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from Photographers' Blog:

No happy endings in nature

County Antrim, Northern Ireland

By Cathal McNaughton

When the snow started falling on Thursday afternoon nobody in the Glens of Antrim could have predicted the devastating impact it would have on the farming community. Sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow fall combined with strong easterly winds produced 30 foot snowdrifts.

The rolling hillsides, where just a week previously daffodils had swayed in the breeze in the watery spring sunshine, now lay covered in an unseasonable layer of deep snow. But below the beautiful winter wonderland landscape the tragic reality of nature lay hidden - thousands of sheep buried with their farmers unable to reach them.

Many of the ewes were ready to lamb and were buried alive as the snow blew into drifts several feet high. When I met with family friend Keith McQullan and his farm manager Donald O'Reilly at his hill farm in Aughafatten in Glenarm Glen on Tuesday morning they were unusually quiet. Keith owns several hundred sheep across the remote north Antrim hills – only accessible by quad or by tractor - where he has farmed all his life.

They had just managed to reach the area where they had last seen their sheep four days earlier. But where there had been flocks of 30 and 40, only a few remained. Those left were in a pitiful state with frozen limbs, stiff with the cold and barely strong enough to bleat. Many had lost their lambs as soon as they were born - others had left their babies to die in the snow as they battled for their own survival.

from Photographers' Blog:

Digging out from Boston’s blizzard

Boston, Massachusetts

By Brian Snyder

It might not be news that it snows in New England in winter. But the recent snow storm (there seems to be some debate as to whether it met the criteria to be called a blizzard) certainly brought a lot of snow to Boston. Enough so that Governor Patrick banned all driving for the duration of the storm (with exceptions, including for the news media). That’s one way to say that this storm exceeded what’s considered “normal” around here.

I went out around noon on Friday as the snow was just beginning to fall in Boston. The magnitude of the storm had been forecasted for days. With the threat of potentially record-breaking snow fall amounts, the subway system was scheduled to shut down at 3:30pm and a statewide driving ban was announced for 4pm. The wind was already strong -- the snow blown sideways stung your face. People seemed intent on just getting home. Pretty early on I made this image:

from Photographers' Blog:

Snow as high as houses

By Bogdan Cristel

When I was little, my grandfather told me about the winter of 1954, when the army had to shovel them out from under snow so high it covered their house completely. I didn’t believe the story at the time as it seemed like a fib, a fisherman’s tale.

Well, I recently realized my grandfather wasn’t exaggerating. I had never before seen snow that would cover an entire house until this February.

from Photographers' Blog:

Getting above the snow

By Dado Ruvic

I was ten years old when a heavy snowfall trapped Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2000, and forced its authorities to declare a state of emergency. I remember these as fun days - we didn't have to go to school and we just enjoyed the snow. But the latest cold spell enveloping Europe has hit Bosnia hard, blocking its traffic, burying in snow and isolating villages, straining its creaking power infrastructure and most importantly taking many lives during the coldest weather in decades. I have only now realized that snow above one metre is no longer fun, when a 20 minute drive turns into three hours.
In the first few days there were many similar photos emerging on the wire, showing the iced-in towns and villages, people cleaning their yards the blocked traffic. I was also sending photos with the same content.

On the second day of covering this weather story, I realized I had to do something different. I wanted to show them things they had never seen before. I was trying to contact friends, colleagues and some old pals for two days before I realized I had no contacts left. I suddenly got hold of Boban Kusturica, the manager of the Serb Republic helicopter service. In my short career, I have never met a man holding such an important position being so down-to-earth, friendly and supportive.

from Photographers' Blog:

Highway Kashmir

By Fayaz Kabli

As I started my journey from Srinagar to cover the aftermath of a heavy snowfall along the 300km (186 mile) Srinagar-Jammu highway, the early morning chill was bone biting. Though I had a heater in my hired taxi, it still could not cope with the outside cold but as we drove along, the heat started to pick up.

A recent heavy snowfall across the Kashmir region had snapped electricity transmission lines, telephone lines and internet services plunging the region into darkness and cutting it off from the rest of the world; compounding the misery of around seven million people who live in the valley. The mountainous Srinagar-Jammu highway, which connects Kashmir with the rest of India, remained shut for a fifth day on Tuesday after heavy snowfall.

from Environment Forum:

“The Harry Potter theory of climate”

USA/Climate doesn't change by magic.

Just ask Mark Serreze, director of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. On a conference call with other scientists and reporters, Serreze and others linked climate change to the last two harsh winters over much of the United States and Europe. And they squarely blamed human-caused greenhouse gas emissions for the rise in world temperatures that got the process going.

"Climate doesn't change all by itself," Serreze said. "It's not like the Harry Potter theory of climate, where he flicks his magic wand and the climate suddenly changes. Climate only changes for a reason."

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures February 13, 2011

First, congratulations to Pakistan Chief photographer Adrees Latif and Bangladesh based photographer Andrew Biraj for their competition awards this week.  Adrees is the winner of the photojournalism category of the ICP Infinity Awards 2011 for his pictures shoot during the floods in Pakistan last year.  Andrew won third prize in the singles category of daily life in the World Press Photo Awards for his picture of an overcrowded train in Bangladesh.

PAKISTAN-FLOODS/

Marooned flood victims looking to escape grab the side bars of a hovering Army helicopter which arrived to distribute food supplies in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province August 7, 2010. Pakistanis desperate to get out of flooded villages threw themselves at helicopters on Saturday as more heavy rain was expected to intensify both suffering and anger with the government. The disaster killed more than 1,600 people and disrupted the lives of 12 million.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif

from Environment Forum:

A winter’s tale of climate skepticism

USA/Another winter storm is brewing in Middle America. So what else is new?

It's been one spate of severe weather after another even before 2011 began. And you would expect those skeptical of climate change to capitalize on the cold snap by questioning whether human-spurred global warming is a real deal.

Strangely enough, climate skeptics appear to be less vocal than they were last year, when Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma built an igloo as a blizzard blew through Washington DC, and dubbed it "Al Gore's new home." If it's so cold, the argument went, how can there be global warming?

from UK News:

Best of Britain: Let it snow

For the past week, snow was more than just a single story, it encompassed many stories.  This week's Best of Britain features a selection of pictures ranging from a sheep in a winter landscape to students determined to protest despite the snow.  There's a West Ham United player frolicking after scoring a goal and the trace footprints of pedestrians walking down a London street.

Also included are photos of Elton John guest editing The Independent, the cries of anguish as a fallen soldier is lead through Wootton Bassett and football fans distraught that the World Cup will not be coming to England in the near future.

from Our Take on Your Take:

Height of photography

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Talk about going to extremes to get the shot, Jan Slavicek holds his nerve to capture this image of a climber in Slovakia.

View this week's Your View showcase here.

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