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How microbes in permafrost could trigger a massive carbon bomb… thanks to rising temperatures, permafrost is fracturing and disappearing, leaving behind dramatic changes in the landscape…

“Scientists are becoming increasingly worried that the thaw will lead to an epic feast for bacteria and archaea that produce carbon dioxide and methane.”

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00659-y


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On 16 March the warm air reached the Kamchatka Peninsula with a March record high temperature of +12.0C at Sobolevo, which beats the previous monthly record of 11.6C which was just set last year on 27 March.

“(average March Tmax is -2.6C).”

https://twitter.com/extremetemps/status/1371964514355314693


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At certain times and in certain regions, water will become so scarce or so warm in Switzerland that humans will have to curb their activities and nature will suffer, according to a government study.

“On the other hand, more rain will lead to more local flooding.”

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/climate-report-sounds-water-alarm-in-switzerland/46453134


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Firefighters continued to battle a forest fire on the slopes of Mount Musinè in northern Italy’s Caselette area, on Tuesday, March 16.

“Vigili del Fuoco, the Italian fire-and-rescue service, said firefighters had been battling the fire, which was being fueled by strong winds, since Monday afternoon.” [Video]

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/italian-firefighters-battle-forest-fire-144816444.html


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For Madrid’s trees, record snowfall leaves deep wounds… Storm Filomena …spelled disaster for Madrid’s 1.7 million city-owned trees, with hundreds of thousands of branches collapsing under the weight of the snow.

“”Some 800,000 trees were affected in one way or another. Of that number, 120,000 won’t survive because they were totally uprooted or had to be felled,” Borja Carabante, head of environmental issues at City Hall in Madrid, told AFP.”

https://phys.org/news/2021-03-madrid-trees-snowfall-deep-wounds.html


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Spain’s meteorological agency has warned that a cold snap will arrive towards the end of the week bringing snow to much of the north and centre of the peninsula just as spring officially starts on March 20th…

“…even the south of Spain will take a sudden turn with some areas of the Malaga province expected to experience sub-zero temperatures.”

https://www.theolivepress.es/spain-news/2021/03/17/brrrr-spring-arrives-in-spain-with-a-return-to-winter-as-temperatures-set-to-plummet/


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Fish farms in Mediterranean ‘paradise’ blamed for pollution

“According to a 2011 study carried out at bass and bream farms in Greece, a farm producing 100 tonnes of fish discharged nine tonnes of nitrate pollution into the sea. The waste ends up on the seabed or dissolved in the water, along with other wastes such as phosphorus.”

https://theferret.scot/fish-farms-mediterranean-pollution/


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Wyoming got buried beneath a record blizzard, trapping meteorologists in their office for 5 days.

More than 30 inches of snow fell at the National Weather Service office, setting a new single-day record.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2021/03/17/wyoming-cheyenne-blizzard-nws/


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Forecasters are warning that a “major severe” storm outbreak is barreling its way towards the south of the US and includes the possibility of long-track, intense tornadoes.

“The National Weather Service (NWS) said on Wednesday that a “significant” tornado outbreak was expected to begin on Wednesday afternoon across parts of Louisiana and Arkansas.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/storm-tornado-nws-forecast-weather-severe-warning-b1818667.html


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A new study is predicting that stretches of the southernmost U.S. will “tropicalize” in coming decades as cold snaps become less prevalent, leading non-native plant and animal species to move in…

“While that may sound nice, it also means more mosquito diseases and forest displacement.”

https://www.valleyrecord.com/news/study-southern-states-will-tropicalize-due-to-climate-change/


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Gov. Cox declares drought emergency for all of Utah:

“After a record dry summer and fall — and with winter snowpack currently at 70% of normal levels — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed an emergency order Wednesday declaring a state of emergency due to drought conditions.”

https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/03/17/gov-cox-declares-drought/


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The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that small non-farm businesses in all 15 counties in Arizona may apply for low-interest federal disaster loans to offset economic losses from drought

“The loans are to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, the agency said.”

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/west/2021/03/16/605599.htm


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An analysis has found deforestation is severely affecting forest bird species in Colombia, home to the greatest number of bird species in the world

“”Our study has shown an astonishing reduction in bird species habitat,” Dr Pablo Negret said.”

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-03/uoq-dta031621.php


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Threats loom large over Amazon’s Arrau turtles, despite record number of hatchlings… researchers… noticed changes in nesting behavior, including the choice of a new nesting beach, and eggs buried deeper in the sand.

“They suspect nearby fires forced the turtles to find a new nesting site, and warn of a potential gender imbalance in the population if the turtles continue to bury their eggs deeper.”

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/03/threats-loom-large-over-amazons-arrau-turtles-despite-record-number-of-hatchlings/


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Eating up the rainforest: China’s taste for beef drives exports from Brazil.

“Sales rose a staggering 76% last year and show no signs of slowing, fuelling environmental crisis in Amazon and Cerrado regions.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/16/eating-up-the-rainforest-chinas-taste-for-beef-drives-exports-from-brazil


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Another round of severe weather causes traffic problems, power outages across Oahu… On Monday, the heavy rain started around 2 p.m. Radar showed rain was falling at a rate of 2 to 4 inches an hour

“Flooding on roads was reported in several spots on Monday, including Windward Oahu. Showers continued and moved over the area, swelling the Waikane Stream from 2 to 6 feet.”

https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2021/03/16/oahu-under-flash-flood-warning-heavy-showers-return/


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Residents of a rural Queensland town [Australia] have been evacuated as a huge downpour saw a nearby creek swell by nine metres in just a matter of hours. An emergency flood alert was issued for Sapphire, a four-hour drive west of Rockhampton, at 4.44am this morning.

By 10.30am, 216mm [8.5 inches] had fallen on the region.”

https://www.9news.com.au/national/queensland-weather-flooding-sapphire-cut-off-evacuations-sparked-by-downpour/2e9db728-9f69-4f3b-b185-0c89ee9bdde0


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Fires have flared up in at least 10 provinces in Indonesia, with some of the burning occurring in peatlands.

“The burning, including in protected forests, marks the start of the country’s dry season and the attendant fires that are set to clear trees and shrubs for agriculture.”

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/03/peatland-fire-burning-season-starts-indonesia/


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Heavy rains turns streets into rivers in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

March 16 2021.”

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCZWX6AOcJ0&t=95s


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Regional capital of Kumasi [Ghana] was on Sunday hit by massive floods, which destroyed several valuable items and caused nightmarish moments for the hapless residents.

Surprisingly, it rained in the Garden City for less than 20 minutes, but the after effects of the rain were horrible…”

https://www.modernghana.com/news/1068130/kumasi-flooded-after-20minutes-rain.html


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Ocean trawling emits as much CO2 as global aviation, study finds:

“Ocean trawling, condemned by green groups for destroying marine habitats and depleting fish populations, generates a similar volume of carbon emissions to the global aviation industry, driven by activity in Chinese national waters, according to a paper published in the journal Nature.”

https://www.ft.com/content/54857423-cc4e-43a4-b8bd-7fb23f2f6abc


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Air pollution returning to pre-COVID levels: In early 2020, data from satellites were used to show a decline in air pollution coinciding with nationwide lockdowns put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“One year later, as lockdown restrictions loosen in some countries and regular activity resumes, nitrogen dioxide levels are bouncing back to pre-COVID levels.”

https://phys.org/news/2021-03-air-pollution-pre-covid.html


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Air pollution kills millions every year, like a ‘pandemic in slow motion’.

“Dirty air is a plague on our health, causing 7 million deaths and many more preventable illnesses worldwide each year.”

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/article/air-pollution-kills-millions-every-year-like-a-pandemic-in-slow-motion-feature


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Antarctic Peninsula Likely To Warm Over Next Two Decades

“The analysis found that the greatest increases in temperature – about 2 degrees Celsius – were likely to happen in the Antarctic fall and winter, but warmer temperatures projected for summer would cause the most trouble. That could create a double threat to the ice on the peninsula…”

https://scienceblog.com/521697/antarctic-peninsula-likely-to-warm-over-next-two-decades/


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As Arctic sea ice hits annual maximum, concern grows over polar ice loss:

“Arctic sea ice reaches its annual maximum extent in March. But while ice extent is high this year, scientists are far more concerned by the drastic loss of sea ice volume, which continues its steady decline.”

https://news.mongabay.com/2021/03/as-arctic-sea-ice-hits-annual-maximum-concern-grows-over-polar-ice-loss-studies/


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

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