In what’s becoming an annual rite of passage, Australia is in the midst of another record-setting heat wave. It’s less the eye-popping temperatures (though it’s definitely going to be hot, with areas reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit) and more the relentlessness of the heat and how much of the country is afflicted. Temperatures are already well above normal and will stay that way into the new year. The sweltering conditions are the latest sign that Australia is basically a window into the hellacious future we all face as the climate warms. The heat began to blossom on Christmas Eve with temperatures up to more than 22 degrees Fahrenheit (12 degrees Celsius) above normal in parts of the states of Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia. Christmas Day saw the heat intensify further, with a widespread area of temperatures anywhere between 11 to 22 degrees Fahrenheit (6 to 12 degrees Celsius) above normal. Western Australia got the worst of it in absolute … [Read more...] about Australia Is Ending 2018 With a Record-Breaking Heat Wave
Record breaking temperatures
On Thursday, July 5, 2018, the temperature in Ouargla, Algeria reached 124.3 degrees Fahrenheit (51.3 degrees Celsius). in salah/Getty Images The summer of 2018 has been a real scorcher. And so was the spring: On April 30, 2018, the temperature in Nakwabash, Pakistan, climbed all the way up to 122.4 degrees Fahrenheit (50.2 degrees Celsius). Scientists think this might represent the hottest April temperature ever recorded on planet Earth. (And in April 2018, the planet hit another milestone: 400 consecutive months of above-average global temperatures. Terrific.) Climate experts may have to break out the record books again in July. Nobody knows for sure, but another temperature-related superlative may have just been set in Africa. Hot Even for the Sahara Ouargla is a city of 190,000 people in northern Algeria, an African country that borders the Mediterranean. It's also the capital of the Ouargla Province and is located within the Sahara desert. Built around an oasis, the city was … [Read more...] about Did Africa Just Record Its Hottest Temperature Ever?
In this satellite illustration from NOAA, Tropical Storm Ophelia nears the Florida coast as Hurricanes Nate (C) and Maria (R) follow. The 2017 hurricane season featured 10 deadly and costly hurricanes. Illustration by NOAA via Getty Images The 2018 hurricane officially begins June 1, 2018. And forecasters have already given their predictions on how busy a season it will be. Of course, the key word here is prediction. These are just forecasts, and they're still a little fuzzy right now. That's how the weather forecasting biz works. You wanted guarantees? Some early guessers, like those on Colorado State University's Tropical Meteorology Project, are calling for a "slightly above-average" season. That might seem a little wishy-washy, a little too noncommittal. But remember: Though weather forecasting is definitely a science, it's hardly an exact one. You also should know that, if CSU is anywhere close to being right, that "slightly above-average" would be a huge relief for a lot of … [Read more...] about Scientists Predict Record-breaking 2018 Hurricane Season
Does a change in temperature create the perfect recipe for cold and flu? Tatyana Tomsickova Photography/Getty Images Raise your hand if a parent, grandparent or an older, wiser, caretaker of any kind has scolded you for not bundling up when temperatures drop. If you're waving your arm frantically, you're far from alone. Across cultures and geographical boundaries, there seems to be a long-held, pervasive belief that sudden meteorological changes automatically trigger colds and flus. But does the theory really pan out? Yes and no. According to health experts, weather-driven sickness is a thing, but the temperature itself is more of an indirect cause of the resulting illness. In other words, it's not the cold temp itself that makes you sick, but the environmental factors related to it. A 2002 meta-analysis found that exposing your skin to chilly temperatures doesn't automatically make you more susceptible to the common cold. What does likely set you up for sickness is the drop in … [Read more...] about Can the Change in Temperature Really Make You Sick?
When Utah's Lake Bonneville dried up about 14,500 years ago, it left mostly desert and salty plains behind. Matt Morgan/Visit Utah Bored with local motorsports events? It might be time to plan a trip to the Utah desert and the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. It's where insane speed records are made and broken, and have been for decades. In fact, during Bonneville's 2018 World of Speed event, which was held in September, a modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta sedan hit a speed of 210.16 miles per hour (338.22 kilometers per hour), beating the previous record for its class of 208.472 miles per hour (335.50 kilometers per hour). This, of course, was no ordinary Jetta. It featured some serious upgrades to get to its 600-horsepower rating, including a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that was thoroughly worked over. VW also removed all non-essential interior components to reduce the car's weight — which is common with race cars — modified the suspension, and improved its traction with … [Read more...] about Insane Speed Records Are Broken at Bonneville Salt Flats