Historic snow storm in Patagonia  

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Comodoro Rivadavia hit by “historic” snow storm – and winter is still a month away

Climatic emergency declared:
Most of the Argentine Patagonian province of Chubut
covered with several feet of snow


20 May 08 - In the city of Esquel next to the Andes and which had been suffering the consequences of the volcanic blanket from the eruption in Chile of the Chaiten volcano, the snowfall was described as “historic”.

After Chaiten volcano ashes, heavy snow under Esquel

In Comodoro Rivadavia, the most populated city of Chubut and where snow storms are rare schools were closed down and people were advised to remain indoors. Mayor Martin Buzzi declared a “climatic emergency.”

Meantime further north in Mendoza at the main border pass with Chile, traffic was interrupted by 1.5 meter high snow.

The international Cristo Redentor pass was closed early Sunday afternoon on both sides of the border and is expected to remain in that condition until next Friday, according to the Argentine Public Works Department.

Snow tractors are working on both sides but weather forecasts anticipate more storms.

The Cristo Redentor is the main Mercosur link between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

Thanks to Brian Owens for this info





19 May 08 – “Many solar scientists expected the new sunspot cycle to be a whopper. But there's scant proof Sunspot Cycle 24 is even here, let alone the debut of big trouble.

So far there have been just a couple minor zits on the face of the sun to suggest the old cycle is over and the new one is coming.

“Two years ago, two solar scientists with the Tucson-based National Solar Observatory, William Livingston and Matt Penn wrote a paper for the journal Science predicting that this (Cycle 24) could not only be a dud sunspot cycle, but the start of another extended down period in solar activity. It was based on their analysis of weakening sunspot intensity and said sunspots might vanish by 2015. (The) last long-term down period, 1645-1715, coincided with the Little Ice Age, a period of bitter cold winters.

“The paper was rejected in peer review. Livingston said their projections were based on observations of a trend in decreasingly powerful sunspots but reviewers felt it was merely a statistical argument.

               Like, statistics are a bad thing?

“(Livingston) is an astronomer emeritus who still works out of an office at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory headquarters building on the University of Arizona campus.

“Penn is the telescope scientist on the McMath-Pierce solar telescope. Specifically, Penn works with an instrument that "sees" in the infrared range to provide information about magnetic activity.

               An astronomer emeritus and a telescope scientist, and their paper
               is rejected? Do you suppose that rejection had anything to do with
               political correctness?

               (This article, from the Arizona Daily Star, was originally entitled
              “Sunspot cycle more dud than radiation flood.”)




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