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The record-breaking January temperatures appear to be caused by shifts in the Arctic oscillation, a wavy ring of powerful wind that circles the Arctic at around 20 degrees latitude.

“Shifts in the AO have a direct impact on global weather by influencing how much cold air from the Arctic is pushed down and spread across the rest of the northern hemisphere.

“The exact relationship between the AO and global warming isn’t fully understood, but NSIDC director Mark Serreze says changes in one part of the planet will inevitably have affect other areas.

“‘We’re already seeing the Arctic warming at an outsize rate compared to the rest of the planet,’ he said. ‘If we’re changing the temperature gradient between higher and lower latitudes, the jet stream is going to respond to that.’”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8017649/Scientists-blame-record-setting-warm-winter-jet-stream-thats-kept-cold-air-trapped-Arctic.html


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The Finnish brown bears at Helsinki’s Korkeasaari Zoo have emerged from an exceptionally brief hibernation period…

“…due largely to record winter temperatures that have put this season on track to be the warmest winter in 100 years.”

https://www.helsinkitimes.fi/finland/news-in-brief/17341-gallery-bears-at-helsinki-zoo-emerge-from-one-of-shortest-hibernations-ever-after-historically-warm-winter.html


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“January was the warmest on record in Europe, and February could follow suit as above-average temperatures dominate the month so far.

“A very warm airmass has been spreading across parts of Europe over the past few days, producing unseasonal temperatures. Today, Dalmatia, along with parts of Greece and Spain, was among the warmest in Europe with temperatures reaching +20 °C in parts.”

https://www.croatiaweek.com/dalmatia-among-warmest-in-europe-on-tuesday/


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Flood-hit UK communities are braced for further heavy rain as river levels continue to threaten to breach barriers.

“Both the rivers Wye and Severn will remain especially high into the weekend, after both broke records this week.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/19/storm-dennis-flood-hit-communities-brace-for-more-heavy-rain


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“Scientists from the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has been surveying the lake [Windermere] for decades and monitoring the temperature and water quality.

“They found that, between 1981 and 2010, average temperatures were approximately 11°C, but that yearly-averaged temperatures were approximately 1°C above this after 2000.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/02/18/lake-windermere-temperature-has-risen-degree-since-1980s-due/


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Winters are warming faster than other seasons across much of the United States.

“Four of the warmest Januaries have occurred since 2016. So far, this winter has been one of the warmest on record for much of the United States.”

https://www.npr.org/2020/02/18/803125282/how-warming-winters-are-affecting-everything


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Naples [Florida] warmed to 90 degrees this afternoon, breaking the previous record high for February 18 of 86 degrees.

“The old temperature record had stood since 2018. Temperatures hitting 90 degrees are well above the seasonable average in Naples for this time of year.”

https://www.nbc-2.com/story/41717592/naples-breaks-record-high


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“The Dakotas, Minnesota, part of Wisconsin, Michigan, are all legitimate places for concern right now, where we were wet from last fall [and now] there’s snow on the ground,” Todey says.

““All of those states set records in 2019 for wettest year on record, so there’s still ample water in those places to get rid of.””

https://www.agriculture.com/weather/news/spring-corn-belt-flooding-concerns-persist-before-planting-season


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Hawaii saw a ridiculous amount of records for heat broken or tied last year.

“Valentine’s Day may not have been the only reason Maui residents were feeling the heat Friday, as Kahului reached a record-high temperature of 87 degrees. The temperature broke the old record of 86 degrees set on Feb. 14, 2018, according to the National Weather Service.”

https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2020/02/kahului-sets-record-on-valentines-day/


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A man was killed by a flying gas bottle as a severe thunderstorm lashed Sydney overnight, bringing thunder, lightning and heavy rain.

“The 37-year-old was walking in The Rocks at midnight when a metal gas bottle became airborne and struck him in the head as winds reached 100kmh.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8016055/Sydney-storm-Extreme-weather-hits-Australias-east-coast-bring-rain-hail-lightning.html


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“The town has survived for more than a year on water brought in daily by road tankers. Working six days a week, driver Mathew Byrne trucks in more than 120,000 litres of drinking water a day from the nearby town of Scone.

“The river hasn’t run since 2017,” said Byrne, relaxing in one of Murrurundi’s three pubs shortly after finishing a delivery. “There’s no water going through the creek. It’s pretty sad.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-australia-drought-rainfall/rains-mock-drought-stricken-australian-town-as-climate-risks-hit-home-idUKKBN20D0YO


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More than 99 per cent of the state [NSW] remains in drought, despite record rainfall in Sydney which will see the desalination plant switched off next month and water restrictions wound back.

“As Sydney recovers from the worst drought on record, the situation is still “diabolical” for most of the state, in what is likely to create tensions in the Coalition ahead of the May budget.”

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/drought-remains-diabolical-for-most-of-nsw-20200218-p541yo.html


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Climate change could wipe out almost all coral reef habitats around the world by 2100, according to research released Monday.

“The bleak outlook forecasts that warming oceans and rising seas could have a devastating impact on ocean ecosystems, suggesting that efforts to restore dying corals will likely encounter difficulties…”

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/environment/earth-s-coral-reefs-could-be-gone-2100-research-finds-n1138151


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A tropical rainfall belt providing critical summer rains to billions of people is at risk of shrinking due to future climate warming, according to new research.

“The resulting droughts could lead to social unrest and mass migration from affected regions, including Central America and sub-Saharan Africa.”

https://phys.org/news/2020-02-climate-vital-tropical-rainfall-belt.html


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