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Fri, 29 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes


No end in sight to Interior Alaska cold spell

Fairbaks - Friday marked day six of the worst cold snap to hit Fairbanks in several years and there is no relief in sight for residents who live in Alaska's second-largest city - or the business owners they call to bail them out when their cars, pipes and septic tanks freeze.

"Aarrgh," is how Dee Born, owner of Homestead Pumping and Thawing in North Pole, put it on Thursday afternoon while dealing with a waiting list that was about three days long. "As soon as it touched 50 below, the phones were ringing."

The temperature in North Pole dipped to 55 degrees below zero on Wednesday night, the lowest temperature recorded in the greater Fairbanks area during what has been six days of severe cold. It was "only" 46 below at 4 p.m. Friday in North Pole, but the temperature was "dropping by the hour," meteorologist Austin Cross at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks said.

Comment: Gotta hand it to those Alaskans, after all the horror stories of dealing with the bitter cold - "consuming alcohol makes cold injuries more likely and can impair judgment."


Too Cold to Ski in Alaska

Anchorage: Frigid temperatures forced organizers of the U.S. Cross Country Championship sprint race to cancel the event Saturday.

Race organizers hoped to hold the sprint races on Sunday, if the cold snap that has gripped much of Alaska for the past week loosens its grip a bit.

Forecasters, however, said the bitterly cold weather was expected to continue.

After several delays in which race organizers kept an eye on the temperature, the race at Kincaid Park was canceled mid-afternoon. Organizers watched as the mercury rose from 13 degrees below zero to about 6 below zero.

In the end, it wasn't enough, said race spokesman John Quinley. The cutoff for running the race is 4 degrees below zero.


Near-freezing cold kills 20 in India

Lucknow: Near-freezing temperatures and fog have killed another 20 people in northern India, raising the death toll to 34 since the start of the new year, a government official said Sunday.

The deaths occurred over the weekend as nighttime temperatures dipped to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) in parts of the region, which is used to short and mild winters.

Those killed have mostly been beggars or impoverished migrant workers who often sleep in the open, with only plastic sheets or jute cloth sacks for cover.

A 72-year-old woman and her two young grandchildren died overnight when her thatched hut caught fire after she lit a bonfire to keep the family warm in Kanpur, an industrial town in Uttar Pradesh state, said Surendra Srivastava, a police spokesman.

Police recorded 14 other cold-related deaths Saturday and Sunday in the state's Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Mahoba, Sant Kabirnagar and Barabanki districts, Srivastava told The Associated Press.

Bizarro Earth

US: 4.3 Magnitude Earthquake Northeastern Nevada

Northeast Nevada, US
Northeastern Nevada, US
Magnitude 4.3


* Sunday, January 04, 2009 at 15:29:20 UTC

* Sunday, January 04, 2009 at 07:29:20 AM at epicenter

Location 41.693°N, 114.405°W

Depth 0 km (~0 mile) set by location program



* 30 km (18 miles) SE (131°) from San Jacinto, NV

* 41 km (26 miles) NE (44°) from Wilkins, NV

* 50 km (31 miles) NNW (327°) from Tecoma, NV

* 80 km (50 miles) NE (36°) from Wells, NV

* 110 km (68 miles) NNW (345°) from West Wendover, NV

* 235 km (146 miles) WNW (297°) from Salt Lake City, UT


5.9 magnitude earthquake rocks Pakistan

Several parts of Pakistan, including the federal capital were on Sunday rocked by a moderate earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale.

The quake, which had its epicentre in the Hindu Kush mountain range and occurred at about 1.30 am, shook Islamabad, the North West Frontier Province, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and parts of Punjab province, the local met office said.

There were no reports of loss of life or damage to property.


Strong earthquake jolts NE Afghanistan

A powerful earthquake measured 6.2-magnitude hit northeastern Afghanistan, in the wee hours of Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

It occurred at around 12:53 a.m. local time (2020 GMT) at the depth of 220.8 km when the quake shocked the Hindu Kush Region, some 255 km northeast from the Afghan capital Kabul, recorded by the USGS website.

People in Kabul could feel house rattling quickly which last for some 30 seconds.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Better Earth

Earthquake in Kashmir valley, no damage reported

An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale rocked the Kashmir valley early on Sunday, jolting residents out of their sleep in panic.

"A 6.4 quake struck the Valley at 1.53am on Sunday. The epicentre of the quake was located in the Hindukush region with latitude 36.5 degrees north and longitude 70.8 degrees east," an official of the weather office here said.

There were no reports of damage to life and property.

Bizarro Earth

Strong Earthquakes Hit Indonesia

At least four people have been killed and dozens injured after a series of powerful earthquakes hit eastern Indonesia, officials say.

© BBC News
A number of buildings collapsed in Manokwari
The strongest tremor, with a magnitude of 7.6, struck north of the city of Manokwari in West Papua province at 0443 (1943 GMT on Saturday).

It was followed by another big quake and a string of aftershocks.

Witnesses said the tremors triggered mass panic in Manokwari, where several buildings were flattened.

Bizarro Earth

An Eighteen-Hundred-Year Climate Record from China

Working with a stalagmite found in China's Wanxiang Cave (33°19'N, 105°00'E) -- which Zhang et al. (2008) say is located on the fringes of the area currently affected by the Asian Monsoon and is thus sensitive to (and integrates broad changes in) that annually-recurring phenomenon -- the seventeen researchers developed a O18 record with an average resolution of 2.5 years that "largely anti-correlates with precipitation" and runs continuously from AD 190 to 2003. Even more important than its close ties with precipitation, in our opinion, Zhang et al. demonstrate that the record "exhibits a series of centennial to multi-centennial fluctuations broadly similar to those documented in Northern Hemisphere temperature reconstructions, including the Current Warm Period, Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period and Dark Age Cold Period." And when one compares the peak warmth thus implied by their data for the Current and Medieval Warm Periods, it is readily seen that the Medieval Warm Period comes out on top as having been the warmer of the two.

Better Earth

4000 Year Oxygen-18 Histories of New Zealand's North and South Islands

This is a review from CO2Science.com of an interesting paper looking at Oxygen 18 records in water driven cave formations (stalactite, stalagmite or flowstone) than span a 4000 year period. Here is a basic description from the NZ Climate Centre:

"These deposits occur within karst terranes in subterranean caverns mainly as calcite (CaCO3) precipitated from groundwater that percolated through overlying limestone or marble rock. Interior cave climates and environments are generally stable; temperatures have little annual variation and are usually close to the external local mean annual air temperature. Oxygen and carbon stable isotope values (18O/16O and 13C/12C) obtained from speleothem calcite have been employed at many locations in the world to determine past climate conditions and can be used to interpret environmental changes."