Earth ChangesS


Flashback Often Alaska's coldest spot, Bettles is setting records

Fairbanks -- It's been bitter cold in Bettles, 200 miles north of Fairbanks.

The village in the foothills of the Brooks Range recorded a new record low temperature of 47 degrees below zero on Saturday. It was the fifth day in a row a new record low was set in the town, and the sixth day in a row that the temperature was more than 40 below zero.

Bettles weather observer Max Hanst said Bettles typically is one of the coldest places in Alaska, but even this is unusual. He said these temperatures usually occur in January.

It's been chilly elsewhere in the Interior.

In Fairbanks, it was 34 degrees below at Fairbanks International Airport Saturday morning. That was one degree shy of tying the record low of 35 below set in 1904.


Flashback Hong Kong shivers in coldest November in more than 120 years

Hong Kong - Hong Kong recorded its coldest November 18 in 120 years as a winter monsoon continued to send temperatures falling, weather experts said Thursday. Temperatures fell to 9.7 degrees Celsius in the sub-tropical city on Wednesday morning - the lowest November 18 reading since records began in 1883.

In more rural areas close to the border with China, it was even colder, falling as low as 6.6 degrees.

The previous coldest November 18 was in 1976 when the temperature was 11.9 degrees.

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Cold Arctic Pressure Pattern Nearly Off Chart

A big driver of the outbreaks of record cold and snow in many spots around the Northern Hemisphere is the little blue dot at the lower right-hand corner of the graph above, just above the year 2010. The chart (generated by Ignatius Rigor for Dot Earth) shows the state of the Arctic Oscillation, a pattern of atmospheric pressure that has two phases, positive and negative (somewhat like the more familiar cycle of El Niño and La Niña in the Pacific). A strong negative or positive condition can powerfully influence weather around the northern half of the globe and the behavior of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean.


50 years of cooling predicted

Who said the science was settled?
Cosmic rays and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), both already implicated in depleting the Earth's ozone layer, are also responsible for changes in the global climate, a University of Waterloo scientist reports in a new peer-reviewed paper.

In his paper, Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, shows how CFCs - compounds once widely used as refrigerants - and cosmic rays - energy particles originating in outer space - are mostly to blame for climate change, rather than carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. His paper, derived from observations of satellite, ground-based and balloon measurements as well as an innovative use of an established mechanism, was published online in the prestigious journal Physics Reports.

"My findings do not agree with the climate models that conventionally thought that greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, are the major culprits for the global warming seen in the late 20th century," Lu said. "Instead, the observed data show that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays most likely caused both the Antarctic ozone hole and global warming...."

In his research, Lu discovers that while there was global warming from 1950 to 2000, there has been global cooling since 2002. The cooling trend will continue for the next 50 years, according to his new research observations.


Flashback Newfoundland Digs Out from Record Snow

St. Johns, Newfoundland - The Canadian province of Newfoundland Monday was digging out from a record snowfall of 15.5 inches in St. John's, weather officials said.

The city's old snowfall record for Dec. 6 was around 8 inches, set in 2002, which Sunday's storm easily surpassed, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The CBC said the snow, which was driven by wind gusts of more than 60 mph, tied up traffic Monday and forced residents to haul out snowblowers and try to navigate snow-packed roadways. Officials said a crane had to be brought in to pull a city snowplow out of a ditch.

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Record Cold Hits Sacramento

Bone-chilling temperatures are being reported throughout the Sacramento region with widespread frost expected to stick around until 10 a.m. this morning.

In downtown Sacramento, the 27 degree reading ties the all-time low for this date, set in 1972. It was even colder at Sacramento Executive airport, where 25 degrees was recorded.

Elsewhere, lows were 28 degrees in Auburn, 27 in Stockton, and 28 in Vacaville.

As cold's grip remains, thousands of Pacific Gas & Electric customers remain without electricity more than 24 hours after Monday's snowstorm knocked out power.


Flashback Enormous Winter Storm Over U.S.

A massive winter storm covering nearly 2,735 km has brought Arctic cold, record snowfall and blizzard conditions to a huge swathe of the US.

Winter weather warnings have been issued from south western Utah, across the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains to north eastern Michigan.

In California parts of the Sierra Nevada saw up to 1.2 metres of snow and in Arizona the storm brought high winds to the Phoenix are, leaving 250,000 people without power as power lines were felled.

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Epic Blizzard Wreaks Havoc: Blizzard Forces School and Road Closures Throughout Midwest

Forecasters warned that the large storm system rolling through the plains and the upper Midwest could be dangerous, the storm has been living up to its billing.

Schools throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin and Missouri have been shuttered after the blizzard dumped more than a foot of snow in some locations.

White-out conditions, high winds and wind chills reading 20 below zero have made travel nearly impossible in the storm battered states.

Portions of I-80 have been closed in Iowa where a blizzard warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday night.

Des Moines, Iowa officials have reported 84 accidents between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday and the storm is responsible for one death in Omaha where a 28-year-old woman was killed by a private snowplow.

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Record Setting Cold Grips Southwest Saskatchewan

Southwest Saskatchewan residents are waking up to a second day of record breaking cold, as extreme wind chill values continue to grip the province.

Swift Current's temperature plummeted to -32.4 Celsius yesterday, breaking the previous record low of -30.6 which dated back to 1940.

Today, Swift Current has already eclipsed another long standing record, with morning temperatures of -33 Celsius dropping the mercury to -33, colder than the previous Dec. 13 record of -32.2 Celsius set in 1946.

Both dates are the coldest since Environment Canada began keeping Swift Current weather records in 1938.

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Record Cold, Snow Envelop Japan Sea Coast

Frigid air swept through a wide area along the Sea of Japan on Thursday, dumping record snowfalls and setting record-low temperatures for December in northern parts of the country, the Meteorological Agency said.

Local observatories measured 93 cm of snow in Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture, and 86 cm in the city of Akita in the morning, both breaking accumulation records.

The first snowfall of the season was recorded in warmer areas, including Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, and the cities of Hiroshima and Fukuoka.

In Memuro, central Hokkaido, temperatures dipped to minus 25, the lowest reading ever recorded in December.

A number of cities saw the lowest temperatures of the season, including Sapporo at minus 7.1, Tokyo at 4.6, and the cities of Niigata and Miyazaki, where the mercury fell to 0.2.