Tag Archives | Weather

Fire Tornado Strikes In Brazil

Last week one of the rarest and more horrifying weather phenomena occurred in Brazil: a "fire tornado." Created by extreme drought conditions, the whirling tower of flames raged outside of the city of Aracatuba, scorching dry earth and bringing traffic to a halt, before disappearing.
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Zeus Strikes Parthenon With Lightning Bolt

OK, the headline’s a little over the top, but what a photo, from the Daily Mail/AP:

It looks like a narrow escape for one of mankind’s most ancient symbols.


A bolt of lightning illuminates the sky around the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple, high on the Acropolis during a heavy rainfall in Athens early this morning.

Fortunately, the temple is believed to have escaped any damage.

[story continues in the Daily Mail/AP]

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Light Rain: Lasers Could Trigger Downpours on Demand

Military_laser_experimentFrom the Daily Mail:

People in drought-stricken countries could one day create rain clouds on demand thanks to laser technology. Physicists have discovered that firing short laser bursts into the air can trigger the formation of water droplets. The breakthrough technique could help stimulate rainfall in the future.

Scientist Jerome Kasparian and his team from the University of Geneva wanted to find a more environmentally friendly alternative to cloud seeding. This 50-year-old process attempts to artificially induce showers. A red laser pulse ionises the air and triggers the condensation of water droplets to create a cloud, which is illuminated by a green laser

Rockets carrying silver iodide particles are scattered in the sky. The particles act as ‘condensation nuclei’ around which water drops can form. Dr Kasparian said cloud seeding is not an efficient method despite decades of development. He added: ‘There are also worries about how safe adding silver iodide particles into the air is for the environment.’

The researchers realised laser technology could be used to create an alternative technique.

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Australian Town Hit by Raining Fish

Raining FishNow this is biblical, but it does happen from time to time. Check out the video below from the BBC documentary series Supernatural which explains the phenomenon. Simon Crisp writes on Asylum:
For residents of a small Australian town, their usually mundane conversations about the weather have just become a whole lot more interesting. That's because in the outback town of Lajamanu it's started raining fish. Yes, fish. Hundreds of them, falling from the sky. Over the past two days the town's 660 residents have been bombarded with small white fish which have been falling like rain. Locals say the fish, mostly spangled perch, have even been alive as they hit the floor. Lucky it wasn't crocodiles then. Meteorologists believe the fish where sucked up by a tornado — which passed over a river some 300 miles away — before being carried through the sky at 40,000 to 50,000 feet.
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Bill Nye: Climate Change Skeptics “Unpatriotic”

Most children of the nineties have fuzzy memories of Emmy-winning scientist Bill Nye the Science Guy, creator and host of a beloved educational television program of the same name that was [is?] shown in middle school science classes across the nation. On Wednesday, Nye got tough when he appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show, stating twice that climate change deniers are "unpatriotic." For young adult climate skeptics, it must hurt to have a childhood icon emerge ghostlike from the past to call you anti-American.
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Excluded from the Copenhagen Agenda: Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD) and Climate Change

By Michel Chossudovsky for the Centre for Research on Globalisation:

The term “environmental modification techniques” refers to any technique for changing – through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes – the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space. (Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques, United Nations, Geneva: 18 May 1977)

“Environmental warfare is defined as the intentional modification or manipulation of the natural ecology, such as climate and weather, earth systems such as the ionosphere, magnetosphere, tectonic plate system, and/or the triggering of seismic events (earthquakes) to cause intentional physical, economic, and psycho-social, and physical destruction to an intended target geophysical or population location, as part of strategic or tactical war.” (Eco News)

“[Weather modification] offers the war fighter a wide range of possible options to defeat or coerce an adversary… Weather modification will become a part of domestic and international security and could be done unilaterally… It could have offensive and defensive applications and even be used for deterrence purposes.

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Can We Really Control the Weather?

From The Independent:

Recently both Russia and China have claimed to be able to use cloud seeding to increase rainfall and snowfall, or change the location of where it falls. In the past, snow-making experiments have been carried out in North American ski resorts in the past with little evidence of success. So how have the Russian and Chinese scientists achieved this feat and what evidence is there that it is in fact due to cloud seeding?

The seeding method used is to add tiny particles of silver iodide to the clouds and there is solid science behind this method. At temperatures a few degrees below zero degrees centigrade, clouds consist mainly of supercooled water droplets. These clouds can be quite stable, but silver iodide has an ice-like structure and it will cause a few of these water droplets to freeze. Once you have ice particles mixed in with the supercooled droplets, these crystals grow rapidly to form snowflakes, causing the cloud to precipitate.

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