechanisms described in the scientific literature. 

Effect of solar variations on particle formation and cloud condensation nuclei

Fangqun Yu and Gan Luo
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Part of Focus on High Energy Particles and Atmospheric Processes

The impact of solar variations on particle formation and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), a critical step for one of the possible solar indirect climate forcing pathways, is studied here with a global aerosol model optimized for simulating detailed particle …