Monday, February 18, 2008

More global cooling

Global cooling hits Greece

Flights to Athens international airport were grounded on Sunday and more than 25 Greek villages were cut off after heavy snowfalls, which disrupted traffic as far south as the island of Crete. The snowstorm, the result of two cold fronts moving south from Russia and Scandinavia, struck Athens on Sunday, covering the Parthenon and the temple of Zeus in white. Some train and bus routes were cancelled, with snow ploughs struggling to keep main highways open. Flights to and from Athens international airport were grounded at least until 0100 GMT on Monday because of poor visibility, which was at less than 100 metres.

Temperatures in Athens remained at zero degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) while around the country temperatures ranging between minus 5C and minus 15C were reported. In the northern town of Trikala fire brigade officials rescued stranded passengers after their car stalled in an isolated part of town.

"We expect the storm to start weakening from the early hours of Monday," said meteorologist Panagiotis Yannopoulos at national weather service EMY. "By tomorrow afternoon it will be over."

More than 25 villages were reported to be cut off around Greece, many on the island of Evia. Several villages were also snowed in on the Peloponnese peninsula and as far south as the island of Crete.

Traffic piled up on some highways after cars slid off the road. Roads in various parts of the country remained closed. Heavy trucks were banned for the next 24 hours and authorities said they would close schools on Monday in various regions.


Heavy snow forces record closing of Kansas City airport

Heavy snow and slush closed the Kansas City International Airport for almost six hours, the longest in its 35-year history.

The closing Sunday led to the canceling of dozens of flights.Airport spokesman Joe McBride said the airport's runways were closed around 6:30 a.m. when friction testing showed conditions were too slick to safely operate aircraft. "A 150 mph aircraft hydroplaning is not a good thing," McBride said.

As of 10 a.m., the airport had registered 4 inches of snow. McBride said that the airport has closed only a few times in its history and never for more than four hours. Kansas City International sees about 440 flights a day.


Harsh and snowy winter prompts Colorado to feed starving deer for only 3rd time in 25 years

Because of a harsh and snowy winter, wildlife managers will start feeding starving deer near Eagle and Wolcott for just the third time in almost 25 years.

The consistent, heavy snowfall that's been so good for the ski slopes has covered up the small plants and shrubs, like sage brush, that deer eat in the winter. Deer don't store as much fat as elk, so those plants that poke up through the snow are vital to their survival.

Now, the deer are hungry enough to start stripping juniper trees, which have almost no nutrition. It's a sure sign of desperation, says Randy Hampton, spokesman for the Division of Wildlife.The Division of Wildlife will only consider feeding animals if there's a chance more than 30 percent of adult female deer will die in a winter. This has only happened in the winters of 1983-1984 and 1996-1997, and it looks like that could happen.

So, deer will be feed at 20 locations around Eagle and Wolcott, and the Division of Wildlife will need volunteers and money to do it, Hampton said. The feed alone will cost around $120,000.TrappedNo matter how mild a winter may be, cold weather is always tough for animals. "Some animals will always die during winter, typically the very young, the very old, and the ones that may be sick," Hampton said.

But for the past 12 years, many of these deer haven't experienced a truly tough Colorado winter, Hampton said. So, when deer seek out those mountain valleys where they've found winter food in the past, they've found almost nothing this year and are often trapped in these valleys by towering snow drifts.

When the deer aren't trapped, they'll be venturing past their comfort zones looking for food, which means they'll be coming closer to roads, homes and humans. Seeing a starving, bony deer can be an unsettling sight to many people, Hampton said. "Some people are upset by it, and others understand it, but at that point, there's not much we can do about it," Hampton said.


Comment on the above by Prof. Tim Ball below:

In the late 18th century Vienna closed the city gates for the first time to keep out marauding packs of wolves attacking citizens on the streets because there was a paucity of game in the forests.

This idea of interfering with nature is problematic and shows lack of understanding of the extreme degree to which animal populations fluctuate naturally. The fallacy is that animal populations are relatively stable. I ran into this problem when doing an extensive study on the impact of hydrolelectric dams on nature and the aboriginal communities of the area.

Posted by John Ray. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and for a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM

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