Cold And Snow In “Brennpunkt” – 28 Dead in Europe Due To Cold

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German readers know that after the Tagesschau (8 p.m. national news) on ARD German television, regular programming sometimes, but not very often, gets interrupted by a special news report on some sort of disaster that impacts the entire country. It takes something pretty big for this to happen.

This so-called special news report, during prime time, is called “Brennpunkt”; in English that’s “ignition-point”.

Well, we got a Brennpunkt this evening on ARD after the news – about the cold and snow that has wreaked havoc on the country and throughout Europe.

All transportation in Germany has been paralyzed or disrupted. Many trains have been idled, and numerous flights have been cancelled. Passengers are stranded everywhere.

28 people have died in Europe as a result of the cold. Temperatures are forecast to plummet to -25°C in some areas as winter’s onslaught continues unabated.

I think the 3rd International Conference on Climate and Energy, slated to start tomorrow, will be impacted too. It’ll go on, for sure, but some participants may be delayed. Berlin area has been hit pretty hard.

I was planning to leave by train tomorrow from Osnabrück, but with the situation as it is now, I don’t think I’ll be arriving in Berlin on time. But I’m going, and hoping the situation stabilises overnight and that I’ll manage to get there in the afternoon.

Damn global warming!

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27 responses to “Cold And Snow In “Brennpunkt” – 28 Dead in Europe Due To Cold”

  1. Rudolf Kipp

    Looking forward meeting you tomorrow in Berlin. All the best wishes for your journey!

    Rudolf Kipp

  2. Casper

    I’ve found two nice pictures of UK on BBC:
    1. taken on 7th January
    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/47061000/jpg/_47061196_greatbritainjpg.jpg
    2. taken today, on 2nd December
    http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/50265000/jpg/_50265949_uk_snow_dundeeuni.jpg
    Guys, I think this winter will be worse than we thought… 😆

  3. DirkH

    I would translate “Brennpunkt” as “focal point”, not “ignition point”.

    I just drove the 235 km from Hamburg to Braunschweig, it took me 4 hours, from 8 pm to 12 pm. Lots of snow on the lanes, i passed 200 lorries standing on the hard shoulders because they obviously didn’t find a better resting place and needed to rest. (Here in Germany we have special highway “patrols”, the BAG, they make sure the truck drivers take the breaks they are obliged to. The BAG is very strict in this regard.)
    The slow traffic must have delayed all of them. Roads are in a treacherous condition – avoid braking if possible – keep BIG distances, and run in a low gear, rev up the engine. Do not even try without winter tyres.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Sounds like quite an ordeal, Dirk.

      I’m reading reports that the traffic situation is catastrophic on minor roads throughout most of Germany. Lots of minor crashes. There isn’t enough clearing going on.

      Local authorities again seem “surprised”, despite some having taken additional measures like increasing provisions of grit.

      1. DirkH

        Re the authorities: There was a disctinct difference between Hamburg and Lower Saxony – the Autobahn around Hamburg had up to 10 cm of snow on it, but as soon as you crossed into Lower Saxony, it got way better – i have the impression that our Hamburgers are a little thrifty with the salt. They got so used to the warm winters that they are still as unprepared as the English IMHO.
        In Lower Saxony, the gritting was ok; it was the number of trucks and the trucks on the hard shoulders (forcing the other truck drivers to avoid the rightmost lane) that caused dense traffic and slowdowns.

  4. R. de Haan

    It’s DEAD.
    Breaking: JAPAN REFUSES TO EXTEND KYOTO TREATY AT CANCUN
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/02/breaking-japan-refuses-to-extend-kyoto-treaty-at-cancun/

    SENATORS PETITION SECRETARY OF STATE TO FREEZE CLIMATE BAILOUT MONEY
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/02/senators-petition-secstate-to-freeze-climate-bailout-money/

  5. Nonoy Oplas

    Many Europeans now will pray and wish that man-made warming is true, and not a fiction. Gosselin, please say Hi for me to Wolfgang Mueller at the Berlin conference.

    1. DirkH

      The warmists here are silent. When asked why we should carry on with installing wind turbines and solar cells, they give the “peak oil” answer – that we will run out of fuel in 30 years. Yes, they do believe that the 30 years proved reserves means that we will have no fuel 31 years from now.

      Yes, they really do believe that. No, they haven’t thought about it; no, they haven’t read Julian Simon or Björn Lomborgh. Depressingly uninformed people, the lot of them.

      1. Juraj V.

        AFAIK, turbines and solar make something like 1% of German power. How much will be the peak oil postponed?

        1. DirkH

          1% is for PV. Entire electricity need in Germany is 137GW. Installed wind peak capacity is 22GW according to wikipedia; from there their numbers start looking more like propaganda, mentioning “potential” electricity generated by wind…
          http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windenergie

          Let’s assume the 22GW peak performance is right and assume an average load factor of 17%; so on average we get 3.74 GW, that would amount to 2.7% of 137GW.

          All these computations must be done by individuals – the usual sources only ever mention the “potential” (i.e. optimal) production… If i had my will, right after firing all the climatologists i’d fire most media people and the entirety of the German Environment Agency – they spew propaganda as well.

  6. R. de Haan
  7. R. de Haan

    Pierre, I wish you a good trip and two most interesting days.
    I wish I could be there but I am sure you will manage to pull the core issues and publish them at your blog.
    Good luck.

  8. John Blake

    At 212 degrees from freezing to melting, the Fahrenheit scale is twice as precise as Celsius’ crude 100 degrees. For those not enamored of the metric scale’s base-10 fixation, converting to Fahrenheit (F) from Celsius (C) becomes F = 1.8 x C + 32, ie. -25C = -13F (“thirteen below zero”). AGW be damned: Temperatures plunging this low in late autumn, three weeks before the Winter Solstice on December 21, mean that atmospheric circulation patterns in the Northern Hemisphere are historically askew.

    Parts of Antarctica are presently warmer than Berlin… now entering four consecutive years of early-onset, frigid winters, odds increasingly favor a 70-year “dead sun” Maunder Minimum similar to that of 1645 – 1715. Whether this would mark the overdue end of Earth’s current Holocene Interglacial Epoch, presaging a cyclically resurgent Pleistocene Ice Time, will be for our unfortunate descendants to determine.

  9. Brent Hargreaves

    P. Gosselin, would you please tell us what the public’s view of Global Warming is in Germany?

    In the English-speaking world it has changed very much in the past year. The man-in-the-street is now much more sceptical, and on newspaper websites there are ten times more sceptics than AGW believers. But I’m interested in the debate in other countries.

    1. DirkH

      There is no public debate in Germany. Climategate was not reported.

  10. R. de Haan

    Fortunately we have developed some increddible snow blowers.

    Snow plough getting stuck
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF2ZPRmocs4
    Poughing snow without a snow plough
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlA2INOpT78
    World’s largest snow blowers
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Vx369nR9HQ&feature=related

  11. R. de Haan
  12. R. de Haan

    Peak Oil won’t happen.
    This article about clathrate explains why:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/clathrate-to-production/

  13. R. de Haan

    By the way, it also explains why Japan says NO to an extension of Kyoto.
    The world now needs cheap energy to recover.

  14. R. de Haan

    Listen to Jim Infofe, “I was right and they were wrong wrong, so is Gore and he’s depressed about Cancun”.
    But they will never give up.

    Obama will try to achieve in an administrative way what he couldn’t achieve in Congress.
    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/03/senator-inhofe-i-was-right-and-they-were-wrong/

    P.s Death tole due to cold on the rise, now 60.

  15. DirkH

    BTW. Criminal crookedness at the German Environmental Agency (Bundesumweltamt).
    IT DID OCCUR TO THE CRIMINALS IN THIS OFFICE THAT ENERGY SAVING BULBS CONTAIN MERCURY.
    And now they warn against their use.
    Yes, you read that right.
    The crooks that idle away in that office, siphoning off vast amounts of tax payer money, have suddenly realized that now is the time to tell the population that energy saving bulbs contain mercury. NOW. YEARS AFTER EVERYBODY ELSE AND THEIR DOG TALKED ABOUT IT.
    Here’s one of many news reports about it. From today. German.
    http://www.rtl.de/cms/ratgeber/haus-und-wohnen/gefaehrliche-energiesparlampen.html

    Mind you. I don’t fear that tiny amount of mercury, i’m not smashing those bulbs. But this behaviour by the BMU is beyond incompetent, it’s ridiculing the tax payer who foots their bill; it’s a joke played on us – first they start to prohibit incandescent bulbs, and YEARS LATER they suddenly find out that, oops, the eco loon lamps contain a nerve toxin. Tsk tsk.

    I take it back – they shouldn’t be fired. They should be tarred and feathered and driven out of town.

    1. DirkH

      Sorry, it’s the UBA – Umweltbundesamt – not the BMU (Bundesministerium für Umwelt) -the article talks about. Just for brevity… The beast has many heads.

  16. R. de Haan

    Yes, we should slash them all.

  17. R. de Haan
  18. R. de Haan
  19. R. de Haan

    FROM JOE BASTARDI: CORE OF PUNISHING COLD WILL SHIFT SOUTHEAST FOR DEC 10-20

    That does not mean beach weather for Ireland and England, it means it wont be as bad as what is going to develop over the central Europe for the mid month. I will post more on this later, but some of you not caught in the cold now, get ready, this is expanding and centering itself further southeast with time.

    Look at it this way.. Santa is coming three weeks from tomorrow and he will have weather more suited for him in much of the northern hemisphere population centers.. the US and the far east should still be cold too.

    Ice fairs on the Thames, anyone?

    ciao for now

    FRIDAY MORNING WHILE YOU WERE ASLEEP

    IT’S THE SUN VIS THE OCEAN, AND TO HECK WITH THE CO2

    The brawl for the winter in Europe is coming down to the Enso signal which supports the reversal to a more normal to warm pattern in the north, while the push of the cold southeast that is starting now more or less maintains itself and grows most harsh in midwinter, vis the low solar activity and perhaps some wild carding of volcanic activity from two winters ago in Siberia and Alaska, which is known to have a lag time in its reaction of several years.

    In this winter, folks, the last thing you are going to be worried about is warming from CO2. While I wish no harm on anyone from the cold, perhaps the punishing cold that is growing more frequent in winter (wait till the AMO changes) will serve as a reminder to the masses to wake up, and not just have an agenda shoved down their throat by folks who think they know better. Of course a lot of them have been in Cancun, which though recently cooler than normal, is not as bad as here.

    However, the guru of the sun and its possible effects, Piers Corbyn (you would be well advised to read this man’s ideas; he is someone that though technically I compete with, I think ups the level of the playing field as far as the search for the right answer in weather and climate. I respect and actually cherish people that will help up levels! I have no problem in complementing people like this, especially with some of the vitriol that is thrown his way sometimes) has really issued a startling and much colder look at the winter in the northwest than I have. Granted, we have little argument farther southeast, but it’s interesting to see tonight’s run of the ECMWF model try to re-charge the blocking for one more go around mid December to mid January, not only for Europe, but for much of the eastern U.S. This certainly runs counter to my ideas, which say we are going to break this and reverse it in the north. While I do think the sun plays a huge longer term role in the climate, the shorter term is not as clear to me, though it is part of my triple crown of cooling that I have been arguing will turn the tide, perhaps in a dramatic fashion, in the next few decades. In any case, it’s short term solar vs the Enso.

    Btw… there is a La Nina, at least here in the States, that occurred several years after the major Siberian Volcano of 1912, that was brutal here in the States. That was the winter of 1916-1917, and the SOI this year in the fall was as close to that as I have ever seen.

    In closing, the words of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull from Aqualung come to mind…

    “Do you still remember, December’s Foggy Freeze?”

    Written in the ’70s, when there was talk of a coming ice age, no matter what they try to tell you.

    I wonder if Piers listens to any Tull?

    Ciao for now. ***
    http://www.accuweather.com/ukie/bastardi-europe-blog.asp?partner=accuweather

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