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Mon, 27 Mar 2023
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake Cold

Winter arrives early in Europe and Asia

© Getty
Mount Fuji, a World Heritage site in Japan
It snowed throughout the night in Moscow last Wednesday and snowed on and off up until yesterday. The late summer warmth that had lingered for so long in western Russia was swept away dramatically - two weeks earlier than last year.

The cold air that caused this sudden change of season for Moscow had been blowing across northern Europe throughout the past week. The wind had been cold, but beyond Russia, it had been too dry to bring snow. Temperatures have, however, dropped dramatically in its wake:

Minsk shivered down to a 4 degree Celsius daytime "high"; Warsaw went down to 6C with a wind-chill; Berlin managed 9C, but also with a wind-chill. Yesterday, Amsterdam failed to reach 10C for the first time since April.

This week, a big Mediterranean storm system swept vast amounts of rain into southeastern Europe, causing flooding in Italy, Albania and Macedonia. This weather then fed into the cold air over Slovakia and Poland and - rather than rain - snow started to fall.


Winter arrives early in Germany: 11 inches of snow in the Alps

The Alps, northern Bavaria, Thüringen, the Vogtland region and the Erzgebirge saw most of the snow. Snow in higher regions is normal for this time of year, but this time lower lying regions also obtained some snow and that is unusual. The north west of the country also experienced some snowfall and frost, but the snow soon melted again as the ground is too warm.

Germany's northernmost peak, the Brocken, is covered in snow. And with temperatures of minus 4 degrees Celsius (25 degrees Fahrenheit), it probably won't melt. The heaviest snowfall, however, was in the Alps with 28 centimeters (11 inches) of new snow. But the ski season doesn't open there for another month or so.

"It doesn't happen every year that we get snow falling in flatter areas," meteorologist Christian Herold said. While it is normal for snow to fall in Germany in October, particularly in the central uplands, Herold described the low temperatures as very unusual.

Source: dpa

Arrow Down

Global Warming blamed for mystery kidney disease

Sugar Cane Fields
© Jacopo Werther/Daniel Ramirez/Wikimedia Commons
Path between the sugar cane.
Does global warming cause kidney disease? According to a study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the root cause of a mystery illness which has killed 10s of thousands of sugar cane workers in Central America might be chronic dehydration, as a result of frequent hard, manual labour in extreme heat.

According to the study;
... Despite limited resources, we documented widespread decreased kidney function in coastal communities related to years of work on coastal sugarcane/cotton plantations. The high prevalence of eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 in the coastal communities, 18% of men aged 20-60 years, indicates the severity of the epidemic in a region where there is little to offer to patients and where CKD often progresses to ESRD and death. It is noteworthy that decreased eGFR also is related to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease at CKD stages 3-4 is higher than that for reaching ESRD.38, 39 This study from El Salvador, as well as the recent Nicaraguan studies,23, 24, 25 provides important clues for etiologic studies, particularly heat stress.

It is urgent to assess the causes of this severe public health problem with properly designed etiologic and clinical research. A thorough medical workup including kidney biopsies and histopathologic examinations from a small group of affected individuals in rather early stages of CKD is needed to confirm the interstitial nature of the disease and provide clues with regard to pathogenesis. Etiologic research would use random samples from a proper study base and repeated measurements of all pertinent exposures with emphasis on heat exposure, environmental and water pollutants (particularly pesticide residues and heavy metals), and amount of water intake during work and rest.

Precautionary preventive actions must be implemented already at this stage, providing sufficient water and rest for workers in hot environments. There is a threat that global warming will dramatically increase populations exposed to hard work in hot climates. If heat stress is a causal factor for CKD, this disease will be an added health risk related to climate change.
Read the full text of the above article

Bizarro Earth

Is the science settled on climate change? Not even close!

Global Warming
© Time.com
What is your position on the climate-change debate? What would it take to change your mind?

If the answer is It would take a ton of evidence to change my mind, because my understanding is that the science is settled, and we need to get going on this important issue, that's what I thought, too. This is my story.

More than thirty years ago, I became vegan because I believed it was healthier (it's not), and I've stayed vegan because I believe it's better for the environment (it is). I haven't owned a car in ten years. I love animals; I'll gladly fly halfway around the world to take photos of them in their natural habitats.

I'm a Democrat: I think governments play a key role in helping preserve our environment for the future in the most cost-effective way possible.

Over the years, I built a set of assumptions: that Al Gore was right about global warming, that he was the David going up against the industrial Goliath. In 1993, I even wrote a book about it.

Recently, a friend challenged those assumptions. At first, I was annoyed, because I thought the science really was settled. As I started to look at the data and read about climate science, I was surprised, then shocked.

As I learned more, I changed my mind. I now think there probably is no climate crisis and that the focus on CO2 takes funding and attention from critical environmental problems. I'll start by making ten short statements that should challenge your assumptions and then back them up with an essay.

Bizarro Earth

Are 97% of scientists complete morons?

Atmospheric CO2 has risen by 100 parts per million (one part per ten thousand) over the past century. That is equivalent to packing one extra person into this Bernie "everything will be free" Sanders rally.
Sanders Rally
© Real Science
Experts claim that this one molecule has heated the other 10,000 molecules up by more than one degree centigrade.

In order for one molecule to heat up 10,000 other molecules by 1°C, the effective temperature of that one molecule would have to be 10,000°C - about twice the temperature of the surface of the Sun.

Only a complete moron would believe something so ludicrous, which is why they say 97% of scientists agree on this utter nonsense.

No Entry

Containing the US-created refugee crisis: Hungary imposes border controls with Slovenia

Slovenia refugees
© Antonio Bronic / Reuters
Refugees walk to cross the border into Croatia, near the town of Sid in Serbia October 12, 2015.
Asylum seekers, who have been prevented from crossing into Hungary, are now flowing into Slovenia. Hungary has responded by saying it will temporarily impose border controls with Slovenia, while Ljubljana said it would deploy its army at the border.

"The government has decided to include the army in helping police," the Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said on Saturday, following a meeting of Slovenia's national security council. Ljubljana has had to deal with an influx of refugees after Hungary closed its border with Croatia. The first bus with refugees arrived at the Slovenian-Croatian border on Saturday morning.

"The bus is on the border crossing (Gruskovje) and the migrants will now go through a registration process," police spokesman Bojan Kitel told Reuters.

EU member Hungary took a restrictive approach to the refugee crisis that the union is facing this year. Previously it erected a wire fence along the border with non-member Serbia and fellow member Croatia to prevent illegal crossings. The border blockade with Croatia was issued on Friday night, with Budapest [Hungary] explaining that it was protecting Europe, its prosperity, security and Christian values.

Comment: Hungary imposed the same control on its borders with Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia: Access is permitted only with valid passports. Razor wire fence is not planned on the Hungary-Slovenia border, because unlike Croatia and Serbia, Slovenia is a member state of the Schengen Area. Slovenian and Hungarian police are patrolling the border together. This is America's 'thank you' to Europe for its compliance these past 70 years.

Ice Cube

World is on brink of a new ice age

© The Day After Tomorrow
Crippling blizzards, snowstorms and sub-zero temperatures threaten a yearly dose of Arctic misery for the next fifty years at least - and possibly decades more. Climate experts warn a rare pattern of water cooling in the north Atlantic will trigger a chain reaction of events leading to a "fully-blown ice age".

The [forecasters] say the UK is on alert for a "serious climate situation" with regular winter whiteouts pushing emergency services to the limit. Britain faces an 'all but unprecedented' situation thanks to a cocktail of climatic changes all happening at once to affect the weather.

The northern Atlantic has been cooling steadily over the past few months leading to a colossal area of icy water to form off the UK coast.This is thought to be the result of changes in wind flow and salinity and could lead to lower than average temperatures in Britain all year round. The phenomenon has already raised fears this winter will be un usually brutal with months of sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow on the way.

Long-term accumulative effects could be that parts of northern Europe, including Britain, will cool dramatically. The seemingly small drop in Atlantic temperatures also threatens to nudge the Gulf Stream, which brings warm currents to the UK coasts, off course. The usual flow of air over Europe from the Arctic towards Bermuda and the tropical Azores Islands is also likely to be thrown out of kilter.

Another driver will be a dramatic reduction in solar energy output which has been observed over the past few months.Long-range forecasters say this will add to the mix with the UK at risk of a "fully-blown ice age" before the end of the century.

Comment: Not only Britain, but Europe and North America too - the weather is becoming more and more extreme all over the globe.

Comment: For an overview of article about the extreme weather conditions we're facing see our Extreme Weather topic.

Snowflake Cold

Powerful El Niño forecasted to bring significant rain to California, increased storminess to eastern U.S.

el nino 2015
Since the first indication that a powerful El Niño was set to develop, there has been significant speculation about what impacts it would have within the United States.

El Niño is defined by above-normal sea surface temperatures in the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

Occurring every two to five years, El Niño's most significant effects on North America occur during the wintertime.

However, the resulting weather varies depending on where the warm water temperatures are centered.

"Confidence continues to grow that this El Niño will be one of the strongest El Niños over the past 50 years," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

Comment: According to this report from the NOAA, the 1997/98 El Niño, was one of the most significant climatic events of the century, and produced extreme weather worldwide. During this El Niño, temperature and precipitation records were broken across the United States. Many areas suffered heavy flooding, and the U.S. experienced a series of severe tornadoes. Elsewhere around the world, El Niño contributed to major droughts and wildfire in Mexico, Indonesia and Brazil; devastating floods in South America; and massive coral bleaching from Panama to Africa to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Arrow Down

Judges plan to outlaw climate change 'denial'

© Alamy
Poles apart: in 2013, the year scientists had forecast that the Arctic would be 'ice free’, its thickness increased by a third.
We might think that a semi-secret, international conference of top judges, held in the highest courtroom in Britain, to propose that it should be made illegal for anyone to question the scientific evidence for man-made global warming, was odd enough to be worthy of front-page coverage.

Last week I mentioned that the Prince of Wales had sent a message to this conference calling for the UN's forthcoming climate meeting in Paris to agree on "a Magna Carta for the Earth". But only a series of startling posts by a sharp-eyed Canadian blogger, Donna Laframboise (on Nofrakkingconsensus), have alerted us to what a bizarre event this judicial gathering turned out to be (the organisers even refused to give her the names of those who attended).

Including senior judges and lawyers from across the world, the three-day conference on "Climate Change and the Law" was staged in London's Supreme Court. It was funded, inter alia, by the Supreme Court itself, the UK government and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

As one of the two UN sponsors of its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UNEP has been one of the main drivers of alarm over global warming for 40 years. The organiser and chairman of the conference was the Supreme Court judge Lord Carnwath, a fervent believer in man-made climate change, who has worked with the Prince of Wales for more than 20 years, and with UNEP since 2002.


Four months of heavy snow predicted for UK; worst winter in half-a-century

Britain should prepare for the worst winter in half-a-century with advanced weather models now predicting months of heavy snowfall, forecasters warned tonight
© Getty Images
Forecasters have issued early warnings to prepare for sub-zero temperatures and blizzard conditions across the entire UK. A perfect storm of ingredients including the most powerful El Nino on record and changes in air pressure over the Arctic threaten horrendous conditions across Britain. A negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation will allow freezing air to pour in from the North Pole. If the cycle continues it will open the gates to the fury of a fully-blown Arctic blast rivalling the record winters of 1962/63 and 1946/47.

Atlantic sea temperatures around the UK have plunged this year meaning any cold weather fronts will be bolstered by the icy waters. Current predictions are also for a negative North Atlantic Oscillation to weaken atmospheric pressure gradient between Iceland and Bermuda. This acts to stifle prevailing westerly winds which in turn forces milder weather southwards over Europe while allowing the cold in from the north.

And a third factor - the Arctic Oscillation - is also threatening to swing into a negative phase bolstering the flow of Arctic air into the UK in a triple-whammy of winter misery. It means heavy and persistent snowfall, Arctic gales and deep snowdrifts threaten to throw the country into chaos from December until MARCH although the earliest snowfall could arrive by early November.

Forecasters are now warning people to prepare for the worst this year with experts fearing thousands could die from the cold. After two mild years they fear the emergency services could be lulled into a false sense of security. Official figures show that even during the winter of 2013/14 which failed to bring any major whiteout, 18,200 excess deaths were recorded. In 2012/13 the Office of National Statistics recorded 31,000 excess deaths with elderly, unwell and vulnerable people hardest hit.

Comment: El Niño has reached strong levels, may eclipse monster El Niño of 1997-1998