Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Heatwave Hell

An article in the Timesonline.uk, Heatwave with a global grip , has a summary of the world's weather.

In France there have been 64 deaths. (In 2003 - the heatwave was associated with 15,000 deaths). "Last week Spain and France, hit by temperatures 7-9C above average, had to shut down nuclear power stations as the rivers supplying water for cooling became too warm."

In Spain, the heatwave was accompanied by jellyfish keeping people out of the water. "The Red Cross has treated more than 10,000 jellyfish stings this summer so far in the eastern region of Catalonia... Nearly a third of those have been in the past week."

Temperatures are also up in South America, the Middle East and China. About the only place they are down is in Western Russia, Korea and Japan.

Nearly the entire US lower 48 (except the very west coast - above San Francisco) has been having a heatwave for a couple of weeks. California had 130 heat related deaths. Power stations were overloaded leaving some people without power for days. "“One hundred twenty-six degrees (52C) in Death Valley last week; Sacramento had 11 days at or above 100 degrees (38C), their old record was nine. We’re seeing some impressive records out there to be sure and unfortunately this is taking a human toll.”

Now it's getting worse in the Midwest and East. Yesterday it was 99 in Chicago. Today and tomorrow is expected to be over 100 in New York City. The city plans to keep its 383 cooling centers (opened for a recent blackout in Queens) and pools open longer.

And then there are droughts and wildfires.

Global Warming Fuels U.S. Forest Fires

1 comment:

wes said...

This is interesting. You should look up some current research on extreme temperatures. There is a physics professor at IU studying it, and I think Al Gore talks about it in his movie. The idea is that while the average temperature may creep up very slowly, the extremes can be outrageous. i.e. very cold winters and very hot summers.

I like how you tied in jellyfish...