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March 9, 2013
Extreme weather is here to stay: “almost Biblical”
almost biblical weather ; what is going on?
Angry summer Australia
Weather Gone Wild
Excerpt quoted: “Rains that are almost biblical, heat waves that don’t end, tornadoes that strike in savage swarms—there’s been a change in the weather lately. What’s going on?
“What’s going on? Are these extreme events signals of a dangerous, human-made shift in Earth’s climate? Or are we just going through a natural stretch of bad luck?”
(National Geographic, September 2012)
is our weather getting worse?
(The New York Times: Jan 10, 2013) Excerpts Quoted: “Britons may remember 2012 as the year the weather spun off its rails in a chaotic concoction of drought, deluge and flooding, but the unpredictability of it all turns out to have been all too predictable: Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace.”
“China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting”
“Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.”
“The heat wave in Australia; the flooding in the U.K., and most recently the flooding and extensive snowstorm in the Middle East — it’s already a big year in terms of extreme weather calamity.”
“in Britain, people are used to thinking of rain as the wallpaper on life’s computer screen — an omnipresent, almost comforting background presence. But even the hardiest citizen was rattled by the near-biblical fierceness of the rains that bucketed down, and the floods that followed, three different times in 2012.”
“The same thing is true in Australia, where bush fires are raging across Tasmania and the current heat wave has come after two of the country’s wettest years ever. On Tuesday, Sydney experienced its fifth-hottest day since records began in 1910, with the temperature climbing to 108.1 degrees. The first eight days of 2013 were among the 20 hottest on record.”
“To the north, the extremes have swung the other way, with a band of cold settling across Russia and Northern Europe, bringing thick snow and howling winds to Stockholm, Helsinki and Moscow. (Incongruously, there were also severe snowstorms in Sicily and southern Italy for the first time since World War II; in December, tornadoes and waterspouts struck the Italian coast.)
“China is enduring its worst winter in recent memory, with frigid temperatures recorded in Harbin, in the northeast. In the western region of Xinjiang, more than 1,000 houses collapsed under a relentless onslaught of snow, while in Inner Mongolia, 180,000 livestock froze to death. The cold has wreaked havoc with crops, sending the price of vegetables soaring.”
“Way down in South America…The summer has been punishingly hot. The temperature in Rio de Janeiro climbed to 109.8 degrees on Dec. 26, the city’s highest temperature since official records began in 1915.”
“At the same time, in the Middle East, Jordan is battling a storm packing torrential rain, snow, hail and floods…”
“Israel and the Palestinian territories are grappling with similar conditions, after a week of intense rain and cold winds ushered in a snowstorm that dumped eight inches in Jerusalem alone.”
“In Beirut on Wednesday night, towering waves crashed against the Corniche, the seaside promenade downtown, flinging water and foam dozens of feet in the air as lightning flickered across the dark sea at multiple points along the horizon. Many roads were flooded as hail pounded the city.
Several people died, including a baby boy in a family of shepherds who was swept out of his mother’s arms by floodwaters…”