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“Persistent warming in the Arctic is pushing the region into “uncharted territory” and increasingly affecting the continental United States, scientists said Tuesday.

““We’re seeing this continued increase of warmth pervading across the entire Arctic system,” said Emily Osborne, an official with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who presented the agency’s annual assessment of the state of the region, the “Arctic Report Card.”

“The Arctic has been warmer over the last five years than at any time since records began in 1900, the report found, and the region is warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet.

“Dr. Osborne, the lead editor of the report and manager of NOAA’s Arctic Research Program, said the Arctic was undergoing its “most unprecedented transition in human history.””

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/11/climate/arctic-warming.html


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“NOAA has released its annual report card on the Arctic, highlighting that the region experienced the second-warmest air temperatures ever recorded [in 2018]; the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage; the lowest recorded winter ice in the Bering Sea…

“…and earlier plankton blooms due to early melting of sea ice in the Bering Sea.”

https://maritime-executive.com/article/bering-sea-has-record-low-winter-ice


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“…the populations of reindeer, a.k.a. caribou, near the North Pole have been declining dramatically in recent years. Since the mid-1990s, the size of reindeer and caribou herds has declined by 56 percent.

“That’s a drop from an estimated 4.7 million animals to 2.1 million, a loss of 2.6 million.”

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/12/11/18134411/christmas-reindeer-north-pole-populations-decline-agu-arctic-report-card


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“Regional temperatures are a big deal because Y-K Delta residents can only travel to other villages by water or by plane. In the past the river usually froze thick enough before December to allow for an ice road, but that hasn’t been the case for the last couple of years. 2017 was the warmest December on record for Alaska, and this year is still not cold enough to for thick ice to build up on the river. Bethel has substantial weather data from the airport dating back to the 1920s.”

http://www.kyuk.org/post/alaska-warms-y-k-delta-heats-even-faster


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“Precipitation was just 44 percent of average July through October in Ketchikan. Average precipitation in that time is 49.39 inches, but Ketchikan fell well short of that mark with 22.08 inches. Southeast Alaska was also classified as abnormally dry or moderate drought in much of the first half of 2018, so the dryness has even longer-term roots. The drought had major impacts in late-September, according to a drought monitor report.”

https://weather.com/news/climate/news/2018-12-11-weird-drought-alaska-ketchikan-wet-climate


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“Hannele Arvonen, the owner of one of Sweden’s largest lumber yards, is spending the winter months planning for a new and unexpected threat to her business: regular wildfires raging just south of the Arctic Circle. Her business, Setra Group AB, had a tense summer as firefighters fought back fires raging through Sweden’s densely-forested Gaevleborg region during a drought that lasted months. Workers there are still painstakingly trying to recover sellable wood from the charred remains of tree stumps.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-12/europe-s-climate-insurance-claims-climb-disasters-tornado-flood


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“Richard Oswald did not need the latest US government report on the creeping toll of climate change to tell him that farming in the Midwest is facing a grim future, and very likely changing forever. For Oswald, the moment of realisation came in 2011…”

““When I was a kid, my dad would say an inch of rain was a good rain. That’s just what we needed. Now we get four inches, five inches, six inches in one sustained wet spell that lasts two or three days. I don’t ever remember that as a boy. I’ve never seen the sustained wetness in the land that we have now. Even though the river hasn’t gone on the land it’s raised the water table so that the rains that we’ve had this fall, which have been unusually heavy, make it muddy. Continually muddy,” he said.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/12/as-climate-change-bites-in-americas-midwest-farmers-are-desperate-to-ring-the-alarm


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“Ge Chili,director of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Investment Foundation…

“…tells RBC that his group has asked Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to support a Chinese plan to construct a canal to divert water from the Altay region to China, a move that if Medvedev agrees seems certain to infuriate Russians and Siberians alike.”

https://www.eurasiareview.com/12122018-beijing-wants-moscow-to-divert-siberian-water-to-china-oped/


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“Providing water for drinking, irrigation and power, glaciers in the world’s highest mountains are a lifeline for more than a billion people.

“As climate change takes a grip and glaciers lose mass, one might think that, lubricated by more meltwater, they flow more quickly. However, satellite images from over the last 30 years show that it isn’t as simple as that.”

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-glaciers-thinning-asia.html


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“The death toll from flooding in central Vietnam has risen to 14, state media reports say…

“Floods put much of the port city of Da Nang underwater earlier this week after 635mm [25 inches!] of rain fell in a 24-hour period between Saturday and Sunday.”

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/death-toll-14-from-vietnam-flash-floods/news-story/5676024968007feb45e8e14fc4b852a8


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“Japan on Wednesday selected the Chinese character for “disaster” as its “defining symbol” for 2018, a year that saw the country hit by deadly floods, earthquakes and storms.

“Japanese TV stations broadcast the annual announcement live, with Seihan Mori, master of the ancient Kiyomizu temple in Kyoto, writing the character on a huge white panel with an ink-soaked calligraphy brush.”

https://www.france24.com/en/20181212-after-quakes-flooding-japan-picks-disaster-2018-symbol


“The muggy, showery weather is set to continue for the next couple of days after Rotorua [NZ] experienced its hottest December day on record this week. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said the temperature reached 28.4C on Monday to become the warmest December day on record for the town.”

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/weather/news/article.cfm?c_id=10&objectid=12175428


“Well, no surprises there because the Top End capital has just sweltered through its hottest ever night on record. In a message on social media this morning the Bureau of Meteorology (Northern Territory, Australia) posted: “This will not be a false alarm. Since 9am Tues morning, the temperature at Darwin Airport has not dropped below 30C, breaking the previous record of 29.7C”.”

https://www.ntnews.com.au/lifestyle/darwin-swelters-through-hottest-night-ever-recorded/news-story/2b95d87c987e78066d69aa0411ad7e5d


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“A tropical cyclone will hit Queensland this weekend, and rain and flooding will affect New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania as extreme weather sweeps over nearly all of eastern Australia.

“The Bureau of Meteorology has declared two simultaneous extreme weather systems on the east coast – a rare event that will create thunderstorms from Queensland to Tasmania.”

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/dec/12/cyclone-and-storms-two-extreme-weather-systems-to-lash-eastern-australia


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“Antarctic fauna could be in danger due to pathogens humans spread in the southern ocean, according to a study… The new study, which detected bacteria from humans in the genus Salmonella and Campylobacter in Antarctic and subantarctic marine birds, reveals the fragility of polar ecosystems and warns about the risk of massive deaths and extinctions of local fauna populations due to pathogens.”

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-antarctic-fauna-threatened-human-spread-pathogens.html


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“One of the unequivocal signs of climate change is actually the occurrence of heat waves that extend over longer than usual periods of time. The intense heat episodes observed over northwest Europe this past summer was a result of heat accumulation during a two month period. A weak displaced jet stream had a lot to do with the heat pattern observed, and scientists have associated this extreme event directly with climate change.”

https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/poland-climate-change-summit-ipcc-greenhouse-gas-emissions-global-economy-noaa-earth-warming-world-meterological-organization-temperatures-china-united-states-arctic-ice/119595


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