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SC33

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January 03, 2007 09:50PM
http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070103/OPINION/701030385/1015/OPINION01

Inconvenient questions about our weather

If it doesn't snow by Friday, it will be the latest appearance of snow in New York City since record-keeping began.

But if it is any comfort, New York is not alone. This winter there is a heat wave from Iceland to Siberia, prompting more talk than ever about global warming and Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth," the film that is part science treatise on greenhouse gases and part horror flick, the not-so-subtle message: We are doomed!

New York's previous record for a December without snow was set in 1877. That was the year Leo Tolstoy published Anna Karenina, way back when Russia was as frosty as a snow globe, rather than a mess of melting permafrost and non-hibernating bears.

In Siberia last year, scientists discovered that temperatures had risen so much (even Siberia!) that permafrost, which has been frozen solid since the last ice age, was starting to melt and leaving shallow lakes across the bogs of western Siberia. This year, it was reported that brown bears in the Moscow zoo flat-out refused to hibernate, while Masha, a bear in a zoo 150 miles north, gave in despite the relative warmth and napped. A week later, Masha was awake again.

Just last month, scientists reported that in northernmost Canada, a 25-square-mile ice shelf, made up of ice 100 feet thick and possibly 3,000 years old, broke off from the frozen coast in the summer of 2005 and floated away.

While the U.S. Department of the Interior announced in December that it is considering putting polar bears on the threatened species list because their habitat is disappearing, the poor citizens of Chukotka in the northern coastal region of Russia are probably wishing for the species' demise. This year the Chukotka-ans have had their fill of rampaging polar bears. Ever since their traditional northern migration routes melted away, the 1,000-pound beasts have marauded through the region, hunting and terrorizing villagers, the British Web site TimesOnline reported.

And for those skiers frustrated by the lack of snow in the Lower Hudson Valley and beyond, don't even think of flying to Europe for the snow. Even the Alps are spring-like....................
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SC33

Wizard 916January 03, 2007 09:50PM

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Wizard 488January 03, 2007 10:36PM

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Wizard 519January 04, 2007 10:50PM

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Wizard 492January 05, 2007 03:57PM

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Wizard 872January 05, 2007 05:58PM

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Paul P. 439January 05, 2007 06:12PM

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Rick 524January 05, 2007 08:16PM

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Wizard 439January 05, 2007 06:19PM

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Wizard 476January 05, 2007 10:09PM

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Wizard 475January 06, 2007 08:37PM

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Wizard 498January 06, 2007 11:04PM

Perfect storm?

mojavegreen 983January 07, 2007 09:03PM



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