“Global sea ice extent was near-record lows for the month of May.
“According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), much of the Arctic region experienced temperatures that were several degrees above normal for the month of May.
“The average sea ice extent in the Arctic for last month was the second lowest for May in the satellite record, which began in 1979. The lowest May sea ice extent on record occurred in 2016…
“The estimated sea ice volume in the Arctic is also running well below normal.
“The situation is not much better in the Antarctic… Currently, Antarctic sea ice extent is running slightly lower than 2018, which currently holds the record for lowest sea ice extent in the satellite era. “
“Locals and tourists across Iceland have been enjoying a particularly warm spring.
“The Icelandic Met Office reports that in Reykjavík, Akureyri (North Iceland), and Stykkishólmur (West Iceland)…
“…this spring was the second warmest since record-keeping began.”
“Sweltering summer temperatures came to Moscow this week, with the thermometer reaching a record high of 30 degrees Celsius on Thursday.
“Muscovites flocked to the city’s parks and fountains in search of any respite they could find.”
“The heat is expected to peak once again this weekend and early next week as temperatures climb to near-record highs in New Delhi [India].
“The highest temperature ever reported in the city at Safdarjung Airport is 47.2 C (117 F), while the record at the nearby international airport sits at 48.4 C (119.1 F). Temperatures may near or even reach these records on Sunday and Monday as sweltering conditions grip the NCR.”
“At least 19 persons were killed and 48 injured due to dust storm and lightning in various parts of Uttar Pradesh, the state relief commissioner said today…
“Different parts of the state witnessed dust storms late on Thursday evening resulting in trees being uprooted and walls collapsing. It is being reported that 41 people were injured in Mainpuri district.”
You may recall that Nepal had its first tornado on record in March:
“At least one person was killed and 37 others were injured…
“…when a strong storm hit several villages of Nepal’s Kailali and Kanchanpur districts on Thursday evening, authorities said here.”
“Parts of western Japan were inundated by torrential rain from early Friday, with hundreds of people forced to evacuate and transportation services widely disrupted in the affected areas… In contrast to last July when some 200 people lost their lives as a result of torrential rain, there have been no reports of injuries…
“Rainfall in the 12-hour period through Friday morning exceeded 200 mm [7.9 inches].”
“The election of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far right wing president, sparked concerns that the Amazon and the people who live there would be under siege by fossil fuel, mining, timber, and agriculture interests.
“Unfortunately, new data suggests that those fears might be very well founded. Brazil’s own satellite agency that monitors the Amazon released deforestation rates for May.
“The data show that it’s the biggest May spike in deforestation in recent years…”
“Yesterday was the rainiest day on record in the city of León, Guanajuato [Mexico], since the city started recording rainfall in 1961.
“Wednesday’s rainfall totaled 88.8 millimeters, breaking the record set on June 12, 2018, when 66.6 millimeters [3.5 inches] of rain fell over a period of 24 hours. But yesterday’s record-breaking downpour took place over just seven hours.”
“The Mississippi Gulf Coast is now bearing the effects of the record rain and snowmelt that has caused major flooding throughout the Midwest this year.
“The influx of water that has drained into the Mississippi River and is now being diverted into the gulf coast has wreaked havoc on marine life and Mississippi’s commercial fishing industry.”
“The Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast was deluged by drenching rain Wednesday night into Thursday with some places seeing a month’s worth of precipitation in a 24-hour period.
“The heavy rains sparked flash flooding, which is being blamed for at least one death, and triggered chaos across the south-central U.S. where an outbreak of severe weather also erupted, leading to reports of at least four tornadoes touching down in Louisiana… some areas may be hit with a foot or more of rain from the multi-day event.”
“May 2019 was the United States’ second-wettest month of all time after numerous heavy rain events soaked the nation, according to a just-released government report.
“The first five months of the year ranked as the wettest such period on record.
“The national climate report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) said the country’s average May precipitation total was 4.41 inches, 1.50 inches above the 20th-century average…”
“The Great Lakes Erie and Superior both broke records for average water height in May, and Lake St. Clair on Detroit’s eastern edge did as well, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Lake Erie also reached its highest level on record for any month in May. Record or near-record high water levels are forecast to continue in the summer…”
“If last month felt hotter than normal, there’s a reason. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday that last month was the hottest May in Florida in more than a century.
“The Palm Beach Post reports that last month’s average temperature of 78.8 degrees Fahrenheit was 3.7 degrees hotter than normal.”
“”All crop producing regions [of Namibia] are expecting a massive reduction in expected harvest. The assessment also showed that the whole country is expecting a harvest reduction of at least 53 percent compared to last season’s harvest and over 42 percent compared to the 20-year average production,” she said…
“…extreme weather patterns such as floods, extensive droughts and land degradation had placed Namibia in a precarious position.”
“Recurring drought in Madagascar’s south has left more than 360,000 people on the brink of famine, a top United Nations official warned on Thursday, urging donors to do more to help people prepare for climate shocks.
“Ursula Mueller, U.N. deputy humanitarian chief, said the impoverished Indian Ocean island was witnessing more frequent and severe weather events…”
“A severe multi-year drought in the Horn of Africa has put more than five million people across three countries at risk for famine.
“The United Nations warned on Wednesday that the risk of starvation was growing as more than 3 million people in Somalia alone are expected to struggle just to meet minimum food requirements by September.”
“”We are entering a very new phase of high impact epidemics and this isn’t just Ebola,” Dr Michael Ryan, the executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme told me.
“He said the world is “seeing a very worrying convergence of risks” that are increasing the dangers of diseases including Ebola, cholera and yellow fever.
“He said climate change, emerging diseases, exploitation of the rainforest, large and highly mobile populations, weak governments and conflict were making outbreaks more likely to occur and more likely to swell in size once they did.”
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