11th July - Today's News

The good folk of Evesham look like missing out on their 2nd free firework extravaganza of the year due to rain. We lost the Balloon Festival in June because the weekend coincided with a month's rainfall and this weekend's River Festival also looks set to be a wash-out with heavy rain expected this evening. So no firework photos for me. Mind, by the time the fireworks go off I've usually drunk too much to take any decent photos anyway!

Anyway, on to today's news.

Texas' hot dry days expected to last awhile

US temperature and precipitation near average for June

Tornado kills 2 at Ontario resort

Climate events let ice age mammoths pass far below the 40N latitude - that's way down in Spain. There were Neanderthals in Spain at the same time. I wonder if they hunted them?

One of the most noticeable and dramatic examples of human activity changing the environment is the Aral Sea. Or Aral Pond as it probably should now be called. New satelite images highlight the dramatic retreat between 2006 and 2009.
By 2000, the Large Aral Sea had split into two – an eastern and western lobe. As visible in the images, the eastern lobe retreated substantially between 2006 and 2009. It appears to have lost about 80% of its water since the 2006 acquisition, at which time the eastern lobe had a length of about 150 km and a width of about 70 km.

The sea’s entire southern section is expected to dry out completely by 2020, but efforts are underway to save the northern part.

This of course also has a big impact on local climate:
As the Aral Sea evaporated, it left behind a 40 000 sq km zone of dry, white salt terrain now called the Aral Karakum Desert. Each year violent sandstorms pick up at least 150 000 tonnes of salt and sand from the Aral Karakum and transport it across hundreds of km, causing severe health problems for the local population and making regional winters colder and summers hotter.
So who says human don't affect the climate?

One of the complications with calculating the lightly impact of human activites, particularly atmospheric pollution, on climate is knowing just what casues warming and what causes cooling. It's not all a one-way street. Some particle cool climate, others add to global warming
Particles, also named aerosols, are today one of the main reasons for the uncertainty about how humans affect the global climate. Aerosols like sulfur, nitrate, and organic carbon are formed in the atmosphere and cause global cooling. Thereby they contribute to mask parts of the human induced global warming. On the other hand, black carbon absorbs radiation and thereby has a warming effect on the earth’s climate
And finally, a test for you. Read the Daily Star's article sunshine is back but no heatwaves and see how many inaccurate 'facts' you can find. Or better still, try and see if you can find any correct ones! I particularly like "Britain is set to dry out in time for a mild weekend " - with heavy persistant rain on the way and temperatures struggling to reach the July average of 22c ..... Or how about "On Tuesday much of the country was battered with three months’ rain in three hours" - most of the country actually had a few mm of rain at most and nowhere saw 3 months worth fall. Oh well, that's tabloid journalism for you ......

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