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Showing posts from March, 2011

30th March - Today's News: A Record Warm, Dry, Sunny March for Perth

Perth, Australia has had a record breaking hot and dry March - and we shouldn't forget a near record breaking dry March in parts of Britain too. So far only 3mm of rain in Evesham, though today and tomorrow may see a bit of wet stuff (in fact as I write, I can smell the rain ..... )

A different story in SE Asia though where Thailand tourist islands flood in deadly rains

Small earthquake hits the Highlands again. No nuclear reactors have been compromised. However radiation - at a level around 10,000 time lower than normal background radiation - has been detected in Britain. Just shows how sensitive our monitoring equipment is.

Meanwhile in Japan, amid nuclear crisis, one tsunami-devastated town embraces its atomic power plant. Not only did it come through the disaster unscathed, but it now provides a refuge for those left homeless.

And for once I agree with Sir David King: nuclear is the safest form of power, says top UK scientist

NASA satellites detect extensive drought impact on …

28th March - Today's News: Normal Weather Forecast

Apparently, Britain set for 'brolly and sunblock' summer - in other words, normal weather. Although this is, of course, just Jonathan Powell's forecast and not a proper meteorological one.

Burmese quake toll 'over 150' while the latest news after the tropical storm earlier this month is that 102 Myanmarese fishermen rescued so far from A&N - but thousands are still missing.

And in Japan, community spirit shines through in Japan's dark times while Japan nuclear plant data error was 'unacceptable'. And another strong quake prompts tsunami warning - but this was later cancelled.

Warming brings unwelcome change to Alaska villages

In Switzerland: avalanche leaves four dead

In Jaipur, India, State feels the heat in March, April to be worse with record temperatures being predicted.

Drillers propose deep-Earth quest

Tasmania's rain forest at risk from mining

A new large-scale assessment has found that freshwater content of upper Arctic Ocean increased 20 per…

26th March - Today's News: Over 3,700 Fishermen Missing, Presumed Dead, After Tropical Storm

Burma earthquake: at least 75 people killed - sounds pretty serious? Well, to put it into perspective there are currently over 3,700 Burmese fishermen still missing, presumed dead after being caught in a tropical storm earlier this month. However the latter story has received almost no media coverage whatsoever. Indeed, I only just picked the story up myself. Hopefully today's headline helps redress the balance.

Large grass fires tackled by crews across Wales - it's the start of the British 'wildfire season' and recent dry weather hasn't helped. Should be some rain next week though.

Apparently, British Summer Time lets us strengthen our relationship with nature. Not quite sure how when all it means is we lose an hour of daylight. When I get up on Monday morning (I may have a slight lie-in tomorrow as its Sunday) it'll be about 7.00am. Yesterday, it was about 6.00am. So I've lost an hour. What good is that? An hour less of listening to the birds …

25th March - Today's News: Earthquake Hits Burma

There's been a Burma earthquake: more than 60 killed. It may be connected to the one earlier this month just across the border in China.

And in the Japan tsunami: toll tops 10,000 two weeks after quake whilst icy rain, fuel shortages hamper relief to quake-hit Japan.

UK tops temperature tables - but the rest of the headline is a tad misleading since only northeastern parts will see much rain on Saturday; for most of us it'll be a dry weekend with a fine day on Sunday for nearly everyone.

It may be spring in Britain, but over in N America winter holds on. In Toronto, packed snow causes scores of crashed during icy commute while in the US they've had snow, tornadoes and hailstorms as driver dies in icy conditions while a North California storm floods creeks, destroys beaver dam (that is a dam built by beavers btw, apparently a local tourist attraction).

But further south, worst Texas drought in 44 years damaging wheat crop, reducing cattle herds

Sparked by a recent eruption, Ha…

22nd March - Today's News: More Australian Floods: This Time NSW Gets Hit

More heavy rain in Australia, and this time natural disaster declared for NSW south coast after heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Desperation is setting in in the Denier's camp. They're now having to resort to claiming that the fact a US ski centre was stormbound on Sunday 'proves' there is no long term underlying global warming trend! You couldn't make it up ...... Read more at WUWT (where else?).

It's probably not worth telling then that for much of England and Wales, there was no snowfall at all this winter (based on 21 Dec - 20 Mar) - the last here in Evesham was on the 22nd December, but not everywhere saw any that day. The lack of even sleet in Jan, Feb and Mar is totally unprecedented in my records, and in my memory, (though I concede it may have happened before).

That said, it's only fair to report that more snow hits Califiornia's Sierra, setting records. Obviously they pinched all ours!

There's been stop-start work at Japan reactors

And a go…

21st March - Today's News: Ships Run Aground As 'Supermoon' Lowers Tides

Well, the 'super' full moon on Saturday didn't cause any earthquakes, but but we did have five ships run aground off British coast as lunar phenomenon lowers tide.

The first day of Spring bring winters to Los Angeles but it was a fine weekend here in Britain where winter blues make way for a riot of colour as Spring officially begins.

There's Japan nuclear progress as toll up - it's likely the final death toll will be in excess of 20,000.

And some good news as two survivors found in quake-hit Japan city Ishinomaki - after being trapped for 8 days.

Landslide closes picturesque Highway 1 on the Californian coast.

New research suggests that North Atlantic ocean currents play greater role in absorption of carbon than previously thought.

19th March - Today's News: Nuclear Concerns Overshadow Real Tragedy in Japan

Japan nuclear plant power 'close' - hopefully this weekend will see the end of teh crises and millions of embarrassed Americans come out of hiding, wondering what to do with the tone of potassium iodide they'd just spend their life savings on. I wholly agree with this assessment: Japan nuclear threat: the tsunami is the bigger tragedy

But for Japan tsunami survivors, woes keep mounting. Note though the humanity of the Japanese military: Two soldiers picked through the rubble and placed personal effects such as photographs in a box so that survivors might be able to reclaim cherished memories. "They belong to someone," said one. "You never know."

There were also thousands of seabird killed near Hawaii by the tsunami.

Storm spawns snow, tornado, in Northern California

New study shows the record breaking 2010 Eastern European/Russian heatwave was the most extreme in at least 500 years.

And a slightly bizarre story as the Bangkok Posts reports cold weather ki…

18th March - Today's News: Dog Helps It's Injured Canine Pal in Japan's Tsunami Ravaged Landscape

This is a lovely story. I hope these two find a new home together: Loyal dog stands by its injured friend in Japan's tsunami-ravaged landscape. No apologies for making it my headline story.

Elsewhere in Japan, firefighters douse stricken reactor Although outside the remit of this blog, I am very concerned about the ridiculous global knee-jerk reaction to the situation in Japan, leading the many nuclear programmes being reconsidered or curtailed. The event shows if anything how safe nuclear reactors are and what extraordinary events are needed to cause concern even in 40 year old reactors, let alone modern, much safer and robust, designs. The medium term outlook is eneragy shortages and greater reliance on oil and gas supplies from unstable regimes. It may true that wind power cheaper than nuclear - but wind power doesn't work when we need it most in cold winters ...... and in the US, wind shortfalls make grid guys nervous.

Yesterday was the Canaries coldest day in 40 yea…

16th March - Today's News: Snow Hinders Japan Rescue Operations

In Japan, the weather's not helping things as snow muffles rescue work in Japan's devasated north-east.

But I'm amused to see that in the US potassium iodide and gieger counter sales spike after Japan disaster - this despite potassium iodide having known, potentially dangerous, side effects, Japan being 5,000 miles away and even the very worst case scenario unlikely to produce anything like the amount of radiation that came from the Chernobyl disaster and later fell over Britain ...... where exactly zero people suffered ill effects. Americans are at far more risk from car exhaust fumes and smoking tobacco. Or even from eating bananas. Only in America!

It's actually ironic that the nuclear plants withstood an earthquake much stronger than they were designed for, but fell foul of the damage to back up generators and then general carnage caused by the tsunami as seawalls offered little protection against tsunami's crushing waves
- something which hopefully we'll…

15th March - Today's News: Japan Earthquake Reassessed as Mag 9.0

Japan quake magnitude raised to 9.0 from 8.9

Japan quake may have slightly shortened days, moved axis - but not so much as anyone would ever know. And it's quite normal for this to happen with quakes of this magnitude.

Grim tide of death as 2,000 bodies wash up on shore

And more radiation fears after Japan blast

Meanwhile, earthquake teams arrive from around the world

And in New Zealand, no more bodies likely to be found after Christchurch earthquake

Flood chaos for Northern WA as rising water level threatens East Kimberley regions

Tremor across Cairns after small quake

In Scotland, the recent heavy snowfall raises avalanche risk in mountains

Ecuador's San Rafael falls: at risk from energy plans?

Arctic on verge of record ozone loss - and it may be in part at least down to carbon emission derived global warming (CO2 prevents outgoing radiation from reaching the stratosphere, thus as the lower atmosphere warms, the upper layers cool).

And finally, wind farms blamed for stranding of wha…

14th March - Today's News: Tsunami Devastation - Over 10,000 Dead

Well there's not a lot of good news out of Japan today. But I'd like to start the round of news by recommending this blog, from an English women in Tokyo:

http://theintercultural.blogspot.com/
Mitaka station has some trains running but all the shops there are closed including the bakery and .... Starbucks! So this is really a national emergency now. However Mr Donuts had all their donut varieties in stock. The video store was open. So was the bank and there was no queue for the cash machines. Some restaurants were closed, others open. The bike shop was open so I got my bike tyres pumped to the max for a quick getaway. (Prime Minister Kan was right, this IS just like the Second World War. The French are evacuating. Brits and Americans have been advised to stay put.) Back at home, the rubbish was collected and the postman delivered yet another academic journal.
In the northeast of Japan though:

Japan begins to dig for dead amid nuclear crisis

Japan rescuers struggle to reach survivo…

12th March - Today's News: Japan EarthQuake Not Caued by 'Supermoon'

Just to clear this piece of nonsense up:

No, the "supermoon" didn't cause the Japanese earthquake

And for the record, it wasn't HAARP, Nibiru, an imminent pole shift or my kettle. It was caused by tectonic movements on a subduction zone in the most seismicly active region on Earth. And as indicated below, it may be just the latest in a series of events that begain with the 2004 Indonesian earthquake.

Now, the good news is:

Island nations spared as tsunami charges across Pacific

And Latin America escapes tsunami wrath

Although in the US, Oregon marina destroyed in tsunami's wake - but that seems to be the most serious damage outside of Japan.

But the very bad news is:

Huge blast at Japan nuclear plant with growing fears of a meltdown occuring. This is an ongoing situation.

Meanwhile, rescue and relief operations swing into action

The coast of Japan moved about 8 feet

Researchers have also created a near real time map of Japan aftershocks

The big quake is the latest in clus…

11th March - Today's News: Massive Earthquake & Tsunami Hits Japan

Breaking news this morning.

Tsunami swamps Japan after powerful quake

Tsunami footage here

Live BBC coverage here

No immediate reports of serious damage from the quake itself, provisionally reported as Mag 8.9, other than a large refinery fire. But the tsunami appears devasating and will affect many other places in the next few hours.

Updates:

10 metre tsunami observed in Sendai port in Mainichi Pref.

Sendai airport under water

Cosmo oil refinery set on fire, nuclear reactors shut by earthquake

As it happened: 8.8 earthquake rocks Japan - Pacific on tsunami alert

Hawaii orders evacuations in Pacific tsunami threat

The quake follows a smaller on on Wednesday when a 7.2 tremor shakes buildings in Tokyo

Whilst another earthquake hits China southwest near Burma border

So, I see a super moon rising, but do I see trouble on the way? The coincidence should not be dismissed - there is some evidence that the Moon may have some impact on tectonic activity. That said, there were no major earthquakes arou…

8th March - Today's News: Snow Brings Chaos to Greece

First up, thanks to everyone who has started passing on relevant news stories that I've missed or not spotted yet - this is great and makes the site even better! Keep it up. If you post the url under comments, I'll then add it in to my next blog entry so it remains searchable for future reference.

And on that note we have some absolutely stunning photos from Africa of the Nyiragongo Crater: journey to the centre of the world found by Adam (Skanky). All I can say is Wow!

There are some more stunning picture showing the drama of Britain's beautiful weather taken by Kris Dutson in today's Mail.

And we're back to lava, as Hawaiian volcano erupts, producing fiery images but no damage

But headline news today is about Greece snow: bad weather brings chaos to Athens roads. Such weather isn't that unusual in winter and they often get more snow than we do in Britain, but it's quite late in the season for this much and a big contrast to recent mild temperatures. It…

7th March - Today's News: Heavy Snow Means 800 Times As Many Midges

Oh what a beautiful morning! After the first proper frost since January, today for the first time I can remember this year dawns bright and clear and sunny. That early morning sun does make a difference. And good news too that the Govt have scrapped the idea of proposing a shift to alpha time. So in years to come, March will still be welcomed in by sunshine and not darkness. Although the new May Day bank holiday plans unveiled seem if anything even more ludicrous. Why do away with the May Bank Holiday in England and Wales, and move it to April 23rd and March 1st respectively? If they want a new bank holiday for our saint's days then add a new one - as happens in N Ireland and Scotland. Keep May Day across the country (not just in N Ireland and Scotland) and shift the late May bank holiday to June 21st. You know it makes sense .....

Anyway, to the weather news. And it's bad news I'm afraid. Very bad news. Heavy snow means 800 times as many midges!

I'll not ta…

5th March - Today's News: Soot Affects Climate More Than CO2

More strong evidence of non carbon emission derived anthropogenic climate change as it's discovered that soot packs a punch on Tibetan plateau. But there are still reasons to cut emissions as it's also found that carbon dioxide also exacerbates oxygen toxicity.

Residents flee Bolivia's Mega Mudslide

No let up for Queensland yet with a cyclone alert as sodden state faces month of heavy falls

Dozens of merchant vessels stuck in pack ice in Gulf of Bothnia (thanks top Peter for spotting that one!)

Snowboarders die in Finnmark mountain storm

Good news from Christchurch with hopes the death toll may be less than feared after no bodies found in cathedral rubble - it had been thought up to 22 tourists could have been in or near the tower when it collapsed.

Another climate satellite fails to make orbit as NASA Glory mission ends in failure

And, as expected, Brazil court reverses Amazon Monte Belo dam suspension

Arctic blooms occurring earlier: Phytoplankton peak arising 50 days earlier

2nd March - Today's News: Tornadoes and Flash Floods Hit US Midwest