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Extreme Temperatures


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.


Europe death toll rises in BIG freeze


In the Ukrainian capital of Kiev temperatures dropped to -20° degrees Celsius.
Sub-zero temperatures continued to keep eastern Europe in their grip Wednesday, leading to the deaths of 31 people in Ukraine so far, emergency officials there said.

For several days, unusually cold weather and snow have slammed Eastern Europe, as well as other parts of Europe and central and western Turkey.

CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller said the heart of the cold air was still centered over Eastern Europe Wednesday, including Russia, Romania, Belarus and Poland as well as Ukraine, with temperatures generally a couple of degrees lower Wednesday than the day before.

The Romanian capital, Bucharest, saw a low of -23 degrees Celsius (-9.4 degrees Fahrenheit) early Wednesday, compared with an average low of -4 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit) at this time of year.


Snowed-in Serbia Declares State of Emergency

Days of heavy snow has made travel difficult on a number of main roads in Serbia, while a state of emergency has been declared in several areas.

The western town of Prijepolje declared a state of emergency this week, while nearby Nova Varos has been in a state of emergency since January 11. More than 60,000 citizens from Loznica, Ljubovija and Valjevo were without electricity on Thursday.

The Serbia power company EPS said power outages have been periodically occuring in the area around Kraljevo and Nis.

The south of the country has been hit hardest by the severe winter weather.


160 die as Eastern Europe sinks further into deep freeze

A cold snap kept Europe in its icy grip on Thursday, pushing the death toll to 160 as countries from Italy to Ukraine struggled to cope with temperatures that plunged to record lows in some places.

Nine more people died in Poland overnight as temperatures hit minus 32 Celsius (minus 25.6 Fahrenheit) in the southwest, bringing the overall toll to 29 since the deep freeze began last week, national police said.
© AFP, Sasa Djordjevic
A man walks along a snow covered street in the southeastern Serbian town of Medvedja
In Ukraine, tens of thousands of people have headed to shelters trying to escape the freeze that the emergencies ministry said has now killed 63 people.

Most of them literally froze to death on the street, with only a handful making it to hospital before succumbing to hypothermia, the ministry said.

Shivering and hungry, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have sought help in the more than 2,000 temporary shelters set up by the authorities to help the poor survive the fearsome spell of cold weather.

The shelters offer warmth and hot food in a country where temperatures fell to minus 33 degrees Celsius in the Carpathians in the west of the country and minus 27 in the capital Kiev.


Helicopters rescue Europeans stranded by snow

Belgrade, Serbia - Rescue helicopters evacuated dozens of people from snow-blocked villages in Serbia and Bosnia and air-lifted in emergency food and medicine as a severe cold spell kept Eastern Europe in its icy grip.

The death toll from the cold rose to 79 on Wednesday and emergency crews worked overtime as temperatures sank to minus 32.5 C (minus 26.5 F) in some areas.

Parts of the Black Sea froze near the Romanian coastline and the rare snow fell on Croatian islands in the Adriatic Sea. In Bulgaria, 16 towns recorded their lowest temperatures since records started 100 years ago.
© AP/Efrem Lukatsky
A Ukrainian man, covered with plastic sheeting to form a tent for protection from the wind and cold, fishes through an ice hole on the Dnipro river outside Cherkasy, central Ukraine. The death toll from a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe rose to 71 Wednesday Feb. 1 2012.
In central Serbia, choppers pulled out 12 people, including nine who went to a funeral but then could not get back over icy, snow-choked roads. Two more people froze to death in the snow and two others are missing, bringing that nation's death toll to five.

"The situation is dramatic, the snow is up to five meters (16 1/2 feet) high in some areas, you can only see rooftops," said Dr. Milorad Dramacanin, who participated in the helicopter evacuations.


Severe Weather - Serbia: Six Die in -36 Degree Freeze

Kosovo on alert - Bosnian villages isolated.

The death toll from the wave of freezing weather across Serbia over recent days has risen to six. The body of a man was found near to his home in Topola, south of Belgrade. Before then, another five had died across the country as temperatures sank to a record -36 degrees in the southern highlands of Pesterska. In the city of Sjenica, thermometers stood at -29, while in Belgrade the temperature at 7am today was -12. A state of emergency has been declared in around fifteen areas. Dozens have been admitted to hospital with broken bones following falls on the ice. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the southern highlands of Pesterska was -39.4 degrees in 1986.

The cold has also caused emergency conditions in Kosovo, where temperatures dropped to -22 degrees last night. Snow and ice are causing traffic problems in some parts of the country although the main routes are free. Low temperatures led to electricity blackouts in some areas, although no deaths have been reported.


Homeless Hard Hit as Death Toll From Severe Cold Spell in Eastern Europe Hits 58

© Associated Press
The woman looks through an icy window on a bus in Kiev, Ukraine.
Kiev, Ukraine - Dozens of homeless people have died in an Eastern Europe cold snap, and some analysts blame a Soviet-era legacy of viewing the homeless as those who need to be punished instead of helped.

Temperatures have plunged to minus 27 C (minus 17 F) in some areas. At least 58 people have died overall in the past week, while hundreds have sought medical help for hypothermia and frostbite. Snow and ice have disrupted traffic and power in some parts.


Dozens freeze to death as extreme cold grips Europe

"We are getting some 'real' winter this week," meteorologist says

Kiev, Ukraine - A severe and snowy cold snap has killed at least 48 people across central and eastern Europe.

Officials have responded with measures ranging from opening shelters to dispensing hot tea, with particular concern for the homeless and elderly.
© Yuriy Dyachyshyn/AFP/Getty Images
An official gives out hot tea to an elderly man at a newly opened shelter in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Monday. Temperatures have plunged to as low as minus 23 C (minus 10 F) in the country.
Ukrainian authorities said Tuesday that the number of people who died of hypothermia in recent days reached 30.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said on its website that most of the victims were found frozen on the streets. On Monday, officials had put the death toll at 18 people.

Temperatures plunged to minus 23 C (minus 10 F) in the capital Kiev and elsewhere in Ukraine as schools and kindergartens closed and authorities set up hundreds of heated tents for the homeless.

Officials have appealed to people to stay indoors.

Comment: Major dips in temperatures are happening elsewhere as well: Deep freeze grips much of Alaska


Severe Cold Snap, Heavy Snow Kills at Least 36 People in Eastern Europe, 2 More Missing

© The Associated Press/The Canadian Press/Selcan Hacaoglu
A couple walks on a snow covered road near the Lake of Eymir, Ankara, Turkey, on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. Winter temperatures and recent snowfall has partially paralyzed life in Turkey.
A severe and snowy cold snap across central and eastern Europe has left at least 36 people dead, cut off power to towns, and snarled traffic. Officials are responding with measures ranging from opening shelters to dispensing hot tea, with particular concern for the homeless and elderly.

This part of Europe is not unused to cold, but the current freeze, which spread to most of the region last week, came after a period of relatively mild weather. Many were shocked when temperatures in some parts plunged Monday to minus 20 Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit).

"Just as we thought we could get away with a spring-like winter ..." lamented Jelena Savic, 43, from the Serbian capital of Belgrade, her head wrapped in a shawl with only eyes uncovered. "I'm freezing. It's hard to get used to it so suddenly."

Officials have appealed to people to stay indoors and be careful. Police searched for the homeless to make sure they didn't freeze to death. In some places, heaters will be set up at bus stations.


Unusual Volcanic Episode Rapidly Triggered Little Ice Age, Researchers Find

Professor Gifford Miller
© Gifford Miller, University of Colorado
University of Colorado, Boulder Professor Gifford Miller collects dead plant samples from beneath a Baffin Island ice cap. Miller led a new study, to be published in in Geophysical Research Letters, which indicates the Little Ice Age began roughly A.D. 1275 and was triggered by repeated, explosive volcanism that cooled the atmosphere.

Washington, DC - New evidence from northern ice sheets suggests that volcanic eruptions triggered the multiple-century cool spell known as the Little Ice Age, and pinpoints the start of the climate shift to the final decades of the 13th century. Researchers have long known that the Little Ice Age began sometime after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century. But, estimates of its onset have ranged from the 13th to the 16th century.

According to the new study, the Little Ice Age began abruptly between 1275 and 1300 A.D., triggered by repeated, explosive volcanism and sustained by a self- perpetuating sea ice-ocean feedback in the North Atlantic Ocean, according to Gifford Miller, a geological sciences professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU-Boulder), who led the study. The primary evidence comes from radiocarbon dates from dead vegetation emerging from rapidly melting icecaps on Baffin Island, combined with ice and sediment core data from the poles and Iceland, and from sea-ice climate model simulations, said Miller.

He and his colleagues will publish their findings on 31 January in Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

During the cool spell, advancing glaciers in mountain valleys in northern Europe destroyed towns. Famous paintings from the period depict people ice-skating on the Thames River in London and canals in the Netherlands, places that were ice-free before and after the Little Ice Age. There is evidence also that the Little Ice Age affected places far from Europe, including South America and China.

While scientific estimates regarding the onset of the Little Ice Age extend from the 13th century to the 16th century, there has been little consensus, said Miller. "The dominant way scientists have defined the little Ice Age is by the expansion of big valley glaciers in the Alps and in Norway," said Miller. "But the time in which European glaciers advanced far enough to demolish villages would have been long after the onset of the cold period," said Miller, a Fellow at his university's Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.