28th January - Today's News: Flash Floods Hit Jeddah

Flood-hit Jeddah still in shock after flash floods caused by twice the normal winter rainfall in just 4 hours, while the Saudi King orders urgent action to mitigate floods, warns against negligence.

The weather remains quiet here in Britain, though a tad on the chilly side, but it looks like high pressure will drift south next week letting the Jet Stream run some big depressions into us: a rather stormy outlook by next weekend.

A bit more exciting across the Atlantic though where Snow strands Brooklyn subway passengers overnight as New York slammed by fresh snowstorm and 'Thundersnow' causes havoc in US Northeast

Heavy rain sets in as cyclone nears New Zealand, whilst 2 more cyclones menace WA, north Queensland. More flooding looks likely.

Meanwhile, the Outback swelters in record heat

34,242 displaced by floods, landslides in Surigao Norte, Philippines

And a big round up of science news today:

This looks quite convincing: warming North Atlantic water tied to heating Arctic and nice to see that 2 separate methods of determining paleotemperature were used. Though I'm some ignoranmus's will still dispute the results! Meanwhile, water temperature in the subtropical Atlantic falls due to wind action. Although one can't help wondering whether part of the reason might be that some of the warmth has shifted to the Fram Strait?

And some other news from Greenland: hotter summers may actually slow down flow of glaciers - perhaps why there were still some glaciers there during the Eemian?

More data on the 450my Extinction event in the Late Ordovician shows mass extinction linked to ancient climate change

Earth's extreme weather events since 1871 re-analyised

Rogue storm system caused Pakistan floods that let millions homeless

Rising indoor winter temperatures linked to obesity? Not in my house where the thermostat is firmly fixed at 15c and the heating is off more often than not anyway. I blame poor diet, too much alcohol and not enough exercise!

Lake Vostok drilling in Antarctica running out of time - they need to complete it before winter sets in.

Brazil approves start of Belo Monte dam construction, ensuring even more of Amazonia is destroyed - ironically likely a contributing factor to less predictable rainfall in the region.

Japan evacuates homes, cancels flights as volcano spews ash mile into sky - could this be the next Eyja? Fortunately the ash is not going high - at the moment - so it looks unlikely to hit the stratosphere and affect the weather (or give us good sunsets).

Record setting win energy powers ahead. Allegedly. Worth noting that whilst at one point wind was providing 51% of N Ireland energy "the weather was windy with almost all turbines running at full output, but there was also low electrical demand on the system as it was at night-time and during the summer". I wonder how much wind is providing this week?

I missed this earlier in the week - looks like Essan got shaken yet again as earthquake hits West Scotland - centred down in Uig.

And finally, how to spin stories and deceive people: Himalayan glaciers not melting because of climate change says the Telegraph, adding that Himalayan glaciers are actually advancing rather than retreating, claims the first major study since a controversial UN report said they would be melted within quarter of a century. Except that's not the story at all. It's always been known that some glaciers have been advancing, some are stable and some are retreating - those advancing possibly because they're receiving increased winter snowfall which is being denied others, due to climate change - but in any case the actual story is that those which are not retreating are being protected by a thicker layer of debris. The correct headline is that Some glaciers are not melting , despite climate change, because they're being protected ..... Not what the Telegraph headline claims at all. I call that a lie. Fortunately, Geoffrey Lean sets the record straight elsewhere:
....climate sceptics are bound to seize on today's news that more than half the glaciers in the Karakoram mountains in the west of the world's highest chain are either stable or actually advancing as providing dramatic evidence that global warming is not taking place. But it does no such thing. For a start, the study that made the discovery concluded – as lead researcher Dirk Scherler put it that - "overall in the Himalayas, the glaciers are retreating".
Bizarrely, his article is headlined Himalayan glaciers spell trouble for climate scientists - which bears no semblance to the tone or content of the article, might equally be called a lie, and goes to further prove that there is an anti-science agenda on the editorial team at the Daily Telegraph.


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