“Central Asia’s glaciers make up the third-largest mass of frozen fresh water on earth, the planet’s “third pole,” The region’s “thousands of glaciers and regular snow melt form the headwaters for 10 of Asia’s biggest rivers, which bring drinking water, power and irrigation directly to 210 million people, while these river basins indirectly support more than 1.3 billion people,” according to the World Wildlife Federation.
“That resource is now doubling as a hazard, with glaciers skipping the melting process altogether to rupture and flood in a region that has warmed at twice the global rate of climate change.
“Last week, a glacier in northeastern Afghanistan burst and flooded the Panjshir River basin, killing at least ten people. The floodwater triggered landslides as it carved through the valley and damaged 56 houses, washed out two bridges, wrecked a highway, broke an irrigation canal, and swamped farmland, according to an internal report from the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) , an intergovernmental agency based in Nepal.
“That same week, a glacier in western China released 35 million cubic meters—or 14,000 Olympic swimming pools—of fresh water into the Yarkant River basin, prompting evacuations, Greenpeace East Asia reported. Both disasters struck in places that are not traditionally at risk for glacial outbreak floods, but catastrophes like these seemed poised to become the new normal…”
“Coffee production in India will slump to the lowest in 21 years next season as heavy showers, flooding and landslides damaged trees in the main growing areas in the south of Asia’s third biggest producer.”
“A shipment of grain worth more than $15 million has arrived in Queensland, destined for drought-stricken cattle farmers crying out for feed… The commodity is normally exported from Queensland, but due to poor growing conditions it is having to be shipped in to supply feedlots. GrainCorp terminal manager Josh Connell said it was a desperate situation. This is a one-in-10, one-in-25, one-in-a-100-year event,” Mr Connell said.”
“In the last 20 years in Australia, only three years have seen annual temperatures dip below average. And during those years it’s dipped only slightly below the line. But many of the most recent years that have seen above average temperatures that have soared over the line.”
“Hurricane Lane unleashed torrents of rain and landslides that blocked roads on Hawaii’s mostly rural Big Island on Thursday as residents and tourists in the state’s biggest city braced for the dangerous storm to come their way… Hurricane Lane, which was still offshore, already lashed the Big Island with nearly 20 inches of rain in nearly 24 hours and was moving closer, putting it and Maui ‘in the thick’ of the storm, according to forecasters.”
“Bad air chokes Seattle, Portland and other cities in the Pacific Northwest …Seattle’s air quality has been among the worst in the world this week.“
“Vancouver just recorded its “smokiest” stretch of weather in history: the station at YVR has reported “smoke” consistently since 9 PM on August 19. It’s now 10 PM on August 22 – that’s 73 hours of non-stop smoke.”
“It is a shocking image of our planet. NASA has revealed this incredible image from its Worldview satellite showing actively burning fires around the globe. It reveals the incredible areas covered by both wildfires and agricultural fires used to clear land, and comes as record heatwaves have triggered wildfires around the globe.”
“The summer of 2018 has been one of southern New England’s hottest in nearly 150 years, according to the National Weather Service… Already, Boston has set a record for the greatest number of summer days with low temperatures of 70 degrees or warmer.”
“Frost is most likely in rural parts of Scotland such as Aviemore and is “especially unusual for the UK” in August, according to the Met Office.”
“A wildfire the size of more than 500 soccer fields spread southwest of the German capital of Berlin on Friday, leading to the evacuation of three villages.”
““The Mer de Glace [in the French Alps] is now melting at the rate of around 40 metres a year and has lost 80m in depth over the last 20 years alone,” says glaciologist Luc Moreau. A stark consequence of the melting Mer de Glace is that 100m of ladders have now been bolted onto the newly exposed vertical rock walls for mountaineers to climb down onto the glacier.the permafrost that lies within cracks of rocks and cements them together is now melting… “As the permafrost melts, whole sections of rock become destabilised and more prone to collapse.””
“As Switzerland experiences the driest summer since records began, agricultural scientist Urs Niggli says farmers, who have seen significant crop failure, must adapt in order to survive.”
A lengthy drought in Europe has exposed carved boulders, known as “hunger stones,” that have been used for centuries to commemorate historic droughts — and warn of their consequences… One of the stones on the banks of the Elbe is carved with the words “Wenn du mich seihst, dann weine”: “If you see me, weep.””
“Europe is facing a growing threat of tropical disease outbreaks, as rising temperatures linked to climate change cause illnesses brought by travellers to spread more easily, health experts warned. This summer has seen a sharp spike in West Nile virus infections in Europe, following soaring temperatures… “We are all a bit taken aback about how fast these change are coming down the pipeline,” said Prof Jan Semenza, who leads on scientific assessment for the ECDC. “We are seeing more and more of these extreme weather events.””
Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here. And have a great weekend!