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Freakishly warm air has billowed up from Siberia over the Arctic Ocean and parts of Greenland, and the heat will only intensify in the coming days. The warmth is helping to spread widespread wildfires and to kickstart ice melt season early, both ominous signs of what summer could hold.

“The Arctic has been on one recently. Russia had its hottest winter ever recorded, driven largely by Siberian heat. That heat hasn’t let up as the calendar turns to spring. In fact, it’s intensified and spread across the Arctic.

“Last month was the hottest April on record for the globe, driven by high Arctic temperatures that averaged an astounding 17 degrees Fahrenheit (9.4 degrees Celsius) above normal…”

https://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2020/05/the-arctic-is-unravelling-as-a-massive-heat-wave-grips-the-region/


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Sweden reported its biggest ever earthquake caused by mining on Monday at an iron ore mine north of the Arctic Circle run by state firm LKAB.

“The quake measured magnitude 4.1, the Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University said.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-quake/sweden-reports-its-biggest-ever-quake-caused-by-mining-in-arctic-idUSKBN22U1QM


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The hot weather expected this week [in the UK] is likely going to encourage swarms of Blandford flies, which can cause painful, puss filled bites and typically target sensitive areas

“Many areas are being hit, including Oxfordshire where the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust reported that its minor injury units have seen a ‘significant increase’ in patients with bites from the bugs.”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/bloodsucking-flies-target-crotches-thrive-22044139


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Over 100 firefighters are still battling a fire that’s affected 150 hectares of Wareham Forest [UK].

“Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue declared the situation a major incident last night.”

https://www.wessexfm.com/news/dorset-news/3105895/update-100-firefighters-still-on-scene-at-wareham-forest-blaze/


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[Re Covid-10] The honest answer is that nobody knows.

“”What we do know is that other coronaviruses that normally circulate in human populations, they peak in the winter and tip down in the summer and disappear. We hope that this one will behave the same, but we are sceptical about whether that’s going to happen or not,” explains Professor Semenza.”

https://www.euronews.com/2020/05/18/how-climate-change-facilitates-deadly-diseases


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Across the Mediterranean with its tantalising beaches, a record heatwave has hit countries just as they cautiously ease COVID-19 lockdowns, stoking hopes the new season will help fight the virus

“On Sunday, the temperature climbed to a sizzling 42.5 degrees in Paphos, the hottest ever recorded in Cyprus during May.”

https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1920232/virus-confined-med-states-wilt-in-record-heat-wave


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Experts believe that the extreme heatwave besetting Israel, which might give 2020 the dubious title of “warmest year in history,” is a direct result of climate change… Prof. Shanas pointed out that the average temperature is twice as warm as the global average.

“If we look at future predictions, all of Israel will become a desert by the end of the century,” he said.”

https://www.ynetnews.com/business/article/SyJweZbjI


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Flooding in central Somalia has affected nearly 1 million people, displacing about 400,000 people, the United Nations said Monday, warning of possible disease outbreaks because of crowding where the displaced are seeking temporary shelter…

“The area is still recovering from floods last year that displaced more than 500,000 people.”

https://phys.org/news/2020-05-central-somalia-million-people.html


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“Millions of people in India and Bangladesh are in the path of a super cyclone which is due to make landfall in less than 36 hours…

Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal on Monday night, after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kilometers per hour (165 miles per hours)…”

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/19/asia/super-cyclone-amphan-india-banglash-intl-hnk/index.html


It is becoming increasingly evident that hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones worldwide are becoming stronger and potentially more deadly as the globe warms due to the climate crisis, according to a new study.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/18/weather/climate-change-hurricane-tropical-cyclone/index.html


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[Taiwain’s] Ministry of Defense dispatched amphibious vehicles and inflatable boats to flood prone areas around the country today as meteorologists warned of possible disaster level rains this week.

“A heavy rain advisory warning was issued by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) at 9:00 pm Monday forecasting heavy rain starting from Monday night to Tuesday…”

http://taiwanenglishnews.com/taiwan-prepares-for-possible-deluge-as-plum-rains-expected-to-fall-for-at-least-a-week/


A squad of climate-related factors is responsible for the massive Australian coral bleaching event of 2016. If we’re counting culprits: it’s two by sea, one by land.”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200518144953.htm


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Environmental agencies have reported an uptick in deforestation during lockdowns, as well as increases in poaching, animal trafficking and illegal mining worldwide.

“The trends are alarming, environmental experts say, and could be hard to reverse… in Ecuador, indigenous and afro-descendent communities have reported increased illegal mining in the Choco and Amazon rainforests.”

https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200518-why-lockdown-is-harming-the-amazon-rainforest


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The lack of drinking water was exacerbated today in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, amid a heat wave and at the beginning of the third month of the quarantine imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus

“…which caused 541 infections and 10 deaths in the country.”

https://www.grupolaprovincia.com/amp/internacionales/caracas-sin-agua-potable-en-medio-de-la-pandemia-de-coronavirus-y-una-ola-de-calor-496524


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The agricultural conditions known as a “dust bowl”, which helped propel mass migration among drought-stricken farmers in the US during the great depression of the 1930s, are now more than twice as likely to reoccur in the region

“…because of climate breakdown, new research has found.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/may/18/us-dust-bowl-conditions-likely-to-reoccur-great-plains


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At least one person was killed and nine were injured when a possible tornado struck a small town in central Louisiana.

“The tornado, which has not been confirmed by the National Weather Service, was reported on Sunday evening near Prudence Highway in Church Point.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8332913/One-woman-dead-nine-injured-suspected-tornado-rips-central-Louisiana.html


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Tropical Storm Arthur moved out to sea Monday after dumping heavy rain on North Carolina as forecasters warned that the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season could continue to whip dangerous surf and rip currents for another day or more along the East Coast.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8331807/Tropical-Storm-Arthur-hits-North-Carolina-coast-rain.html


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With nearly two weeks remaining in the month, Chicago is poised to smash the record for wettest May on record thanks to a series of heavy rainfall events

“The all-time record that the city could potentially break hasn’t exactly stood for very long. According to NBC 5 Storm Team Meteorologist Paul Deanno, the record was set in 2019, with 8.25 inches of rain falling during the month.”

https://www.nbcchicago.com/weather/chicago-poised-to-shatter-record-for-wettest-may-of-all-time/2274029/


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