Earth ChangesS

Bizarro Earth

Winter Freeze Kills 79 in Poland

Warsaw - Ten people have died of cold in Poland over the past day, taking the toll since winter set in earlier this month to 79, police said Tuesday.

A national police spokeswoman told AFP that 10 people had been found dead since Monday.

The majority of the victims were homeless men who died while drunk, police said.

Fifty-two of the 79 deaths recorded since December 1 occurred since Friday, as temperatures plunged to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus four Fahrenheit).

Bizarro Earth

Big Freeze Brings Misery and Death to Europe

Freezing weather which has killed more than 90 people is continuing to cause transport problems across Europe.

Air, rail and road services have been severely disrupted but some routes have now resumed.

Eurostar resumed a limited service and flights restarted from Europe's third-biggest airport - in Frankfurt - on Tuesday after it was closed overnight.

In Poland, where 10 people died in a single day, the winter death toll now stands at 79.

Alarm Clock

Deadly Cold Across Europe and Russia

A wave of frigid air spilled down over Europe and Russia from the Arctic in mid-December, creating a deadly cold snap. According to, at least 90 people had died in Europe, including 79 people, mostly homeless, in Poland. In places, the bitter cold was accompanied by heavy snow, which halted rail and air traffic for several days during the week of Christmas.

This image shows the impact of the cold snap on land surface temperatures across the region from December 11 - 18, 2009, compared to the 2000 - 2008 average. The measurements were made by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite.

Places where temperatures were up to 20 degrees Celsius below average are blue, locations where temperatures were average are cream-colored, and places where temperatures were above average are red. Light gray patches show where clouds were so persistent during the week that MODIS could not make measurements of the land surface temperature.


St. Petersburg experiences heaviest snowfall in 130 years

More than 3,000 people have been recruited by City Hall to clear the snow as Governor Valentina Matviyenko said that St. Petersburg stands on the verge of collapse.

Around 1,000 civilians and more than 2,000 soldiers have been out on the streets on a round-the-clock basis saving the city from what some have described as a snow siege. According to the State Meteorological Center, over the past weekend St. Petersburg experienced its heaviest snowfall in 130 years. In some parts of the city there were over 35 centimeters of snowfall.

In most parts of the city parking was severely restricted, while traffic jams almost brought the city to a standstill. Average speeds on city roads since Friday have been under 30 kilometers per hour according to the traffic police. Many dual-carriageway streets have in effect been turned into single-carriageway thoroughfares as a result of the massive piles of snow on each side.


4 More Die of Cold in Uttar Pradesh; Toll Reaches 18

Four more persons, including a woman, died of nipping cold overnight, taking the toll of cold-related deaths in Uttar Pradesh to 18.

According to reports, three people died of cold in Saraikhawaja and Nevriya areas of Jaunpur district in the last 24 hours.

Earlier, two more persons died of chilly weather in Jaunpur district.

As per reports from Bijnore, a woman died due to cold during bonfire arrangement in Tikkopur village today.


Peru's mountain people face fight for survival as bitterly cold winter follows bitterly cold summer

© Martin Mejia/APA farmer walks with her son during a potato harvest in Huancavelica, southern Peru.
Climate change is bringing freezing temperatures to poor villages where families have long existed on the margins of survival. Now some must choose whether to save the animals that give them a living, or their children

For alpaca farmer Ignacio Beneto Huamani and his young family, life in the Peruvian Andes, at almost 4,700m above sea level, has always been a struggle against the elements. His village of Pichccahuasi, in Peru's Huancavelica region, is little more than a collection of small thatched shelters and herds of alpaca surrounded by beautiful, yet bleakly inhospitable, mountain terrain.

The few hundred people who live here are hardened to poverty and months of sub-zero temperatures during the long winter. But, for the fourth year running, the cold came early. First their animals and now their children are dying and in such escalating numbers that many fear that life in the village may be rapidly approaching an end.

In a world growing ever hotter, Huancavelica is an anomaly. These communities, living at the edge of what is possible, face extinction because of increasingly cold conditions in their own microclimate, which may have been altered by the rapid melting of the glaciers.

Comment: What planet do Guardian contributers inhabit? Clearly not Earth in 2010! It is freezing in Cuba, Portugal, Thailand!


Fruits freeze, iguanas drop from trees in Freezing Florida

© Wilfredo Lee/APA stunned iguana lies on the sidewalk after having fallen from a tree Wednesday in Surfside, Florida. The non-native species becomes immobilized in the cold.
Tourist beachgoers wrap up as Arctic blast hits so-called Sunshine State

Across the so-called Sunshine State, oranges and strawberries are freezing, icicles are hanging off palm fronds, and iguanas paralyzed by the cold are falling out of trees.

Temperatures have plunged as low as the 20s in recent days, forcing people used to wearing flip-flops year-round to put on earmuffs.

"I am a warm-weather boy. There's no way I'm going out there," laughed Archie Adkins of Pensacola Beach as he pointed at bundled-up beachgoers.


Cold Weather: Winter is Coldest in Peoples' Memories

© Tony Dejak/APGert Chisholm, Linda Brockett, and Sandy Sotak walk the streets of Beachwood, Ohio, Tuesday. Forecasters say snow will continue to fall on parts of northeast Ohio that already have two feet or more on the ground.
Cold weather across much of the East has orange growers pulling all-nighters in Florida, city workers in Atlanta scrambling to fix burst pipes, and the homeless struggling in Memphis.


Remember those nasty 1970s winters?

Well, Americans are reliving those cold old days right now as cold weather threatens orange and strawberry growers in Florida, has social service crews working overtime in Tennessee, and fracturing old water mains in Atlanta.

Across the South, Midwest, and Eastern seaboard, a stubborn "arctic outbreak," tacked onto an already cold return to work for many Americans, augurs what meteorologist at are calling "the coldest winter in many people's memory."


Flashback 2008 was China's "coldest winter in 100 years"

© REUTERS/StringerWorkers carry equipment to fix power cables destroyed due to recent snowfall in Changsha, in Hunan province February 1, 2008
Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.

Freezing weather has killed scores of people and left travelers stranded before the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival -- the only opportunity many people have for a holiday all year.

It has also brought China unwanted negative publicity six months before the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

President Hu Jintao chaired an emergency Politburo meeting on Sunday for the second time in a week to discuss rescue efforts.

Cloud Lightning

Heaviest snowfall in 60 years hits China

© XinhuaArmed police and railway workers remove snow from the track to free a train stranded near Jining in Inner Mongolia on Jan 4th. More than 1,400 passengers were evacuated.
Falling mercury causes power shortages; cold spell to continue

The heaviest snowfall to hit northern China in nearly six decades continued to snarl traffic yesterday, stranding thousands of passengers on railways and at airports.

The unusually harsh winter weather also caused coal shortages, forcing some provinces to cut power supplies.

Though snow stopped in most parts in the north by yesterday morning, heavy snowfall and biting cold continued in parts of Inner Mongolia, Hebei and Shandong.

The heavy snow led to the delay of 13 passenger trains in Inner Mongolia, and forced the closure of all four airports in Shandong, as well as 30 state highways in northern China.

Beijing Capital International Airport, with more than 1,400 flights scheduled to take off yesterday, reported severe disruptions. By 4 pm, 485 flights took off, 690 flights were delayed for an average of 90 minutes, and 98 flights were canceled, an airport spokesman said.