Environment: For every scary piece of data held up by alarmists as proof of man-made global warming, it seems a bit of contrary evidence is uncovered — and, of course, is ignored. Let's see what Antarctica is telling us.
The professional fearmongers are predicting that Arctic sea ice will soon be gone during the warmer months of the year. This is supposed to worry us into action that "fights" global warming.
But then there's the fact, which we noted last week, that the Arctic's sea ice gain from the record low of summer 2012 is a record of its own.
We reported that we're in only the third winter in history in which more than 10 million square kilometers of new ice has formed in the Arctic.
We also mentioned that the Antarctic is nearing 450 days of uninterrupted above-normal ice.
That was last week. And this is this week: Antarctic sea ice is on an upward slope. Real Science, a science website, says it "has been increasing at a rate of half a million square kilometers per year.
"If this alarming trend continues, the planet will be completely covered with Antarctic ice in 1,000 years," said Real Science, using University of Illinois data to map out the trend and reach its conclusion. "The Australian coral reefs will freeze to death in less than 300 years."
21 February 2013 - Human influence on global climate contributed to the causes of the 2011 East Africa drought, according to new research by the Met Office.
Millions of people in the region required emergency food aid after the failure of two rainy seasons - the 'short rains' (typically October to December) of 2010 and 'long rains' (March to June) of 2011.
Researchers used cutting edge 'climate change attribution' techniques to quantify how the probability of these two unusually dry rainy seasons may have changed as a result of human influence on climate.
Dr. Fraser Lott, an Attribution Scientist at the Met Office and lead author on the paper, said: "We found that the particularly dry short rains in 2010 were most likely caused by natural variability. However, the chances of long rains as dry, or drier, as those of 2011 were found to have increased due to human influence."
The study used state of the art modelling techniques to see how likely the weather patterns that led to the drought were. They looked at both a world with mankind's influence on climate, as well as 'the world that might have been' without manmade greenhouse gas emissions.
As we whinge about the wintry weather here in Britain, spare a thought for those living in a Russian hamlet where temperatures can plummet to -71C, so cold even planes cannot land there in winter. The valley of Oymyakon in northeast Russia is known as the 'Pole of Cold' and with an average January temperature of -50C, it is no wonder the village is the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world.
This is the lowest recorded temperature for any permanently inhabited location on Earth and the lowest temperature recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.
Most homes in Oymyakon still burn coal and wood for heat and enjoy few modern conveniences. Nothing grows there so people eat reindeer meat and horsemeat. A single shop provides the town's bare necessities and the locals work as reindeer-breeders, hunters and ice-fisherman.
Doctors say the reason the locals don't suffer from malnutrition is that their animals' milk contains a lot of micronutrients.
Unsurprisingly, locals are hardened to the weather and unlike in other countries - where a flurry of snow brings things grinding to a halt, Oymyakon's solitary school only shuts if temperatures fall below -52C.
The polar bears are probably the only ones enjoying it.
Checking the charts from the years before, we see that today’s Arctic temperature is a hair lower than the low of 2010 (it’s very close), and is thus the lowest since 2004. At Twitter a couple a days ago I think it was Ryan Maue who said that the Arctic was in for a cold snap, and so it’s possible temperatures above 80°N may even drop further before this ends.
Will be interesting to watch in the days ahead. I wonder if they’ll blame it on warming.
(Reuters) - Millions of birds have descended on a small Kentucky city this winter, fouling the landscape, scaring pets and raising the risk for disease in a real-life version of Alfred Hitchcock's horror film, "The Birds."
The blackbirds and European starlings blacken the sky of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, before roosting at dusk, turn the landscape white with bird poop, and the disease they carry can kill a dog and sicken humans.
"I have seen them come in, and there are enough that if the sun is just right, they'll cloud your vision of the sun," said Hopkinsville-Christian County historian William Turner. "I estimate there are millions of them."
David Chiles, president of the Little River Audubon Society, said the fact that migratory flocks are roosting in the city rather than flying further south is tied to climate warming.
"The weather, the climate plays a big role," said Chiles, the bird enthusiast who also teaches biology at Hopkinsville High School.
"They somehow establish a roost south of where the ground is frozen solid," he explained. "They are ground feeders, feeding on leftover crops and insects. If the fields are frozen solid, they can't feed."
A snowstorm slammed coastal New England, including Boston, on Sunday and was heading for eastern Maine and Atlantic Canada, meteorologists said.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning on Sunday for Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket and surrounding areas, saying that gusty winds, low visibility and up to 8 inches of snow were expected.
If the storm had been further west, it would have caused a serious blizzard, but instead it was brushing extreme eastern New England, sparing areas like New York City and Connecticut, which were buried in a snowstorm earlier this month, said Mark Paquette, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.
"It will cause headaches, but it could have been a lot worse," Paquette said.
The storm in the Northeast is the same one that brought snow to North Carolina and South Carolina on Saturday, AccuWeather.com said. It's not expected to be as destructive as the deadly Northeast blizzard two weeks ago that brought hurricane-force winds and left hundreds of thousands without power. That's in part due to colder temperatures causing drier snow, which is less likely to stick to trees and cause limbs to fall into power lines, Paquette said....click reuters.com link for more