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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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Extreme Temperatures


52 feet (16 meters) of snow and counting: California's record-breaking snowfalls continue

Scene at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski resort: The snow is so high that it's burying chairlifts, forcing ski resorts to close.

The snow amounts in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range this winter are difficult to wrap your head around. In many cases topping 500 inches, they are some of the highest totals in memory.

At the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort, seven feet fell in just the past week. The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks.


Ancient solar events predict new Mini Ice Age effected regions, patterns emerge

Bristlecone pines
A new C-14 ancient pine cone solar activity reconstruction showed unusual cosmic ray events at 5480BC, 775 AD and 994 AD, so we can trace these effects through different societies on Earth at the time and see what happened in their local histories. China, Japan, Central Asia, Persia, Roman Empires. Now we overlap with current events on our planet, and the correlation is clear to see, repeating cycles of climate thousands of years apart.



Photos show the huge amounts of snow piled up around Tahoe, Nevada

© Dan Collins
Top of Mt. Rose Highway on Feb. 19, 2017
The snow keeps piling up in the Sierra Nevada.

In the first three weeks of January alone, the Lake Tahoe area received nearly a full winter's worth of snow, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. Houses were buried, cars blanketed and driveways covered.

And then came February, and the Sierra Nevada was slammed yet again with moisture-packed storms fueled by atmospheric rivers. "We usually see three or four atmospheric rivers in a season," said Scott McGuire, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Reno. "We've already had 10. We've had so much snow to the point where it's getting hard to measure."


Summer snow for Australia and 58 glaciers growing across New Zealand

The base camera at Mount Mawson in Tasmania
Summer snows blanket New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Coldest temperatures in Perth breaking records back to 1879 and new report out shows that 58 glaciers in New Zealand are advancing. The repeated summer snow events are showing a clear trend that growing seasons are becoming shorter.


Ice Cube

Beijing sees first snow this spring as temperatures drop across northern China

Beijing had its first spring snow this season on Tuesday, as a cold front spread across northern China. The National Meteorological Centre issued a yellow alert for snow at 10am, forecasting heavy snow in southern and eastern Hebei province, eastern Henan province and parts of Shandong province till early afternoon on Wednesday.

China has a four-colour warning system for severe weather, with red being the most serious, followed by orange, yellow and blue. In Beijing, the northern and western parts of the city could see heavy snowfall of approximately 3mm to 5mm, with the remainder of the city likely to have receive between 1mm and 3mm, according to a report from Chinanews.com.

Additional images

Bizarro Earth

El Niño to return during the 2017 Hurricane Season?

© International Research Institute for Climate and Society
The chance for various phases of El Niño.
In a statement on Feb. 9, the Climate Prediction Center announced the end of La Niña, the counterpart to El Niño that changes global weather patterns. These oscillations occur naturally with periods of 2 to 7 years with varying predictable effects around the globe - including hurricane activity.

With La Niña's end, sea temperatures have steadily warmed in the equatorial region of the central and eastern Pacific, and we're now in the neutral phase of the oscillation. As shown below, models currently suggest we'll be in the neutral category through the spring and into the summer months (June-July-August, or JJA), but after that, sea temperatures could be warm enough for El Niño conditions to take over.

Arrow Up

'The Blob' of abnormally warm Pacific water increased ozone levels, researchers claim

© American Geophysical Union
Unusually high sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific in May 2015, compared to the 2002-2012 average.
A vast patch of abnormally warm water in the Pacific Ocean - nicknamed the blob - resulted in increased levels of ozone above the Western US, researchers have found.

The blob - which at its peak covered roughly 9 million square kilometres (3.5 million square miles) from Mexico to Alaska - was assumed to be mainly messing with conditions in the ocean, but a new study has shown that it had a lasting affect on air quality too.

"Ultimately, it all links back to the blob, which was the most unusual meteorological event we've had in decades," says one of the team, Dan Jaffe from the University of Washington Bothell.

The blob of warm water in the Pacific was first detected back in 2013, and it continued to spread throughout 2014 and 2015. While it was less obvious in 2016, there were some indications that it persisted well into last year too.

The vast, warm patch has been linked to several mass die-offs in the ocean during 2015, including thousands of California sea lions starving to death in waters more than 3 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Farenheit) above average, and an "unprecedented" mass death of seabirds in the Western US.

In April 2015, the effects could also be seen on land, with a bout of strange weather in the US being linked to the higher ocean temperatures, and the increased temperatures saw a massive toxic algal bloom stretch along the entire US West Coast.

"I can't truly give an explanation of what is going on right now," marine ecologist Jaime Jahncke from conservation group, Point Blue, said in late 2015.

Comment: See also:

Arrow Down

Avalanche kills seven people near Lowari Tunnel, Pakistan

An avalanche killed seven persons and injured many in Ziarat area near Lowari Tunnel, District Chitral Valley on Sunday, police confirmed the incident.

The official also confirmed that the dead bodies of the seven persons who were mechanics and technical staff of Sambu Korean construction company had been recovered. Seven persons rescued were rushed to the District Hospital.

Deputy Commissioner Chitral Shahab Hameed Yousafzai informed APP, that avalanche triggered by continous heavy snowfall hit a nearby mountain rock on the top of a workshop of SAMBU Construction Company of Korea, working in construction of 8.5 km long Lawari tunnel.

Workshop was hit by land sliding and avalanche at 11.00 a.m as a result 14 people were burried under the debris and heavy stones and rocks. Chitral Levies, Chitral Scouts and Chitral Police along with local volunteers took part in rescue operation and they recovered seven bodies and seven other injured were rescued and were rushed to Peshawar for medical treatment.


Heavy snowfall kills another 25 in northern Afghanistan

Twenty-five people were killed by snowstorms and avalanches in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, just days after more than 100 people died due to heavy snowfall across the country, according to an official.

This time round northern Faryab province bore the brunt of freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Ammanullah Zafar, director for security in the province, told Anadolu Agency the province's Kohistan district had been worst hit. "We can confirm that 25 people have died in this unprecedented heavy snow," Zafar said.

He said police along with National Disasters Management Authority teams were trying hard with their limited resources to save the lives of several residents in the area, particularly the stranded passengers on the inter-district highways and the people stuck up in the mountains.

Comment: See also: Series of avalanches kill over 100 across Afghanistan


Plans announced to 'refreeze' the Arctic!

© Chris Mikula/Postmedia News
Sometimes an idea comes along that adds another chapter to the Book of Stupid. You might think windmills on land are an indulgent, pointless fantasy, but take that idea and make it worse:
(CNN) A team of scientists has a surprisingly simple solution to saving the Arctic: We need to make more ice.

A team at Arizona State University has proposed building 10 million wind-powered pumps to draw up water and spill it out onto the surface of the ice, where it will freeze faster. Doing so would be complicated and expensive — it's estimated to cost a cool $500 billion, and right now the proposal is only theoretical.
It's not like we have anything better to do with half a trillion dollars. Should we cure cancer or refrigerate one of the coldest places on Earth? Should we teach our kids about the fall of civilizations, or teach them to bow before prophets who keep predicting the end of the Arctic and getting it wrong?

Or we could add ice to the whole arctic for just $5 trillion

Tristan Hopper explains the beefed up plan would absorb the "entire steel production of the United States", "half the worlds container fleet", and cost about the same as the "GDP of Japan". It would also make 163 million tonnes of CO2. He's serious, and so are the ivory tower guys:
"... the researchers from Arizona State University call the cost "economically achievable" and the environmental impact "negligible.""
We could fund it all by giving up on universities right now. When it comes to the Tertiary Sector — just say "No".