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Sat, 28 Jan 2023
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UK wildlife and nature hit hard by erratic weather

A wet winter and cold, late spring have affected both flora and fauna - and gardens. How long will the summer last?
© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
A Reed Bunting sits in reeds at Elmley Marshes. Many young birds are going hungry due to knock-on effect of late seasons.
One week past midsummer's day and nature still has not recovered from the misearable, wet winter and the cold, late spring, say wildlife experts and gardeners.

"Spring got seriously behind and was the latest since 1996; with bluebells still in bloom in early June and many butterflies very late to emerge," said National Trust naturalist Matthew Oates. "Summer is now running two to three weeks late."

The long spell of cold weather caused insects to struggle, with a knock-on effect on tree and flower pollination and a lack of food for birds like swallows and swifts which depend on airborne insect food. The result has been late flowering plants and possibly many young birds going hungry.

Snowdrops lasted into April, daffodils until May and wild roses and elder trees are now flowering but unusually late, said Oates. "Some aspects of spring failed altogether - with frogs and toads struggling to breed in ponds which remained frozen".

The cold winter has left seas particularly cold. "This means the plankton is very late and we are only just beginning to see basking sharks, six weeks later than usual," said Joan Edwards, head of the Wildlife Trusts' Living Seas in Plymouth. "We also see that some seabirds look particularly undernourished, possibly because of the cold seas."


Push back on misinformation!

© Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks as he unveils his plan on climate change, June 25, 2013 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
With his recent address to students at Georgetown University, Washington DC, President Obama has commanded: "Push Back on Misinformation. Speak up for the facts."

What a wise command! In the following, let me provide some examples of misinformation:

Examples of Misinformation

I."Carbon Pollution"

In this very address, President Obama used the term "carbon pollution" 30 times or so.

There really is no such thing as "carbon pollution." Carbon is a vital constituent of all living organisms on earth. If the term "carbon pollution" is meant to be a short form for the term "carbon dioxide pollution," then it ought to be spelled out, at least once in the address. However, assuming that that's what he actually meant, let's look at carbon dioxide.

II. "Carbon Dioxide Pollution"

There really is no such thing as "carbon dioxide pollution." Except for some bacteria that use other carbon sources, all life on earth is derived from and requires continued presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth's atmosphere. If the concentration of CO2 in the air, currently around 0.04%, were to fall by one half, say to 0.02%, most life on earth would come to a screeching halt. The partial pressure of CO2 at 0.02% in the atmosphere would be insufficient to sustain photosynthesis in most plants. Without growing plants, the bottom of the food-chain would disappear.

Snowflake Cold

New Zealand: Bitterly-cold winds, freezing temps and up to 1 metre of snow

"This is a significant event which is expected to persist through until Friday morning," MetService said in a severe weather warning at 9.42am.

South Island residents are getting ready for it.

Freezing conditions were expected in much of both islands, bringing snow, rain and gale force winds to many areas.

Heavy snow was expected about Canterbury and southern parts of Marlborough above 300m. Snow was also expected to low levels about Southland and southern Fiordland. Snow was expected about Banks Peninsula.

"A very strong and cold southerly flow spreads over the South Island tonight, with snow expected to lower to near sea level about southern and eastern areas," MetService said.

Accumulations of snow were likely to exceed 50cm above 300m, and 100cm above 500m. Smaller amounts of snow were expected below 300m.

Cloud Precipitation

Lourdes shrine evacuated in flash floods

Better Earth

Ice Ages start and end so suddenly, "it's like a button was pressed," say scientists

Dutch researchers drilling into the glaciers of Greenland have discovered that climate change occurs more rapidly than previously believed - indeed, the most recent ice age ended abruptly in just one year.

The NordGrip drilling project in Greenland has extracted ice cores from the ancient ice sheets there which reveal that the world's most recent ice age ended precisely 11,711 years ago. An ice core is a long cylinder drilled out of the ice, made up of layers of snow and ice that have fallen in the region for millennia. By examining the amount of snowfall buried in those layers, researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have determined the exact year the ice age halted and gave way to our current climate.

Comment: In fact, it can happen in a matter of months:

Last Ice Age took just SIX months to arrive

Snow Globe

Mount Hutt ski area in New Zealand closed due to too much snow

"Looks like manmade global warming is terrifying in New Zealand," says reader Joshua Cooley.
small payday loans

"Wasn't it supposed to be, later winters, earlier springs, less snow, no snow, higher snow levels, kids won't know snow, etc., etc.?"


Mt Hutt, New Zealand -21Jun13
New Zealand just got hammered with snow (See It's Dumping Down Under!)

At Mt Hutt the storm dropped 40 inches of snow in 20 hours! This led to 15 foot snow drifts and extremely high avalanche danger.

And the snow keeps falling! Another 40 cm is forecast over the next 24 hours.

According to the Mt Hutt website, the ski area "is closed again today as further heavy snow falls and low visibility have hampered the progress of snow clearing on the access road. We estimate at least 1.6m of snow has fallen since the storm began and drifts exceeding 3m deep are commonplace in many areas.... All lifts are currently heavily caked in ice."


Thanks to Joshua Cooley for this link


Heavy snowfall in northern Kyrgyzstan in summer!

Snow in Summer
© Kabar
Bishkek - The snowfall in Naryn oblast on Monday reached in some places 40-50 centimeters. In some areas 3,5 and 15-50 centimeters. The press service of the authorized representative of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in Naryn oblast reports.

According to preliminary information, because of the snow 438 sheep and one mare with foal perished.

Besides, water level of rivers and canals rose because of snow.

Update - As a result of heavy snowfall on June 17-18 in northern Kyrgyzstan 1 thousand 866 sheep, 55 cows and 31 horses died in Naryn and Issyk-Kul oblasts. The press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan reports.

The snowfall in Naryn oblast on Monday reached in some places 40-50 centimeters. In some areas 3,5 and 15-50 centimeters.

The commission of Civil Protection of regions continues to ascertain the damage of livestock farming and farmland.


Baked Alaska - Unusual heat wave hits 49th state

A heat wave hitting Alaska may not rival the blazing heat of Phoenix or Las Vegas, but to residents of the 49th state, the days of hot weather feel like a stifling oven - or a tropical paradise. With temperatures topping 80 degrees in Anchorage, and higher in other parts of the state, people have been sweltering in a place where few homes have air conditioning.

© Associated Press
This photo taken Monday, June 17, 2013, shows people sunning at Goose Lake in Anchorage, Alaska.
They're sunbathing and swimming at local lakes, hosing down their dogs and cleaning out supplies of fans in at least one local hardware store. Mid-June normally brings high temperatures in the 60s in Anchorage, and just a month ago, it was still snowing. The weather feels like anywhere but Alaska to 18-year-old Jordan Rollison, who was sunbathing with three friends and several hundred others lolling at the beach of Anchorage's Goose Lake.

"I love it, I love it," Rollison said. "I've never seen a summer like this, ever." State health officials even took the unusual step of posting a Facebook message reminding people to slather on the sunscreen. Some people aren't so thrilled, complaining that it's just too hot. "It's almost unbearable to me," said Lorraine Roehl, who has lived in Anchorage for two years after moving here from the community of Sand Point in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. "I don't like being hot. I'm used to cool ocean breeze."

Snowflake Cold

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks

© Les Stone/REUTERS
US domestic surveillance has targeted anti-fracking activists across the country.
NSA Prism is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism

Top secret US National Security Agency (NSA) documents disclosed by the Guardian have shocked the world with revelations of a comprehensive US-based surveillance system with direct access to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and other tech giants. New Zealand court records suggest that data harvested by the NSA's Prism system has been fed into the Five Eyes intelligence alliance whose members also include the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

But why have Western security agencies developed such an unprecedented capacity to spy on their own domestic populations? Since the 2008 economic crash, security agencies have increasingly spied on political activists, especially environmental groups, on behalf of corporate interests. This activity is linked to the last decade of US defence planning, which has been increasingly concerned by the risk of civil unrest at home triggered by catastrophic events linked to climate change, energy shocks or economic crisis - or all three.

Comment: Read Laura Knight Jadczyk's writing's about possible future (and past) climate and political events:

Comets and the Horns of Moses
The Apocalypse: Comets, Asteroids and Cyclical Catastrophes
Tunguska, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction
Fire and Ice: The Day After Tomorrow

Listen to a discussion on the topic of growing concern:

SOTT Talk Radio: Climate Change, Food Shortages and the Future

Cloud Grey

In a fog, migrating birds crash-land on Wisconsin boat

The exhausted travelers were just about out of gas, so they pulled over to the only rest stop they could find in the fog.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources workers aboard the research vessel Coregonus wondered why so many migrating warblers were suddenly landing on their boat 16 miles off the Lake Michigan shore from Port Washington. The pooped birds didn't care where they landed, as long as it was dry.

To the warblers lost in the fog, the boat probably looked like a giant floating life preserver.

"Most of them were just dead-tired," DNR fisheries technician Tim Kroeff said Tuesday.

American redstart, magnolia and palm warblers were among the species landing on the boat, as well as at least one vesper sparrow.

"Some were so tired I could catch them with my hand and bring them into the cabin. Some of them would land and it was almost like they were in hypothermia, they were shivering," said Kroeff, a DNR fisheries technician for three decades.

Warblers migrating from tropical climates to Wisconsin to breed or pass through on their way to Canada visit stopover sites, which ornithologists have dubbed fire escapes, convenience stores and full-service hotels, depending on habitat and availability of food. On this day in late May, the Coregonus was a fire escape - a vital rescue stop the birds happened upon that likely saved their lives.

"It happens in the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico; there are amazing stories from people on ships," said Noel Cutright, founder of Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory in Ozaukee County. "They're always looking for some place to sit down."

Comment: Although 'falls' of migrating birds in most years are not that unusual, what marks out this Spring season in particular is the late occurrence and numbers involved across both North America and Eurasia due to late cold weather. Many have been reported dead or dying.

See a sample of these other reports for instance -

Many bluebirds couldn't survive this cold spring in Loveland, Colorado

Prolonged winter weather grounds birds in Northland, Minnesota

Over 100 dead birds found in Danville & Pittsylvania County, Virginia

Hundreds of birds die of starvation after spring snowstorm in Colorado

Bird jams: Long winter sends migratory flocks into tailspin in Germany

Rare birds killed off after migration north sees them face freezing temperatures back in UK

In Belarus, for returning storks, blackbirds, swallows the prolonged winter is a disaster

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

Warbler 'fallout' on Park Point, Dulth amazes birders