Worst freeze in 70 years, 600 dead… but who owns the water?

From P Gosselin at NoTricksZone on 21 December 2012 – h/t Climate Depot.

It’s the worst cold snap in Russia in over 70 years. Hundreds have already frozen to death across Eastern Europe. But you won’t be hearing about this in the mainstream media.

The spate of cold weather that has lasted for weeks in many parts of Europe has now claimed at least 600 lives. Eastern Europe is the worst affected.

In the Ukraine, more than 150 deaths have been registered. Sixty-eight people have reportedly died in Poland from the cold, 64 in Russia and an estimated 70 in Belarus. In Romania, the official death toll has risen to 68. In Lithuania, 23 deaths have been reported, 24 in the Czech Republic and 10 in Latvia. At least 16 people have died so far due to the cold in Bulgaria, 13 in Hungary, and a total of 50 in the successor states of Yugoslavia.

Italy has also been severely affected by the cold, with 40 registered victims.

via Cold Blast Claims Over 600 Lives Across Eastern Europe/Russia…”Death Toll Keeps Rising…State Of Emergency”.


All I can think is: “Six hundred dead — from the weather — and, yes, the year is 2012 and someone recently started an argument over who owns the water in our rivers.”

First things first, genius.

Instead of biting our nails over dangerous man-made global warming that might affect the climate in maybe 80 years, we could first deal intelligently with natural, ordinary climate change.

Help each other out, you know what I mean? Rather than just scare each other witless.

33 Thoughts on “Worst freeze in 70 years, 600 dead… but who owns the water?

  1. Richard C (NZ) on December 25, 2012 at 8:20 am said:

    I suppose the death by cold of 600 present people isn’t newsworthy when we (the “deniers”) are “already causing the death’s of hundreds of millions of future people” according to Prof Richard Parncutt:-

    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/12/death-threats-anyone-austrian-prof-global-warming-deniers-should-be-sentenced-to-death/#more-26127

    • You’re probably right; 600 is nothing, look what’s coming!!

      But the notion of punishing someone for a crime not yet committed is evil.

    • Parncutt (or acronyms thereof) suggests that the death penalty be commuted to life imprisonment if the “denier” sees the error of his ways and makes reparations whilst in jail.

      I noticed on the Prof’s page that he mentions that he takes skiing holidays in his adopted Austria and flies home to Australia on a fairly regular basis, so the good Prof presumably only suggests punishment for thought crimes, rather than actually doing anything practical.

      That is what “systematic musicology” does to the mind, I presume.

    • It looks like the Prof has had a recantation and issued an apology.

      http://www.uni-graz.at/richard.parncutt/climatechange.html

      We can all go home now, no more executions planned.

  2. Earthling (Spain) on December 27, 2012 at 7:37 am said:

    I mentioned this elsewhere, the retort was a curt, “More people died from heat in 2003.”
    I checked the number of heat related deaths for that year, which was initially 15,000, but since then it has leapt to 70,000.
    The weird part, I didn’t hear or read about one heat related death that year and I live in an area of Spain where it gets quite, erm, warm in summer.
    A google search for >death from heat 2003< is very informative.

  3. From Tom Nelson, a related post:

    “Don’t miss this: Warmist all-star team collaborates on a preposterous propaganda piece that repeatedly confuses climate with weather; it also tries to convince us that global warming recently caused lots of people to freeze to death ”

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/don-miss-this-warmist-all-star-team.html

    The original post can be read at Hot Topic for those interested

    • I also think

      2012 is one of the warmest years since the Age of the Dinosaurs

      is my favorite quote so far, for this year

    • Richard C (NZ) on December 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm said:

      Heh! I like:-

      “….the underlying theme really is the realisation that climate change is not something of the future, but rather, something of the present”

      If they had bothered to utilize the most powerful global information resource ever available to ordinary folks they could have added “and the past” but no.

      Levitt & Dubner (FREAKONOMICS) aren’t as debilitated. I’ve been flicking through SUPERFREAKONOMICS Illustrated Edition ($10 on sale down from $50 – I’ve studied economics too) in which a good part of chapter 5 is climate change based and chapter 4 has some fascinating stuff on hurricanes as a prelude to chapter 5.

      On page 174 L&D have a map from USGS of US and the expectation of hurricanes every 100 yrs. The same map is on page 1 here:-

      http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2005/3121/2005-3121.pdf

      20 – 40 hurricanes expected for New York per 100 years.

      Page 170, the tracks of the most destructive Atlantic storms 1954 – 2008. The closest I can get to that map is this (All Atlantic Hurricanes, 1886 – 1996):-

      http://www.southampton.ac.uk/~imw/jpg-Chesil/5CH-Hurricane-track.jpg

      And a global cyclonic storm track map that looks like this:-

      http://www.coast.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/images/research/tc_track_small.jpg

      Reminds me – in a tangential way – of Edmond Burke’s “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on December 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm said:

      In the same vein:_

      ‘The political superstorm that devastated New York’

      by Paul Driessen

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/29/the-political-superstorm-that-devastated-new-york/#more-76572

    • Stuart Mathieson on January 13, 2013 at 12:55 pm said:

      This is like the famous fallacy in first year statistics. One foot on a hot plate at 100 deg C and the other on a cold plate at room 0 deg C. Don’t panic. The average is only 50 deg!
      Particular seasons anywhere are only significant when they are part of a trend reflecting the net effect of various forcings. The longer the trend, the higher the confidence level they are not just temporary oscillations reflecting some incompletely specified feedback mechanism. Like the stock market, there will be short term oscillations. It’s the long term trends that really tell the story.
      But of course the jiving “skeptics” know that.

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm said:

      >”It’s the long term trends that really tell the story.”

      Heads-up Stuart, the UKMO has made 2 major downward revisions (spectacular clime downs, quietly published on Christmas eve) to its 2005 – 2017 predictions, essentially conceding that the climate this century is not following the previous “long-term trends” of the 80s and 90s.

      The acid test is now on AGW over 2013 to 2017. Any continued stasis or (Gaia forbid) cooling, and the “long-term” trend notion and AGW hypothesis will be shot to bits.

      Sceptics have been pointing out the prediction vs observation discrepancy for some time midst a great deal of ridicule but have effectively been vindicated by UKMO’s actions. Fringes of the media are noticing now as are more and more of the public as the issue gets aired. One thing is for sure Stuart, AGW and climate science is on notice now and under scrutiny like never before.

  4. Pingback: Australia’s “New Normal?” | Open Parachute

    • More breathtaking ignorance from Ken Perrott who distorts science to support his Leninist world view

      He expect us, presumably, to visit his blog where anyone with political views right of Stalin is considered an extremist.

      The guy can’t even string a sentence together. How this garbage gets syndicated in NZ “science” blogs beggars belief.

    • Stuart Mathieson on January 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm said:

      Obviously it is the political perspective that counts, right, Andy? How Stalinist! How Lyshenkoist!
      But then I noticed a lot of right wing bloggers are well grounded in 1960s Neo Marxist theory.

    • I have dealt with Matheson before.

      His climate science info seems to come fromKen Perrott.
      Enough said.

      He seems to be yet another patronizing know it all pseudo intellectual that likes to brag about how morally superior they are because they are Eco fachists

    • Right. Well, that clarifies things, then, thanks; but I won’t bother making a reply.

    • Our dialogue got flowery and Ken closed the thread.

      But on a serious point, Stuart is complaining about the idea of averaging temps, but this is exactly what all the major temperature series do.

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 13, 2013 at 8:36 pm said:

      >”Stuart is complaining about the idea of averaging temps”

      Wonder what his views on averaging GCM ensemble runs (spaghetti graphs) to get a “consensus” are?

      They (the IPCC and analysts)) even have standard deviation ranges from the ensemble average as if the average is somehow a reference profile to be relied on.

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm said:

      >”New normal”?

      Same as old normal. Now there’s a WA cyclone he’ll be worked up into a frenzied lather; as will the Hot Topicers – but same old normal too.

      >”…trying to find headlines”?

      Ha! What a goose. Page i of 2 News search, China “record cold”

      #
      China’s icy weather shatters records
      Mother Nature Network‎ – 1 day ago
      An unusually cold winter across China has some regions hitting their … Northern India is also suffering from record cold winter temperatures, …

      Mother Nature Network
      #
      Southern China tested by record cold temps
      China.org.cn‎ – 2 days ago
      Governments in southern China are struggling to aid the homeless and repair infrastructure amid persistent cold weather that has brought the …

      #
      Record cold in southern China
      UPI.com‎ – 2 days ago
      HEFEI, China, Jan. 8 (UPI) — Regional governments in southern China are struggling to aid citizens coping with the lowest temperatures …

      #
      Record cold fuels debate on public heating
      China Daily‎ – 3 hours ago
      Temperatures in China since the end of November have been the lowest in 28 years, meteorologists say. They have averaged -3.8 C since the …

      China Daily
      #
      Chinese gas companies ready for winter demand despite record cold
      Platts‎ – 1 day ago
      Despite record low temperatures in China, the country’s gas companies say they expect to be able to cope with increased winter gas demand in …

      #
      Record cold, smaller crop may make Chinese ginger scarce, pricey
      The Produce News‎ – 3 days ago
      A record cold snap in China along with a reduction in acreage will have ginger in short supply with higher prices, according to a leading …

      #
      Extreme Cold Blasts China, Middle East
      Sci-Tech Today‎ – 9 hours ago
      Record cold has struck India as well, and even the Middle East. The coldest winter in decades is causing blizzards in northern China and …

      Sci-Tech Today
      #
      Record January Warmth in France and Australia while Record Cold …
      Wunderground.com (blog)‎ – 3 days ago
      Record January Warmth in France and Australia while Record Cold in China and … continued to suffer from record cold temperatures that have so far claimed …

      #
      Record chill across China disrupts transport
      Deutsche Welle‎ – 5 days ago
      A record chill across China has stranded passenger flights, trapped ships in ice and caught truck drivers unawares. Meteorologists blamed cold …

      Deutsche Welle
      #
      Cold snap cuts China iron ore output, may extend price rally
      Globe and Mail‎ – 7 hours ago
      China’s harshest winter in nearly three decades has hit iron ore output … Temperatures in China have plunged to their lowest in 28 years, with …

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm said:

      News search, India “record cold”

      #
      Record cold kills more than 100 in India
      USA TODAY‎ – 6 days ago
      A boy keeps himself warm by burning trash on a cold morning in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Photo: Altaf Qadri AP) …

      #
      Cold wave unabated in North India, 24 more die
      The Hindu‎ – 3 days ago
      Plummeting mercury, coupled with thick fog cover, threw normal life out of gear in the entire North India on Monday, with 24 more people …

      The Hindu
      #
      Record cold proves a sore trial for homeless
      Times of India‎ – 3 Jan 2013
      NEW DELHI: “I never wanted to take to drinking but I had to make it a habit to be able to sleep in such cold weather,” says a drunk Manoj Singh, …

      IBNLive
      #
      China’s Extreme Cold Snaps Records
      Our Amazing Planet‎ – 2 days ago
      Northern India is also suffering from record cold winter temperatures, Weather Underground reported. In Uttar Pradesh, home to New Delhi, …

      #
      Extreme Cold Blasts China, Middle East
      Sci-Tech Today‎ – 9 hours ago
      Record cold has struck India as well, and even the Middle East. Already freezing, southern China will be under heavier-than-normal snow, rain …

      Sci-Tech Today
      #
      Record cold kills 80 in Bangladesh
      News24‎ – 21 hours ago
      India’s extreme cold weather. India knows how to handle a cold winter, but it has rarely been so cold as it is this year. See the pictures.

      DAWN.com
      #
      Record January Warmth in France and Australia while Record Cold …
      Wunderground.com (blog)‎ – 3 days ago
      The northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where New Delhi is located, continued to suffer from record cold temperatures that have so far claimed the lives of …

      #
      Images of world sport
      Deseret News (blog)‎ – 15 hours ago
      Despite record cold temperatures, young Indian boys play cricket in an open area on a winter evening in Kolkata, India, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013.

      Deseret News (blog)
      #
      Over 100 die of cold in Uttar Pradesh; Delhi continues to shiver
      NDTV‎ – 2 Jan 2013
      New Delhi: The spell of bone-chilling cold continues in Delhi, a day after the national capital witnessed its coldest day in 44 years.

      # # #

      Second “try” just as easy as first. I’ll stop now,

    • Thanks Richard C for filling in the gaps.

      There are the record cold and snows in:
      USA
      Israel (first snow since 1950 this morning, accrding to Nir Shaviv via facebook)
      Ukraine
      Russia
      and apparently the UK is in for a big cold snap

      So we are cherry picking for (not) ignoring the Australian heatwave

  5. On a technical note, there is an interesting thread on Climate sensitivity over at Real Climate.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/01/on-sensitivity-part-i/comment-page-2/#comments

    Nic Lewis pops up in comments. There is something here that really stands out to me. They are discussing whether the mean, modal or median is the best average for CS

    I agree with Nic Lewis that if you have a skewed PDF with a long tail, as we see in most. CS graphs, then modal , ie the most popular, or peak of the curve, would be best estimate. gavin disagrees. However this is a really basic stats issue.

    This seems to me a fairly fundamental point but maybe I am overreacting.

    • This thread on Bishop Hill also has extensive discussion on the mode vs mean issue

      http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/1/12/lewis-on-schmidt-on-climate-sensitivity.html#comments

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 13, 2013 at 9:35 pm said:

      Gavin Schmidt is as arrogant as ever:-

      [Response: All the pdfs are skewed - but using the mode to compare to the mean in previous work is just a sleight of hand to make the number smaller. The WSJ might be happy to play these kinds of games, but don't do it here. - gavin]

      I see Nic Lewis’ point Andy (just grasp the stats concept I think) but I find the entire ECS debate spurious given my reading of CO2 radiative transfer from outside of climate science (e.g. combustion engineering). Consequently I follow ECS developments on a purely pragmatic level but I can’t bring myself to get interested in the statistical nuances.

      I’d like to be excused from this topic if I may but I think Bob accepts the ECS rationale and might pop up with a comment.

    • I try to look at the issues around ECS in an objective way of critiquing their science head on, regardless of whether you think it has scientific merit.

      The issue around modal vs mean and median is fairly fundamental, in my opinion.

      In my line of work, we use modal and median or mean depending on the context. It appears to me that a modal average is e beat estimate of ECS

      Also, see my comment on the BH thread about Subjective Bayesian priors. As someone trained in maths, this smacks of BS to me.

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 13, 2013 at 10:14 pm said:

      You would have a far better basis to critique ECS from that angle than I would Andy. Even If I accepted the scientific rationale I wouldn’t engage in the debate because basically I got nuthin maths or stats wise at that level. I’d have to do a huge amount of catchup and even then I’d not be up to scratch, but given my stance on the science that’s not going to happen anyway.

      I did follow the BH thread though just to keep up with the play. This by Dung caught my eye:-

      “If climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 maxed out at around 240 ppm which ice core records suggest then current sensitivity is zero, hence no warming for 16 years.
      Science needs evidence not estimates.”

      I’ve no idea where he gets that (the ice core suggestion) from but it does corroborate Prof John Eggert’s graph:-

      http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/eggert-co2.png

      And yes I did see Nic’s comment re Annan and your response. That was an enlightening aside, threadworthy in itself for those in the know I suspect.

    • Nic Lewis has kindly responded to my suggestions on reading material for Bayesian Stats in climate science in the Bishop Hilll thread I linked above.

    • Richard C (NZ) on January 14, 2013 at 9:13 am said:

      I think I’ll settle with the Subjective logic Wikipedia page:-

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjective_logic

      Even that tends to have an eye glazing effect on me but I might be able to extract the gist. This bit’s in English fortunately:-

      “Arguments in subjective logic are subjective opinions about propositions. A binomial opinion applies to a single proposition, and can be represented as a Beta distribution. A multinomial opinion applies to a collection of propositions, and can be represented as a Dirichlet distribution. Through the correspondence between opinions and Beta/Dirichlet distributions, subjective logic provides an algebra for these functions. Opinions are also related to the belief functions of Dempster-Shafer belief theory.

      A fundamental aspect of the human condition is that nobody can ever determine with absolute certainty whether a proposition about the world is true or false. In addition, whenever the truth of a proposition is expressed, it is always done by an individual, and it can never be considered to represent a general and objective belief. These philosophical ideas are directly reflected in the mathematical formalism of subjective logic.”

      My simple and uneducated cynicism suggests that the “subjective” philosophy is just formal acceptability for hard-wiring bias into conditionals. Maybe you can update me on that after your reading Andy?

    • My “knee jerk” reaction to that stuff on subjective logic is exactly the same as yours Richard, and I don’t see why it applies to the physical sciences

    • Specifically, Nic writes this:

      I’d suggest Phil Gregory’s book Bayesian logical data analysis for the physical sciences. Probability Theory by Edwin Jaynes (who inspired Gregory) is also excellent, albeit wider ranging. Both are quite long. For a shorter introduction try Sivia’ book: Data analysis – A Bayesian tutorial. Bernardo and Smith’s 1994 book Bayesian Theory is perhaps most comprehensive, but quite mathematical.

      Kass and Wasserman’s review paper The Selection of Prior Distributions by Formal Rules (J A Stat Soc, 1996) is well worth reading, albeit a bit mathematical. And Don Fraser’s papers are maybe the best at explaining the problems of Bayesian inference with curved parameter-data relationships. Eg. Default priors for Bayesian and frequentist inference (J Roy Stat Soc, 2010).

      Phil Gregory’s book here:
      http://www.amazon.com/Bayesian-Logical-Analysis-Physical-Sciences/dp/0521150124

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