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Mon, 11 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Cloud Lightning

History of life shaped by great catastrophes

Tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis: Mother Nature seems to have it in for our world these days.

In a way, though, we live in a relatively peaceful time. While it's no comfort to those hurting or grieving now, Earth saw far greater catastrophes in its long and troubled past.

The planet has been frozen, roasted, smothered, battered, shaken, half-drowned. Entire species have been obliterated; so far, fortunately, that doesn't include Homo sapiens, but we've had a close call.

And these are all natural calamities, not those caused by humans, such as war, terrorism or the Holocaust.

Fireball 5

Comets may have caused Earth's great empires to fall

Triumph Death Pieter Bruegel Elder

'The Triumph of Death', by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Recent scientific discoveries are shedding new light on why great empires such as Egypt, Babylon and Rome fell apart, giving way to the periodic "dark ages'' that punctuate human history.

At least five times during the last 6,000 years, major environmental calamities undermined civilizations around the world. Some researchers say these disasters appear to be linked to collisions with comets or fragments of comets such as the one that broke apart and smashed spectacularly into Jupiter five years ago.

The impacts, yielding many megatons of explosive energy, produced vast clouds of smoke and dust that circled the globe for years, dimming the sun, driving down temperatures and sowing hunger, disease and death.

The last such global crisis occurred between A.D. 530 and 540 - at the beginning of the Dark Ages in Europe - when Earth was pummeled by a swarm of cosmic debris.

Snowflake Cold

Coldest start to winter in decades for Russia: Parts of Siberia are enduring extreme cold below minus-70 degrees Fahrenheit

russia siberia cold
© weatherbell.com
A major cold snap has hit eastern Russia in recent days
As the icebox of the Northern Hemisphere, Russia's Siberia is notorious for its frigid weather. But the cold so far this December — the most severe in decades in some areas — is extreme even by its own bone-chilling standards.

Temperatures around minus-58 degrees (minus-50 Celsius) and even lower have spread over northeastern Siberia in recent days and will persist for several more. The mercury has dipped as low as minus-73.7 degrees (minus-58.7 Celsius) thus far.

Most of Russia is predicted to endure temperatures much below average through the next week. The coldest conditions relative to normal will tend to drift toward the central and western parts of the country with daily temperature some 20 to 40 degrees below average.

The punishing chill in Siberia is a massive departure from abnormally warm weather prevailing over much of the rest of the planet. The European Union's Copernicus Climate Service announced Wednesday that last month was the warmest November ever observed by a wide margin and the sixth month in a row to set a record high. This year is a virtual lock to be the planet's warmest on record.

Comment: That's according to 'satellite data', which is 'cooked' to produce 'the right results'. The actual, lived November for most Europeans was a cold and wet one.

Climate scientists still expect bouts of extreme cold in a warming world, but they are projected to become less frequent and intense, while covering smaller areas, over time.

Comment: See also: Temperatures in Siberia dip to minus 56 Celsius as record snow blankets Moscow

Cloud Lightning

Mind-blowing moment driver cheated death when lightning strike exploded the tree beside his car in Mudgee, Australia

The car was smashed by the tree branches (pictured) after the tree was hit by a lightning strike

The car was smashed by the tree branches (pictured) after the tree was hit by a lightning strike
Terrifying footage has captured the moment a driver dodged death when lightning struck a tree next to his parked car, sending huge branches crashing down onto it.

The shocking incident happened on a street in Mudgee, in central NSW, around 270km north-west of Sydney.

Dashcam footage of the incident was captured by another vehicle parked nearby and uploaded to Instagram by the lucky driver Simon Somervail on Thursday.

The shocking clip showed the moment the red 2009 Hyundai Getz, which appears orange in the video, was hit by the massive tree branches.


One killed in bear attack in Odisha, India

A man was allegedly mauled to death by a wild bear in the forest near Bhartasiuni area in Nabrangpur district. The incident came to light on Saturday.

The deceased was a contractor of the Bhratmala Project conducted in the area.

As per initial reports, the bear attacked the man while he had gone to the forest to attend nature's call. The police on being informed reached the spot and initiated a probe into the matter.


Embarrassed experts flip-flop, now warn: 'Will snow more heavily in coming years'!

Much of Europe has been hit with cold temperatures and heavy snow falls so far this month, taking Europeans by surprise. "Experts" blame warming.
Early December snow
© P. Gosselin
Rare early December snow at the German North Sea coast, December 2, 2023.
Not "a thing of the past"

Don't be surprised by all the surprise. After all, global warming-obsessed climatologists and media told us back in 2020 that snow and frost would be rare - a thing of the past!

Now with the heavy, record snowfall, global warming astrologists are looking a bit foolish and embarrassed. Their predictions are wrong. Already in November snow arrived and record amounts have already fallen, like in Munich. This has sent the media scrambling for an explanation, and they have concocted one, reports German news magazine FOCUS. Here's the explanation:
"Experts agree: Heavy snowfall is a sign of climate change!"
Strange how whenever there's a winter with very little snowfall, that too is a sure sign of climate change. And when there are a couple of years of drought, it is the new climate normal. But when there's too much rainfall, that too proves the climate is warming. No matter what happens, it's a sign of climate change!


Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming reaches 100 inches of snowfall already

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) has announces that it will open four additional lifts and a variety of terrain in the coming days after a strong winter storm recently pushed the resort's snowfall to over 100 inches (2.5 metres) this season. Another winter storm is currently hitting the Tetons, giving visitors improving early-season conditions across the resort.

JHMR officially opened the Casper lift on Wednesday and will open both the Bridger Gondola and the Marmot lift today, Friday, Dec. 8. Jackson Hole will also open both the Thunder and Sublette lifts on Saturday, Dec. 9, offering a wide expanse of intermediate and advanced terrain in addition to runs on the north side of the mountain already available via the Teewinot, Après Vous, Teton, and Sweetwater lifts.

Last weekend's winter storm brought the resort's snowfall since Dec. 1 to 31 inches (77cm), and heavy snow has resumed is expected to continue throughout the weekend.


Swarms of locusts flood the skies of Merida, Mexico

Swarms of locusts were spotted in the skies over Yucatan's capital, Merida, on December 6.

This footage, posted to Facebook by Gonzalez Jose, shows the swarm zooming across the sky in the Mexican city.

The locusts were expected to leave the city in two days and would not endanger crops, local news reported, citing officials.

Credit: Gonzalez Jose via Storyful


7.1 magnitude earthquake hits Vanuatu, triggers tsunami warning

A 7.1 magnitude quake struck south of Vanuatu on Thursday, the United States Geological Survey said, triggering a tsunami warning.

USGS initially reported a magnitude of 7.3 and a depth of 35 kilometres, but soon revised its report.

The offshore quake hit at 1256 GMT at a depth of 48 kilometres (30 miles), about 123 kilometres south of the town of Isangel and 338 kilometres from the capital Port Vila, USGS said.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said "hazardous waves from this earthquake are possible within 300 kilometres of the epicenter along the coasts of Vanuatu and New Caledonia".


Vehicles disappear under 4 feet of snow in Utah

A vehicle buried in snow in Little Cottonwood
© Luke Stone
A vehicle buried in snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, on Dec. 4, 2023.
Footage taken on Monday shows a number of vehicles buried under more than 4 feet of snow in Little Cottonwood Canyon in northern Utah.

In the video, many of the vehicles appear as large white mounds with only black windshield wipers sticking out of the snow.

People were digging for hours in hopes of freeing the vehicles from the thick layer of snow, according to Luke Stone, who shot the footage.

"Dozens of cars had not moved or been touched since the storm started, so they were totally buried," Stone said.

The early-winter burial began on Friday, when 16.5 inches of snow fell, according to the nearby Alta Ski Resort. On Saturday, 20 additional inches fell, followed by 19 more inches on Sunday.

Comment: Related: Utah ski resorts pummeled with feet of snow