2013-01-10. Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide

posted Jan 13, 2013, 11:25 AM by Alan Gould
| Sarah Lyall, The New York Times. Relevant to GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt:  … 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 — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk. 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. … said Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Organization, …Such events are increasing in intensity as well as frequency, … a sign that climate change is not just about rising temperatures, but also about intense, unpleasant, anomalous weather of all kinds. … in Britain … the floods of 2012 followed the floods of 2007 and also the floods of 2009, which all told have resulted in nearly $6.5 billion in insurance payouts. …Britain’s weather service declared 2012 the … the second-wettest in Britain as a whole, since records began more than 100 years ago.  …there were also severe snowstorms in Sicily and southern Italy for the first time since World War II… tornadoes and waterspouts struck the Italian coast.) …Meanwhile, China is enduring its worst winter in recent memory, … 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. … in South America, energy analysts say that Brazil may face electricity rationing for the first time since 2002, as a heat wave and a lack of rain deplete the reservoirs for hydroelectric plants. …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…. Read the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/science/earth/extreme-weather-grows-in-frequency-and-intensity-around-world.html