24th March - Today's News: Spring Snowstorm Hits Moscow

19.1c in my garden yesterday. Could see 20c today. Easter still looking wet ... Charlwood hit 21.3c on the hottest day of the year as Britain prepares for a BBQ weekend - but it's not surprising it's warmer than Bondi beach given it's autumn down there!

Up in Scotland the wildfire season has started as heath fires tackled across the Highlands and Islands - several weeks earlier than last year.

Meanwhile, US heat 'unprecedented', 7,000 records set or tied - but that means daily records for specific locations.

It's a bit different in Russia though where spring snowstorm envelops Moscow - interesting to note that it's the first this year that snow cover there has been more than normal.

There's been jolts across the desert as earthquake strikes central Australia

And according to the latest WMO report, 2011 was the 11th warmest year on record (despite La Nina) and the second wettest year on record for Aust. The report also shows (again, as we already knew) that 2001-2010 warmest decade on record

The last woolly mammoth's extinction not due to inbreeding - they survived on Wrangel island until around four thousand years ago. Why they then dies out we don't know.... but a certain two legged animal is a prime suspect. Though I also wonder, given their extinction around 4,000 year ago, whether a climate shift occurred there ~5,200 years ago - as was the case elsewhere in the world (end of the African Humid period, for example, and a major factor in the rise of human civilisation)? Anyway, interesting to see that quite a sizeable population were able to thrive there with relatively scant Arctic vegetation - something for those who question how they lived in Siberia during the ice age to take note of!

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