Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

Climate June 4 2018

“Not since December 2010 has Norway’s Meteorological Institute measured normal temperatures at its northernmost locations. It should still be freezing, below zero. Not so this May. Measurements at Longyearbyen airport on Svalbard could tell a story about global warming not seen before with a mean temperature of 1,8°C, which is 6°C above normal.

“Also the other Norwegian Arctic islands experienced a warm May, the institute reports.

“Bjørnøya in the Barents Sea was the warmest with a mean temperature of 3,7°C. That is 5,1°C above normal. Hopen was 5°C above normal, while Jan Mayen had 5,1°C warmer than normal for May.

“Ny-Ålesund, further north on Spitsbergen, had a mean temperature of 1,6°C, which is 5,6°C above normal for the month.

“On mainland Norway, temperatures in the last few days of May were warmer than most holliday resorts around the Mediterranean. Warmest was Etne outside Bergen with 32,7°C on May 30th. Mean temperature for Norway was 4,2 degrees above normal. Since mean values were registered first time in 1900, 2018 is by far the warmest ever measured the Meteorological Institute informs.”


Lots of North America had a record-breakingly hot May as well:


“A large area of high pressure over the Central states through Monday will shift eastward into the Deep South by Tuesday, allowing southerly winds to return and kick the heat into high gear.”


“Officials with the Los Padres National Forest announced this week the largest wildfire in California’s modern history is officially out, more than six months after it started.”


“Massive wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico have torched thousands of acres and forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.”


“Parts of Mexico continue to swelter in a record-breaking, prolonged heat wave that has caused at least three deaths, given a boost to the economy and even caused traffic lights to melt in two northern states.”


“Torrential rain has caused flooding in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, making some roads impassable for motorists. Thunderstorms hit Sanaa on Friday afternoon and again on Saturday afternoon, an unexpected occurrence in the city, as June is predominantly a dry month.”


“Coupled with the general effects of global warming, Pakistan is facing a certain water emergency.”


“Uttar Pradesh [India] was hit by another deadly dust storm that claimed 17 lives and left 11 persons injured last evening.”


“To date, this year’s rainfall total has been the second-lowest level recorded for Hong Kong, the Observatory said. For April and May, no water level could be recorded for Lau Shui Heung Reservoir because it had completely dried up.”


“Malcolm Turnbull, on a tour of drought-stricken areas in New South Wales and Queensland, has declared there is “no doubt that our climate is getting warmer”.”


“”The rain just wouldn’t let up, and we could hear rumbling [Tolaga Bay, NZ]. Then the wood and debris just started cracking and coming through our windows.””


Read Friday’s climate post here.

Climate 1 June 2018

UK beach

“The UK has enjoyed its sunniest and warmest May since records began, provisional figures show.”


“More storms are forecast for the UK after parts of the country were battered by torrential rain and flooding last night.”


“Thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain hit France’s northern and eastern regions overnight on Thursday, leaving mudslides and flooding in their wake.”


“More than 63,000 people in southwest China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are affected by drought, the regional civil affairs department said Friday.”


australian surfer“Most of Sydney posted its hottest autumn, beating records set just two years earlier, with more than double the normal number of days exceeding 25 degrees during the season.”


“Despite an overcast and cool ending to the month, it was the warmest May ever documented in Seattle as well as one of the driest.”


new mexico fires“The U.S. Forest Service said on Thursday it has taken the rare step of indefinitely closing off public access to a 1.6 million-acre national forest in northern New Mexico because of fire risks posed by prolonged drought in the region.”


“It’s official – 2018 is now the hottest May in Austin history!”


“North Carolina was hit hard by remnants of Alberto, which caused flooding and landslides across the western part of the state.” Some astonishing rainfall totals in NC with six months of rain in 15 days.


Read yesterday’s climate post here.

Climate 31 May 2018

“Temperatures in Europe’s far north are breaking records, prompting Scandinavians to take dips in fjords well ahead of the official start of summer next month.

“In the municipality of Etne, on Norway’s west coast, the mercury hit 32.7 C (90.8 F) on Wednesday, a record for May.

“In Denmark, May has already broken records for sunshine, with 348 hours recorded by Wednesday — expected to reach 360 on Thursday. The previous high was 347…

“In Poland and northern Germany, an unusually hot May has been reported with farmers complaining of damage caused by dry weather to crops such as rapeseed oil.”


scottish shellfish…the crunch of crab shells and waft of mussels being cooked in wine and garlic butter is under threat around Scotland’s coast after two separate periods of severe weather left shellfish in short supply.”


“A toxic cocktail of hail, torrential rain and 48 hours of thunder and lightning could cause a ‘danger to life’ in Britain from fast flowing or deep floodwater, forecasters warned today.”


“Champagne has become the latest French wine growing region to feel the wrath of the heavens after freakishly violent hail storms wiped out the equivalent of eight million bottles of grapes and roughly €125 million (£110m) of fizz.”


“Germany has been slammed in recent days by thunderstorms that have caused travel disruptions and flash flooding, and more powerful storms are on the way.”


“Worsening drought is depleting traditional grazing areas, forcing pastoralists from Mauritania — a country already nearly three-quarters desert or semi-desert — to travel ever longer distances into neighbouring Mali and Senegal in search of fodder and water. This is causing conflict with farmers along the way.”


“These are the shocking results of the massive cyclone which hit the Arabian Peninsula this week, dumping three years’ worth of rainfall in a city in Oman and flooding the desert.”


deer in iran

“Wildlife habitats in Iran are clearly under threat, especially in the central regions, as they suffer from worst drought spells in decades.”


“There seems to be no immediate respite from the prevailing heat wave conditions for the residents of western Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.”


“At 46 degrees Celsius, Karachi on Wednesday suffered the hottest day in May since 1981, when the mercury had soared to as high a temperature.”


“Hundreds of families [Nepal] have been left without roofs over their heads, Thakulla said, adding that the municipality will convene an emergency meeting to provide relief to the families affected by the storm.”


“At least five people were killed and 1,400 houses destroyed as a strong cyclonic storm swept across Myanmar over the last two days.”


“The “Very Hot Weather Warning” issued by the Hong Kong Observatory has been in force for 13 consecutive days as of Wednesday, refreshing the “longest-lasting warning” record in the history of this warning.”


“Middlemarch [NZ] only reached a maximum temperature of 0.2°C, setting a new May record for coldest max temperature (the old record was 2.0°C, set in 2006).”


“With less than two days left in the month, statistics suggest May 2018 is on pace to be the driest on record.”


Seattle is having its warmest May on record.


“The severe weather risk continues across the eastern Prairies after reports of significant hail in Saskatchewan Wednesday. Meanwhile, SNOWFALL warnings were issued for parts of Alberta on Wednesday, which is contributing to the rising Bow River west of Calgary.”


hot usa

“Rather than a nice prolonged spring—which is objectively the best season—the U.S. has jumped right into summer. From coast-to-coast, May has been extremely hot. With what National Weather Service program manager Victor Murphy dubbed “blast furnace temps” across the Lower 48, it’ll likely go down as the hottest May on record for the country.”


“The early start to hurricane season continues with what could be the first landfalling tropical cyclone to make it to Lake Michigan on record.”


“Across the country, recent reports have found that methane leaks from oil and gas infrastructure are under-reported.”


Read yesterday’s climate post here.

Climate 30 May 2018

“There seems to be no respite for Indians from deadly weather conditions.

“On May 29, up to 40 people were reportedly killed as thunderstorms and heavy winds struck parts of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, and Jharkhand, causing trees to fall and houses to collapse. This takes the total death toll from extreme weather events to over 200 this month, with UP being the worst-hit…

“Meteorologists have largely attributed the spate of bad weather to a western disturbance (a low-pressure system) and cyclonic circulations over the Indian subcontinent. However, rising temperatures, too, have intensified the storms. Many Indian states have experienced heatwave conditions for weeks, with temperatures reaching up to 46.7 degrees Celsius.”

“There seems to be no respite for Indians from deadly weather conditions.

“On May 29, up to 40 people were reportedly killed as thunderstorms and heavy winds struck parts of Uttar Pradesh (UP), Bihar, and Jharkhand, causing trees to fall and houses to collapse. This takes the total death toll from extreme weather events to over 200 this month, with UP being the worst-hit…

“Meteorologists have largely attributed the spate of bad weather to a western disturbance (a low-pressure system) and cyclonic circulations over the Indian subcontinent. However, rising temperatures, too, have intensified the storms. Many Indian states have experienced heatwave conditions for weeks, with temperatures reaching up to 46.7 degrees Celsius.”

“Shattering the heat record of the past 28 years, Bhopal recorded a maximum temperature of 45.3 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.”


“Record rainfall in the range of 340 mm received in parts of Mangaluru and Udupi district, normal rainfall in the month of May for Mangaluru is 168.6 mm.”


“It was also the second-hottest day ever in May since [Hong Kong] city records began 133 years ago.”


“Sydney is still on track to record its hottest autumn ever.”


“Hundreds of wild animals fleeing severe drought have invaded remote Australian towns to hunt for food and water, prompting warnings that they may attack residents.”


“Less than two weeks after a black bear was spotted and tagged in Prescott, the same bear traveled more than 40 miles to the Phoenix area, even stopping at a country club in Anthem. Dr. Grey Stafford, a wildlife expert, says this is an alarming consequence of the drought.”


hot in houston“To say that it is hot in Houston — or anywhere in Texas for that matter — would be a serious understatement of fact.”


“Record high temperatures engulfed the Great Lakes region over the last four days. It’s amazing how the world’s largest freshwater system warmed up in just the past few days. The image on the left shows water temperatures just six days ago. All of the Great Lakes have seen dramatic warming in the past few days.”


“After receiving nearly 10 inches of rainfall Monday evening, parts of northwest Kansas experienced heavy flooding that damaged roads and caused a highway closure.”


“With relentless rain in the forecast all week — and the record for May rainfall already in tatters — some parts of Western North Carolina are bracing for flooding. With two days remaining in May, the Asheville area has already set a record for rainfall in the month, with 11.49 inches recorded at Asheville Regional Airport as of Monday. That eclipses the previous record of 9.18 inches set in May 2009.”


lake tahoma dam failing“”Floodwaters [North Carolina] have reached levels not seen since the September 2004 floods associated with Hurricanes Frances and Ivan,” the National Weather Service said.”


“Flooding in central Cuba caused by torrential rainfall in the wake of the subtropical storm Alberto has killed four people and prompted the evacuation of tens of thousands, Cuban state-run media said late on Tuesday.”


“Thunderstorms and flash-flooding have brought parts of south-east England to a standstill as the region received a month’s worth of rain in a few hours.”


“Much of France is enduring some pretty extreme weather right now. Violent storms have lashed the country for days and set to continue.”


“Record-high temperatures are creating a summer-like atmosphere in Germany and Poland weeks ahead of the official start of summer… Polish state television said it’s the hottest May on record in 129 years, with April the third-warmest on record.”


“Heavy rainfall has resulted in severe flooding and has led to roofs on buildings collapsing, cars being damaged and roads being ruined in the German city of Wuppertal. According to a speaker of the German Weather Service, over a short period of time, more than 40 liters of rain per square meter fell on Wuppertal.”


“Junsele in northern Sweden and Landsort in the Nynäshamn archipelago both had their hottest May temperatures since records began (Junsele 28.5C, May 15th; Landsort 23.2C, May 16th), and Halmstad and Uppsala broke more than 100-year-old records (29.2C and 29.3C) on May 16th.”


Read yesterday’s climate post here.

Climate 29 May 2018

“Rare tropical fish from Australia have been spotted in New Zealand waters after a record-breaking hot summer and warm ocean temperatures lured the creatures across the Tasman sea.

“The Queensland groper, also known as the giant grouper, is the aquatic emblem of the state and was spotted swimming around the wreck of the HMNZ Canterbury in the Bay of Islands on Sunday, more than 3,000 kilometres away from its usual cruising spots on the coral reefs and estuaries off the Queensland coast.

“New Zealand experienced its hottest summer on record this year, largely propelled by a “marine heatwave” during which sea temperatures rose as much as six degrees in some areas, and 2-4 in the region where the groper was spotted.

“Figures released by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research found the average temperature during January was 20.3C – more than three degrees above normal…”


“This time last week 15 towns and cities across New Zealand were on track for their warmest May on record – some were recording temperatures more like early summer by mid month. By the end of the weekend… the typically sub-tropical Whangarei dropped to 0.8 degrees Celsius on Wednesday morning, its coldest May temperature since 1976, according to Niwa.”


“Farmers on the Hawaiian island of Kauai say their state should brace for a shortage of its taro crop, a staple of the traditional Hawaiian diet, after record-breaking rains flooded their fields.”


“Not only does the dwindling snowpack put California’s water supply at risk, it also portends more floods, wildfires and mudslides over the coming year. This is precisely what makes climate change so dangerous. Even small changes in weather can have cascading effects, multiplying the risk of natural disaster.”

“Back in mid-April, when we were all hip-deep in snow drifts, who would have predicted such a jaw-dropping turnaround in the weather? I sure didn’t. The weather pendulum swung fast and hard in the opposite direction, sparking the biggest May heat wave in the historical record.”


“Heat across the south-central United States is expected to worsen later this week, endangering residents and putting many record highs in jeopardy. High temperatures are expected to steadily climb across the South Central states this week.”


“May 2018 is now the hottest on record for much of Missouri.”


“As roaring flash floods battered the Washington D.C. area on Sunday and ravaged one Maryland town, nearby Virginia also struggled with mudslides and power outages…”


“The storm is threatening the Southeast with flooding as it is expected to spread moisture across the region into the middle of the week.”


“Train services between Glasgow Central and Lanark have been cancelled after soaring temperatures left rail tracks distorted.”


“Firefighters have been tackling three wildfires in the Scottish Highlands.”


“…while this month has already become the hottest May in Danish history, the next few days will only serve to consolidate that statistic.”


“The authorities in Herrstein reported that a 1.6-metre flood wave had swept through the district. In Fischbach, cars were carried away due to the floods… Temperatures similar to those typically enjoyed in the tropics are forecast for Germany this week… Highs into the 30s were also seen in parts of Germany last month, which was the hottest April ever recorded in the country.”


“The Western Cape’s dam levels have inched upwards. They’ve gone up by an average of 2.4%, with capacity sitting at 19% collectively.”


“The heatwave coincides with the beginning of Ramazan, when millions of devout Pakistanis abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. In June 2015 about 1,200 people died in Karachi during a heatwave, with nearly two-thirds of the victims homeless people.”


“North India continued to reel under heat wave on Monday. While Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh broke the record of 30 years at 48.6 degrees Celsius.”


“Disaster management officials in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand states said a combined total of 47 people had died in overnight storms across the region.”


“Torrential rain coupled with strong winds temporarily crippled the island for about two hours in several areas here late Monday.” [You may recall that Penang broke its all-time rainfall record in Nov].


“Taiwan has been sweltering in record high temperatures for May. On May 27, the temperature in Taipei City reached 38.2°C, setting the highest temperature for the month of May since records began to be kept 122 years ago.”


“The waters of the fjords of Svalbard—the Arctic archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole—are known to snap, crackle and pop with the sound of melting icebergs and glaciers.”


Read my weclome post here.