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Thu, 11 Feb 2016
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Al Gore: Snow Storms are Caused by 'the Warming'

© Time Magazine
Former Vice President Al Gore in his home office in Nashville, TN.
Last week on his show Bill O'Reilly asked, "Why has southern New York turned into the tundra?" and then said he had a call into me. I appreciate the question.

As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming:

"In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe. Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow."

Bizarro Earth

World of two halves! Map shows most of Northern Hemisphere is covered in snow and ice

It looks like a graphic from a Discovery Channel programme about a distant ice age. But this astonishing picture shows the world as it is today - with half the Northern Hemisphere covered with snow and ice.

The image was released by the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Association (NOAA) on the day half of North America suffered in the grip of a severe winter storm.

The map was created using multiple satellites from government agencies and the US Air Force.
Image
© NOAA
A new satellite map from the government agency NOAA shows the size of the snow cover on regions going from the West coast of Canada to the East of China.
Stretching from the west coast of Canada to the eastern shores of China, the white stuff has rarely been shown covering this much ground.

Igloo

Historic Winter Storm Moves Across the U.S.

© Jesse Allen / GOES Project Science Office
In a winter marked by several crippling storms, the storm of February 1 - 2, 2011, stands out. Heavy snow, ice, freezing rain, and frigid wind battered about two thirds of the United States, making it "a winter storm of historic proportions," said the National Weather Service. This animation - made with images from the NOAA-NASA GOES 13 satellite - shows the giant storm developing and moving across the country between January 31 and February 2.

This image, a still taken from the animation, shows the storm at 4:31 p.m. Eastern Time on February 1. In the image, the storm measures about 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles) from west to east. The storm formed when cold Arctic air pushed south from Canada while moist air streamed north from the Gulf of the Mexico. The animation shows clouds building over New Mexico and Texas early in the day. As the system develops and moves northeast, the storm grows and becomes more organized. By the end of February 1, the storm was a sprawling comma that extended from the Midwest to New England.

By 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time on February 2, the National Weather Service reported that 21 states from New Mexico to New Hampshire had received at least 5 inches (13 centimeters) of snow. Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma declared states of emergency. According to news reports, one in three Americans were affected by the storm.

Bizarro Earth

Japan volcano resumes activity

Tokyo - Japan's Mount Shinmoe, active for a week, erupted twice Wednesday ejecting lava, smoke and ash that threatened a nearby town, meteorologists said.

The eruptions from the volcano on Kyushu in southwest Japan occurred in the morning, CNN reported. The activity began Jan. 26, the first such in decades, experts said.

In the town of Takaharu, with a population of 1,159, residents were advised to evacuate as volcanic ash covered their homes, streets and vehicles and caused flight cancellations. Hundreds of people had already fled.


Igloo

US: Wrigley Field, other buildings damaged by storm

Image
© Unknown
A panel of the Wrigley Field roof above the press box was damaged Tuesday night by extreme winds accompanying the blizzard.
At least six buildings have been damaged by the blizzard - including historic Wrigley Field, where a portion of the roof blew off.

A panel of the Wrigley Field roof above the press box was damaged by extreme winds during the blizzard, Cubs spokesman Peter Chase said.

Part of the panel, made of fiberboard, broke away and the Cubs are working with the city to monitor the situation and to ensure there aren't any public safety issues, Chase said.

North Clark and West Addison streets near the ballpark were closed as a precaution. A security guard will remain on site to monitor the situation, officials said.

Ambulance

Australia: Six call for help that won't come

Image
© Alan Stons
The group is caught in an area known to be at risk of a dangerous storm surge.
A group of desperate people in their 60s called for emergency assistance last night as a storm surge whipped up by Cyclone Yasi closed in on their north Queensland unit.

But they were told to bunker down for a terrifying night.

State disaster coordinator Ian Stewart says the six people, holed up in a Port Hinchinbrook unit complex, did not evacuate and it was too late for emergency services to rescue them.

He says it is disappointing the group had chosen not to heed warnings to evacuate an area known to be at risk of a dangerous storm surge.

"They have been advised to go onto the second storey of the apartment block they're in," he said.

"It is really unfortunate perhaps that they had not taken advice that had earlier been given to them.

"They are now bunkered in place to sit this storm out. We know that this is a storm surge area and that the water will come up to at least the floor of the second storey."

Snowman

US: Midwest buckles under major winter storm

Chicago - Residents across the country began digging out of snow and ice Wednesday after a record-setting storm crippled cities and forecasters warned there was more bad weather on the way.

Snow continued to fall in Chicago on Wednesday after the city recorded 20.2 inches making it the third-largest snowfall on record. The area struggled to recover from a crippling blizzard that shut down roads and train service and left hundreds of motorists stranded.


At an early morning briefing, city officials urged residents to stay home as plows try to clear roads of giant drifts from winds that gusted overnight to 70 mph. The city shut down Lake Shore Drive for the first time in years as an untold number of motorists were stranded overnight after multiple car accidents on the iconic roadway.

The National Weather Service said snow will fall before the storm moves away and winds of 20 to 30 mph will continue through much of the day. A storm brewing in the south at the end of the week will move up the East Coast bring rain and snow across the Northeast.

Smoking

Phivolcs: Taal Volcano shows increased activity

Taal Volcano in Batangas showed heightened activity anew after at least 10 volcanic quakes around it were recorded in the last 24 hours.

In its 8 a.m. Wednesday bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the alert level at Taal remains at "1."

"Taal Volcano's status at Alert Level 1 means that a hazardous eruption is not imminent. However, the public is reminded that the Main Crater should be strictly off-limits due to sudden occurrence of steam explosions and accumulation of toxic gases," it said.

Phivolcs said the northern rim of the Volcano's main crater - in the vicinity of Daang Kastila trail - may also be dangerous when increased steam emission is reactivated along existing fissures.

Phivolcs reminded the public that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strictly not recommended.

Better Earth

The World's Most Dangerous Epidemic

The world is facing an escalating global epidemic. Today, it claims 350,000 deaths per year and in 2030 the annual death toll will be approaching one million -- the majority of them will be children. In addition, the epidemic will lead to dramatic changes in the living conditions for whole continents and several hundred millions -- or possibly billions -- of people will be affected. 15 countries are already acutely affected by the epidemic, while 50 additional countries are at high risk. In two decades, the risk will cover 130 countries.

The worst afflicted areas are the poorest countries, simply because they have the fewest resources to curb with the epidemic. Over the next 20 years Africa is at risk of becoming economically and socially crippled, just as the Middle East and Asia are expected to be negatively affected. The epidemic "infects" not only the people but also the national economies. It will affect the economy in both the industrialized and developing countries, leading to dramatic costs and economic loss. The extent is difficult to calculate. But it is estimated that the epidemic in the years to come will trigger a loss of around $150 billion annually, increasing up to $300 billion over the next 20 years.

The epidemic is out of control, and countermeasures are few and inefficient -- we are running out of ideas, ways and methods for preventing the epidemic from spreading. It can therefore evolve much faster than the first estimates suggest. And in the longer term -- toward the latter part of this century -- it may threaten the entire civilization. There are no methods and models that can calculate both speed and anticipated consequences. But one thing seems certain: The world is confronted with the greatest challenge ever experienced. A challenge that we are certainly not prepared to handle.

Comment: While the following perspectives may change: Forget About Global Warming: We're One Step From Extinction! The above sounds like Climate Change Swindlers and the[ir] Political Agenda. This is NOT to say Huffington Post has been hi-jacked. The general idea behind this theory being:


So, yes, the 'globe' is warming, but the atmosphere, clouds etc.. are cooling.


Cloud Lightning

Floods in Brazil Are a Result of Short-Term Planning

Image
© V. Almeida/AFP/Getty Images
Rescue workers searching for victims after heavy rains in January 2011 caused mudslides in Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
Urban planning has never been part of Brazil's political agenda, so when heavy rains come cities are not able to cope

As I write, more than two weeks after the floods began in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro state, many communities remain isolated due to landslides on the main access roads.

More than 800 people died and thousands of people have been displaced in the state, according to official figures. One of the worst affected towns is Santa Rita. Dozens of families still depend on helicopters to deliver food, water, and emergency healthcare. In the town of Teresópolis, people are starting to clear debris in the streets by hand, with shovels and brushes. And in Nova Friburgo, families watch, and cry, as their homes are demolished.

In the neighbouring state of São Paulo, the richest in the country, 25 people died because of the heavy rains. In Santa Catarina state, in the south, five people lost their lives and 17,000 had to flee their homes.

The January rains in Brazil are becoming more severe and floods are becoming a routine. But while specialists say it's too early to confirm the heavy rains are caused by climate change, the fact is that Brazilian cities have never been ready for them.