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a dry California landscape
January 2014

California's Drought Could Be the Worst in 500 Years

The Golden State is in the midst of a three-year drought—and scientists believe that this year may end up being the driest in the last half millennium, according to University of California-Berkeley professor B. Lynn Ingram. Californians are scared, with good reason: Fire danger in the state is high, and drinking-water supplies are low. According to the United States Drought Monitor, most of the state is experiencing "extreme drought," the second highest of six rankings. About 10 percent of the state is experiencing "exceptional drought," the highest possible level. As of this week, 17 communities are in danger of running out of water, forcing some to buy it or run pipes from other districts.

Photo: A dry California landscape. JonDissed/Flickr/Creative Commons

Ice chaos in Slovenia
February 2014

Slovenia Is Still Frozen Solid: 'This Is Crazy, Really Crazy'

Three days of blizzards and a freak ice storm have inflicted "the worst devastation in living memory" in the small Alpine country of Slovenia as life in half of the country is frozen in place.

Photo: Ice chaos in Slovenia. Domen Svetlin, via Facebook

January 2014

Australia's record heatwave: melting bottles and fainting ball boys

Australia is in the grip of an extreme heatwave which has forced beach life guards to work at night and left players and ball-boys hallucinating and complaining of “inhumane” conditions at the Australian Open tennis championship. The worst-affected cities have been Melbourne and Adelaide, which are facing daily temperatures of up to 113F (45C) for the rest of the week.

February 2014

A 'Catastrophic' Ice Storm Makes Its Way Across the South

The storm is predicted to mow over the Southern states today and tonight and then turn north to deliver more snowy grief up the Atlantic coast, with a possible 5 to 10 inches in Washington, D.C. People in its path are bracing for the worst. South Carolina has declared a civil emergency for expected power outages and hazardous road conditions. The NWS bureau responsible for Atlanta, a city just now recovering from another unusual winter storm, is stressing the danger with an urgency not far removed from the infamous Hurricane Katrina "Doomsday Statement."

Photo: Woodstock, GA. Icy, slippery roads, less than 5mph speed. William Brawley/Flickr Creative Commons

View from the top of the Olympic ski jump in Sochi, Russia
February 2014

Why Is It So Warm in Sochi Right Now?

A heat wave hitting Sochi this week could make the 2014 Winter Olympics the warmest in history. Temperatures in Sochi soared to 61 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday and are forecast to hit 63 F on Thursday. The heat wave also pumped up temperatures in the mountains 40 miles from Sochi, where the outdoor events for the 2014 Winter Olympics are held. While the winter warmth isn't unusual for Sochi, many former winter Olympic venues may not be cold enough to host the games by mid-century. The reason: global warming, a recent study found.

Photo: View from the top of the Olympic ski jump in Sochi, Russia (

Any questions?

Originally posted to Ecomusings by Sven Eberlein on Thu Feb 13, 2014 at 08:15 AM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, Kitchen Table Kibitzing, and Holy $h*tters.

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