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Sunday, January 8, 2017

All's Quiet on the Climate Change Front as Death Toll Mounts in Frigid Weather

Would you believe this is in Istanbul, Turkey?

A girl walks under snow-covered trees during a snowfall in Istanbul, Turkey, January 7, 2017. 
© Osman Orsal / Reuters

One winter does not a cooling trend make although that didn't stop the climate change propaganda from issuing alarmist statements once or twice a month for the past year and a half. In that time we endured the second strongest El Nino ever recorded and any climatologist with any dignity would have refrained from taking advantage of that to generate hysteria in the masses. 

So, because 'fair is fair', I shall lower my self dignity to the level of taking advantage of La Nina, El Nino's ugly little sister. Ugly sister took over from her brother in the summer of 2016. El Nino started, technically, in about March 2015, but for all intents and purposes, actually started the previous fall, in 2014. Much of the northern hemisphere enjoyed warmer than normal temperatures for those two winters, then the wheels fell off.

Ugly sister prefers sleigh runners to wheels and much of North America and Europe has ground to a crawl because we don't make runners for cars, trucks or big airplanes. In N.A. skateboards have given way to snowboards on the streets of some cities; people in Vancouver have been seen skating down the streets. 

And this is not a very strong La Nina! In fact she is officially a 'weak' La Nina and NOAAs myriad computer models suggest she is almost dead already. But while she is expected to expire in the next month or two, she may, in fact, be only 'mostly dead'. A look at the right-hand side of the graph, below, shows most models with another down-turn next summer-fall. The ugly, little witch may return next winter.

That would be in keeping with what happened following the strongest El Nino ever which occurred in 1997-98. In the summer of '98 ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) switched over to La Nina which remained until late winter, early spring of 2001 - a run of 32 consecutive months.

Meanwhile, millions of people are cold and not wanting to hear the BS about global warming, and dozens of people have died in Europe from the cold. Snow and ice have been plugging up transportation corridors and downing power lines all the way to the Mediterranean. 

Europe is beginning to count the cost of the deadly cold snap sweeping across the continent, with the first deaths reported over the weekend

Social workers in Serbia have been trying to ease the living conditions of migrants living in makeshift shelters enduring the below-freezing temperatures. In the capital Belgrade, hundreds of people, mostly from Afghanistan and Pakistan, are staying in an abandoned customs warehouse, with local aid groups providing heaters, blankets, clothes and food. 

A man walks in the snow at around minus 26 degrees Celsius (minus 14.8 deg F)
in the village of Jezerc, Kosovo, January 8, 2017. © Hazir Reka

Many people there were sick, though, the aid groups said. “The next few days are critical, and for sure the health condition of these people is worsening,'' Stephane Moissaing, the MSF Head of Mission in Serbia, told AP.  

Snowfall in Blace, Central Serbia

The country's authorities has also banned river traffic due to ice blockages and strong winds, while emergency measures were announced in some municipalities in the south and southwest. Several villages were blocked by heavy snow, forcing the evacuation of about 100 people there.

A man walks in the centre of Warsaw January © Kacper Pempel / Reuters

Two men died of the severe cold in Poland, with the total death toll from sub-zero temperatures reaching 55 since November, according to figures by Polish authorities, as cited by AP. In the country's southern, mountainous regions, temperatures dropped to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit).

A man removes snow from a car in a suburb of Sofia after heavy snowfall
on January 7, 2017. © Nikolay Doychinov / AFP

In neighboring Bulgaria, police reported the deaths of two men from Iraq, as well as a Somali woman, who succumbed from the cold in the mountains bordering Turkey. Security forces said that the three were apparently trying to reach Europe. Many villages have also been  left without electricity and water.

Braila, Romania

In Romania, a dozen or so of the country’s major roads remain closed because of heavy snow, and ferry services between Romania and Bulgaria across the Danube have been canceled. Authorities also announced schools would be closed on Monday and Tuesday in many areas, including the capital, Bucharest.

Waiting in line for holy water. Romanian tradition

Moving westward, where Italian authorities blamed the extreme weather for eight deaths, one of them a man who was found in the basement of an unused building in Milan, while another was found on a street in Florence near the Arno river.

Trees are covered with ice and snow on top of the Feldberg mountain, in Germany January 8, 2017.
© Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

German Federal Police reported picking up 19 migrants – five of them children – at a highway stop in Bavaria, after their driver apparently ditched them, leaving the group stranded in the freezing cold. Elsewhere, across the country, firefighters reported 415 incidents of weather-related accidents over the weekend alone, AP reported.

Even in Turkey, snow has been falling for three days, with Turkish Airlines grounding hundreds of flights.

Vehicles wait for the greenlight of a traffic light during a snowfall in Istanbul, Turkey January 8, 2017.
© Murad Sezer / Reuters

However, it appears Muscovites didn't fear the cold, though, with hundreds joining an eight-kilometer bike parade in -27 degrees Celsius (minus 17 Fahrenheit).