Extreme Temperatures

Ice Cube

Two climbers freeze to death in August on the Matterhorn

The two British climbers who frozen to death on the Matterhorn may have been trying a second attempt to summit the peak when a massive storm trapped them on a perilous, narrow snowfield in the dead of night.

Based on information from other climbers who encountered the pair on the southwest ridge of the 4,478-metre mountain, rescuers believe the two men had tried and failed to summit the day before and were trying a second time, but turned back too late.

When a helicopter rescue was finally possible 36 hours later, Finance Police Rescue Marshall Massimiliano Giovannini found Peter Rumble and Dennis Robinson buried under a snowdrift, unresponsive and lying on top of one another. Italian authorities said the two men, both age 67, were close friends and resided in France.

Snowflake Cold

New Zealand temperatures set to plunge to a record low with snowfall warnings across the country

Dunedin snowfall
Snowfall covers Dunedin.
- Snowfall warnings across the country
- Motorists urged to take care with snow warnings for Desert Rd, Napier-Taupo Rd and Rimutaka Hill Rd
- South Island roads impacted include the Lindis, Lewis, Porters, Arthur's Passes and the highway between Dunedin to Waitati
- Sub-zero temperatures expected for South Island
- Schools closed in Dunedin

The bitter cold snap is set to smash a weather record that has stood for more than a century as an icy chill takes hold of the South Island.

Temperatures are set to plunge to a frigid minus 15C across the South Island tonight - but it's expected to be even colder overnight Saturday.

Philip Wallace captured this footage showing snow falling in Wellington at the Rimutaka summit.


Iran's disappearing giant saltwater Lake Urmia turns blood-red

Lake Urmia
© earthobservatory.nasa.gov
A drought of epic proportions at Lake Urmia has brought the Iranian UNESCO site to the brink of disappearing off the face of the Earth, and is turning its once blue waters blood-red.

While once Urmia spanned an area five times larger than Hong Kong, its volume has decreased dramatically since 1972.

A study by hydrology experts at the University of California in 2014 painted the picture of a dying natural resource, highlighting how desiccation, or drying, had reduced the 5,000 sq km (1,930 sq mile) lake by almost 90 percent.
Changes to Lake Urmia
Its catastrophic demise has been compared to the loss of the Aral Sea, where poor irrigation and farming practices contributed to it drying up almost completely.

Scientists working with NASA's Earth Observatoryhave explained that as water levels drop during the hot summer months, microscopic algae and bacteria become more apparent, causing the unusual hue.


John Kerry - Air conditioners as big a threat as ISIS

You know it makes sense — air conditioners are as dangerous as suicide bombers. They must be stopped. Next up, refrigerators...
John Kerry, Airconditioners, ISIS
© JoNova
Here's a petition you can support: Do it for the children, for the future.
WHEREAS, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has suggested that air conditioners are as big a threat as ISIS, and

WHEREAS, it is the duty of our elected and appointed government officials to lead by example,

THEREFORE, we call upon the U.S. Department of State to remove air conditioning from all property that the Department owns, rents, or otherwise employs, including but not limited to embassies, consulates, office buildings, etc., all vehicles owned and/or operated by the Department, and any other property, real or movable, owned, rented, or otherwise employed by the Department.
Hopalong Ginsberg started this petition, and 2,500 people have spoken up already. To sign the petition go to Change.org...

This could help in so many ways.


The coming ice age - Antarctic peninsula has been cooling not warming

Antarctic coast
© Wikimedia CommonsA tidewater glacier on the Antarctic coast, with a sharply peaked mountain behind.
The "fastest warming place" on Planet Earth wasn't warming.

A new Antarctic study wipes out 20 years of panic about the West Antarctic Peninsula. All these years while people were crying about penguins, it turns out that the place was cooling rather than warming. Mankind has emitting a third of all its "CO2-pollution" ever from 1998, and there was "no discernible" effect on Antarctica. Indeed, the study quietly finds that even the bigger longer warming that has happened in the last century was not "unprecedented" in the last 2000 years.

In the last decade as this cooling trend was happening in the real world - in the media, the same spot was being described as "one of the fastest warming places on Earth":
The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest-warming places on Earth, NBC, 2013

West Antarctic Ice Sheet warming twice earlier estimate, BBC, 2012
And this sort of news has been going on for years. This was "big deal" once-in-2000 year type stuff:
UK scientists say parts of Antarctica have recently been warming much faster than most of the rest of the Earth. They believe the warming is probably without parallel for nearly two thousand years. - BBC, 2001
But the news in 2016 was a bit of a bomb, prone to being misinterpreted, so the PR Team was pre-armed with excuses, from the first line of the scientific abstract which pretty much says that the peninsula still was one of the fastest warming places on Earth (if you look at warming from 1950 and ignore the last 20 years the study is studying). Great opening line. The abstract also mentions that the Antarctic peninsula is only 1% of the Antarctic (though no one seems to mention that when it was melting).


July snowfall strikes Northern N.W.T. communities in Canada

Lee-Michael Shawn Ruben and John Sam Green enjoy the snow in Paulatuk.
© Maya MarchLee-Michael Shawn Ruben and John Sam Green enjoy the snow in Paulatuk.
It might not quite feel like a Northern Christmas in July, but some people in parts of the N.W.T. certainly aren't welcoming the winter-like weather that's hit their communities.

This week, snow has been falling in at least three N.W.T. communities — Sachs Harbour, Inuvik and Paulatuk.

CBC Meteorologist Ashley Brauweiler says about five centimetres fell in Sachs Harbour between Tuesday and Wednesday, breaking a new record for July 20. The last record was hit in 1966 with just 3.3 centimetres of snow.

A poor little snowman with a bottle cap for a hat in Inuvik, N.W.T., on July 20.
© Aaron BaraboffA poor little snowman with a bottle cap for a hat in Inuvik, N.W.T., on July 20.
Brauweiler says conditions could continue into Thursday, with another two to three centimetres falling in Sachs Harbour.

She says it's all thanks to a low-pressure system that formed over the Beaufort Sea and is slowly moving east, including over Sachs Harbour.

Snowflake Cold

Brazilian Arabica coffee crop suffers 36% loss from cold; 70% banana crop loss

Brazil suffering record cold temperatures again in July 2016 after a cold wave that damaged agriculture in June 2016.

Arabica coffee beans stand at 36% loss, bananas 70% loss in Ribeira, Argentina 30% loss of raisin production and Chile clementine 30% increase.

The grand solar minimum is here, South America is repeating the normal pattern expected climate wise during the GSM.


Two spots in Middle East hit with 129 degrees, hottest ever in Eastern Hemisphere

Heat map
© Weather BellTemperatures simulated by the GFS model in the Middle East on Friday reached 129 degrees (54 Celsius).
The temperature in Mitribah, Kuwait, surged Thursday to a blistering 129.2 degrees (54 Celsius). And on Friday in Basra, Iraq, the mercury soared to 129.0 degrees (53.9 Celsius). If confirmed, these incredible measurements would represent the two hottest temperatures ever recorded in the Eastern Hemisphere, according to Weather Underground meteorologist Jeff Masters and weather historian Christopher Burt, who broke the news.

It's also possible that Mitribah's 129.2-degree reading matches the hottest ever reliably measured anywhere in the world. Both Mitribah and Basra's readings are likely the highest ever recorded outside of Death Valley, Calif.

Death Valley currently holds the record for the world's hottest temperature of 134.1 degrees (56.7 Celsius), set July 10, 1913. But Weather Underground's Burt does not believe it is a credible measurement: "[T]he record has been scrutinized perhaps more than any other in the United States," Burt wrote. "I don't have much more to add to the debate aside from my belief it is most likely not a valid reading when one looks at all the evidence."

If you discard the Death Valley record from 1913, the pair of 129.2-degree readings from Mitribah and Basra over the past two days would tie the world's highest known temperature, also observed in Death Valley on June 30, 2013, and in Tirat Tsvi, Israel, on June 22, 1942. But Masters says the Israeli measurement is controversial.

Basra, the city of 1.5 million about 75 miles northwest of the Persian Gulf, has registered historic heat on two straight days. On Thursday, it hit 128 degrees (53.6 Celsius), the highest temperature ever recorded in Iraq, which it then surpassed on Friday, rising to 129.

Comment: See also:


A potentially record-breaking 'heat dome' is coming in the US

© Johnysweb/flickr/cc

A massive "heat dome" is heading for the U.S. that will bake much of the country to potentially record-breaking temperatures next week, the Washington Post reports.

Only the Pacific Northwest is expected to escape the heat wave, while the rest of the country can look forward to some of its "hottest weather with respect to normal," the Post's weather editor Jason Samenow writes.

Although it is too early to know exactly how hot it will get, temperatures in the central U.S. and Upper Midwest could reach 10 to 20 degrees above average. Highs in Des Moines, Iowa, for example, may surpass 100°F for three days straight.


July snow for 5 European countries; strawberry and tomato crops lost

Summer Interrupted in Italy, Switzerland as Snow Whitens the Alps
© Mottolino Fun Mountain/Livigno/InstagramSummer Interrupted in Italy, Switzerland as Snow Whitens the Alps
Snow continues to fall across Europe in July 2016.

A total of 10 days of snow in this extremely rare round of bizarre snowy weather during the European summer.

Strawberry crops lost in Switzerland due to cold and rain.

India suffers extreme drought effecting tomato crops country wide along with the dairy industry.