I hope those of you in the colder parts of the northern hemisphere are managing to stay warm and I send a warm welcome to any readers from Down Under who are struggling with the Facebook embargo.

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Climate system palpably destabilised now (if it wasn’t before): “Cities across the nation and the globe are facing blistering cold winters this year, with many seeing record-breaking snowfall.

“From Tennessee to Athens, Greece, already freezing temperatures have plunged further this week as the polar vortex envelopes the northern hemisphere.” [Pictures]

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/539020-photos-from-around-the-world-show-how-cities-have-been-hit-by-record-setting


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The Earth’s poles are warming faster than anywhere on the planet.

“While the consequences of that aren’t completely understood, it’s becoming apparent that many of the world’s extreme weather events owe the Arctic at least some of the credit.”

https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/how-the-warming-arctic-helped-drive-a-deep-freeze-into-texas


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The US winter storm has killed 32 people and left 3.4 million struggling to stay warm without power.

“The latest storm front is expected to move from parts of Texas, Arkansas and the Lower Mississippi Valley to the Northeast on Thursday.”

https://news.sky.com/story/us-winter-storm-32-dead-and-3-4-million-people-struggle-to-stay-warm-without-power-12221199


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[Our crises converge.] The Arctic storm sweeping through Texas is threatening to exacerbate a global shortage in semiconductors, after several manufacturing plants near Austin were forced to shut down.

One of the area’s largest semiconductor producers, Samsung Electronics, said it had halted operations at its multibillion-dollar fabrication plant in Austin on Tuesday, with no clear timeline for resuming production.”

https://www.ft.com/content/ec2f93ad-d23c-4ff4-867a-59385d1cc8a6


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A large waterspout was seen swirling over a lake in Texas as record cold temperatures gripped the region and left millions without electricity.

“The phenomenon was filmed Monday near Cedar Creek Lake in Malakoff, Texas, located about 70 miles southeast of Dallas.”

https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/large-waterspout-swirls-over-texas-lake-amid-record-cold


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Salt Lake City on Wednesday received the most snow it has gotten in recent history on a single day in February.

“Around noon, the National Weather Service reported 11.7 inches of snow. The previous record was in 1989, when 10.9 inches fell on Feb. 1, according to the National Weather Service.”

https://www.sltrib.com/news/2021/02/17/record-breaking-snowstorm/


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Aerial photos show the trail of destruction left by a tornado which killed three people in N Carolina and left 10 injured as winter storm Uri continues to hammer the United States.

“In the dramatic photos, houses are seen completely decimated to the foundation after a tornado swept through a seaside town in North Carolina. Dozens of homes have been destroyed…”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9266419/Three-people-killed-North-Carolina-tornado.html


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A staggering .55″ of rain fell in just five minutes in Gainesville [Florida] on Monday. According to the National Weather Service of Jacksonville, that set the all-time five-minute rainfall record for February.

“February is typically somewhat dry, so that’s not too hard to believe. Hard-hitting months for fast, heavy rainfall for us are typically the afternoon thunderstorms of summertime.”

https://www.news4jax.com/weather/2021/02/16/5-minute-rainfall-record-broken-for-the-month-of-february-in-gainesville/


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Winter air temperatures set new records in Latvia: Bauska set a new record for minimal air temperature (-21.6° C / -6.9F). The last negative air temperature record there was registered in 1954, when air temperature dropped to -20° C.

“Meteorologists report in many parts of Latvia night-time air temperature dropped as far as -20° C.”

https://bnn-news.com/winter-air-temperatures-set-new-records-in-latvia-222057


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Record low temperatures were experienced in Greece on Wednesday during the second phase of the storm “Medea.”

“According to the National Observatory of Athens weather service, meteo.gr, the lowest temperature, recorded at Neos Kafkasos in Florina, was -24.8C (-13 F).”

https://greekreporter.com/2021/02/17/record-low-temperatures-remain-in-greece-as-power-in-athens-restored/


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Snow blanketed parts of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Israel on Wednesday, covering areas it has not reached in years, disrupting traffic and postponing vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 and even exams at some universities.

“It snowed for the first time in years in Marjayoun in southern Lebanon, and in Bayda in northeast Libya.”

https://phys.org/news/2021-02-heavy-snowfall-gales-winter-storm.html


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Over 2.6 million people in Somalia are expected to be in extreme food insecurity according to the latest joint technical assessment released by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization…

“The report cites poor rainfall, flooding and desert locusts among the main contributing factors and warns that the situation could worsen…”

https://www.africanews.com/2021/02/17/somalia-urgent-scaling-up-of-emergency-response-needed-as-2-65-million-people-are-projected-to-be-in-acute-hunger/


Heavy rains have marooned about 27,000 people in Mozambique’s Boane district, about 30 kilometres south of the country’s capital Maputo since last week, local councilman confirmed Monday.”

https://allafrica.com/stories/202102170190.html


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A tropical storm likely to intensify into a cyclone is approaching Mozambique, South Africa’s Weather Services (SAWS) said on Wednesday, battering an area hit by cyclone Eloise less than a month back.

“Tropical storm Guambe is strengthening in the southern half of the Mozambique Channel with a high likelihood of torrential rain, strong winds and flooding along southern Mozambique’s coast and adjacent interior regions…”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mozambique-cyclone-idUSKBN2AH2C1


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Afriski [Lesotho] was hit by its most brutal flood ever, with 60mm [2.4 inches] of rainfall measured in 30 minutes… which is equivalent to one-tenth of Johannesburg’s annual rainfall in half-an-hour.

“This is the first time that flooding has occurred at the Lesotho resort since it opened its doors in 2000.”

https://www.sapeople.com/2021/02/16/watch-brutal-flash-floods-afriski-mountain-resort/


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A new study predicts a 7-8 fold increase in the frequency of flash droughts in India due to concurrent occurrence of extreme dry and hot periods during the monsoon season and greenhouse emissions.

“An increased frequency of flash drought pose a major risk to crop production due to soil moisture depletion and intraseasonal monsoon variation.”

https://india.mongabay.com/2021/02/flash-droughts-set-to-increase-in-india-finds-study/


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Unseasonal rains to lash Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal [India] from today

“Rain activities in the month of February over eastern parts of the country remain low. Between January 1 and February 16, Bihar is rain deficient by 97%, Jharkhand by 92%, West Bengal by 91% and almost all the North-Eastern states are also large rain deficient.”

https://www.skymetweather.com/content/weather-news-and-analysis/unseasonal-rains-to-lash-bihar-jharkhand-odisha-and-west-bengal-from-today/


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A spike in a serious mosquito-borne illness has prompted an urgent warning for millions of Australians.

“Residents in New South Wales are urged to be careful of the Ross River virus which occurs following a bite from an infected female mosquito.” 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9268491/Urgent-warning-Australians-huge-spike-mosquito-borne-Ross-River-virus.html


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Graziers in western Queensland are facing another period of destocking as large numbers of grasshoppers eat their way through the region for the third year in a row.

“Local mayor calls for state and federal help to find a solution.” [Facebook wouldn’t allow me to post this article btw due it’s spat with Australia].

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-18/grasshoppers-ravage-western-queensland-pastures/13158764


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Wildfire Smoke Could Be the Main Way Californians Experience Climate Change:

“That smokestorm in August and September polluted Bay Area air for a record 30 straight days, at the apex of a fire season that saw more than 5 million acres burned up across the state. Wildfire smoke now accounts for half of the fine-particle pollution that wafts across the West…”

https://www.kqed.org/science/1972725/wildfire-smoke-could-be-the-main-way-californians-experience-climate-change


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Air pollution caused tens of thousands of deaths in the world’s five most populous cities last year despite coronavirus lockdowns, researchers said on Thursday

“In the five18th Feb 2021  most-populated cities – Delhi, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Tokyo – air pollution caused about 160,000 deaths and economic losses totalling about $85 billion.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-asia-pollution-air/air-pollution-kills-thousands-in-megacities-despite-covid-lockdowns-idUSKBN2AI08D


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Mysteries of massive holes forming in Siberian permafrost unlocked by scientists:

“…The model, which showed unusual grottoes or caverns in the lower part of the crater, largely confirmed what scientists had hypothesized: Methane gas builds in a cavity in the ice, causing a mound to appear at ground level. The mound grows in size before blowing out ice and other debris in an explosion and leaving behind the massive crater.”

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/02/17/world/siberia-craters-arctic-climate-change-scn/index.html


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

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