Extreme Temperatures


Mexican archaeologist says Teotihuacán was built to worship water

Pyramid of the Moon
© emerzel21/iStockphotoThe ancient Pyramid of the Moon, the second-largest pyramid in Teotihuacan, Mexico.
Perched on a plateau surrounded by mountains some 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, the city of Teotihuacán reached its peak between A.D. 200 and 450, when it was home to as many as 100,000 people. In A.D. 600, Teotihuacán was mysteriously abandoned, leaving future generations of scholars to puzzle for centuries over the secrets of the ancient city, its magnificent pyramids and its people. Now, in what may be a major breakthrough in the study of Teotihuacán, one archaeologist argues that the city was likely built around the worship of a single essential substance: water.

For centuries, archaeologists and other scholars have struggled to unlock the secrets of the ancient city of Teotihuacán. After reaching its peak just as the Roman Empire was in decline, the city was largely destroyed around A.D. 600 by fire and looting, perhaps as the result of a civil war or enemy invasion. By A.D. 750, the surviving members of Teotihuacán's population seem to have been absorbed into neighboring cultures, or to have abandoned the once-great city for their ancestral homelands.

Because they had no complex form of writing, relatively little is known about the founders and inhabitants of Teotihuacán. Archaeologists haven't discovered any carved slabs inscribed with characters, or any royal tombs. This lack of artifacts contrasts sharply with the wealth of evidence left behind by the Maya, who also built impressive pyramids in their cities in Central America.

It was the Aztecs who found the ruins of Teotihuacán in the 1300s and gave the city its name, which means "the place where men become gods" in Nahuatl. It was also the Aztecs who linked Teotihuacán's two largest pyramid—the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon—to their own story of creation. But according to Verónica Ortega, the Aztecs may have had the story wrong.


NASA: July 2016 was world's hottest month since records began

cooling down
© Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
The year 2016 continues to set historic heat records with July officially becoming the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. NASA revealed that temperatures last month peaked above the previous record set five years ago.

Data published by NASA revealed that for the past nine months temperatures have been hitting new records with July 2016 being 1.51 degrees Fahrenheit (0.84 degrees Celsius) warmer than the 1950-1980 global average.

Comment: Temperatures around the world, like the weather, are becoming more extreme. See also:

Snowflake Cold

Experts say Britain is headed for a mini ice age next year triggering blackouts

ice age cometh
© Getty
Climate boffins believe the UK's topsy-turvy climate is in for a chilly twist within the next few years as three major forms of climate change trigger "substantial cooling".

Drastic changes in ocean conditions, greenhouse gases and a weakening of the sun threaten increasingly worsening winters of blistering blizzards and severe snowstorms for years to come.

This cocktail of climate threats, paired with "hasty climate policies", could mean "rolling blackouts" in the UK over the next few years, plunging the country into long period of darkness.

These "worse case scenario" climate threats will hit the elderly hardest, leaving "some pensioners alone in the dark" on a freezing nights resigned to a "lonely death".

Comment: See also:

Snowflake Cold

Early cold temperatures hit Denver, Colorado; Summer snow falls on Pikes Peak

Summer snow at Pikes Peak
A cold front brought a taste of early fall to Colorado on Friday including a dusting of snow on top of Pikes Peak.

It's not uncommon for Colorado's highest mountains to record occasional summer snow.
Pikes Peak snow
Friday's temperatures started off in the 40s across the mountains with a few valleys dipping into the 30s.

Metro Denver saw overnight lows fall into the lower and middle 50s with a few upper 40s on the fringes of the city as reported by CBS4 Weather Watchers.


Over 6,500 taken to hospital for heatstroke in Japan

Heatwave Japan
The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday that 6,588 people were taken to hospitals nationwide to be treated for heatstroke in the week from Aug 1 to Aug 7.

The figure was an increase of 2,525 over the previous week as a heatwave covered most of Japan, agency officials said.

Twelve deaths were attributed to heatstroke, while 822 people had to be hospitalized due to their condition. Of the total number hospitalized, 3,330 were aged 65 and older.

By prefecture, Osaka had the highest number with 416, followed by Tokyo (398), Aichi Prefecture (383) and Saitama (382).


Solar storm almost started WWIII in 1967

View of the Sun on May 23, 1967
© NSOA view of the Sun on May 23, 1967, in a narrow visible wavelength of light called Hydrogen-alpha. The bright region in the top center region of brightness shows the area where the large flare occurred.
The Cold War was filled with nuclear annihilation close-calls: There was the '62 Cuban Missile Crisis, the NORAD Computer Glitch in '70, the Nuclear False Alarm of 1983, and likely many we'll never know about. But there's one incident that has gone under the radar for decades. A new paper to be published in the journal Space Weather finally paints a detailed portrait of a 1967 solar storm that almost spurred the U.S. Air Force to attack the Soviet Union and potential ignite World War III.

Here's the deal: On May 23, 1967, the United States noticed its surveillance radars the near poles were jamming up. Naturally, defense officials assumed it was the Soviet Union preparing to attack American soil — so the Air Force began to make its own preparations to strike the Russians.

Problem was, the Russians were not to blame. The culpable party was the sun, which was in the midst of a particularly nasty solar storm. When the sun is producing major flares, the resulting energy can charge up nearby particles and cause electromagnetic disturbances that affect the ionosphere — the part of the Earth's atmosphere that helps propagate radio wave emissions over large distances.

Although solar activity was still not widely understood, by the 1950s the U.S. military knew how eruptions on the surface the sun could hamper communications on Earth. By the following decade, the Air Force established the Air Weather Service to regularly monitor the sun for solar flares.

Comment: Think it couldn't happen today? Think again! Out of any of the 'nuclear war' scenarios currently being thrown around, this reminder from 1967 may very well be repeated sans 'cooler heads prevailing'. This story provides a glimpse into the paranoid hubris of our leaders and touches on their blind reaction to a 'cosmic threat'. In today's atmosphere of US-driven rabid fear and paranoia towards Russia, how do you think our fearful leaders would respond when something wicked this way comes.

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.