“Record heat baked southern South America earlier this week as temperatures soared to 90 degrees, the hottest, southernmost temperature on record.
“Monday, temperatures near the southern tip of South America reached the upper 80s and lower 90s, the hottest it has ever been so far south on Earth.
“Porvenir, Chile (53.25 degrees south latitude), recorded a high of 91 degrees (32.5 degrees Celsius) Monday, while Rio Grande, Argentina (53.80 degrees south latitude), observed a high of 87 degrees (30.8 degrees Celsius), according to Etienne Kapikian, a forecaster at Météo-France.”
“Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s second-largest city, awoke to scenes of chaos on Thursday after thrashing wind and rain whipped through neighborhoods, felling trees, flooding streets and sweeping away buses in a storm that killed at least six people…
“The storm came just days after Rio experienced its hottest January in 97 years, with temperatures rising as high as 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit).”
“A potent storm slammed the central United States on Thursday, bringing a ferocious mix of wild weather from blizzard conditions to flash floods.
“Schools, universities and businesses were closed Thursday in several states as travel proved difficult if not impossible. More than 130,000 customers were without power in Michigan due to the storm… At least five people have been killed.”
“The record high for Birmingham today is 76, set in 1999 and 1957; we are forecasting a high of 78 this afternoon.
“Some communities in west Alabama could touch 80 degrees as our spring preview continues. The day should be dry with a mix of sun and clouds; severe storms are possible north and west of our state ahead of a sharp cold front.”
“Oahu’s North Shore [Hawaii] could see wave heights to a staggering 60 feet Sunday amid a monster swell that forecasters warn could trigger “unprecedented” coastal flooding, the National Weather Service said. A high surf warning has been issued for north- and west-facing shores of Oahu through Sunday night. The swell is being caused by a powerful low pressure system moving toward the islands.”
“Winds with the potential to flare up the huge forest fire near Nelson [New Zealand] are expected to increase over the weekend…
“…and despite a humidity increase there’s little sign of rain on the tinder-dry hills in the coming weeks, Niwa says.”
“Huge chunks of ice have broken off the Tasman Glacier, New Zealand’s largest.
“They have filled up at least a quarter of the meltwater lake at the foot of the glacier in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, reports say. The lake started to form in the 1970s as the glacier rapidly retreated – a phenomenon thought to have been largely caused by global warming.”
“Severe thunderstorms have brought lightning and heavy rainfall to Sydney, with almost 50 millimetres falling in some suburbs during a 30-minute deluge…
“Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Jake Phillips said heavy rainfall over 35mm in half an hour was usually seen once or twice each Sydney summer.”
“Drought conditions in across NSW have re-intensified, despite summer storms bringing some relief along the east coast. In its latest seasonal update, the Department of Primary Industries on Friday said 99.8 per cent of the state is still experiencing drought conditions. Some areas recorded the lowest January rainfall totals in 100 years, while for many it was the driest in two decades.”
“The north-west Queensland floods caused by the same monsoonal rain that put Townsville underwater, have killed up to 300,000 cattle and costs drought-ravaged farmers $300 million.
“It has emerged the promised military fodder drop has been delayed by a communication breakdown between various levels of government and there is a shortage of aviation fuel in flooded farm areas.”
“The calendar finally ticked over into February last week, officially ending the hottest January Australia has ever seen. This is a sobering fact,given that this is a country as used to heat as Ireland is to rain. But the heat is still agonisingly pervasive, and according to meteorologists’ predictions, it does not appear to letting up, either for this summer or beyond into the future.”
“Coldest air mass ever recorded in Hokkaido grips prefecture, with snow expected Saturday in Tokyo… the Meteorological Agency
“…said a cold air mass with a temperature of minus 24.4, the lowest seen since it began compiling such data in 1957, was hovering about 1,500 meters above Sapporo, which saw the mercury drop to minus 12.5 in the morning.”
“The weather in Hong Kong in the past two days was the warmest ever recorded during the first lunar month of the Year of the Pig.
“According to the Hong Kong Observatory, the temperature went as high as 25.8 degrees Celsius at 4 p.m. on Thursday. It was the highest daily maximum air temperature recorded on the third day of the Lunar New Year since the Observatory began keeping track of the records in 1884…”
“India’s capital Delhi was hit by a strong hailstorm on Thursday, turning the city white and leaving people stunned and delighted.
“Pictures and videos posted on social media show cherry-sized ice balls and streets covered in white.”
“Free State Agriculture (FSA) has welcomed the news that the province [in South Africa] has been declared a drought disaster area… Francois Wilken, FSA president, said expressed concern that any aid that may be forthcoming would arrive too late…
“He added… that even if it did rain, it would not be the end of farmers’ struggles, as grazing would take time to grow and crops planted late were at risk from early frost, continued dry spells, and other climatic disasters.”
“A group of top hurricane experts, including several federal researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, published striking new research Thursday, suggesting that hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean have grown considerably worse and that climate change is part of the reason why. The study focused on rapid intensification…”
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The frigid air spilling out of the Arctic has been hitting parts of Russia as well as North America:
“Air temperatures in Siberia have been 10-15 degrees lower than average for a long time, and record lows have been registered in many regions. Chief Meteorologist of the Western Siberian Directorate for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, Renad Yagudin, told TASS that the meteorological station Uchebnaya that is located on the left bank of the Ob River, displayed temperatures a bit lower than -40 degrees in the area on February 6. This is the most frigid in the history of weather monitoring for this date, breaking the previous record of -39.6 degrees.
“In addition, Yagudin said that new lows were set in the Maslyaninsky, Kochenevsky and Iskitimsky districts of the Novosibirsk Region…
“A historic low was also broken in the town of Novokuznetsk, in the Kemerovsky district, which had endured for more than 50 years. “The coldest winter period here was in 1968-1969. If we compare it with this period, we can say that Novokuznetsk broke those records. On February 10, 1969, a temperature of -41.8 degrees was recorded, whereas today the temperature plummeted to minus 42 degrees,” the press secretary of the Kemerovsky Center for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Natalya Poluektova told TASS.”
“Saskatoon shattered a 112 year-old record Wednesday when temperatures fell to – 42.6 C, according to Environment Canada. The previous record was set in 1907 at -41.7 C.
“Environment Canada issued an extreme cold warning Wednesday, prompting the province to remind people of its cold weather strategy, which is providing shelter for people in need.”
“Thawing ice from last week’s extreme cold is jamming up rivers in the Midwest and Northeast — causing evacuations and a big, wet mess. Rapid warmups can cause ice jams in rivers.
“The ice doesn’t crack uniformly, and chunks can temporarily block the river’s flow, causing it to spill inland.”
“Roughly 9,920 Havana residents were forced from their homes by the tornado that hit the Cuban capital 10 days ago, killing six people, injuring 195 others and damaging more than 4,800 residences, Cuban official media reported on Wednesday.
“Most of the displaced people are staying with relatives and friends…”
“The municipality of Rio de Janeiro decreed on Wednesday night the “state of crisis” due to heavy rains, with winds of up to 110 km per hour, which caused flooding, fell trees and created fear of landslides in favelas.
“The Rio Operations Center (COR) asked the Cariocas “to move only in case of extreme need”, to warn the authorities if there are “signs of cracks” in the homes and to be attentive “to the sirens” warning of the risk of landslides.”
“Chile does not manage to get away from extreme weather.
“Last week he was in the news because of a heat wave that has left unprecedented records and, for a couple of days, also due to the floods that are affecting the most arid desert in the world, Atacama . The videos that have been made viral are spectacular…”
“The damage bill is rising in Townsville as deadly floodwaters slowly recede and residents begin to mop up in the wake of record-breaking rainfall.
“In just 10 days, parts of the Far North Queensland city copped the same amount of rain which falls in Melbourne over three years. The Victorian capital, which was also hit with freak storms overnight, receives about 600mm of rain each year, less than a third of what has fallen since the monsoonal trough started ravaging Townsville.”
“Another round of storms is set to hit parts of Victoria today, after hail stones the size of ping-pong balls lashed the state overnight.
“A severe weather warning is in place most of the state, with northeast districts and parts of Gippsland forecast to be hardest hit.”
“With many regions [of New Zealand] tinder-dry, a report on soil moisture shows no improvement ahead. NIWA’s weekly soil moisture report assesses severely to extremely dry conditions.”
“Neither snow nor rain fell in the Seoul metropolitan area throughout the whole month of January, making it the driest January on record, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.”
“Water shortages and crop failure caused by record-low rainfalls in Pakistan are forcing some farming families to abandon their land, fleeing what officials say is the worst drought to hit the country in years, while others are selling their last breeding animals or seed stocks to survive.
“Authorities and aid groups say conditions are deteriorating in large swathes of Sindh to the south and Balochistan to the west, where both provincial governments have declared emergencies. Disaster management officials say at least 2.8 million people are affected in the two provinces’ worst-hit districts.”
“Pakistan’s northern and northwestern parts have witnessed record snowfall last month which would help raise the water table in the country, officials said…
“Prime Minister Imran Khan welcomed the rain and snow calling it a “blessing from God”… Pakistan is running out of fresh water at an alarming rate, experts say, which could spell disaster for the agriculture-based economy.”
““The recent rainfall [in Kwa-Zulul Natal, South Africa] has created a false impression that the drought we experienced from 2015 is over. Our dams have not been replenished to their pre-drought levels and the danger of running out of water is still very real,” said Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube yesterday.
“Dube-Ncube said if the drought persists, the province will have no choice but to impose water restrictions.”
“Billions of tons of meltwater flowing into the oceans from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could boost extreme weather and destabilize regional climate within a matter of decades, researchers said Wednesday.
“These melting giants — especially the one atop Greenland — are poised to further weaken the ocean currents that move cold water south along the Atlantic Ocean floor while pushing tropical waters northward closer to the surface, they reported in the journal Nature.”
“The last four years were the hottest since global temperature records began, the UN confirmed on Wednesday in an analysis that it said was a “clear sign of continuing long-term climate change.”
The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation said in November that 2018 was set to be the fourth warmest year in recorded history…”
[but it was the warmest on record for the oceans and almost certainly the worst globally for wildfires].
“While 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, British meteorologists are predicting the next five years will be much hotter…”
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“At least 14 people have been killed and seven others are missing following two landslides in Bolivia, according to the national police chief, Romulo Delgado.
“Torrential rain caused the landslides on the road linking the capital, La Paz, to the northern town of Caranavi, the gateway to the Amazon rainforest, over the weekend.
“President Evo Morales said on his Twitter account that helicopters were being used to transport 34 wounded to local hospitals…
“The National Hydrological and Meteorological Service issued an orange alert for various departments in the state, warning that this year’s rainy period has begun with unusually heavy precipitation.”
“Three regions in the south [of Chile] are in a state of catastrophe, and reached record high temperatures. While to the north, intense rains in the cordilleran areas that left two dead in a historically dry area: the Atacama desert.
“The Chilean government decreed Tuesday the state of catastrophe in three regions of the south of the country where 630 fires are registered, many of them intentional, while in the north intense mountain rains caused floods and road cuts.”
“Unusually warm temperatures in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego province, an area called the gateway to the Antarctic region, led officials to declare Tuesday a holiday and residents to the shores for recreation.
“The area, which is undergoing summer, reached a temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit in Rio Grande Monday, about 1,400 miles south of Buenos Aires.”
“I have found in going through heaps of data back to 1879 for West Lafayette [Indiana] that when the temperature drops to -15 or less, it tends to stay quite cold for a while…
“The recent Arctic Outbreak was different & broke tradition with what normally occurs with cold of this magnitude… This outbreak was in & out in an unusually rapid fashion… A 73-degree rise from such cold is an extreme rarity.”
“Temperatures soared into the upper 60s and low 70s Tuesday afternoon, bringing record highs to several towns [in Pennsylvania].
“These Spring-like temperatures came less than a week after temperatures fell into the single digits, and felt like below 0. Trenton crushed their previous record of 64 degrees set in 1890.”
“Let’s hope you had a good umbrella. About 61 inches of rain fell on Massachusetts in 2018, the wettest year on record for the state, with 3 feet falling in the second half of the year.
“The 2018 mark was more than 16 inches above Massachusetts’ 20th-century average…”
“The remote town of Barrow, Alaska, home to more than 4,000 people, touts picturesque views of the Arctic Ocean as well as an unparalleled connection to the Alaskan wild, but underneath its stunning beauty lies a major global crisis—permafrost coastal erosion—causing Barrow to gradually slip into the sea.
“The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet…”
“Schools are off in several districts of the southern province of Antalya [Turkey] on Feb. 6 as experts warned of a “great risk” for deadly tornadoes…
“Three people had died in Antalya two weeks ago and another citizen went missing after storms and tornadoes hit the province, causing more than 100 million Turkish Liras worth of damage.”
“Townsville is underwater and large parts of Tasmania are on fire. As fires, floods and crazy weather become more frequent and severe, is Australia on its way to being uninsurable?
“Summer in Australia has always been extreme, but some corners of the country are experiencing climate-driven disasters that are worse than ever – and more of them every year.”
“Australian ranchers who struggled to keep their cattle alive during a prolonged drought last year are now battling to save herds from record-breaking floods inundating the northeast of the country, officials said on Wednesday.
“Australia’s military has been called in to drop fodder to cattle stranded by floodwaters in Queensland state to stop them from starving, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said, with their owners still marooned in their farmsteads.”
“Victorians are preparing for more than a month’s worth of rain in the span of an hour, but the torrential rain isn’t expected over regional areas where bushfires continue to rage. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for the Melbourne and Geelong region…”
“Giant kelp forests once dominated Tasmania’s east coast, but 95 per cent has been lost over the past few decades…
“In Western Australia, a heatwave between 2010 and 2013 wiped out about 100 kilometres of kelp cover, replacing it with seaweed and other species associated with sub-tropical and tropical areas.”
“Growers are battling to keep crops alive on the Waimea Plains as the drought continues to bite in Tasman district, with no sign of a significant break in the prolonged dry spell.
“Irrigators this week saw the amount of water they were allowed to take from catchments on the plains cut by 50 per cent, as the Waimea River dropped to its lowest level for this time of year since the “Big Dry” in 2001.”
“German reinsurer Munich Re on Wednesday reported a 56 percent decline in fourth quarter net profit after a spate of natural catastrophes…”
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“Mother Nature can’t make up her mind in the Midwest and Northeast, where a number of locations have set record-high temperatures — just days after a polar blast brought a rash of record lows.
“The lobe of the polar vortex, which carried punishing cold air into the Midwest and Northeast Wednesday through Friday, swiftly retreated over the weekend, and a surge of unseasonably mild air took its place…”
“Both Cleveland and Akron-Canton on Monday smashed records for high temperatures on this date, with readings reaching the 60s Monday afternoon – about 25 degrees above normal.
“At Akron-Canton, the high of 60 topped the previous record of 55 degrees, set in 2016. The normal high for this date is 34 degrees. Last year it was 33.”
“Warmer air continues to make its way towards Middle Georgia as new record high temperatures could be set tomorrow and Thursday.”
“Winter-weary Torontonians are getting a much-needed reprieve following a week of bone-chilling temperatures. At 12 Con Monday afternoon, Toronto set a new record high temperature for Feb. 4, beating the previous record of 11 C set back in 1991.
““The normal daytime high, to put it in perspective, is around – 2.2 C,” said CP24 Meteorologist Chris Potter. Last year on this day, the city sat at -1.5 C.”
“A small town in Northern California has sunk more than two feet in the last nine years, according to a recent survey from the California Department of Water Resources. The survey identified nearly 40 areas in the Sacramento Valley where land has started to sink as farmers pump groundwater from the region’s arid soil.”
“The precipitations began around the 13:00 hours of Saturday 2 February , with strong winds in great part of the city.
“The strong winds , together with the precipitations, caused a series of demolitions of poles , trees [in Tijuana, Mexico].”
“Kiwis have been feeling the heat – but last month was only the third hottest January with 2018 still holding the record for the hottest month ever… Niwa Auckland climate scientist Nava Fedaeff said last January was exceptionally warm and broke all records…
“Parts of the country were also extremely dry with rainfall well below normal in all parts of the country except Napier and Hastings. Masterton had just 6mm of rain and recording its driest month on records since its records began in 1926.”
“As I write this, fire is 500 metres from the largest King Billy pine forest in the world on Mt Bobs [Tasmania], an ancient forest that dates back to the last Ice Age and has trees over 1,000 years old.
“Fire has broached the boundaries of Mt Field national park with its glorious alpine vegetation, unlike anything on the planet.”
“Many parts of Queensland have been declared disaster zones and thousands of residents evacuated due to a 1-in-100-year flood.
“Townsville is at the epicentre of the “unprecedented” monsoonal downpour that brought more than a year’s worth of rain in just a few days, and the emergency is far from over with yet more torrential rain expected.”
“Surat [India], known as the “diamond city”, faces a triple flooding threat: from the Tapi and the Ukai dam upstream, from the Arabian Sea, and from the 19 miles of creeks that spread through the city.
“It constructed its first flood wall in 1664, and the battle to hold back water has been raging ever since. Climate change has only exacerbated the situation.”
“Heavy rainfall in northwest Syria has caused severe flash flooding in northwest Syria affecting more than 80,000 people… People in this part of Syria already are struggling to survive in an already volatile environment.
“The floods have swept away thousands of tents and caused concrete houses to collapse. Furthermore, one-quarter of the food stock in assessed locations was ruined in the flooding, causing many local shops and bakeries to close, increasing the price of the already limited food available.”
“Heavy rain and melting snow caused rivers to burst their banks and cause flooding across Bosnia, damaging houses and blocking roads. A bridge in the capital, Sarajevo, collapsed after the River Zeljeznica overflowed. Milder weather has been witnessed following last month’s sub-zero conditions.
“In the space of 24 hours, temperatures jumped from 0C to 15C, causing snow to melt rapidly and trigger floods in central parts of the country.”
“On Svalbard, the envisaged rise in temperatures would thaw the frozen ground underpinning many buildings, roads and airports, cause more avalanches, “slushflows” and landslides, melt glaciers and threaten wildlife such as polar bears and seals that rely on sea ice to hunt.
““A 10 degree warming, with the implications for Arctic nature, ice-dependent species, will be devastating,” Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen told Reuters.”
“Two recently published peer-reviewed studies make clear that the planet’s oceans are continuing to set hottest-yet temperature records nearly every year and, secondly, that the rate of ocean warming is in virtual lockstep with what modern climate models have projected…
“About 93 percent of global warming goes into heating the oceans, compared to about 2 percent warming the atmosphere. As the hottest year in the oceans, 2018 therefore was the hottest year ever recorded for the planet as a whole. And the amount of heat currently building up on Earth is equivalent to the amount of energy released by more than five atomic bomb detonations per second, every second.”
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“The north Queensland coast is in the midst of an extreme rainfall event that has forced the Ross River Dam near Townsville to open its gates, adding to the flooding already under way.
“Here’s how it has happened – and why.
“It’s not over yet but, as of 9am local time on Monday, Townsville Airport had recorded more than one metre of rain in the past week.
“All up, that tally reached 1052 millimetres [41.1 inches], according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
“The total beat the previously weekly high from January 1998 of 886 millimetres although that event included the “night of Noah’ when a record daily tally of 548.8 millimetres fell.
“It’s a wet part of Australia, we know, but the past week has delivered almost Townsville’s entire annual average of 1157.9 millimetres [45.6 inches] at a site where the data goes back to 1940. In other words, a year’s rain in a week for the town.
“”This event is just an unprecedented monsoonal burst,” says Grace Legge, a senior meteorologist in the bureau’s extreme weather desk, adding that many stations are likely to set multiple-day records.
“To Townville’s west, the aptly named Upper Bluewater site clocked up 2068 millimetres [81.5 inches] in the week to Monday morning, according to Weatherzone.”
“Snakes and crocodiles have been spotted on residential roads in Australia after devastating floods hit the northern state of Queensland, following eight days of monsoon-level rain.
“Environment minister Leeanne Enoch issued a statement warning residents that the reptiles could turn up in unexpected places due to extreme weather conditions.”
“The drought situation in Namibia is fast becoming a disaster of epic proportions and in this regard the National Agriculture Union along with the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union asked for an urgent meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to discuss critical interventions to assist farmers.
“The two unions also jointly drafted a drought action plan with various possible solutions to assist that the feel must be implemented in order to assist struggling farmers which they plan to present to the agriculture minister.”
“Scientists fear the future of the UAE’s reefs is in doubt after research found rising temperatures killed almost three quarters of Abu Dhabi’s coral. Record temperatures in the summer of 2017 left more than 90 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s coral cover bleached and struggling to survive, New York University Abu Dhabi found.
“Dr John Burt, associate professor of biology, said there was a remarkable amount of damage.”
“Spring-like temperatures arrived early in Croatia on Saturday and will hang around for part of Sunday as well. In the Croatian towns of Daruvar and Sisak, temperatures reached a high of 19 °C on Saturday afternoon, whilst in Maksimir in the capital Zagreb, it reached 17.1 °C.
“At Zagreb’s weather station Grič it measured 16.6 °C, making it one of the warmest starts to February in history for most of the country. Yesterday’s temperature in Zagreb was the warmest ever recorded on the 2nd of February since measurements began in 1881.”
“Four people drowned when a tourist boat capsized in strong winds on the Montenegrin side of Lake Skadar on Sunday, while heavy rain and melting snow caused flooding across neighboring Bosnia, damaging houses and blocking roads.
“A couple and their young daughter from the town of Zeta in Montenegro, drowned in the boat accident, along with a man who tried to help them…”
“St Mark’s square and alleyways in Venice’s historic centre were affected by flooding on Saturday, after heavy rains caused an unusually high tide. Tourists and residents were seen using wooden platforms to cross the square, while some braved the high flood levels, walking through the water in rubber boots.
“Elsewhere in Italy, firefighters used ropes and planks of wood to rescue three teenagers from a muddy river after their car swerved off the road in heavy rain.”
“The number of people killed in the powerful tornado that ripped through part of Havana last week has risen to six, authorities said on Sunday.
“Public Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda said in state media that “sadly, two people have died among the 13 who were in critical condition.” The earlier death toll was four.”
“Following record-breaking chill across the Midwest and Northeast this past week, a surge of relatively balmy air is moving into the region.
“A steady flow of air pushing into the area from the south will usher milder conditions into the region through Monday, allowing temperatures to increase by as much as 40-60 degrees when compared to the recent cold outbreak.”
“Indianapolis is making a serious run at setting a new record high temperature for the date. The capital city has already tied the record set in 1992, 1937, and 1883, reaching 62° at 2:11 p.m. We aren’t done with the warmth just yet.”
“With only 6.2 inches of snow in January, Denver just completed its 25th-straight month with below average snowfall, the longest such streak in recorded history. Denver’s official records date back to 1882, and an analysis of climatological records shows that there’s been no such previous stretch in recorded history.”
“The federal government has moved closer to imposing water delivery cuts along the drought-depleted Colorado River…
“…after California and Arizona failed to meet a deadline for inking a broad agreement on how the seven states that depend on the river would cope with shortages.”
“The strongest Pacific storm of this winter season slammed California with heavy rain, significant snowfall, high winds and travel disruptions this past weekend…
“The heavy rain caused excessive runoff, with debris flows reported downstream of the Holy and Woolsey fire burn scars.”
“Siberia has seen a deep freeze since early February, with severe sub-zero temperatures plunging lower than minus 50 degrees.
“Forced holidays started in many schools where a regime of free attendance had been introduced before. Storm and emergency warnings were declared in some Siberian regions, and there were problems with aircraft and bus transportation.”
“The ocean will not look the same color in the future. It won’t turn pink or anything radically different; the change will be more apparent through optic sensors than though the human eye.
“But it serves as an early warning sign that global warming is significantly altering the planet’s ecosystems, according to a new study. Essentially, climate change will make the blues of the ocean bluer and the greens greener.”
Read previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.
January was not just Australia’s hottest ever January but its hottest ever month:
“It followed the hottest December on record for Australia — and there is no relief in sight for the months ahead.
“January was a truly record-breaking month across several fronts: the highest minimum, the highest maximum and the highest mean temperatures for Australia as a whole.
“The highest overnight minimum on record was broken multiple times with Wanaaring (Barrona Downs) in NSW currently holding the title at 36.6 degrees Celsius.
“The mean temperature for January averaged across the country exceeded 30C — the first time this had occurred in any month, the BOM said.”
“On the back of a month of record high temperatures across Western Australia, parts of Perth are sweltering in 40 degree heat this afternoon.
“The mercury at Pearce ticked over 40.5 degrees Celsius about noon, while Perth temperatures peaked at a scorching 38.5C.”
“…where I live in drought-stricken Tasmania, the southern half of this island is, to put it bluntly, ablaze.
“Three huge out-of-control bushfires have consumed almost 2,000sqkm of the island’s wilderness areas. Natural Parks and precious World Heritage Sites are being razed. Towns and hamlets are at risk of incineration.”
“It’s official! The Gold Coast has seen its driest January on record. Just 4.4mm of rain fell at the Gold Coast Seaway this month across seven days.
“The previous record was 5.2mm in 2003. The wettest day of the month was Wednesday but only 1.6mm of rain fell.”
“A western Queensland town has suffered through 43 consecutive days where the maximum temperature exceeded 40 degrees… Residents in the outback town of Birdsville endured 10 consecutive days of 45 degrees and above until Monday, January 21 – exceeding previous six-day runs in the town in 2004 and 2013.
“Last week, the road was so hot in a tiny north-western Queensland town the council thought residents could cook an Australia Day barbecue on it.”
“One hundred homes could be flooded in Townsville after the city’s mayor sanctioned the high-risk release of dam water to save the area from more widespread inundation following more than 1.1 metres of rain.
“Announcing the emergency measure for the Ross River dam on Friday, the mayor Jenny Hill said there were no guarantees the plan would work. Between 90 and 100 homes downstream from the dam were being evacuated, she added.
“Townsville has had a year’s worth of rain in the past week.”
“The recent abandonment of thousands of flamingo chicks by their mothers has been blamed on climate change that has caused a severe drought in Kimberley in the Northern Cape [South Africa].
“The rush to save the 2000 flamingo chicks turned into a countrywide race against time to save the birds. The drought hit the Kamfers Dam in Kimberley where the flamingo colony stayed. Due to the intensity and extremity of climate change, the dam dried up and the adult population left.”
“Thunder, lightning and rain came to Los Angeles in a major way this week, and many people were not ready. Hundreds of lightning strikes were recorded around Los Angeles County…
“”The thunder feels like an earthquake!! I actually had to think about it for a minute, it really felt like start of an earthquake. Am I really still in LA?” wrote Twitter user Nancy R. late Thursday morning.”
“The cold has shattered temperature records across the United States. Mason City, Iowa hit a record low of -28; nearby Albert Lea, Minnesota bottomed out at -29, with wind chills as low as the -50s.
“Rockford, Illinois broke its all-time cold record at -31, as did Moline (-33), Cedar Rapids, Iowa (-30), Mather, Wisconsin (-43), and Cotton, Minnesota (-56). Ponsford, Minnesota reportedly suffered a chilling -66 degrees.”
“The Okjökull glacier died in 2014. It wasn’t the first Icelandic glacier to pass away. Some estimates say that up to ten named bodies of ice have previously expired, along with countless more that were unnamed. But Okjökull was the biggest, so far.
“Over a period of years, Okjökull melted faster than snowfall could accumulate into new ice. The glacier became thinner each year until, eventually, the ice in the bowl of the shield volcano stopped moving.”
“Subsidence caused by an earthquake has created a snapshot of what life might be like for many more as sea levels continue to rise:
“The water laps above her ankles, and flows through her home, sending bottles bobbing gently on the high tide. But Maria Saavedra is unworried, and unmoving… The Cebu Strait quietly invades her house on the high tide for nearly four hours a day, more than 130 days a year. But Saavedra doesn’t want to leave the only home she’s known for an uncertain life on a larger island nearby.”
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