Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

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.

Climate 1 Aug 2018 Death Valley has earth’s hottest month

Death Valley has earth's hottest month ever recordedDeath Valley experiences hottest month ever recorded on earth [just verified]:


“The destruction adds to California’s worst wildfire year on record — dozens dead … denominator connects the disastrous fires: California is facing extreme heat…”


“Seattle reached its second hottest July on record by reaching 89 degrees Monday. Monday also ties the most consecutive days of at least 85 degrees.”


“At the moment, drought and fire are ravaging much of the planet… And the turbulent weather could continue, as NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there is a 70 per cent chance of another El Nino occurring this winter.”


“The Arctic Circle — the realm of polar bears and dwindling sea ice at the top of the world — hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit, 32 degrees Celsius, this week.

“This was the temperature in Banak, Norway on July 30, though some Norwegian areas even reached a couple degrees warmer, according to the European meteorology site severe-weather.eu. Banak sits atop northern Europe, over 350 miles above the bottom edge of the Arctic Circle.”


Hottest July for Sweden:


“Amid scorching temperatures, almost ​​65 percent of arable land in Poland has been affected by drought, according to state news agency PAP.”


“July will go down in German weather history as one of the hottest since measurements began. And the month’s final 24 hours have smashed the year’s temperature record… Early August is not set to bring relief from the blistering heat.”


“Rivers like the Rhine and the Elbe have soaked up so much heat that fish are beginning to suffocate. “I’m expecting a tragedy as soon as next week,” Philipp Sicher from the Swiss Fishery Association told German news agency dpa.”


Spain and Portugal poised to break all-time heat record for Europe:


“Sydney and large regions of eastern Australia posted their hottest July on record and there’s little sign the long-running above-average temperatures are about to recede.”


“The average temperature in eastern Japan was the highest for the month since 1946, when observations began. It was 2.8 degrees higher than usual. Western Japan had its second-hottest July ever, up 1.6 degrees over normal.”


“The mercury hit 41 degrees Celsius in Hongcheon [Korea] in the eastern province of Gangwon, the highest since record-keeping began in 1907.”


“War, corruption, and poverty have plagued Afghanistan for generations. These have generally led to a myriad of exacerbating issues like a lack of healthcare infrastructure, education, and political unification. Now another devastating obstacle has struck the country: the worst drought in decades.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.

Climate 31 July 2018 record rain floods Myanmar

Myanmar flooded by record rain“Another day, another extreme weather event disrupting life on our planet.

“Torrential rains associated with Myanmar’s monsoon season have wrought havoc. Floods have killed at least 11 people and forced the evacuation of more than 119,000 throughout the country on Monday, reports Reuters. Three of the deceased include soldiers who were helping with relief efforts. Another three civilians drowned in the state of Mon on the southern coast.

“At the Zaung Tu Dam, 7.79 inches of rain fell on Wednesday last week, setting a new daily record.”


“[Thai] provinces along the Mekong River are keeping a close watch, as the water levels in the international waterway are increasingly worrying. Authorities in many northern and northeastern provinces are closely monitoring the rising water levels in the Mekong after heavy rains hit large parts of the country and caused flooding in many residential and agricultural areas.”


“Some commuters on a flood-stricken road in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani city [India] had a narrow escape yesterday. A footage now going viral shows how four men managed to scurry out of a car just in time to miss a free ride to disaster town.”


“As a persistent heat wave sweeps across China, 22 counties and cities in the southwest and northeast regions of the country have experienced their hottest July on record…”


“The extreme heat wave gripping the Korean Peninsula is forecast to reach its highest temperature in the coming days… on Tuesday, the figure is likely rise to 39 deg C on Wednesday, the highest temperature in the city since the government started compiling the data in 1907, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA).”


“Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told related ministers on Monday to maintain vigilance against floods and landslides from Typhoon Jongdari, which took an unusual westbound course to hit central to western Japan over the weekend.”


““I spent four days fishing — not with a fishing line, but with a excavator to remove hundreds of dead sheep and roos that are stuck in drying dams… “Australia should be ashamed. We worry about 2 per cent of sheep dying on boats going overseas because you’ve seen a video of it, but what about the 90 per cent dying in the paddock?””


“California has experienced six of its most destructive wildfires in just 10 months. The fires have charred more than 10,000 structures and claimed dozens of lives.”


“13 British Colombia temperature records broken Sunday with Lytton hitting 41.4 C and more likely to fall today.”


“German farmers intensified calls for around 1 billion euros ($1.17 billion) in special aid on Tuesday after crop damage from a drought and heatwave.”


“This July was the driest ever since rainfall measurements started in the Netherlands.”


“Canton Valais in western Switzerland and the southern side of the Alps have now seen the hottest July since records began, according to MeteoSwiss, the Swiss meteorological office.”


“Spain’s record high is 47.3ºC (117.14ºF) but these temperatures “could well be beaten”, said Sky weather presenter Isobel Lang.”


“Portugal said Monday it has mobilised more than 10,000 people and boosted control operations in fire-prone areas of the country ahead of a major heatwave to avoid a repeat of last year’s deadly wildfires… In June 2017, 64 people were killed in the deadliest wildfires in Portugal’s history.”


“Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras has visited the site of deadly wildfires outside Athens as criticism mounts over his government’s response to the disaster. At least 91 people have died in what has become Europe’s deadliest forest fire in more than a century, officials in the country said.”


“…the wheat market is poised to tighten sharply as Russia, Australia and EU countries contend with scorching temperatures. In Australia, the state of New South Wales has announced a A$500m aid package for struggling farmers, while Germany’s farming association has called for €1bn in financial assistance from federal and state authorities.

“In response, the Euronext milling wheat benchmark is at a four-year high of €203 a tonne as analysts downgrade output estimates for EU wheat.

“Europe’s wheat production is forecast to fall below 130m tonnes for the first time in six years, according to Strategie Grains… The consultancy sees further downgrades in the near future.

“Output for Ukraine has also been hit by the poorer harvests, while leading producer Russia is expected to see a sharp fall in production… Amy Reynolds, senior economist at IGC, noted there was a question mark over North America output as well due to a lack of precipitation in some parts..

“The falling production comes as some agricultural experts have warned that the depressing effect of trade tension on key food commodities has obscured the risks of a sharp spike in prices.”


Read yesterday’s ‘Climate’ thread here.