Global Warming Round Up: Snow, Snow, Snow
GLOBAL warming round-up. Al Goreans look away – it’s snow, snow and cold – brrrr – snow:
Tucked away now – because it is so common – the news of the global freeze continues to come in, the latest from Milwaukee in the American mid-west, where residents are rushing to finish digging out from this week’s snowstorm, before the next batch of snow arrives – expected over the weekend.
So far, the major snowstorm has forced hundreds of schools and businesses to close and grounding hundreds of flights as snow piled more than 20 inches deep in some areas. Governor Jim Doyle called a state of emergency late Wednesday, sending National Guard troops to help about 500 vehicles stuck in a traffic jam behind semitrailer trucks blocking Interstate 90 south of Madison.
Meanwhile, without so much as a mention of global warming, the BBC Radio 4 World Tonight programme reported on the growing humanitarian crisis in Tajikstan which is in the grip of its coldest winter for five decades.
The poorest of the former Soviet Republics, this is a country which normally enjoys a mid-latitude continental climate, with hot summers and mild winters. With a population of seven million, the deteriorating food situation is part of the energy crisis which hit this mountainous nation. The cost of food has tripled in recent months, partially because of rising world prices. Some humanitarian agencies claim Central Asia’s poorest nation is heading towards catastrophe.
More details are also coming in of the effects of the prolonged freeze in China, which has killed at least 80 people, destroyed or damaged 800,000 houses and caused economic and agricultural damage valued at 80 billion yuan (about $11 billion)…
Closer to home, Eastern Turkey is also in the grip of freezing weather conditions, which is paralysing life in Eastern Anatolia. A person froze to death in Hizan town of eastern province of Bitlis, flights have been cancelled in Van due to heavy snowfall and, in the provinces of Erzurum and Ardahan, the temperature dropped to -31 degrees Celsius on Thursday night. Roads to 215 villages are still closed to traffic in the region due to heavy snow and blizzards.
Interestingly, in Canada, we are told that, back in 1991 before Al Gore first shouted that the Earth was in the balance, the Danish Meteorological Institute released a study using data that went back centuries that showed that global temperatures closely tracked solar cycles.
But did they win an Oscar?