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Mon, 11 Dec 2023
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Extreme Temperatures


Greenland: Once a Viking paradise

temperature variations
Greenland’s temperature variations: comparing 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The "Little Ice Age" impact on Europe was sudden and ferocious.

Using its weapons of plague, famine and (perhaps controversially) earthquake, the so-called "Little Ice age" reduced the population of Europe by around 30 to 50 percent. The virulence and death toll of the 1348 AD plague is totally unmatched by modern examples. Further, the world mega-famine of 1315 AD, due to both weather and pestilence, was catastrophic. The relentless temperature drops combined with erratic weather are nearly impossible to explain, but mankind had no hand in its inception. What forces of nature caused this catastrophic scenario? Greenland is a classic example of death and abandonment. Let's travel back in time and see what happened.

Although the Little Ice Age is a scientific reconstruction, it covers a period when there was a significant and chaotic down-turn in climate, compared to the present era. It is classified into four periods from around 1280 AD to 1850 AD. These erratic cold periods are referred to as the Wolf, Sporer, Maunder and Dalton weather minima. Those dramatic climatic deteriorations were not only cooler, wetter and windier on average, but also vastly more chaotic in their fluctuations, creating the prime ingredients for famine and (curiously) plague.

The Little Ice Age followed a period known as the "Medieval Maximum" that is dated to between 900 AD - 1280 AD, which copious records reveal was much warmer than modern times. For instance, grapevines grew in the area of today's shivering Wales! This was generally a period of prosperity for civilizations. There was a large increase in world population and an era of colonial expansion. During the years 800 AD - 1200 AD, Greenland and Iceland were settled by the Vikings. The "Medieval Warm Period" allowed this great migration to flourish. Drift ice at later dates posed the greatest hazard to sailors but reports of drift ice in old records do not appear until the thirteenth century.

Arrow Up

Climate debate: Lord Monckton vs HRH Prince Charles

Following HRH Prince Charles intemperate remarks about 'headless chickens' reported at the talkshop last week, Lord Monckton has written him an open letter, reproduced below.

Lord Moncton Header
© Tallbloke's Talkshop
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales,
Clarence House, London.

Candlemas, 2014

Your Royal Highness' recent remarks describing those who have scientific and economic reason to question the Establishment opinion on climatic apocalypse in uncomplimentary and unroyal terms as "headless chickens" mark the end of our constitutional monarchy and a return to the direct involvement of the Royal Family, in the Person of our future king, no less, in the cut and thrust of partisan politics.

Now that Your Royal Highness has offered Your Person as fair game in the shootout of politics, I am at last free to offer two options. I need no longer hold back, as so many have held back, as Your Royal Highness' interventions in politics have become more frequent and less acceptable in their manner as well as in their matter.

Option 1. Your Royal Highness will renounce the Throne forthwith and for aye. Those remarks were rankly party-political and were calculated to offend those who still believe, as Your Royal Highness plainly does not, that the United Kingdom should be and remain a free country, where any subject of Her Majesty may study science and economics, may draw his conclusions from his research and may publish the results, however uncongenial the results may be.

The line has been crossed. No one who has intervened thus intemperately in politics may legitimately occupy the Throne. Your Royal Highness' arrogant and derogatory dismissiveness towards the near-50 percent of your subjects who no longer follow the New Religion is tantamount to premature abdication. Goodnight, sweet prince. No more "Your Royal Highness."


U.S.: 4,406 record cold temperatures in January; 1,073 snowfall records

© HAMweather
4406 Record Cold Temps, 1259 Record Warm temps, 1073 Snowfall records

http://wx.hamweather.com/maps/climate/records/4week/us.html?cat=maxtemp,mintemp,snow,lowma x,highmin,

Related Links:
Climate Scientist Who Got It Right Predicts 20 More Years of Global Cooling: 'For the next 20 years, I predict global cooling of about 3/10ths of a degree Fahrenheit, as opposed to the one-degree warming predicted by the IPCC," said Geologist Dr. Don Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University and author of 150 scientific journal articles and 10 books, including "Evidence Based Climate Science," which was published in 2011.

Forget global warming!? Earth undergoing global COOLING since 2002! Climate Scientist Dr. Judith Curry: 'Attention in the public debate seems to be moving away from the 15-17 year 'pause' to the cooling since 2002' - Growing number of scientists are predicting global cooling: Russia's Pulkovo Observatory: 'We could be in for a cooling period that lasts 200-250 years'

Record snowfall in New York City

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is 26% above normal as of Jan 30 2014: 'On track to have the highest minimum in the modern satellite era'

Ice Cube

Heavy snow, ice, rain bury two-thirds of U.S.

© Matt Rourke
A downed tree covered in ice lays atop a minivan after a winter storm Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Philadelphia.

A major winter storm advancing across the U.S. midsection Wednesday brought heavy snow, heavy ice accumulation and heavy rainfall to two-thirds of the country.

At least 115 million people in more than a dozen states -- more than a third of U.S. population -- were under some form of winter weather alert, the Weather Channel reported.

More than 2,000 flights were canceled and nearly 1,100 were delayed as of early Wednesday, flight-tracking website Flightaware.com said.

Roads and highways were closed due to the weather and accidents, and mass transit was curtailed in many areas.

Government offices and schools were shut in hard-hit areas. Many school districts already exceeded their "snow day" allotments, so they were now deducting days from students' spring break or adding days to the school year.

The governors of at least three states -- Mississippi, Kansas and New Jersey -- declared states of emergency to deal with storm response.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Tuesday New York had 1,789 plows, 359 loaders and 4,185 operators "stationed and ready for the storm, along with 259,605 tons of salt."

New York City's Office of Emergency Management issued a hazardous travel advisory.

Other Northeast cities declared snow emergencies.

Ice Cube

Rapid ice coverage of the Great Lakes surges to 62 percent, may bring significant consequences for Michigan weather

© Space Science And Engineering Center- University of Wisconsin - Madison
This higher resolution satellite photo from Tuesday January 28, 2014 shows ice along the western side of Lake Michigan. It also shows the point at which open water starts, the lake effect bands of snow form.
The Great Lakes have reached 62 percent ice coverage due to extreme cold, and in the weeks ahead that can have a triple-barreled consequence on Michigan's weather: More cold. Less lake-effect snow. More sun.

The coverage is growing rapidly. The ice area more than doubled in just one recent week, from 22 percent coverage on Jan. 15 to 48 percent by Jan. 22. From Jan. 22 to Jan. 28 the average Great Lakes ice grew another 14 percent.

Lake Superior is 69 percent covered in ice. Lake Michigan has 46 percent ice cover, while Lake Huron is 71 percent ice covered. Lake Erie is almost totally covered with ice, at 96 percent. Lake Ontario has 26 percent ice cover.

George Leshkevich, physical scientist at NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, says the oddity this year is how early in the winter this amount of ice cover has formed.

The 62 percent ice cover already ranks this year as 17th in maximum ice coverage in the last 40 years. 1994 had the highest ice cover at 94.8 percent.

Dry arctic air has taken over much of the Great Lakes region, allowing for clearing skies over land, and even over parts of the lakes. That gave us a high resolution satellite photo posted Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014 by the Space Science and Engineering Center.

The photo shows a large area of ice formed on the west side of Lake Michigan, off the shore of northern Indiana through the Chicago area, and up the Wisconsin shoreline.

Ice Cube

'Climate Scientist Who Got It Right'

© Wikimedia Commons.
Earth at the last glacial maximum of the current ice age
Dr. Don Easterbrook - a climate scientist and glacier expert from Washington State who correctly predicted back in 2000 that the Earth was entering a cooling phase - says to expect colder temperatures for at least the next two decades.

Easterbrook's predictions were "right on the money" seven years before Al Gore and the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for warning that the Earth was facing catastrophic warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide, which Gore called a "planetary emergency."

"When we check their projections against what actually happened in that time interval, they're not even close. They're off by a full degree in one decade, which is huge. That's more than the entire amount of warming we've had in the past century. So their models have failed just miserably, nowhere near close. And maybe it's luck, who knows, but mine have been right on the button," Easterbrook told CNSNews.com.

"For the next 20 years, I predict global cooling of about 3/10ths of a degree Fahrenheit, as opposed to the one-degree warming predicted by the IPCC," said Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University and author of 150 scientific journal articles and 10 books, including "Evidence Based Climate Science," which was published in 2011. (See EasterbrookL coming-century-predictions.pdf)

Cloud Precipitation

Apocalypse in Slovenian forests due to freezing rain and snow

Slovenia ice storm forest damage
© 2014 Mariša Bizjak
In some areas up to 80 per cent of the forest has been damaged. Some forests in the regions of Postojna and Pivka are completely in tatters due to sleet and snow.
Devastating sleet, which has been crushing trees under its weight all over the country, has caused the largest catastrophe ever to hit Slovenian forests.

Damjan Oražen, director of the Slovenian Forest Institute, has stated that according to early estimates as many as 500,000 hectares are damaged, i.e. almost half of all Slovenian forests. According to Oražen, the total volume of fallen wood amounts to 4 million cubic metres, which equals the entire average annual harvest. What is more, since the current conditions do not allow forestry teams to estimate the damage on the spot, the estimated numbers are not final.

Falling branches and trees pose danger throughout the country at the moment, and it will continue to be so until the ice melts. Therefore, walkers through forested areas are advised caution, and should be aware that the situation is not likely to fully return to normal until the spring.

Snowflake Cold

Update! Now 25% of Slovenia is without power, 40% schools closed as blizzards compound ice storm

Slovenia Ice Storm Road Cleanup
© www.rtvslo.si
Firefighters work through the night to clear fallen tree limbs

Heavy freezing rain in Slovenia has caused widespread power outages and the closing of many roads across the European nation. Approximately 10% of the country was without power due to downed power lines and damaged transformers.

Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek announced that Slovenia had requested aid from the European Union, as well as help from neighboring Italy and Croatia to help repair the country's damaged electrical distribution network. She also stated that it may take up to a week to complete all the repairs, as current icy conditions and fallen trees and branches on roadways are impeding repair crews.

Comment: Update 5 February 2014

Further blizzards have hit Eastern Europe, leaving 25% of Slovenians without power and 40% of schools closed.


Bizarro Earth

California simultaneous freeze and drought badly damages citrus crops - U.S. food prices to increase

citrus crops freeze
Citrus crops frozen during a cold weather snap
Monday citrus growers found out how much of an impact the deep freeze which gripped our area in December had on citrus crops. The freeze ruined millions of dollars' worth of citrus and that is expected to drive up food prices in the coming in the months.

At the peak of citrus season Kings River Packing hires about a thousand people to harvest and sort fruit. But this year the family owned operation may have to scale back on hiring after getting hit by a double whammy. The statewide drought and the deep December citrus freeze have ruined a lot of fruit.

"Industry wise there's a lot of damage. Some people did get hit harder than others. The ultimate effect is going to be the jobs," ColbyCampbell with Kings River Packing said.


Southern Austria on highest avalanche alert after heavy snow

Heaviest snow in 15 years - At least two people killed.

Snow in Southern Austria
© Reuters
With more snow in the forecast, more than 1,000 soldiers have been put on standby for helicopter rescue operations.