Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Climate 9 Aug 2018 heat records keep falling

“It should come as no surprise that California is burning.

“On Wednesday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that July was California’s hottest month since record keeping began in 1895.

“Those scorching temperatures withered the land, creating profoundly parched forests primed to catch fire with just a spark.”


“There is little relief on the fire lines, just more pain as more land is consumed by flames. Firefighters had hoped to contain the fast-growing Holy Fire. Even when massive drops of retardant slow the spread in one area, embers ignited a new stretch of hillside.”


“Blisteringly hot temperatures are on their way to the Prairies this week, with daytime highs expected to edge into all-time record territory for some places.”


“It’s supposed to be hot this time of year, but the first week of August was one for the record books in Boston. WBZ-TV executive weather producer Terry Eliasen says the 1st through 7th was the hottest first week of August in Boston ever recorded.”


“Hospitals are having to adopt winter-style emergency measures, including turning away patients through being busy, as the NHS struggles to cope with illnesses caused by the heatwave in the UK.”


France battling drought:


Parts of the River Rhine dry up“It has been hot in Germany and Switzerland – so bloody hot in fact, parts of the Rhine river have dried up. Pictures captured along the most affected stretch of the river, which runs from Lake Constance to the Rhine Falls, show the water at extraordinarily low levels. An enormous section has dried up all together, leaving it looking like a sandy, rocky desert.”


“Over 1400 firefighters are still trying to bring a wildfire in southern Portugal under control. The blaze in the Monchique district of the Algarve raged over the weekend and the operation against it has been hampered by near-record high temperatures.”


Catastrophic flooding in Turkey“Torrential rain has caused massive flooding and landslides in Turkey.”


“…in many parts of the region, [Lebanon’s] farmlands have been disproportionately affected by global warming. The Bekaa Valley, nestled between Mount Lebanon and Syria, is stricken with droughts, and many wells are drying up. Growing potatoes, onions and other produce native to the region has been harder than ever before, experts and farmers say. But cannabis is a drought-resistant crop, requiring little water and no pesticides. And it flourishes in the high altitudes of the Bekaa plains.”


“Twenty-two people are dead and thousands have been left homeless in Niger after torrential rains caused heavy flooding, authorities said.”


“Torrential rain claimed 22 lives over the last 24 hours in Kerala [India] as the government sought the help of the army, navy and the air force and authorities were forced to open the shutters of Idukki reservoir, Asia’s biggest arch dam, after 26 years to release excess water.”


“At least 42 people have died in South Korea, as the country grapples with a record heatwave with temperatures unseen in more than 100 years.”


India running out of water“Drought is turning many areas of the globe into arid wastelands. Excessive heat has cost lives, ruined crops and created water shortages. The effects are being felt from South America to the Arctic Circle.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 8 Aug 2018 100% drought in New South Wales

100% drought in New South Wales“The entire state of New South Wales is now impacted by drought, official figures show.

“A drier-than-expected June and July has left many farmers with failing crops, a short supply of water and diminishing livestock feed…

““This is tough,” the NSW primary industries minister, Niall Blair, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“‘There isn’t a person in the state that isn’t hoping to see some rain for our farmers and regional communities.””


“[Typhoon Shanshan] could dump 350 millimetres (13.7 inches) of rain over the greater Tokyo region over the 24 hours by Thursday noon.”


“Hurricane Hector developed in the eastern Pacific and is now cruising through the central Pacific. After Hector passes south of Hawaii it will continue tracking to the west and then northwest into next week. This will put it on a path across the International Date Line into the Western Pacific Basin where it would then be called Typhoon Hector.”


Torrential rain leads to flooding in Chile:


“There are 17 large wildfires burning across the state and more than 14,000 firefighters working to put out the blazes, Cal Fire said on Tuesday. The two largest fires are the Mendocino Complex Fire — which itself is made up of two nearby fires that officials have combined — and the Carr Fire. The Mendocino Complex is now the largest fire in state history, and the Carr Fire is the 12th largest.”


“”A relationship between Arctic sea ice and tornadoes in the US may seem unlikely,” says co-author Jeff Trapp, an expert in atmospheric sciences. “But it is hard to ignore the mounting evidence in support of the connection.” Previous research has found that low Arctic sea ice has helped to promote extreme weather events in certain regions of the world.”


“Video released by the BC Wildfire Service shows fires raging near Telegraph Creek and Shovel Lake [Western BC].”


“If you were in Kodiak on Monday morning, it felt more like Hawaii than Alaska.”


“Record-breaking extremes marked the summer weather of 2018 in the Arctic: July’s varied conditions left some northern residents scrambling for ways to escape heat and others looking for shovels to clear new snow off their steps.”


“Heat and humidity records have been broken over the past month [in Nova Scotia], but it’s not just the summer time that’s seen record-breaking temperatures.”


“The weather agency said approximately 50 to 75 millimetres of rain fell in the span of two to three hours across the area. Localized areas may have experienced higher amounts of rainfall… Hull noted the normal rainfall amount for the entire month of August in Toronto is 78.1 millimetres.”


“As reported, part of the Skaftárjökull glacier [in Iceland] was measured to have collapsed by some eleven metres, indicating geological activity had melted a great deal of ice. This resulted in subsequent flooding through the southeast Iceland region.”


“Record-breaking temperatures across Europe have forced people to sleep in a Finnish supermarket, uncovered a piece of World War II history in Ireland and are making it harder to battle the wildfires that have been raging in Spain and Portugal for days.”


“Swiss army helicopters began airlifting water on Tuesday to thousands of thirsty cows who are suffering in a drought and heatwave that has hit much of Europe.”


“Several recent deaths in the Italian city of Genoa are thought to be linked to the prolonged heatwave across southern Europe, with temperatures set to remain high across the country and ten cities on ‘red alert’ for health risks.”


“The heat wave which hit Spain last Wednesday has claimed eight lives, according to the latest figures released on Tuesday afternoon.”


“Istanbul 1st Regional Meteorology Director Ahmet Kocaman… warned that as global temperatures continue to rise, Turkey will also feel the heat. Recent bouts of heavy rainfall causing floods in the Black Sea and Marmara regions and droughts in other are also a result of climate change, Kocaman explained. Municipalities should take rigorous measures to protest against extreme weather conditions, he added.”


““More than 80 percent water and sewerage came in nullah from Islamabad [Pakistan]. In capital city, 168 mm rain was recorded at Saidpur,” he said.”


“Thousands of people in Laos, whose homes were swept away when a dam burst, are sheltering in areas contaminated by landmines, humanitarians said, as floods and mud hamper aid delivery.”


An overview of recent climate mayhem:


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 7 Aug 2018 – Mendocino is California’s largest fire

Mendocino fire“Two blazes that began burning through Northern California late last month have grown at breathtaking speed to form a massive inferno that has now set a new mark for destruction. The twin wildfires, collectively known as the Mendocino Complex Fire, have together more than doubled in size in the past four days and burned through 283,800 acres of parched land — an area almost the size of Los Angeles.”


“California has been getting hotter for some time, but July was in a league of its own… the last five years have been among the hottest in 124 years of record keeping…”


“Eight people were taken from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to the hospital with injuries sustained from hail, according to the Colorado Spring Fire Department. Reports say that medical personnel set up a triage at the entrance to the zoo due to the amount of people injured from the hail.”


“A tropical storm watch was issued for Hawaii Island on Monday as Hurricane Hector continued moving westward across the Central Pacific as a powerful Category 4 storm.”


“The Arctic is already warming up at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. Now researchers have warned that a little-known natural cycle in the Pacific is entering a phase that could make it heat up even faster.”


“Northlanders [NZ] are enjoying a warmer than usual winter – with the most sunshine for 75 years – with day temperatures constantly hovering in the late teens for the past two weeks. According to MetService, Northland enjoyed the highest sunshine hours on record for July since records began in 1943 and rainfall figures thus far this year have been higher than normal – although July had less rain than normal.”


“The drought affecting southeastern Australia has doubled hay prices, severely affecting ranchers and raising the prospect of higher international prices for beef from Down Under. “


“A dead blue whale was found on Sunday (August 5) washed up on a beach in Japan’s Kamakura City, about 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Tokyo, in what experts say is the first ever sighting of the endangered mammal on Japanese shores.”


“A strong typhoon is approaching eastern Japan… In the 24-hour period through noon Wednesday 100 millimeters of rain may fall in eastern and central Japan, while up to 400 mm of rain in the same area is predicted in the 24 hours to noon Thursday.”


“A heat wave that continues to grip Japan has sent more than 70,000 people to hospitals across the country over the last three months, far exceeding the previous annual record in 2013, government data showed Tuesday.”


“North Korean state media told citizens to help protect crops, as high temperatures could lead to a drought. “This year’s high temperature is an unprecedented natural disaster but is not an insurmountable difficulty,” state media said. On Wednesday, temperatures reached a new record of 100 Fahrenheit in Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital.”


“As water levels continue to rise in many parts of the country, the Lao Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) are urging people to avoid wading through floodwaters… Continued rain in the wake of Tropical Storm Son-Tinh has resulted in flooding in 13 provinces. This is in addition to the catastrophic flash flooding which inundated villages downstream of a hydroelectric project in Attapeu province on July 23, which has left 34 people dead till Tuesday.”


“Businesses in Thailand’s southwestern Petchaburi province blocked doors with sandbags and bricks against possible flooding on Tuesday as heavy rains threatened to cause a dam to overflow. Rain storms are forecast through coming days, and the head of Thailand’s military government warned that evacuation plans might need to be set in place.”


“Heavy rains since Sunday morning flooded several settlements in different parts of Kathmandu Valley.”


“Rescuers [in Slovakia] have assisted in a record number of heat collapses recently, with 112 people collapsing on Saturday, August 4.”


“Switzerland will cut import tariffs on livestock feed and offer interest-free loans to help farmers deal with a drought, the federal government said on Monday, amid a heat wave that is killing off fish in the Rhine.”


“[UK] Shoppers face higher prices for fruit and veg because the heatwave has left crops ‘cooking in the fields’. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas and onions have been dramatically affected by the soaring temperatures and lack of rain.”


Poor Sweden set to bake again:


“Rolf Campbell, a weather historian who has gathered over a hundred years’ worth of raw statistics from Environment Canada, said cities in all four Atlantic provinces had both higher average temperatures and maximum temperatures in July than in previous years…

“Most are holding long-running streaks of consecutive days with lots of humidity and soaring temperatures.

“Halifax has had over two straight weeks of days with a maximum temperature of 25 degrees – shattering the previous record set in 1876 – as well as a 41-day run with a maximum temperature of over 21 degrees, which is the longest streak ever recorded.

“On Monday, Charlottetown, P.E.I., marked its 17th consecutive day with a humidex temperature of 30 degrees or higher, the longest streak since 1967.

“Saint John, N.B., reached its hottest August day in almost eight years with a temperature of 30.4 degrees on Monday, while St. John’s, N.L., recently had two consecutive days with a maximum temperature of 28 degrees – quite balmy for a province known for a chilly climate.

“Heat warnings were issued in nearly every province in Canada on Monday, with some regions expected to hit the low 40s with the humidex.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 6 Aug 2018 Hottest July on record for Sydney

Warmest July on record for Sydney“Sydney has experienced its hottest July on record, with the warm and dry conditions set to continue in the harbour city.”


“Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned that the country has become a “land of drought” as he announced further measures to help stricken farmers… Although it is still winter, parts of eastern Australia are experiencing the worst drought in living memory.”


Japan again… “Torrential rain drenched much of Yamagata Prefecture over Aug. 5 and 6, triggering landslides and flooding, power outages and suspending operations of bullet trains. The heavy storms were blamed on a stagnant front above the area. At nine points, record rainfall over a 24-hour period was recorded.”


“Typhoon Shanshan is set to approach the Tokyo area later this week, bringing heavy winds and strong rains to a region suffering from a sweltering heatwave.”


Video of flash-flooding in Hunan, China:


“A landslide killed a woman and at least seven children in Nepal over the weekend as officials issued warnings on Monday of the risk of more landslides and flash floods due to torrential rain.”


“The LEPL Emergency Management Agency (EMA) of Georgia posted a statement on Wednesday on their Facebook page that a glacier in Mestia, Svaneti, has partially collapsed, leading to a high risk of flooding… Specialists presume that the collapse was caused by intense melting of the glacier under high summer temperatures.”


““Nobody expected five years of drought in a row, so despite our desalination capacity, it’s still a very, very grave situation,” said Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of energy.”


“These are scenes from Turkey, which is sweating out another heatwave in what experts are saying is the hottest summer the country has faced in 47 years.”


“The record temperatures [in North Africa] were made worse by breakdowns in water supplies and rolling power outages, which prompted residents throughout the region to demand government action.”


“The Italian island of Sardinia was experiencing a sweltering heatwave along with the rest of Europe when the bizarre ice blast took place on Thursday this week. Witnesses described a “snow blanket” on the roads, just minutes after a sweltering 35C heatwave.”


“In Portugal, the capital Lisbon made a new mark on Saturday with a temperature in the city of 44C, beating the standing record by over a degree Celsius… The night minimum made new warm records in Portugal, as well, with Lisbon recording 29.1C and, inland from the capital, in Portalegre at 32.2C. In Spain, the capital Madrid recorded the warmest ever August night at 26C.”


“The dry and hot weather spell has reduced small rivers and creeks to rivulets [in Switzerland]. In some regions, rangers have begun to resettle the local fish population to ensure its survival. Last week the army flew emergency water supplies to cattle farmers in the Alps. Switzerland’s main farmers group has also called for government help, notably reducing taxes on hay imports as many farmers have been forced to use their winter stock of silage due to the dry pastures.”


“Wednesday’s weather is forecast to be so hot that the all-time record temperature for Denmark could be broken. Wednesday could see over 36.4 degrees Celsius, which would be the hottest ever recorded in the Scandinavian country, meteorology agency DMI said. The current record has stood since 1975.”


“Warm ocean temperatures in San Diego are consistent with rec0rd-breaking ocean temperatures observed in Australia in 2015 and 2016, and across the world’s oceans in 2017. They are also consistent with a spate of warming events that have been occurring across the greater San Diego area in 2018 (that have enabled multiple wildfires in the past few months).”


These issues are definitely going more mainstream:


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 3 Aug 2018 warmest month ever for Juneau Alaska

Warmest month ever for Juneau Alaska“It’s never been hotter.

“According to measurements taken by the National Weather Service here, July 2018 was the warmest month ever recorded in Juneau, Alaska. Instruments at Juneau International Airport, the city’s official measuring point, recorded an average July temperature of 61.2 degrees, making it the warmest July recorded in a record that dates back to 1936.

“The previous record was 60.2 degrees, set in 1951. Three of the top five hottest Julys have come since 2009. A normal July averages 56.9 degrees…

“According to the weather service measurements, July’s warmth wasn’t the result of a handful of warm days: It was the result of consistently high temperatures throughout the month.

“There were 18 days with high temperatures above 70 degrees, and of those, four were above 80 degrees.”


“The heat wave that gripped the province has subsided, leaving behind records for both heat and dryness. Armel Castellan, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says it was quite exceptional to have the hot and dry weather last so long.”


“Southern Alberta farmers will be praying for thunderstorms to get their crops through this dry season, as they contend with a serious moisture deficit that stems back to last summer. “There just isn’t that soil moisture to carry the crops, ideally, through until that next rainfall event,” said Ralph Wright, head of agro-meteorological applications and modelling with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.”


“July was the hottest month in Reno in 125 years of record-keeping, the National Weather Service said Wednesday.”


“Parts of Grenada were awash with torrential floodwaters after heavy rains swept over the island earlier this week… The Antigua Meteorological Service said the Maurice Bishop International Airport in Grenada received close to six inches of rainfall in 12 hours…”

http://www.looptt.com/content/watch-heavy-rains-brings-flash-flooding-grenada Flash flooding in Grenada

“Norwegian authorities have urged motorists to watch out for reindeer that are seeking refuge in tunnels to cool themselves amid extreme heat in the nation’s far north. “It has been very hot for weeks in northern Norway,” Tore Lysberg, a senior official at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, told AFP on Thursday.”


“It’s official and hardly comes as a surprise: July 2018 was [Norway’s] warmest on record. The year so far also boasts the highest number of so-called tropenetter, with 40 nights when the temperature did not fall below 20C (69F) in certain areas.”


“Sweden’s highest peak, a glacier on the southern tip of the Kebnekaise mountain, is melting due to record hot Arctic temperatures and is no longer the nation’s tallest point, scientists said on Wednesday. “I’ve never seen this much melted snow on the southern peak as I did this summer,” said Gunhild Rosqvist, a Stockholm University geography professor.”


“On Tuesday night the air in the Germany capital was still a stifling 24.4 Celsius, meaning a record set more than a century ago was finally broken.”


“RNLI lifeguards at Crantock, Newquay, recorded a sea temperature that was higher than the air temperature – something that was no doubt replicated around our coastline. Sea temperatures are heading towards and in some cases above record levels on the coast off Cornwall after weeks of hot, dry weather.”


“Brown is the color of summer in northern Europe this year. Fields that are usually covered in lush green grass have now turned to dust, trees are shedding their leaves and animals eating dry hay or grain instead of grazing in pastures. Farmers in around a dozen countries — from Ireland to the Baltics — are grappling with a once-in-a-generation drought. The unrelenting heat wave has devastated crops, with more than half of the harvest expected to be lost in some areas.”


“The flag had been deployed on the Säntis mountain in the Alpstein massif in northeastern Switzerland as part of the Swiss National Day celebrations… The largest Swiss flag in the world, however, didn’t last longer than 24 hours before a tear developed down its left flank… The brief, intense spells of rain did little however to alleviate Switzerland’s chronically dry summer.”


“The highest temperature on record in Portugal was 47.3 celsius in 2003, in the southern Alentejo region. Several places in the Alentejo are forecast to reach 47 celsius on Saturday, while Lisbon could reach 43 celsius, which is highly unusual for Portugal’s capital by the sea.”


“Eight places in the center, south and east of Portugal have [already] broken their local temperature records amid a heatwave, the country’s weather agency says. The highest temperature recorded Thursday was 45.2 degrees Celsius (113.4 Fahrenheit) near Abrantes, a town 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of the capital, Lisbon, the IPMA said. Temperatures in Portugal were forecast to keep building nationwide on Friday, to around 45 degrees, and to peak at 47 degrees in some places on Saturday.”


“Hottest July on record for Port Elizabeth… This was the hottest ever July on record for PE. The average maximum temperature came in at a balmy 22.8C, smashing the previous record for the month. South African Weather Service spokesman in Port Elizabeth, Garth Sampson, told Herald Live that the combined average temperatures of June and July 2018 – a record in its own right – means the city is heading for its warmest ever winter.”


“North Korea on Thursday called for an “all-out battle” against record temperatures that threaten crops in a country already grappling with tough international sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme. The resulting drought has brought an “unprecedented natural disaster”, the isolated nation said, warning against crop damage that could savage its farm-reliant economy, battered by sanctions despite recent diplomatic overtures.”


“As many as 29 people have died due to heatstroke in South Korea, according to the South Korean Ministry of Health, Welfare and Disease Control. The country is undergoing an extended heatwave, with at least 15 days of temperatures over 35˚C (95˚F) recorded, the Korean Meteorological Administration (KMA) reported.”



“Parts of eastern Australia are suffering their worst drought in living memory as a lack of rainfall in winter hits farms badly. Reuters photographer David Gray captured the view of the dried earth from the air, finding an often surprising collage of colours.”


“Observations from across the globe show that as temperatures have warmed, bacteria and fungi in the soil are becoming more active. These turbo-charged microbes are feeding on dead leaves and plants, releasing more heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the air, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 2 Aug 2018 last year shattered records

Deadines loom for this unfortunate drone, so just the one article today; pertinent though:

2017 shattered various climate records, including the highest global temperature for a non-El Niño year, lowest Arctic sea ice extent, highest sea levels as well as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, according to the American Meteorological Society’s 2017 State of the Climate report released on Aug. 1, 2018.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.