Record cold in a matter of months
“Right now, it is very low indeed … 10 times smaller than we see during more active phases of the solar cycle,” says Mlynczak “If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold,” says Mlynczak. “We’re not there quite yet, but it could happen in a matter of months.”
LOS ANGELES, November 14 -- Even as firefighters continue to battle the devastating Camp Fire in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Sacramento.
Several other large wildfires are roaring through tinder-dry sections of California, including the Woolsey Fire, near Malibu. The Woolsey Fire and the nearby Hill Fire have forced the evacuation of nearly 250,000 residents from their homes near the Pacific Coast in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. At least two deaths have been blamed on the fires, which have burned across more than 80,000 acres, destroying more than 150 homes in the past few days.
LOS ANGELES, November 11 -- Rescue workers recovered 14 more bodies of people killed by the late-season infernos as the death toll from destructive wildfires hitting California rose to 25.
Dubbed Camp Fire, the blaze ravaging the northern part of the state has become the most destructive in its history. In the south of the state, near Malibu, another blaze that started on Friday claimed two more lives while thousands have fled and firefighters continued to battle all fronts.
Know as Woolsey, the wildfire near Malibu has now doubled in size and covers an area of 28,000 hectares.
In Paradise, more than 6.700 homes and businesses have been destroyed, more structures than in any previous Californian wildfire on record and while Camp Fire is already the third deadliest in the state's history, 110 people are still missing and the death toll expected to rise, according to officials.
More than 3,000 emergency personnel are fighting the blazes using 23 helicopters and firefighting air tankers according to officials but the raging winds and speed of the fires were staggering.
LOS ANGELES, November 10. -- American celebrities were among thousands of people evacuated from their homes because of the wildfires that engulfed Ventura County in California.
Among the celebrities who had to leave their Malibu houses are reality TV star and model Kim Kardashian West; singers Lady Gaga, Iggy Azalea and Cher; and director Guillermo del Toro.
Kim Kardashian West wrote on her Twitter microblog that she heard "the flames have hit our property at our home in Hidden Hills but now are more contained and have stopped at the moment." Lady Gaga said she left the area on Friday morning. On her Instagram account, she posted a picture of the sky completely covered in smoke.
"I am worried about my house, but there is nothing I can do. Friends [sic] houses have burned," Cher wrote on her Twitter microblog. Singer Iggy Azalea and Charmed TV series star Alyssa Milano also said their houses are in danger.
Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro left his Bleah House, where he held the collection of books, monster figurines, film sketches, costumes and movie props. "Bleak House and the collection may be endangered but the gift of life remains," he wrote on his Twitter microblog. Some celebrity houses might have already burned down in the wildfires. "We lost out home, but we are all safe and that's the important thing," Scott Derrickson, director of Doctor Strange movie (2016), wrote on his Twitter account. According to TMZ, the house of American reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner burned down on Friday.
The wildfires that started in the middle of the week in Ventura County rapidly spread to around 4,000 hectares. The authorities earlier announced the evacuation of 200,000 people from parts of Los Angeles and Ventura. Residents of Malibu were also ordered to evacuare. Over 3,300 firefighters combat the wildfires, but the blaze has not yet been contained.
NAYPYITAW, August 3 -- Rescue workers in Myanmar are racing to help tens of thousands of people facing severe floods, as the death toll climbed to at least 46, officials have said.
The country's Relief and Resettlement Director Daw Phyu said that at least 217,000 people have been affected in the country, after monsoon rains triggered flash floods and landslides, destroying thousands of houses, farmland, bridges and roads. He also said that four people remain missing since the floods began.
Authorities have declared the four worst-hit areas in central and western Myanmar "national disaster-affected regions". In the northern Sagaing region, residents said the flood waters caught them off guard as they swept into villages, engulfing homes and fields.
"There was no warning ... we thought it was normal [seasonal flooding]," Aye Myat Su, 30, told the AFP news agency from a monastery being used as a temporary shelter in the regional capital of Kalay.
"But within a few hours, the whole house was under water. My husband had to get onto the roof as there was no way out."
Landslides in Chin State - south of Sagaing - have destroyed 700 homes in the state capital Haka, while more than 5,000 people in another district are in relief camps, the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Monday.
President Thein Sein has promised the government will do its "utmost" to provide relief, but said parts of Chin had been "cut off from surrounding areas", the report added. Myanmar's health ministry says it is distributing medical supplies across the country including chlorine tablets, although it was unclear how many of the afflicted zones could be reached, with boats and helicopters in short supply.
Rains have also battered Rakhine State, which hosts about 140,000 displaced people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, who live in exposed makeshift coastal camps following deadly 2012 unrest between the minority group and Buddhists.
Hundreds have also perished in recent days in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Vietnam following floods and landslides triggered by heavy seasonal rains. The flooding has claimed the lives of at least 100 people in India, officials there said on Sunday. Another 109 have died in Pakistan over the past two weeks, according to authorities there.
Meanwhile in Vietnam rescuers were battling toxic mudslides from flood-hit coal mines in the northern province of Quang Ninh, home to the UNESCO-listed Ha Long Bay tourist site. Seventeen people have been killed in recent flooding in Vietnam, including two families who were swallowed up by the toxic mud.
SAO PAULO, October 18 -- The state of Sao Paulo is on the cusp of an unprecedented water crisis stemming in part from one of the worst droughts in decades, leaving millions scrambling to find clean water sources.
On Friday, the city of Sao Paulo recorded its hottest temperature in more than 71 years, and 70 cities in the state are facing extreme drought, with 30 cities already on some sort of water rationing.
The problem stems from a lack of water at the Cantareira, a complex of reservoirs and small dams built in the 1970’s that are the primary source of water for more than 10 million people in the state.
The water levels at the Cantareira are now below four percent, the lowest in recorded history, and estimates on when it could totally dry range from November to March of next year. A visit to the town of Nazare Paulista revealed how bad things are, with the water lines under bridges visible, and abandoned cars appearing from the mud of what was once underwater.
In May, just a few weeks before the World Cup, and with the water levels nearing 10 percent, officials released what they called an emergency "dead volume" reserve of water into the Cantareira to boost volumes back up to above 20 percent. But with almost no rain, it went down to record lows. Officials are now debating if they want to release a second round of reserve water, as there are disagreements over whether it is healthy for drinking.
Re-using sewage water
The state of Sao Paulo is larger than the UK, has a population of 44 million equal to Kenya, and a local economy of nearly $700bn equal to the Netherlands. Residents of Itu, an old and historic municipality in Sao Paulo state, told Al Jazeera they had no other choice than to re-use sewage water to flush their toilets.
On Friday, dozens of people appeared at a local ravine overgrown with shrubs, all desperate to get any water they could from an obscure water pipe, the only source in their neighbourhood.
Forecasters warned of the danger of a storm surge of 10 feet (3 meters) that could cause widespread flooding, but a full assessment of damages likely wouldn't come until daylight.
Just under half of the island's 70,000 people were reported without power late Friday as the hurricane roared through, just days after Tropical Storm Fay damaged homes and also knocked down trees and power lines.
"To be struck twice by two different cyclones is unusual, to say the least," said Max Mayfield, a former director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Gonzalo approached Bermuda as a Category 3 storm then weakened a bit to Category 2 strength just before coming ashore with sustained winds of 110 mph (175 kph). The Bermuda Weather Service said hurricane-force winds would whip at the island into the early hours of Saturday, and tropical storm-force winds would continue until around sunrise.
The predicted course of Gonzalo is over the Atlantic to hit Ireland on Monday and set landfall on Tuesday in the Netherlands. Giving lots of rain and sustained winds of 70 mph (110kph).
ROTTERDAM, October 19 -- Saturday was the warmest Oct. 18 in the Netherlands since the temperatures were measured and tracked in 1901, weather agency weeronline declared on Saturday.
Around 4:30 p.m. the temperature was 23 degrees Celsius in the town of De Bilt. The former record for Oct. 18 was measured in 1921 at 22.9 degrees.
The night from Saturday to Sunday will also be warm, with the temperature expected to stay above 15 degrees, while the records for highest minimum temperature for Oct. 18 and 19 stand at 13.8 and 14.1 degrees respectively.
Sunday will be a warm day as well with temperatures of 20 degrees or higher.
After Sunday the late summer weather ends. According to weeronline, Monday is a day with rain, followed by two real autumnal days.
One of the top authors of The Peet Journal is Pete McGea. As a native born Scotsman, Pete
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