Friday 19th of July 2019

colder, still warming...

sydney clear weather

Picture by Gus

In Sydney, the present temperatures for early June are "below" average by half a degree... The "normal" winter high pressure system is moving back northward, after having been stuck further south than usual by weather frothed up by the warm Eastern Australian current. The winds are now influenced by a southerly cold wind coming from Antarctica via the Bight and twirling back in the north, in eddies on the edge of the high pressure system...

My view.

here is what I wrote about a year ago:

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/6600#comment-10300

One of the arguments often put forward against the concept of "climate change" by the climate change deniers is that there is an "industry" designed to profit for pushing the concept, whether the concept is right or wrong...

I.e. it is the interest of the plethora of scientists and greenies to promote the bad news, whether it's happening or not, in order to keep their jobs at "research". And we know the iffy stats — those that one day refer to this or that bizo-thingy being good/bad for us— such as red wine, telling us one day that a glass a day can promote bowel cancer while a glass a day can push back Alzheimer's disease to smithereens... There are oodles of research with statistical results going on around the globe, some more useless than others. For example, we know that there are still deniers about the ills of smoking, including passive smoking, despite the "industry" that warns us about it. Meanwhile, other "industries" still profit massively from selling cigarettes, while sick smokers' hospital bills are not quite fully covered by the hefty tax on the packets — nor is there enough tax revenue to pay the advertising by governments to stop people from indulging in this "filthy" habit (addiction)... And considering that health/life insurance contributions for smokers is usually spiked up, what would the insurance "industry" know about smoking, anyway? Stats that tells us that the average smoker die quite sooner than the average non-smoker? Smoke that.

so, OF COURSE there is a climate change "industry".

Since the days of the Pharaohs, there's been wizards who, after reading the entrails of crows or doves, told their rulers what they wanted to hear about the weather. Crops would bump or fail. But the clever-men (and women) would be astute to the cycles of nature, apart from being studious of gizzards, and at most times they would be correct in their interpretations and save their necks. In time of changeover though, they would predict uncertainty and of course would place the burden on humanity's sins so they could sacrifice a few virgins. Since these enlightened times, predicting the weather has been an "industry". Every night on the news (an "industry" in itself)— after the regular sporting biffo and obligato drunk sport star apologizing for his never-to-happen-again ugly behavior with non-virgins/virgins alike — a knowledgeable person (a weather wizard or a weather goddess) keeps pointing a finger at a blue background that the wizardry of TeeVee-matting fills with images of cloud systems and temperature figures, as if our next day's outfit choice depended on it, which it does...

And then there are the ppms... Parts per millions... In some "industries" a 15ppm-ore might be profitable to exploit. There are weird elements, such as "rare earths" (lantanides) for which the ppm of good stuff versus garbage can be as low as 5ppm in the ore. With very complex and lengthy processes, we refine the ore and discard the garbage till we get 99.9 per cent of the product we seek: more expensive than gold. With other ppms, such as reprocessing spent uranium to extract weapon-grade plutonium for example, cost about 4000 US dollars per gram or about 114,000.00 US dollars an ounce. One needs about 5.8 kilograms of plutonium to make the minimum critical mass so one needs more than 23 million US dollars per minimum nuclear boom just on the raw material. Quite cheap really. But this price is basic, without having to create the technology from scratch, a technology that becomes very complex once above a certain degree of refining.

And we measure our right to drive a car when our blood alcohol level is below 0.05, which on average means we have ingested a standard drink within the previous hour. A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. Compared to our body mass, say on average about 70 kilos or 70,000 grams, this averages at about 143 parts per million. At double the dosage, we're plastered. Legless. Say passed 200 ppm, we've got buckleys chance of scoring a goal and all the chances in the world to fall flat on our face with a ppm of 250 alcohol content in our body. But the alcohol is never evenly distributed throughout the body... The blood will carry most of it. At 5 litres of blood, this raise the ppm to 2000, then concentrating the alcoholic fumes in the lungs where the ppm of the blood can be as high as 50000 ppm or 0.05. We are resilient.

We know that even at 0.05, our consciousness has been "modified"... We're under the weather at 0.1...

And mentioning the weather again, climate is a very complex chaotic system.
Ppms of carbon dioxide in the air vary from place to place but on average, presently it is measured at 385 ppm per volume while fifty years ago it was about 310 ppm. In another 50 years we are likely to double the difference with our CO2 emissions, thus by 2060 the ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere could be as high as 535. But there will be regions where it could be as high as 750. What does this mean?

Laboratory experiments have shown that CO2 is a "greenhouse" gas, a gas "that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.[wikipedia] Common greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons."

"Greenhouse gases, mainly water vapor, are essential to helping determine the temperature of the Earth; without them this planet would likely be so cold as to be uninhabitable. Although many factors such as the sun and the water cycle are responsible for the Earth's weather and energy balance, if all else was held equal and stable, the planet's average temperature should be considerably lower without greenhouse gases..."

Thus, we humans modify the composition of the atmosphere by adding CO2 (undeniably), but is this quantity important enough to "modify the general climatic conditions?

The climate warming "industry" does say we are modifying the climatic conditions, while the deniers say bollocks. Who is right? The smokers or the non-smokers? The drunks or the tea-totalers?

And did I mentioned the coffee addicts? Considering caffeine is a poison.

In regard to the ppms, the ultimate concept is reached deep into the Amazon forest where the fluttering of a butterfly can engender a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico, according to the Chaos Theory. Some people will laugh at this "ludicrous" idea. But this is not so ludicrous when a system is unstable. Is there such a thing as the drop that makes a bucket overflow? What are the chains of cause and effects? And the inertia and momentum of huge complex system?

We accept the value of little things, such as poisons and medicines. Very little ricin or polonium can kill us... or a tiny amount of funnel-web spider venom. If we have a headache we take a few milligrams of this magic liquid or that wonder powder, and bingo. Ninety-nine percent of the medicine we took may get dissipated into useless waste, while a certain amount, now about 0.5 ppm, might do the trick and dull our senses at the same time. Some people believe in the cure from homeopathy... In this system of medicine, we're dealing 0.0001 ppm of active or inactive ingredient, whether you believe or not. And yet the same people who believe in this amazing power might dismiss the influence of a rise of 75 ppm in the atmospheric CO2. Not counting the increase in methane from human activity (from own waste, husbandry, etc.) — a gas about ten times more "greenhousy" than CO2.

Presently, humans activity across the globe produces on average about 30 billion tonnes of CO2 per annum. Some of this (about 10 per cent) is absorbed by the sea — the sea slowly becoming acidic because of the increased intake. Some of the rest is absorbed and recycled by plants and a large portion stays in the atmosphere. The portion that stays in the atmosphere adds to the ppms. And there is a limit to how much the sea can absorb back. There is a point at which the sea will absorb no more CO2 — thus creating a sudden rise in the atmospheric CO2 — and by then the sea would have turned critical in its ability to support life. The "industry" of climate change has spent a lot of time in the collection of accurate data that support the theory — including studying the observable shrinkage of the calcium skeletons of the small creatures in the sea, due to rise in sea acidity — presently happening and confirmed by lab experiments, so far, as CO2 increased level related. And as the temperature rises, the problems compound...

WE NEED the climate change "industry" to monitor the earth's health. Sure we could do some measuring without drawing any conclusion of sort, but so far all the figures and observations are showing that the most pessimistic global warming computer model are underestimating the growth of the problem to life on earth by a factor of three. Our ppms of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere are changing the earth. How far is that change going to go? Who knows?

Sure some scientists will also argue that change of this magnitude or greater has happen in previous geological times as part of "natural" cycles. But they are somewhat disingenuous about the "speed" of change and also in regard to other terms in which natural events, earthly and cosmic (such as sun spots) influence the climatic shifts. Presently, the warming (slower for the last few years) is still happening despite sun activity being at its lowest for years (no sun spots).

When the sun spots return, beware.

I will argue too that the end of the last Ice Age was dramatic. Traumatic. In happened in just a few years — less that 2,000 years. In geological terms this is a very rapid massive change. The present climate warming is happening at ten times this speed... 

Most advanced government around the world are investing huge amount of moneys in the "global warming industry". Still not quite enough. Most advanced economies are preparing (very quietly) to deal with warming despite the bickering of its value in carbon trading this or that, and emission reduction. I believe these government are not doing it for fun or a flavor of the month fad. Deep down in their secret bunkers, they know the stats are not good. They are "horrific". There are facts and figures that correlate strongly to global warming which in one of my earlier posting I qualified as global hotting.

As mentioned before, unless we collect as accurate data as possible, we cannot appreciate the difference say between -50 or -48 in Antarctica by simply pointing a finger in the air... Yet in terms of energy added to the heating of the earth process, it's massive. Some will argue that there is more snow in Antarctica than previously thus indicating a "cooling". Wrong. Antarctica is the driest continent on earth but "changing". It is not just a theory to fit the picture that global warming models predict that places such as Antarctica will become "wetter" yet warmer. Imagine your old fashioned fridge to which you left the door slightly opened. It will work overtime and cake with ice. Yet the temperature inside will rise, eventually flooding the kitchen floor.

We need the global warming "industry" more than ever.

Have a good day.

energy monopoly...

 

from the Guardian

Californians go to the polls tomorrow in an extraordinary David v Goliath contest that pits one of the biggest electricity companies in America against consumer groups.

The Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a private firm, has succeeded in putting a proposal on the state's ballot paper that could give it an in-built advantage over public competitors. If successful, the change, which opponents claim would create a virtual monopoly, would be enshrined in the California constitution.

It is being opposed by Democratic politicians, consumer groups, environmentalists and more than 60 newspapers.

"It's outrageous that a regulated company could decide to write its own business advantage into the state constitution," John Geesman, a former member of the California Energy Commission, told the Los Angeles Times.

Even by the standards of US election spending, the expenditure of PG&E is eye-popping at $45m (£31m), mainly on TV, radio, newspaper and website advertising. Its opponents have spent $80,000.

California law allows for votes on single issues and the ballot comes on the same day as a series of other elections, including the Republican primary for California governorship. In the past there have been votes on issues such as legalisation of marijuana or same-sex marriages.

emission fudge...

Some rich countries are seeking new rules under the UN climate convention that campaigners say would allow them to gain credit for "business as usual".

Russia, Australia, Canada and some EU countries are among the accused.

The rules relate to land-use change, which can either release or absorb carbon, depending mainly on whether forests are planted or chopped down.

Rich countries, apart from the US, could account for about 5% of their annual emissions through this loophole.

The US is not involved in these negotiations because the proposals fall under the Kyoto Protocol, of which it - alone among developed countries - is not a part.

By way of comparison, 5% is roughly equal to the total emissions reduction that developed countries pledged to make between 1990 and 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol.

The benefit for some countries, notably Russia, would be much greater.

"This would allow developed countries to circumvent their obligations on reducing emissions," said Melanie Coath, climate change policy office with the UK's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), who has conducted analytical work on the draft text currently being negotiated.

russian heat...

July 20 (Reuters) - Russia's worst drought in 130 years has destroyed crops in an area the size of Portugal, forced up wheat prices and led to the intervention of Russia's leaders.

Following are details of the drought's effects on markets, Russia's macro-economic outlook, policy and official forecasts for how long the high temperatures may last. WHICH REGIONS ARE AFFECTED? Scorching temperatures, which have reached 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the shade, have affected regions throughout Russia, from Moscow to the Pacific coast. A state of emergency had been declared in 23 grain-producing regions, in central European Russia, the Volga, Siberia and along the south of the Ural mountains. The drought is Russia's most severe for 130 years, according to the Russian Grain Union, a powerful lobby group. Moscow's summer is on course to be the hottest since 1938, although temperatures might fall next month, Dmitry Kiktyev, deputy head of Russia's state weather agency, told Reuters. "The temperature hike this month in Moscow could surpass the 1938 July figures, when the average temperature was 5.4 degrees above the norm," he said.

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Despite "freezing" temperatures in Sydney, they are most average for the month...

Global warming is on track for 2010 to be the warmest year yet...

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The state will begin unloading grain from its stockpiles August 4 to help relief efforts in drought-stricken regions, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said Wednesday, ending two years of stockpiling meant to support prices.

The government also has said it hopes to help farmers and is considering five-year subsidized loans to purchase grain from stockpiles among other bailout measures to lessen the impact of the drought.

Twenty-three regions across Russia have declared a state of emergency as weeks of record-breaking heat have ruined 9.6 million hectares of grain this season.

Three million tons of grain from the 2005 and 2008 harvests will be distributed among cattle and poultry breeders, flour mills and processing plants in the affected regions, Skrynnik said.

Some farmers had been slaughtering animals and rushing the meat to market because of the rising prices to feed their herds.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held a separate meeting Wednesday with First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, whom he ordered to head a working group that will coordinate the response among governors.

"I think the situation should be taken under much tighter control. I'm asking you to create a working group and monitor the situation daily," Putin told Zubkov, according to a transcript posted on the government web site.

Skrynnik said the state-run United Grain Company, created in March 2009 to regulate exports, would start accrediting organizations to participate in trading sessions at the National Mercantile Exchange on Monday.

The grain intervention fund currently has 9.5 million tons in storage. Since 2007, the last year Russia sold grain from its stockpile, Russia has only been intervening in the market to purchase grain.

US heat...

Oppressively hot weekend helps establish July as one for the record books

By Carol Morello
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 24, 2010; B01

 

Pity poor Chris Brown, like a lot of people did Friday.

With his walkie-talkie and badge identifying him as a bicycle messenger, almost every elevator he walked into had someone who remarked, unbidden, "I'm glad I don't do what you're doing."

"I've got the air conditioner cranked at home, so when I walk in, the sweat will solidify, and I can wash it off," Brown, 29, said longingly, facing a workday in which his coping strategy for the heat boiled down to two steps: Keep drinking water and sweating.

With another oppressively hot weekend ahead, July has established itself as one of the hottest on record. According to Jason Samenow of the Capital Weather Gang, Friday was the 10th day in a row, and the 17th this month, during which temperatures topped 90 degrees. The National Weather Service had a heat advisory in effect until after nightfall, with the high of 97 degrees reported at Reagan National Airport about 5 p.m., shy of a record 101 degrees for the date set in 1991. Meteorologists predicted that Saturday would be even warmer and more humid than Friday, with temperatures reaching 101 degrees but feeling more like 110.

russian heat wave...

From The Moscow Times...

Muscovites sweltered Monday as the temperature soared to 37.4 degrees Celsius, the hottest day on record, all while being forced to endure the capital's worst smog cloud since 2002.

The thermometer at the All-Russia Exhibition Center recorded the mark at 3 p.m. for the hottest temperature since records began 130 years ago, the city weather service said. That surpassed the previous high of 36.8 C, set in July 1920 during the Civil War.

The mercury may rise to 38 C on Thursday, according to Gidromettsentr, the state weather service.

Unusually high temperatures have contributed to record drowning deaths across Russia, a statistic that has increased by 688 in the past three weeks, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Friday, citing Emergency Situations Ministry data. Most of those who drowned were intoxicated, the state newspaper said. Another 39 people died Sunday, the ministry said on its web site.

The heat wave has also hit Russia's economy, as drought damaged 10.1 million hectares, or 32 percent of all land under cultivation, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said Friday.

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Meanwhile. Sydney is still under the grip of unusual low pressure systems, bringing summertime styled clouds billowing above...

cloudsjuly

picture by gus —  as well as the clouds, note the three choppers and the navy ship — 26/07/10

 

 

japanese heat wave...

A heatwave in Japan is being blamed for more than 60 deaths as more than 15,000 people have needed hospital treatment.

With temperatures soaring past 35 degrees Celsius in most of the country, sales of beer and air conditioners have skyrocketed.

But authorities say the heatwave has also caused at least 66 deaths.

Some died from heatstroke, while others drowned while trying to beat the heat.

More than 15,000 people have been treated for heatstroke in hospital.

Japan's meteorological agency is predicting the hottest summer in 100 years, with temperatures rising dramatically since the end of the annual rainy season earlier this month.

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read all comments from the top down.... and start to panic. By 2012, we will face some scorchers. The sun, presently in a cool period, will start warming up again... See also all the comments at:

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/9147.

russian record

The Russian capital Moscow has suffered its hottest day on record, with temperatures reaching 39C (102F).

A month-long record-breaking heatwave has sparked nearly 50 fires in the Moscow region and the capital is sweltering under a thick layer of smog.

Health experts say pollution levels in parts of the city are 10 times higher than normal safety limits and advise locals to stay indoors or wear masks.

A state of emergency has been declared in more than 20 drought-hit regions.

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Today, Sydney's temperature is about four degrees C above average...

Global warming is on...

pakistani record...

The worst monsoon floods in living memory have killed at least 800 people and affected one million in north-west Pakistan, a local official has said.

Rescuers are struggling to reach inundated areas where transport and communication are down.

Peshawar, the area's largest city with a 3m-strong population, is cut off.

At least 60 people have died across the border in Afghanistan where floods affected four provinces.

Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister for Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa (formerly North-West Frontier) province, announced the latest death toll. Earlier, he described the floods as the province's worst ever.

global warming is still on...

MASLOVKA — Forest fires sweeping across the European part of Russia on Friday killed at least 25 people and forced the evacuation of thousands in the hottest weather since records began 130 years ago.

Fanned by strong winds, fires ripped through woods and fields that have been scorched for weeks by a heatwave, incinerating hundreds of wooden houses.

"We don't know where to go," said Galina Shibanova, 52, standing outside her burning home in the town of Maslovka in the Voronezh region, about 500 kilometers south of Moscow.

"We called the emergency services, and not one person answered the phone," said Shibanova, a gold crucifix around her neck reflecting the nearby flames.

Health Minister Tatyana Golikova said 439 people had been injured in Voronezh alone and that 43 were hospitalized in serious condition.

Russia has been sweltering since June in a heat wave that has destroyed crops and pushed thousands of farmers to the verge of bankruptcy.

The Emergency Situations Ministry said 238,000 people have been deployed to fight peat and forest fires across 866 square kilometers, an area about the size of Berlin.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin cancelled meetings in Moscow to fly to the Nizhny Novgorod region, where at least 540 homes were destroyed. He ordered his government to allocate 5 billion rubles ($165 million) to help victims.

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Meanwhile in Australia:

Residents of Victoria's bushfire ravaged communities say they are anxious for change now that the final report has been handed down.

Residents in areas which bore the brunt of the Black Saturday bushfires have received copies of the Commission's report.

Marysville resident Dennis Brown says he wants to see change.

"I don't think we want to find blame about individual people," he said.

"The forces that were released on that Saturday were so huge, it didn't matter what humans did, we just had to have somewhere safe to go."

Murrindindi Shire Mayor Peter Beales from the Kinglake region says he welcomes the report's findings, but communities will face significant problems implementing emergency evacuations.

mother nature heats up...

More than 300 new wildfires have broken out in Russia's forests and fields, as the country's record-setting summer heat continues.

At least 28 people have died and thousands have been evacuated.

Soldiers and volunteers have joined the more than 22,000 fire fighters battling the fires, but they face an uphill battle against Mother Nature.

see more at al jazeera...


russia starting to see the heat...

At a meeting of international sporting officials in Moscow on July 30, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced that in 14 regions of the country, "practically everything is burning. The weather is anomalously hot." Then, as TV cameras zoomed in on the perspiration shining on his forehead, Medvedev announced, "What's happening with the planet's climate right now needs to be a wake-up call to all of us, meaning all heads of state, all heads of social organizations, in order to take a more energetic approach to countering the global changes to the climate."

For Medvedev, such sentiments mark a striking about-face. Only last year, he announced that Russia, the world's third largest polluter after China and the U.S., would be spewing 30% more planet-warming gases into the atmosphere by 2020. "We will not cut our development potential," he said during the summer of 2009 (an unusually mild one), just a few months before attending the Copenhagen climate summit, which in December failed to reach a substantial agreement on how to limit carbon emissions.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2008081,00.html#ixzz0vWs8lN5U

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Meanwhile Australia is still without an ETS nor a proper carbon dioxide reduction policy... And Tony Abbott, the very conservative candidate who sank the concept in this country, does not believe in climate change but fakes believing in it to get elected, but does not believe in it too much as not to offend  the rich miners and the coal industry... His fiddlefaddle policies are weak and not to be believed... He is not to be believed.

Meanwhile in Sydney, it is still wet and stormy...

rain rain rain...

rain rain rain...


the giant is awakening...

The earth will be hit by a 'solar tsunami' this week after two huge explosions on the surface of the sun. The fireworks took place at the weekend and were witnessed by astronomers across the world.

First a flare erupted above a sunspot the size of our planet and soon afterwards a huge explosion of gas, known as a coronal mass ejection, took place in the sun's northern hemisphere. Both events were directed at the earth and the effects of them will be seen in our skies this week.

The two eruptions have sent clouds of electrically charged particles racing towards earth. When the clouds hit, sometime this week, they are expected to spark spectacular displays in the skies around the north and south poles and could even knock out satellites - although this is unlikely.

The coronal mass ejection was the larger of the explosions but is thought to have been triggered by the solar flare.

Dr Lucie Green, of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Surrey, who watched events on the sun unfold through Japan's orbiting Hinode telescope, told the Daily Telegraph: "These eruptions occur when immense magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere lose their stability and can no longer be held down by the sun's huge gravitational pull. Just like a coiled spring suddenly being released, they erupt into space."

She added: "It looks like the first eruption was so large that it changed the magnetic fields throughout half the sun's visible atmosphere and provided the right conditions for the second eruption. Both eruptions could be Earth-directed but may be travelling at different speeds.

"This means we have a very good chance of seeing major and prolonged effects, such as the northern lights at low latitudes."

The explosions could be a taste of things to come as astronomers say the sun is awakening from a period of inactivity. Really large events on the surface of the sun could cause magnetic 'space storms' that are strong enough to knock out power and communications systems on earth.


Read more: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/66715,news-comment,news-politics,earth-braced-for-solar-tsunami-after-eruptions-on-the-sun-space-satellites-northern-lights#ixzz0vde9yaFj

worst floods of its history...

At least 14 million people have so far been affected by the worst floods in Pakistan's history, according to the government's disaster management agency.

Twelve million are affected in two provinces, while a further two million are affected in Sindh province as the floodwaters move down the Indus river.

Prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appealed for immediate international help to cope with the disaster as authorities evacuated half a million people from risk areas in the south.

"I would ask international community to support and help Pakistan alleviate sufferings of flood-affected people," he said in a televised address to the nation.

"Pakistan has been hit by worst floods of its history.

"The loss of human lives and infrastructure has been colossal and real assessment of damages can only be done when water recedes."

The nearly two-week-old disaster across the largely impoverished country hard hit by Taliban-linked violence, washed away entire villages and killed at least 1,600, according to UN estimates.

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From the Russian heatvave to the Pakistani floods, remembering the storm as "never seen before" in France earlier this year and countless "extreme" smaller climatic events, I am just letting you know that global warming is on track, running amok at three times the pace that scientific computer modellings — most designed to be conservative — have predicted.

meanwhile on the western front...

Flash floods brought on by rains in central Europe and the Baltic have killed at least 15, officials say.

Rivers overflowed their banks, sending torrents of water through Bogatynia in south-west Poland and Goerlitz in eastern Germany.

The Neisse river, on the border with Poland, reached its highest recorded level in Goerlitz.

Three Poles, three Germans and five Czechs were killed, while further north in Lithuania four people were killed.

Three other Czechs were reported missing after the downpours on Saturday triggered the floods.

The army, police and fire services were using helicopters and boats to move people away from the flood zones and clear flood debris.

radiating heat...

Radiation levels near Chernobyl could rise and pose long-term health dangers as deadly forest fires spread to land contaminated by the world's largest nuclear-reactor disaster, Russian environmentalists said yesterday.

Activists said that the effect of the flames, fanned by the hottest weather in the region in 1,000 years, is bound to be serious. "This is radiation that will be dangerous for the local population living near the fires and firefighters managing the fires," said Vladimir Chuprov, head of Greenpeace Russia's energy unit. "What is not clear is what could be the danger of the combined radiation effect and toxic effect of the smog. No one knows how these effects multiply each other."

If the weather situation changes, particularly with heavy winds, the toxic smoke could blow westward, he warned. However he added: "Moscow and the EU states are out of the risk zone."

of floods, heat and food

Russia has imposed a ban on grain exports until the end of the year, after a severe drought and a spate of wildfires devastated crops.

Russia is one of the world's biggest producers of wheat, barley and rye, and the ban is likely to see bread prices rise in places like the Middle East.

The measures are designed to keep domestic food prices under control.

But Agriculture Ministry data has revealed that this year's crop is unlikely to meet even domestic demand.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10977955

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China is holding a day of mourning for those killed in floods and mudslides, as the death toll rose to 1,239 people.

Public entertainment has been suspended, with cinemas and karaoke bars closed, and government offices and embassies are flying flags at half-mast, state media reported.

Teams are continuing to recover bodies in Gansu province in the wake of Saturday's landslides in Zhouqu county.

Another 505 people remain missing and thousands are in temporary shelters.

Chinese health authorities say hygiene and safety for those left homeless is a priority, as concerns mount over a lack of clean drinking water.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-10975066

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The floods are the region's worst in 80 years

Pakistan's PM Yusuf Raza Gilani says 20 million people have been affected by the country's floods, a much higher estimate than the UN's 14 million.

He was addressing the nation during much muted celebrations of Pakistan's independence from the UK 63 years ago.

The United Nations has confirmed at least one case of cholera among the victims, in the Swat valley.

Health workers have been stepping up their battle against waterborne diseases in the flood-hit country.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10973725

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The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma — and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people.

The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.

Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.

The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.

“The climate is changing,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”

He described excessive heat, in particular, as “consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases.”

Theory suggests that a world warming up because of those gases will feature heavier rainstorms in summer, bigger snowstorms in winter, more intense droughts in at least some places and more record-breaking heat waves. Scientists and government reports say the statistical evidence shows that much of this is starting to happen.

But the averages do not necessarily make it easier to link specific weather events, like a given flood or hurricane or heat wave, to climate change. Most climate scientists are reluctant to go that far, noting that weather was characterized by remarkable variability long before humans began burning fossil fuels and releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climate researcher with NASA in New York. “If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet.”

In Russia, that kind of scientific caution might once have been embraced. Russia has long played a reluctant, and sometimes obstructionist, role in global negotiations over limiting climate change, perhaps in part because it expected economic benefits from the warming of its vast Siberian hinterland.

But the extreme heat wave, and accompanying drought and wildfires, in normally cool central Russia seems to be prompting a shift in thinking.

“Everyone is talking about climate change now,” President Dmitri A. Medvedev told the Russian Security Council this month. “Unfortunately, what is happening now in our central regions is evidence of this global climate change, because we have never in our history faced such weather conditions in the past.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/15/science/earth/15climate.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

of climate and plagues...

Could nature be starting to take its revenge on mankind? Swarms of rabid vampire bats and jellyfish have been terrorising people in Peru and Spain, while Australia is braced for its worst plague of locusts since 1973 and mosquitoes are spreading disease in Europe and India.

In Peru emergency teams have been dispatched to villages in the Amazon where an outbreak of rabies has been reported after vampire bats descended on Urakusa in the north-eastern Peruvian Amazon, near the border with Ecuador.

Four children in the local Awajun tribe have died after being bitten by the bloodsucking mammals. And more than 500 other people who were attacked by the swarm have been given a rabies vaccine.

Experts claim that the attacks on humans are down to deforestation in the Amazon. The bats usually feed on wildlife and cattle, but will bite humans when their usual sources of blood are in short supply.

Another plague that could well be caused by human activity has brought misery to hundreds of people in Spain after they were stung by jellyfish. An armada of tiny stingers, which are virtually invisible in the water, has attacked almost 1,000 people in the Mediterranean sea off the Costa Blanca in the last week.

Juan Carlos Castellanos of the Elche city tourism department said that 380 people had been stung in one day. Usually the figure is around five. "In the five or six years I have been in this job, I have never seen anything like this," he said.


Read more: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/67207,news-comment,news-politics,portuguese-man-of-war-locusts-and-vampire-bats-attack-mosquitoes#ixzz0wjeKY7DH------------------meanwhile some people play with bees...------------------

dying in the heat...

Moscow registered nearly 11,000 deaths due to an unprecedented heatwave this summer, a city official said, as the mortality rate more than doubled in the Russian capital.

In August alone, 15,016 deaths were registered in the city of more than 10 million people, compared with 8,905 for the same period last year - an increase of 6,111 deaths, city official Evegenya Smirnova said.

A month earlier, Moscow saw 4,824 deaths more compared with the same period in July 2009.

Overall, the city experienced 10,935 deaths linked to the extreme temperatures and stifling smog over the two months from July to August, which represents a 60 per cent rise in the mortality rate.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/18/3015424.htm?section=justin

 

record temperature...

Mid Wales recorded the lowest temperatures in the UK on Saturday night as bitter cold continued to bite.

Llysdinam in Powys saw -17.3C (0.86F), which is both the lowest ever recorded in Wales in November, and the lowest in the UK during the month since 1985.

Another Powys weather station at Tirabad, south of Llanwrtyrd Wells, saw a new local record of -14.3C (6F).

That made Wales colder than Greenland, with the chill continuing next week, and more snow possible from Tuesday.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council has cancelled recycling and refuse collections on Monday because of the weather.

The council said staff had "worked around the clock" since Friday's snow to keep the roads clear, but it took the decision because the icy conditions are forecast to remain, and the state of some side streets and pavements.

The council - which is Wales' second biggest - said it wanted to ensure the safety of staff. Residents have been asked not to place waste outside on Monday, but keep it for next week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11856728

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Though one cold event in the UK does not create a trend, global warming appears on target as predicted by computer models (cooling of the British Isles).

meanwhile in cyprus...

While the north of the continent shivered, though, it was a different picture in parts of southern Europe, with Cyprus enjoying an unseasonably warm start to December and clocking temperatures close to 30C (86F).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11885495

read the article at top.

From Ian Dunlop ...

From Ian Dunlop — Unleashed

Greg Combet's speech to the ANU Crawford School Forum on November 30, 2010 encapsulates everything that is wrong with climate change policy in Australia.

The rhetoric is all there – acceptance of the science, intergenerational equity, the need for decisive action and an early carbon price and so on.

The problem is the total misalignment between policy and the real implications of the science, as government and opposition, and indeed the global climate cognoscenti now assembled in Cancun, continue to avoid the major issue; which is that the climate challenge is far greater, and the required response far more urgent, than they are prepared to admit.

Despite two decades of negotiation, virtually nothing has been done to address escalating global carbon emissions - Australia's actual emissions continue to rise rapidly. As a result, our options to take a graduated response to emissions reduction have largely disappeared, which is already costing the Australian community dearly.

The scientific framework on which current global and national policy is based is almost a decade old. In the interim, scientific understanding and the empirical evidence have progressed markedly, to the point where it is clear we have completely underestimated the task ahead. The gulf between science and policy continues to widen; in short, we are trying to solve the wrong problem with the wrong policies, and until this is honestly acknowledged, realistic policy and solutions will not be forthcoming.

 

Ian Dunlop is a Centre for Policy Development Fellow and a contributing author to their recent publication, More than Luck: Ideas Australia Needs Now.

He was formerly a senior international oil, gas and coal industry executive. He chaired the Australian Coal Association in 1987-88, chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading from 1998-2000 and was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 1997-200.

He is Chairman of Safe Climate Australia, Deputy Convenor of the Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and a Member of the Club of Rome.

 

global hot

Global weather records show 2010 has been the hottest year the world has experienced since 2005 and is likely to finish as the third hottest since records began.

The manager of climate monitoring at the National Climate Centre, Dr Karl Braganza, says it has been a year of extremes.

Pakistan experienced its worst ever floods, there were severe floods and deadly landslides in China, and Russia and Eurasia suffered through extreme heatwaves.

It was also the driest monsoon season in Bangladesh since 1994, the coldest winter for Ireland and Scotland since the 60s and Canada's warmest, driest winter ever.

"The evidence that we've got in already shows that a lot of cities, possibly a record number of locations, have broken their warm temperature records," Dr Braganza said.

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says the combined sea-surface and land-surface air temperature has been more than half of one degree warmer this year than the annual average recorded from the 1960s to the 90s.

The past decade has been the warmest since records began in 1850 and this year has been the hottest so far, though that could change with a cooler December.

"The hottest years so far were 1998 in the record and 2005 and 2010 will probably rank alongside those," Dr Braganza said.

"We really have to wait until late January/February to get the final numbers in but at this stage it is certainly going to be [ranked] three or ... equivalent with the top year."

The WMO notes that Australia recorded its wettest spring on record, as a La Nina event developed, but the temperature still stayed above the long-term average.

"Some parts of the south-west had their lowest rainfall for winter on record," Dr Braganza said.

 

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/03/3083766.htm?section=justin

weathering along...

For those who are still in limbo about global warming: it's accelerating beyond belief.

The pattern of weather predicted by models of global warming, for 25 years hence, are appearing NOW. Basically Global warming creates tensions in the atmosphere as well as generally warming it up. Some of these tensions will reflect in strange weather, extreme conditions or weather patterns totally out of kilter. Global warming warms the seas, induce water evaporation — a process that tends to cool, then the water vapour is either clear water vapors (warming) or condensed water vapours in clouds (colding during the day, warming at night). In certain regions, due to the high and low pressure systems being modified by the warming, there could be (there is) some shifting of the usual low/high accepted boundaries, leading to some very weird weather. Presently it's very cold in Atlanta while being warmer than average in Canada. In Australia, New South Wales and Victoria are seeing the floods of the... well, since records have been kept... A few month ago, many places were still in the drought of ... well, since record have been kept. Beyond this at the moment Sydney has had a wet (well, wettest since record have been kept) spring and December is now about 3 degrees warmer than "usual", although the oppressive humidity is beyond belief — especially for an old man. At most time the rain is coming from the north-east, while usually the rain comes from the south in a southerly buster. Now, should the wind change to the south, the wind only regurgitate the warmth that was pushed south before. This is totally weird as it now gives this subtropical city a fully tropical feel— as if it had moved 700 kms (say 450 miles) northward in the last couple of years.
If anyone out there does not understand that the climate is shifting to warm at an alarming rate, and does not visualise the consequences, we are in big trouble. By 2012, some of the dire prediction by computed global warming models for 2050 may be common place. Beyond 2015, I would say the predictions are anyone's guess — except it will get hotter and hotter, with more extreme weird weather... And sea rising. By 2012, this should become fully noticeable, when the largest quantity of warmest water on earth will have passed the magic 4 degree C level... This would be rising from 3.5 C a few decades ago. And the horse will have bolted... The horse actually bolted in 1996. See this site for more info .

See image at top and articles along this line of comments.

humidity...

humidity

humidity on 16/12/18. For most of the day, the humidity was "uncomfortable". This picture (Gus Leonisky) shows Sydney waking up with low Fluffus clouds floating through the buildings, while the air conditioning units were spewing visible "cold" steam. The sky was seen through a thick haze all day long. 

 

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