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Tue, 11 May 2021
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Extreme Temperatures

Cloud Precipitation

Rain further delays historically slow U.S. corn, soybean planting

Rain over the weekend and this week will drag out late season plantings of corn and soybeans in the United States that are already at a historically slow pace, an agricultural meteorologist said on Tuesday.

John Dee, meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring said from 1.0 to 3.0 inches or more of rain fell over the weekend in the central Midwest and 0.5 inch to 1.5 inches is expected at midweek in the northern Midwest.

"The only planting that will take place will be in the southern two-thirds of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio the next couple of days," he said. "If it were all planted this would be perfect, there was pretty good planting progress last week but not like the week before."

Farmers have been scrambling to plant corn and soybeans through mid and late May in an attempt to catch up from weather delays in April and early May.

In its weekly crop progress report released on May 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said corn planting was 71 percent complete, up from 28 percent a week ago but still behind the 79 percent five-year average seeding pace.

USDA has projected U.S. 2013 corn plantings at 97.3 million acres, the largest land area devoted to its production since the 1930s.

Soybean planting progress rose to 24 percent from 6 percent a week earlier, USDA said.

USDA will release updated planting data in its weekly crop progress report late on Tuesday.

Igloo

Germany now recording coldest spring in 40 years! "...Climate experts running out of arguments..."!

The recent weather in Germany indicates everything but global warming and widespread drought, which climate experts have been telling us would be the case unless we stopped burning fossil fuels fast.
Germany's Mean Temps
© Josef Kowatsch, data from German Weather Service
Germany’s mean temperature trend continues falling sharply (1998 – 2012). 2013 so far is well below normal.
Today the online Augsburger Allgemeine reports that the statistics for the 2013 German meteorological spring (March-April-May) have been 95% tabulated and show that this year's German spring is the "coldest in in decades". The Chiemgau24 news site reports that it is the coldest spring in 40 years.

This past weekend, snow even fell in parts of Germany at elevations down to 600 meters.

No reasons are cited as to why the spring 2013 is so cold. The Arctic is covered with ice and so it can't be an exposed Arctic sea disrupting atmospheric patterns.

Snow Globe

Warbler 'fallout' on Park Point, Dulth amazes birders

Starting last weekend and into the past week, birders in Duluth witnessed one of the most dramatic bird "fallout" events in many years

Image
© Mike Hendrickson
A mourning warbler seen at Park Point during a recent “fallout” caused by bad weather
Starting last weekend and into the past week, birders in Duluth witnessed one of the most dramatic bird "fallout" events in many years.

Wind, rain and fog coming off Lake Superior forced migrating warblers and other species to take refuge on Park Point, where they flocked in trees and on the ground, resting and searching for food.

"It was fantastic," said Duluth birder Mike Hendrickson. "It was one of the best fallouts of migrants in my life, and I've been birding Duluth for 31 years."

It was good for birders, but tough on the birds, Hendrickson noted. He saw one dead warbler, but no other dead birds were reported.

In a message sent on the Minnesota Ornithological Union listserv, Duluth's Peder Svingen wrote that last Sunday, May 19, he and other birders identified 24 warbler species on Park Point. Only two of the 26 warbler species that can be observed in Duluth were missing, and they were later seen by others.

Sherlock

5000 cave paintings discovered in Mexico; likely made by early hunter-gatherers

Nearly 5,000 cave paintings have been discovered in a mountain range in a section of northeastern Mexico near the U.S. border.
Image
© National Institute of History and Anthropology in Mexico
A photo of one of the cave paintings discovered by archaeologists in Mexico near the U.S. border.
Archaeologists were stunned by the find, as previous research did not suggest pre-Hispanic groups resided so far north. The red, white and black paintings were found in 11 different sites, and were likely made by early hunter-gatherers. The images depict humans in activities such as hunting, fishing and gathering, and animals like deer, lizards and centipedes.

"The find [is] important because with this we were able to document the presence of pre-Hispanic groups in Burgos, where before we said there were none," said archaeologist Martha Garcia Sanchez of the Autonomous University of Zacatecas.

"These groups escaped Spanish control for almost 200 years," Garcia Sanchez said. "They fled to the San Carlos mountain range where they had water, plants and animals to eat. The Spaniards didn't go into the mountain and its valleys."

Igloo

Rapid cooling triggered Bronze-Age collapse and Greek Dark Age

ice age
Of course the politically correct verbiage is "climate change."

Between the 13th and 11th centuries BCE, most Greek Bronze Age Palatial centers were destroyed and/or abandoned throughout the Near East and Aegean, says this paper by Brandon L. Drake

A sharp increase in Northern Hemisphere temperatures preceded the wide-spread systems collapse, while a sharp decrease in temperatures occurred during their abandonment. (Neither of which, I am sure - the increase or the decrease - were caused by humans.)

Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures cooled rapidly during the Late Bronze Age, limiting freshwater flux into the atmosphere and thus reducing precipitation over land, says Drake, of the Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico.

This cooling and ensuing aridity could have affected areas that were dependent upon high levels of agricultural productivity. The resulting crop declines would have made higher-density populations unsustainable.

Indeed, studies of data from the Mediterranean indicate that the Early Iron Age was more arid than the preceding Bronze Age. The prolonged arid conditions - a centuries-long megadrought, if you will - lasted until the Roman Warm Period.

Comment: Speaking of 'collapse of civilization', read Laura Knight-Jadczyk's latest research
Comets and the Horns of Moses (The Secret History of the World) for a more enlightened study of civilization's recurring collapses.


Fish

What is causing hundreds of fish to die?

Temperatures, just as News 4 reported in March


Buffalo, N.Y. - Canalside is just weeks away from being packed with people attending summer events. But visitors could be met with hundreds of dead fish in the water.

Hundreds of dead fish started washing up from Lake Erie, the Niagara River and their tributaries in March, and News 4 reported after concerned viewers called about the dead fish. And though it's been months, you can still find dozens of them floating in the Commercial Slip.

Donald Zelazny, the DEC's Great Lakes Program Coordinator, said, "This is actually one of the larger die-offs of these fish that we've seen in quite a while."

So it's no surprise that people who see them are worried about disease and pollution. But the DEC now has biological evidence of what it has said all along: these fish, a member of the herring family called "gizzard shad," died of natural causes.

"They're very susceptible to cold temperatures and temperature fluctuations. So we generally see a die-off of this particular type of fish every year," Zelazny explained.

Snowflake

Anchorage, Alaska sets new record for longest snow season- 232 days!

232 days - it took over 30 years for Anchorage to set a new record for the longest snow season on record. The National Weather Service measured 2/10ths of an inch just after 9 p.m. Friday and 1/10th Saturday morning - breaking the old record of 230 days set in 1981-1982. Anchorage police responded to 22 crashes, 4 with injuries and 37 vehicles in distress between midnight and noon Saturday. Police say roads were wet and not icy midday and "motorists should use caution if the temperatures drop below freezing. Other parts of the city had much higher amounts of snow, however official measurements must be consistent and observed at the Sand Lake forecast office. The recent snowfall also broke the daily record for liquid precipitation, lowest maximum temperature for May 17, and a host of other records. NWS says Saturday evening's forecast calls for "mostly cloudy with isolated snow showers in the evening...then partly cloudy after midnight - lows in the upper teens to mid 20s and north wind to 15 mph." For Sunday, the forecast will be mostly sunny, highs in the 40s, and light winds, according to NWS. -NBC
Image

Arrow Down

Manatees are dying in droves, Florida says 'too bad'

Red tide' and a loss of sea grass account for some manatee deaths, but researchers believe undiscovered factors are also at play.

Image
© Kallista/Getty Images
The NOAA is launching a study to investigate the factors behind the recent rash of manatee deaths
A record number of endangered manatees are dying in Florida's algae-choked waterways. So far this year, 582 manatees have died, more than any year on record, according to preliminary numbers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Pat Rose is an aquatic biologist and the executive director of the Save the Manatee Club, an organization devoted to preserving the animal. In his interview with TakePart, Rose reports the estimated minimum population of these gentle beasts is only 3,100 adults. That means their population has decreased by more than 10 percent in just four months.

A total of 247 of these have died in the southwest of the state due to an explosion of a red-hued algae called Karenia brevis, also known as a red tide.

This pesky microorganism produces neurotoxins that can kill manatees by causing them to seize to the point where they can't make it to the surface - or even lift their head out of the water - to breathe.

The large marine mammals are also dying in the eastern part of the state, in Brevard County near Orlando. Rose says a gradual die-out of sea grass, upon which the manatees feed, has combined with blooms of brown algae and likely other unknown factors to kill nearly 150 more manatees. Since 2010, about 30,000 acres of sea grass have been wiped out.

Luckily, it appears that both events are winding down, and the rate of manatee deaths appears to be slowing. But that's cold comfort for Rose, since the number of threats to manatees appears to be growing, and little is being done to address the problem.

Traditionally, boat collisions have been the biggest killer of manatees; they're vulnerable since they're large, slow-moving and often hang out on the surface. Until this year, at least 41 percent of all manatee deaths resulted from these collisions, and likely more, because not all of these deaths are reported or detected.

Comment: The one of the other supposedly 'undiscovered factors that are also at play', but nevertheless well reported, are the unusually cold water temperatures experienced along the Florida coast in recent winters.

See -

http://www.sott.net/article/221068-279-Manatees-die-of-cold-chill-in-Florida


Smiley

Climate control - lather, rinse, repeat

Climate Control Shampoo
© Tresemme.com
We always talk about and are lectured to about how "weather is not climate". Of course that's a flexible meme, because now when the weather turns hot or bad, climate is to blame.

I had to go to Walmart today to pick up something, and as I walked down the aisles looking for things, this jumped out at me. Unfortunately, it was so ridiculous, it made me laugh out loud, and I got stares. So, I'm sharing this humor with you.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before some enterprising company did this.

Gotta love that "defend your hair against bad weather" line. Now even when CO2 or weather modification driven hordes of tornadoes descend upon us in retaliation for our climate sins, we can avoid bad hair days.

Of course, shampoo only goes so far. They need "climate control body spray" to really be effective.

Snow Globe

Wacky weather producing one of Alaska Interior's craziest spring migrations on record

Image
© Jim DeWitt/Frosty Feathers Images
Crazy migration

Part of a huge flock of sandhill cranes take to the air after being scared by a bald eagle in Delta Junction on Saturday night off Barley Way. Photographer Jim DeWitt estimated there were 3,000 cranes in the flock.
Fairbanks - Birds of all kinds are arriving in dizzying numbers and many long-time birders say they have never seen such a concentrated wave of migrating birds in the Tanana Valley.

Bud Johnson in Tok estimates there were 100,000 sparrows descending on that area Tuesday. He reported seeing continuous flocks along the sides of the highway, and came home to hundreds of songbirds in his yard. White-crowned, golden-crowned, fox and tree sparrows mixed with juncos, rusty blackbirds and Lapland longspurs. Other viewers saw Lincoln's and Savannah sparrows and gray-crowned rosy-finches.

"I have never seen anything like this ever," Johnson said. "The ground is just in constant movement and the singing (mostly from the white-crowned sparrows) is insane."

Among bird-watchers, there is a phenomenon called "fallout," which is when a large number of migrating birds make landfall because they run into storm systems. Usually this happens along the coast, where exhausted birds touch down on the first solid ground they find. It's possible a combination of the late spring breakup and a current weather front has caused this unusual spring gathering.

"This is turning out to be the most spectacular spring migration I think the Tanana Valley has seen in recent memory," Fairbanks birder Nancy DeWitt wrote in an email. "First, there were the unprecedented numbers of swans and white-fronted geese in the Delta barley fields (many of which are still there) accompanied by the biggest flocks of Canada geese and pintails I've ever seen, now followed by what Steve Dubois says is the largest concentration of sandhill cranes he's seen in his 28 years there.

"Add in the numerous bluebird sightings (I've lost count), cloud after cloud of Lapland longspurs moving through the valley, thick groups of varied thrush at Fort Greely on Saturday night, and now the sparrow fall-out in Tok Bud describes, and I am just beside myself with glee," she said. "I assume most of this is weather related, but what happened and where along the migration route that balled up all these birds? I suppose the fact that a lot of the valley is snow-covered and many ponds and lakes are still frozen is also concentrating birds, but would sure love to know if anyone tracked migration radar data over Canada in the past month.