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Mon, 18 Dec 2017
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Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

Rising seas could displace 150 million people by the end of this century, says climate report

© Alister Doyle / Reuters
A view of icebergs remaining after a break-up of Wilkins ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, January 19, 2009.
Lands inhabited by more than 150 million people could be submerged in water by the end of this century. That's according to the latest projections from a group of US researchers.

A new study published in the journal Earth's Future used the latest information from the Antarctic ice sheet and combined it with existing models on the expected rise in sea levels.

The academics behind the report found that if levels of greenhouse gas emission remain high, the median global average sea-level rise could be 4ft 9ins (1.5 meters) by 2100. Astonishingly, this is double the estimate of 2ft 5ins (736cm) projected by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014.

The team, made up of researchers from the top universities in the US, believes the IPCC report did not account for the collapse of large parts of the Antarctic Ice Sheet - something a slew of scientific papers have since found is very likely to happen. In the event of such a sea level rise, some 153 million will be displaced, a population equivalent to half the size of the US.

Comment: See also:

Ice Cube

Earliest ice formation in 71 years on the Han River, South Korea

Seoul’s Han River Sees Earliest Ice Formation in 71 Years
© Yonhap
Seoul’s Han River sees earliest ice formation in 71 years
Kim In-sik, head of the Seoul Weather Station, stood on the Han River Bridge and looked down on the river for about two and a half hours since 5 a.m. He slapped his lap. At the dawn's light, it was definitely ice on the shining surface of the river. After two nights amid severe cold weather, the day set a record for the earliest ice formation on the Han River since 1946.

A five-day cold spell has led to ice formation on the Han River one month earlier than expected. The Korea Meteorological Administration said that the earliest ice formation of this winter was observed at the Han River Bridge at the dawn of Friday. The ice was formed between second and fourth piers on the Noryangjin side. This has been the first ice formation on the Han River before December 15 in 71 years since December 12, 1946.

Snowflake Cold

Coldest summer for 100 years in Queensland, Australia

Coldest summer in 100 years in Queensland Australia as
© Jack Vonhoff
Mount Isa had its lowest overnight December temperate ever on record last night at 12 C, which was 11C below average.
While sweat and Queensland summer go hand-in-hard, people in the state's west are reaching for cardigans as overnight December temperatures break record lows.

From Birdsville to the Gulf of Carpentaria, temperatures dropped to 11 degrees Celsius below average - a phenomenon forecasters describe as "very unusual".
"I've been forecasting for a few decades now and I can't really remember anything quite this spectacular as far as dry and cool at this time of year," said Bureau of Meteorology forecaster David Bernard.
"It's the sort of thing we often see in winter which usually leads to really cold winter nights, but we don't often see it in December."


With nearly 83 inches, Redfield is New York's snowiest place with winter yet to officially start

Snow in upstate New York

Snow in upstate New York
Winter has yet to officially start, but snow is already piling up in some parts of upstate New York.

According to the National Weather Service, the areas with the most snow are in Oswego and Lewis counties — which get clobbered each year with snow drifting across the eastern edge of Lake Ontario.

And it's the usual places: the tiny town of Redfield in Oswego County is leading the state with 82.6 inches of snow as of Friday.

So at this rate, Redfield is on pace for its second straight national recognition: Last year it won the USA Today Network's first annual Golden Snowdrift Award after getting 350.5 inches of snow -- which equals more than 29 feet.

Cloud Precipitation

Thunderstorm hits areas of United Arab Emirates, hail blankets ground (VIDEOS)

Hail cover
Weather is playing spoilsport this weekend as many residents are putting off their outing plans as storm and rain alert looms.

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) has predicted unstable weather across the UAE, with chances of rain and thunderstorms, between December 15 and 18.

Many families said they are heeding to the forecast, and called off picnics and off road adventures.

"My family is on visit from India and we were planning to go for a desert drive on Saturday. We cancelled it thinking the weather will be too dangerous to venture out," said Abdul Rahman, an Abu Dhabi resident.


Blizzard dumps three feet of snow in Pakistan

Vehicles wait for the snow-covered roads to open in Murree

Vehicles wait for the snow-covered roads to open in Murree
The Galiyat region received first heavy snowfall of the season that left roads blocked, tourists stranded and schools closed.

Galiyat Development Authority (GDA) was making its all-out efforts to clear the roads, spokesman of the GDA said while talking to media.

Clouds dumped over three feet of snow covering the resort towns with a white sheet. As persistently as the snowfall every year, the authorities were stupefied in managing the situation. Roadblocks, power breakdowns and severed supplies continue to dog the mountain communities.

Owing to precarious weather, Abbottabad DC Aurangzab Haider ordered closure of all public sector schools in nine union councils till December 16. These union councils include Beeran Gali, Seer Gharbi, Seer Sharqi, Tajwal, Nathiagali, Nambli Mara, Patan Kalan, Plakh and Nagri Bala.


13th century USA drought, bizarre bird deaths in Sweden & massive winds hit Slovenia

dead birds sweden
© Mikael Lind
Native American populations were tracked as suddenly collapsing twice over a 500 year period. They used corn and pottery production to measure populations. Interestingly these correlate to collapses of Chinese dynasties during Grand Solar Minimums. Ice bridge forms from Greenland to Iceland, massive winds in Slovenia, 50+ above normal temperatures and birds freeze and fall from the sky in Sweden.

Comment: See also: Bizarre sight as hundreds of birds found dead on a road in northern Sweden

Bizarro Earth

Cartoon science - Global warming will weaken winds in the Northern Hemisphere, but speed them up downunder!

Now they tell us! Climate warming to weaken wind power in northern hemisphere, increase in Australia: study

After building 341,000 wind turbines, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, now climate modelers reveal that winds will decrease in the Northern Hemisphere!
Warming temperatures caused by climate change are set to weaken wind energy in the northern hemisphere, a study shows, lessening the amount of wind power produced for wind farms.

However the southern hemisphere would see a boost in wind, which could potentially turn north-eastern Australia into an attractive investment for energy companies.
Rush, invest your money now. The theory called polar amplification has the success rate of a coin toss. Buy a wind farm in NE Australia!

Luckily wind speeds are not also influenced by cloud cover, jet streams, oceans currents, forest growth, atmospheric tides, solar factors, magnetic fields, ozone levels, cosmic rays, or butterflies. Otherwise this study might be inadequate, uninformed guesswork being used to inform investment decisions!
Cartoon Science
© JoNova
Key points:
  • Atmosphere instability which creates wind changing in northern hemisphere
  • North-east Australia could become an attractive investment for energy companies
  • At present there is only one operational wind farm in Queensland


Avalanche warnings as Valais in Switzerland recovers from record snowfall

© Le Nouvelliste
Sion, Switzerland
Police in the canton of Valais have warned skiers to keep on the marked runs as the avalanche risk rises to 3 or 4 out of 5 in resorts across the region.

Valais has experienced some of the heaviest December snowfall in years over the last few days, not just in the mountains but down to the valley floor.

Sion, the cantonal capital, received a record 65cms of snow over the weekend, and pictures published by local paper Le Nouvelliste showed residents skiing down the streets. Around 80cms fell at higher altitude.

While most of Switzerland experienced some snow on the weekend, temperatures warmed up on Sunday afternoon turning the precipitation to rain in many places, however the particular meteorological conditions in the Valais meant it kept snowing.

Comment: Even heavier snowfall was recorded in other parts the Alps (as well as other European mountains) over the same weekend, see: Over a metre of snow in 72 hours for the Alps; big falls in the Dolomites and Pyrenees too


All 50 states have recorded snow two weeks ahead of Christmas

Snow cover as of Dec. 13

Snow cover as of Dec. 13
As of December 12 2017, 23.6% of the U.S. surface is covered with snow, but what is especially striking is that more than two weeks before Christmas day, all 50 states have seen snow on the ground despite much of it rapidly melting away in some areas. December marks a turning point towards more wintry weather, but it is not so common to see so much snow on the ground this early, especially in some areas of the south and more so with La Niña influencing U.S. weather.

Potent snow storm blankets the South

A total of 17 states saw snowfall (see video below) in one degree or another late last week as a very active cold front colored in white a large swath extending diagonally from New Mexico and Texas, to New England. Record breaking snow of a foot or more was recorded in some counties of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.