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Fri, 18 Aug 2017
The World for People who Think

Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

Mysterious plumes of steam rising from Greenland glacier

© Ágúst Arnbjörnsson, a pilot at Icelandair.
Plumes of steam rising from cracks in a glacier near Kulusuk, Greenland.
The photo above was taken by pilot Ágúst Arnbjörnsson on July 11, 2017 during a flight from Keflavik to Portland, from a height of approximately 34,000 feet. The location is 75 km from Kulusuk in Greenland.

The image appears to show three plumes of steam rising from cracks in the glacier, which according to the blog of volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson, is 1.5 to 2 kilometers thick. This may be a sign of powerful geothermal activity from below.

Earlier this year a team of NASA researchers observed an ominous crack growing in the Petermann Glacier along the northern coast of Greenland.

Recently Greenland recorded the coldest temperature ever in the northern hemisphere for July.


Is our Sun slowing down?

The spotless Sun of July 21, 2017.
The Sun, now halfway through its life, might be slowing its magnetic activity, researchers say, which could lead to permanent changes in the sunspots and auroras we see.

The Sun has changed its figure, researchers say, and might keep it that way.

The structure of the Sun's surface, where sunspots live, appears to have changed markedly 23 years ago. That's when solar magnetic activity might have started slowing down, Rachel Howe (University of Birmingham, UK, and Aarhaus University, Denmark) and collaborators speculate in paper to appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (full text here). Such a structural change might help explain the Sun's mysteriously weak cycles in recent years.

The interior of the Sun pulsates as rhythmically as a human heart. But while the heart pulses at one fairly steady frequency, the Sun reverberates at thousands of different frequencies.

Pressure changes inside the Sun create these reverberations, just like pressure changes in the air create sound. The sound waves inside the Sun are outside the range of human hearing - they're too low frequency - but if we sped them up, we could hear them just like any other sound.


Cold sweeps the Southern Hemisphere, major crop damage

© Cameron Avery
Record cold engulfs South America decimating crops and leaving a wake of frost destruction and hundreds of thousands with out power. All the while main stream media touts a few degrees over normal in NYC. They forgot absolute anomalous cold and frost event that crossed the entire continent of South America. It was -8C in areas where average temperatures for this time of year are 17C. Crop losses are in the same areas as cold damage to agriculture last year. The 2017 losses will be tallied over the next weeks and it looks at early estimations of nearly 100% losses for fruit inn Southern Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Where is the coverage on this in the main stream media?????????


Arrow Down

Green cronyism gone wild: It looks like the State of California is bailing out Tesla

© Twitter
The California state Assembly passed a $3-billion subsidy program for electric vehicles, dwarfing the existing program. The bill is now in the state Senate. If passed, it will head to Governor Jerry Brown, who has not yet indicated if he'd sign what is ostensibly an effort to put EV sales into high gear, but below the surface appears to be a Tesla bailout.

Tesla will soon hit the limit of the federal tax rebates, which are good for the first 200,000 EVs sold in the US per manufacturer beginning in December 2009 (IRS explanation). In the second quarter after the manufacturer hits the limit, the subsidy gets cut in half, from $7,500 to $3,750; two quarters later, it gets cut to $1,875. Two quarters later, it goes to zero.

Given Tesla's ambitious US sales forecast for its Model 3, it will hit the 200,000 vehicle limit in 2018, after which the phase-out begins. A year later, the subsidies are gone. Losing a $7,500 subsidy on a $35,000 car is a huge deal. No other EV manufacturer is anywhere near their 200,000 limit. Their customers are going to benefit from the subsidy; Tesla buyers won't.

This could crush Tesla sales. Many car buyers are sensitive to these subsidies. For example, after Hong Kong rescinded a tax break for EVs effective in April, Tesla sales in April dropped to zero. The good people of Hong Kong will likely start buying Teslas again, but it shows that subsidies have a devastating impact when they're pulled.

That's what Tesla is facing next year in the US.

In California, the largest EV market in the US, 2.7% of new vehicles sold in the first quarter were EVs, up from 0.4% in 2012, according to the California New Dealers Association. California is Tesla's largest market. Something big needs to be done to help the Bay Area company, which has lost money every single year of its ten years of existence. And taxpayers are going to be shanghaied into doing it.

To make this more palatable, you have to dress this up as something where others benefit too, though the biggest beneficiary would be Tesla because these California subsidies would replace the federal subsidies when they're phased out.

Snowflake Cold

More record lows on Canada's east coast

© Westend61
Coldest July 14 since 1871

New Brunswick

Issued by Environment Canada Saturday 15 July 2017

The following stations set a daily minimum temperature record on July 14, 2017:

Grand Manan
New record of 3.7 (38.7 F)
Old record of 5.0 (41.0 F) set in 1992
Records in this area have been kept since 1883

Saint John
New record of 4.7 (40.5 F)
Old record of 6.1 (43.0 F) set in 1970
Records in this area have been kept since 1871

Newfoundland And Laborador

The following station set a daily minimum temperature record on July 14, 2017:


Rare snowfall filmed on Table Mountain, South Africa

It hardly ever snows on Cape Town's fabled Table Mountain, but when it does in the internet era, it's definitely going to get caught on tape.

The courtesy comes from YouTuber Justin Hawthorne, who this past weekend experienced the fluffy precipitation from near the summit of the mesa.

Snowfall began around midday on Sunday 16 July, and lasted for around two minutes, Hawthorne notes in a comment.

"There had been a few lighter flurries over 15min or so prior. There were only a few spots on Table Mountain with visible snow that I saw leading up to this, but it clearly showed that snow had fallen on Saturday night — but a little."

"It was just fantastic to have had some snow falling during the day, in good weather conditions - so it made for a great shot," he added.


Close to the middle of summer and still no Northwest Passage

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Snowflake Cold

Extreme cold weather kills 2 people in Argentina

© AP Photo/Federico Grosso
Snow covers a dock in Villa La Angostura in southern Argentina, Monday, July 17, 2017. The National Meteorological Service says that the cold front comes all the way from the South Pole.
Officials say cold weather and freezing temperatures from a polar wave have killed two people in Argentina.

The victims are a 54-year-old homeless man in the seaside resort city of Mar del Plata and a 41-year-old man living in a shack in Santa Fe province. Officials said Monday that both died of hypothermia.

The National Meteorological Service says the cold front comes all the way from the South Pole and is hitting Argentina's center and northern regions particularly hard. Temperatures in those areas have reached as low as 19.4 Fahrenheit (-7 Celsius).

An absolute record of -13.7 Fahrenheit (-25.4 Celsius) was also registered in the Patagonian ski resort of Bariloche.

Flights were delayed or canceled there as the airport was temporarily closed due to weather conditions.

Comment: In neighboring Chile 280,000 people lost power this week as extremely cold weather there brought snow to Santiago for the first time in 20 years.

Snowflake Cold

'Coldest temperature in years' across Australia's south east

© supplied
A Qantas turboprop ready to be de-iced.

TEMPERATURES plummeted to a record breaking -12C this morning as winter made its presence felt across Australia's south east.

AUSTRALIA may have just recorded its coldest temperature of 2017 as a series of cold fronts barrelled across the country's south east on Sunday.

NSW and Victoria both had a freezing start to the day dropping to -12C in the mountains. Qantas has been forced to de-ice planes at Melbourne — a task usually only needed in Canberra and Hobart.

Sunday will still be chilly for Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart but temperatures will rise further north.

South of the Murray, the mercury in Ballarat fell to -2.1C, in Bairnsdale to -3.5C and at Mount Hotham to -7.8C.

But that's nothing on NSW and the ACT where residents of Orange woke to a low of -6.3C, and Canberra fell to -7C. But the mountain resort of Perisher knocked it out of the winter ballpark slumping to -12.1C at 3.30am.

Ice Cube

Forget extreme temperatures: Nothing kills as many people as moderate cold

© The News Tribe
Some are scoffing at the idea that rising heating costs will kill people. But check out the number-one temperature-killer in 74 million deaths across 13 countries. It's not the extremes that we need to worry about, the deadly phrase is "mildly suboptimal temperatures". Look at the blue finger of death in the graph below, starkly showing how irrelevant "extreme heat", or any other ambient temperature zone, is.

Do you need an excuse to turn the heater on in winter? Low ambient room temperatures will thicken your blood.

Moderate cold accounted for as many as 6.6% of all deaths. Extreme temperatures (either cold or hot) were responsible for only 0·86%.

Join the dots — will we save more lives by:

a) making homes cold now in the hope that lower "carbon" emissions will,

b) mean less deaths from heat in 90 years time despite people probably having better access to heaters and air conditioners?

Would you sacrifice ten years of your life...