Deadly cyclone Freddy has become Earth’s longest-lived tropical storm… Now, poised to hit Mozambique for a second time, the storm has set a world record for tropical storm longevity, enduring 31 days and counting…“
“Over its lifetime, Freddy has tracked more than 5,000 miles since it developed between Western Australia and Indonesia and even attained the strength of a Category 5 hurricane. It’s presently crossing the Mozambique Channel for a third time.
“Remarkably, the storm has rapidly intensified [an unprecedented] six times.”
After Hottest February on Record, IMD Predicts It’s Only Going To Get Hotter [India]…“
“There will be a higher possibility for the occurrence of heat waves, and India will need to prepare for this, it said. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has already written to states to take adequate measures to prepare for heatwave conditions.”
Water Crisis Deepens in Delhi, Situation To Get Worse as City Braces for Harsh Summer…“
“”It’s just February-March and the situation is similar to what Delhi saw in May last year. It means the problem is going to get worse in the coming months. Authorities have predicted an unprecedented summer this year,” Delhi Jal Board’s chairman Saurabh Bhardwaj said.”
Record heat in Central Asia yesterday: 35.0 [95F] Turkmenistan; 30.5 Uzbekistan (will rise to 32/33C next days); 27.6 Kazakhstan; In Tajikistan 26.4 at Pendzikent at more than 1000m above sea level.“
“Incredible heat in Northern Iran with 37.6C [99.7F] at Ezbaram, 25C above average and 8C above July average! [almost 38C at 37N of latitude on the Caspian coast – a world record for early march for that latitude, even above Death Valley!]”
“March 8 – A heavy dust storm hit the southern Mongolian province of Umnugovi on Wednesday, causing low visibility on roads…“
“Located in the Gobi Desert region of southern Mongolia, Ummugovi is one of the provinces most affected by desertification. More than 70 percent of the province’s total territory had been somehow affected by desertification and land degradation, according to the provincial governor’s office.”
China hits record high temperatures for early March, drought-like conditions in several parts.“
“Temperatures in more than a dozen major Chinese cities last week reached record highs for the season. Temperatures in Wuhan and Zhengzhou in central China rose by more than 10 degrees Celsius (18 degrees Fahrenheit) and were higher than the usual for early March, according to government data.”
Desperate elephants flee massive forest fires in eastern Thailand.“
“Desperate wild elephants are fleeing massive forest fires in Thailand’s eastern Trat province. The fires have destroyed more than 2,500 rai of forests since February 26, and the poor creatures are trying to escape.”
Indonesia sends more rescuers as extreme weather hampers search after landslide.“
“More rescuers and heavy machinery will be sent to Indonesia’s disaster-hit Serasan Island to search for dozens still missing after a deadly landslide, a disaster official said on Tuesday. The landslide struck Monday in the remote Natuna region between Borneo and peninsular Malaysia.”
Threat of rising seas to Asian megacities could be way worse than we thought, study warns.“
“…a report published in the journal Nature Climate Change offers fresh insight and stark warnings about how bad the impact could be for millions of people… the study suggests that previous analysis underestimated the degree of sea level rise and subsequent flooding caused by natural ocean fluctuations.”
‘Insane’ – Gallipoli Station floods as 415mm [16.3 inches] of rain fall in one week [NT, Australia]…“
“… a Barkly cattle station has shared incredible images of the extent of the flooding. Yarraki Dodd took to social media to showcase the ‘water views’ at Gallipoli Station, an outstation to Alexandria, one of the country’s largest cattle stations on the border between the Northern Territory and Queensland.”
P“arts of Queensland have been issued with more flood warnings as water levels continue to rise.
“Major flood warnings have been issued for the Nicholson, Gregory and Leichhardt Rivers and the surrounding areas. Burketown is expected to bear the brunt of the flood, with water levels expected to exceed the March 2011 record of 6.87m on Friday.“
Record warm night in New South Wales, Australia.“
“Some stations had their highest Tmin ever for March:
26.5C [79.7F] Scone Airport, 25.2C Gunnedah, 21.8C Mount Seaview, 23.8C Lostock Dam among others.”
NSW RFS shares hectic vision of fire burning through state’s Central West as emergency crews respond.“
“NSW Rural Fire Service has warned a bushfire which broke out on Monday is continuing to spread across the state’s Central West. In hectic vision shared to Twitter on Wednesday, flames are seen bursting through the Tambaroora area, north of Hill End.”
Massive Australia wildfires increased Antarctic ozone hole: study.“
“Smoke from monster wildfires in Australia caused a chemical reaction that widened the ozone hole 10 percent, researchers said Wednesday, raising fears that increasing forest fires could delay the recovery of Earth’s atmospheric protection against deadly UV radiation.”
Signs of El Niño appear on the coasts of Peru and Ecuador.“
“The equatorial Pacific is undergoing strong changes: the current La Niña is weakening and in certain areas of the coast of South America appear the first signs of warming surface waters with warm anomalies, signs of an incipient El Niño.”
More records of monthly high temperatures in Peru, this time mostly in the highlands with exceptional temperatures up to 30C / 86F at 2500m above sea level and 23C at 4000m…“
“In Chile temperature reached 32C/90F at 3120m/10200ft at Toconao.”
February 2023 in Argentina had record hot spells interrupted by a brief but intense cold spell.“
“As a result, temperature anomalies ranged from average to +2C above the 91-20 normal; Dry conditions continued in most of the country; summer was the hottest on record.”
Cuba tobacco farmers recuperate after ruinous Hurricane Ian…“
““Not a single tobacco house was left standing. There were no warehouses, there was no tree left,” Robaino told The Associated Press, remembering how the storm left the region at the end of September. “Everything broke and at that moment I did not believe it was possible to plant.””
Atmospheric river comes for California as experts warn it ‘could get really ugly’…“
“The state is still recovering from a series of major snow storms in late February that officials described as a “once-in-a-generation” event. Gavin Newsom, the state’s governor, declared emergencies in 13 of California’s 58 counties in response to the extreme weather.”
The temperature reached 90F (32.2C) at Miami. That broke the daily record of 88F (31.1C) from 1992 and 2003. It was the 3rd consecutive 90F (32.2C) day and the earliest heatwave by more than a month.“
“The previous earliest heatwave occurred during April 8-10, 2020.”
These 12 US states had the hottest January and February ever recorded…“
“Twelve states – New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Ohio, Kentucky and Virginia – had their hottest January and February ever recorded. A further 18 states had a top-ten hottest January and February.”
Greenland temperatures surge up to 50 degrees above normal, setting records.“
“Temperatures soared to record levels in Greenland early this week, up to 50 degrees above normal in some places… This latest warm spell in Greenland pushed the temperature in its capital, Nuuk, up to 59.4 degrees (15.2 Celsius) on Sunday, the warmest on record for March or April…”
Scientists have revived a ‘zombie’ virus that spent 48,500 years frozen in permafrost…“
“An anthrax outbreak in Siberia that affected dozens of humans and more than 2,000 reindeer between July and August in 2016 has also been linked to the deeper thawing of the permafrost during exceptionally hot summers, allowing old spores of Bacillus anthracis to resurface from old burial grounds or animal carcasses.”
Europe is emerging from its second-warmest winter on record as climate change continues to intensify.“
“The average temperature in Europe from December to February was 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1991-2020 average for the Boreal winter season, according to data published by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.”
Will heat waves hit Europe this summer?“
“2023 is expected to get even hotter [than 2022]. This is partly because a cooling weather pattern known as La Niña that has been in place for three years will come to an end. It is also due to greenhouse gas emissions pushing up temperatures, according to the UK’s Met Office.”
Two more departments in France – Drôme and Ardèche – have been put on early drought alert after a particularly dry winter.“
“France’s ecology ministry made the announcements this week and are aimed at avoiding major water shortages this summer.”
Women’s Day in Italy hit by drought as flower supply dries up.“
“The mimosa harvest has fallen by a third, with a drop in rainfall and higher temperatures forcing farmers to garner the twigs ahead of time, agricultural association Coldiretti said in a statement.”
Tunisia wheat crop to drop by ‘at least’ 15% amid drought.“
“Tunisia’s farmers have suffered the effect of persistent drought conditions across the country with a prolonged rainfall deficit expected to decrease wheat production by at least 15% in 2023, trade sources have told Agricensus.”
Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has reaffirmed Egypt’s reliance on its Arab brothers to urge Ethiopia to refrain from its unilateral acts regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)…“
“This comes while Ethiopia continues to fill and operate the dam despite failing to reach an agreement with the two downstream countries of Sudan and Egypt, the minister added.”
Flash floods: why are more of them devastating the world’s driest regions?“
“…Climate change is making such events more intense and frequent. In parts of Pakistan, for example, the 5-day maximum level of rainfall is 75% greater today than it was before 1900. Our analysis shows that globally, the rate of dryland flash flooding was 20 times higher between 2000 and 2022 than it was between 1900 and 1999.”
Extreme rainfall events could become four times more frequent by 2080 if climate change continues, according to Britain’s top weather forecasters.“
“For every degree of regional warming, the intensity of extreme downpours could also increase by 5 to 15 per cent, said climate scientists at the Met Office.”
You can read the previous “Climate” thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an “Economic” thread.
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On reading one of your links about India and water shortages in Dehli, it says that it is not just the heat that is the cause of water shortages ; It mainly points to the ‘ sand mafia’, the illegal sand mining that affects almost all Indian rivers with disastrous consequences… India is a horribly corrupt and country where the ‘sand mafia’ does figure roughly at the top of the list.
Shortages of river (construction) sand, indispensable for cement and concrete is, by the way, one of those ‘ black swans’ that nobody thinks about but which can break us up ugly. Also plays a role in Morocco, by the way.
The bloody world of illegal sand mining in India
According to the latest data from the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), a network working on issues surrounding rivers, 193 people died in India between January 2019 and November 2020 due to illegal sand mining in rivers.
It is a conservative estimate because not all these deaths are reported”
Illegal sand mining – extraction of sand from river beds, lakes and reservoirs and agricultural fields – takes a toll on both the environment and human lives. This sand is used for production and construction activities. Whether local officials, activists or journalists, anyone who wants to expose illegal mining activities is mistreated, threatened or even killed. Sometimes their families are unlawfully detained.
Illegal sand mining in both directions of rivers – upstream and downstream – is one of the causes of environmental degradation. It is also a threat to biodiversity. “Over the years, India’s rivers and riparian ecology have been severely degraded by the alarming rate of unrestricted sand mining.” “Sand mining damages river ecosystem and bridge safety, weakens riverbeds, destroys natural habitats of organisms living on riverbeds”
Sand mining is a pan-Indian problem. No river is free from sand mining.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the global demand for sand and gravel is 40-50 billion tonnes per year, and its scarcity is an emerging global crisis. The demand for sand is only expected to increase. And high demand and limited supply are leading to sand wars and killings.
According to Sand Mining, there is a shortage of sand in India. It estimated India’s demand for sand at about 700 million tonnes (in 2017) and it is increasing by six to seven per cent annually.
Large-scale sand mining not only destabilises banks and river beds, but also affects the natural flow of rivers. This increases the risk of flooding.When sand is mined rampantly without norms and standards, a river begins to change its course, deepening the floodplain and increasing the risk of flooding In addition, sand helps replenish groundwater.
Mining is responsible for a 90% drop in sediment content in major Asian rivers, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna, Mekong and Yangtze. This has shrunk the delta areas of these rivers, leaving local people extremely vulnerable to flooding, land loss, contaminated drinking water and crop damage.
Sand mining in rivers is lowering groundwater levels – a serious problem in India, where millions of people already face severe water shortages. Legal sand mining can also be illegal. With legal sand mining, you have to get permission from the respective departments. But, while permission can be granted for digging three metres, it is often extended to a 10-metre stretch.
Illegal sand mining has increased exponentially in the country since the 1990s. The states and government are totally failing to put an end to illegal sand mining. This is because the sand mafia of illegal mining and transportation has a network to in the circles of the administrators who are bribed…….
Thank you for your thoughts, Zip.
“Shortages of river (construction) sand, indispensable for cement and concrete is, by the way, one of those ‘ black swans’ that nobody thinks about…”
Your comment made me think of helium – another critical, finite, non-renewable resource that tends to fly under the radar:
“It’s used in everything from medical devices and cryogenics to space travel and even powering the internet. It’s a major element in a number of key supply chains. In fact, it’s even listed as a critical material to U.S. economic and national security. It’s a non-renewable resource…and our supply is running dangerously low.”