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Tue, 12 Dec 2017
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Snowflake Cold

Heavy snowfall in Netherlands triggers code orange weather warning

Snow blankets Utrecht
© Zachary Newmark / NL Times
Snow blankets Utrecht, 10 Dec 2017.
The Netherlands was blanketed in snow over the weekend and more snow is expected this afternoon. Meteorological institute KMNI issued a code orange weather warning of extremely dangerous weather. And the Rijkswaterstaat warns people to rather work from home today if possible.

A code yellow weather warning is currently in effect for the entire country. Motorists are warned to to be careful of icy and slippery roads.

Attention

Alert level 2 at Kanlaon volcano in the Philippines after phreatic explosion

A photo taken on Saturday, June 18, 2016 and released by the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) shows Kanlaon volcano spewing ash into the air
© AFP/Phivolcs
A photo taken on Saturday, June 18, 2016 and released by the Philippines Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) shows Kanlaon volcano spewing ash into the air
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology placed Kanlaon Volcano under alert level 2 after a phreatic eruption at past 9 a.m. Saturday.

PhiVolcs Director Renato Solidum told Super Radyo dzBB that the eruption occurred at 9:47 a.m. and that Kanlaon's activity was caused bay a magma moving up between 20 to 30 kilometers in depth from the crater.

Solidum also said that while the eruption is not severe, he advised residents and visitors to avoid going near the summit.

Under alert level 2, the 4-kilometer permanent danger zone from the summit should be observed, Solidum said.

Seismic instruments detected ground movements, coupled by rumbling sound for 10 minutes, Solidum said, adding the ash falls affected a barangay near the volcano.

Source: GMA News Online

Attention

Whale carcass found near Coromandel beach in New Zealand

A launch tows the dead whale away from Tairua Beach.
© David Wadams
A launch tows the dead whale away from Tairua Beach.
A stinking, rotting dead whale found near Coromandel Peninsula's Tairua beach on December 9 was heading for shore.

David Wadams, who has had a holiday home in Tairua for the past 27 years, said he spotted the whale from the beach about 7:30am, when he went to see if conditions were suitable for fishing.

"I could see a large, dark object bobbing up and down in the waves about no more than five to seven hundred metres out," he said.

"I was going out fishing anyway so when I went out in my boat I went down to have a look and there it was."

Fire

At 230,000 acres, California's Thomas fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in the state's history

Thomas fire, California
© Al Seib / Los Angeles Times
A huge plume of smoke rises north of Ventura as seen Sunday afternoon from the Ventura pier, as the Thomas fire threatens parts of Carpenteria and Montecito.
Santa Barbara County was under siege from the Thomas fire Sunday as fire crews fought to keep the destructive blaze from the region's picturesque beach communities.

Authorities said the out-of-control blaze had scorched 230,000 acres by Sunday evening, making it the fifth largest wildfire in modern California history.

The fire grew by more than 50,000 acres during the day, triggering new evacuation orders for about 5,000 county residents, including those east of Mission Canyon and north of Highway 192. An additional 30,000 residents west of Mission Canyon to Highway 154 and south of Highway 192 to the county line were told to prepare to leave.

As the fire grew Sunday, containment dropped from 15% to 10%, authorities said.

The blaze has destroyed 524 structures and damaged 135 in the city of Ventura. In the unincorporated areas of Ventura County, 266 structures have been destroyed, while 56 were damaged. The fire consumed six structures on Sunday in beach town of Carpinteria, authorities said.

Santa Ana winds, aided by extremely low humidity, pushed the Ventura County fire over the Santa Barbara County line Saturday night. The winds that bedeviled fire crews from San Diego to Ojai last week were gusting at speeds of up to 35 mph, fire officials said.


Comment: Other related articles:


Snowflake

More atmospheric compression snow and rain events happening across the planet

Heavy snow in Artvin, Turkey
© YouTube/Adapt 2030 (screen capture)
Heavy snow in Artvin, Turkey
Second atmospheric snow compression event in a week, first Alaska, now Turkey. Record snow across the S.E.. USA and Mexico, all time record rains in Mumbai India and an increase in the Grand Solar Minimum effects. Out of season everything across the planet, the jet streams are no longer stable.


Comment: Check out these related articles from the past few days:


Snowflake Cold

Heaviest snowfall in four years brings travel chaos to UK

UK travel chaos
© Reuters
A lorry jackknifed on the A50 near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire
In case you hadn't noticed, it's snowing today.

And it seems to be pretty heavy in places, with some areas of the country cut off, parts of the London Underground shut, airports closed and a lot of disruption elsewhere.

But just how heavy is the snowfall? Well, according to experts we haven't seen weather like this in the south for four years.

So yeah, it's pretty snowy out there today.

The Met Office told Metro.co.uk that you have to go all the way back to 2013 to get similar weather in the region.

Places like Wales and Shawbury in Shropshire experienced around 15cm of the white stuff, and some Welsh hills even experienced around 80cm of snow. Incredible.


Better Earth

Good news? Some of the most encouraging graphs about the human condition you'll ever see

human progress graph
Despite all the fear-mongering over the condition of our planet as well as the human condition, there is encouraging news. Dina D. Pomeranz writes on Twitter: (h/t to Steve McIntyre)

This figure is quite amazing. Never ever before has the world changed as it has from 1990 to 2015.

Comment: While the graphs above seem to offer a glimmer of hope, one always has to question how they're getting their numbers. Remember that lower death rates don't necessarily mean lower suffering and a decrease in deaths from natural disasters doesn't mean that natural disasters aren't on the rise, it simply means that people seem to be better at surviving them, no doubt due to better equipped first responders. Perhaps a comparison of the financial impact of natural disasters could be illuminating. There's also the psychological toll of natural disasters to consider.


Wolf

'Coywolf': New York City suburb on edge after sightings of a wolf-coyote cross

coywolf
© Courtesy of Eric Dresser
A Coywolf in upstate New York.

A mutant animal has a suburban New York City community on edge, with worries about threats to pets and residents being stalked as authorities try to track down the beasts.

Police in Rockland County are on the hunt for the elusive coywolf -- a hybrid created when a coyote and a wolf mate - and are warning residents to keep their dogs on a leash and their cats indoors "if you are truly concerned with its health."

"DO chase them away and make noise (bang pots and pans) if you don't want them in your yard," police in Clarkstown, N.Y., warned in a Facebook post. "Of course, if you don't mind them, then watch them from a window quietly so as to not scare them away."

Comment: See also:


Snowflake

Activist films dying polar bear and blames 'global warming'

arctic polar bear
© REUTERS/Susanne Miller/USFWS/Handout
A polar bear keeps close to her young along the Beaufort Sea coast in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska in a March 6, 2007 file photo.
Every couple years photographs surface showing a "starving" polar bear whose plight is inevitably used to sound the alarm on man-made global warming.

However, like previous claims, footage of a single dying bear is not evidence of global warming-induced starvation.

This year, biologist Paul Nicklen published a video online of an emaciated polar bear on Baffin Island rummaging through trash cans, looking for food. The polar bear was likely at death's door when Nicklen captured the footage in late summer.

Nicklen, who founded the environmental group Sea Legacy, said he wanted to highlight the future polar bears face because of global warming. It worked, and the video has gone viral, sparking media coverage about a polar bear that's a victim of a warming world.

"We stood there crying-filming with tears rolling down our cheeks," Nicklen said, National Geographic reported.

"When scientists say bears are going extinct, I want people to realize what it looks like. Bears are going to starve to death," said Nicklen. "This is what a starving bear looks like."

WATCH:


It's certainly a sad sight, but it's not evidence global warming drove that specific bear to starvation. In fact, experts noted that if starvation in the area was global warming-driven, carcasses would be strewn throughout the landscape.

Interestingly enough, Sea Legacy co-founder Cristina Mittermeier admitted the actual cause of death was "irrelevant" - the point of all of this, like past starving polar bear videos, is to sound the alarm on global warming.

"It is impossible to tell why he was in this state. Maybe it could've been because of an injury or disease," Mittermeier told CBC News.

"The point is that it was starving," she said, "as we lose sea ice in the Arctic, polar bears will starve."

Polar bear experts, however, have cautioned that such photos don't constitute evidence of global warming-induced starvation.

"In August, this bear would have been only recently off the sea ice: since most bears are at their fattest at this time of year, something unusual had to have affected his ability to hunt or feed on the kills he made when other bears around him did not starve and die," Zoologist Susan Crockford wrote on her blog.

"It could have been something as simple as being out-competed for food in the spring by older animals," Crockford wrote. "But if sea ice loss due to man-made global warming had been the culprit, this bear would not have been the only one starving: the landscape would have been littered with carcasses."

In 2013, similar footage surfaced showing a dead polar bear that had likely starved to death on the island of Svalbard. That bear was also seized upon by activists to sound the alarm on melting Arctic sea ice, which bears hunt on.

German nature photographer Kerstin Langenberger posted a picture online in 2015, purporting to show a Svalbard polar bear brought to the brink of starvation due to a lack of sea ice. She used the photo to claim "climate change is happening big deal here in the Arctic."

While climate models predict Arctic sea ice coverage will continue to shrink, polar bear numbers have been stable or rising in many areas with reliable population counts.

Recent population estimates suggest Baffin Bay polar bear numbers are on the rise, in contrast to other estimates claiming the population is "likely declining" due to over-hunting. Local Inuits have long contested claims of polar bear decline on Baffin Island.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

Comment: Time and time again it has been clearly debunked that starving polar bears are not a result of so called 'global warming'. See also:


Fire

Deadly and destructive winter wildfires are 'the new normal' says California governor

Thomas fire, California
© Noah Berger/AP
The Thomas fire burns through Los Padres National Forest near Ojai, California
A week of destructive fires in Southern California is ending but danger still looms.

Well into what's considered the wet season, there's been nary a drop of rain. That's good news for sun-seeking tourists, but could spell more disaster for a region that emerged this spring from a years long drought and now has firefighters on edge because of parched conditions and no end in sight to the typical fire season.

"This is the new normal," Gov. Jerry Brown warned Saturday after surveying damage from the deadly Ventura County fire that has caused the most destruction. "We're about ready to have firefighting at Christmas. This is very odd and unusual."


Even as firefighters made progress containing six major wildfires from Santa Barbara to San Diego County and most evacuees were allowed to return home, predicted gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) through Sunday posed a threat of flaring up existing blazes or spreading new ones. High fire risk is expected to last into January.

Overall, out-of-control fires have destroyed nearly 800 homes and other buildings, killed dozens of horses and forced more than 200,000 people to flee flames that have burned over 270 square miles (700 square kilometers) since Monday. One death, so far, a 70-year-old woman who crashed her car on an evacuation route, is attributed to the fire in Santa Paula, a small city next to Ventura where the fire began.

Firefighters were on high alert for dangerous fire potential even before the first blazes broke out. On Dec. 1, they began planning for extreme winds forecast in the week ahead.