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Images out of a northern region of Antarctica show a landscape nearly devoid of ice and snow after record-setting temperatures last week

“The recent highs in the region have followed a string of heat waves since January, Marcelo Leppe, director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, told Reuters.

“The amount of ice lost annually from the Antarctic has increased six-fold from 1979 to 2017, the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations’ authoritative voice on weather, climate and water, said in a statement last week.”

https://abcnews.go.com/International/dramatic-images-show-ice-region-antarctica-record-high/story?id=68939542


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Mass melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet, driven by warmer ocean temperatures, was a major cause of extreme sea level rise more than 100,000 years ago, according to new research…

“melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet caused a sea-level rise of more than three metres and it took less than 2C of ocean warming for that to occur.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/13/mass-melting-of-antarctic-ice-sheet-led-to-three-metre-sea-level-rise-120000-years-ago


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New Zealand’s environment minister has threatened the mining conglomerate Rio Tinto with legal action over what he says is an “outrageous” failure to deal with toxic waste from an aluminium plant.

“Recent South Island floods – in which the waste’s storage facility was nearly inundated, bringing ecological and human tragedy – have infuriated locals in Mataura…”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/13/new-zealand-threatens-to-sue-rio-tinto-after-floods-threatened-toxic-waste


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Regions around the north and the east coast of the South Island [NZ] are experiencing dry conditions ranging from near to extreme drought.

“Last month, Auckland received record low rainfall, just 7 per cent of their annual forecast amount… Marlborough had their driest January on record in the past 90 years according to NIWA.”

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/fire-ban-put-in-place-close-entire-north-island-amid-drought-conditions


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In the 24 hours up to 9am on Thursday, the northern Gold Coast [Australia] has 100mm-200mm of rainfall. A further 50-100mm has fallen since 9am… Cyclone Uesi was creating large swells along Australia’s east coast…

Meanwhile, those in the state’s far north are bracing for heatwave conditions into the mid-40s with February temperature records expected to tumble.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/13/queensland-flooding-in-the-southeast-as-north-braces-for-record-heatwave


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One of the big drivers of drought in Australia, the Indian Ocean Dipole, is trending towards a more drought-causing positive state due to climate change, according to new research…

“Professor Nerilie Abram says Australia is at a heightened risk of experiencing more hot, dry years.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-13/indian-ocean-dipole-linked-to-global-warming-in-new-research/11943178


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Billions of locusts are ravaging crops in East Africa – the UN warns there is a risk of catastrophe.

“Officials say immediate action is needed before rainfall in the coming weeks brings fresh vegetation to feed new generations of the pests.”

https://www.dw.com/en/un-sounds-alarm-as-locusts-spread-in-east-africa/av-52358365


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Namibia’s dairy industry faces collapse

““This industry is in a huge crisis due to the continuing drought in some parts of Namibia and the accompanying poor economic situation in the country to such an extent that some of the farmers are exiting the industry,” Namibia Dairies managing director Gunther Ling said.”

https://www.newsghana.com.gh/namibias-dairy-industry-in-huge-crisis-due-to-drought/


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This year’s winter in France has, so far, been the mildest in more than a century, and that has had a direct impact on the ski resort of Le Mourtis, in the Pyrenees mountains.

““There’s no snow,” said French holidaymaker Frederic Foltran, setting off for the piste this week not with his skis but with a two-wheeled scooter…”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/france-ski-resort-closed-snow-mourtis-pyrenees-weather-winter-a9331926.html


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“Some forecast models show an extreme solution, with the storm’s pressure dropping below 920 millibars into the 910s.

If this extreme solution verifies, Dennis would rank as one of the most intense North Atlantic storms on record, according to Weather Underground weather historian Christopher Burt and British weather historian Stephen Burt.”

https://weather.com/news/international/news/2020-02-12-bomb-cyclone-dennis-rival-most-intense-north-atlantic-storms


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For the first 40 days of the year, through Feb. 9, NOAA’s Daily Weather Records website showed 2,421 daily record highs [for the USA], meaning the highest temperature on record for a given location on that particular day, were tied or set in the U.S…

“In all, daily warm records outnumbered cold by a ratio of 7 to 1.”

https://weather.com/news/climate/news/2020-02-12-over-5000-us-daily-warm-records-2020-through-early-february


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New data released this week from USANPN (USA’s National Phenology Network) shows that parts of the southeastern United States are greening up far ahead of schedule

“In terms of the spring “bloom” that’s running ahead of schedule too.”

https://www.weathernationtv.com/news/green-up-happening-weeks-early-in-southeast/


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With an average high temperature of 54 degrees, DC’s weather has best matched the typical winter conditions in Atlanta.

““In one regard, this winter’s lack of extreme cold is almost unprecedented in the existing climate record for Washington DC,” the National Weather Service tweeted.“”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2020/02/12/global-warming-is-nudging-washingtons-climate-southward-this-winter-it-most-resembles-atlanta/


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Minnesota ended 2019 as the wettest year on record, leaving the ground saturated and rivers high even before the spring thaw. The snow across most of Minnesota’s frozen landscape has 4 to 6 inches of water in it, and that already will generate a lot of water runoff…

“Many of the forecasting models are predicting [this spring] will be wetter than normal…”

http://www.startribune.com/with-threat-of-spring-flooding-minnesota-homeowners-scramble-to-get-protected/567823912/


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Polar bears are spending more time on land than they did in the 1990s due to reduced sea ice, new University of Washington-led research shows.

Bears in Baffin Bay are getting thinner and adult females are having fewer cubs than when sea ice was more available.”

https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/02/12/polar-bears-in-baffin-bay-skinnier-having-fewer-cubs-due-to-less-sea-ice/


[For the summary and not the silly analysis, which suggests that jet stream behaviour can still be understood outwith the context of climate change]

Around the world and particularly across much of the United States, a question has emerged: What happened to winter?

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“In Japan, record low snowfall has forced ski resorts to close prematurely. In Finland, forests that would normally be stark and bare at this time of year appear lush after what was an “exceptionally” warm January. And in one county in Michigan, municipal workers who usually spend winter plowing snow have taken to trimming trees.

“The lack of snow in Russia led Moscow to bring in fake snow for its New Year festivities and pushed one lawmaker to accuse the United States of using a “climate weapon” against his country.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/what-happened-winter-jet-stream-science-explains-unseasonable-warmth-u-n1136136


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