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Extreme Temperatures

Igloo

Death toll from Europe cold snap passes 300

The deadly cold snap that has gripped Europe for more than a week wrought more havoc across the continent Sunday, straining emergency services, grounding flights and pushing the death toll past 300.

The homeless population has borne the brunt of the suffering, with dozens of transients freezing to death in unheated apartments, fire escapes or in makeshift street shelters.
Image
© AFP
Swiss temperatures plunged to minus 35.1 degrees Celsius in the eastern Graubuenden canton on Sunday night
French authorities on Sunday found the body of a homeless man who had frozen to death, bringing to at least 306 the number of cold-related deaths reported across Europe.

With night-time temperatures plunging as low as minus 40 Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit) in Finland, the grim winter toll also rose in other countries.

Igloo

The Littlest Ice Age: Europeans Beg for the Return of "Global Warming"

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© Unknown
A man walks past an ice covered car on the frozen waterside promenade at Lake Geneva in Versoix, near Geneva, Switzerland, early Feb. 5. The death toll from the vicious cold snap across Europe has risen to more than 260, with the winter misery set to hit thousands of those seeking to escape it as air traffic was hit.
How cold is the Winter of 2010-2011 in Great Britain and Ireland? Well, it has been "referred to as The Big Freeze by national media. In the UK it was the coldest December ever, since Met Office records began in 1910, with a mean temperature of -1°C. It broke the previous record of 0.1°C in December 1981."

And it obviously broke records for cold set before the "Met Office records began in 1910" as indicated in this souvenir:
Image
© Unknown

Igloo

Japan: Record lows recorded at 38 locations

Ice fishermen
© Kyodo Photos
Ice fishermen cast lines Friday in Lake Yamanaka in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Well below zero from Kyushu to Hokkaido and more cold looms

The country experienced severe cold weather Friday and morning temperatures dropped to record lows at 38 locations nationwide, the Meteorological Agency said.

From Tohoku to Kyushu, 16 prefectures recorded their lowest temperatures ever, including the town of Kusu in Oita Prefecture, where the mercury fell to minus 14.7 degrees, and Mashiki, Kumamoto Prefecture, where the temperature plunged to minus 8.4.

Temperatures were below zero early Friday at more than 90 percent of 927 observation points across Japan, the agency said.

The lowest figure was minus 32.6 in Esashi, Hokkaido.

Snowflake

Snow Traps Thousands in Bosnian Villages

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© The Associated Press/Amel Emric
A Bosnian man walks on snow-covered road in the village of Breteljevici, near Kladanj, 100 kilometers north of Sarajevo, Bosnia, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012.
Bosnia used helicopters on Sunday to evacuate the sick and deliver food to thousands of people left stranded by its heaviest snowfall ever, while Pope Benedict XVI donned an overcoat to bless the few pilgrims who braved Rome's unusually cold weather to visit St. Peter's Square.

"The snow is beautiful, but let's hope spring comes soon," the pope told the pilgrims, looking out over remnants of Rome's biggest snowstorm since 1986.

Across Eastern Europe, thousands of people continued to dig out from heavy snow that has fallen during a cold snap that struck more than a week ago and has killed hundreds of people.

In Ukraine, the hardest hit area, temperatures have fallen as low as minus 33 Fahrenheit (minus 36 Celsius). The government said Sunday the country's death toll now stands at 131, including many homeless people. About 2,300 other Ukrainians have sought treatment for frostbite or hypothermia.

X

Europe's cold snap kills hundreds, affects transport, tourism

Image
© Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images
A photo taken on February 4, 2012 shows an snowman in front of the ancient Colosseum in Rome after a snowfall.
A weeklong cold snap has now claimed more than 220 lives across Europe, with forecasters warning that the big freeze - which has even blanketed Rome in snow - would tighten its grip over the weekend.

A weeklong cold snap has now claimed more than 220 lives across Europe, with forecasters warning that the big freeze - which has even blanketed Rome in snow - would tighten its grip over the weekend.

A total of 223 people have died from the cold weather in the past seven days, according to Agence France-Presse, in what has become the harshest European winter in decades.

Ukraine suffering the highest toll - with 101 deaths recorded since the cold snap began. Temperatures plummeted as low to -16.6 degrees in the capital Kiev. Poland, Bulgaria and Romania also recorded high death tolls.

According to AFP, the dead included hundreds of homeless people who have frozen to death.

The cold has extended as far south as Serbia, where thousands were trapped under heavy snow and blizzards in the country's mountain villages.

In Italy, up to three inches of snow fell in some districts of the Italian capital, and the Colosseum was closed to prevent visitors slipping on ice or damaging the structure.

Snowflake

Rare Photographs of the Black Sea Frozen

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© EnglishRussia.com
Check out these rare photographs of the Black Sea being frozen. It does happen sometimes but is still considered a natural phenomenon.
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© EnglishRussia.com

Snowflake

Europe tries to shield homeless from deep freeze

Image
© Fr LW Gonzales
Russia and Ukraine took extra precautions on Friday to protect homeless people during a brutal cold snap, ordering new facilities and medical care after scores of people have frozen to death on the streets of Europe.

As the death toll from the past week rose to at least 175 on Friday, Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered the creation of facilities nationwide to feed and provide medical assistance to the homeless.

The week-long freeze - Eastern Europe's worst in decades - is causing power outages, frozen water pipes and widespread closure of schools, nurseries, airports and bus routes.

Other parts of Europe experienced frigid temperatures unseen in years. A roundup:

Igloo

Italy: Rare Snow Falls In Rome

On Friday, thick snowflakes fell in Rome on Friday, a rare occurrence for a capital usually blessed by a temperate climate, and other parts of the country experienced frigid temperatures unseen in years. The snowfall prompted authorities to stop visitors from entering the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, the former home of Rome's ancient emperors.
Image
© Reuters
An open top bus travels through a snow storm at the Colosseum, in Rome on Friday.
The director of the Colosseum, Rossella Rea, said the sites were closed out of fears that visitors could slip on ice. The last substantial snowfalls in Rome were in 1985 and 1986, though there have been other cases of lighter snow since then, including in 2010. Snow began falling in the late morning on Friday, leaving a light dusting on trees and cars and forming slush on the roads. It wasn't clear if there would be any significant accumulation on the ground. The north of the country has also been gripped by snow and ice that is disrupting train travel.

Better Earth

Natural tilts in earth's axis cause ice ages - and their cycles could help predict the next one

Image
© Unknown
Meltwater from a Norwegian glacier
The idea that slight shifts in Earth's axis might have been enough to trigger the ice ages is a century old.

But a Harvard earth sciences Professor Peter Huybers has finally proved it, using computer models to test competing ideas - and finding that earth's tilting axis is the only one that works.

The finding could have profound implications for our understanding of our planet's climate - and could, its author says, be crucial to 'predicting long-term changes in future climate.'

Two 'cycles' in the way Earth's axis spins have an effect on the cycle - one lasting 10,000 years and one lasting roughly 40,000 years.

When they align correctly, ice melts. At the other extreme, glaciers advance.

Comment: For a clearer picture of these cycles, read Fire and Ice The Day After Tomorrow


Igloo

Russian Winter Goes Extreme, Claims Lives

Iceage in Siberia
© Pravda
Winter temperatures in Russia have gone extreme. The air in some regions of the republic of Yakutia (Siberia) has cooled down to -50 degrees Centigrade. Anomalous cold of -40 degrees is expected in the Perm region of Russia, Vesti.Ru reports.

In the European part of Russia, the current temperatures are ten degrees below the norm. On Wednesday morning, the temperature in the Moscow region dropped to 26 and even 30 degrees below zero Centigrade.

Cold weather is expected to become even colder this week in Moscow and the region, RIA Novosti reports. Winter cold has already claimed several human lives. One person died of frostbite yesterday in Moscow. Ten others asked for medical help and were hospitalized.

Ukraine suffers from extreme cold as well. According to Ukrainian news agencies, the cold has killed 30 people during the last three days. More than 600 people asked for medical help, 544 of them were hospitalized.

Russia's Chief Sanitary Doctor Gennady Onishchenko believes that there is a positive side to such severe winter cold. Low temperatures prevent the epidemic of flu, the official said.