Climate 6 Dec 2018 Greenland’s Ice Sheet Melt ‘Off the Charts’

“Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at a scale that has been labelled by scientists as ‘off the charts’.

“Researchers say that if the ice sheet continues to melt at its current ‘unprecedented rate’ it could accelerate the rate of sea level rise.

“Warmer summers have been identified as the main cause of the melt, which stems from snow and glacial melt atop the ice sheet.

“Surface melting across Greenland’s mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th Century and has increased dramatically since.”

“It’s no surprise that rising global temperatures are causing ice to melt on many of Earth’s glaciers but scientists have recently come to the conclusion that Alaska, and especially some of the state’s southern mountain ranges, is one of the most affected areas in the world.”

“Permafrost thaw slumps in the western Canadian Arctic are releasing record amounts of mercury into waterways, according to new research by University of Alberta ecologists.

““We measured total mercury concentrations of up to 1,200 nanograms per litre,” said PhD student Kyra St. Pierre, a Vanier Scholar who co-led the study with fellow graduate students Scott Zolkos and Sarah Shakil.”

“The Gulf of Maine is experiencing its third-warmest year on record, triggering the starvation of puffin chicks off the Maine coast, mass strandings of sea turtles in Massachusetts, and heightened concerns about the survival of endangered right whales and the North Atlantic’s largest kelp forest.

“Surface temperatures in 2018 are running 2.8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, a level exceeded only in 2012 and 2016…”

“A multifaceted storm will unleash flooding rainfall and localized severe weather across the southern tier of the United States beginning on Friday…

“Very heavy rainfall and flooding will be a big threat with this storm, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.”

“Jennifer Rousseau will drive more than 1,600 miles out of Bay County, Florida — away from her hurricane-ravaged mobile home and the tent she lived in for weeks — until she reaches her new life in land-locked Durango, Colorado, this week.

““I feel like I survived Michael, and I’m trying to get away. I don’t want no part of the storms that are coming through,” said Rousseau, who’s unemployed and disabled. “I believe it’s going to get a lot worse around here. I’m moving way, way away from hurricanes.””

“Scientists and the media have documented deepening drought in the Amazon basin. But a new study finds that flood events are significantly intensifying too, becoming five times more common over the last century… Human-driven climate change is a major contributing factor to this increased Amazon basin flooding. Intensifying flood events result in lives and property lost, and significant harm to croplands, pastures and livestock.”

“The sweltering heat that hit the UK this summer was made 30 times more likely by human-caused climate change, a Met Office analysis has found. Scientists said the research showed global warming was already harming people’s lives and was not only a future threat.”

“Britain’s weather in November seemed to turn upside down. The far south of England was often stuck under gloomy clouds and drenched in some hefty downpours, while the north of Scotland was enjoying clear skies, warm sunshine and little rain. Most curious of all, the driest and sunniest area was the northwest Highlands and Western Isles, usually thoroughly wet at this time of year. The November rainfall here was less than half the norm and sunshine was well above average.”

“Belarus intends to buy 600,000-700,000 tonnes of grain abroad… May 2018 and the beginning of summer 2018 was a dry spell. According to the national weather service Belgidromet, the average air temperature in the country was 16.9C, 3.5C above the climate normal. It was the warmest May on record. In that month Belarus had 29mm of rains on the average or 49% of the climate normal… The lack of rains affected the consequent harvest. Some of the crops were damaged.”

“The autumn olive harvest is traditionally a period of optimism for Palestinians in an environment that often offers little reason for hope…

“…the global challenge of climate change… has the region facing an uncompromising swing toward near-perpetual drought. The olive harvest is suffering badly as a result.”

“Police in the breakaway north of ethnically split Cyprus say the bodies of three people have been recovered from river beds at two different locations after flash floods are believed to have swept them away…

“Torrential rains over the past four days have pounded the small, eastern Mediterranean island nation, causing flooding and some power blackouts.”

“Heavy rain brought much of Libya’s second city Benghazi to a standstill on Wednesday, closing major roads and shutting its airport, officials said, reports Reuters.

“Water flooded the passenger terminal, rising up to 1.5 metres (5 feet), the airport’s deputy manager, Usama Ferjani, said. Parts of the parking lot were also under water.”

“Organisers of Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Games said on Wednesday that they planned to change the start times for the marathon and race walks to dawn, to lessen the effects of the city’s intense heat and humidity. The announcement followed a deadly summer heatwave in Japan and an appeal by Japan’s Medical Association in October expressing “grave concerns” about the risks for athletes and spectators.”

“Though Darwin may have been pipped at the post by a technicality, records for maximum temperatures were well and truly broken across the Top End [of Australia]. In Nhulunbuy, a record high of 38.7 degrees was recorded — beating the previous record of 38 degrees, set in 1967 — while Groote Eylandt residents suffered through an oppressive 39.8 degrees. Spare a thought for locals in Borroloola, however, who experienced a stifling top of 44.6 degrees.”

“Western Australia’s tropical north is about to experience a type of heat that is exceptional even for its standards. Parts of the north will be gripped by an extreme heatwave — the highest intensity there is… The heat will make its way to the other side of the country ahead of the weekend, with Melbourne and Adelaide expecting tops of 38C on Friday.”

“”Century-old” spring weather records have been swept aside across the Otago region [of New Zealand] this year, after a season that had nearly 50% more rainfall than normal.

“Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said Middlemarch recorded 305mm over September, October and November – the highest spring rainfall since records began in 1896.”

“What was the hottest summer on record drove the biggest seasonal melt ever recorded at the Southern Alps [of New Zealand], Dr Jim Salinger says.

“The veteran climate scientist, who gave a presentation to a meteorology conference in Christchurch today, has described the mountain range as a “canary in the coal mine”, due to the sensitivity of its postcard glaciers to climate change.”

“A rare fire tornado that raged during this summer’s deadly Carr Fire in Northern California was created by a combination of scorching weather, erratic winds and an ice-topped cloud that towered miles into the atmosphere, according to a study announced Wednesday…

“The study in the Geophysical Research Letters journal used satellite and radar data to suggest how a monstrous “firenado” the size of three football fields developed on July 26.”

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Climate 5 Dec 2018 Unprecedented December Heat for Japan

“Many parts of [Japan] experienced their hottest December day on record Dec. 4 as the Japan Meteorological Agency warned of a cold weekend ahead.

“The highest temperatures for the month were registered in more than 350 of the agency’s 926 observation sites nationwide.

“The mercury hit 25 degrees or more in Okinawa Prefecture and Kyushu, along with the Kinki and Kanto regions.

“The temperature reached 29.8 degrees in Miyakojima, Okinawa Prefecture, the highest in the country, and Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward was 23.4 degrees.”

“The amount of yard waste collected by government departments that ended up in landfill this year was triple the amount of last year, according to official data, a reflection of a noticeable increasing trend over the past five years…

“Trees felled by Typhoon Mangkhut in September accounted for 20,480 tonnes, almost half the total.”

“The United Nations estimated that some 6 million North Koreans will require humanitarian assistance next year as the country experienced poor harvest due to the heatwave and flooding this year.”

Saudi Arabia’s western province of Makkah is bracing itself for further extreme weather conditions, with the risk of thunder and rain, leading to flash flooding in some areas. The country’s General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection warned that heavy winds along with thunder and rain would hit Jazan, Asir and Baha heights, including the coast on Wednesday.”

“Drought and unemployment have forced people of Palghar district of Maharashtra to flee their homes in search of a livelihood… Tribals, who form the chunk of the population of Palghar district, said they faced major crop loss owing to drought.”

“… a weekly report on dam levels by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) sketches a disturbing picture of the country’s water status.

“South Africa’s dam levels have dropped by an alarming 4.8% from 73.2% to 68.4% in the past month, a trend that has prompted the Department to renew its calls for water users to conserve as much water as possible.”

“Severe storms have swept across Queensland, bringing flash flooding – and much-needed rain – to communities that a few days ago were fighting bushfires…

“Further north, on the Atherton Tablelands, buildings and cars were damaged by hail. Coastal and inland areas north of Gympie received widespread rainfalls… with some areas recording almost 100mm.”

“Tropical Cyclone Owen has become the first December cyclone to develop in the Coral Sea since 1997.”

“Farmers are counting the cost of hail storms, heavy rain and strong winds that tore through the central Wheatbelt [of Western Australia] on Monday afternoon. At Tammin, WA Farmers president Tony York said his family’s 1300ha wheat crop, yet to be harvested, had varying levels of hail damage. About 300ha of that was destroyed. He said neighbours had reported similar destruction.”

“California’s catastrophic wildfires – 25,000 homes destroyed over the last 18 months – have exposed and in some cases reinforced the socioeconomic inequalities that rend this state-nation of 40 million people.

“If Malibu, where some residents were rescued by yacht, defines one side of the class fault line, Paradise, where many tried unsuccessfully to flee on foot, clearly represented the other.”

“The meteorological winter began Saturday [for France] with extraordinary warmth, which has since intensified with several records beaten. These remarkable temperatures will last until Friday before the return of winter values.”

“2018 could be Germany’s warmest, driest and sunniest year since weather records began in 1881, writes the Germany’s National Meteorological Service (DWD) in a press release.

““Climate change has long since arrived in Germany,” said DWD vice president Paul Becker. The weather in 2018 so far is a warning signal, he said…”

“The sizzling summer temperatures [in the UK] sparked a surge in claims by households to deal with the impact of subsidence, figures from insurers show… Subsidence is routinely covered by buildings insurance and warning signs can include cracks suddenly emerging in properties, perhaps around doors and windows, and often appearing thicker than a 10p coin. It can happen when the ground beneath a building loses moisture and shrinks.”

“It may be December but almost 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle there’s still not enough snow for reindeer to begin their annual migration.

“Sweden’s indigenous Sami people have herded the animals for generations, with the corral usually happening over a two-week period in November.

“But this year the tradition has been postponed because temperatures keep fluctuating above and below the freezing mark.

““Something is really wrong with nature,” said Niila Inga, 37, who lives in Sweden’s northernmost town of Kiruna. “I can’t ask my father what to do now because he hasn’t seen this; it hasn’t happened during his lifetime.””

“In Russia’s Siberian city of Yakutsk, one of the coldest on Earth, climate change is causing dangerous melting of the frozen ground, or permafrost, on which the buildings stand…

“Average temperatures in Yakutsk have risen by 2.5 degrees Celsius over the past decade, say scientists at the Melnikov Permafrost Institute located here, the world’s only such research centre.”

“A new study shows that the largest influx of water into the Arctic Ocean takes place in autumn and early winter and that the water is also warmest at this time of year.

“Powerful pulses of water warmer than five degrees enter the area at the time of the year when the sea ice should freeze. But even if the air temperature is far below freezing, even during the months without the sun to warm the ground, new sea ice fails to appear.”

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Climate 4 Dec 2018 Terrifying New Reality for Queensland

“Late on Sunday night, a tropical cyclone formed off the north Queensland coast.

“The storm has begun a track towards the coast, where more than 100 bushfires are still burning after week-long heatwaves and “unprecedented” conditions. Tropical cyclone Owen will bring some relief from the stinking heat; lower temperatures and rainfall that should help firefighters control the most threatening fires by midweek.

“Queensland’s exhausted emergency services will not welcome Owen’s track towards the shore with any sense of respite; to them the blended ends of disaster seasons represent a horror scenario, but one many have seen coming.

“Paul Gray, a representative of the Queensland Firefighters’ Union, says the nature of bushfires has noticeably changed in recent years. The fires, he says, have become more intense and longer-lasting. Last week conditions in parts of Queensland were classified “catastrophic” for the first time. The rating has only existed since 2009, but no bushfire in the state since 1966, when warnings were first introduced, would have been considered so dangerous…

“Australia’s devastating bushfires typically occur far to the south of the tropical Queensland rainforest.

“But Gray says the fire season in the north now lasts longer. That means a diminishing timeframe to allow emergency services to change tack from firefighting to battling cyclones and floodwaters, which historically have caused many more deaths and wider destruction in Queensland.

““I think that what we’re seeing in Queensland is tragic for those who are there. For the rest of the country, who are coming into the beginning of summer, this is a real wake-up call saying, ‘Now is the time to prepare’.”

“The heatwave that has been gripping the state for the last several days smashed monthly records, with one city — Cairns — sweating through its hottest-ever November day, twice.

“The mercury hit a scorching 42 degrees Celsius in Cairns two days in a row. Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) climatologist Tamika Tihema said it was “significant” to see the record broken in such a way.”

“Beyond the current heatwave, the overall warming trend has disrupted snakes’ breeding cycles, meaning there could potentially be more snakes, acting more aggressively, because they were charged up by the heat.

“University of Queensland snake expert Professor Bryan Fry agrees, saying snakes are the “scaly canaries in the coal mine” warning of deeper problems in the ecosystem. “Snake encounters will go up with this extreme weather as snakes are trying to escape the heat,” Professor Fry said.”

“Australia has lowered its wheat production forecast by 11 per cent to the smallest in a decade amid a crippling drought across the country’s east coast that may cut exports from the world’s fourth biggest supplier.

“Wheat production during the 2018-19 season will total 16.95 million tonnes, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences.”

“A short but brutal storm has delivered two hours of thunder, lightning and heavy downpours to Auckland [New Zealand]….

“The storm had seen the wettest hour in December in Auckland on record, NIWA said, adding it was also the wettest summer hour since 1975.”

“Temperatures on Jeju Island soared to 22.9 degrees Celsius on Monday, warmer than the average June temperature and the highest for December on the resort island in 82 years.

“At this time of year, temperatures usually average 13 to 15 degrees. The Korea Meteorological Administration said the heat wave was due to unusually warm southwesterly winds.”

“The National Weather Service says at least 23 tornadoes touched down Saturday in Illinois, making the outbreak the state’s largest on record for December. Meteorologist Dan Smith with the weather service’s Lincoln, Illinois, office says crews had confirmed 23 tornado touchdowns across central Illinois by Monday afternoon.

“But Smith says that number may grow…”

“Before afternoon even hit, record heat had rolled into Brevard County [Florida] Monday, with temperatures hitting 85 degrees, a watermark set on this day in 1983. It would be less than an hour before the record was shattered, and by 4 p.m., temperatures in Melbourne had reached 90 degrees… Fall has been especially warm this year, with temperatures running about 6 to 10 degrees above average… Melbourne had a month of broken heat records in November as temperatures leapfrogged records set as far back as 1938…”

“Temperatures were substantially below normal [for Washington DC in November] and rain seemed to fall incessantly.”

“Britain’s largest ice rink has started to melt after the UK enjoyed some of its warmest ever December weather.

“Temperatures reached 61F (16C) in London yesterday as the surface of the main rink at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park turned to water – with a smaller rink’s inch-deep puddles soaking customers and workers clearing it.”

“2018 may end up being Hungary’s hottest year ever, the national meteorological office said, noting the country had witnessed its second hottest autumn since 1901.

“Median autumn daytime temperatures averaged 12.3 C., 2 degrees higher than during autumns between 1981 and 2010, the analysis said.”

“It is often said that climate change will hurt the world’s poorest people first. Nowhere is that potentially truer than in Somaliland, an unrecognized state in the Horn of Africa sandwiched between an expanding desert and the Red Sea. A prolonged drought has killed 70 percent of the area’s livestock in the past three years, devastating the region’s pastoral economy and forcing tens of thousands of families to flee their grazing land for urban camps.”

“Gauteng residents must brace for yet another heatwave as temperatures in the province will reach a scorching 37 degrees Celcius (°C) on Tuesday, the South African Weather Service said. Temperatures are expected to reach 35°C in Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon, 36°C in Vereeniging, and 37°C in Pretoria. This is after the heatwave intensified on Monday afternoon, with temperatures averaging 35°C while Pretoria reached a maximum of 36°C.

“This is the third heatwave of the Spring/Summer season in South Africa.”

Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Climate 3 Dec 2018 Flooding Emergency in Iraq

“Iraqi authorities on Sunday declared a state of emergency after flash flooding and torrential rainfall battered Nineveh, further exacerbating the plight of the war-torn province.

“In a statement, the provincial government urged “residents to stay away from the valley corridor as rescue teams are trying to take people out of the flooded areas”.

“Rainfall swept through several districts inside Nineveh’s capital Mosul, as well as the south of the province, where eyewitnesses said the water level had risen to seven meters in Gassab Valley…

“Last month, …floods killed dozens of people and displaced tens of thousands, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.”

“Meteorologists in Saudi Arabia have issued a red warning for heavy rain in Madinah province…

“Heavy rain has caused flooding across the Kingdom in recent weeks with a number of fatalities and disruption for transport. The General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection said Friday further torrential rain was forecast for several regions of the Kingdom.”

“Photojournalist Mário Macilau has produced a black-and-white series on the people of Namaacha and Changalane, near Maputo, in Mozambique.

“Macilau believes climate change has had a negative impact on the lives of the people of Mozambique… Here are some of Macilau’s pictures, commissioned by WaterAid, with accounts from the people he has photographed:”

“Cotton yield in India is likely to decline this year to hit a three-year low due to crop damage following drought in its major growing states including Gujarat in Maharasthra, the two states jointly contributing half of India’s cotton output….

“Deficient and erratic southwest monsoon followed by a long dry spell this winter season has impacted the standing crop. “

“As Perth sweltered through its hottest day in nearly nine months, residents in the Wheatbelt were taking cover as hailstorms lashed the region.

“Perth reached its maximum temperature of 37.8C just after 1pm – the hottest day since March 21 and a touch above the 36C forecasters had predicted. Meanwhile, a severe hailstorm left parts of the Wheatbelt looking like a winter wonderland.”

“Destructive winds, large hail and heavy rainfall are set to hit central Queensland, with no relief for those experiencing the heatwave, as the Bureau of Meterology warns the weather might make fire conditions worse. BOM warned severe storms would make their way to the area around Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg and Biloela on Monday as a south-easterly change and upper trough moved into Queensland.”

“The wait for El Nino continues, but scientists are already gearing up for its impacts.

“Chief among those is how it warms the planet as a whole. In this age of climate change, 2019 is already shaping up to be an extremely hot year, but El Nino could give it a little boost.”

“Wildfires in California in 2018 released the rough equivalent of about 68 million tons of heat-trapping carbon dioxide — about the same amount of carbon emissions as are produced in a year to provide electricity to the state, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Friday. The carbon dioxide figure — based on data analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey — is more than 15 percent of all emissions produced by California in a year…”

“A series of tornadoes stirred up damage from the Plains to southeast Georgia over the weekend. A swarm of tornadoes rocked central Illinois on Saturday, making it one of the most violent December days in the state’s history.

“There were over 20 preliminary tornado reports, according to the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center.”

“In Utah… summer temperatures are sizzling – the nighttime lows are getting higher, and the state continues to struggle with the impacts of protracted drought.

“”We are continually seeing these heat records broken,” McInerney said. “Three summers ago, we had 21 straight days with temperatures of 95 degrees or above.”

“Saturday’s rain made for a record-setting day in Lexington, Kentucky. Now 2018 has become the wettest year in Lexington history.

“So far, 66.97 inches of rain have fallen in 2018, as of 8 p.m. Saturday, surpassing rainfall totals in 2011 to break the record.”

“It was drier and warmer across South Florida this fall, but West Palm Beach felt it a little more than the rest of us, with its driest fall since record-keeping began in 1888, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.”

“Atlantic City International Airport, southeastern New Jersey’s official climate station, had a high temperature of 64 degrees Sunday, tying the previous record.”

“The herring in the waters off the German port city of Kiel – both a symbol of the seaside region and a staple food that locals eat salted, pickled or fried – have plummeted to about a third of their population in the 1990s.

“Cod have declined drastically, too. And they are getting smaller and thinner.”

“The UN climate change summit begins on Monday with a warning that today’s generation is the last that can prevent catastrophic global warming, as well as the first to be suffering its impacts.

“Almost 200 nations were set to meet in Poland for two weeks, aiming to hammer out a vital agreement to turn the carbon-cutting vision set in Paris in 2015 into reality. Moves to rapidly ramp up action would be another key goal, with current pledges leaving the world on track for a disastrous 3C of warming.”

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Climate 29 Nov 2018 Last Four Years Warmest on Record

“Global temperatures have continued to rise in the past 10 months, with 2018 expected to be the fourth warmest year on record.

“Average temperatures around the world so far this year were nearly 1C (33.8F) above pre-industrial levels. Extreme weather has affected all continents, while the melting of sea ice and glaciers and sea level rises continue. The past four years have been the hottest on record, and the 20 warmest have occurred in the past 22 years.

“The warming trend is unmistakeable and shows we are running out of time to tackle climate change, according to the World Meteorological Organization…”

“The most notable storms of the season were hurricanes Florence and Michael. Florence, once a major hurricane, weakened before stalling above the Carolina coast in September, dumping a massive amount of rain that caused devastating river flooding. Michael, which came weeks later, intensified rapidly to near Category 5 strength before slamming into Mexico Beach on Oct. 10, reducing most of it to rubble. It was the strongest storm on record ever to hit the Panhandle and had the third lowest central pressure and fourth highest wind speed of any storm ever recorded to hit the continental U.S.”

“As rain hit California on Thursday, officials prepared for the threats of mudslides and debris flows in areas affected by wildfires.

“Flash flood watches and evacuation orders were issued for the parts of California scorched by recent wildfires as possible thunderstorms threatened to increase the risk of mudslides and debris flows in those areas.”

“Environment Canada says a warm air mass settled over the province in the wake of the atmospheric river, resulting in some long-held temperature records tumbling. Abbotsford saw the mercury hit a toasty 16.6 C, breaking a 2011 record of 15.1 set in 2011.

“In Pitt Meadows, temperatures hit 14.9 C, breaking an 86-year-old record, while in Gibsons and Sechelt, a 2011 record fell when temperatures hit 14 C.”

Flooding and landslides in parts of Bogota, Colombia.

Medellin got a dousing earlier this week.

“This year’s meteorological autumn is the sunniest on record [for the Netherlands]… The meteorological autumn ends on Saturday. In addition, the 19 degree temperature recorded on November 6 was the warmest November day ever recorded, weather forecaster Wilfred Janssen said. Less than half the average amount of rain has fallen between September and the end of November.”

“Tourists planning a winter getaway on a romantic cruise along Europe’s rivers are facing stranded ships and long coach journeys after the dry summer left water levels at record lows.

“Holidaymakers expecting to travel between Budapest and Vienna on the serene waters of the Danube have been told they will be bussed between the cities instead because the water is too low for the cruise ships to navigate.”

“Record low temperatures were registered in many part of the Czech Republic on Thursday morning.

“Around ten out of 147 weather stations keeping records for 30 years or more recorded new lows. The coldest place was Rokytská Slať in the Šumava mountains in South Bohemia, where minus 22.6 degrees Celsius was recorded.”

“The isle of Corfu, Karpenisi, Agrinio, Tripoli and Nafpaktos and many other areas in western and central Greece suffered severe damage this week from storm “Penelope”. The weather system, which has lashed Greece since Sunday, brought heavy rain and high winds to the entire nation. Bridges have been destroyed, towns flooded, and roads so extensively damaged that villages have been cut off from all contact with the outside world.”

“Tony Griffiths, who has a property south of Jerramungup in Western Australia’s Great Southern, said if significant summer rains did not arrive, his farm would run out of water in two months. “At this time of the year we’re usually running 3,000 sheep and at this stage, we’re running 1,500 and I’ll be getting rid of another half of them come January,” Mr Griffiths said. “There are some farmers around here now that just about have no water, even house water.”

“The first ever “catastrophic” bushfire warning in Queensland, Australia, prompted a large-scale evacuation on Wednesday. The main town under threat was spared, but the intensity of fire conditions has caused concern. As the sky blackened and her horses whinnied in the smoke, Fayleen Zemlicoff debated the “very last minute” she could remain at home. Ferocious winds were flicking embers from a bushfire towards her. The smoke was so intense it was “like a volcano had gone off”, she said.”

“Sydney is in mop-up mode after a “one-in-100-year” event poured more than 100mm of rain across the city.

“Insurance Council of Australia general manager of communications Campbell Fuller said insurers had already received more than 1600 claims, estimated at $10 million, due to Wednesday’s storm.”

“A record-breaking heatwave in north Queensland will further increase above-average marine temperatures, heightening the risk of another coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef next year, scientists say.

“Dozens of record November temperatures have been recorded in the region, most along the reef coastline, this week.

“The most remarkable was at Cairns, where consecutive days reached temperatures of 42.6C and 40.9C. The maximum temperature on Tuesday broke a November record that has stood since 1900 by 5.4C.”

“Research into the decline of humpback whale sightings in Hawaii points to a food chain disruption likely caused by warmer ocean temperatures in the whales’ feeding grounds in Alaska, federal officials have said… Data… shows a strong correlation between warming oceans and the missing whales, said Christine Gabriele, a federal wildlife biologist who monitors humpbacks at Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.”

Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

Climate 28 Nov 2018 1 in 100 Year Storm for Sydney

“Torrential rain and gale force winds lashed Australia’s biggest city of Sydney on Wednesday causing commuter chaos, flooding streets, railway stations and homes, grounding flights and leaving hundreds of people without electricity.

“Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Sydney got more than 100 mm of rain in just a few hours, a level that the country’s most populous city would normally get through the whole of November.

“”That’s the sort of rainfall you’d expect to see once every 100 years,” said Ann Farrell, the bureau’s state manager, told reporters.”

“Thousands of Australians have been told to evacuate their homes as powerful bushfires threaten properties in Queensland. The state’s fire danger warning has been raised to “catastrophic” – the highest level – for the first time.

“More than 130 bushfires are burning across Queensland, fuelled by strong winds, a heatwave and dry vegetation.”

“The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says “significant dust” has been observed at Charleville in southern inland Queensland, with the haze expected to move eastwards towards the coast. More than a dozen heat records have been smashed across north Queensland since the start of the week. The BOM said visibility was as low as 1,000m in Charleville, and authorities said it could become an issue for firefighters currently battling blazes in central Queensland.”

“Farmers south of Jerramungup — about five hours drive from Perth — say their properties have been turned into dust bowls and moonscapes by a freak drought that has devastated their community.

“After copping only a third of their usual rainfall, watching scores of lambs die in dust storms and running out of water, they’re at their wits’ end.”

“California has had a particularly devastating fire season this year, breaking records for the largest fire by burned area and for the deadliest blaze — and that destruction is visible from space. In this staggering image captured by NASA’s Terra satellite on Nov. 25, nine different burn scars left behind by this year’s fire season are visible. (The image doesn’t capture wildfire scars dotting the southern half of the state, like the one left by the Woolsey Fire that burned earlier this month.)”

“It’s already one of the coldest and snowiest starts to the winter season in parts of the Northeast, Midwest and Plains, and we haven’t finished November yet.

“According to the Accumulated Winter Season Severity Index (AWSSI) from the Midwest Regional Climate Center, 74 cities from New England to the Plains and Rockies have seen an extreme season-to-date of cold and snow as of Nov. 27.”

“Up to 4,000 homes and businesses across Ireland awoke to power outages this morning and a number of flights have been cancelled as Storm Diana moves in.

“A period of disturbed weather is now predicted to continue for five days. Officials say Storm Diana’s impact will be felt over the next 48 hours as it track upwards from the Azores.”

“The arrival of a storm system dubbed Penelope has brought gusty winds, intense rainfall and flooding in several parts of Greece. So far, the weather system has mainly affected central regions and the Peloponnese, with the biggest problems recorded at the mountainous region of Agrafa, in the regional unit of Evrytania. Several landslides were reported at the bridge of Paleokaria, blocking the roads leading to three villages.”

“Rounds of deadly flooding have struck the Middle East over the past month, resulting in deaths in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq. Life-threatening flooding will once again be a concern as thunderstorms develop over parts of the Middle East starting on Thursday afternoon. Thunderstorms will develop across northern Saudi Arabia, eastern Jordan and far western Iraq Thursday afternoon before spreading south and east Thursday night.”

“As my new research shows, the trend in the South Indian Ocean is shifting. Category 5 tropical cyclones didn’t exist in this ocean before 1994. They were recorded for the North Atlantic, North Pacific and South Pacific Oceans throughout most of the 20th century.

“But since 1994, category 5 storms in the South Indian Ocean have become more frequent.”

“Dry weather across large parts of South Africa’s agricultural heartlands is threatening to push the sowing of corn and soybeans out of their planting cycle.”

“Countries are failing to take the action needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change, a UN report has found, and the commitments made in the 2015 Paris agreement will not be met unless governments introduce additional measures as a matter of urgency.

“Gunnar Luderer, one of the authors of the UN report and senior scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said: “There is still a tremendous gap between words and deeds, between the targets agreed by governments and the measures to achieve these goals.

““Only a rapid turnaround here can help. Emissions must be reduced by a quarter by 2030 [to keep warming to no more than 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial levels] and for 1.5C emissions would have to be halved.””

Read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.