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Thu, 23 Feb 2017
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Extreme Temperatures

Igloo

Florida: Thousands of Snook Fish Dead in Cold Snap's Wake

© Stacey Lynn Brown
Thousands of dead snook are belly up on the surface in the Tampa Bay area and around the southern half of Florida, with hundreds more still floating up off the bottom along both coasts as the thermometer rises.

"If you went around and looked at some of these fish, you would cry," said Capt. Scott Moore of Anna Maria.

The coldest water temperatures in Tampa Bay since 1989 took a heavy toll on the tropical snook, which died when the water stayed in the low 50s and upper 40s for 10 straight days.

Bizarro Earth

Hummingbird Rarely Seen in Massachusetts Hospitalized

A hummingbird rarely seen in Massachusetts and trying to survive a brutal Cape Cod winter has wound up in the hospital. The Cape Cod Times reported that the Allen's hummingbird was brought to the Wild Care of Cape Cod animal rehabilitation center in Eastham after being found in the snow with ice crystals on its wings on Sunday.

The thumb-sized bird had survived two major snow storms, subfreezing temperatures and high winds by feeding on sugar water from a Harwich woman's back yard feeder.

Lela Larned, Wild Care's executive director, said the bird was "at the end of the line."

She says it appears to be getting better, but whether it survives remains uncertain.

Igloo

Korea: Is Current Cold Winter Ushering In 'Mini-Ice Age'?

The ongoing winter has shattered many records in Korea's modern meteorological history and more records are expected to be rewritten before it is over.

Record high snowfall in central parts of the country early this month already broke a 73-year-old record. In Seoul on Wednesday, the mercury dropped to minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, challenging the lowest temperature in the capital city of -16.7 degrees, set on Jan. 22, 2004.

Southern parts of the peninsula are also struggling with "unprecedented" blizzards.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), Younggwang, a rural country in South Jeolla Province, was bombarded with 20.5 centimeters of snow, while other towns in the vicinity saw snowfall ranging from three to 10 centimeters.

Fish

Thousands of dead crabs wash up on Kent beaches

Image

The crabs should not pose a danger to people or animals
Thousands of dead crabs have been washed up on Kent's beaches after being killed by the cold weather.

The velvet swimming crabs are littering beaches around Thanet, along with smaller numbers of whelks, sponges and anemones.

It is the second year that icy temperatures have killed off the sea creatures in such large numbers.

Last year the Environment Agency set up an inquiry amid fears a mystery virus could be to blame.

Fish

Record Cold Kills Thousands Of Fish

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© WPLG Miami
Fort Lauderdale -- As Florida's record cold snap moves out, the impact near-freezing temperatures have had on wildlife continues to threaten the state's fragile ecosystem.

Freezing fish, thousands of them, line the coast of South Florida from Key West to Fort Lauderdale.

"Cold water stress is causing all of these fish to die. We are seeing freshwater fish, saltwater fish, all turning up belly up," said Officer Jorge Pino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Pino ad the FWC patrol the state's waterways.

"The problem is the cold weather is altering the oxygen levels in the water, and that's causing the fish to die," he said.

Igloo

Guinea: Record cold snap destroys crops, kills hundreds of animals

Near-freezing temperatures in north-central Guinea in January destroyed crops and livestock on which thousands of people depend for food as well as cash.

Elderly locals told IRIN they had never seen cold this intense in Mali, a town in Guinea's Labé region.

"The vegetation looks as if it was burned in a fire," Hannibal Barry of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told IRIN from Mali on 19 February during a joint evaluation by UN agencies, local authorities and NGOs.

Temperatures dropped to 1.4 degrees Celsius from 17 to 26 January, according to a preliminary report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP).

The cold wiped out crops - mainly potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions and bananas - across five districts in Mali. It is not yet known how many hectares were destroyed, Mamadou Saliou III Diallo, head of agricultural operations at the Mali prefecture, told IRIN after visiting the affected areas.

Bell

Big Freeze Plunged Europe Into Ice Age in Months

In the film, The Day After Tomorrow, the world enters the icy grip of a new glacial period within the space of just a few weeks. Now new research shows that this scenario may not be so far from the truth after all.

William Patterson, from the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, and his colleagues have shown that switching off the North Atlantic circulation can force the Northern hemisphere into a mini 'ice age' in a matter of months. Previous work has indicated that this process would take tens of years.

Around 12,800 years ago the northern hemisphere was hit by a mini ice-age, known by scientists as the Younger Dryas, and nicknamed the 'Big Freeze', which lasted around 1300 years. Geological evidence shows that the Big Freeze was brought about by a sudden influx of freshwater, when the glacial Lake Agassiz in North America burst its banks and poured into the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. This vast pulse, a greater volume than all of North America's Great Lakes combined, diluted the North Atlantic conveyor belt and brought it to a halt.

Without the warming influence of this ocean circulation temperatures across the Northern hemisphere plummeted, ice sheets grew and human civilisation fell apart.

Igloo

Fruits freeze, iguanas drop from trees in Freezing Florida

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© Wilfredo Lee/AP
A stunned iguana lies on the sidewalk after having fallen from a tree Wednesday in Surfside, Florida. The non-native species becomes immobilized in the cold.
Tourist beachgoers wrap up as Arctic blast hits so-called Sunshine State

Across the so-called Sunshine State, oranges and strawberries are freezing, icicles are hanging off palm fronds, and iguanas paralyzed by the cold are falling out of trees.

Temperatures have plunged as low as the 20s in recent days, forcing people used to wearing flip-flops year-round to put on earmuffs.

"I am a warm-weather boy. There's no way I'm going out there," laughed Archie Adkins of Pensacola Beach as he pointed at bundled-up beachgoers.

Igloo

The mini ice age starts here

Image
© Jeremy Selwyn
A composite photograph released last year to propagandise the issue of melting ice and global warming
The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world's most eminent climate scientists.

Their predictions - based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans - challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy's most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in summer by 2013.

According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 - and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.

Info

Bering Strait influenced ice age climate patterns worldwide

Boulder -- In a vivid example of how a small geographic feature can have far-reaching impacts on climate, new research shows that water levels in the Bering Strait helped drive global climate patterns during ice age episodes dating back more than 100,000 years.

The international study, led by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), found that the repeated opening and closing of the narrow strait due to fluctuating sea levels affected currents that transported heat and salinity in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. As a result, summer temperatures in parts of North America and Greenland oscillated between warmer and colder phases, causing ice sheets to alternate between expansion and retreat and affecting sea levels worldwide.

While the findings do not directly bear on current global warming, they highlight the complexity of Earth's climate system and the fact that seemingly insignificant changes can lead to dramatic tipping points for climate patterns, especially in and around the Arctic.