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Showing posts from August, 2009

29th August - Today's News

Millions in Nepal facing hunger as climate changes - it doesn't matter the reason, human society today is extremely fragile and, partly because of our high populations levels, simply cannot cope if the climate - especially rainfall - changes. Half the time we struggle even under current climate! Though I suppose in some places changes may prove beneficial? It can't be more drought everywhere! Of course, the whole thing about humans is our adaptivity. Climate changes, we adapt. Simple. Leastways, that's how it used to work. But have we now forgotten how to ......?

Some good news for those who argue the MWP was warmer than it is today - a new temperature reconstruction from Indo-pacific warm pool suggests temperatures were, at least, about as warm as today during part of the MWP. This doesn't mean the whole world was warmer, but it is certainly suggestive that current global temperatures are not - yet anyway - anything unusual.

28th August - Today's News

A nice article worth reading by those who still think global warming = everywhere gets warmer and all ice melts: mysterious glaciers that grew when Asia heated up.
The story of these seemingly anomalous glaciers underscores the important distinction between the terms “climate change” and “global warming.”“Even when average temperatures are clearly rising regionally or globally, what happens in any given location depends on the exact dynamics of that place,” Rupper said.The findings come from a framework Rupper developed as an alternative to the notion that glaciers form and melt in direct proportion to temperature. Her method is based on the balance of energy between a glacier and a wide range of climate factors, including wind, humidity, precipitation, evaporation and cloudiness.Must admit I hadn't thought about the cloudiness aspect. But basically this is what some of us have been saying for a long time: glacial advance and retreat is not just a matter of temperature.

Meanwhile, …

27th August - Today's News

Widespread damage after winds whip Victoria

Those in the NE may disagree, but elsewhere in the USA the evidence suggests that heatwaves are getting worse - this of course highlights one of the problems with the concept of 'global' warming. It doesn't mean everywhere gets warmer and some place might even get cooler. And the reasons for such changes include far more than just CO2 - which one might think should produce equal warming in all parts (as indeed ought solar or other external forcings). However, temperature is often down to synoptics - weather patterns - and it's changes in these which lead to some places warming more, or less. Or, indeed, seeing changes in rainfall. Or for that matter, in cloud cover (I would hunmbly suggest that synoptics are more important than cosmic rays in determining cloud formation). Question is: do weather patterns change due to CO2? Or because of solar forcing? Variations in ocean currents? Deforestation? urbanisation? Or al…

25th August - Today's News

Hottest August day on record for NSW - hitting 36.8c - but good news for Aussie skiers: there's snow expected in Snowy Mountains over the next few days. Imagine if we hit 30c+ in February here in Britain, with heavy snow in the Cairngorms 2 days later?!!! Even 20c ......! Up in Queensland it was also a hot august day as records fall - hitting 35.4c in Brisbane. And if the heat and snow isn't excitement enough, Melbourne commuters asked to leave as storm nears
Train and tram commuters in Melbourne, Australia’s second-most populous city, were advised to leave the city’s business district ahead of a storm expected to bring winds of up to 110 kilometers (68 miles) an hour. Tram commuters were asked to depart by 2:30 p.m. local time and train commuters by 3 p.m. to avoid any possible disruption to services caused by the storm - it's all happening in Oz!

Having witnessed the dust clouds from the Sarychev eruption earlier in the summer, I tend to have more inter…

24th August - Today's News

Taiwan says Typhoon Morakot has claimed 650 lives

China drought leaves 5 million short of water

Upwards lightning caught on film

Greek firefighters battle on 2 fronts as winds begin to ease

Hurricane Bill knocks out power, swamps roads in Nova Scotia - Bill is now an 'ex-hurricane' and on its way across the Atlantic, as predicted, to bring a rather wet day for much of the British Isles on Wednesday - needed rain in some parts since after the MetO forecast August would be wetter than average I've so far seen my driest summer month since 2006! Mind, some more northern and western parts have been a tad wetter than Evesham!

Unfortunately, before leaving the USA, Bill did contribute to 2 deaths as a hurricane wave sweeps Maine spectators out to sea - resulting in the death of a 7 year old girl - and earlier was blamed for swimmer's death in Florida. Though both deaths looks to have been wholly avoidable.

22nd August - Today's News

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Seems tropical storms are no respecters of US Presidents - past or present. First Bill Clinton flees holiday isle of Bermuda, and now Hurricane Bill threatens Barack Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard. It's also forced New York to close beaches in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island whilst Oil producers off Canada's east coast brace for for Hurricane Bill. But at least Hurricane Bill weakens on path to Canadian Maritimes - where it's expected on Sunday. Thereafter it still looks like taking a ride on the Jet Stream over to Britain, but current indications are that it won't now bring any particularly wet or windy weather to our shores. Just as well given the rain they've had in the NW this week (whilst the rest of us have been enjoying our barbecues) - with another very wet day on store for Ireland, NW England and Scotland tomorrow.

World sets ocean temperature record





















Next ice age a threat to Olkiluoto nuclear waste repository?

In Portugal, heatwave subs…

21st August - Today's News

First up, and I should have mentioned this before, but if you haven't already noticed, you can follow Hurricane Bill's progress in the satellite image at the top of the page - it's quite prominent at the moment, as it bears down on Bermuda, which is now under storm warning. Latest medium range model output still shows Bill merging with a strong Atlantic depression between Britain and Iceland next Tuesday .... there remains some uncertainty as to how long this system then hangs around. Certainly wet and windy for the NW next week. And if you're heading for Scone on Saturday, I think you're going to need your wellies!

Half of India affected by drought

Roofs, trees, cars bear brunt of Mid-west storms

Clean-up starts after tornadoes hit Mid-west States

Heatwave hits France, UK and Italy and the hot weather brings record numbers to Paris Plages

Highest ever winter water temperatures recorded off Tasmania

Seaside resort broadcasts own weather reports on youtube - question …

20th August - Today's News

Tornado traps shoppers in cars

Europe continues to feel the heat: Heatwave sweeps Italy whilst for France 40c warning in new heatwave alert and in Switzerland heatwave brings ozone warnings. We even hit 30c in London yesterday - the warmest day since the beginning of July.

Hurricane Bill strengthens to category 4 on way to Canada - now looks likely it'll hit the Maritimes and Nova Scotia before being caught up in the jet stream and merging with a potent North Atlantic depression somewhere between the British Isles and Iceland. Potenially a very unsettled end to next week for Britain, more especially northern and western parts with a good bit of rain around. Not good for the late summer bank holiday (shades of ex-Charley if the systems tracks further south) or the Runrig gig at Scone! I'll be keeping a close eye on developments over the coming weekend - we should know better by Monday.

Storm fells hundreds of trees in NY's Central Park

UN reports 'weak to moderate…

19th August - Today's News

Flash floods in Pakistan kill at least 27

Good news from the Carribean as 1st named storm of the season largely by-passes Haiti - although Ana had been downgraded to a tropical depression, so winds were not especially strong, the concern was about how much rain it would drop - Haiti being one of the countries worst affected by massive deforestation and consequent flooding and landslides. Meanwhile Hurricane Bill strengthens on track to Bermuda.

Agricultural methods of early civilisations may have altered global climate - or maybe not. I'm with those who think that such actions were not on nearly a big enough scale to have any major effect (though obviously in places they had significant local consequences, especially regarding rainfall and desertificiation).

Ancient climate: the greenhouse gas that saved the world - a new solution to the Faint Young Sun Paradox?

18th August - Today's News

One for the global coolers to start with today: Hot August night: record winter heat in Alice Oh, and another one: Winter scorcher: mercury may break record. So quite warm across a large swathe of Australia at the moment.

Meanwhile, in Europe Switzerland sizzles in heatwave as Rhone is placed on heatwave alert

As reported yesterday, first storms of the season swirl near U.S. - Claudette has come ashore bringing rain to Florida and Alabama - but overall proving 'pretty uneventful', Ana has weakened to a tropical storm, but Bill is starting to show signs it may just strike the east coast of America - which would be good news for the UK as a US landfall reduces the likelihood of it sending any tropical moisture our way. It's expected to strengthen to a major hurricane over the next couple of days as it tracks slowly northwestwards. The longer it takes before turning north the better. Unless you're American - New Yorkers look out! But the greater concern at the prese…

17th August - Today's News

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You wait all summer for an Atlantic tropical storm to come along and what happens? Yep, 3 come along at once ......

Over the weekend TS Ana, Bill and Claudette have developed - with Bill currently of most interest to us in the UK as models are currently predicting it may swing up the eastern seaboard of the USA before merging with an Atlantic system to bring winds and heavy rain to the British Isles around the middle to end of next week. This is one we'll be watching - none more so than those heading to the Runrig gig at Scone on the 29th. Surely the deluge of 2 years ago (on Loch Ness) won't be repeated? Will it? To be honest it's not till this time next week when we know exactly what ex-Bill does that we will be able to say. Stay tuned!

Anyway, lets kick off today's news with the latest reports:

Islands brace for Ana's impact as two other cyclones form

Tropical storm Claudette threatens Fla. panhandle

Claudette onshore, Ana weakening, Bill now a hurricane

Tropic…

15th August - Today's News

Interior Alaska gets the chills with early frost - but nonetheless, Arctic ice experiencing severe summer retreat.

Still no big Atlantic storms to report but as Tropical Depression 2 weakens, tropical wave gets stronger - I guess we'll get one eventually, but it has been a remarkably quiet season so far and I don't think it's just because of El Nino, though I'm sure it's a contributory factor. Be interesting to know if there's any correlation between solar activity and Atlantic hurricanes though. Just a thought .....

Of course, for most, no hurricanes can only be good news.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot, Taiwan flood death toll could top 500


In India, it's official now: this is a drought year - whether that's AGW, El Nino or just weather, there is indication that the situation has been compounded by humans: Satellites unlock secret to Northern India's vanishing water.

Antarctic glacier 'thinning fast'
One of the authors, Profe…

More or less hurricanes?

More hurricanes? Less hurricanes? What's going on eh?

Harbingers of increased Atlantic hurricane activity identified
Reconstructions of past hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean indicate that the most active hurricane period in the past was during the "Medieval Climate Anomaly" about a thousand years ago when climate conditions created a "perfect storm" of La NiƱa-like conditions combined with warm tropical Atlantic waters.

~ ~ ~

"We are at levels now that are about as high as anything we have seen in the past 1,000 years," said Mann.

~ ~ ~

"It seems that the paleodata support the contention that greenhouse warming may increase the frequency of Atlantic tropical storms," said Mann. "It may not be just that the storms are stronger, but that there are there may be more of them as well."But not all agree. And Guru Wattsy seems even more mystified because Mann refers to the MWP - and the Guru and his disciples have been telling us f…

13th August - Today's News

Kenya mobilises for drought aid

Climate change an Australian 'security risk'

Two Bob Dylan concerts cancelled due to heatwave

Second Japanese earthquake in days injures 100 - hopefully these 'smaller' 'quakes will be releiving tension and mean we won't see a big one. Japan is one of the most earthquake prone places in the world - the whole archipelago is an island arc caused by the Philippines and Pacific Plates sliding under the Eurasian Plate (though it's actually a little more complicated than that) with resulting tectonic activity creating an unstable volcanic mountain range that rises from the sea and which we call Japan. England was once a similar island arc. About 650 million years ago.

Storm Etau leabes destruction in Japan, Taiwan typhoon toll rises

Hawaii hotels, resorts set for storm's arrival - but Hurricane Felicia has dropped from being a Cat4 storm at one stage to just a tropical storm, so hopefully not likely to cause too much trouble. …
Remember this?

August is set to be a scorcher
Forecasters are predicting that temperatures will steadily rise over the next few weeks with the possibility of reaching 101F (38.5C) in mid-August.Jonathan Powell from Positive Weather Solutions said: 'The roller-coaster summer will have another high. When it does arrive, record temperatures may well be achieved.'At present, the second week of August looks likely to break the warmest-day record for England, and possibly Wales.'Well guess what? It's the second week of August, there are no record breaking temperatures nor does the current model output suggest anything of the sort in the coming weeks - just cloud and wind and rain. I wonder how long before the Mail accuses the Met Office of having gotten yet another forecast wrong? (The MetO btw predicted a wetter than average August).

The fact is, the tabloid press will take anyone's forecast (I may be tempted to try it myself sone day) trup it up as an 'official…

10th August - Today's News

Whilst the Caribbean and USA have be spared any tropical storms so far, East Asia has not been so lucky and this weekend both Typhoons Morakot and Etau have been causing devastation and loss of life. And it's mostly been the rains rather than wind that has brought tragedy.

Flood overwhelms Philippines rescuers, death toll at 20

Typhoon Morakot triggers floods in Taiwan

Killer typhoon lashes China

Taiwan mudslide leaves 400 missing

13 dead as typhoon brings floods, landslides to Japan

There will no doubt be more news on this over the next few days as rescue efforts continue and the extent of damage becomes more apparent.

Meanwhile, in the east Pacific: Hawaii closing beaches as Hurricane Felicia nears.

43 killed in landslides in northern India. Note: "Extensive deforestation has made the region prone to landslides during monsoon rains."

Spectacular melting of the largest French glacier - which, incidentally, is in midst of the Indian Ocean .....

Long debate ended over cause, dem…

8th August - Today's News

Vanishing Bolivian glacier ends highest ski run - interestingly the glacier described as being 18,000 years old. A similar age to Kilimanjaro's glaciers. Suggesting both formed after the termination of the last Glacial, quite possibly as a consequence of increased winter precipitation ( you need lots of snow - not cold - to make a glacier). Furthermore we read that
Climate change has also led to extended dry seasons and condensed periods of heavy rain in the region. Every month this year, precipitation in La Paz has been below historic averages, recorded from 1961 to 1990, except for February, when downpours set off mudslides that left 60 families homeless, Trujillo said. Global Warming? Or Precipitation Pattern Change? The latter, of course, partly a consequence of AGW but also caused by other human activities, notably deforestation. Interesting.

Hurricane Felicia waning on its way to Hawaii

Taiwan shuts markets, offices as typhoon approaches

Philippine floods kill 12, …

7th August - Today's News

Yet more heavy rain in parts of England yesterday and overnight, though here in Evesham we were right on the edge of it and managed only 6.4mm. However, in London there was chaos for commuters as half a month's rain falls in six hours

Some good news: Sunshine and rain has helped make some of Britain's rarest wildflowers make a comeback

Swiss villagers pray for glacier
Since the 17th century the Roman Catholic inhabitants of the Alpine villages of Fieschertal and Fiesch have offered prayers against what seemed like the unstoppable advance of the Great Aletsch glacier, Europe's longest.But with global warming now causing the once-feared glacier to melt, they have formally applied to Pope Benedict XVI for permission to reverse the prayer and have requested an audience at the Vatican.~ ~ ~The Aletsch glacier has retreated 2.1 miles since 1860, when it was 14 miles long. It is feared the glacier is receding up the mountain by about 100 feet a year.The dwindling river of ice is re…

6th August - Today's News

Just some tropical storm news today:

Experts scale back hurricane forecast - due to such a slow start to the season, the prediction in now down to just 10 named storms and 4 hurricanes. Quite a change from just 4 years ago when there were 15 designated hurricanes (including Katrina) and they actually ran out of names!

At the moment they're more worried about hurricanes in Hawaii where city officials urge vigilance as storms churn in Pacific.

Meanwhile China signals tropical storm alerts as Tropical Storm Goni hits southern China and Taiwan issues alerts, Japan cancels flights as Typhoon Morokot approaches.

5th August - Today's News

First of all, Happy Birthday to Katy - 43 today!

There are actually hints now that August could well be a generally drier month, especially across the south and SE. So will the BBQ weather return in time ofr the weekend or will St Swithin get his rainy way? If it does, maybe we should chuck another weatherman on the barbie, darling.

Storm-fed flash floods hit Kentucky, Indiana

17 killed in building collapse in northern China - caused, apparently, by a thunderstorm

Tornado damages dozens of homes in Quebec and in Toronto wild weather swamps city

And Earth's biogeochemical cycles, once in concert, falling out of sync - and it's all our fault (obviously!)

4th August - Today's Stories

New El Nino increase drought threat

Is Gaia geo-engineering with jelly-fish to slow climate change? Sounds bizarre and a bit New Agey but in fact it's a valid scientific idea. Basically the concept of the Gaia Hypothesis is that the Global Ecosystem acts in a self-regulatory way to ensure optimum conditions for life. In this case, warmer waters and an increase in oceanic CO2 - potentially harmful in the short term at least due to acidification and the inablity of many spcies to quickly adapt to such sudden changes - results in more jelly fish who then stir the oceans more, moving the CO2 into deeper, colder, water, allowing upper waters to absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere, cooling the planet and preventing at the same time excessive acidification in the upper levels where most life thrives. But it's not something that is easy to prove. These recent jellyfish blooms may be coincidental and may also be more harmful to some life, in the short term at least. Still an inte…

3rd August - Today's News

In Hong Kong, scorcher takes toll on elderly - and I note that Taiwan has recorded its highest temperature in 5 years as well.

Dry July breaks Fairbanks weather records and further south, in Michigan, July ends as one of the coolest ever.

Comets 'not cause of extinctions'

Mediterranean fires still burning and fires rage across Canary island

Mysterious explosion scares people in Himachal - but it appear India does not have a volcanic eruption.

1st August - Today's News

Another summer month starts - and it's dull and drizzly in Evesham ....... There are signs we could see some warmer weather to the SE at times this month but overall it looks to me like a similar story to July with quite likely a fair bit of rain around. Not what folk want to hear, I know!

And with all this rain about, perhaps no surprise that for the first time in it's history, Brecon County Show called off because of the weather

Severe weather outbreak hits Mississippi and the Memphis area

In Denver, Thursday sets record for coolest high temperature - and there's fresh snow on the Colorado mountains to boot.

Lightning strikes Beetham Tower - that's Britain's tallest residential building. Being struck isn't so unusual, but someone caught it on film which is pretty impressive.

Global poll finds 73% want higher priority for climate change - I guess they don't mean they want more money spent to cause climate change!
The poll, which sampled the opinions of 18,5…