“Scientists aboard a NASA airplane swooped over some of Greenland’s largest glaciers on Monday, spotting melted ice and raging rivers.
“It’s significant, because though it’s not nearly summer, large blue ponds have already formed on the icy ground. NASA’s Operation IceBridge researchers observed this as part of their mission to watch for changes in Earth’s giant masses of polar ice. Greenland, in particular, has been melting at an accelerated rate for some two decades.
“”Although the story of the summer of 2019 in Greenland hasn’t yet been written, it’s starting on a worrying note,” said Joe MacGregor, the project scientist for Operation IceBridge…
“Last week in Greenland — one of the coldest parts on Earth — temperatures measured in the upper 50s to low 60s Fahrenheit…”
“Researcher Santiago de la Peña of Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center posted video on Twitter of raging streams of meltwater carving through the surface of Greenland’s Russell Glacier.
““Early May and melt season is already in full swing in western Greenland,” he wrote. “The amount of meltwater at Russell glacier for this time of year is staggering.””
“Today in Utqiaġvik there are two annual hunts when the whales pass by on their migration. The fall hunt has historically been done on open water, and the spring hunt from the ice that attaches to the coast each winter.
“But as temperatures have risen in the Arctic, the ice that serves as the platform for spring whaling has changed dramatically.”
“While the calendar suggests it should be spring, Mother Nature surprised portions of Minnesota with a winter storm Wednesday afternoon and evening.”
“A convoluted weather pattern will allow warmth and sunshine to build over the northwestern United States, while much of the Southwest turns cool and unsettled with showers through this weekend. This time of the year, sunshine can be a big player in warm versus cool weather. However, the jet stream also plays a big role.”
“Deadly thunderstorms unleashed baseball-sized hail, flooding rainfall and numerous tornadoes across western portions of Texas and Oklahoma Tuesday into late Wednesday as severe conditions jolted the region for a second consecutive day.
“Those same weather elements will remain a threat for a large swath of the country through Thursday as the explosive atmospheric conditions continue to fire up powerful storms across the country.”
“Insurance claims have topped $12bn for the November wildfires in California, making them the most expensive in state history. The figure released Wednesday by the insurance commissioner, Ricardo Lara, covers the fire that destroyed the town of Paradise and two southern California blazes.
“Most of the damages relate to the Paradise fire, which killed 85 people and destroyed nearly 19,000 buildings.”
“Paraguay declared a state of emergency on Wednesday in a province along the border with Argentina as torrential rains continued to swell rivers and cause floods…
“The Paraguay River’s normal level is 4 metres, but it has reached 6.75 metres in the capital due to unusually heavy rains since March.”
“Last month, a torrent of water knocked down a wall in Rita de Cassia Goncalves da Silva’s house in the Horto favela behind Rio de Janeiro’s botanical garden, at the foot of the Tijuca rainforest.
““It looked like a horror movie,” the tearful financial assistant told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.”
“Australia’s livestock feed supplies are under threat due to the drought, which is putting pressure on both domestic customers and the export market. Not only is less fodder being grown, but farmers are needing to buy more feed for their animals — meaning exporters and primary producers are either facing shortages or are paying much higher prices.”
“Suzy Browne hasn’t been able to live in her South Hobart home for a year now and she’s “very, very over it”.
“This time last year, water was filling her house from two directions, splattering mud up the walls and destroying most of her family’s belongings. The Browne family have still not returned to their home and are among many Tasmanians still feeling the effects of last year’s flash flooding…”
“If it seems like it has been rainier than usual in Guangzhou this spring, that’s because it has: according to statistics released by the Guangzhou Meteorological Observatory, the city received the third most rainfall since records began…
“Guangzhou received a whopping 819.9 millimeters of rain between the start of the year and May 2, a 74% increase when compared with the average level from the same period in 2018.”
“Walls of fire are burning on both sides of federal R-255 highway from Irkutsk to Angarsk.
“Drivers warn each other about the most threatening areas of the road where the inferno gets too close by sharing videos highlighting the thick clouds of smoke. Spectacular videos and pictures show the carnage being wrought.”
“Several parts of north India continued to reel under scorching heat Wednesday with Jammu recording its season’s hottest day at over 40 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological Department.
“Heat wave was observed at isolated places in west Rajasthan where Sri Ganganagar became the hottest place at a maximum of 45.6 degrees c [114f] Celsius.”
“In Karnataka, which has the second highest extent of dry land after Rajasthan, villages like Harogere are left at the deal with the vagaries of the monsoon.
“Kallambella hobli (cluster of villages), where Harogere is located, received “deficient” rains in the southwest monsoon, recording a 29% shortfall over the long period average. This was compounded by the deficit during the northeast monsoon, which was 46%.”
“Zimbabwe’s state-owned power utility on Thursday warned it may ration electricity supplies as low water levels reduce output from its biggest hydro plant, while aging coal-fired generators are shuttered or running at reduced capacity.
“Power cuts would hit the mining sector — which contributes more than two thirds of Zimbabwe’s export earnings — hardest, adding to difficulties in a country already grappling with a lack of U.S. dollars, soaring prices and shortages of fuel, food and medicines.”
“Repeated and increasingly sophisticated armed attacks in the Sahel and food shortages linked to last year’s severe drought, have reached unprecedented levels…
“…putting the future of a “whole generation” at stake, three top UN humanitarian officials said on Wednesday. “
“Environment Agency calls for urgent action to protect country from river and coastal floods…
“Entire communities might need to be moved away from coasts and rivers as the UK takes urgent action to prepare for an average global temperature rise of 4C, the Environment Agency warned.”