“Beast from the East”


Newly open water in the ArcticVladimir Lugai

The April snow falling on fruit blossoms in Europe these days may be directly connected to the loss of the sea ice in the Barents Sea in the Arctic. That was certainly the case in 2018 when the sudden cold spell known as “Beast from the East” descended on the mid-latitudes of the continent…

They are diligently stoking thousands of bonfires on the ground close to their crops, but the French winemakers are fighting a losing battle. An above-average warm spell at the end of March has been followed by days of extreme cold, destroying the vines with losses amounting to 90 percent above average. The image of the struggle may well be the most depressingly beautiful illustration of the complexities and unpredictability of global climate warming. It is also an agricultural disaster from Bordeaux to Champagne.

It is the loss of the Arctic sea-ice due to climate warming that has, somewhat paradoxically, been implicated with severe cold and snowy mid-latitude winters…

“What we’re finding is that sea-ice is effectively a lid on the ocean. And with its long-term reduction across the Arctic, we’re seeing increasing amounts of moisture enter the atmosphere during winter, which directly impacts our weather further south, causing extreme heavy snowfalls. It might seem counter-intuitive, but nature is complex and what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic.” says Dr. Hanna Bailey.

And it gets more complex than that. RTFA, and understand as diverse and divergent from our “common sense” on the ground as many of these events may seem, cause and effect still happens and can be analyzed. Remedies for harmful change is the difficult bit.

Fake President lies about snowflakes


“Official White House Photo”

(Last) Tuesday, it snowed in Washington.

This isn’t really newsworthy, by itself. It’s January in the District, a month in which more than five inches of snow will fall on average. In any number of years, some of that snow has fallen on the seventh day of the month…What makes last week’s snowfall newsworthy was the point at which the White House decided to share the news about it: on Sunday, a day when the temperature in Washington hit a high of 70 degrees. More importantly, the low was 49 degrees — too warm for snow and a temperature reached only after the White House’s tweet…

For an administration with a robust track record of dishonesty, the tweet struck many people as being another, albeit unusually odd, example of exaggeration or misrepresentation…What’s been missed in the reaction to the tweet, though, is a more important contrast. It’s not just that the tweet about snow overlapped with an unusually warm day that matters. It’s that this is the precise opposite of how President Trump has traditionally tried to leverage the weather to his political advantage…

What the White House tweet did — no doubt unintentionally — is highlight how warm it was in Washington on Sunday. The normal high in Washington on Jan. 12 is 43 degrees, putting Sunday’s temperature 27 degrees above normal. That is no more proof that the climate is warming than a cold day is proof that it isn’t, but a warmer-than-usual winter day is certainly more suggestive of something abnormal happening than a winter day that’s cold.

Whatever the intricacies of lies from the White House, they are exactly what is expected from the Fake President. Sometimes, I have to think they’re expected – enjoyed – by the fools who voted for him in 2016 and probably will, again, in 2020. He never learned to tell the truth. They don’t care. As long as he rolls out the drumroll of slander and slurs that satisfy bigotry and ignorance.

Pic of the day — Sahara snow!


Click to enlargeGeoff Robinson

More photos over here.

Doesn’t happen often. Almost four decades since the last time. The screwed-up dynamics of climate change may make this s more frequent occurrence. Or not.

Just like recent frigid visits of the polar vortex to North America caused by unusually warm air at the North Pole pushing cooler air South. Instability rules, so far.

Lots of cold balls!

❝ Like thousands of white cannonballs dumped on the beach, you think these have to be manmade, perhaps part of some sculpture exhibition. But the giant snowballs are entirely natural, although the sight has not been witnessed here in living memory.

It was ten days ago that the villagers of Nyda, just above the Arctic Circle, started noticing the phenomenon. Some are the size of tennis balls. Others almost as large as a basketball…

❝ Valery Akulov, from the village administration, said: ‘Even old-timers say they see this phenomenon for the first time. These balls appeared about a week and a half ago…

❝ When the water in the gulf rose, it came into contact with the frost. The beach began to be covered with ice. Then the water began to slowly retreat, and the ice remained. Its pieces were rolling over in the wet sand, and turned into these balls.

A few more photos in the article. Way cool.

Canadian airport provides really low cost aid to returning travelers

A Nova Scotia airport is offering travelers parked in the long-term lot shovels to dig their cars out of the 35 inches of snow that fell on the area this week.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokeswoman Ashley Gallant said the airport is providing shovels for travelers returning from vacation to find their vehicles have been buried in snow.

Gallant said the snow has led to a lack of parking spaces, as many of the vacant spots have yet to be plowed.

Not how I would handle it; but, better than nothing. And it ain’t my airport, anyway.

Saudi Islamic scholar issues fatwa – banning snowmen

Harbin snow festival
Click to enlargeBetter stay away from Harbin in the winter

A fatwa issued by Saudi religious scholar Mohammad Saleh Al Minjed bans the creation of snowmen, saying it is too western of a practice.

“It is not permitted to make a statue out of snow, even by way of play and fun,” said the fatwa.

After a snow storm on the Arabian Peninsula, children started building snow-camels — a rare incident that inspired the fatwa.

Supporters of the fatwa say the creation of snowmen or snow camels, rather, is a crude imitation of the West…

The camels, built in the northern part of the country, were a nod to the local culture.

“We have snow for fleeting days, maybe even hours, and there is always someone who wants to rob us of the joy and the fun,” said opposing blogger Mishaal.

It seems that the only thing left for us is to sit down and drink coffee.”

Be satisfied you can do that, Mishaal. We have fundamentalist religions in the US that won’t let you drink coffee.

Man stopped for walking while Black – and he had his hands in his pockets

The temperature was 33° Thanksgiving afternoon in Pontiac, Michigan. A Black man was seen walking down the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood with [gasp] his hands in his pockets. It was snowing lightly.

So, a cop stopped him to question him. I’m certain every idjit in the country who thinks we live in a post-racial society doesn’t think this is profiling. It is exactly profiling.

Fortunately for Brian McKean, the cop who stopped him – because that was what he was told to do no doubt – appeared to understand how stupid and racist the whole thing looked.

Brian McKeen was pissed off and told the cop so. The cop handled it OK. Brian hauled out his cellphone and recorded the cop asking him stupid questions. The cop got out his own iPhone and recorded Brian – while he asked his stupid questions.