12th Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Rescue workers were among at least 11 Indonesians killed as two landslides in quick succession devastated a village in West Java. The landslides were reported three-and-a-half hours apart on Saturday at Cihanjuang Village in the Sumedang district of West Java, 150 kilometres south-east of Jakarta.

“Heavy rain is hampering rescue efforts with the death toll predicted to rise.”


Two men died while at least 16,323 families, consisting of 81,615 individuals, were evacuated as flood waters rose in some areas in the Visayas [Philippines] due to non-stop rains spawned by the tail of the frontal system last Friday and Saturday…

“Local authorities said 15,200 families, consisting of 76,000 individuals, were evacuated in Negros Occidental last Friday.”


At least three people were killed, while more than 62,000 others evacuated as a result of heavy rains in southern Thailand, authorities said on Monday.

“In a statement, the country’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said heavy rains since Jan. 4 has affected thousands of families in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla provinces.”


Wettest January on record for Tamil Nadu [India]; more heavy rain likely:

“Post cessation of Northeast Monsoon on 31st December 2020, an unusually heavy wet spell has lashed most parts of Tamil Nadu. Historic record rainfall has been recorded at many places including the state capital Chennai.”


Japan’s Hokuriku region blanketed by record snowfall:

“Heavy snow has swept across the Hokuriku region of Japan, bringing traffic to a standstill, damaging electricity cables and leaving more than 100 vehicles stranded.” [Video]


Icy flash flood destroys vehicles in Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina, January 10 2021:



An atmospheric river is poised to bring another threat of flooding rainfall and landslides to the Pacific Northwest in what has already been one of the wettest starts to January on record for parts of the region.

“Disturbances in a strong jet stream stretching from west to east across the North Pacific Ocean will funnel this pipeline of moisture into the Northwest.”


Wildfire smoke accounted for up to half of all health-damaging small particle air pollution in the western U.S. in recent years as warming temperatures fueled more destructive blazes

“Even as pollution emissions declined from other sources including vehicle exhaust and power plants, the amount from fires increased sharply…”


‘There’s a red flag here’: how an ethanol plant is dangerously polluting a US village:

“Situation in Mead, Nebraska, where AltEn has been processing seed coated with fungicides and insecticides, is a warning sign, experts say.”


It’s not just you. Utah’s winters are getting warmer: It’s not just a license plate slogan; Utah really may have the greatest snow on earth…

“But those delicately balanced climate conditions aren’t immune to change, and you might be noticing a difference in temperatures, precipitation and seasonal patterns in general. If so, it’s not in your head—Utah’s winters really are getting warmer.”


Manatees had a terrible 2020. Rainfall and floodgates are partly to blame

2020 was a very wet year, with record-breaking rainfall drenching South Florida right at the beginning of the season in May and then again through October, before Tropical Storm Eta slammed the region in November.”


Madrid offers emergency shelter to 4,000 slum dwellers without electricity in record cold snap:

“Cañada Real has been cut off from the grid since October after the company claimed cannabis farmers were using too much power.”


France’s Côte d’Azur braves the cold: a winter like no other.

“The French Riviera is susceptible to two different types of cold. Weather expert Paul Marquis explains the difference: “Arctic maritime air comes from the North Pole, from the north-west. It’s a moist air, it’s humid. Continental air comes from Russia. It’s much drier and that is what we are experiencing along the coastline at the moment.””


Athens’ hottest January in 160 years: Athenians are sweltering through one of the hottest starts to the year on record.

“According to the National Observatory of Athens, January has already proven to be Athens’ hottest month in at least 160 years.”


Flooding has caused chaos in several Southeast European countries from Albania to Bulgaria.

“Heavy rain and snowfalls in recent days resulted in rising river levels and widespread flooding that resulted in dozens of people being evacuated from their homes in Albania and Kosovo, while emergency situations were declared in parts of Bulgaria and Serbia.”


Istanbul’s drought raises ‘rain bomb’ debate among experts: Millions across Istanbul woke up on Saturday to a sight for sore eyes: The city’s desolated streets were echoing with the tips and taps of rain finally falling from the sky…

“…the sigh of relief was …because the metropolis is on the brink of depleting its water reserves.”


An official delegation headed by the Wali of Casablanca-Settat region, Said Ahmidouch, visited several areas impacted by the floods in Morocco’s economic capital on Saturday.

“The tragic events have now claimed four lives and caused several injuries.”


Nigeria cattle crisis: how drought and urbanisation led to deadly land grabs:

“The death toll of animals and humans is mounting as herders seeking dwindling reserves of pasture clash with farmers.”


Heavy rain causes flooding in the region of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

“Thunderstorms accompanied by heavy rainfall and strong winds lashed the regions of Mecca, Al Baha, Asir, Ha’il and Al Jawf have led to flash flooding.”



How lightning is affected by climate change:

“Thunderstorms happen because of convection, when the heating of the Earth’s surface by sunlight and infrared radiation causes water to condense as buoyant air rises.”


Awareness of climate tipping points has grown in policy circles in recent years

“The evidence base of cascading effects between tipping points has also expanded.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

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9th Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

At least six people have died and nearly 50,000 evacuated in Malaysia after monsoon rains pounded the country’s east coast, authorities said, causing what residents described as the worst flooding in half a century…

“Heavy rains continued to batter the region on Friday, swelling the number of people abandoning their homes to more than 47,000, officials said.”


Very heavy rains have lashed most parts of Karnataka [India] during the last 48 hours.

“More heavy showers are expected in the next 48 hours and light to moderate spells thereafter till 11th January and a break will follow. These exceptionally heavy rains are unprecedented…”


“There are nearly 4,000 glaciers lying up high in various regions of Afghanistan, but the climate change is severely threatening these highly important sources of water, according to international organizations and experts…

““Almost 14 percent of the total area of Afghanistan’s glaciers was lost between 1990 and 2015, a direct result of climate change, and a reduction that can only be expected to continue,” according to a report published by the Afghan Analysts Network.”


A team of Chinese scientists have wrapped a section of a remote glacier in blankets to slow its melting amid rising temperatures due to global warming.

“The method can prevent masses of ice from melting too quickly by blocking solar radiation and heat exchange on the glacier’s surface, the researchers have concluded following a five-month experiment.”


Exceptionally cold weather sweeping through China has caused a huge increase in power demand in the world’s largest energy consumer and hampered transportation

“Cities such as the eastern port city of Qingdao recorded the lowest temperature in history and the capital city Beijing had coldest day since the 1960s on Jan 7.”


The Bureau of Meteorology has revealed 2020 was Western Australia’s second-hottest year on record, trailing behind only 2019, and the fourth-hottest for the country as a whole.

“Daytime temperatures in WA were 1.54 degrees Celsius above average and night-time temperatures were 0.95C above average.”


Warmer temperatures bring record water levels: Two of the largest rivers in British Columbia run through Prince George. Currently, both are running very high.

“Typically, large ice chunks form on the rivers, however, with the recent warm temperatures, precipitation, and high groundwater, levels are creating historical flows.”


U.S. weather and climate disasters hit an all-time high in 2020 with 22 separate catastrophes that cost more than $1 billion each.

“The previous record for most billion-dollar weather and climate disasters was 16, which occurred in 2011 and 2017, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announcement on Friday.”


Hundreds of families displaced after tornado rips through Texas City overnight.

“The storm blew through Texas City around 6 p.m on Wednesday night and left a trail of damage behind. Strong winds ripped the sides off of a convenience store and displaced around 400 residents at a nearby apartment complex according to Texas City officials.”


“Drought is an insidious climate threat… It may not grab extreme weather headlines… but drought during 2020 and heading into 2021 is a looming story likely to grow in importance…

Dry conditions are tightening their grip on the Southwest, including fire-prone Southern California.”


2020 was the hottest year on record for Europe, EU scientists say.

“Data from the Copernicus Project shows that average temperatures last year outstripped the previous record set in 2019 by 0.4C.”


Greece is forecast to experience some of its highest January temperatures of the last 50 years, the meteo weather service of the National Observatory of Athens said on Friday.

“Temperatures will be as much as 15 degrees Celsius [27F] higher than normal for this time of year.”


Heavy rain in Albania over the past three days has flooded thousands of acres of fields, blocked roads and forced authorities to evacuate scores of people, officials said Friday.

“The government’s emergency committee said more than 5,000 hectares (12,350 acres) were inundated…

“Rain is forecast to continue over the next three days.”


A regional train on Thursday hit a landslide that had engulfed the railway track near Spoleto in Umbria [Italy] after recent torrential rain.


Massive sinkhole swallows cars in Naples, Italy: A 50 metre wide sinkhole opens up outside the l’Ospedale del Mare hospital in Naples, Italy. January 8th 2021.”



Spanish natural gas prices surged to a record as the nation grappled with unusually cold weather that even brought a rare snowfall to Madrid.

The day-ahead price on Spain’s PVB gas trading hub has more than doubled since the start of the year and is near the record-high rates for liquefied natural gas in Asia…”


Storm Filomena created havoc across Spain’s Costa del Sol last night when millions of litres of rainfall flooded city centres and cut off roads. Power cuts added to the misery…

“All throughout the night, the electricity came on then went off, potentially damaging computers, internet routers and home equipment.”


Unprecedented flooding in Morocco has blocked roads and wreaked havoc, causing the municipal council of the economic capital [Casablanca] to hold an emergency meeting.

“Reports say locals who had their properties including vehicles destroyed have filed a number of complaints.”


The flooding of rivers and overflowing of dams in the southern parts of Namibia is said to be the biggest since the 1990s

“This is according to the National Hydrological Services (NHS), which announced That trees of the Namibia Industrial Development Agency were under water and the damage would be extensive.”


Four family members were Thursday swept away after being marooned by heavy rains along Mutirikwi River in Chiredzi [Zimbabwe].

“They were part of the eight people belonging to two Chiredzi families that were were trapped midway when water levels rose while they were crossing.”


Kenya needs $62bn (£46bn) to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis in the next 10 years, according to a government document sent to the UN framework convention on climate change. It equates to almost 67% of Kenya’s GDP

“Food security, warns the report, will worsen because Kenyan farmers are almost entirely weather-dependent.”


Last year was the joint hottest globally and by far the warmest year recorded in Europe, making the years from 2015 onwards the warmest six on record.

“Global average temperatures tied with 2016 at 0.6°C above the long-term average – despite the absence of an El Niño event, a climate phenomenon that has a warming effect. There was an El Niño in 2016.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back on Monday with an ‘Economic’ thread.

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7th Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

A dramatic spike in temperatures is occurring at high altitudes above the North Pole, where the air is thin and typically frigid. Known as a sudden stratospheric warming event, experts say it’s likely to have potentially significant repercussions for winter weather across the Northern Hemisphere for weeks to possibly months.

This unusually strong event may have profound influences on the weather in the United States and Europe, possibly increasing the potential for paralyzing snowstorms and punishing blasts of Arctic air, with the odds of the most severe cold outbreaks highest in Northern Europe.”


Kyiv [Ukraine] records highest-ever yearly average temperature in 2020:

“The average yearly temperature in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv was the warmest in 2020, as it rose to + 10.9°C [51.6F], which was 3.2°C up from the climatic norm, thus setting a record for the entire observation period (since 1881).”


A landslide that hit a village not far from Norway’s capital last week has claimed 10 lives, as rescue workers confirmed that seven people were dead, and abandoned hope that the others were still living

“”The quick-clay slide happened more than 20 kilometers north of Oslo and follows a month of record rainfall in the capital.”


British summer temperatures are set to rise faster than the global average, as scientists warn heatwaves will be more intense.

“The climate is set to warm up to 50 per cent more quickly than the average rate of global warming, with extremely hot days in particular getting hotter.”


Spain registered its coldest temperature on record Wednesday, with a meteorological station in the Catalan Pyrenees registering a frigid -34.1 degrees Celsius (-29.3 Fahrenheit).

“The last time Spain broke its record for cold weather was Feb. 2, 1956, when thermometers in the same mountain range dropped to -32.”


Saturday is set to be among the warmest January days on record for Malta, the Met Office has revealed, with temperatures forecast to reach up to 22°C.

“An expected south-westerly wind from the Sahara Desert is behind the unusually mellow forecast, according to the weather models.”


Last year’s weather meant setting records for not only high temperatures but rainfall levels as well throughout Greece.

Notably, the country was hit by the “Medicane” called Ianos in September of 2020, the strongest of all such rare Mediterranean cyclones on record. The storm’s unprecedented flooding and destructive winds killed four people in Greece and caused widespread damage across the country…”


Water level drops in Turkey’s hydroelectric plants change balances in electricity supply:

“…the drought that made headlines in the country in recent months has become the most important item on the agenda for electricity generation.


“The world’s most devastating climate-driven loss of ocean life has been reported in the eastern Mediterranean, one of the fastest warming places on Earth.

Native mollusc populations along the coast of Israel have collapsed by about 90% in recent decades because they cannot tolerate the increasingly hot water, according to a new study…”


Climate crisis: [the Indian state of] Uttarakhand may see forest fires round the year.

“It is winters but state forests are on fire. Experts say lack of soil moisture due to insufficent rainfall aided spread.”


Chennai received the highest rainfall in a single day so far for the month of January in over a century of records, recording an average of 123 mm [4.8 inches] of rainfall on Tuesday. Guindy recorded the highest rainfall in the city with 162 mm [6.4 inches]…

“The heavy rains have resulted in inundation in many parts of the city.” [You may recall that Chennai basically ran dry in 2019].


Malaysian villagers were evacuated in an excavator while others swam through deep waters Wednesday as the number forced from their homes by floods rose to more than 28,000 with at least four dead…

“…people in some areas say this year’s floods are the worst in decades.”


Major flood warnings are in place in northern Queensland, Australia after the region was hit overnight with intense rainfall associated with ex-tropical cyclone Imogen.

“Flooding is being experienced in the town of Ingham, north of Townsville, after 120mm [4.8 inches] of rain was recorded in an hour there on Wednesday morning.”


“Holiday goers still enjoying the surf in Whitianga [NZ] spent all day in their togs or huddled away indoors, as temperatures rose to 31.8C [89F].

“According to NIWA, Whitianga recorded its warmest January temperature on record on Wednesday since their records began…”


The cities of [Argentina’s] Atlantic Coast, especially Villa Gesell, have been affected since yesterday by heavy rains and floods. “



The climate crisis is being blamed for an astonishing predator-on-predator animal attack that took place in the Guatemalan rainforest, and was captured on camera.

“The footage shows a male jaguar attacking and killing an ocelot, which researchers say is a rare occurrence and is likely due to the abnormally fierce – and growing – competition for water.”


Records show the Animas River [part of the Colorado River system] recently broke the all-time low flow set on the water gauge behind the Powerhouse Science Center, which has collected data for 109 years.

“The previous record low flow at the U.S. Geological Survey’s water gauge was set March 2, 1913, when the Animas River was running at 94 cubic feet per second.”


Dust left deep beneath the oceans three to five million years ago has confirmed that climate change is pushing westerly winds towards the poles, say scientists.

“The winds, commonly known as the westerlies, play an important role in shaping the world’s weather by influencing rainfall, ocean currents and tropical cyclone paths.”


The ‘Last Ice Area’ is a narrow band of ice that covers about a million square miles across the Northern coasts of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, which has long withstood the effects of climate change – until now.

“A team from the University of Toronto found that the ice arches holding the frozen water together could soon collapse due to melting…”


The Arctic Hasn’t Been This Warm for 3 Million Years:

“Today human activities are overwhelming the natural processes that pull CO2 out of the atmosphere. At the dawn of the Industrial Era in 1750, atmospheric CO2 stood at about 280 parts per million. It has taken humans only 200 years to completely reverse the trajectory begun 50 million years ago and return the planet to CO2 levels not experienced for millions of years.”


The amount of greenhouse gases already released into the atmosphere by humans will likely warm our planet beyond the limits set out under the Paris climate agreement, alarming new research which recalculates previous climate models warns.

“Future warming from greenhouse gases that have already been emitted is called “committed warming”.”


Global warming is increasing average temperatures across Earth and causing extreme weather events. At the same time, a new study found that temperatures in the upper atmosphere of the Earth are cooling

“… these effects… could have serious consequences on everything from melting glaciers to humans’ ability to fly.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

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5th Jan 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Barely two weeks after a prolific ocean-effect snowstorm dropped seven feet of snow and stranded thousands of motorists, the new year in Japan kicked off with another severe snowstorm. Up to another 85 inches fell through Saturday amid strong winds and record cold temperatures.

The mind-boggling snowfall is linked to a pair of record-breaking weather systems… Mountainous areas of Japan are bracing for yet another dump of heavy snow over the next five days.”


Over 4,200 people are still living in temporary housing in Kumamoto Prefecture, southwestern Japan, about six months after a deadly rain disaster mainly hit the southern part of the prefecture

“In Kumamoto, 65 people died due to the flooding of the Kuma River and landslides, while two remain missing.”


“Two cold fronts are forecast to sweep across northern and eastern parts of China this week, bringing gales and low temperatures, the country’s meteorological authority said on Monday…

Temperatures in parts of northern China are likely to reach record lows over the next few days, according to the National Meteorological Center.”


As we all know it was a wet December in Juneau and Southeast Alaska

“Meteorologist Kayla Tinker says widespread record rainfall paired with warmer than normal temperatures caused numerous landslides across Southeast Alaska. On December 1, Juneau recorded the largest 24-hour rainfall recorded since records began in 1936…”


Two rare tornadoes hit Northern California:

“Two tornadoes touched down in Tehama County on Monday afternoon, causing tree and power line damage but no fatalities, according to the National Weather Service.”


“Last year ended up as Phoenix’s second warmest year since record-keeping began in 1896. The city’s average daily temperature was 77.2 degrees for 2020, only one-tenth of a degree behind the record-holding year of 2017.

“Although 2020 barely missed out on that title of hottest-ever year, July and August 2020 will go down as the two hottest months in Phoenix history.”


The National Weather Service says 2020 was the warmest year on record for Portland, Maine. The average temperature for the year was 49.4 degrees Fahrenheit (9.7 Celsius), breaking the previous records set in 2010 and 2012. Records go back to 1940.”


Bolivia’s Tuni glacier is disappearing, and so is the water it supplies:

Bolivia’s Tuni glacier is disappearing faster than initially anticipated, according to scientists in the Andean nation, a predicament that will likely make worse water shortages already plaguing the capital La Paz, just 60 km away.”


Video obtained by Reuters showed flooding along the Guillermo Loayza, a street close to the Mercado Campesino, the Sucre’s largest market [Bolivia].

“At least four were killed in the flash flood, police said, which occurred after torrential rain and hail hit the city. Local media reported that the storm lasted about 30 minutes.”


Bolsonaro sent soldiers to the Amazon to curb deforestation. Here’s how the effort failed.

“…Now, with Brazil consumed by the coronavirus, the Amazon is inching closer to what scientists warn is a tipping point, when large swaths of rainforest transform into arid savanna.”


France’s largest glacier is sliding down due to global warming:

“Today, the Mer de Glace remains the biggest glacier in France, and the second largest in the Alps. But it’s also become a symbol of the rapid pace of global warming. Mont Blanc is heating up more than twice as fast as the rest of the world.”


The year 2020 was the hottest year in France since records began in 1900, state weather forecaster Meteo France said, in a new sign of the warming of the planet.

“It said that the average temperature across France in 2020 was 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit), beating the 13.9C (57 Fahrenheit) recorded in 2018, it wrote on Twitter.”


2020 warmest year in Estonian climate history:

“Last year, the average air temperature in Estonia was 8.4 degrees Celsius [47.1F], which is 2.4 degrees Celsius higher than the long-term average and 0.8 degrees Celsius higher than the previous record. 2020 can be considered the warmest year in Estonian climate history so far.”


Some Kenyan students in Kisumu county, close to the overflowing Lake Victoria, are forced to take a boat to school, only to find waterlogged classrooms and no teachers on site.

“Public schools have reopened in Kenya following a closure ordered by the government in March 2020 to curb the spread of Covid-19.”


Depletion Of Mangroves [Pakistan]: Ecosystem Posing Threat To Sea Communities, Biodiversity:

“…a significant increase in marine water pollution, reduction in the river water supply, alarming overharvesting of the mangroves by the local communities in the Indus Delta, coastal erosion and sedimentation, are the major causes of this loss.”


Delhi recorded 39.8mm [1.6 inches] rainfall in the past 48 hours (25mm + 14.8mm) to break 20 years record since 2000 of the highest rainfall in the month of January

“This month also happens to be 3rd consecutive month to record above-normal rainfall for Delhi.”


The number of people evacuated due to floods in Malaysia caused by monsoon rains exceeded 20,000 early Tuesday.

“A total of 20,838 people affected by the monsoon rains since Jan. 1 in the Pahang, Johor, Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor, and Perak states were taken to safe places, Malaysian authorities said… the death toll due to the floods rose to three.”


At least five people were killed in floods that deluged south of Luzon island sitting at the northern end of the Philippines, officials said Tuesday…

“The region has been hit by heavy and torrential rains over the last few days, affecting dozens of families who were shifted to safer places.”


Hundreds of people in Far North Queensland are set to spend a second night without power after Tropical Cyclone Imogen crossed the coast

“Normanton Airport recorded 259 millimetres [10.2 inches], with 186mm [7.3 inches] of that falling in just three hours.”


Australia has had a cooler December than November for the first time in 70 years and only the second time in more than a century.

“The Bureau of Meteorology’s climate team told Yahoo New Australia it was 1959 when Australia last had a warmer November than December.”


A Far North kaitiaki [guardian] has described her horror after a historic fire on Manawatāwhi Island/Great Island [New Zealand] threatened the world’s rarest tree.

“Two Skyworks helicopters dropped 55,000 litres of water on the 15 by 25-metre blaze which was spotted on the island – about 60km northwest of Cape Rēinga – by a charter boat about 9.30pm on Saturday.”


On his way out, Trump opens more Arctic land for US oil drilling:

“The Trump plan allows leasing in the largest lake in Arctic Alaska which has been off-limits since the Reagan era.”


What is happening with Arctic weather? Moscow wants to know: The Russian government decides to upgrade 123 meteorological stations in the Arctic

“The main motivation for the initiative is to provide safer shipping along the Northern Sea Route.”


The Arctic is in big trouble… 5 Infographics Showing the Alarming State of the Arctic.”


The tiny zooplankton at the centre of the Arctic food web are being forced to end their winter ocean hibernation early in areas where the sea ice is melting – throwing the entire local eco-system into disarray, a team of scientists has found…

“It’s unclear exactly what the effect of their changing habits will be on the broader environment in which they live but since they lies at the centre of the eco-system it seems likely to be considerable.”


Alongside a deadly pandemic, 2020 also delivered reminders of the severity of the climate crisis facing the world

“Images of some of these climate events — visually stunning and sobering in equal measure — have been captured by NASA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites and instruments found on the International Space Station.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

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3rd Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Some 1 million people in South Sudan have been displaced or isolated for months by the worst flooding in memory, with the intense rainy season a sign of climate change.

“The waters began rising in June, washing away crops, swamping roads and worsening hunger and disease in the young nation struggling to recover from civil war. Now famine is a threat.”


‘The sea is rising, the climate is changing’: the lessons learned from Mozambique’s deadly cyclone

“Nearly two years on from Idai, Mozambique is trying to rebuild. But we are living in a time of record-breaking natural disasters: extreme droughts, epic floods, apocalyptic wildfires.”


Floods and damage to homes have been reported in parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal [South Africa] as torrential downpours continue into the new year.

“Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS) spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said parts of Lenasia extension one and Protea Glen were flooded.”


The rain that hit the city of Rio de Janeiro this Saturday, 2, caused floods and interdictions on city streets… As of 11:03 am, the city called in 21 sirens to alert residents of nine favelas about the risk of landslides and the need to look for safe places to protect themselves.”



After significant flooding in Warrnambool caused by a “once in 50 years” storm, much of central and eastern Victoria [Australia] is being told to brace for heavy rain and damaging wind.

“Almost 50 millimetres [2 inches] of rain fell in the town in about an hour… Across just 12 minutes, more than 30 millimetres fell on the town, flooding streets…”


Aussie farmer witnesses more rain fall in 24 hours than an entire year: 74mm [2.9 inches] had fallen in just 24 hours. It was more rain than the region had experienced in all of 2019.”


A tropical cyclone warning has been issued for parts of northern Queensland, where residents have been warned to brace for gale force winds, abnormally high tides, large waves and heavy rainfall.

“The conditions may lead to flash flooding, the Bureau of Meteorology warned on Sunday.”


Leading ski areas in Japan have reported up to a metre (40 inches) of snowfall in 72 hours to see in the New Year. However one, Geto Kogen, has reported 220cm (over 7 feet) falling in three days, including 105cm in the past 24 hours alone.

“The latest big falls come a fortnight after the country’s ski areas reported up to three metres (10 feet) of snowfall in seven days in the lead up to Christmas.”


Parts of Western Visayas and Southern Luzon [Philippines] greeted the New Year inundated by heavy rain and floods which forced more than 17,000 people to flee their homes in Negros Occidental province, officials said on Friday…

“…many communities in 23 towns and a city in the provinces of Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Albay were hit by floods and landslides.”


The wet weather has been so persistent that the 318.6mm [11.2 inches] of rain that fell in Changi [Singapore] from Friday, the first day of this year, was more than the average of 238.3mm for the month of January, said national water agency PUB on Saturday on Facebook.

“On Saturday, the heaviest rainfall of 210.6mm[8.3 inches] was also recorded in Changi between 12am and 7pm.”


About 1,000 people in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor have been placed in temporary evacuation centres after flooding caused by two days of heavy rain which started on Friday (Jan 1).

“Four districts – Kulai, Johor Bahru, Kluang and Kota Tinggi – were hit by flooding…”


Ice blankets the desert in Al Qassim, Saudi Arabia January 1 2021.”



Rescuers and foresters continue tackling a fire that has been raging since yesterday in the southeastern Russian city of Sochi and has already spread across 5.5 hectares (13.5 acres), the municipal authorities said on Saturday.

“The blaze started on Friday afternoon as dry litter caught fire in a forest next to the Golovinka village.”


Kyiv [Ukraine] records warmest day in Dec over 140 years:

“For the first time in 140 years, the average daily air temperature was registered in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv on December 30, that is + 5.3°C, which was 0.7°C up against a record high temperature registered on December 30, 1913.”


Global warming is putting the traditional post-prandial glass of port at risk as Portugal’s Douro Valley faces rising temperatures and lower rainfall.

“A report from Symington Family Estates, the group behind brands including Graham’s, Cockburn’s, Dow’s and Warre’s, contains a stark warning on the effects of climate change.”


The average temperature recorded in Uccle [Belgium] for 2020 was 12.2°C [54F], an absolute record high since records began in 1833, according to the annual report of the Royal Meteorological Institute, RMI.

“It was also the first time the average had risen above 12°C, according to the RMI, which said the norm was 10.6°C.”


2020 was a year of extremes for the UK with the wettest February on record, the sunniest spring, a heatwave in the summer and a day in October breaking rainfall records, says the Met Office.”


Britain could be hit by a new ‘Beast from the East’ in the next fortnight as forecasters warn of ‘sudden stratospheric warming’ above the Arctic.

“Temperatures could hit -10 degrees celsius, roads will become treacherously icy and snow is expected to fall across the country, as police warn against all but essential travel.”


The quick-clay landslide happened about 20 kilometers north of Oslo and follows a month of record rainfall.

“About 1,000 people were evacuated from the area after the landslide devastated large parts of the village.”


Finland. A record warm year, in Helsinki, it did not snow for the first time in 176 years:

“In Helsinki, the nation’s capital, for the first time in 176 years (no measurements have been taken before), no snow fell whatsoever in January.

“It appeared in trace quantities only in the spring.”


For the second time in less than a decade, Northeast Pennsylvania experienced heat in 2020 like never before.

“The National Weather Service reported Friday that the average temperature last year at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport was 53.6 degrees, making it the warmest year locally since official record-keeping began in 1901.”


Think Phoenix. Think Yuma. Think Las Vegas. Think Abu Dhabi, even Riyadh. From a drought standpoint, 2020 in Tucson resembled those rain-starved desert cities far more than itself during our driest year on record.

“…Tucson got only 4.17 inches of rain last year… The previous record low rainfall came 96 years ago — 5.07 inches in 1924, the National Weather Service said.”


New research from West Coast oceanographers provides insight into the cause of toxic algae blooms that caused shellfish closures and marine mammal deaths near the Oregon-California border.

“The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Climate, shows climate change and a 2013-2015 Pacific Ocean heatwave, often called “the blob,” have together increased the growth of toxic algae off the coastline…”


The storm [hammering the far western Aleutian Islands on Thursday], which has been described as a “bomb cyclone,” has already set records for the lowest sea level pressure ever recorded in Alaska and is considered the “deepest” cyclone in the state since record keeping began in the 1950s, according to climatologist Brian Brettschneider.”


“As Arctic sea ice steadily disappears and temperatures rise across the region, the tundra has generally been greening, with shrubs and small trees growing more robustly.

But a new study of growth rings in Arctic shrubs reveals a countervailing trend — the withering of plants in some areas because summer conditions have grown too hot and dry.”


Planet Earth’s success in staying habitable for billions of years is partly down to luck, according to a new study.

“A mass simulation experiment suggests most planets would not have been able to cope with changes to their climate while still supporting life for the three billion years Earth has, scientists have said.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back with an ‘Economic’ thread tomorrow.

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31st December 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

A new world record for high air pressure has provisionally been set in a high mountain valley in Mongolia. An automatic weather station in Tsetsen-Uul, in western Zavkhan province, recorded a mean sea-level pressure of 1,094.3 millibars along with bitter temperatures of -45.5C.

“If verified by scientists, it will top the previous world record of 1089.4 millibars, which was also set in Mongolia exactly 16 years ago on 30 December.”


[Beijing, China] saw its coldest recorded December day in 42 years at -26 C [-14.8F], with residents astonished at the sudden temperature drop.

“”The forecast for Beijing is even colder than the North Pole,” a netizen on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo said early on Wednesday…”


The collision of a warm, wet weather front with a mass of cold air from Siberia could set a new record: the lowest barometric pressure recorded in the North Pacific.

“That could mean hurricane-force winds and high seas in the southwest Bering Sea.”


The storm that brought snow to southern Ontario… was much harsher to the communities of Nunavut [Canadian Arctic], with several days of blizzard conditions and strong winds peaking in record territory.

“From Saturday through to Tuesday, Environment Canada recorded staggering wind gusts ranging from 80 km/h to in excess of 136 km/h [84.5 mph].”


A double header of winter storms is set to bring snow, ice, rain and plummeting temperatures to millions across the US by New Year’s Eve, with the Midwest bracing itself for as much as 24 inches of snowfall Tuesday.

“The first of two low pressure systems already brought heavy snow and rainfall to parts of the Southwest on Monday…”


“The combination of clear skies, light wind, and fresh snow caused temperatures in Colorado’s mountain valley locations to plummet Tuesday night.

Antero Reservoir on the west side of South Park [Denver] dropped to 50 degrees F below zero [-45.6C].”


Heavy snowfall closes roads in Chihuahua, Mexico December 30 2020.”



California’s wildfire hell: how 2020 became the state’s worst ever fire season. Impossibly fast and ferocious blazes burned a staggering 4.1m acres, making for an ‘astonishing and horrifying’ year.”


Crippled Apalachicola River [Florida] leaves wetland forests in peril, famous oysters extinct:

“The collapse began nearly a decade ago with drought that left bay water lethally salty. Oystermen continued to harvest more than the bay could sustain.”


The last glacial mass at the Humboldt Peak, known as the second highest peak in Venezuela, is rapidly melting due to global warming...

“A group of Venezuelan researchers found that the last glacier at the Humboldt, located on the Mount Sierra Nevada de Merida is close to disappearing, as they evaluated data on climate change in the region from May 2019 to October 2020…”


South America’s Amazon rainforest will be wiped out by 2064 due to deforestation and prolonged droughts from climate change, a scientist predicts in a new paper…

“…it stands on the verge of a ‘tipping point’ as a consequence of human-caused disturbances, ‘for which we are all responsible’, according to Robert Walker, a professor of geography at the University of Florida.”


The state [Hawaii] said that a severe drought on Molokai this year has led to the starvation of deer on the island.

“Molokai residents shared videos and pictures of deer carcasses piling up in their yards and roadways during the past several weeks.”


Parts of New South Wales [Australia] could potentially break rainfall records by the end of December, as thunderstorms bring a rainy end to 2020.

“By New Year’s Day, areas in northern NSW, including the town of Gunnedah, could have officially broken previous December rain records, according to preliminary data collected by the Bureau of Meteorology.”


Vietnamese pick up the pieces after 2020’s relentless storms: Climate change increases the risk to hard-hit central provinces, but few want to leave the only home they know

“Across central Vietnam, cascading floods from October onward inundated the living and the dead, as record rainfall submerged towns and cemeteries.”


A powerful tropical storm dubbed Chalane made landfall near the central Mozambique city of Beira early on Wednesday.

“The storm brought heavy rain and wind to an area devastated by Cyclone Idai nearly two years ago.”


The year 2020 was the hottest year in France since records began in 1900, state weather forecaster Météo-France said, in a new sign of global warming.

“France’s weather forecaster said that the average temperature across the country in 2020 was 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit), beating the 13.9C (57 Fahrenheit) recorded in 2018, it wrote on Twitter.”


Ireland’s climate: A year of extremes, from wettest February to driest spring. ‘2020 is on course to be the 10th consecutive year of above-normal temperatures

“Any notion Ireland in 2020 escaped the effects of global heating that is triggering more extreme weather events does not tally with Met Éireann’s data for the year.”


An extraordinary drone video shows the vast extent of the recent flooding over the Cambridgeshire fens [UK].

“Following heavy rainfall, many areas of Cambridgeshire were hit by significant flooding over the festive period.”



Poland – hit by back-to-back droughts – is on a mission to save water and end its reputation as dry man of Europe.

“Crop yields have shrunk. Taps have run dry. And all this before climate change truly bites, experts say…”


A well-preserved ice age woolly rhino with many of its internal organs still intact has been recovered from the permafrost in Russia’s extreme northern region.

“Russian media reported on Wednesday that the carcass was revealed by thawing permafrost in Yakutia in August.”


Microscopic metal particles in air pollution linked to brain disease.

“While huge efforts are taken to prevent deaths and illness from Covid, air pollution is a menace that is impacting almost everyone… There is growing evidence that these often strongly magnetic particles can worm into our brains and set in motion what looks worryingly like the early stages of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”


The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius continues to face a major political, social and economic crisis following this summer’s oil spill.

“On December 29, the capital city saw further protests. This comes five months after the major oil spill by the Japanese bulk carrier, the Wakashio, which rocked the island nation.”


“…the number of face masks that made it into the oceans this year may be as high as 1.5 billion. Plastic pollution is devastating the oceans.

“It kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals and turtles, over a million seabirds and even greater numbers of fish, invertebrates and other animals each year.”


This year has broken a series of unwelcome weather records. Last month was the warmest November in history. This followed the hottest January, May and September. All-time temperature peaks were registered from the Antarctic to the Arctic.

“Since the start of the year, Australia, Siberia and California have suffered record fires. The Atlantic has generated record storms. Ice in the Laptev Sea has started forming later than ever.”


Happy New Year! You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

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