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Tue, 27 Oct 2020
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Extreme Temperatures

Snowflake

Ice Age Cometh: Winter in September as thousands of sheep trapped in 'unprecedented' Iceland snowdrifts

"Unprecedented" cold and snow in Iceland.

Thousands of sheep (13,000) buried alive in snowdrifts is nothing short of disastrous.

Here's a video showing the rescue of a sheep buried by snow.


Snow in North Iceland in early September is not unheard of but snowfall of two to three meters overnight at this time of year - when the sheep are still in highland pastures - is highly unusual.

Two to three meters (7-11 feet) of snow overnight! That's a small taste of what the mammoths experienced.

Igloo

Antarctic Ice Area Sets Another Record - NSIDC Is Silent

Day 256 Antarctic ice is the highest ever for the date, and the eighth highest daily reading ever recorded. All seven higher readings occurred during the third week of September, 2007 - the week of the previous Arctic record minimum.
Antarctic Ice
© Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois
Source
NSIDC does not mention the record Antarctic cold or ice on their web site, choosing inside to feature an article about global warming threatening penguins.
News at NSIDC
© NSIDC
Source

Palette

Ice Age Art - Trove of early ceramics shows the mindset of ancient humans: More metaphor, less blood

We know them best for their stone tools and intrepid mammoth hunting. But new discoveries in Croatia suggest that ice age humans made evocative ceramic art far more regularly than once believed. Thirty-six fragments of fired clay, excavated in the Vela Spila cave on an island off the Adriatic coast, make up the second-largest collection found so far of the earliest human experiments with ceramic art. They are 15,000 to 17,500 years old -- the first European evidence of ceramic art after the ice sheets stopped spreading.
Image
© Rebecca Farbstein
An archaeologist at the University of Cambridge worked in a trench at a cave where ancient ceramics were found in Croatia. The find reinforced the idea that ceramic work was invented for art rather than utility.

Igloo

The Ice Age Cometh! Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded

Image
© NSIDC
Arctic sea ice extent on 12 September 2012, in white, compared with the 1979-2000 median, marked with a red line.
Sea ice in the Arctic has shrunk to its smallest extent ever recorded, smashing the previous record minimum and prompting warnings of accelerated climate change.

Satellite images show that the rapid summer melt has reduced the area of frozen sea to less than 3.5 million square kilometres this week - less than half the area typically occupied four decades ago.

Arctic sea ice cover has been shrinking since the 1970s when it averaged around 8m sq km a year, but such a dramatic collapse in ice cover in one year is highly unusual.

A record low in 2007 of 4.17m sq km was broken on 27 August 2012; further melting has since amounted to more than 500,000 sq km.

Igloo

Ice Age Looming? Sun Still Slumping

The latest solar cycle update graphs have been released by the NOAA SWPC today, and the anemic cycle 24 continues:
Image
The current count isn't keeping up with the prediction line in red. Not only is the sunspot count low, so is the 10.7cm radio flux and the Ap magnetic index:

Igloo

Probably No Summer in Svalbard This Year

Svalbard Champagne Glass
© Ole Magnus Rapp
Svalbard Champagne Glass.
There will probably be no summer in Svalbard this year, writes Ole Magnus Rapp for Norway's Aftenposten.Each year, ice and snow form a great champagne glass with fine stems on the west side of Mount Opera. And each year the champagne glass collapses due to warm weather, a sign for residents that summer has arrived.

Normally the champagne glass collapses around the end of July, but so far nothing has happened.Now locals wonder if summer will come to Svalbard at all.Last year's collapse took place on the 29th of July. But as of today, the last day of August, the stem is still in one piece.

This has not happened in at least 40 years.

The local newspaper Svalbardposten records the date each year when the stem breaks and conducts a contest where readers can predict when it will happen.

Maybe the stem has not broken before, says editor Birger Amundsen, but certainly not since I first came to Svalbard in 1973.

Amundsen still believes the stem will break and he bets on a beautiful autumn in the north.

By the way, Svalbard is where the global seed vault is located. Won't do anyone much good if it's buried beneath the ice, will it?

Source: Aftenposten

Snowflake

Ice Age: Record low temperature of -2C ends Britain's miserable, wettest summer ever

  • Image
    © Jonathan Pow
    On same day Met Office reveal it's been the wettest summer ever, temperatures plunged to almost record summer lows overnight
  • Braemar is Scotland was the coldest spot as it dropped to -2.1C
  • There has only been one August night colder, August 21 1973, when Lagganlia in the Highlands suffered -4.5C
  • It tops off a miserable summer, which has been the wettest in a century, causing flash floods only yesterday
  • Traffic congestion as parents return from family holidays ahead of children going back to school next week with M25 delayed in both directions
Britain's rotten summer hit a new low last night as it suffered its coldest August evening in 40 years - but that didn't stop children making the most of their last few days off from school.

Igloo

Low sunspot activity linked to rivers freezing: Mini Ice Age on way?

Image
'CO2 is certainly a climate factor, but so is the Sun'

A team of boffins in Germany say they have found a statistical link between periods of low solar activity and very cold winters in Europe. Some physicists believe that a long period of low solar activity - like the "Maunder Minimum" of the 17th and 18th centuries - could be on the cards in coming decades, so the new research might indicate an upcoming "mini Ice Age".

The new study was published over the weekend in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. Lead author Professor-Doktor Frank Sirocko of the Johannes Gutenberg Universität (University) of Mainz in Germany - and his colleagues - compared old records showing which years the Rhine river iced over to the record of sunspot activity.

Attention

Last ice age ended 'very quickly'

Image
© ANSTO Research Selections 2011
View of the Prince Charles Mountain flanking the Lambert Glacier near Loewe Massif on the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.
A novel technique for dating the 'exposure age' of rocks is uncovering how the East Antarctic Ice Sheet responded to past climate change.

"We found two really unexpected results," said Duanne White, a geoscientist at the University of Canberra, who is part of a group of researchers using the new dating technique.

"Previously it had been thought that during the last Ice Age the Ice Sheet expanded all the way out to the continental shelf and was a thousand metres thicker at the margin. But we found quite the opposite - along the whole length of the Lambert Glacier, there was only a relatively small change.

"But the kicker for us was this happened very soon after global temperatures and sea level began to rise at the end of the last Ice Age. So while the response wasn't large at that particular time, it happened very quickly."

Comment: A Different Kind of Catastrophe - Something Wicked This Way Comes


Roses

Researchers find first hardy Irish plant that beat Ice Age

Image
© Tigerente
Arenaria ciliata (Fringed Sandwort)
The history books will have to be rewritten after researchers uncovered a super resilient plant which survived the Ice Age in Ireland.

Up to now most scientists agreed that Ireland's flora and fauna emerged or came here after the end of the Ice Age, some 15,000 years ago.

However, this latest discovery by a research team from NUI Maynooth, pushes back this date to a much earlier time.

The team, led by ecologist Dr Conor Meade, developed a new DNA analysis method to unravel the complex history of the Fringed Sandwort, a rare cold-loving herb that only grows on the high slopes of Ben Bulben in Co Sligo.

Researchers collected the plant on mountain peaks all over Europe, from Spain and Italy up to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle, and then completed detailed genetic analyses.

The new analysis method, based on a process called DNA melting, greatly improves the accuracy of existing DNA analysis and helped to reveal previously unknown levels of genetic diversity in the Irish populations.