“There are no innocent bystanders.” –-William S. Burroughs
The new normal: It’s 13oC in Toronto in mid January, it’s 53oC in Australia, and it’s snowing in Jerusalem, for the first time in 21 years.
2012 was the hottest year, ever, in the United States. In Brazil a heat wave killed 32 people in two days. Temperatures hit 43oC, the highest temperature since 1915. In Eastern Russia and in China temperatures hit -45oC, for China the coldest winter in 28 years. Sicily and southern Italy had snow storms for the first time since World War II. Four hundred people died in unexpected flooding in Pakistan. Britain’s weather service declared 2012 the wettest year in England.
Snow in Jerusalem
According to the New York Times, the first eight days of 2013 were among the 20 hottest on record in Australia. “Every decade since the 1950s has been hotter in Australia than the one before, said Mark Stafford Smith, science director of the Climate Adaptation Flagship at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.” See http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/heat-flood-or-icy-cold-extreme-weather-rages-worldwide-316370
Eerie dust storm off the west coast of Australia
“It’s unusual to have so many extreme events around the world at once,” said Omar Baddour, chief of the data management applications division at the World Meteorological Association, in Geneva.