Sunday, January 3, 2010

More global warming

In Bizzaro World, where summer is winter, and a "world growing ever hotter" is assaulted by bitter cold.

    Iowa temps "a solid 30 degrees below normal"

    These days it feels like Mother Nature is a disc jockey playing cheesy music at a wedding dance with the record stuck on "Limbo," as in: "How low can you go?"

    Answer: Near-record low.

    Thermometers across Iowa dipped into the negative double digits. And this intense cold probably isn't going anywhere until next weekend.
    The area will see temperatures below zero with a wind chill 20 to 30 below zero. Frostbite can occur in less than 30 minutes in such conditions.

    Des Moines bottomed out at 17 below zero, two degrees above the record low on Jan. 2 in the capital. The National Weather Service station in Johnston recorded 22 degrees below zero.

    Peru's mountain people face fight for survival in a bitter winter

    In a world growing ever hotter, Huancavelica is an anomaly.

Go ahead and laugh. You can't make this stuff up. Now, what's really funny is, Peru is in the southern hemisphere. It's summer in Peru.

    These communities, living at the edge of what is possible, face extinction because of increasingly cold conditions in their own microclimate, which may have been altered by the rapid melting of the glaciers.

    Siberian winds usher in record lows in Beijing

    A FREEZING cold front swept over much of northern China on Sunday with snowstorms snarling traffic and air travel, while some of the coldest temperatures in decades were forecast for coming days.

    Gale-force winds sweeping down from Siberia could result in temperatures as low as minus 16 degrees in the capital today, the Beijing meteorological station said.

    Such temperatures are believed to be the coldest in the capital in 40 years.

    World copes with Arctic weather

    When Britain woke up on the first day of the New Year it was met with freezing cold temperatures, feet of snow in places and the promise of travel chaos.

    And now, three days into 2010, forecasters have warned to expect continued snowfall for the next 10 days - bringing with it added stress for commuters heading back to work after a festive break and children returning to school tomorrow.

    Yet as Britain struggles to cope with the freezing weather conditions, other countries throughout the world are also finding themselves in the same predicament.


    Snow storms today have caused chaos in China's capital of Beijing, grinding aeroplanes to a halt and causing severe traffic delays.

    Around 90 per cent of all flights were either delayed or cancelled, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

    In addition, major roads in Beijing and Tianjin, as well as nearby provinces Hebei, Shanxi and Inner Mongolia, were forced to close due to the heavy snow.

    The snow shows no sign of stopping, however, and temperatures are expected to drop to -16C in Beijing on Monday and Tuesday, causing more problems for those attempting to returning to work after a three-day New Year holiday.

    Authorities in Beijing and Tianjin announced today there will be no classes at primary and middle schools tomorrow as the snow had caused traffic chaos.


    Not a country usually associated with snow, India has experienced severe problems since Saturday when snowfall and a dense blanket of fog began to cause chaos.

    More than 30 people died in cold-weather related incidents in Northern India over the past 24 hours, with 10 of those losing their lives in train accidents caused by the fog.

    Meanwhile, 24 homeless people have also died in the Uttar Pradesh state since Saturday due to the severe drop in temperature.

    Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir were all hit with heavy snow, while Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi also recorded snowfall over the past 24 hours.

    Flights from New Delhi were grounded or delayed yesterday because of poor visibility, Shashanka Nanda, a spokesman for the Delhi International Airport Limited said, before adding that conditions had improved today.


    A country much more used to dealing with high levels of snow, Russia saw temperature lows of a chilling -20C in Moscow today.

    Those travelling on trains at stations near the Russian city of Vorkuta, attempted to continue their journeys despite the freezing conditions.

    Workers also tried to sweep snow from the train tracks, but found it was falling too fast to clear.

    However, two men making the most of the snow were Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who decided to take to the slopes in Krasnaya Polyana near the Black Sea resort of Sochi in southern Russia.

    The duo donned heavy jackets and goggles as they skiied together, with Putin looking serious as the pair indulged in some seemingly serious political conversations.


    The snow caused more problems with flights in Germany, with one jet veering off the runway at Dortmund airport in western Germany.

    The Air Berlin Boeing 737-800 broke to abort the take-off due to a 'technical irregularity', but none of the 165 passengers and six crew members were injured.

    The plane was not damaged but flights from the airport were cancelled or diverted for a large part of the day.

    Airline spokeswoman Diane Daedelow said: 'A combination of the snowy weather and the speed the plane was travelling at forced the plane to skid off the runway.'

    Over 30 flights from Frankfurt airport were also cancelled this morning.


    While they are much more accustomed to dealing with snow, even native Austrians were struggling to cope with the freezing lows of -8C at night and -3C during the day.

    But one creature happy to bound around in the fluffy snow was a mix breed dog called Lotta, who seemed entirely unconcerned as she became coated in snow during her run in Unken, in the Austrian province of Salzburg.

    Meteorologists have predicted continued light snowfalls for the upcoming days in Austria.