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Global Warming Crippling Russia, Europe

That global warming stuff is killing people again:

Arctic Temperatures Blanket Russia

Arctic temperatures blanketed Russia for a fourth day on Thursday, sending electricity use surging and pushing the death toll from the cold wave to at least 31 people as even hardy Russians struggled to cope with the big freeze.

Temperatures in Moscow plunged overnight to as low as minus 24, said Tatyana Pozdnyakova, a Moscow weather forecasting service official. The temperature was the lowest recorded on Jan. 19 since 1927, she said.

Seven people died of exposure in the Russian capital in the previous 24 hours, city emergency officials said, pushing the nationwide death toll from the Siberian cold wave that swept into Moscow late Monday to at least 31.

At a zoo in Lipetsk, south of Moscow, director Alexander Osipov said monkeys would be given wine three times day, "to protect against colds," the RIA-Novosti news agency reported.

Electricity use surged to record levels and towns and cities struggled to keep indoor temperatures up. Children stayed home from school and drivers struggled to start cars.

Why people would live where it freezes when they know people will die from the cold is beyond me... You'd think they'd move or something.

And there was more global warming in Europe too...

Cold wave brings disruption to new EU states in East Europe

A cold wave brought disruption to the new EU member states of eastern Europe, with public transport hit as electric tram wires snapped and children stayed home from school, with temperatures as low as minus 30 Celsius (minus 22 Fahrenheit).

In Estonia, the authorities handed out extra food and clothing to homeless people in an effort to prevent deaths from hypothermia, said Marika Raiski, a spokeswoman for the social affairs ministry.

Homeless people were allowed to sleep at a number of train or bus stations during the cold spell, while shelters for the homeless that are usually open only at night kept their doors open 24 hours from Wednesday night.

The coldest temperature on Thursday, minus 30 C, was registered in the southeastern part of Estonia near the border with Russia.

In neighbouring Latvia, many schools were empty as parents kept their children at home as temperatures dropped to minus 30 degrees C Thursday morning in northern and eastern regions of the Baltic country.

According to Latvian law, children under 12 can skip school if temperatures fall to lower than minus 20 degrees C (minus four F).

DAMN! I'm glad I didn't grow up in Latvia! That's pretty hard core, sending 12 year olds to school in -4° F weather. Yikes.

Why is it everythime there is record heat we hear about global warming but when there is record cold not so much....

Comments (36)

Paul, it looks like a good ... (Below threshold)

Paul, it looks like a good case for more bituminous boilers in Russia to blanket the lower atmosphere and generate a few more kilowatts.

That is interesting to hear... (Below threshold)

That is interesting to hear the schools can be cancelled by cold weather. My father is 84 years old. He told me about a friend of his who grew up in Minnesota. The school board had a policy that school was cancelled if the low was -50 F or lower. It all depends on what is considered extreme for the location. Everyone in Minnesota can handle -4 F. I now live on the Gulf Coast. A low-level panic sets in here whenever there is a freeze. They announce things like, "Freeze warning until 9 a.m. tomorrow." But, of course, much of our plumbing is in outside walls and attics so any freeze at all can cause a great deal of damage.

When I lived in Moose, Wyom... (Below threshold)

When I lived in Moose, Wyoming the school board said the busses wouldn't run if it dropped to -60F. It never got that cold on a school day during my 3 years there. If it was colder than -10F, we were sometimes allowed to come into the lobby of the Visitors Center rather than wait out in the snow. I remember thinking it was balmy when the temp was +10F going to school.

PaulDo you have so... (Below threshold)


Do you have some macro set on your computer so you can automatically generate one of your lame "why would anyone live there" comments whenever some area of the world has a weather disaster? We get it, you're offended that people asked that question about New Orleans. But Jesus, talk about beating something to death.

And global warming is a real phenomenon, as testified to by most of the recent EPA commissioners, as well as a shitload of scientists. The notion that a real cold day means there's no such thing as global warming is moronic. I think the incredible rate of shrinkage of the glaciers, along with tons of other evidence, is a little more persuasive.

1) My hair used to freeze s... (Below threshold)

1) My hair used to freeze sometimes on the way to school growing up. I slept in too late for my hair to dry before walking to school in the freezing cold and too concerned about my looks to put anything on my head. My too long hair would make clinking sounds when I got to school and shook my head. Oh, and it was up hill both ways.

2) Don't you know, if there are record highs, it proves global warming. If there are record lows, it proves global warming. If the global temperature changes up or down, it's because of man. Absent man, there would be no more records set and the average temperature would forever remain the same. Duh. It's so much easier on the brain when you give in.

Although local variations m... (Below threshold)

Although local variations might lead to record low temperatures in the winter at various locations, it is meaningless to extrapolate these events to a whole. Global average temperatures are rising. This is a fact. This is what is meant by "global warming." An excessively cool winter (or hot summer) in a fixed geographical sector contributes little overall to the average temperature for that region (or the globe as a whole).

An (imperfect) analogy: an individual stock on the Dow has little effect by itself on whether the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is rising or falling. Only by examining the aggregate of the stocks in the Dow can one calculate what this index is doing.

Like Paul, I too am perturbed by claims of "global warming" during a hot summer. I am equally annoyed by claims of "global warming isn't happening" during cold winters. Both of these claims are meaningless.

Wow, I agree with Chris!</p... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

Wow, I agree with Chris!

There is no real debate about the existence of global warming. The debate is about it's cause, not it's existence.

Take Juneau, Alaska where I was raised. The ecosystems there are very sensitive to the slightest shift in climate, and I've watched the place change drastically during the last 45 years.

In the sixties, we frequently missed school when the tempurature dropped to -5 or -10F, or when the snow gods dumped several feet over night. We could always count on skiing and ice skating throughout the winter. Now, the snow is so rare the ski area seldom opens. The Mendenhall glacier has been receding at an exponential rate and is about to recede away from it's lake! The summers have changed from the constantly dreary 52F drizzle to warm, clear days in the 80's that attracts a whole new breed of tourists (it used to be only the nearly dead). These changes have had a great impact on wildlife, with drastic migration shifts, salmon salmon unable to spawn, and the introduction of warmer water sharks and other preditors. The place is not the same, and the change was caused by a slight shift in climate.

The real question is, what caused the climate change?

"An (imperfect) analogy: an... (Below threshold)

"An (imperfect) analogy: an individual stock on the Dow has little effect by itself on whether the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is rising or falling. Only by examining the aggregate of the stocks in the Dow can one calculate what this index is doing."

Well, you'd expect that a "global warming", or shall we say a "stock market crash" would entail the "globe" or the "stock market" as a whole to be experiencing the same thing.

In other words, if it is only the Arctic Circle that is experiencing warming, how can we call it "global warming"?

It'd be interesting to see the temperature graph for the 20 largest countries in the world for the last 50 years and see how this looks. It is my impression that the colder areas of Earth are getting warmer, and the others are not really warming to any large degree.

The question is, as someone said, what is causing this?

Man may have an effect on the climate, but how much? If it is insignificant, why would we care? I think perhaps this might be one of the greatest hoaxes. First say that, yes, indeed the global average temperature is rising. Then say that yes indeed, humans do have an effect on the climate (and leave out how much of an effect they really have, which might be miniscule). Then conflate the two into one idea. Brilliant, if you ask me.

How long has the earth been... (Below threshold)
Jim Price:

How long has the earth been in existence? That's a debate that could rage for a while...so, lets agree it's been for a damn long time.

How long have we humans been monitoring and recording weather patterns?

Seriously, all our data in the grand scheme of things is like one frame of a radar view. We have such a lack of previous data we have no idea what context to put the data we do have into.

This global warming crap is silly.

This idea that people know everything is too.

Paul, you know how you bera... (Below threshold)

Paul, you know how you berate people when they talk about things they do not know or fully understand (N.O., locations of levies, etc)?

You're being one of them.

Seixon,Who said an... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:


Who said anything about the Arctic Circle? Global warming is happening everywhere.

It's most noticeable in colder regions because two degrees makes a huge difference in certain climate zones. Two degrees in Southeast Alaska is the difference between snow and ice all winter, or rain or no preciptitation at all. Without a cap of snow and ice in the mountains, there is no melt runoff during the summer to keep the streams and rivers open. When they dry, the fish can't spawn. When that happens, the orcas split, the bears die, and we're stuck eating tasteless, dyed, farmed fish in restaurants around the world. That's a drag.

In other locales, like New Orleans, nobody would probably notice a two degree shift. Maybe their air conditioning bill will increase in the summer, or heating will decrease in the winter, but rivers and glaciers and ice packs won't disappear. It's measurable everywhere, but not readily noticeable by people going about their lives.

If man is causing this (and I doubt we are), then we should probably do something to correct things. If it's just a natural cycle, then we'll have to get used to tasteless fish. But either way, it's senseless to deny an obvious, measured, slow trend toward warmer global temperatures that has taken place over the past several decades.

A N.O. analogy for Paul:</p... (Below threshold)

A N.O. analogy for Paul:

Your original post just stated that one of the levy breaks from Katrina was on Mars.

"WASHINGTON (AP) (January 1... (Below threshold)

"WASHINGTON (AP) (January 18) -- The U.S. is failing to take the lead in confronting global warming, a "dishonest" and "self-destructive" approach that only worsens the problem, say former federal environmental chiefs."

What is interesting about this is that five of these six "former environmental chiefs" were apointed by Republican Presidents!!!

"GOP ex-EPA chiefs bash Bush policies" at

Seixon: Interesting- I have... (Below threshold)

Seixon: Interesting- I haven't seen anything regarding large increases at the caps with stable temperatures around the rest of the globe. Could you cite some data for this?

To those who acknowledge rising global average temperatures, but question whether it is anthropogenic or not: This is a very good point. For years, the science was very uncertain on this point. But in the past five years or so, there is an increased confidence in the fact that rising temperatures are a result of increasing carbon dioxide levels. The data and interpretation are very complicated, but I refer the interested to http://www.ipcc.ch/, which represents the scientific consensus on carbon dioxide levels and global warming.

Because, the IPCC has noooo... (Below threshold)

Because, the IPCC has noooo agenda, and nobody has ever had cause to doubt their numbers or motives.

I notice Paul didn't file t... (Below threshold)

I notice Paul didn't file this one under anything. Predictable Troll ;-) Keep up the good work!

Isn't Juneau, Alaska at the... (Below threshold)

Isn't Juneau, Alaska at the base of a mountain, just waiting for an avalanche or landslide to toast the whole town?

JohnAnnArbor:Yeah,... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:


Yeah, pretty much.

Damn! There was a great photo of the town being buried by an avalanch in the early 70's, but the website that hosted it closed its archives at the beginning of the year. It was a really cool shot.

Most scientists agree that ... (Below threshold)

Most scientists agree that one of the major causes of global warming is the hot air created when Al "Sour Grapes" Gore goes on one of his rants.

SCSIwuzzy:Please i... (Below threshold)


Please illustrate the doubt behind the numbers reported by IPCC. The IPCC generates report which are a summation of scientific data. The scientific consensus is that global warming is real, and is caused by human activity. Science is driven by data, so provide some to support your assertions.

I think Smartguy nailed thi... (Below threshold)
Denny Crane:

I think Smartguy nailed this one.

echibby:"Anothe... (Below threshold)


"Another frequently asked question is: “how do we know if model predictions are credible”? Science today recognizes that there is no way to prove the absolute truth of any hypothesis or model, since it is always possible that a different explanation might account for the same observations. In this sense, even the most well-established physical laws are “conditional”. Rather, the test should be whether a theory or model is false. The more independent challenges that a theory or model passes successfully, the more confidence one can have in it."

That's from http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/IPCCTP.II(E).pdf, and as a scientist myself (but by no means a climatologist) I think it's absolutley true. So my question to you is, if most scientists agree that our CO2 emissions cause global warming, who's doing the nearly exhaustive hypothesis testing necessary to gain enough confidence in the theory to justify the possibly devastating effects on our economy of something like the Kyoto treaty?

I don't understand the science very well at all (I'm a computer scientist so I'm not strong in chemistry and such) but it seems to me that CO2 is 300 or 400 parts per million in our atmosphere and water vapor is like 20% of it or something. Doesn't water vapor hold a lot of heat? How can CO2 even compete?

Plus, there's a lot of contradictions to the theory here:


I'm hoping you'll give me the short answer since I don't have time to read up on an entirely different field from my own. I'm not saying that global warming isn't caused by people but I'm also not going to take it for granted that it is.

So the people get food and ... (Below threshold)

So the people get food and warm clothing, but the monkeys get wine. What a world...

It is pretty complicated. ... (Below threshold)

It is pretty complicated. As I see it, "global" warming has melted so much of the arctic ice pack that cold-water flow out of the north has dropped and the Gulf Stream has therefore been reduced. That means colder temperatures in the winter for Europe and hotter temperatures in the fall and winter for the south-eastern U.S. - thus the massive increase in hurricanes and tropical storms.

There will be a counter-effect as European glaciers grow again. I think more data is needed to determine whether this effect is significant.

jc:Yes, water vapo... (Below threshold)


Yes, water vapor is a very important greenhouse gas, and is present in large concentrations. On a humid day (100% relative humidity), it's a couple percent; but this drops off with altitude and temp and so the upper atmosphere (which is very important for climate) is actually really dry. Anyway, water vapor has been around for a long time, and plays a huge role in global climate. Of course, that's included in all climate models. The thing is: anthropogenic activity is not changing water vapor concentrations (directly) to any significant degree. The biggest change comes from CO2 (and other greenhouse gases), which is the source of the concern.

As for the "Envirotruth" website: I don't know much about the relationship between CO2 and the ice ages, so can't comment on that. But there's enough bogus stuff on that page alone to make me really skeptical. The part about variability of the sun -- that GRL paper cited is almost 9 years old. It was a huge deal when it came out in 1997; since then, variability of the sun has been put in all climate models. It turns out to be a relatively minor effect, though it does help models and measurements fall in line better. So if anything, that work actually made the case for warming by CO2 stronger (since previously, many people pointed to discrepancies between models and measurements).

And the sentence "the concept [of warming by CO2] was abandoned in the 1940s because global temperatures had not even remotely matched the 1°C rise predicted by the theory" is totally wrong. Arrhenius didn't provide a global model, just a description of the physics of heating by the greenhouse gas. His work didn't include variability of the sun, global circulation, the role of aerosols, the role of oceans, etc. So of course it wasn't going to be accurate.

jc-The point that ... (Below threshold)


The point that scientific hypotheses can only be disproved is something most people don't realize about science and the scientific method. Thanks for bringing this up- it's an extremely relevant point to the debate about global warming and many other topics (such as evolution, etc).

To answer your question of who is doing the research to support the assertion by scientists of human induced global warming: the scientists themselves! There is a ton of research going on about global warming and human contributions to such. The US Global Change Research Program (http://www.usgcrp.gov/), under participants, links to a lot of the different agencies in the U.S. alone that sponser research into climate change.

Thankfully Earl has addressed the other points you brought up. I'm not a climatologist either, and it seems as though he has a very deep understanding of the primary literature on the topic.

Regarding the envirotruth website: a favored tactic of different groups advocating against science (on the right and the left- think of anti-genetic engineering groups) is to cite scientific literature which has been superceded by more current data. Selective citation and outdated data can be used to "prove" many things- I can pull up data from the most prestigious medical journals 30 years ago that would tell you ulcers are caused by stress. I would be ignoring modern research by claiming that, of course.

The Moscow story about "dev... (Below threshold)

The Moscow story about "devastating" -30 degree C temperatures is a joke. In southern Ontario (the same latitude as Portland, Oregon), we routinely have temperatures of -40C (at this point the temp scales meet, it is the same a -40F). Our all time record in the area is -42F, set only 19 years ago in 1986. Our summer temperatures in the fabulous Ontario lake area (known as cottage country), reach up to 100F in July and August and the water of the beautiful lakes averages around 80F during the summer. Quite clearly, as most of the wealthiest vacationing families of both eastern Canada and the eastern United States are aware, nothing has changed temperature-wise in the magnificent Muskoka or Haliburton lake districts since records started in the 1880's. So-called global warming is an unmitigated crock invented by tree-hugging crazies and UN type "political scientists" trying to make a name for themselves! This entire controversy is a complete and preposterous fabrication!

The Moscow story about "dev... (Below threshold)

The Moscow story about "devastating" -30 degree C temperatures is a joke. In southern Ontario (the same latitude as Portland, Oregon), we routinely have temperatures of -40C (at this point the temp scales meet, it is the same a -40F). Our all time record in the area is -42F, set only 19 years ago in 1986. Our summer temperatures in the fabulous Ontario lake area (known as cottage country), reach up to 100F in July and August and the water of the beautiful lakes averages around 80F during the summer. Quite clearly, as most of the wealthiest vacationing families of both eastern Canada and the eastern United States are aware, nothing has changed temperature-wise in the magnificent Muskoka or Haliburton lake districts since records started in the 1880's. So-called global warming is an unmitigated crock invented by tree-hugging crazies and UN type "political scientists" trying to make a name for themselves! This entire controversy is a complete and preposterous fabrication!

I think jc's points are wel... (Below threshold)

I think jc's points are well put. there really seems to be an echo chamber in the scientific world when it comes to climate change (many are beginning to change the terms - not calling it "warming" anymore because the shifts in ocean currents and redistribution of melting ice caps may indeed cause another ice age).

but to my point about the echo chamber: scientific funding is increasingly dependent on crisis. If the scientists actually found that man had a negligible impact on climate change, their funding would dry up and they'd have to find other jobs.

I'm not suggesting that their data is intentionally fudged to produce the desired results, but just like the MSN, if you're surrounded by like minded intellects, there is an echo chamber / cognitive dissonance effect - conflicting data are more apt to be explained away and models adjusted to decrease their effect.

Take for instance the discovery last year about the fatal mathematical flaw in the so-called 'hockey stick' model that showed a marked increase in global temperature averages in the last century. The flaw in the model was real, and the results of that flaw on the hockey stick effect well documented.


What happened? I imagine (I hope?) the flaw was fixed, but the guy who discovered it was roundly derided in by the warming advocates in the scientific community.

This isn't the kind of normal scientific peer review that encourages dissenting voices or fact/method verification.

Is climate change happening? Probably. Is it caused by man? maybe. but if dissenting data and opinions are treated with this sort of derision, how will we know for sure?

moflicky-To clarif... (Below threshold)


To clarify- peer review does not encourage dissenting voices. If you state that gravity doesn't exist, peer review will slam you down unless you provide evidence to support it. Peer review is not designed to promote debate- it is designed to promote analysis

It does encourage fact/method verification. Peer review is an analysis of a experiment/hypothesis/finding by one's fellow scientists in the field. The paper made it through peer review, which meant its analysis was sound as found by other scientists. I wasn't aware of the researcher being "roundly derided" by the scientific community. Please provide some evidence to back this up.

As a practicing scientist, I can tell you that the one thing any given scientist desires more than anything else is to prove a major scientific theory wrong. Every climate researcher knows that if they could come up with evidence that disproves global warming they would be swimming in grant money for the rest of their lives, and probably win a Nobel to boot. Science thrives on paradigm shifts and contrarian opinions. Witness the paradigm shift in ulcer treatment caused by some dissenting voices 20 years ago. Or, farther back, the paradigm shift in physics with relativity. Or punctuated equilibrium in evolutionary theory. The list goes on. All were contrarian theories not accepted by the establishment. Global warming is being subject to the same kind of scrutiny. So far nothing has come up to contradict it. As earl pointed out, many discrepancies have only served to refine the theory.

Remember when the hole in t... (Below threshold)

Remember when the hole in the ozone was all over the news and in books. Every where you turned it was "HELP AND REDUCE EMISSIONS TO SHRINK THE HOLE" But now what. when was the last time the hole in the ozone was on the news or in a book. Al gore barely mentioned it. It had its time to be noticed but it is obviously it aint important. Well this is the same thing with Global Warming. It will have its time but in 10 years it won't even be heard of. Global Warming is just a bunch of bull crap!!!!

Remember the titans? kenny,... (Below threshold)

Remember the titans? kenny, you are such a moron. you are one of those people who thinks they know everything. Idiot. Go home and slit your wrists.

Are you smarter than as fif... (Below threshold)

Are you smarter than as fifth grader? If you belive in Global WArming and Mike's point then you ofviuosly arent

I am very disappinted at th... (Below threshold)
Rob Smith:

I am very disappinted at this thread. Especially because of guys like william and mike. This thread was intended to discuss global warming, not go all over and pis each other off. Face it will, global warming is real, your opinion will not change anything. In fact it doesn't even matter. It affects the truth in no way at all. I suggest you guys go fling crap at each other elsewhere, let's leave this thread clean - like the environment should be. Idiots who think they know everything, especiall like you Kenny should discuss idiotic things, not serious global issues. I don't want to be mean, but fuck off this fucking website and post uor fucking shit on a porno thread!

Hey rob smith u douchebag. ... (Below threshold)

Hey rob smith u douchebag. I am a friend of kenny's and we are only arguing here to f up this site. Swears dont belong here either, moron. I bet u nerdy terd don't even know what porn is! N00b. Go away.

hey James. Isn't it cool to... (Below threshold)

hey James. Isn't it cool to have YOUR name on some random WIZBANG webpage? I think so. So, anyway, how are things? Don't forget we have badminton tryouts on thurs & friday after school.

See ya l8r alig8tr
in a while crocodile






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