International


NASA: 2009 second warmest year on record; end of warmest decade

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2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows. The analysis, conducted by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, also shows that in the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year since modern records began in 1880.

Although 2008 was the coolest year of the decade -- due to strong cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean -- 2009 saw a return to near-record global temperatures. The past year was only a fraction of a degree cooler than 2005, the warmest year on record, and tied with a cluster of other years -- 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007 -- as the second warmest year since recordkeeping began.


Next generation weather satellite marks major milestone

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The development of a new series of weather and environmental monitoring satellites has marked a significant milestone with the delivery and the beginning of spacecraft integration efforts for a key science instrument.

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) will be one of five instruments to fly on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft. VIIRS is regarded as a key component in NPP’s suite of instruments because it will provide highly detailed imagery of clouds, vegetation, snow cover, dust storms, sea surface temperature and other environmental phenomena.


US blizzard: Washington airports close, major snow hits New York flights

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A blizzard has halted operations at several airports in the Northeast, and thousands of flights have been cancelled.

No flights will operate at Reagan Washington National or Dulles International airports on Wednesday, according to the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority.

Crews at the Washington airports continue to work on clearing runways.


2nd snow storm about to hit Washington

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Federal workers and schoolchildren in the nation's capital were told to stay home for a second day Tuesday as another major snowstorm barreled toward the region, which is still reeling from a weekend blizzard.

The National Weather Service predicted another 50cms of snow for northern Virginia and eastern Maryland, including the District of Columbia, beginning Tuesday afternoon and continuing through Wednesday.


Climate row scientist says he considered suicide

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The UK scientist at the center of a controversy surrounding e-mails leaked from a leading UK climate research unit has admitted the strain of the affair led him to consider suicide.

In an interview with a British newspaper, Phil Jones, the former director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia said he had thought about killing himself "several times" after receiving death threats in the wake of the "climategate" scandal.


USA: Another snow storm on the horizon

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While the Mid-Atlantic region is digging out from The Winter Powerhouse they should also keep an eye on the next storm that could be moving in on them Tuesday into Wednesday.

That next storm actually forms out of two separate systems that impact the northern and southern Plains overnight and Monday.


Hundres of thousands without power after "snowmageddon"

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Air traffic in Washington picked up after a day of cancellations, but hundreds of thousands along the Eastern seaboard remained without power after a major snowstorm wound down.


Eastern US clobbered by mammoth snowfall

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More snow pounded the nation's capital and mid-Atlantic states Saturday, cutting power to hundreds of thousands of customers from Virginia to Pennsylvania.

Snow was falling from southern Indiana eastward to New York City, Washington, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the New Jersey coast.

"We are getting absolutely clobbered this morning with snow," said Steven Steingard, a lawyer who lives in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. "We have about a foot [30cms] already, and they say it will continue for 10 to 12 hours more."


Deadly 'epic snowstorm' hits Washington, mid-Atlantic

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An "epic snowstorm" smacked the nation's capital and mid-Atlantic states Friday, and a father and son were killed on a slick highway in southwestern Virginia when they stopped to help another motorist.

Virginia State Police said the weather-related accident happened early in the day on Interstate 81 in Wythe County. According to police, a car spun out of control in northbound lanes and came to rest in the left travel lane.

A van carrying the father and son stopped on the right shoulder so one of its passengers -- a nurse -- could help the injured occupants of the disabled vehicle. Minutes later a northbound tractor-trailer came upon the disabled car. While trying to avoid hitting it, the truck jackknifed and struck the van.


Tahiti hit by Oli

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Cyclone Oli buffeted Tahiti overnight, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents and tourists to churches, schools and temples.

Tahiti is under red alert until the cyclone passes, and all roads are closed. Towering waves have been buffeting buoys off the coast of Tahiti's capital, Papeete. French television showed a naval ship pitching in the storm.