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Due to too much ice: Alaska village grapples with collapse in walrus harvest

Walrus on the ice
© Unknown
Gambell - For as long as many here can remember, hunters in this Eskimo village where the mountains of Siberia are clearly visible have managed to kill enough walruses to provide food that lasts through the brutal Arctic winter.

But after harvesting only 108 walruses this year - one sixth the average - the island community of 690 residents is rushing to find alternate sources of food before winter sets in. Other towns have offered donations of reindeer and fish, but tribal officials say it isn't enough to offset the shortage. Villagers say they can't afford to shop at the one full-service store because prices there can be three times as high as on the mainland.

"If it continues like this, we will seriously starve," said Jennifer Campbell , a 38-year-old mother of five whose family caught two walruses this year, down from as many as 20 in normal years. In August, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell declared an economic disaster for Gambell and its sister village of Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island, freeing up more state resources such as possible grants to help the stricken communities.

State and federal marine experts, meanwhile, say the collapse of the walrus harvest is another example of how wild weather is altering life in native villages like these that still follow a subsistence lifestyle. Rick Thoman , a climatologist with the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, said the Arctic's warming climate is likely to make it harder for such villages to catch enough walruses and other prey animals and fish, which scientists say are likely to fall in number in coming years due to diminished ice.

But this past spring, the village had the opposite problem: The coldest winter to hit the state in decades meant the Siberian Yupik Eskimo hunters on the island, which lies just 36 miles from Russia's Chukchi Peninsula, weren't able to maneuver their boats past unusually thick ice in the Bering Sea as the walrus herds migrated past.

Comment: Despite the author's efforts to concentrate on global warming in the whole article, the fact is that there is a cold change underway.

Snowflake Cold

Winter to open with bitter cold, snow in U.S. northwest, Rockies -forecaster

The Pacific Northwest and western Rockies should brace for a dramatic start to the winter, with bitter cold and significant snowfalls, while the eastern United States will have less of both, according to a long-term forecast by Accuweather.

The private forecasting firm also warned that the upper Midwest, including Chicago, could face heavy snow around the holidays, in a forecast released on Wednesday, less than a week after a rare October snowstorm hit the central Rocky Mountain region, stranding motorists, killing livestock, and downing trees in parts of Wyoming and South Dakota.

Warmer weather is forecast for Oregon and Washington, with colder conditions to the east in Wyoming and Montana. Those colder conditions will bring more snow, but forecasters are less certain of where the temperature differential will occur.


Early snow kills thousands of cattle in South Dakota

Dead Cattle
© Keloland.com
Pierre - A record-breaking storm that dumped 4 feet of snow in parts of western South Dakota left ranchers dealing with heavy losses, in some cases perhaps up to half their herds, as they assess how many of their cattle died during the unseasonably early blizzard.

Meanwhile, utility companies were working to restore power to tens of thousands of people still without electricity Monday after the weekend storm that was part of a powerful weather system that also buried parts of Wyoming and Colorado with snow and produced destructive tornadoes in Nebraska and Iowa. At least four deaths were attributed to the weather, including a South Dakota man who collapsed while cleaning snow off his roof.

Gary Cammack, who ranches on the prairie near Union Center about 40 miles northeast of the Black Hills, said he lost about 70 cows and some calves, about 15 percent of his herd. A calf would normally sell for $1,000, while a mature cow would bring $1,500 or more, he said.

"It's bad. It's really bad. I'm the eternal optimist and this is really bad," Cammack said. "The livestock loss is just catastrophic. ... It's pretty unbelievable."

Cammack said cattle were soaked by 12 hours of rain early in the storm, so many were unable to survive an additional 48 hours of snow and winds up to 60 mph.

"It's the worst early season snowstorm I've seen in my lifetime," said Cammack, 60.


Climate guru puts 'global warming' on ice

Dr. Tim Ball
© Dr.TimBall.comDr. Tim Ball
Far from being the final word on climate change, last week's United Nations report suggesting near certainty that human activity is causing a rise in Earth's temperatures is actually further proof that the conventional wisdom is dead wrong and the Earth is cooling right on schedule, according to one of the leading scientists who is skeptical of the climate-change premise.

Last week, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, reported it was 95 percent certain that climate change was the result of human activity, specifically the burning of fossil fuels that emit "greenhouse gases."

"That's the result that they get when you premeditate your science," said Dr. Tim Ball, former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg. "When you set out to establish a certain scientific outcome and you program your computers to do that, you shouldn't be surprised if that's the result you get.

The problem is what they're getting out of their computers is not fitting with what's actually happening. Of course, that's been the problem with the IPCC all along."

Ball told WND the deception of the IPCC and its allies can be seen in how the reports are released, with the policy statement drawing headlines while the scientific information comes later and is largely ignored.

"(The summary for policymakers) is a document written to scare to public and scare the politicians into providing more funding for their own research and their own political agenda," he said. "The actual science report, which it supposedly is based on isn't going to be released right away. They've always done it his way because the summary for policymakers completely disagrees with what the science report is saying. They know that the media and the public are not going to read the science report. And they also know that if any of them get into it, they won't understand it anyway."


Stranded citizens rescued after heavy snowfall in Turkey

"The blizzard in the US was, be it only shortly, on the Dutch television news," says reader Argiris Diamantis.

"However, in spite of the fact that many people of Turkish origin are living here, heavy snowfall in Turkey is not considered to be a news item in the Netherlands.

"In Keremali Akyaz Plateau district about 10 most elderly stranded citizens were rescued after heavy snowfall there mounted up to 70 cm (27 inches)."

According to information received from the region, they were caught unprepared.


Thanks to Argiris Diamantis in the Netherlands for this link


Upper Midwest struck by unusual autumn tornadoes, snowstorm

Unusual Storm
© Reuters/Kristina Barker/Rapid City JournalDustin Dunn (L) and Matthew Wenzel, both students at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City, walk along Canyon Lake Boulevard in Rapid City, South Dakota, October 4, 2013.
- The upper Midwest was recovering on Saturday from an unusual autumn wallop from a fierce snowstorm that trapped dozens of people in vehicles in western South Dakota and a swarm of tornadoes that left at least 15 people injured in rural Nebraska and Iowa.

More than 80 motorists remained stranded in western South Dakota after a blizzard rolled out of the Rocky Mountains and dumped up to three feet of snow on parts of the Northern Plains.

"Our priority right now is to get those people to a warm location," said Alexa White, spokeswoman for the Rapid City-Pennington County Emergency Management Office in South Dakota. "Many of them are out of gas in their vehicles."

To the east, emergency responders combed through debris in Iowa and Nebraska after 18 reports of tornadoes touching down overnight, including some cutting a swath as wide as a mile.

Fifteen people were injured in Wayne, Nebraska, including one man who suffered broken bones when his pickup truck was hit by a tornado, according to Nebraska emergency management spokeswoman Jodie Fawl.

Fawl said the twister did millions of dollars of damage - pummelling a local airplane hanger, farm implement supply businesses and several homes.


Storm brings snow, tornadoes to Great Plains

Rapid City
© Steve McEnroe Brenda Nolting, of Rapid City, S.D., rolls her cart to her car after stocking up on necessities Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 at a local supermarket in Rapid City. An early snow storm has swept through Wyoming and western South Dakota, dropping more than a foot of snow in places.
Sioux Falls, SD - A storm system that buried parts of Wyoming and South Dakota in heavy, wet snow on Friday also brought powerful thunderstorms packing tornadoes to the Great Plains.

A storm dumped at least 33 inches of snow in a part of South Dakota's scenic Black Hills, National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Helgeson said Friday afternoon. Later in the day, thunderstorms rolled across the Plains, and witnesses reported seeing tornadoes in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. There were no reports of deaths from any of the tornadoes.

Earlier in the day, snow was blamed for the deaths of three people who were killed in a traffic accident on snow-slicked U.S. 20 in northeast Nebraska.

Forecasters said the cold front would eventually combine with other storms to make for a wild, and probably very wet, weekend for much of the central U.S. and Southeast.

Some of the greatest damage from tornadoes seemed to be in Wayne, Neb., a town of 9,600 where witnesses said at least four homes were destroyed. Mayor Ken Chamberlain said all of the residents in town were accounted for, but the storm caused millions of dollars in damage to an area that includes businesses and the city's softball complex.

Snowflake Cold

A snapshot from the Black Hills blizzard - South Dakota

When the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the Black Hills of South Dakota region on Thursday afternoon, many of my friends and I shrugged it off. Seeing a bit of October snow in the Black Hills is certainly not unheard of, but no one believed it would be the major weather event that news outlets predicted.

Boy, were we wrong. We woke up Friday to heavy, blowing snowfall in Rapid City. Treacherous road conditions shut down schools, clinics, and part of Interstate 90. Up to 5,000 residents are without power in Rapid City, according to the Rapid City Journal. Widespread power outages are also being reported in Custer, Deadwood, Spearfish and Sturgis. More than a foot of snowfall is predicted in the region before the blizzard warning ends Saturday at 9 a.m.

Luckily, my husband and I have power, although our lights are flickering, and I hear tree branches, weighted from the heavy snow, cracking and crashing down as I write.

We're snuggling in today with a pot of coffee, blankets, and each other -- since I work from home and his office is closed due to the blizzard. We're just hoping that this October blizzard is a fluke -- otherwise, it's going to be a very long winter in South Dakota.

Here are photos from Friday morning:
Additional images


Argentina - 2,200 cattle die in snowstorm

Cows, calves and bulls dead after the snowstorm.

In Bernasconi, General Acha, Ataliva Rock, Quehué, Colonia Santa Maria and Unanue appeared cows, calves and bulls dead after the snowstorm.

The mayor of Bernasconi, Jorge Riera, said about 200 animals were killed in department Hucal while in Utracán department, two thousand cattle were killed. (Journal Textual)

"This came from several months of poor nutrition due to lack of pasture and the cold and snow gave the coup de grace. Government aid was little, almost nothing," said producers.

Includes photo of dead cattle:

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link


Scientists to IPCC: YES, solar quiet spells like the one now looming CAN mean ICE AGES

Quiet Sun
There's been criticism for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) over its latest AR5 report from many quarters for many reasons. But today there's new research focusing on one particular aspect of that criticism.

The particular part of the IPCC's science in question is its accounting for the effects of changes in the Sun on the climate of planet Earth. Many climatologists have long sought to suggest that the effects of solar variability are minor, certainly when compared to those of human-driven CO2 emissions. Others, however, while admitting that the Sun changes only a very little over human timescales, think that it might be an important factor.

This matters because solar physicists think that the Sun is about to enter a "grand minimum", a prolonged period of low activity.

The current 11-year peak in solar action is the weakest seen for a long time, and it may presage a lengthy quiet period. Previously, historical records suggest that such periods have been accompanied by chilly conditions on Earth - perhaps to the point where a coming minimum might counteract or even render irrelevant humanity's carbon emissions. The "Little Ice Age" seen from the 15th to the 19th centuries is often mentioned in this context.

There are certainly plenty of scientists to say, along with the IPCC, that this isn't so. For instance climate physicist Joanna Haigh has this to say, in tinned quotes offered alongside the AR5 release by the UK's Science Media Centre: