Friday, 9 December 2011


As I write this the Police in Scotland have told people not to travel, as winds of up to 165mph have hit the country, and have left more than 30,000 people without power. Hundreds of schools have shut and bridge and road closures are causing disruption.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland are also being hit by wind and rain as in Cumbria, heavy rain caused flooding in the Windermere area, roads were closed, vehicles stranded in water and over 300 passengers are stranded on the Rotterdam-Hull ferry off the East Yorkshire coast. But that’s enough of the UK, let’s see what has happened to the world over the last 10 years.

2001: End of long-running La Niña episode which influenced temperature and precipitation in many parts of the world. There were extreme cold temperatures in Mongolia and the Russian federation, with minimum temperatures of near -60°C across central and southern Siberia for two weeks in January. Alaska recorded warmest winter on record. Canada recorded the eighteenth straight warmer-than-average season.

2002: Return of El Niño. Exceptionally heavy rains in central Europe (including Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Romania, and Slovakia) caused flooding of historic proportions, killing more than 100 people and forcing the evacuation of more than 450 000 people. Damage was estimated at US$ 9 billion in Germany alone.

2003: India, Pakistan and Bangladesh witnessed exceptionally harsh pre-monsoonal heat waves. Continental Europe had the hottest summer since at least 1540. Europe recorded in august 2003 its worst heat wave. In many locations, temperatures rose above 40°C. In Belgium, France, German, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, 40 000 to 70 000 deaths were attributed to the heat waves. In the European Alps, the average thickness loss of glaciers reached the equivalent of about three metres of water, nearly twice as much as during the previous record year of 1998. The heat waves resulted from strong high pressure over Western Europe related to a marked ridge of high pressure in the large-scale upper atmospheric wind flow.

2004: Widespread winter storms in the Mediterranean region. Extreme hot conditions persisted in Japan during the summer, with record-breaking temperatures. a record number of 10 tropical cyclones made landfall in Japan (the previous record was six), including Typhoon Tokage, the deadliest to hit Japan since 1979. In March, the first tropical cyclone since the start of satellite records made landfall on the southern coast of Brazil. In Afghanistan, drought conditions that had plagued the country for the past four years continued in
2004. In spring, parts of the north-east People’s Republic of China experienced the worst drought conditions since 1951, and southern China received the lowest autumn rainfall since 1951.

2005: 2005 ranked in the top two warmest years along with 1998. The 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was the most active season on record with an unprecedented 27 named tropical storms, including 14 hurricanes, which caused devastating losses across Central America, the Caribbean and the United States of America. Seven of these were classed as “major” hurricanes. In Central America and the Caribbean region, the most damage occurred from Hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Stan, Wilma and Beta. In the United States, Hurricane Katrina was the deadliest hurricane to hit the country since 1928, killing over 1,300 people, mostly in the southern states of Louisiana and Mississippi. Hurricane Wilma was the most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. Long-term drought continued in parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, including southern Somalia, eastern Kenya, south-eastern Ethiopia, and north-eastern United Republic of Tanzania and Djibouti, with 11 million people at risk of starvation. In Brazil, the state of Amazonas experienced the worst drought in nearly 60 years, resulting in record low water levels in the Amazon River. In October, drought conditions extended further south into neighbouring Paraguay. By the end of the year, drought affected much of the central United States from the southern Great Plains to the western Great Lakes. Australia officially recorded its warmest year on record, with data indicating that the annual mean temperature was 1.09°C above the standard 1961–1990 average.

2006: Heavy rains ended prolonged drought in the Greater Horn of Africa, leading to the worst flooding in October/November in 50 years. Drought in many parts of the United States led to the worst wildfire season on record. Disastrous tropical cyclones hit some south East Asian nations, including Typhoon Durian which killed nearly 1 200 people in the Philippines.

2007: Nome in Alaska was frost-free from June to September – its second longest frost-free season on record. Exceptionally heavy rains in a number of African countries (Burkina Faso, Sudan, and Uganda) caused widespread flooding. Mexico suffered the worst flooding in five decades in November, causing the worst weather-related disaster in its history. Severe to exceptional drought continued in the south-east United States, with the driest spring on record and the second worst fire season after 2006. Australia suffered a sixth straight year of drought in Murray-Darling Basin. In 2007 sea ice extent reached its lowest September value since the beginning of measurement in 1979.

2008: China witnessed the worst severe winter weather in five decades in January, with over 78 million people affected by the freezing temperatures and heavy snow. The exceptional cold extended westwards across Asia as far as Turkey, there was an unusually mild winter over most parts of Scandinavia; with monthly anomalies exceeding 7°C for much of Norway, Sweden and Finland, it was the warmest winter ever recorded. Tropical Cyclone Nargis with maximum winds of 215 km/hour was the most devastating cyclone to strike Asia since 1991, causing Myanmar’s worst natural disaster ever. Heavy rain and flooding in Brazil in November affected 1.5 million people and resulted in 84 fatalities. Severe prolonged drought hit Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, where large areas reported one of the driest years on record.

2009: Australia was marked by exceptional heat waves, which affected the south-eastern part of the country in January/February. This was associated with disastrous bushfires that caused more than 170 fatalities. Victoria recorded its highest temperature with 48.8°C at Hopetown, the highest temperature ever recorded so far south in the world.

2010: The year 2010 ranked as the warmest year on record, along with 1998 and 2005. (The difference in global surface temperature between the three warmest years 1998, 2005 and 2010 is within a small range of 0.02°C, making the difference statistically indistinguishable.) The 2009/2010 winter was characterized by extremely cold temperatures over large parts of the northern hemisphere, including parts of Europe, Asia and North America. Hundreds of records for daily minimum temperatures were broken in the United States. Heavy snowfall disrupted air and road traffic in Europe, the United States and China. By contrast there were very mild conditions over the arctic and Canada. These conditions were associated with large-scale atmospheric disturbances connected to the arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations and the El Niño event. The summer of 2010 witnessed a sequence of devastating extreme events, frequently associated with unprecedented impacts. Over the course of the 2010 monsoon season, Pakistan experienced the worst floods in its history. Heavy rainfall, flash floods and river floods combined to create a moving body of water equal in dimension to the land mass of the United Kingdom. The floods affected 84 of 121 districts in Pakistan, and more than 20 million people – one-tenth of Pakistan’s population – devastating villages from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea. More than 1 700 people were killed, and at least 1.8 million homes damaged or destroyed. July 2010 was the warmest month ever in Moscow since the beginning of modern meteorological records. Temperature exceeded the long-term average by 7.8°C (the previous record in July 1938 was 5.3°C above average). More than 20 daily temperature records were broken, including the absolute maximum temperature in Moscow and the high temperatures which extended from July to the first half of august triggered massive forest and peat fires in the European part of the country, with smoke and smog adversely affecting tens of millions of people. The devastating heat wave in the Russian federation and floods in Pakistan were associated with a “blocking event” in the northern hemisphere jet stream, which kept weather patterns stationary over certain countries. La Niña conditions, which prevailed during summer 2010 and subsequently, have been associated historically with increased likelihood of wetter-than-average conditions over the Indian subcontinent. In many parts of China, high temperatures broke historical extremes. Floods, landslides and mud-rock flows also caused serious economic damage. In August, Zhouqu County, Gansu Province was hit by the most devastating flood and mud-rock flow in the country’s history of the China, killing more than 1 500 people. Greenland recorded its warmest decade (2001–2010) since modern measurements. Most stations in West Greenland, especially in the southwest, recorded their warmest ever year in 2010. In august, ice measuring more than 200 km2 calved from the Petermann Glacier in northern Greenland – the largest chunk in the past 50 years of observations and data (since 1962). Tens of thousands of icebergs calve yearly from the glaciers of Greenland, but this one was exceptionally large; because of its size, it more typically resembled icebergs in the Antarctic. The Sahel region and West Africa were hit by extreme precipitation events. Niger, which had been gripped by prolonged drought, suffered devastation from flash floods in July. Hundreds of thousands were made homeless in Benin by flooding. Australia faced its worst flooding in about 50 years. The year 2010 was the third wettest year for Australia as a whole and the wettest for the state of Queensland, where the floods were the most devastating.

And still many think that it's a hoax, so for all of them, the words of Jeremiah 5:21. Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where to celebrate Christmas advise?