Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Climate 25 July 2018 climate change accelerating

“The worst ravages of climate change are on display around the world.

“Wildfires have ripped through towns in Greece, floods have submerged parts of Laos, and heat waves have overwhelmed Japan. These are striking examples of climate change playing out in its deadliest forms, and they’re making the term “natural disaster” an outdated concept.

“This is already Greece’s hottest year on record… Longer summers, more intense drought, and higher temperatures are all linked to greater fire risk…

“It’s the hottest month of one of the hottest years in the history of human civilization, and unusual wildfires are sprouting up all over the map. Sweden has called for emergency assistance from the rest of the European Union to help battle massive wildfires burning north of the Arctic Circle. Across the western United States, 50 major wildfires are burning in parts of 14 states, fueled by severe drought. The wildfires burning in Siberia earlier this month sent smoke plumes from across the Arctic all the way to New England, four thousand miles away. Last year, big wildfires burned in Greenland for the first time in recorded history.

“And then there are the rains…”


“The UK may be on track to record its highest ever temperature in the coming days, with forecasters predicting the blisteringly hot weather to continue for another 30 days.”


“The greater Paris region of Île-de-France and the far north of the country were on official heatwave warning on Wednesday as temperatures soar around the country.”


“Temperatures between April and July this year were the hottest for more than 150 years. Small glaciers are melting, the danger of forest fires is rising and the water level in many rivers and lakes is decreasing at a worrying rate. Switzerland’s hottest summer for more than a century and a half is reaping havoc on Switzerland’s water bodies.”


“Benchmark futures trading in Chicago have surged almost 20% this year, and Paris wheat for December is trading near a record for the contract. Dry weather means Russian production will fall for the first time in six years. Output in Ukraine will be lower than expected. Crops in France, Germany and the Baltic countries are also expected to decline from a year earlier.”


“A building in Istanbul, Turkey was filmed collapsing, after torrential rains caused a landslide on a nearby construction site” – video


“Local media portals in Cameroon are reporting of floods in parts of the country. On Tuesday, the city of Limbe in the country’s South West was hit by floods. Whiles in Douala, the country’s largest city and economic capital located in the Littoral region, heavy rains accompanied by landslides are said to have left scores stranded.”


“Torrential rains followed by floods have swept through several parts of the town of Kassala in Sudan, causing hundreds of houses to collapse. Fatalities have also been reported.”


“The low-lying parts of Chittagong city have again gone under knee-high to waist-deep water, severely disrupting the lives of the city dwellers, after experiencing heavy rainfall accompanied by gusty or squally wind since Sunday.”


“Eleven people are believed to have died and more than a million forced to flee their homes as the monsoon and three tropical cyclones caused widespread flooding and landslides across the Philippines.”


“Tropical Cyclone Son-Tinh’s final act will likely be to deposit up to 250mm more rain onto southwest China, specifically Guangxi and Yunnan.”


“A typhoon moving over the Pacific Ocean south of Japan could approach and make landfall on the country’s main island of Honshu over the weekend, the Meteorological Agency said Wednesday.”


“An El Niño event has been predicted for the end of the year, leaving [Australian] farmers already struggling with a devastating five-year drought facing disaster. The Bureau of Meteorology announced the odds of an El Niño system forming this year are now twice as high as normal. El Niño events often result in severe droughts, bringing higher temperatures, lower than average rainfall and increased risk of bushfires, lasting as long as two years.”


“El Salvador on Tuesday began taking emergency measures in a drought that has plagued the country for a month and cost tens of thousands of farmers their corn crops, the civil protection agency said. The east of the Central American country has gone 33 days without rain and temperatures have hit a record 41 Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit), leaving many families without water.”


“Historic heat records fell in California earlier this month. Yet, two weeks later, another mass of warm air has returned to the southern part of the state, heating the region for days.”


Video of flash-floods hitting Colorado:


“After a muggy Monday with record-setting rainfall [Ottowa], more showers or thunderstorms loom Tuesday and the forecast high will feel like 36.”


“More than 30 million people from the North Carolina coast to central New York could be impacted by flooding Wednesday. Numerous flash flood watches and warnings are in effect throughout the Mid-Atlantic after the accumulation of record rainfall in the last few weeks.”


“…in the past few decades, scientists noticed that things have changed. Temperatures in the Arctic have been getting warmer earlier and earlier in the season — by about a day per year — and this is putting significant pressure on the migrating barnacle geese.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 24 July 2018 Greece on fire

Greece on fire“At least 49 people have been killed, scores more injured and almost 700 others rescued from the sea after a devastating wildfire swept through a small resort town near Athens, the Greek fire department has said.

“Huge flames trapped families with children as they tried to flee from Mati, 18 miles (29km) east of the Greek capital, where the blaze hit on Monday afternoon. It was by far the country’s worst fire since blazes raged across the southern Peloponnese peninsula in August 2007, killing dozens.

““Mati doesn’t even exist as a settlement anymore,” one woman told Skai TV. “I saw corpses, burned-out cars. I feel lucky to be alive.”

“Areas around Athens were like a tinderbox, emergency workers said, after a dry winter and a summer heatwave in which temperatures have risen above 40C (104F).”


“Late-spring and the first stretch of the summer have been exceptionally warm and dry in some areas of northern Europe. The weather across the northern part of the continent from Scandinavia to Russia, has been ruled, off and on, by a very a persistent high pressure ridge that has no intention of leaving this week.”


“Extreme heat has made the job difficult for Latvian firefighters, as hundreds of hectares have been scorched in the west of the country.”


“Swedish authorities said the risk of fires spreading across the country will hit “extreme” levels this week as emergency services battle dozens of blazes that have already destroyed more than $100 million worth of forested land.”


“The heatwave is raising sea temperatures in parts of England to higher than some of those in California, according to statistics.”


“The weekend deluge was only the beginning. Flood watches and warnings have been posted from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. At least 10 million people are under flood watches or warnings.”


“Sunday was the hottest date on record in the month of July — any July. Ever [in Shreveport]. High temperatures Sunday reached a scorching 108 at 4:03 p.m. — topping a previous record of 107 degrees set July 16, 1875, and most recently matched on July 31, 1998, according to data provided by the National Weather Service.”


“The official Central Texas temperature soared to 114 degrees at around 5 p.m. Monday at Waco Regional Airport, topping the previous all-time high temperature of 112 degrees set on Aug. 11, 1969.”


“World-famous Death Valley, California, home to the hottest temperature ever reliably recorded, is flirting with its all-time hottest temperature on record, and there’s an outside chance the national park could see its hottest average monthly temperature on record.”


“National Weather Service meteorologist Erin Billings says several [Alaskan] temperature records were broken or matched on Sunday.”


“An “unprecedented” heatwave in Japan has killed at least 65 people in one week, government officials said Tuesday, with the weather agency now classifying the record-breaking weather as a “natural disaster”.”


“Hundreds of people are missing and an unknown number dead after a dam under construction collapsed in south-east Laos, state media reported… The incident follows heavy rain and flooding across southern Laos.”


“An unprecedented rain [in Odisha, India]… has claimed six lives…”


“Fish are losing their sense of smell as rising carbon emissions turn the water they live in to acid.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 23 July 2018 all-time high in Japan

Japan has hottest temperature on record“Dozens of people have died across Japan as the country continues to swelter under scorching summer temperatures.

“At least 44 people have died since July 9, with 11 dying on Saturday alone according to Kyodo News, as temperatures remained around 38 degrees Celsius (99F) in central Tokyo Monday.

“In nearby Kumagaya, the mercury rose to 41.1 degrees (105.98F), the highest ever on record in Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency…”


“Scorching heat continues to grip the nation as the temperature in the southeastern city of Gyeongsan reached a record high of 104 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday… The capital also experienced the hottest night on Monday as the mercury stayed above 84 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the night.”


“Heavy rain brought about by tropical storms have claimed more than 20 lives in Vietnam and the Philippines, while India and Myanmar are bracing for more rain in the coming days.”


“Tropical Storm Ampil has battered Shanghai with damaging gusts of winds and torrential rain. More than 190,000 people were evacuated from their homes as the storm bore down on the financial hub.”


“An intense heat wave has gripped China this July which killed at least 14 people. High temperatures hampered the recovery in flood-hit areas where more than 200 people died last week. The temperature has been soaring over 37 degree Celsius in many parts of the country.”


“Floods triggered by torrential rain have left 12 people dead and three others missing in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, local authorities said Monday.”


“Pakistani officials say the melting of a glacier has unleashed landslides and floods in the country’s northern district of Ghizer, inundating dozens of homes and displacing hundreds of people.”


“North and Western Afghanistan are this year facing their most severe drought in decades as the cumulative effect of several years of low rainfall has seen agriculture collapse.”


“The small group of Iranian farmers gathered around their tractors — long idle, parked at the town entrance next to a canal that once irrigated their fields but has been dry for years — and they protested, pleading for help from the government.”


“Heatwaves in Assam worsened following shortage of rainfall across the state. The sudden increase in temperatures has claimed two lives till now in just 48 hours.”


“The western Odisha town of Burla received 622 mm of rainfall over 24 hours ending Sunday morning, shattering a 36-year-old rainfall record of the State as floodwaters continued to inundate many areas. Three persons died and three fishermen were missing as torrential rain pounded many parts of the State.”


“Dozens of wildfires are raging across Sweden, which is going through its worst drought in 74 years. The wildfires broke out after months of high temperatures. The Swedish prime minister says all resources are being mobilised to prevent a greater disaster and Sweden has asked for help from other nations.”


“The hottest July day since records began is forecast for Britain this week – with the temperature soaring to almost 100F.”


“This summer is fast becoming the driest summer the Netherlands ever had. It seems almost certain that the drought record dating from the summer of 1976 will be broken in the coming days, meteorologist Brian Verhoeven of Buienradar said to RTL Nieuws.”


“With temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius today, as Greece experiences its first huge heatwave for the season authorities have decided to close the Ancient Acropolis early.”


“Officials don’t refer to “fire seasons anymore but rather to fire years,” Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center, told me in an email.”


“We’ve never seen it like this,” said Simone Netherlands, president of the Arizona-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. In May, dozens of horses were found dead on the edge of a dried-up watering hole in northeastern Arizona. As spring turned to summer, drought conditions turned from bad to worse, Netherlands said.”


“As the summer heat continues to sit over North Texas with record-setting, 100-plus-degree temperatures, power outages and heat-related calls are slowly climbing this weekend.”


“Farmer Les Jones will this month shoot all 1200 of his starving sheep and bury them in a mass grave on his barren farm in northwestern New South Wales. The sheep are living skeletons, so emaciated the Jones family can’t even use them to feed themselves “unless we ate soup every day”.”


“Drought conditions afflicting eastern Australia is causing record numbers of native animals to be struck and killed by vehicles. Dipping temperatures and ‘very much below average’ June rainfall cited by the Bureau of Meteorology, means animals are forced to roam further in the search for food, bringing them into contact with built-up areas and roads.”


“Poring over four decades of satellite data, climate scientists have concluded for the first time that humans are pushing seasonal temperatures out of balance – shifting what one researcher called the very “march of the seasons themselves.””


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 20 July 2018 Flagstaff gets 1 in 1000 year rain

Historic rain in Flagstaff“Early on the afternoon of July 18th, torrential rain fell over the San Francisco Peaks [Flagstaff, Arizona], including portions of the Schultz Fire scar (2010).

“This extreme rainfall led to significant flooding in the area. This was an extreme event with storm total rainfall of up to 5.91 measured by area rain gauges. Two hour rainfall amounts of 4.5” or greater were measured at three gauges, which correlate to a point precipitation frequency of 1000+ years (at least a “1000 year event”).”


“Bigger and more “explosive” wildfires are raging across the U.S. West, with the area burned in Colorado already four times the size of last year’s total, as rising temperatures, drought and a buildup of forest fuels supercharge blazes.”


“North Texas smashed a 93-year-old daily heat record Thursday, with the mercury climbing to 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 Celsius) in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.”


“Temperatures in much of thatregion have been near and past 100 for days.”


“At least 11 people, including children, drowned when an amphibious “duck boat” carrying 31 people capsized and sank in stormy weather on a lake in Missouri. National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7pm Thursday at Branson Airport. The winds were likely stronger over the lake, Linderberg said.”


“A majority of the rain splattered eastern Brookings County [Dakota], with the town of Aurora receiving 8.87 inches. That’s nearly three times the average for the month of July in a single day, said Mike Gillispie, NWS Hydrologist.”


“There are currently 113 wildfires burning around B.C., including 38 throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre and 48 throughout the Prince George Fire Centre.”


“Officials are closely monitoring water levels downstream of an Alaskan glacier, not far from Juneau, that could push the lake to a new record high in the coming days.”


“Numerous locations across northern Europe have witnessed their hottest temperatures over the past weeks. Record high temperatures have settled as an unusually prolonged and broad heatwave is intensifying and triggering drought and wildfires across the region.”


“The heatwave that’s gripping northern Europe is sending power prices skyrocketing, threatening Nordic grain crops and forcing Sweden to seek help from Italy and France to help combat wildfires.”


“A water company has asked for permission to take more water from some of the Lake District’s most famous lakes, as the UK experiences its driest summer for decades.”


“In the first half of 2018 air temperature in Belarus was above the climate average… May was the warmest month in the history of meteorological observation in Belarus.”


“The scary skyline appeared in the city of Mogilev in eastern Belarus… “I felt a profound gloom, like I was witnessing the end of the world, and right in front of me was a giant tornado about to sweep me away…””


“Extreme heat can kill, as it did by the dozens in Pakistan in May. But as many of South Asia’s already-scorching cities get even hotter, scientists and economists are warning of a quieter, more far-reaching danger: Extreme heat is devastating the health and livelihoods of tens of millions more.”


“Twelve people are confirmed dead and another four are missing in the northwestern province of Gansu after a flash flood battered the area on Wednesday night.”


“A flash flood triggered by Typhoon Son Tinh killed two people and left another two missing in Vietnam’s central Thanh Hoa province early Friday, the provincial authorities said.”


“Philippines was on alert on Friday as tropical storm Ampil intensified, leading to fears of heavy rainfall, extensive flooding and landslides, according to the country’s meteorological agency.”


“Early in the month, more than 200 people died in [Japan’s] worst flood in decades, spurred by up to 70 inches of rain. Since then, dozens more have perished from an extended period of heat.”


“A dust storm in northern New South Wales is making already-tough farming conditions even worse for farmers. Trina Redgwell and her husband Pete live on an 80-hectare Red Angus stud farm on the outskirts of Tamworth. They woke this morning to find dust swirling around their property and most surfaces of their home covered with it.”


“The collapse of two threatened Antarctic ice shelves would raise global sea levels by an inch, warns new research. Recent, rapid warming in the Antarctic Peninsula is a threat to ice shelves in the region, with Larsen C and George VI believed to be at highest risk of collapse.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 19 July 2018 scorched world

Global heatwaves“In the past two weeks, from California to Oman to Siberia, temperatures have soared, shattering records. Here’s just a small sample:

“Death Valley National Park, Calif.: 52 C (July 8)

Ouargla, Algeria: The highest reliable recorded temperature of 51 C (July 5)

Northern Siberia: Consecutive days with forecast above 30 C (July 9–16)

Chino, Calif.: Daytime record of 48.9 C (July 7)

Tajimi, Japan: Record-setting temperature of 40.7 (July 17)

“”This is unfortunately our new normal,” said Ahira Sanchez-Lugo, a physical scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.”


“”When night-time temperatures continue to be hot, when that heat just runs all the way through the night and onto the next day, we don’t get that recovery, and that’s when heat stress really starts to build up.” Research published in the International Journal of Climatology last year found night-time temperatures were increasing more rapidly than daytime temperatures.”


The global heatwave in pictures:


“Sweden has issued calls for emergency assistance from the European Union after wildfires broke out across the country during an extreme heatwave. Dozens of forest fires have swept the Nordic region, including in parts of the Arctic circle, prompting Stockholm to seek intervention from its neighbours to control the spread.”


“Denmark’s historic summer looks set to continue over the next few weeks, according to the national weather forecasters, DMI… the Danish agriculture sector is languishing in a drought that could end up costing the industry billions of kroner. “


“The longest heatwave Britain has experienced in 42 years saw just 47mm of rainfall between 1 June to 16 July. It makes it the driest start to summer on modern records.”


“High temperatures, low rainfall and an extremely dry summer have caused Swiss authorities to restrict water usage and raise wildfire alerts… In many eastern regions it has not rained for weeks. The dry summer has also seen wildfire warnings raised… Last month “was the driest June for over 100 years,” writes the Federal Office for Meteorology and Climatology in its monthly report.”


“No fewer than 44 persons were feared dead and scores missing as flood wreaked havoc in 10 communities in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State [Nigeria] on Sunday night.”


“Eight people were killed and seven others are missing after heavy rain hit northwestern China’s Gansu Province on Wednesday evening, state media CCTV has said. In Dongxiang County, houses have been destroyed by the torrential flooding as nearly 114 millimetres of rain fell overnight.”


“A special report on the recent floods across China’s Sichuan province has uncovered an extraordinary story of resilience, discomfort, tragedy, and rapidly changing economic circumstances experienced by the the people who make up the world’s largest concentration of small-time bitcoin miners.”


“As floods hit major provinces of [Cambodia], the authorities are preparing for a new storm brewing in the South China Sea, officials said yesterday.”


“Vietnam has warned of floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains after tropical storm Son Tinh made landfall in northern coastal areas.”


“Newly formed Tropical Storm Ampil is set to strengthen as it tracks toward Japan’s Ryukyu Islands into the weekend. While currently churning over the open Pacific Ocean, Ampil will track north and then northwest through this weekend, putting areas from southern Japan and the Ryukyu Islands to Taiwan and China on alert for potential impacts.”


“Rescuers in Tokyo responded to more than 3,000 emergency calls on Wednesday, a record for a day, as a deadly heat wave continued to grip Japan, preliminary data from the Tokyo Fire Department showed Thursday.”


“In the central-west region of New South Wales, farmers continue to battle a crippling drought that many locals are calling the worst since 1902.”


“The heat that is blistering central Texas this summer is causing a rise in scorpion sightings in people’s homes because when it’s miserable outside, it should be terrible inside too.”


“Drenching thunderstorms moved into the northeastern United States Tuesday afternoon and evening, resulting in numerous flash flooding reports throughout the region… Through the first 16 days of the month, the nation’s capital did not receive a mere 0.01 of an inch of rain, making it the driest first half of July on record for the city. “


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 18 July 2018 all-time heat records Scandinavia

Heat-dome over Scandinavia“An intense heat dome has swelled over Scandinavia, pushing temperatures more than 10 degrees above normal and spurring some of the region’s hottest weather ever recorded and a historic bush fire outbreak in Sweden.

“Even as far north as the Arctic Circle, the mercury has come close to 32 degrees Celsius. Normally, temperatures in Scandinavia during July warm to the comfortable early 20s. This week, they have soared into the early 30s.

“Since Monday, several locations have approached or surpassed their highest temperatures observed any day or month of the year.

“In central Norway, Trondheim Airport hit 32.4 on Monday, and Snasa 31.6 degrees, both are all-time records.”


“This summer could be the hottest on record, the [UK] Met Office has said.”


“A man was filmed struggling to cross a road after he became stuck in its melted tarmac. The video was filmed in the city of Nanyang, Henan province, in central China on July 4… Parts of China have endured record temperatures in July, with parts of the northern, central and eastern regions affected.”


“Twelve people died and nearly 10,000 people were taken to hospitals for heat exhaustion or heatstroke during the week through last Sunday, as a heat wave continued to scorch wide areas of Japan, the government said Wednesday… The heat has also continued to make it difficult for relief operations in the regions ravaged by the recent flooding and landslides.”


Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here.