9th December - Today's News: Disruption as Major Storm Hits Scotland

It was well forecast and with warnings heeded there appears, fortunately, to have been no serious injuries (though a number of vehicles were overturned and one person was injured in Lochailort when their static caravan blew over). Credible reports have come in of low level gusts in excess of 100mph whilst the 165mph recorded on Cairngorm was just short of the all time record (173mph).

The Daily Mail runs with a headline claiming it was too windy for wind turbines! 165mph gales raise MORE questions about wind farms as gusts leave trail of destruction across country
with a lot of great pictures including some of a wind turbine exploding - but this of course is not a reason to ban turbines any more than the pictures of lorries blown over is a reason to ban them.

Met Office researchers fly into violent Atlantic storm affecting Scotland

Police declare 'major incident' in storm-battered Lochaber with many roads blocked. The A82 south of Ft William was due to be closed over the weekend anyway in order to remove a dangerous rock that was looking like falling - whether this is the same one which caused the landslide there I don't know.

The BBC also highlight the exploding turbine in Ardrossan as engineers work to restore power to homes

Elsewhere, Cumbria suffers flooding after heavy rain and there were three rescued from floodwaters and bridge collapses in Yorkshire Dales An end of house collapses in Fleetwood due to strong winds whilst high winds cause North-east disruption and on the Isle of Man roads closed and ferries cancelled due to high winds. There was also a Northern Ireland weather alert as gales down trees and power lines whilst gales pound North Wales.

And showing we all have a sense of humour, Scotland's Hurricane Bawbag raises Twitter storm

We better watch out though as study links tropical cyclones to earthquakes

Accidents aplenty as snow hits Sweden

The weather has made it an expensive year as USA slammed by 12 disasters that each cost at least $1B whilst in Ohio alone, 2011 weather shattered dozens of records. And the latest NOAA report shows autumn and November both warmer than average in United States.

UK faces future of droughts if we do not cut water use, Minister warns - but some good news as global warming could boost Britain's farm crops by 10%. Assume we have enough water for them.

Computer simulations shed light on the physics of rainbows

Up in the Arctic, polar bear 'cannibalism' pictured - much to the disgust of those who refuse to accept that humans have any effect on the climate. Must be said though that polar bears survived a largely ice free Arctic (in summer) 6,000 years ago so there is no reason to suppose they cannot adapt today. Of course, that adation may then bring them into conflict with all those pesky humans who were not living there before. Ah ....

Meanwhile, Jim Hansen, never one to understate things will no doubt cause even more ire by claiming paleoclimate record points toward potential rapid climate changes

And there's more shubbery in a warming world

Is climate change altering human's 'vacation plans'?

Early Earth may have been prone to deep freezes

NASA Mars rover finds mineral vein deposited by water


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