15th January - Today's News: 2.5 Million at Risk in Somalia Drought

Somalia drought might kill 2.5 million, Prime Minister says - though of course the civil war hasn't helped this poverty stricken country. And as I said many, many years ago at the time of 'Live Aid' - if we feed them today then we leave them only to suffer again in future. Some places simply cannot sustain a large human population.

In Brazil, more rain hampers rescue effort while in Australia, the death toll could rise with police to scour Brisbane river for flood victims while off the coast they have employed a minesweeper to search for flood debris.

Flood warnings in Conwy valley and Tenby as rain continues - there are also concerns about flooding in Cumbria.

Are there rivaling reasons for the world's extreme weather? Okay, it's just a blog piece but I do like his conclusion:
If one can draw any conclusion, it's that multiple explanations are possible, and that the more simplistic the explanation, the more likely incomplete.
How many times have I said that? I have no doubt some extreme weather of late has been down to La Nina, some down perhaps to more general global climate change, some down to other things and some, just, well, weather ..... After all, when was the last time a week went by without an extreme weather event somewhere in the world?

Scientists detail super-storm threat to California

According to the Hindu, a panel of experts has ranked the top ten weather events of 2010 - but strangely they make no mention of the record cold in Britain and indeed elsewhere in Europe in November and December. Or even last winter's record snowstorm in northeastern USA. Surely they're not globally warming biased?

In NZ, drought looms in Manawatu with hot summer

Sometimes, a mild winter is not a good thing. In Afghanistan, less snow coincides with uptick in violence this winter.

Earth's hot past could be prologue to future climate - but of course the danger in using the past to predict the future is that the past was a very different country: ocean and atmospheric circulation was different because mountain ranges and continental configuration was different. Possibly even orbital parameters were different. Whatever the CO2 levels then, the same levels today would not have the same effect.

However, much more recently, at the end of the last Ice Age, when comparisons can reasonably be made, it appears that dramatic ocean circulation changes caused a colder Europe.

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