Extreme Temperatures


Little Ice Age Thermometers- Historic Variations in Temperatures Confirms Extended Period of Warming Before Rapid Cooling

This short paper is a preliminary examination of BEST data to 1753, as compared to the Central England Temperature Record (CET) to 1660 (instrumental record) and 1538 (Extended by Tony Brown using thousands of contemporary observations).

CET extended and BEST temp graph
This extension to 1538 was a central part of my article 'The Long Slow Thaw,' which also examined historic temperature reconstructions by Dr Michael Mann and Hubert Lamb.

In the article, warming from the start of the CET instrumental record in 1660 to the present day was noted, albeit with numerous advances and reverses.

The extended CET record coincides well with a 2000 year reconstruction by Craig Loehle here.

And one by M. V. SHABALOVA and A. F. V. VAN ENGELEN : 'Evaluation of a reconstruction of winter and summer temperatures in the Low Countries, ad 764 - 1998' here.

According to studies made by a number of climate scientists, CET is a reasonable proxy for Northern Hemisphere -and to some extent global temperatures- as documented in 'The Long Slow Thaw'. However, as Hubert Lamb observed, it can 'show us the tendency but not the precision'. In that light there are a number of comments that can be made about the Combined CET/BEST graph which are shown above in two versions that, viewed together, provide the opportunity to follow the ups and down of the ever changing climate over the 350 years of instrumental records.

(Note; The BEST extension to 1538 and the extension to both trend lines after 2012 in the first graphic are merely a graphing feature.)


Ice Age Cometh! Rare snowfall stuns residents of Johannesburg, South Africa: first time in history all 9 provinces get same day snow

Not normal: people in South Africa couldn't believe their eyes as record snowfall fell across the whole country.
August 9, 2012 - Johannesburg, South Africa - People slowly came outside despite the cold wind Tuesday across South Africa, pointed their mobile phone cameras to the sky and opened their mouths to taste a rare snowfall that fell on much of the country. The snow began Tuesday morning, part of an extreme cold snap now biting into a nation still in its winter months. By mid-afternoon, officials recorded snowfall across most of South Africa. However, forecasters acknowledged snow remains so unusual that they typically aren't prepared to provide details about snowfall in the nation. The snow closed some roads and at least one high-altitude pass. The snowfall also closed several border posts in the country. As the snow fell, workers at offices in Johannesburg rushed outside. Some twirled and danced as the flakes fell. One man rushed to the top of a snow-covered hill and slid down, using a cardboard box as an improvised toboggan. Despite the cold and the snow, beggars who line traffic lights in the city continued to ask passing motorists for cash. The snow grew heavier in the afternoon in Johannesburg, covering rooftops and slicking roads. Snowflakes are a rare commodity in Johannesburg, even during winter. South African Weather Service records show it has snowed in Johannesburg on only 22 other days in the last 103 years. The last snow fell there in June 2007. In Pretoria, the country's capital, flurries filled the sky during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. It was the first snowfall there since 1968, the weather service said. The cold weather is expected to last a few days. - Huffington Post


First Time Ever in South Africa: Snow in All 9 Provinces

JoBurg Snow
© News24Much of SA is covered in a blanket of snow as the latest cold front sinks its teeth into the country. Share your snow photos with us.
Johannesburg - It is probably the first time ever that snow has fallen in all nine of South Africa's provinces on the same day.

Kenosi Machepa from the SA Weather Service said this when referring to the vast cold front that brought snow to Pretoria for the first time since the late 1960s, reported Beeld.

In the Western Cape, snow fell on mountains in the Boland as well as in towns like Richmond and Touws River while snow was lying thick on the Matroosberg in Ceres.

In Johannesburg, snow was lying up to 20cm deep in some areas while Golden Gate in the Free State got the most snow in six years.

In Bethlehem, snow was up to 70cm deep and schools were closed due to the weather. There was also snow in Mpumalanga and Limpopo while light snow fell in the North West.

The weather office said the cold would continue for another day or two.


Johannesburg Marvels at Rare Snowfall

Snow in JoBurg
© News24South Africans have taken to social networks sharing pictures of snow falling in Joburg and surrounding areas. Share your snow photos with us.
Snow flurries blew through Johannesburg on Tuesday, dusting the city in white as residents poured into the streets to watch the snowflakes fall.

"It's amazing, Merry Christmas!" said Roger Gibbs, driving through a leafy suburb where the trees were frosted in white.

Snow falls annually in the mountains of South Africa and Lesotho, which even hosts a ski resort, but the high plains around Johannesburg haven't seen snow in five years.

The snowfall swept north across Johannesburg, coating southern neighbourhoods in the early morning and then moving toward the Sandton and Pretoria.

"Amazing! Never happened in my life," said Mizundile Eseu, 23, a security guard.

Authorities urged motorists to take care on the roads, with few drivers used to travelling on snowy streets, but no accidents had been reported by midday.


Archaeologists discover Paleolithic Ice Age culture that flourished in Balkans 17,500 years ago

© Rebecca Farbstein The leg and torso from the model of a four-legged animal, possibly a deer or horse. It is one of 36 ceramic items recovered from Vela Spila, Croatia.
Ceramics found on the coast of the Adriatic attest to a previously unknown artistic culture which flourished during the last Ice Age, thousands of years before pottery was commonly used.

One of the better-preserved items among the 36 recovered fragments seems to be the torso and foreleg of a horse or deer. Its creator deliberately minimised the number of joins in the model, perhaps to give it structural strength.

The evidence unearthed in modern-day Croatia points to the existence of a community of prehistoric artists and craftspeople who made ceramics during the last Ice Age - thousands of years before pottery became commonplace.

The finds consist of 36 fragments, most of them apparently the broken-off remnants of modelled animals. They come from a site called Vela Spila on the Adriatic coast.

Comment: Again we see that history is far from being a straight upward trend of 'progress'. What if the reason why artistic traditions can spring up, become lost, then re-emerge is because cyclical cataclysms periodically intervene?

The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction


Ice Age Beckons: Greenland ice sheet melted at unprecedented rate during July

© NASAThe Greenland ice sheet on July 8, left, and four days later on the right. In the image, the areas classified as 'probable melt' (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as 'melt' (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting.
The Greenland ice sheet melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, with virtually the entire ice sheet showing signs of thaw.

The rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change.

In a statement posted on Nasa's website on Tuesday, scientists admitted the satellite data was so striking they thought at first there had to be a mistake.

"This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?" Son Nghiem of Nasa's jet propulsion laboratory in Pasadena said in the release.

He consulted with several colleagues, who confirmed his findings. Dorothy Hall, who studies the surface temperature of Greenland at Nasa's space flight centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, confirmed that the area experienced unusually high temperatures in mid-July, and that there was widespread melting over the surface of the ice sheet.

Climatologists Thomas Mote, at the University of Georgia, and Marco Tedesco, of the City University of New York, also confirmed the melt recorded by the satellites.

Comment: Forget rising sea levels, what we should be worrying about is fresh meltwater diluting the salty North Atlantic, interfering with or even shutting down the conveyor belt cold-warm water mechanism of the Gulf Stream, which keeps the East coast of the US and Canada and the Northwestern Europe relatively warm. If that goes, we will enter an ice age.

Essential reading: Fire and Ice: The Day After Tomorrow

© unknownA diagram of the Gulf Stream conveyor and related currents.

This image shows how the British Isles, Western Europe and Scandinavia are bathed in the heat of the Gulf Stream


Training in the Ice Age

Ice Bath
© Raymond PrestonRugby players Jaque Fourie, Andre Pretorius and Jannes Labuschagne enjoy - or perhaps tolerate - an ice bath after a training session.
Training sessions for major sports events are gruelling. For mere mortals they can appear to be the pastime of superheroes.

Not only are there intense hours of high-performance exercises but some sportsmen like Britain's athlete Mo Farah adopt weird and inventive methods to increase their performance.

According to the Samsung Global Blogger, Farah uses an anti-gravity device and underwater treadmill to supplement his 195km-a-week running regime.

For many, cooling down after exercise involves a gentle stretch of the calf muscles and a bending over to the left and right of the abdomen - nothing too strenuous .

But Farah spends time in ice chambers that use liquid nitrogen. This might seem weird, but taking an ice bath after training has become standard practice.

Cooling or recovery techniques used usually include more traditional methods such as massage, stretching sessions, steam baths, yoga and swimming. But many athletes now claim that plunging into a tub of ice water (about 6C) after exercise increases their rate of recovery and helps reduce muscle pain.

Rocco Meiring, a swimming coach at Pretoria University's High Performance Centre, says: "This method is used for leg-intensive sports like rugby, soccer, cricket and athletics. Ice baths are often used in combination with hot baths or saunas after an intense training session or conditioning work."

So, how does an ice bath, and the combination of cold and hot, improve the speed and quality of recovery? Is there evidence that it works?


Anchorage Experiences Coldest First Half of July Ever

Cold July
© Photos.com
Looking for relief from the heat over much of the Lower 48 states? Head to coastal Alaska where they are experiencing the coldest first half of July on record!

Through the first 14 days of July, the average temperature in Anchorage was 53.1 degrees factoring in daily highs and lows, which makes it the coldest first half of the month on record according to the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

Should this temperature trend continue, it could threaten the record for the coldest July ever, which occurred in 1920 and had an average temperature of 54.4 degrees.

Typically this stretch of time is the warmest of the year. Instead, temperatures in the city of Anchorage are running 5.3 degrees below average.

Somedays have even turned out colder than cities on the Arctic Coast such as Barrow. On July 12th, the high temperature topped out at 54 degrees in Anchorage, while temperatures soared to 62 in Barrow (a whooping 15 degrees above average.)

Not only has it been cool, but residents of the Alaska city haven't seen much sunlight due to overcast skies and a persistent flow off the ocean. Rainfall through the first 14 days is running slightly above normal at 120 percent. But the clouds and cool temperatures have been the bigger story.


Brutal Bering Sea Ice Blocking Arctic Supply Ships

Stuck in Ice
© Alaska Dispatch
Brutal sea ice conditions that northwest Alaska battled all winter haven't receded in parts of northern Canada. Two resupply ships are stuck waiting at the mouth of Frobisher Bay in Iqaluit because of tough ice conditions. Frobisher Bay is an inlet of the Labrador Sea.

In June, winds and currents pushed heavy ice in to the area, CBC News reported on Wednesday.

Now, two Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers are trying to punch a path through for the resupply vessels. However, the ice is so thick that it's closing in around the icebreakers before the other ships can follow.

"Thirty miles of heavy ice to get to Pike Risser channel. And from Iqaluit you can see out your window ... basically open water, but it's ice out of Pike Risser channel. Outside of that, that is where the heavy ice is," said Andy Maillet of the Coast Guard's Arctic Operations Centre.

Maillet doesn't expect the ice conditions to improve until mid-July. Rain and drizzle have made navigation even harder, cutting visibility.


Record Winter Snow and Cool Summer Means Snow Piles Still Tower Over Anchorage in July

© ktuu.com
Melting Leftovers of Record Winter Requires Extra Work

Anchorage, Alaska - Bulldozer crews are on the clock this Independence Day, trying to break down mountains of snow, which still tower over some parts of Anchorage after a winter of record snowfall.

At American Landscaping, along C st. in South Anchorage, crews "roll" the surface of their pile every day or so, scraping off a top layer of gravel, which can insulate the snow, slowing its melt.

"I don't know how high it is now, looks like about 80 feet," said Glenn Ball, owner of American Landscaping, as he looked up at what he estimated to be about 280,000 cubic yards of leftovers.

Ball made good money off the snow dump after Anchorage broke its annual snowfall record of 132.6 inches. Now that it's summer, he could use some extra space on his property for the soil and landscaping side of his business.