Extreme Temperatures

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Third of all honeybee colonies in England did not survive winter

British Beekeepers Association attributes worst losses since survey began to washout summer leading to long winter, exacerbated by late spring

© Lewis Whyld/PAThe level of honeybee colony losses across England is more than double what it was last year, up to 33.8% from 16.2% in 2012, the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) said.
More than a third of all honeybee colonies in England died over the winter, according to figures from the British Beekeepers Association, the worst losses since its winter survival survey began.

On average, 33.8 colonies in every 100 perished over the long winter of 2012-13 compared with 16.2% the previous winter. In the south-west of England, more than half of all colonies were wiped out and in the northern part of the country 46.4% didn't survive.

In Scotland and Wales, honeybees fared no better. The Scottish beekeepers association, which has yet to complete its annual survey, predicts losses of up to 50%. And bee farmers in Wales have reported 38% losses.

The BBKA attributed the alarming high bee mortality to the poor weather during 2012 continuing into 2013 and exacerbated by the late arrival of spring.

"The wet summer prevented honey bees from foraging for food, resulting in poorly developed colonies going into winter. When they could get out there was a scarcity of pollen and nectar. Honeybee colonies which are in a poor nutritional state become more vulnerable to disease and other stress factors," said a BBKA spokeswoman.

Many beekeepers also reported incidence of "isolation starvation", when the cluster of bees in the hive becomes too cold to move close enough to eat their food stores in another part of the hive, and so starve.


Wettest autumn since records began and coldest spring in 50 years destroys UK wheat supply

Wheat? The UK will be lucky if it can harvest anything this summer
Wet autumn followed by cold spring has led to one of the smallest harvests in a generation, hitting food production

The wettest autumn since records began, followed by the coldest spring in 50 years, has devastated British wheat, forcing food manufacturers to import nearly 2.5m tonnes of the crop.

"Normally we export around 2.5m tonnes of wheat but this year we expect to have to import 2.5m tonnes," said Charlotte Garbutt, a senior analyst at the industry-financed Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. "The crop that came through the winter has struggled and is patchy and variable. The area of wheat grown this year has been much smaller."

Analysts expect a harvest of 11m-12m tonnes, one of the smallest in a generation, after many farmers grubbed up their failing, waterlogged crops and replanted fields with barley. According to a National Farmers Union poll of 76 cereal growers covering 16,000 hectares, nearly 30% less wheat than usual is being grown in Britain this year.

Britain is usually the EU's third biggest wheat grower but it will be a net importer for the first time in 11 years. "Our poll is a snapshot but it is extremely worrying. If this plays out nationally, we will be below average production for the second year in a row," said NFU crops chair Andrew Watts. "If the experts are to be believed and extreme weather is to become more frequent, we must look at ways of supporting the industry."

Comment: What the 'experts' neglect to mention, largely due to ignorance, is that there is nothing industry can do about it.

Comment: How refreshing to see a mainstream article on the topic of food prices and climate change without any absurd references to 'man-made global warming'.

And yet, despite seeing how serious the situation is now, they still believe everything will just somehow work out...

Warning: extreme weather is only going to get even more extreme.


Peru: Heavy snowfall hits Arequipa

Heavy Snow
© Peru21/Reference
Heavy snowfall has hit the Arequipa region in southern Peru over the past few days, El Comercio reported.

According to the daily at least 80 homes in the district of San Juan de Tarucani were affected by the snowfall.

District Mayor Floro Choque said local residents were worried about the impact the low temperatures would have on the health of their alpacas, and said he would ask the central government for food and medicine for the 33,000 alpacas in the area.

"The snow that fell over the past three days has covered the grass in the district, and animals don't have anything to eat," Choque said.

The mayor added that the district was also lacking warm clothing for children and the elderly, as well as roofing sheets for homes.

According to the daily between 25 and 35 centimeters (9.8 and 13.7 inches) of snow fell on San Juan de Tarucani over the past few days.

The Arequipa region has seen a drop in temperatures over the past month. Last week strong winds led to the temporary closure of the regional airport's runway.


Frost and record low temperatures at the end of May in The Netherlands

Earth Ice age
© Inconnu
There was ground frost in eastern parts of the country overnight, with the temperature dipping to as low as -2.8 Celsius in Gelderland, according to RTL weather forecaster Amara Onwuka.

The previous record low for May 24 was -0.6 Celsius nine years ago, Onwuka said.

The cold weather, which has led to temperatures no warmer than 10 Celsius in places during the day, will continue in to the weekend.

On Friday, cold weather records are likely to be broken again, as the temperature hovers between 8 and 11 Celsius. The coldest May 24 on record was 10.4 and dates from 1975.

The temperature at the end of May usually averages around 18 Celcius.


Extreme weather events and earth changes in May 2013


Irish cold spells linked to volcanic eruptions, via old writings

© Fancis LudlowClonmacnoise monastery in the Irish Midlands. This was a center of recording of annalistic manuscripts from around A.D. 700 to A.D. 1200.
Major volcanic eruptions around the world have coincided with periods of unusually cold weather in Ireland for a span of more than 1,200 years, new research shows. The findings suggest eruptions could have complex effects on regional climates, possibly leading to cooling in areas of the Northern Hemisphere even in wintertime, which hadn't been clearly shown before.

The study, published today in the journal Environmental Research Letters, reconstructed the history of cold events in Ireland from the fifth through 17th centuries A.D., based on more than 40,000 writings of scribes and monks from that time. The history of volcanic eruptions was also recreated based on levels of sulfate found in Greenland ice cores - an accepted method to date past eruptions, said study author and Harvard researcher Francis Ludlow. By comparing the two sources, Ludlow and his colleagues found cold events were more likely to occur in the years after these eruptions: More than half of the 69 coldest periods happened in the years following huge volcanic eruptions, Ludlow said.

"This suggests that a very major volcanic eruption can have a long-lasting impact on climate, with extreme cold occurring for possibly several years after an event," Ludlow told LiveScience.

Comment: Who would have thought indeed!?

Could it be that the ancient (and not so ancient) accounts of environmental upheaval and strange signs in the sky might not be fantasy after all?
Then, in 1107, a record in the Annals of Ulster recorded that "Snow fell for a day and a night on the Wednesday before the feast of St. Patrick, and inflicted slaughter on beasts in Ireland."
Interesting that the same thing happened in 2013 AD...

Snow storm: Sheep death toll reaches 20,000 in Northern Ireland


Snow in June: Russia's Siberian town in absolute anomaly

Snow in June
© twitter user@stasiarik
A layer of snow on the second day of summer has put the citizens of the Russian city of Kemerovo completely out of humor.

Meteorologists say the anomaly occurred because a cyclone brought cold Arctic air from Kara Sea region into Siberia dropping, temperature to lows typical for summer north of the Arctic Circle.

Bloggers were at a loss when commenting the issue.

"Snow in Kemerovo TODAY? That's hardcore. The weather must've forgot it's June."

"With a sense of terror has just learnt it's been snowing in Kemerovo. What's next?"

"Tornado in the US. Floods in Czech Republic. SNOW in Kemerovo!"

The city in South Siberia is situated on 55°22'17.58" north latitude but even for that region -2 Celsius on June 2 morning is over the top. The region has seasonal inland climate, which means really cold winters and very hot summers.

Cloud Precipitation

Best of the Web: 'Cursed spring' of relentless rain: Italy just went through its wettest spring in at least 150 years

Italy shivers through 'cursed spring' of relentless rain

June normally heralds the arrival of summer heat, but 2013's capricious weather is fuelling new meteorological obsession

© Alessandra Benedetti/CorbisPope Francis surrounded by Catholics sheltering from the heavy rain under umbrellas in St Peter's Square this week.
As the breeze swept in under the cafe's parasols and the sky darkened over Rome, waiter Apu Haq exchanged commiserations with a customer nursing an espresso and a scowl. "They said summer was going to arrive this week," remarked Haq, "and instead came winter." Within minutes, torrential rain was lashing the cobblestones as thunder rumbled in the distance. "It's all the wrong way round," said a bewildered Haq, from Bangladesh. "It's incredible. I've been here for 10 years now and I've never seen anything like it. It's too strange."

Italian springs are often strange, but this one will perhaps be remembered as particularly capricious. As with much of northern Europe, the country has shivered its way through a good deal of the year. In the north-west, according to the Italian meteorological society, residents have had the coldest May since 1991. In much of the north-east, the spring has been the wettest for at least 150 years. A mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia bike race was called off due to snow and ice. Beach resorts in Tuscany have been flooded. Many farmers have suffered huge damage to their crops.

Now, as June arrives, it should technically be summer. But it certainly doesn't feel like it. "Last year, by this point, we were going to the sea. At the beginning of June we went down to the Fori Imperiali and sunbathed," said Mario Ramelli, a street-corner florist in central Rome. This spring's brutto tempo has been a topic of conversation with many of his customers - that is, those who stop to buy a pot of pansies or, optimistically, some sunflowers. "When it's horrid and wet, people hurry by," said Ramelli. "It's not good for work."

Comment: How's the weather where you are?

Notice anything about the climate in the past couple of years?

Red Flag

The disgraceful episode of Lysenkoism brings us global warming theory

© WikipediaTrofim Lysenko
Trofim Lysenko became the Director of the Soviet Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences in the 1930s under Josef Stalin. He was an advocate of the theory that characteristics acquired by plants during their lives could be inherited by later generations stemming from the changed plants, which sharply contradicted Mendelian genetics. As a result, Lysenko became a fierce critic of theories of the then rising modern genetics.

Under Lysenko's view, for example, grafting branches of one plant species onto another could create new plant hybrids that would be perpetuated by the descendants of the grafted plant. Or modifications made to seeds would be inherited by later generations stemming from that seed. Or that plucking all the leaves off of a plant would cause descendants of the plant to be leafless.

Lysenkoism was "politically correct" (a term invented by Lenin) because it was consistent with certain broader Marxist doctrines. Marxists wanted to believe that heredity had a limited role even among humans, and that human characteristics changed by living under socialism would be inherited by subsequent generations of humans. Thus would be created the selfless new Soviet man.

Also Lysenko himself arose from a peasant background and developed his theories from practical applications rather than controlled scientific experiments. This fit the Marxist propaganda of the time holding that brilliant industrial innovations would arise from the working classes through practical applications. Lysenko's theories also seemed to address in a quick and timely manner the widespread Soviet famines of the time arising from the forced collectivization of agriculture, rather than the much slower changes from scientific experimentation and genetic heredity.

Snow Globe

UK sees coldest spring in 50 years, says Met Office

Tomorrow calls time on the coldest spring in more than 50 years, as the past fortnight of below average temperatures dragged the average thermometer reading during March, April and May putting it on course for its lowest level since 1962.

Apart from being a bit of a pain generally, the prolonged bout of unseasonably-cold weather has caused severe problems for farmers, prompting a surge in the number of livestock deaths and damaging vast areas of crops.

The average temperature over the period came in at 6.0C, which is 1.8C, or nearly 25 per cent, lower than is typical for the time of year, according to the Met Office.

This makes it the fifth coldest spring since records began in 1910 and the chilliest for 51 years.

A Met Office spokesman said: "The colder than average conditions have been caused by difference patterns at certain times, but generally this season has seen frequent easterly and northerly winds which have brought cold air to the UK from polar and northern European regions."

Rainfall was lower than normal in March and April but May has been wetter than usual, the Met Office added. As a result, spring has been slightly drier than average, but not as dry as the springs of 2010 and 2011.

The Met Office data runs up to the end of March 28, meaning that it does not take into account the final three days of spring.