Click images for more details



Recent posts
Recent comments
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« More evidence of changing GW narrative | Main | Matt Ridley at TED »

Bolivian cold snap

Severe cold in Bolivia has killed millions of fish in tropical Bolivian rivers.

There's a text report here.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (30)

Must be the weather. What else?

Aug 7, 2010 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Answer: Just about anything. I think this needs a very complete scientific (a real one, not some fairy tale search for "answers") investigation.

There are dead turtles and alligators, which are large enough to survive anything but prolong cold. And fish tend to survive cold as well.

Aug 7, 2010 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Interesting related story in Bloomberg --- a news organization I trust.

Argentina Has Colder Winter Than Antartica,

I wonder what they think of the Hockey Stick down there?

Aug 7, 2010 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo de la Sierra asks "I wonder what they think of the Hockey Stick down there?"

Its the southern hemisphere, so the hockey stick is upsided down.

Aug 7, 2010 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJantar

I just read today that there was a cold snap last night in the north western part of Switzerland: the lowest point measured was -0,3 °C at La Brévine (also known as the Swiss Siberia for its sometimes extremely low temperatures in Winter).

Aug 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered Commentercogito

The team griped about the medieval Warm Period and said it didnt count anyway since it was regional not global. What price now GLOBAL warming.
Jerry also posted a week back that Australia seemed to have missed out on all the warming.

Aug 7, 2010 at 9:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDung

I don't recall seeing or hearing this on the BBC. Surely this, together with the heatwave in Russia and the floods in Iraq are incontrovertible evidence of CAGW?

Aug 7, 2010 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Oops, that should be Pakistan, not Iraq.

Aug 7, 2010 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I think that to really appreciate this cold snap, you need to know about the "Bolivia effect":

That's where GHCN showed Bolivia to be extremely hot. GHCN did that without any temperature measurements in Bolivia. GHCN does not need measurements; they just interpolate from nearby countries.

Aug 7, 2010 at 10:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterSuramantine

Not sure about this one.

Fish are cold-blooded and will survive extreme cold: short of actual freezing I have my doubts that this is the reason for any mass fatalities.

IIRC at low temperatures there is a hibernation like state induced, which is why feeding of any fish where the water temperature is below 10 degrees C is not recommended - digestion systems may have closed down - not good.

Aug 7, 2010 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDennis

I agree with the BBC, species extinction is the number one issue.
Cold kills, I implore Roger B. to give this story the oxygen of publicity. Do it before Harrabin does, otherwise you'll be seen as the useful idiot that you seem!

Aug 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Kindly disregard that last sentiment Mr B.
I'd totally forgotten that the occasional species discomfort was but a small price to pay for the ultimate victory of Man exiting stage left!
You're right Mr B, sacrifices are necessary for the reclamation of the Planet from the evil that is man-kind. That you wilfully misrepresent those who need to be sacrificed is regretable but understandable. It can't be easy to put yourself forward as an obvious candidate.
I respect your bravery though should you put logic above self.

Aug 8, 2010 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Maybe the US representatives at the Bonn talkfest last week should be shown some of this --- apparently they were sprouting on about the Russian fires to back their case for new taxes etc to fight AGW.

Aug 8, 2010 at 12:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Gotta admit, I'm starting to think that RC has the Science about right.

Aug 8, 2010 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Climate Change, probably man-made, is destroying life. Isn't it time we admitted culpability?

Aug 8, 2010 at 1:26 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

I'm not sure that Bloomberg is that reliable. This from Don Pablo's link

Also on July 15, temperatures in Mendoza, the wine- producing region in western Argentina, fell as low as -8.9 degrees Celsius below the temperature registered that day in the Argentine-controlled area of the South Pole, according to a national weather institute report.

Which any way you read it just don't make no sense at all.

I have a personal interest in Argentinian and Swiss weather just now as the missus has just embarked on a Scientific world trip for her PhD, all expenses paid, starting at Argentina, then Central Scotland, Eastern Europe, and finishing in Switzerland.

I'll get her to report on the weather anomalies.

Aug 8, 2010 at 3:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry


It is WINTER in South America this time of year. They are in the Southern hemisphere.

-8.9 C is about 16 F. Hardly that cold. Happens all the time in Europe in their wine districts.

Aug 8, 2010 at 4:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


Just who is Mr. B? You are confusing, or is it just confused?


I quite agree with you. The river was not frozen, nor was there any sign of ice. And there were dead alligators and turtles. Both can hibernate in cold. I think they should look into what was dumped into the river.

Aug 8, 2010 at 5:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo.

They said literally: -8.9 C below (...) the South Pole.

First I read, pedantically, -8.9C below as actually 8.9C above (double negative)

If it was meant to be 8.9C below the Pole temperature then that would be pretty chilly.

If it was - 8.9C - which was colder than the Pole (i.e. the Pole was above -8.9C) then it would be cool, but not terribly so. That is well within the temperature range you could expect just by night-time cooling with a clear sky in winter at mid latitudes and a convenient mountain range to pour cold dry air down into the valleys.

Aug 8, 2010 at 5:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterJerry


First of all, double negatives do occur in Spanish (for example "Yo no creo nada." for , "I don't believe anything.") but that is not necessarily the salient point here. I suspect a translation error. I have not found the original report in Spanish, but does it really matter?

The issue is they are having the COLDEST winter in Argentina if 40 years. We just had the coldest winter in California in at least 30 years and the same is true of most of Europe.

If there is a Hockey Stick, it was broken big time this last winter on a puck of solid ice.

Now we are seeing it in South America.

Aug 8, 2010 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

The Argentinian Antarctic territories are in the Peninsula, so it could be that on that specific day it was warmer than Mendoza at -8.9 C
Here you have the actual values in the Antarctic sector and in Mendoza. Temperature range for August seem to be between -32C and + 8C. It is a base at the tip of the Peninsula. Here some more weather data from Antarctica.

The Bloomberg article reminds me how good the "weather" forecast of the chiefio were, I mean the financial and market impact of cold in Argentina, over two weeks ago.

Aug 8, 2010 at 6:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon

Dennis, Don Pablo,

At first I also thought mmm, they should do some water analysis. Rivers in the vicinity of Santa Cruz, with a tense relationship to the Altiplano government, etc...

But later I decided to look at the data and it was really below freezing point. This chart is for Camiri, up the Rio Grande from Santa Cruz and at only 798m a.s.l. they went below zero twice in the last two weeks. I guess it could be, 798m is already quite low, the Rio Grande forestry reserve is at 1800m. (check google maps and Panoramio)

Aug 8, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterPatagon


I never "denied" that it was the cold, I simply doubted it. Therefor I am a "skeptic" about it. However, I do think a serious investigation should be done. It is possible that the cold did it, but it is not demonstrated to my satisfaction any more than the hockey stick is.

As for Bloomberg, remember that they cater to money men as well as average punters like myself with money invested. I read them because they are far more likely to tell the real facts than the New York Times, or any of the London papers -- including, sadly the FT, which once was the the pinnacle of honest reporting, but no more.

Aug 8, 2010 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra


Just who is Mr. B? You are confusing, or is it just confused?

Roger Black, I think. But I was extreeemly drunk. Sorry folks, was just trying to walk in RC's shoes for a mile. It worked but, oh boy, did my head hurt in the morning!

Aug 9, 2010 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterroyfomr

Just a general comment.

Southern hemisphere temperatures are likely to be colder than the same latitude Northern hemisphere, But also warmer depending on season.

The elliptic orbit of the earth means that the Southern hemisphere is closer to the Sun in Summer and further away in winter,

The net effect is that the Northern hemisphere has a reduced range of temperatures, while the Southern is more extreme.

Depending on your bias you should compare Northern to Northern, or Southern to Southern.

Just stating absolute extremes at a particular location is misleading unless you reference local norms,

Aug 9, 2010 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry


"Coldest in 40 years" is the statement. That is relative to the "normal' temperatures of the region.

They are freezing their buts off down there. Must be due to all the hot air moving to Russia and burning the forests down.

Aug 9, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Don Pablo,

I'm Southern Hemisphere and we've been getting a shedload of extreme low temperatures. The cause is a lack of winter cold fronts resulting in clear skies and very strong radiation cooling at night.

I won't go into absolutes at all, but for me personally -20C in Montreal in winter was not so much cold as sore. 0C with wind and rain in the Southern Hemisphere resulted in a Casevac for hypothermia.

My missus will report on Buenos Aires Argentine soon, but I believe the forecast is a typical 6-16C down to 1-7C later in the week (a bit chilly, even for me)

Aug 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJerry


Well, so much for "global warming" in South America :)

Having lived in Minneapolis, where I usually didn't wear a coat until 0 F and even went flying in my Cessna to -20F, I thought nothing of the cold. It was dry. However, in California where it is damp in winter, anything under 32 F is goddamn cold.

However, if you want cold, go to Duluth in February with a north wind blowing down the lake. The wind chill is -100 F and the actual temperature is about -35F.

Aug 9, 2010 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

We toured much of Florida early this year, where the unusual cold had killed untold numbers of fish in the waterways, from Jacksonville to Naples, and perhaps further south. we had never seen such slaughter in Florida before.

Aug 10, 2010 at 11:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterFred Harwood

Fred Harwood

It also killed a large number of Burmese pythons people let loose out there as well, but from what I saw on the tele, no birds or mammals died in the cold snap.

Its the report of dead large reptiles like alligators and birds and mammals that are suspicious in the Bolivian reports. It could be due to the cold, but I think it needs to be very carefully investigated. I still suspect poisonous drug making by-products.

Aug 11, 2010 at 2:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>