7th April - Today's News: At Least 95 Killed in Rio After Heaviest Rain in Decades

Flooding in Rio de Janeiro State kills scores - currently at least 95 reported dead after the heaviest rain to hit the city in 50 years. Images of the flooding here. As usual, mudslides were a big part of the problem. With flat ground at a premium, the poor build their shanty settlements on steep slopes, denuded of the trees that might otherwise have reduced the risk if such landslides.

Today, another major quake hits Sumatra whilst Baja California's 7.2 quake prompts an exodus.

Arctic winter ice recovers slightly despite record low year - which does not mean that there is no long term trend in reduced ice cover, especially in summer! Whatever certainly bloggers may want you to believe. But it does mean that some recent alarmist claims made in the media about the ice all disappearing within a few years are also nonsense. Which we all knew anyway.

In NW Queensland, residents brace for flood evacuation with some rivers at record levels after recent heavy rainfall from Cyclone Paul. But of more concern in Burketown is that the town's pub could be left dry in flood. Flooding is one thing, but running out of beer? Now that's serious!

It's been a warm start to April in many parts of North America, and although I usually don't post up reports of date records from specific locations these stories will give a feel for conditions over there. In Syracuse record-setting month may moderate, after another very warm day, whilst mid-June descends on Burlington and with record-setting balmy spring, hot temperatures blast US capital. Meanwhile, across the border, Montrealers chill in record heat as well.

Despite a set-back this year, a new study shows that on average (ie not every single year) flowers bloom earlier as UK warms. This no doubt will irk Mr Watts who recently posted a story by Steven Goddard implying that suggestions of spring arriving early are a myth, proven by the fact that this year it has been late. Idiot .....

Something else Wattsy and his cohorts have been getting excited about (see some of the comments) is another new study in which a geologist connects regular changes of Earth's orbital cycle to changes in climate - could this prove that AGW is all a myth? Well, er, no. You see just because A causes B does not mean that C, D and E cannot also cause B. And in some cases, A, C, D and E all happen together to cause B. The world is such a complex place for such simple minds.... Of course, basically it's just a reaffirmation of what we've belived all along with regards the Milankovitch Cycles. So it's not really even news.

Rising water temperatures found in US streams and rivers - though not by much and
"We are seeing the largest increases in the most highly urbanized areas ..."
so, probably anthropogenic in origin and another example of human impact on local/regional environment, but not necessarily 'global warming'.

Alaskan peatlands expanded rapidly as ice age waned

Around 15 million years ago, in North America, the Northwest lava flows could have altered Earth's climate, wiped out species

Large earthquake hits Iceland volcano site, as speculation grows that we may see a major eruption of Katla this year. At the moment the eruption is proving a great boost to Icelandic tourism, but a big eruption could prove disastrous. And may not be too good for us in Britain either.

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