2nd December 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Fall 2020 in Moscow will be declared the warmest on record for the capital, according to Russia’s state weather service.

“The average temperature in Moscow for September, October and November was 3.2 degrees Celsius [4.4F], which is 4.4 C [8F] above normal. The news follows Moscow recording its warmest winter ever in 2019-2020, with traditional snow cover largely absent, while 2019 was Russia’s hottest year ever overall.”


On a remote peninsular in the Arctic circle, enormous wounds are appearing in the permafrost – as something that is worrying scientists bursts out from underground

“For many of those who study the Arctic, they are a disquieting sign that this cold, largely unpopulated landscape at the north of our planet is undergoing some radical changes.”


Watching the Arctic thaw in fast-forward:

“…global warming is… leaving its mark on terrestrial permafrost.

For several years, permafrost regions have been thawing more and more intensively in North America, Scandinavia and Siberia—e.g. in the extreme northwest of Alaska.”


Never before has Norway experienced a warmer November with temperatures 4.6°C above the norm. It was also wetter than usual

“…it was northern Norway that felt the difference most. Several stations in Troms & Finnmark county recorded temperatures of up to 7°C [12.6F] above normal. County records also fell in Viken and Vestfold & Telemark.”


November 2020 is on course to set a batch of new records for the warmest penultimate month of the year [for The Netherlands], as well as being one of the driest.

“Temperatures were around 2 degrees higher than average throughout the month and included the warmest November day since records began on November 2, when the thermometer reached 19.1C [66.4F] in De Bilt.”


Heavy rain battered the Algarve once again this morning (November 30), causing several serious floods across the region

“This is yet another example of how heavy rain can be a double-edged sword in the Algarve. While the region is desperate for rain at a time when its dams are near historic lows, too much rainfall in a short period of time often translates into floods due to overflowing gutters which have long been an issue in the region.”


Beirut streets turned into rivers.

“Lebanon flood.” 



A decline in precipitation linked to global warming has hit Turkey, which is seeing a drop in water levels in dams, from Edirne in the far northwest to Izmir on the west coast.

“The threat of drought is slowly gripping Turkey, experts warn, as reports roll in of decreasing water levels at dams in several cities.”


Athian and his family are among the 377,300 people displaced by floods and violence in Warrap [South Sudan] since July, the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

“Nationwide, more than one million people have been temporarily forced from their homes.”


The Cyclonic Storm ‘Burevi’ has formed over southwest Bay of Bengal and is centred about 370 km east-southeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 600 km of Pamban and 770 km of Kanniyakumari.

“Last week Cyclone Nivar had hit the state. The met officials said the storm is likely to intensify further during the next 12 hours.”


At least five died as flooding triggered by prolonged heavy rains over the past days hit central provinces and the Central Highlands of Vietnam

“Natural disasters, mostly floods, storms and landslides, have killed 372 people in the first 11 months of this year and caused losses worth VND38.4 trillion ($1.65 billion), according to the General Statistics Office.”


A swell of water 2 meters deep flooded thousands of houses in Tebing Tinggi city, North Sumatra [Indonesia] over the weekend, blocking the roads connecting up to three regencies and cities in the area.

“Torrential rainfall since Friday caused the Padang River in Tebing Tinggi to overflow, submerging nearby houses and streets. The water had not receded by Sunday.”


Australia has sweltered through its hottest spring and November on record, with both the season and the month more than 2C (3.6F) warmer than the long-term average.

Temperatures in spring were 2.03C hotter than average across night and day. In November, they were 2.47C above the long-term mean, which is measured across the years 1961-90.”


Heat records have tumbled today with sweltering conditions intensifying in parts of southern Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

“Warwick set a new December record of 40.8C [105.4F], while Applethorpe registered 37.5C [99.5F], passing a previous high for the month of 36.8C [98.2F] that was set in 1972.”


Thousands of homes around Sydney remain without power hours after a ferocious storm tore through the city last night.

“Torrential rain and damaging winds of up to 160km/h [100mph] resulted in over 300 electrical hazards and 650 calls for help to emergency services over the last 24 hours.”


It might be summer, but Perth residents found themselves reaching for the winter woolies this morning as the city shivered through its coldest summer morning in 124 years.

“Despite the sun shining as the city woke up to its very first day of summer, temperatures dropped to a record-breaking 6.6C [43.9F]… It beats the previous record of 7.9C [46.2F] on December 7 in 2007.”


While parts of Australia sweltered through the hottest November on record, regions in Tasmania woke to a dusting of summer snow.

“Tuesday night’s blustery cold front brought falls to the summit of Hobart’s Mount Wellington and elevated areas of the central highlands on the first and second day of summer.”


Coffee traders are just starting to come to grips with the extent of Brazil’s weather woes as prospects for next year’s harvest shrivel in the hot and dry conditions

““Rains have been awful, well below the average,” Cooxupe Commercial Director Lucio Dias said in an interview, adding the impact may extend into the 2022 season. “The situation is very concerning.””


Climate change will increase the burdens on Brazil’s armed forces and endanger the country’s energy and water security, military experts predicted on Monday.

“A group of senior military leaders said deforestation in the Amazon region could alter rainfall patterns in Brazil, hitting hydropower plants – the country’s major source of energy – and water supplies for major urban centers.”


A vast expanse of Amazon rainforest seven times larger than Greater London was destroyed over the last year as deforestation surged to a 12-year high under Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

“Figures released by the Brazilian space institute, Inpe, on Monday showed at least 11,088 sq km of rainforest was razed between August 2019 and July this year – the highest figure since 2008.”


Human activity endangers coral health around the world.

A new algal threat is taking advantage of coral’s already precarious situation in the Caribbean and making it even harder for reef ecosystems to grow.”


Nearly 1 million people in Southern California are facing blackouts as the state’s three biggest utilities weigh cutting power to prevent live wires from sparking fires during high winds.

“Edison International’s Southern California Edison warned it may need to shut off electricity to more than 230,000 homes and businesses in eight counties, the utility said on its website.”


After experiencing the hottest summer in history and the latest 90-degree day, Phoenix just broke another warm weather record.

“Yes, you read that right. From Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, Phoenix achieved its hottest autumn ever, with an average high temperature of 93.2F [34c].”


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30th November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Sydney has sweltered through its hottest November night since records began more than 160 years ago before temperatures again climbed above 40C [104F] in the city on Sunday ahead of a cool but gusty change.

“The temperature dropped to just 25.3C [77.5F] at 1.09am on Sunday at Sydney’s Observatory Hill and rose above 30C shortly after 4.30am.

The previous record for the warmest November minimum temperature was set in 1967 at 24.8C [76.6F].

“On Sunday, temperatures in Sydney peaked at 42.6C [108.7] at Sydney airport at 1.20pm as the extreme heat posed a fire danger across New South Wales.”


Australian firefighters are struggling to control a massive bush fire that already destroyed 40 per cent of the Unesco world heritage listed Fraser Island before a heatwave hit Monday (Nov 30).

“The fire on the world’s largest sand island, off Australia’s east coast, has been raging for more than six weeks and is consuming large swathes of the island’s unique forests.”


A burst of wet and wintry weather has cemented this November as Perth’s wettest on record and the coolest in 12 years.

Perth’s November rainfall trumped July’s and rivalled August’s total. It was the highest figure since records began over 140 years ago.”


Scientists have just pieced together 150 years of New Zealand climate history

“”While there were some very warm years in the early 1970s, all of the warmest years have occurred since 1998,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Jim Salinger.”


In pictures: Hurricanes leave Hondurans homeless and destitute.

“Honduras is one of the countries in Central America to be hit not by one but two hurricanes this month.

“Eta arrived in Nicaragua on 3 November as a category four hurricane and ripped through Honduras and Guatemala on its path north. Less than two weeks later, Iota – also a category four hurricane – made landfall just 15 miles (24km) south of where Eta had hit.”


Two hurricanes, three cold fronts and a tropical storm — all within 27 days — damaged between 20 and 25 buildings in Yucatán’s archaeological zones [Mexico], INAH said.

“The National Institute of Anthropology and History in Yucatán reported the loss of some architectural elements as well as landslides that undermined some ancient structures.”


Monday marks the official end to the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. Even though the season ends on November 30, we could see at least one more storm before things wind down for the winter.”


Ever expanded masses of seaweed are choking the Atlantic ocean and becoming a menace to beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean.

“The massive sargassum blooms are a threat to biodiversity, fisheries and tourism, according to a new report from BBC.”


Wildfires deal another blow to Northern California’s fragile bee populations: The wildfires dealt yet another devastating blow to the all-important pollinator already facing myriad challenges, from mite infestations to widespread colony collapse.

“Even for beekeepers who didn’t lose hives to the flames, the vast amounts of smoke hampered honey production by disrupting the bees’ natural routines. The fires also destroyed vegetation where bees forage for nectar and pollen.”


A rare beetle could become the first species to go extinct in the UK this century after ministers ignored warnings to give it protected status.

“The streaked bombardier beetle is among 16 species put on an at-risk list that was drawn up in 2014, but only made public in February. The beetle is only known to exist on a few sites along the Thames, where it is threatened by development.”


UK’s worsening floods will hit the most disadvantaged communities the hardest:

“As our warming world brings more devastating floods, new official data shows that England’s most disadvantaged communities already face disproportionate risks.”


At least three people have been killed by flooding after two days of heavy rain hit the Italian island of Sardinia, with two more people still missing on Sunday evening.

“The victims died on Saturday and were all from the town of Bitti, where the flood turned the streets into a deadly river of mud that dragged away cars in its fury and swallowed the lower floors of the town’s houses.”


Flooding hampers rescue operation for about 40 trapped Zimbabwean miners.

“The head of Zimbabwe Miners Federation said the number of those trapped underground could be higher because informal miners do not keep a tally of people operating in the mines they occupy. Hopes are fading fast…”


The World Food Program says hundreds of thousands of people in southern Madagascar are in the grips of a hunger emergency brought on by consecutive years of drought and ruined harvests.

“Three years of consecutive drought have wiped out Madagascar’s harvests and driven desperately hungry people to fall back on extreme measures to put food on their tables.”


Just days after being in the firing line of Cyclone Nivar, which landed over Tamil Nadu as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during the early hours of November 26, Southern Peninsular India must now brace for another potential cyclone this coming week.

“…a low pressure area currently lies over South Andaman Sea and the adjoining areas of Southeast Bay of Bengal and Equatorial Indian Ocean. From here on, the system is likely to concentrate into a depression during the next 48 hours, and continue intensifying further thereafter.”


Six months have gone since cyclone Amphan walloped the coastal districts of Bangladesh. And winter is coming, too.

“But hundreds of people are still living on the broken embankments. Also, the lives of around 20,000 people of Shreula and Pratapnagar unions of Satkhira’s Ashashuni upazila have now become dependent on tides.

“Tidal water is still flowing through the broken embankments and entering their homes.”


The Cagayan River Basin [Philippines] Flood Forecasting and Warning Center has issued a warning to residents in low lying areas that the recent torrential rains might submerge villages anew.

“New flooding is possible in 21 towns of Isabela province and 16 towns in Cagayan province as the Cagayan River and its tributaries are now “above alert level”…”


About 19 percent of the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet had experienced melting during the past two decades, according to a report released Friday by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology

“It is predicted that the melting conditions of the Antarctic ice sheet surface will continue to increase… Its impact on the sea level rise will become significant.”


Unprecedented warming in the far north is having its toll on Russian towns, industry and infrastructure, and consequences could be dire unless the temperature increase is halted, the Russian Ministry of the Far East and Arctic makes clear…

“The year 2020 has beaten most temperature records. Since measurements started in year 1881, summer temperatures in the Arctic have never been this high. The record temperatures continued into fall.”


The indigenous peoples of Russia’s Far North are sounding the alarm as climate change encroaches on their traditional lifestyle. But the message from the “guardians of the Arctic” isn’t reaching Moscow, which sees gold and other economic benefits in the melting of the ice…

“Ominous signs have already emerged from the thaw: thinning reindeer herds and fish stocks, drying lakes, and forest fires.”


“The all-time warmest December temperature in Yellowknife [far north Canada] is 2.8°C [37F] , which we have the potential to beat as we are forecasting temperatures as high as 4°C [39F] at times next week,” says Weather Network meteorologist Matt Grinter. “The record for the warmest low temperatures also has the chance to be beaten.”

“This blast of “heat” comes as the jetstream takes a leap towards the north in western Canada, bringing with it extreme warmth to the Northwest Territories.”


A record-breaking Sahara dust storm that spread hazy skies and harmful levels of air pollution across parts of North America was caused by winds linked to melting Arctic sea ice, researchers say.

“The event, dubbed the Godzilla dust cloud, peaked from 14 to 19 June 2020 and travelled more than 8000 kilometres across the Atlantic Ocean.

“The record dust plumes it created were so thick that algorithms initially classified them as clouds rather than dust.”


Climate change is often hidden in the way we are shown temperature data:

“Shifting climate baselines conceal warming that occurred in the past; our new ‘normals’ differ strongly from normals decades ago.”


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27th November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers and a huge thank you to all subscribers and donors.

Water shortages are now affecting more than 3 billion people around the world, as the amount of fresh water available for each person has plunged by a fifth over two decades, data has shown.

“About 1.5 billion people are suffering severe water scarcity or even drought, as a combination of climate breakdown, rising demand and poor management has made agriculture increasingly difficult…”


Extreme heat is a threat to lives in Africa, but it’s not being monitored:

“Recent research has found that since the 1950s, extreme heat has become more frequent and severe, and lasted longer, in nearly all regions of the world. The biggest increases have been seen in the Middle East, South America and parts of Africa.”


Daytime sightings of aardvarks are becoming more common in the drier parts of southern Africa.

“But seeing [these nocturnal creatures] in the daytime does not bode well because it indicates they might not be finding enough food.”


About 200 people are seeking refuge in several disaster relief centres after parts of Polokwane [South Africa] were lashed by overnight rain and hail, which damaged hundreds of houses

“Large hailstones smashed through roofs, car windows, and damaged infrastructure in and around Seshego.”


Meteorological experts in the Horn of Africa region reported that deadly Cyclone Gati which made landfall Sunday in Somalia is finally dissipating.

“In the northern Somali towns of Hafun, Hurdiya and Bossaso, roads have become rivers, houses remain submerged and transport infrastructure has been crippled by the storm that caused immense physical and property damage. At least eight people were killed Sunday and hundreds of thousands were displaced.”


At least five people have been killed due to Cyclone Nivar in Tamil Nadu [India], according to a News18 report.

“The severe cyclonic storm now has weakened into a cyclonic storm over coastal Tamil Nadu and it is set to further weaken into a deep depression, the India Meteorological Department said.”


Mongolia at risk of becoming arid wasteland: New research published today in Science is painting an alarming picture of the current climate situation in inner East Asia.

“Contemporaneous heatwaves and droughts in the region are happening more often now than they did 20 years ago but …the current climate situation in the region has no precedent over the past 260 years.”


More than 1,000 houses in Sarolangun and Merangin districts of Indonesia’s Jambi Province were flooded due to heavy rains, according to local disaster agencies on Thursday.

“The Sarolangun District Disaster Management Agency (BPBD) said the floods submerged houses up to 2 meters high.”


NSW [Australia] braces for record heatwave weekend, damaging winds, fire danger:

“Most of NSW will experience a heatwave and damaging winds over the weekend, with the conditions also expected to lead to increased fire danger in parts of the state. Inland NSW will see temperatures reach the mid-40s on Saturday [113F’ish].”


About 100 pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins have died in a mass stranding on the remote Chatham Islands, about 800km (497 miles) off New Zealand’s east coast, officials said.

“Most of them were stranded during the weekend but rescue efforts have been hampered by the island’s remote location.”


It took just a few decades for Brazilian agriculture to transform its tropical savannah hinterlands – the Cerrado – into an agricultural powerhouse.

“Farmers and the growing agribusiness sector celebrated rising sales of soya and beef, and the roads and towns that grew up with them. But environmentalists and Cerrado communities say the advances came at the price of roaring deforestation, land grabbing, violence and the loss of traditional lands.”


A storm left the inner city of São Paulo [Brazil] totally flooded. There were 40 minutes of rain and shocking images, showing vehicles and people dragged by the current. There is still no information about homeless people, but several people are being treated at the emergency room in the region.”



How fitting that an unprecedented hurricane season would end with an unprecedented November: Two major hurricanes formed this month for the first time in recorded history. Hurricanes Eta and Iota both slammed into the same Central American coastline miles and days apart.

“But is this really the end? Hurricane season officially ends on Monday, but scientists fear storms could continue to form beyond the “official” end date of Nov. 30.


The National Weather Service says an EF-2 tornado was responsible for significant damage during storms Tuesday night in Arlington.

“Police say some buildings collapsed and at least three apartment complexes were destroyed.”


A Southern California utility is warning it may intentionally cut power to thousands of customers this holiday week because of gusty and dry conditions conducive to wildfires

“The warning comes in a year when wildfires have hit the state brutally hard. This year’s fires have killed more than 30 people so far and have featured five of the six largest wildfires in California’s recorded history.”


The two largest wildfires in Colorado history, which sparked within the past few months, are seeming to defy logic as they continue to burn while surrounded by snow. With recent precipitation, including snowfall that blanketed both fires, why aren’t they extinguished yet?

“Maribeth Pecotte… explained that fire is likely still smoldering inside, underneath or even underground some fuels.”


Dr. Kari Nadeau, a professor of medicine at Stanford who specializes in pediatric allergies and asthma, said she worried that the damage to children [from wildfire smoke] might last a very long time

“Her latest research suggests that exposure to wildfire smoke, which contains the same particulate pollution and more, is associated with genetic changes in children’s immune cells. “It could,” she said, “have irreversible consequences.”


Climate change is coming for New England’s cranberries:

“Hotter summers, wimpier winters, shifting springs: They all add up to make the conditions tough for the fruits and their dedicated growers.”


Nearly 200 Israelis had to be rescued due to heavy rain and thunderstorms that ravaged Israel from the north to the south on Thursday, with experts warning that such severe rainstorms may become routine due to climate change.

“The rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout the day and into the weekend.”


Russian oil giant Rosneft on Wednesday announced the start of operations for its giant Vostok oil project in the Arctic, part of the country’s strategic energy plan which has been criticised by environmentalists.

“”It is with great pleasure that I inform you of the start of the practical implementation of the project,” Rosneft chief executive Igor Sechin told President Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Moscow.”


Global heating appears to be making trees drop their leaves earlier, according to new research, confounding the idea that warmer temperatures delay the onset of autumn.

“The finding is important because trees draw huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and therefore play a key role in managing the climate.”


More frequent and more intense wildfires are threatening thousands of species of plants and animals from Australia to South America to the Arctic Circle, according to new research.

“”Those species include 19% of birds, 16% of mammals, 17% of dragonflies and 19% of legumes that are classified as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable,” Luke Kelly, lead author of the study and professor at Australia’s University of Melbourne, said in a news release. “That’s a massive number of plants and animals facing threats associated with fire.””


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25th November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

An underwater heat blob from the Atlantic is delivering more and more warmth to the Arctic, causing sea ice to rapidly melt, a study has found.

“The research shows that the amount of heat delivered to the Arctic Ocean and the Nordic Seas by ocean currents has increased markedly since 2001.”


“Zack Labe, an Arctic climate specialist at Colorado State University, said, “There is [still] a large area of open water that would normally be sea ice covered … The Arctic has transitioned from a state of old and thick sea ice to one with thin, first-year ice accompanied by rapidly warming ocean and air temperatures.”

“Researchers say that Siberia’s extreme heat in 2020 would have been effectively impossible without human-caused climate change and was made at least 600 times more likely by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”


A freak snowstorm that has battered parts of the Russian Far East and left 100,000 residents without electricity for several days is linked to climate change, analysts and activists say…

“The weather phenomenon 6,500 kilometers east of Moscow follows an abnormally mild and snowless winter in 2019 that scientists also attributed to climate change.”


Why Moscow’s warming winters are a warning to the world: [In 2019] Moscow fell into an extended six-month autumn, and an inescapable sense that something was terribly wrong.

“That December was snow-free for the first time in living memory. Rain fell in January, a month when the mercury wouldn’t ordinarily rise much over -15. In February, bears emerged early from hibernation and flowers began to bloom. By March, the world’s coldest and northernmost megacity was bounding into another sweltering summer.”


Just two weeks after making history with the warmest stretch of sustained temperatures ever recorded in November, the City of Toronto is once again boasting a new weather record: This one for a heck ton of snow.

“Toronto was hit with a whopping 19.4 cm of snowfall on Sunday…”


Officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said they believe a storm that brought hail, high winds and lightning to Davis County earlier this month is what killed or injured dozens of swans.

“DWR officials told KSL on Tuesday that it recovered a total of 41 swans after the Nov. 14 storm. In all, 34 swans died and another seven were injured.”


A Santa Ana wind event expected over the holiday weekend is the latest sign that California’s worst wildfire season on record may still have some fuel left in the tank.

“In a pair of fire weather forecasts released by the National Weather Service, meteorologists warn that warm, dry inland winds are expected to sweep over the Southland from Santa Barbara to Orange counties from Thursday through Sunday, raising the risk that a fire would burn out of control.”


In less than a decade, some of the burned expanses from this year’s megafires could burst into intense flames again.

“In some ecosystems, high-severity fire can beget more high-severity fire, furthering the loss of forest.”


When wildfires spread across California, they leave a cascade of water problems in their wake: Some communities have their drinking water poisoned by toxic substances.

“Others wrestle with ash and debris washed into reservoirs and lakes. And many living in remote stretches of the state struggle with accessing enough water to fight fires.”


For scientists studying ‘disaster fatigue,’ 2020 has been a year like no other:

“In Lake Charles, for example, people twice had to weigh the perils of trying to ride out an oncoming hurricane against the risk of contracting COVID-19 if they evacuated to a packed emergency shelter.

“In California and other states, residents faced similar choices when confronted with several waves of massive wildfires.”


Covid-19 and climate change make hurricanes more devastating for Latin America: When it rained, people used to see it as a good omen. Now in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala, they see the drops falling from the sky with terror.

“After two Category 4 hurricanes this month, communities in these Central American countries have witnessed rivers overflowing from torrential rains, crops destroyed, cattle washed away, schools flooded, and roads engulfed in landslides. Death, disease and poverty will likely follow.”


‘One more hour and we’d all be dead’: Colombian island smashed by record-breaking hurricane: Laidy Betancourt sleeps in a tent on the floor of the Catholic church that gave her family sanctuary on the night a vicious hurricane destroyed their island…

““This was the first time I’ve lived through something like this and I think it will be the last, because we’re thinking about moving from here,” she told The Telegraph.”


Queensland [Australia] is set to transform from a sunburnt country into a land of flooding rains this summer.

“Forecasters warn that La Nina will dampen the state’s bushfire season, but create a more intense storm and cyclone season this summer.”


A 4500km conveyor belt of scorching weather stretching from Broome [Australia] all the way to the country’s south east could prove “dangerous” in the coming days…

The all-time record for Australia’s hottest ever November day could be broken with the mercury rising close to 50C [122F].”


Deforestation and greater risk of flooding set off environmental alarms in Vietnam:

“The recent, devastating floods highlight the fragility of the country’s natural environment. Deforestation, expanded farming, timber harvesting, and hydroelectric dams are the main culprits.”


The behavior of glaciers around Mount Everest over the last six decades is now revealed in research published today:

“Dr. Owen King, of the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews, who led the study said:

“”Our results show that ice mass loss rates have consistently increased since the early 1960s and are now similar to the average global rate of ice loss, despite the regions extreme elevation.””


Emergency restrictions have been imposed on the movement of people and a public holiday has been declared in several coastal regions of India as the very severe cyclonic storm Nivar approaches the country.

“The cyclone is forecast to make landfall on Wednesday and is expected to bring powerful winds gusting up to 145kph [90mph] and heavy rainfall to areas already battered by storms this year.”


Severe rain caused flooding in the capital of Iraq, Baghdad.”



Serious flooding in Somalia’s Puntland region after Cyclone Gati:

“Cyclone Gati hit Somalia’s Puntland region, flooding homes and causing considerable damage. Heavy rains and strong winds triggered flash floods along coastal and inland areas…”


Djibouti experienced heavy rains between 21 and 28 November 2019, triggering flash floods and destruction of property, homes and livelihoods across the country…

“…peak rainfall was experienced for three days between the dates of 21 to 23 November 2019, with over 295mm of rainfall recorded.

“This was more than Djibouti’s yearly average rainfall of 127mm and was equivalent to two years of rainfall.”


One million people affected by Nile River floods. “This is what climate change looks like”:

“The floods immediately affect over one million people in South Sudan. In Jonglei alone, the worst-affected state, they have displaced an estimated 400.000 people. More to the north, in Sudan, torrential rains had risen Nile water levels by 17.5 metres in August. Flooding destroyed millions of acres of farmland and killed innumerable cattle. For the first time in history, even the pyramids in Meroë are threatened by flooding.”


The Desert Locust crisis which struck the greater Horn of Africa region earlier this year threatening food supplies for millions, could re-escalate as recent strong winds carried mature swarmlets from southern Somalia into eastern and northeastern Kenya…

“…there remains a risk of further egg-laying in sandy areas that saw recent rainfalls.”


Unbelievable sandstorm hits the South African town of Upington, Northern Cape.”



Storms Ciara and Dennis inquiry finds North Yorkshire communities [UK] ‘need to become more resilient to protect themselves from floods‘:

“The report… states that February 2020 was the wettest since the Met Office records began in 1891, and the Pennine-fed catchments of the rivers Swale, Ure, Nidd, Wharfe, Aire, Calder and Don received between 320 per cent and 375 per cent of their monthly average rainfall.”


Shift in atmospheric rivers could affect Antarctic sea ice, glaciers:

“Weather systems responsible for transporting moisture from the tropics to temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere have been gradually shifting toward the South Pole for the past 40 years, a trend which could lead to increased rates of ice melt in Antarctica, according to new research.”


Methane Hits Record High in Atmosphere as Fossil Fuel Companies Diverge:

“Oil and gas producers in Europe commit to reporting emissions but major U.S. firms do not.”


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23rd November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

The strongest tropical cyclone ever measured in the northern Indian Ocean has made landfall in eastern Africa, where it is poised to drop two years’ worth of rain in the next two days.

Tropical Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia on Sunday with sustained winds of around 105 mph. It’s the first recorded instance of a hurricane-strength system hitting the country.

“At one point before landfall, Gati’s winds were measured at 115 mph.”


“…thousands of villagers in the Eastern Cape… [South Africa] were left devastated by a monster tornado on Tuesday evening in Mthatha. It ripped off roofs, destroyed homes and small farms, and left thousands displaced. Three people died and many have been hospitalised.

“According to the non-governmental disaster relief group, this was the biggest tornado in recorded history.”


Cyclone Nivar is heading towards the north Tamil Nadu coast and south Andhra Pradesh [India]. It is expected to make landfall between Mamallapuram and Karaikal, including Mayiladuthurai district on Wednesday…

“”Cyclone Nivar may cause heavy to extremely heavy rains at isolated places in Rayalaseema and south coastal AP districts on Wednesday…”


Every part of the climbing route up Mount Everest is littered with microplastics, researchers found.

“They even found plastic fibers just below the summit — at 27,690 feet above sea level — according to a new study.”


The habitat of the platypus has shrunk by almost a quarter in just three decades, researchers have warned. An egg-laying mammal known for its duck-like bill, the platypus is found in river systems in eastern Australia.

“But human intervention in those waterways, bad droughts and introduced predators – among other things – have ravaged its habitats…”


A wave of “oppressive heat” is heading towards southern and eastern parts of Australia with the mercury set to be 15C above average in some areas and the likelihood that all-time spring and November records could be smashed.

“Some inland towns could see six consecutive days of temperatures above 40C [104F].”


“…the fire that destroyed around half of Lake Ohau village last month is one of the most expensive in New Zealand’s history.

Rural Fire Scientist Grant Pearce from Scion has been studying wildfire behaviour for almost 30 years and says he has never seen a fire quite like this. “It would be the most severe wildfire in terms of its impacts that I’ve been involved in over that time… probably on a scale of that we haven’t seen in New Zealand for almost a century.””


A million hectares ablaze as forest fires sweep through Bolivia: Forest fires have led the departments of Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca to declare a state of disaster.

“The Chiquitania and Chaco ecosystems have been the most affected by the fires, while Indigenous peoples are threatened by a prolonged drought.”


The world map of wine has been affected [by global warming], with producers fleeing the hot and semi-desert zones and looking for cooler, wetter places to plant vineyards.

In the dry north of Chile, for example, in Limán and Elqui, the extreme climate has already caused some wineries to close.”


According to Cabello, the heat wave in Misiones [Argentina] will be felt with a maximum of 40C [104F] in the city of Posadas.

“…the Fire Danger index will be extreme.”


Shelters for people whose homes were flooded or damaged by hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras are now so crowded that thousands of victims have taken refuge under highway overpasses or bridges.

“The International Red Cross estimates that about 4.2 million people were affected by the back-to-back Category 4 hurricanes in November in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Several hundred thousand are in shelters or informal camps across the region.”


Beach erosion from Tropical Storm Eta unearthed remnants of an 1800s shipwreck in Florida: After Tropical Storm Eta swept across northern Florida earlier this month, a beachgoer made a discovery while walking on the shore in St. Augustine.

“What Mark O’Donoghue spotted peeking through the sand dunes of Crescent Beach were timbers likely belonging to a shipwreck dating back to the 1800s, according to a news release from the St. Augustine Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program.”


Charleston weighs wall as seas rise and storms strengthen: God’s taking back his land,” says Vickie Hicks, who weaves intricate sweetgrass baskets in Charleston, South Carolina’s historic city market…

“Though Charleston has remained relatively unscathed this hurricane season, the city of 136,000 has seen higher tides and wetter, more frequent rainstorms in recent years with climate change.”


State Engineer John D’Antonio, who also serves as secretary of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, says the worsening drought conditions could lead to an executive order from the governor’s office declaring a state of drought emergency

“He said, “100% of the state is in severe drought,” adding that close to 70% of the state is in an extreme drought category.”


Thousands have died prematurely in US due to wildfire pollution, say scientists:

“There are said to have been an estimated 1,200 to 3,000 excess deaths in California alone in one 40-day period in the late summer… An unprecedented number of major fires have burned millions of acres in California, Oregon and Washington this year.”


A Tornado Was Just Confirmed In Ontario & It’s Unusual For This Time Of Year:

“There have been quite a few tornadoes in Ontario this year and the latest one that was just confirmed happened unusually late… In Ontario, tornadoes usually happen between May and September…”


Tornadoes hit the Girne (Kyrenia) district of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus late Friday, inflicting significant damage on businesses, homes and the power grid

“Tornadoes are rare …in the Mediterranean basin, however, they have increased both in number and strength in recent years with experts pointing to adverse effects of climate change and global warming.”


Massive floods hit Crotone, Calabria, Italy November 21 2020.



Europe records hottest ever October as climate heating fears grow:

“Europe has recorded its hottest October since records began with temperatures 4C [7F] than the average for this time of the year… The impact of soaring October temperatures in Europe is already having an impact in Arctic waters.”


Shocking temperatures across the Arctic: The hottest October ever in Europe is now followed by a November weekend with an average of 6,7°C [11,12.5F] above normal across the Arctic.

Heating is continuing to accelerate at an unprecedented speed in the north. The anomalously high temperatures this weekend are following a row of bad news this autumn.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.

20th November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Bubbling methane craters and super-seeps – is this the worrying new face of the undersea Arctic? Scientists have shared the first results of a trip to the world’s largest deposit of subsea permafrost and shallow methane hydrates.

“Fields of methane discharge continue to grow all along the East Siberian Arctic Ocean Shelf, with concentration of atmospheric methane above the fields reaching 16-32ppm (parts per million).”


The press service of Primhydromet reported that the cyclone that hit Vladivostok [Russian Far East] on Thursday night brought about 1.5 monthly precipitation norms

“The wind with gusts up to 30 meters per second and sleet left almost 150 thousand residents of the cities of Vladivostok and Artem… without light.”


You can also see a video of that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efUKOAebEm8

Seoul and central South Korean regions were soaked with unseasonable heavy rain Thursday, with the capital receiving the heaviest daily precipitation on record for November, the local weather agency said.

On the same day, the capital also recorded its warmest November day with a low of 17.1 °C (62.8 °F).”


Torrential rains and back-to-back typhoons ripped through the Philippines in the last two weeks, turning the once picturesque river into a sea of murky brown, killing dozens and setting off deadly landslides…

“…the storms are getting more ferocious and more frequent, the tragic consequence of a changing climate that is making disasters more intense.”


Two people died and thousands others were displaced after floods hit 46 villages in Indonesia’s Central Java province, a local official said on Thursday.

“Heru Kurniawan, head of the Emergency and Logistics Division of Cilacap District Disaster Management Agency, said the floods had been triggered by heavy rains since Tuesday with overflown rivers.” Video:


First bushfires, then coronavirus, now this: Victoria [Australia] is attacked by a swarm of locusts as the pests obliterate crops and blind motorists

“The Australian plague locust are typically found in Queensland but heavy rainfall in recent months has increased vegetation for them to feed on and breed.”


Pietermaritzburg and some areas in the KZN Midlands (South Africa) were battered by hailstones the size of golfballs and bigger on Wednesday afternoon, damaging roof tiles, vehicles and windows.

The storm also caused flooding at several homes.” Video:


A newly published study provides insight into why trees die in the Amazon, and why the rate of tree death may be increasing. The main risk factor explaining tree death was the mean growth rate of species…

“The findings have major implications for the fight against climate change, given that the Amazon accounts for 12% of land-based carbon sink, but is losing that capacity as tree mortality increases.”


A Peruvian glacier may soon reach the point of no return: High mountain environments in South America, which in many locations encompass peaks that reach 6,500 meters or more in altitude, are home to some of the most spectacular glaciers on our planet.

“My research on one particular glacier shows how endangered these environments are.”


Authorities in Central America recovered more bodies on Thursday from landslides triggered by hurricane Iota, which battered the impoverished region this week, the second deadly storm to roar through this month…

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez issued an urgent plea for international help. “We are in a situation of great calamity and we need the world to help us rebuild our country,” he told a news conference.”


A slew of rapidly intensifying hurricanes portends trouble in a warming world.

Ten storms rapidly intensified this Atlantic season, some to a record degree… [rapid intensification] is an especially dangerous process when it occurs close to land, coming too suddenly for coastal residents to escape an exponentially potent storm.”


A late-season hot spell is setting records across the drought-stricken Southwest US, setting the stage for an uptick in fire activity heading into the weekend.

“Phoenix is normally one of the hottest cities in the United States, but this year has been abnormally hot in the Valley of the Sun… On Monday, Phoenix topped out at 92 F, making it the latest 90-degree day on record for the city. This record was broken the very next day…”


“…while Phoenix area parks can serve as an oasis for residents, the irrigation needed to keep parks lush and cooler comes at a high cost of water consumption

“”Because of the oasis effect, when we irrigate our urban parks at night, we lose vast amounts of water and we see increased carbon dioxide emissions, which could lead to higher global warming potential,” says Enrique R. Vivoni of Arizona State University.”


“…climate change projections show consistent future increases in atmospheric evaporative demand (or the “atmospheric thirst”) over California and Nevada. These changes were largely driven by warmer temperatures, and would likely lead to significant on-the-ground environmental impacts.

“”Higher evaporative demand during summer and autumn — peak fire season in the region — means faster drying of soil moisture and vegetation, and available fuels becoming more flammable, leading to fires that can burn faster and hotter,” explained lead author Dan McEvoy, Ph.D…”


Fresh wildfires in Nevada and California force evacuations and kill at least one:

“More than 1,000 were forced to evacuate in Reno and hundreds more in California after strong winds whipped up the blazes.”


The Trump administration on Thursday proposed to loosen Obama-era safety regulations for the oil industry in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska to ease the way for petroleum extraction in the region, an effort that President-elect Joe Biden will likely throw out once in office.

“The proposal would revise a suite of Obama-era rules crafted to improve safety in the extreme conditions of the Arctic after a Shell drilling rig ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012.”


Heatwaves caused a record 2,556 excess deaths in Britain this summer as the country was struggling to contain the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government estimate published on Thursday.

“Increasingly frequent and severe heatwaves are among the deadliest impacts of climate change, mostly hitting elderly people and other vulnerable groups the hardest, scientists say.”


“With temperatures hovering around 10-12C [50 to 54F] across the nation last night, Denmark set yet another weather record. Never before since the Danes began registering temperature readings 147 years ago has the night-time temperature been so high this late in the year

“…to put it into perspective, the average night temperatures in Denmark during July and August is 11.3-11.5C [52F – 53F]… another indication that this November may be the warmest ever recorded in Denmark.”


[FWIW and according to this study,] These are the 10 countries most at risk from the effects of climate change:

“They span the globe and include developed and developing countries [TLDR; Japan tops the list].”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.