The world is facing unprecedented levels of drought.

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In the U.S., nearly half the mainland is currently afflicted, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The situation is especially dire in the Northwest, which is facing some of its driest conditions in over a century following a heat wave that killed hundreds of people.

No continent, except Antarctica, has been spared, according to the SPEI Global Drought Monitor…

“Drought — low precipitation leading to water shortage — has existed forever. But scientists say that rising global temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns are already leading to more frequent droughts and that the situation is likely to get worse.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-07-16/drought-water-use-strategies


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California drought: La Niña could dash hopes of desperately needed rain this winter

“The punishing drought conditions afflicting most of California are expected to endure for months… There is a 60% chance, NOAA experts said, of a La Niña event this winter — conditions that would likely bring about a cool and very dry winter.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/California-drought-La-Ni-a-could-dash-hopes-of-16318061.php


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NASA’s shocking before-and-after photos from space show devastating effects of California’s record drought that could become a mega-drought

“The photos, released by NASA Thursday, reveal the effects the drought is having on the Golden State’s mountain snow, which is a crucial source of water for the region. The NASA photos show the snow progressively vanishing from the Sierra Nevada Mountains on March 31, May 18 and July 7.”

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9796375/NASA-photos-space-devastating-effects-Californias-record-mega-drought.html


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A California power plant likely will shut down for the first time ever because of low water during a prolonged drought, squeezing the state’s very tight electricity supplies, state officials said yesterday.

“The Edward Hyatt power plant, an underground facility next to Oroville Dam in Butte County, is expected to close in August or September…”

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/drought-threatens-to-close-california-hydropower-plant-for-first-time/


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‘What choice do we have?’ US farm workers battle deadly heatwave.

“…farm workers must often choose between their wages and their health… the largely poor and undocumented workers who harvest the bounty of California’s fields face impossible choices between wages they cannot miss and temperatures their bodies cannot bear.”

https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/7/15/what-choice-do-we-have-us-farm-workers-battle-deadly-heat-wave


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Flagstaff declares state of emergency as Arizona hit by devastating floods

“The flooding in Flagstaff, however, appears to have been aided by the scars of a severe 2019 wildfire that burned away vegetation across a large area of a nearby mountain, which allowed water to flow unimpeded into the city.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/16/arizona-floods-flagstaff-state-of-emergency


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Oregon wildfire causes miles-high ‘fire clouds’ as flames grow

“Authorities have put these clouds at the top of the list of the extreme fire behavior they are seeing amid the Bootleg fire, the largest wildfire burning in the US. The inferno grew on Friday to about 377 sq miles (976 sq km), an area larger than New York City…”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/16/bootleg-fire-oregon-fire-clouds-pyrocumulus


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“The West is a tinderbox”: Heat and drought set the stage for the huge wildfires burning across the region.

“June’s record-breaking heatwave was the final ingredient needed for explosive wildfire growth. Fire experts say things could still get much worse.”

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/weather/west-tinderbox-heat-drought-set-stage-huge-wildfires-burning-across-n1274195


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Livestock producers are struggling to maintain their livelihoods during the ongoing drought in Manitoba, which the industry association for the province’s beef producers calls a “natural disaster.”

“Manitoba Beef Producers is currently working with the provincial government and other groups like the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation to find ways to help the struggling agricultural industry…”

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/agriculture-farm-beef-1.6104827


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A tornado ripped through Barrie, Ontario in Canada on Thursday, injuring at least eight people and destroying about 25 buildings, CBC reported.

“Police in Barrie, a town 82km (50 miles) north of Toronto, said they were responding to multiple reports of damage in the …city.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2021/jul/16/ontario-tornado-aerial-views-show-extent-of-damage-to-building-in-canadian-town-video


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UK butterfly numbers hit by ‘disastrous’ spring weather

“Butterflies across the UK have struggled with ‘disastrous’ spring weather that could be a consequence of climate change, conservationists have said… Though April was the sunniest on record, it was also cold, with a record number of frosts, while May was the wettest for 50 years.”

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/uk-butterfly-numbers-spring-weather-b946126.html


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‘It was insane’: Germany faced with biblical flooding scenes and more than 100 dead

“Hohenlimburg was just one of hundreds of towns, villages and communities in western Europe that lay in ruins after freak floods swept the region, killing at least 126 people in Germany and Belgium and leaving hundreds more unaccounted for.”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/07/16/80-dead-thousand-still-missing-flooded-german-towns-ruins/


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Climate scientists shocked by scale of floods in Germany

“Some experts fear the recent jolts indicate the climate system may have crossed a dangerous threshold. Instead of smoothly rising temperatures and steadily increasing extremes, they are examining whether the trend may be increasingly “nonlinear” or bumpy as a result of knock-on effects from drought or ice melt in the Arctic.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/16/climate-scientists-shocked-by-scale-of-floods-in-germany


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Fire rages on Samos [Greece] for second day

“More than 100 firefighters, seven ground teams, and volunteers were fighting the flames, while five water-dropping planes and six helicopters were deployed to assist from the air. “

https://www.ekathimerini.com/news/1164647/fire-rages-on-samos-for-second-day/


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Forest fires break out across Turkey as mercury rises.

“Amid a sweltering heatwave in Turkey, forest fires in the country’s western and southern coasts have been ongoing over the past two days, with hundreds of hectares of forest land already burnt to ashes.”

https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/forest-fires-break-out-across-turkey-as-mercury-rises-166365


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Thousands of flamingos die in drought in central Turkey

“Thousands of baby flamingos have died at Turkey’s Lake Tuz in the past two weeks from a drought that environmentalists said was the result of climate change and agricultural irrigation methods.”

https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/thousands-flamingos-die-drought-central-turkey-2021-07-15/


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6 dead, 2 missing as floods wreak havoc in northern Turkey.

“Fresh floods and landslides claimed six lives in the Rize province, part of Turkey’s flood-prone Black Sea region. The tragedy occurred one month before the anniversary of the last such disaster.”

https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/6-dead-2-missing-as-floods-wreak-havoc-in-northern-turkey/news


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Mass die-off of fish and marine life on Durban [South Africa] coastline linked to chemical spill.

“Following a tumultuous week of rampant looting across much of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, further tragedy has befallen the coastal province as thousands of fish and marine creatures have washed up on the banks of river lagoons and on beaches north of Durban.”

https://www.earthtouchnews.com/environmental-crime/pollution/mass-die-off-of-fish-and-marine-life-on-durban-coastline-linked-to-chemical-spill/


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Heavy rains lash Hyderabad [India]; leave many areas inundated… Chegunta in Medak district recorded 226.5mm [8.9 inches] of rain… In October last year rain triggered flash-floods that wreaked havoc on the city…

Here are some photos from Thursday after the city reported record-breaking rainfall:

https://newsmeter.in/hyderabad/photos-heavy-rains-lash-hyderabad-leave-many-areas-inundated-680738


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China: Huge search launched to find 14 construction workers trapped as flash floods hit tunnel

“Search and rescue crews are pumping out water in a bid to find the workers, who have been missing since the tunnel flooded around 3.30am local time on Thursday.”

https://news.sky.com/story/china-huge-search-launched-to-find-14-construction-workers-trapped-as-flash-floods-hit-tunnel-12356337


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China’s Heat Wave Is Pushing Coal Prices Toward Record Level

“The power load in the eastern province of Zhejiang near Shanghai surpassed 100 million kilowatts per hour on Tuesday for the first time, the State Grid said in its newspaper. Usage has also hit records in nearby Jiangsu and the southern region of Guangdong…”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-15/china-s-heat-wave-is-helping-to-drive-coal-prices-higher-again


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Flooding, mandatory evacuations in Westport, Slips and flooding disrupt Wellington [NZ] – and the rain isn’t done yet

733mm [28.9 inches] recorded in 2 days in the mountains inland from Hokitika. Civil Defence has ordered Mandatory Evacuations in Westport… Evacuations in Marlborough, Buller and Tasman.”

https://www.weatherwatch.co.nz/content/733mm-in-2-days-recorded-as-deluge-gales-continue-across-parts-of-new-zealand


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Study discovers microplastics in New Zealand’s seabed

“A global problem, microplastics have been found across the planet, including in alpine soils, Antarctic waters and at the bottom of oceanic trenches, thousands of metres below the sea surface.”

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/australianz/study-discovers-microplastics-in-new-zealands-seabed


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Russian forest fires engulf over one million hectares —- authorities.

“As many as 134 forest fires were reported in the Sakha region, fifteen fires are active in the Chukotka region, three wildfires in the Kamchatka region, and 30 forest fires are active in the Irkutsk region.”

https://tass.com/emergencies/1314513


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Wildfires are raging in Arctic Russia: How can we reduce the threat?

“…In May, scientists warned the warming Arctic tundra would make it harder to tackle climate change, as the thawing permafrost and wildfires release greenhouse gases not taken into account in global emissions agreements.”

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/07/wildfires-climate-change-threat-arctic-russia/


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Scientists stunned by rare Arctic lightning storms north of Alaska.

“Meteorologists were stunned this week when three successive thunderstorms swept across the icy Arctic from Siberia to north of Alaska, unleashing lightning bolts in an unusual phenomenon that scientists say will become less rare with global warming.”

https://kfgo.com/2021/07/16/scientists-stunned-by-rare-arctic-lightning-storms-north-of-alaska/


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A moon “wobble” will contribute to an increase in severe flooding in the mid-2030s, NASA has warned

“In a new study, published by Nature Climate Change, NASA’s Sea Level Change Science Team calculated that the next wobble in the mid-2030s will amplify rising sea levels caused by climate change.”

https://news.sky.com/story/moon-wobble-to-bring-a-surge-of-severe-flooding-in-2030s-nasa-warns-12356279


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Grains – wheat set for biggest weakly gain in 4 years on weather worries

“CBOT wheat up 11% this week on parched U.S., Canada spring crop,  Heavy rain in west Europe…

“In Russia, forecasters have reduced harvest estimates, partly because of lower than expected yields in the key southern export region that has this summer faced heavy rain followed by hot, dry weather. A heatwave in the Black Sea region was also raising concern about corn crops…”

https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/grains-wheat-set-for-biggest-weekly-gain-in-4-years-on-weather-worries


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

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