4th November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

The mercury climbed to 14.7°C in Pori, Western Finland, on Tuesday, breaking the previous national record for November by 0.4°C..  the new warm temperature record may come under threat as soon as on Friday.

“Temperatures that high are typically not recorded September and October, said Kaisa Solin, a meteorologist at FMI.”


Norway sets records with warmest Oslo November day since 1800s

“In Oslo, a temperature of 15.9 degrees Celsius was the highest measured in the capital in November since records began in the late 1800s.”


October 2020 has turned out to be the warmest in Kyiv, Ukraine since 1881, the Central Geophysical Observatory named after Borys Sreznevskyi has reported on its Facebook page…

“The observatory noted that this year meteorological summer for the first time lasted so long in Kyiv city, until October 14. Four temperature records were set in Kyiv in October 2020.”


Since the start of the weather measurements in 1901, it has not been so hot in the Netherlands on a November day. A temperature of 19.1 degrees was measured in De Bilt just before noon.

“This is the umpteenth heat record that has been broken this year. “By comparison: not a single cold record has been broken this year”, Wilfred Janssen of Weerplaza reports.”


“‘Record’ level seen on Dales river [Yorkshire, UK] after ‘biblical’ rainfall.

“Fire crews have been responding to “multiple” reports of flooding in the Yorkshire Dales including from drivers trapped in floodwater, following intense rain at the weekend.”


Last month was a particularly mucky and murky one amongst the “dreaming spires” of Oxford [UK], as the city experienced its wettest October in 145 years. Data collected at the Radcliffe Observatory recorded 185.3mm of rain.

“Not only was that the highest monthly total observed on the site since 1875, it was also the fourth wettest of all months since records began in 1767.”


October saw unusually high temperatures registered all over Cyprus, with record peaks of over 40 degrees in certain areas of the island.

“The Athalassa weather station recorded 40.4 degrees on October 7, the maximum temperature ever registered in October since its installation.”


The cedar forests of Lebanon were mythologised in the poem Epic of Gilgamesh, used to build King Solomon’s temple and coveted for centuries by the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians and Romans.

Now the famed trees that grace the country’s flag are being threatened by wildfires for the first time, owing to a combination of man-made activity and long, dry summers linked to climate change.”


Food Crisis Looms In North East As Floods Destroy 19,690 Acres Of Farmlands [Ghana]:

“… about 55,235 persons have been affected…

“The report indicated that 9,736.68 tons of yields made up of maize, rice, millet, soya, cowpea among others, were lost due to the floods.”


Thousands of homes and buildings are feared damaged or destroyed following a devastating typhoon [Goni] that slammed into the Philippines on Sunday, causing mudslides and flooding.

“In Virac, on Catanduanes island, home to more than 70,000 people, the Red Cross estimates that as many as nine in 10 homes have been either damaged or destroyed.”


Now another storm, Atsani, with gusts of up to 80 kmph (49 mph), is gaining strength over the Pacific Ocean and is expected to make landfall in The Philippines later this week.

““It’s not as powerful as [Goni] but it would cause damage in its path, on the roads and bridges,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised cabinet meeting.”


Severe heatwave could break record temperatures in Australia’s Top End:

“…there appears to be no relief in sight and no concrete signs of any big wet season storms. Senior meteorologist Billy Lynch said the heat and sunny skies were “unusual” for this time of the year.”


“Large parts of South America are in the grip of a serious drought. Signs of the drought began to appear in satellite gravimetry observations of southeastern Brazil in mid-2018, and had spread into parts of Paraguay, Bolivia, and northern Argentina by 2020…

“Many of the affected areas have faced unusually intense and widespread outbreaks of fire. Winter corn crops have suffered low yields, and the late arrival of spring rain has delayed new plantings of soy.”


Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest surged in October and the number of blazes is up 25 percent in the first 10 months of 2020, compared with a year ago, data from government space research agency INPE showed.

“The agency recorded 17,326 hot spots in the world’s largest rainforest in October, more than double the number of fires detected in the same month last year.”


The City of Sanharó [Brazil] decreed a state of emergency due to the heavy rains that fell in the city on Monday night and caused flooding in several streets of the city

“The floods were caused by a volume of rain much more than normal. In just six hours, 288 mm of rain were recorded, a volume never seen in the history of the municipality [around half a year’s worth of rain!].


Hurricane Eta, an unusually powerful storm, has slammed into Nicaragua, bringing potentially disastrous flooding to one of the country’s poorest regions.

“The heart of the storm begin to move inland on Tuesday, wrenching roofs off houses and causing rivers to overflow. In Puerto Cabezas on the Atlantic coast,trees were torn down and power lines were severed, plunging much of the city into darkness.”


A chilling reminder of the 1930s dust bowl years may come back to haunt the US. Across the Great Plains, dust levels in the atmosphere are steadily increasing each year.

“Much of this is driven by farmers expanding their soya bean and maize production… And with the growing threat of drought from the climate crisis, the ingredients are in place for another dust bowl.”


“From record cold to record warmth – Alberta [Canada] has seen it all within the last two weeks.

On Monday, Calgary broke a November temperature record, but this time for warmth. It reached 23.1°C, topping the previous record that dated all the way back to 1881. The daytime high is now the city’s warmest November temperature in history.”


Polar bear numbers are rising in a once too-frigid Arctic basin:

“Thick Arctic ice is melting into conditions better suited to life. But the region’s warming is trending towards trouble… Unlike most polar bear populations, which were showing a drastic decline, the Kane Basin bear population was actually increasing.”


Global warming of 2°C would lead to about 230 billion tonnes of carbon being released from the world’s soil, new research suggests

“…this [study] doesn’t even include losses of deeper permafrost carbon,” said co-author Dr Sarah Chadburn, of the University of Exeter.”


A massive Antarctic iceberg the size of a small country is heading for the island of South Georgia with concerns it could disrupt the British territory’s economy and its wildlife.

“Iceberg A-68A broke off the Larsen C ice shelf on the east of Antarctica’s peninsula in July 2017 and is about the same size as South Georgia, where it’s feared it could be heading.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

2nd November 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Goni was the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in world recorded history, using one-minute average wind speeds from the National Hurricane Center for the Atlantic/northeast Pacific and one-minute average winds from JTWC for the rest of the planet’s ocean basins.

“The previous record was jointly held by Super Typhoon Meranti, which made landfall on September 16, 2016, on Itbayat Island, Philippines, and Super Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall on November 8, 2013, on Leyte Island, Philippines.”


Around Thailand, as of lunchtime today, a total of 91,641 households in 2,341 villages in 152 districts of 34 provinces have been adversely affected by the affects of tropical storms from October 7 – 31.

“Typhoon Molave passed over Vietnam and then dropped heaving rain in Central Thailand. The current Typhoon Goni, passing over The Philippines today, will also slam into Vietnam this week and drop even more rain as it continues westward…”


The 2020 summer monsoon season has delivered historic amounts of rain to China.

“Since June, unusually strong, stationary weather systems have produced frequent storms and heavy rainfall in major river basins in central, southwestern, and northeastern China.”


A catastrophe has been declared in Queensland, with insurers inundated with hailstorm damage claims. Severe thunderstorms hammered the state’s south-east on Saturday, dropping tennis ball-sized hail on some areas.

“The Insurance Council of Australia had received more than 5,000 claims to 2pm on Sunday, with insured losses estimated at $60m.”


Monthly rainfall records in parts of Canberra have been smashed as a result of recent wet weather.

“Rainfall records for the month of October at both the Canberra Airport and Tuggeranong weather stations were broken, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.”


Born in the ice age, humankind now faces the age of fire – and Australia is on the frontline:

“The bushfires and the plague are symptoms of something momentous unfolding on Earth – an acceleration of our impact on nature.”


Smoke cloud from Australia’s wildfires was three times larger than anything previously recorded:

“Smoke from the summer of 2019-2020 blocked sunlight from reaching Earth to an extent never before recorded from wildfires.”


A landslide left nine people dead, seven injured and one missing after torrential rains in El Salvador, civil defence officials said Friday.

“The slide occurred Thursday night when earth from the upper part of the San Salvador volcano was set in motion, sweeping up trees and homes along a nearly 2.5-mile (4-kilometre) course…”


The Tabasco state government [Mexico] issued the emergency declaration after the rains caused by cold front number 9 and tropical wave number 48 for the 17 municipalities of the state

“…a total of 51,955 people were affected, as well as 6,465 flooded homes and 123 affected communities.”


Colorado wildfires update:

“Snow continues to melt over Cameron Peak, East Troublesome fire, but no new growth expected.

The two fires are still the largest in Colorado history.”


More than 500 households remained without power Saturday following Friday’s record-setting snowfall — which resulted in the snowiest October day in Boston history

““Obviously, it’s been the snowiest October on record” in Boston, said Hayden Frank, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“There have been other significant snowstorms in October, but “this time the snow went all the way to the coast, which is unusual.””


Tropical Storm Eta formed in the central Caribbean on Saturday, becoming the 28th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. This season has now tied the record for the most named storms in a season, previously set in 2005.

“While the number of storms in 2005 was also 28, this is the first time the name Eta will ever be used. In 2005, there were only 27 named storms, with one unnamed subtropical storm being added to the tally in a post-season reanalysis by the National Hurricane Center.”


“The North Atlantic right whale is one of the largest species of aquatic mammals currently found in nature. It’s also one of the most endangered: a recent estimate from the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium revealed that there are only 356 left…

In practical terms, that means the North Atlantic Right Whale could be extinct in between 10 and 20 years.”


“The Met Office has said Sunday night could see the mildest November temperatures on record as the remnants of tropical Storm Zeta continue to push warm air across the UK…

Met Office meteorologist Luke Miall predicted temperatures of up to 17C (62.6F) on Sunday night in the south of England, which would break the record for the highest daily minimum temperature recorded in November since 1862.”


2020 has been disastrous for all UK wheat farmers: the wettest February on record was followed by months of sun and drying easterly winds.

“A national wheat shortage looms.”


Parched fields stretch as far as the eye can see on plains overlooking Agadir in southwestern Morocco, as precious water resources are diverted from the drought-hit agricultural heartland to households.

“”These trees are nearly 20 years old — they’re dead, there is no longer any water,” sighed Ahmed Driouch, a farmer, his withered orange trees testament to three years of intensifying drought.”


There is an elephant baby-boom going on in Kenya:

“So what’s changed? In short, it’s the weather. There have been more severe drought cycles, which are followed by intense rainy seasons. Elephant fertility increases after heavy rains.”


In March, after prolonged heavy rains, Nduru Beach [Kenya], population roughly 1,000, was literally submerged in water.

“The homes, typically constructed with sturdy and thick mud walls and metal roofs, were damaged and destroyed. Flood waters carried away the villagers’ cows, chickens and other farm animals.”


The month of October was the coldest in the last 58 years in the national capital [Delhi], according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) data.

“The mean minimum temperature in October this year was 17.2 degrees Celsius, the lowest since 1962 when it was 16.9 degrees Celsius, the IMD said.” [Think La Nina a factor here].


Depths of the Weddell Sea are warming five times faster than elsewhere:

“AWI long-term time series shows: due to changed winds and currents in the Southern Ocean, more heat is transported from the Antarctic Circumpolar Current to the depths of the Weddell Sea.”


The start of November marks the end of the whale season in the Southern Hemisphere. As summer approaches, whales that were breeding along the east and west coasts of Australia, Africa and South America will now swim further south to feed around Antarctica.

This annual cycle of whales coming and going has taken place for at least 10,000 years.

“But rising ocean temperatures from climate change are challenging this process…”


As the Earth’s ice melts, large numbers of perfectly preserved ancient artefacts are being revealed. But time is running out and ‘glacial archaeologists’ are racing to find these fragile treasures

“…in the summers of 2016 to 2018, ice patches in Mengebulag melted for the first time in living memory. Summer temperatures in Mongolia have increased 1.5C in the past 20 years.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

30th October 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

It has now been 192 consecutive days where Downtown L.A. recorded a high temperature of at least 70 degrees – the longest streak in recorded history. [You may recall that LA County recorded its highest ever temperature with the San Fernando Valley neighbourhood of Woodland Hills recording a temperature of 121F in September.]

“According to the National Weather Service, the streak that began on April 21 shattered the 190-day record that had stood for 135 years…

“”This record will go well beyond 191 straight days, as the forecast highs for the next seven days for downtown Los Angeles are over 70 degrees,” the Weather Service said in a statement on Wednesday.”


Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for approximately 70,000 residents in Orange County, California, as firefighters continue to battle two new wildfires — the Silverado Fire and Blue Ridge Fire — which grew to nearly 30,000 acres combined in less than 48 hours.

“The fast-moving fires, fueled by high winds and low humidity, increased quickly since Monday…”


The entire state of Nevada is in some form of drought, and forecasters say the Reno/Tahoe area could set records for the driest September and October on record.

““We have no part of the state that isn’t at least in a moderate drought. It’s progressed very rapidly from the beginning of the water year when we had virtually no drought,” Tim Bardsley, hydrologist for the National Weather Service, said…”


“A high wind warning has been issued for the Rocky Mountain Front, north-central and central Montana for Friday.

“What goes down, must go up? That’s the way the temperatures will go. After record cold and snow a few days ago, record warmth is not that far away for Montana.”


Rescue and emergency teams are sorting through the damage wrought by Hurricane Zeta, which made landfall in Louisiana as a very strong Category 2 storm Wednesday afternoon.

“Zeta brought powerful winds to much of the southeast, where more than 2 million power customers are now without electricity.”


“Deluged by floods, America’s ‘oldest city’ struggles to save landmarks from climate crisis.

St Augustine, Florida, was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers. Flooding has been a threat for centuries and is worsening with rising tides.”


Bolivia’s forest people burned by ‘perfect recipe’ for wildfire disasters:

“At least 2.7 million acres of land have been razed by fires this year, fuelled by climate change and demand for farmland. The fires, devastating dry savannah grasslands, forests and agricultural areas mainly in eastern Bolivia, pushed the government to declare a state of disaster earlier this month.”


Torrential downpours could result in “dangerous” flooding across the UK this week… in the mountainous regions of Wales and Cumbria up to 150mm of rain could fall within two days…

It comes as forecasters said Londoners could be experiencing the wettest month for more than 150 years

On Wednesday, waves brought on by Hurricane Epsilon are believed to have reached near historic highs of between 10 and 15 metres in Mullaghmore in County Sligo in Ireland…”


Climate change is leaving its mark on the bog complexes of the German Black Forest.

“Due to rising temperatures and longer dry periods, two plant species have already gone extinct over the last 40 years. The populations of many others have decreased by one third.”


A few weeks after a forest fire wreaked havoc in several of its districts, Turkey’s southern province of Hatay… was hit by another fire…

“a report… said the size of the areas affected by the forest fires had already exceeded the 2019 figures by October… Heightened global warming accompanied by drought and negligence are among the factors contributing to the rise in forest fires, which now last longer.”


The number of dead seals found washed ashore on the coast of Namibia has risen to more than 7,000, non-profit group Ocean Conservation Namibia (OCN) said on Friday.

“OCN said last week thousands of dead seal pups had washed ashore at Pelican Point peninsula, a tourist destination known for its colony of seals and school of dolphins…”


South Africa is drying up and its only going to get worse: “South Africa is among the 30th-most water-stressed countries in the world. Since the beginning of the 2010s, the country has been trapped in a series of multi-year droughts, exacerbated by a rapidly heating planet…

“Average temperatures for the period 2010-2020 were the highest on record…”


No end in sight to seven years of drought: “Thousands of residents of a small Karoo town in the Eastern Cape draw their water from boreholes while emerging farmers have no water supply.”


Heavy rain caused waterlogging and traffic disruption in Tamil Nadu’s capital city of Chennai [India] on Thursday… in some areas 20cm [8 inches] of rainfall was recorded – a near repeat of the downpour that led to the devastating 2015 floods in the coastal city.”

[You may recall that last year Chennai effectively ran out of water after nearly 200 days without rain.]


South Koreans are facing a shortage of a beloved dietary staple after a summer of extreme weather destroyed crops of cabbages – the main ingredient of kimchi.

“In what is being described a full-blown crisis, fields of Napa, or Chinese cabbages were wiped out in August and September, when the Korean peninsula was struck by typhoons, floods and landslides…”


A major typhoon has struck central Viet Nam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods… There are also reports that 174 people have died or are missing.

“Storm Molave, which made landfall at around 11 am local time on Wednesday, is one of the strongest storms to hit the southeast Asian nation in 20 years.”


The death toll in the aftermath of Typhoon Quinta [Phillipines] is now at 16 people, disaster agency officials reported Thursday

“Cost of damage to agriculture and infrastructure has also risen to ₱737.1 million, with Calabarzon bearing the highest cost worth ₱593.1 million. Typhoon Quinta partially destroyed 27,213 houses.”


297mm [nearly 12 inches] fell in the Bureau’s gauge at Pacific Palms [NSW, Australia] in the 24-hours to 9am Tuesday [but] it’s not being considered an official record yet because the gauge hasn’t been in place long enough…

The Bureau of Meteorology said the event is considered ‘rare’ and the probability of it happening in any given year is 1 in 2,000.”


Australia must prepare for future shaped by extreme climate, bushfire royal commission report warns:

“Report into the apocalyptic 2019-20 bushfires says Australia must radically change its approach to fighting fires under new climate conditions.”


New Zealand’s coastal waters are running hotter now than they were at this point three years ago – when the country was enveloped by a freak marine heatwave that fuelled our warmest summer

“Already 15 spots around New Zealand are on track to register record or near-record dryness for October.”


The Trump administration has announced it will lift protections in Alaska’s Tongass national forest, permitting logging in the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.

“Experts call the Tongass the “lungs of the country” and one of nation’s last remaining bulwarks against climate change.”


When ‘Perma’ Is No Longer ‘Perma’: Investigating Permafrost Degradation in Churchill, Manitoba:

“…as climate warming affects Churchill’s permafrost, the thaw threatens the tourism industry, the expansion of the port, and Churchill’s connection to the rest of Canada.”


Scientists are warning that climate change and melting permafrost in Siberia are triggering dangerous [exploding pingo] craters across the icy tundra on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas.

“According to a special database, the areas considered the most dangerous are north and south Tambey near the town of Sabetta and the Seyakha area.”


Sea ice in the Arctic was at record lows for October as unusually warm waters slowed the recovery of the ice, Danish researchers said on Wednesday

For the month of October, measurements show an 8.2 percent downward trend in ice over the last 10 years.”


Think of it as a suicide pact on ice – global warming and Arctic sea ice in a mutually destructive relationship.

“Earth’s rising temperatures melt Arctic snow and ice, which, as the reflective surface cover disappears, reveals the dark land and ocean surface beneath.

“That darkening surface causes the Arctic to absorb more sunlight and therefore to warm faster … which in turn leads to more melting of snow and ice, ergo resulting in more warming.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back over the weekend with an ‘Economic’ thread.

28th October 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

While this year will be memorable for many reasons, it is now more likely than not that 2020 will also be the warmest year for the Earth’s surface since reliable records began in the mid-1800s.

“This is all the more remarkable because it will lack any major El Niño event – a factor that has contributed to most prior record warm years.”


Scientists have sounded the alarm over Arctic sea ice levels after researchers reported much of the region had not yet started to refreeze by late October, the latest date since records began.

“The delay in ice formation is blamed on a period of unusually warm weather in northern Russia.”


Ice Loss Will Trigger Increased Warming in a Vicious Feedback Loop, Study Warns:

“…Ice loss from the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is accelerating and already outstripping what scientists until recently believed to be the worst-case melt scenarios.”


Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast

“High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered…”


Ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet has accelerated significantly over the past two decades, transforming the shape of the ice sheet edge and therefore coastal Greenland

“These changes to the ice sheet could have far-reaching impacts on ecosystems and communities…”


Canada needs to cooperate closely and urgently with Russia and other Arctic nations to deal with the rapidly thawing ground, says a former premier of the Canadian territory of Yukon.

““Permafrost functioned for thousand years like cement,” says Tony Penikett, now a senior associate at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue. “It was the stable underpinning…acting as the foundation of our homes, our refrigerators… It is no longer permanent.””


New research led by Micaela Pedrazas has found that permafrost is mostly absent throughout the shallow seafloor along a coastal field site in northeastern Alaska. This means that carbon can be more easily released from coastline sources than previously predicted.

“The findings contradict the long-held belief that the solid permafrost extended offshore in Alaska…”


The geographic South Pole does not escape global warming… The temperature at the southernmost tip of the planet has been recorded uninterruptedly since 1957…

“A group of researchers has now analyzed the station’s meteorological data to verify that the average air temperature remained, even fell, until 1989. But since then it has not stopped rising.”


A disruptive and dangerous ice storm is underway in Oklahoma, with ice storm warnings plastering the map and more than 300,000 people without power.

““Tree carnage” has been reported in Oklahoma City, where vegetation and power lines have been collapsing beneath the weight of the accreting rime.”


For the second year in a row, Jackson [Wyoming] has broken its all-time low temperature record for the month of October.

“The temperature at the weather station in Jackson fell to -9 on Monday morning, breaking the previous monthly record of -6 set on October 30, 2019…”


The record low comes a day after an extraordinary record set on Monday [in Denver, Colorado]. The official high temperature in Denver was only 16 degrees.

“That was cold enough to not only break the record for the coldest maximum ever recorded on October 26, it was also the coldest maximum temperature ever recorded on any day in October in Denver.

“In other words, it had never stayed so cold in October before Monday.”


A power company in southern California says its equipment may have sparked a fast-moving wildfire that has forced evacuation orders for around 100,000 people and seriously injured two firefighters.

“The Silverado fire sparked early in Orange county on Monday, quickly jumping a highway and exploding to 4,000 acres. The fire had doubled in size within two hours…”


New management approaches and technology have allowed the U.S. Corn Belt to increase yields despite some changes in climate.

However, soil sensitivity to drought has increased significantly…”


Remains of 181 migrants were found in the Arizona desert through the end of September, 37 more than in all of last year and the most since 2013, according to the group Humane Borders.

The rise in migrant deaths comes during a year of intense heat and little precipitation for Arizona…”


Storm Zeta has strengthened into a hurricane as it churned towards beach resorts on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, which it is expected to rake with strong winds and heavy rain before making possible landfall in the US later this week.

“Zeta – the earliest ever 27th named storm of the Atlantic season – was centered about 90 miles (145km) south-east of Cozumel island on Monday afternoon…”


Scientists are working to improve the forecasting of heavy rains in Panama following several events over the past decade that caused substantial flooding and damage

“December 2010 was the wettest month on record in Panama… This event, locally called La Purísima, produced more rainfall than any previously observed heavy-rain event in the Panama Canal Watershed… In late November 2016, another heavy-rain event struck Panama, wreaking havoc.”


Forest fires that have blazed across Paraguay in recent weeks are likely to have been, in part, started by criminal groups seeking to clear space for more marijuana plantations.

“Paraguay declared a state of emergency earlier this month as forest fires choked much of the country.”


Londoners may be experiencing the wettest month for more than 150 years, the Met Office has said.

“With one of the wettest Octobers to date scourging the capital, the record for the most rainfall it has seen in any calendar month could also be broken.”


Despite winter looming, Cyprus is still bathing in summer-like weather as maximum temperatures on Monday reached a whopping 36 degrees Celsius, 10 degrees higher than average for the season.

This month is well on its way to becoming the hottest October on record.. Cyprus had already witnessed its hottest July and August on record.”


Floods, droughts, hotter weather and a desert locust invasion — the impacts of climate change are hitting Africa hard, and worse is ahead for the region’s food supplies, economy and health, the U.N. climate agency said…

“Warming temperatures are slashing crop yields. Agriculture is the backbone of Africa’s economy… African countries are generally low-income and ill-equipped to respond to this and other consequences of climate change…”


The cost of water in Kathonzweni, Makueni [Kenya], has risen seven-fold this month as vendors took advantage of low levels at the drought-stricken Matinga Dam which serves the town and its environs.

“A spot check shows a 20-litre jerrican of water now retails at Sh30, up from the usual Sh4 when the dam is full.”


Chinese scientists have reported success with the country’s first experiment with covering a glacier to slow the pace of its melting. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences covered 500 square metres (5,380 sq ft) of the Dagu Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau…

“Two months later, the covered areas were found to be one metre thicker than parts directly exposed to the sun.” 


Typhoon Molave made landfall just south of the Vietnamese resort city Da Nang on Wednesday, lashing the coast with powerful rains and winds, and inflicting further misery on an area still reeling from widespread deadly flooding.

“Molave hit as the equivalent of a Category 2 Atlantic hurricane, packing sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (103 miles per hour).”


Floods and landslides killed two people in four sub-districts in Pangandaran district, West Java province, on Tuesday, according to the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB).

“”Floods and landslides occurred due to a high rainfall intensity and an unstable soil structure,” Raditya Jati, the agency’s head of Data, Information and Disaster Communication Center. said on Tuesday.”


Severe thunderstorms, destructive winds and record rainfall have hit parts of New South Wales and Queensland

“Dangerous storms forecast for south-east Queensland as NSW braces for more wild weather.” [Video]


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘economic’ thread.

26th October 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Under stress from a historic drought, large swathes of forest and wetlands in central South America known for their exceptional biodiversity have been ravaged by devastating fires.

“Experts on Friday said wildfires in a region that spans Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, especially the region between the Paraguay, Parana and Uruguay rivers, have become critical in 2020.

“”There has been a dramatic increase in fires. In Argentina there has been an increase of around 170 percent, it’s very serious,” said Elisabeth Mohle, an environmental politics researcher at Argentina’s San Martin National University.”


According to Rafael Mahecha, cocoa leader, the intense heat wave that is reported in the Huilense region [Colombia] has affected nearly 2000 hectares of the product, said the cocoa leader, due to the lack of water for production…

“Huila produces about 4,200 tons of cocoa in the year.”


Climate scientists say that glaciers in the tropical Andes have been reduced by nearly a quarter in the last 40 years. Some scientists predict that such glaciers could disappear entirely by 2070.

“These changes have not only affected agricultural practices in the Andes, but also, as witnessed by Qoyllur Rit’i pilgrims, cultural ones, too.”


Mexico has reached a deal to settle its water debts with the US despite widespread protests by Mexican farmers, some of which turned violent.

“A bilateral treaty signed in 1944 says the two countries must share water sources along their arid border. Mexican farmers say they need the water themselves, in what has been one of the driest years in decades.”


Already in the midst of the worst wildfire season on record, California faces the most favorable conditions for instigating large wildfires so far this year, beginning Sunday afternoon and lasting into Tuesday.

“The combination of hurricane-force wind gusts and extremely dry conditions mean that the potential of a fire starting, and spreading rapidly, is unusually high.”


This year’s historic wildfire season, Lester says, is raising literal and metaphorical red flags that forests in Colorado and across the American West are unhealthy.

“Colorado has experienced significant drought this year, drying out vegetation and seeing no precipitation as relief. When the Cameron Peak fire, the largest fire in Colorado’s recorded history, made a 30,000-acre run last week, assisted by high winds, Larimer and Grand counties were in “severe” or “extreme” drought.”


An unusually cold arctic air mass threatens to set at least three new record low temperatures in Denver over the next few days. Two of those records are nearly 100 years old…

“We [could] have a new all-time early coldest temperature recorded less than two months after setting the all-time latest record high. That was 101 degrees on Sept. 5, 2020.”


The National Weather Service in Missoula said the snowstorm on Saturday was the biggest October snowstorm in over 100 years with 13.8 inches recorded at the airport.

On Sunday, Missoula felt a low of negative 7 degrees. That number set multiple climate records.

“NBC Montana’s Chief Meteorologist Brooke Foster said it was the earliest below zero reading and the coldest October temperature…”


Tropical Storm Zeta formed in the western Caribbean very early Sunday morning and is set to drift north and unleash wind, heavy rainfall and, potentially, ocean surge concerns as it approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Zeta becomes the record-tying 27th named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, matching 2005 for the most names used in a season.”


Several caravans were destroyed or damaged as high winds swept through [UK] holiday parks last night. One resident described a ‘mini tornado’ hitting a park in Eastchurch, on the Isle of Sheppey [Kent], where she has a holiday home.”


Thousands of climate activists have added their names to a new campaign spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, asking the European Commission to retract a farming policy that they say would make it impossible to reach the EU’s climate goals

“The letter begins, “On Friday the 23rd of October, you let us down once again, in voting for a dirty deal, which betrays not only your commitments to the Paris Agreement, but also your commitments to justice and to democracy.””


Ethiopia has denounced “belligerent threats” regarding a dispute with Egypt and Sudan over the operation of its massive hydropower dam, hours after US President Donald Trump suggested Cairo would eventually “blow up” the dam if the deadlock was not resolved

“On Friday, Trump called for a resolution to the standoff over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam during a phone call with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.”


At least 3.6 million people were affected by floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains across East Africa since June, the U.N. humanitarian agency said in a report Saturday.

“”Water levels of several lakes in Kenya and Uganda are rising, impacting thousands of people,” the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.”


Specialized Saudi emergency teams devised a plan to evacuate a number of villages in Jabal Gulamah in Tanuma governorate in anticipation of the continuation and spread of a fire that raged in a mountainous area littered with dry trees and grass.

“Firefighting teams that use aircraft are struggling to extinguish it for the fourth day in a row.


India’s southern city of Hyderabad is known as a high-tech hub — but its infrastructure is looking increasingly dated in an era of strengthening climate change impacts. The city… this month saw its heaviest rainfall in a century, which left 70 dead and 5.7 billion rupees ($77 million) in damage to roads and drains, officials said.

“In many cities in India, which find themselves increasingly caught between worsening droughts and deluges, urban planners have rarely considered growing climate risks when designing projects.”


China’s government is discussing permits for millions of tonnes of additional corn imports over the next year, three industry sources told Reuters, amid a surge in animal feed demand and after storms and drought damage tightened domestic supplies.

“A round of new import orders from China would make it the world’s top importer of corn for the first time and likely drive up global prices of corn and other grains.

“That would amplify food inflation caused by disruptions to global supply chains due to the coronavirus pandemic.”


“The [Vietnamese] National Hydrology Metrology Forecast Center said that storm Saudel weakened gradually into a tropical low- pressure system as it travelled the territorial waters from Ha Tinh to Quang Tri last night.

Meantime, an extra tropical depression in the Pacific Ocean intensified rapidly into a new storm – Molave…”


Thousands of villagers were forced to flee their homes in the Philippines as a fast-moving typhoon made landfall, flooding rural villages, ripping off roofs and toppling trees and powerlines, officials said…

“At least 25,000 villagers were displaced with about 20,000 taking shelter in schools and government buildings which were turned into evacuation centres…”


Hail has slashed crops and dashed some farmers’ hopes for a bumper harvest in the Central West region of New South Wales [Australia]

“Their crops were insured but Mr Cullen said the damage sustained was a kick in the guts after three tough years of drought.”


From near-record high temperatures to rain, gales and frosts – Labour weekend’s fine weather is all over for the South Island [New Zealand].”


A considerable amount of microplastics have been found by scientists to be present in remotely located polar seas, including the seabed of Antarctica.

“According to scientists, microplastics are just as abundant in the Antarctic region compared to their amounts in the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic.”


25% of the northern hemisphere is permafrost. By all appearances, it is melting well beyond natural background rates, in fact, substantially!

“…In the Canadian High Arctic: ‘Observed maximum thaw depths at our sites are already exceeding those projected to occur by 2090.’

“According to Susan Natali of Woods Hole Research Centre in Massachusetts, the Arctic has already transformed from a carbon sink to a carbon emitter.”


A Horrible Place for an Oil Spill: Melting sea ice is opening up the Arctic to more ships. The results could be catastrophic.

“…thanks to the climate crisis, temperatures in the Arctic are on the rise and the region’s sea ice is on the decline. New opportunities are opening up to expand the fishing, research, pleasure, transport, mining, and oil and gas industries.”


Late Arctic ice formation should surprise nobody. Rising temperatures melt ice so less solar energy is reflected and darker surfaces absorb more heat. Trapped greenhouse gases escape, causing more warming and more ice to melt while fires and dying vegetation worsen matters further.

Even if net emissions from human activities somehow became negligible, this positive feedback will accelerate heating.”

[image, Zack Labe]


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back tomorrow with an ‘Economic’ thread.

23rd October 2020 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

A rapidly growing wildfire prompting mandatory evacuations in northern Colorado is threatening to merge with the state’s largest wildfire in history, fire officials said…

“Incident Commander Noel Livingston said Thursday afternoon the fire’s growth is “really unheard of for a fire in this part of the world, in timber.””


On April 20, 2020, the weather station at McCarran International Airport [Las Vegas] measured 0.2 inches of rain. At the time, nobody realized that this meager rainfall would be the only measurable rain the city would see in at least half a year.

“…we were already deep into unprecedented territory. Back in September, Las Vegas had gone 151 days without rain, breaking the previous record that was set back in 1959.”


More than 6,500 people are still in temporary shelters after back-to-back hurricanes hit Louisiana, according to the state…

“The Department of Children and Family Services said about 6,430 people are in shelters because of Hurricane Laura’s strike on southwestern Louisiana, and more than 120 people are still out of their homes because of Hurricane Delta.”


Intensifying hurricanes are helping invasive species spread across the U.S.

“More than a hundred species—including Asian swamp eels and zebra mussels—hitched a ride on Hurricane Isaias’ floodwaters, scientists say.”


Epsilon shatters records as it rapidly intensifies into major hurricane near Bermuda.

“It’s the fastest-intensifying and strongest late-season storm so far northeast in the Atlantic.”


The most significant Arctic outbreak of the season is poised to envelop much of the western and central U.S., with frigid temperatures dropping below zero in spots early next week.

Records will fall as the icy air mass settles south, the weather feeling more like January than October.”


A record-breaking snowstorm has hit the upper Midwest with some areas getting more than 10 inches of snow.

“In Minneapolis, 7.9 inches of snow fell yesterday making it the biggest snowstorm in recorded history there this early in the season.”


Met Office warns extreme weather in UK will get worse and more frequent:

“The UK will become hotter and wetter throughout the 21st century… with the likelihood of extreme weather events that put huge pressure on communities and infrastructure increasing, according to detailed new analysis by the Met Office.”


“Inside Crimea’s slow-burn water crisis:

“There’s reason to be concerned. Dried-up rivers, decreasing reservoirs and a bad harvest – this is what Crimea has been through in 2020 the driest year in the last 150, according to local officials. To combat the drought, the Crimean authorities have introduced a water supply timetable…”


An oil slick has appeared in a bay near a ship repair plant on Russia’s Pacific coast, local media reported Thursday, marking at least the third oil spill to hit Russia this month.

“Aerial photographs showed a rainbow-colored area consistent with an oil spill on the water’s surface near the shipyard in the Far East city of Nakhodka.”


A woman survived by hanging on to an electric power pole in Crete on Wednesday as rushing water swept away her car following torrential rains.

“The dramatic video was captured near the town of Kartero, in the region of Heraklion, as severe storms hit the northern part of the island.”


Two years of drought have drained reservoirs in southern Morocco, threatening crops the region relies on and leading to nightly cuts in tap water for an area that is home to a million people.

“In a country that relies on farming for two jobs in five and 14 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), the problems caused by increasingly erratic rainfall and the depletion of groundwater are growing every year.”


Wajir County [Kenya] has set aside a Sh150 million emergency fund to help in the fight against drought in parts of the county.

“Some areas have already reported borehole breakdowns and also witnessed drying up of water pans and dams which are the main sources of water for pastoralist communities.”


Ethiopia struggles to suppress desert locust infestation:

Swarms of desert locusts have damaged 200,000 hectares of crops in a region already struggling with food insecurity…

“A single square-kilometre swarm can eat as much food in a day as 35,000 people.”


Namibia has so far sprayed about 10,532 hectares of land as part of efforts to control the African migratory locusts which have broken out in parts of the country, agricultural official said Thursday…

“Namibia is looking to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with neighboring countries experiencing a similar disaster…”


Storms, torrential rains and swollen rivers claimed 22 lives in the first three weeks of the 2020-2021 rainy season, according to Mozambican government spokesperson and Deputy Justice Minister, Filimao Suaze.

“Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, at the end of the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Suaze said that, in addition to the deaths, at least a further 12 people were injured in the storms between 1 and 19 October.”


Hyderabad [India] is stinking following the massive floods.

“The stench emanating from waterlogged homes is nauseating and people cleaning them are having a tough time as they simply cannot work continuously. For the last two days, volunteers and family members cleaning the homes state that the smell is unbearable.”


Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Wednesday that flash floods in Cambodia have so far claimed 34 lives and forced the evacuations of tens of thousands of people.

““To date, 34 people were killed, including 18 in Banteay Meanchey province,” he said while distributing relief kits to about 10,000 flood-hit families in Northwestern Banteay Meanchey province.”


The Korean Peninsula has been hit by five typhoons during the 2020 storm season, three of which battered North Korea in rapid succession in late August and early September

“…for North Korea to take direct hits from three major typhoons within a span of just three weeks is historically very rare and places extreme pressure on the country’s adaptive responses.”


Intense rains have caused a landslide at a coal mine on Sumatra island in Indonesia that has killed 11 miners.

“The slide occurred on Wednesday in a mine tunnel about 65ft deep at Tanjung Lalang village in Muara Enim district of South Sumatra province, according to National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Raditya Jati.”


Forested areas greater than the size of the Netherlands have been burned in Indonesia in the past five years, with 30% of the fires occurring on pulpwood and palm oil concessions, environmental group Greenpeace said on Thursday.

“Greenpeace said analysis of official data showed 4.4 million hectares (10.8 million acres) of land burned over 2015 to 2019, with 1.3 million hectares of that lying in the concession areas.”


Dangerous thunderstorms are set to cause large hail and flash flooding, destroy crops and drive deadly spiders into homes across large swathes of eastern Australia over the next week.

“Triggered by a low pressure system forming over the southern centre of the country and a trough across eastern Australia, the hazardous weather will escalate when the two systems combine on Friday…”


Extreme fire risk has increased in Masterton [New Zealand] due to climate change, an environment ministry report shows. Masterton has gained an extra week of warm days each year due to climate change from 1972 to 2019…

“New Zealand’s average annual temperature rose by 1.13 degrees Celsius from 1909 to 2019.”


A jaguar badly burned in the fires that ravaged Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands this year has been returned to the wild after more than a month of intensive treatment for his burns.

“Members of the veterinary team that treated the jaguar’s scorched paws with ozone and laser therapies released him Tuesday at the same spot where he was rescued, along a river in the Encontro das Aguas nature reserve in central-western Brazil.”


For the first time since records began, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in late October.

“The delayed annual freeze in the Laptev Sea has been caused by freakishly protracted warmth in northern Russia and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, say climate scientists who warn of possible knock-on effects across the polar region.”


North Pole ice cap too thin for testing Russia’s giant icebreaker

“Currently, the entire Northern Sea Route north of Siberia from the Kara Sea to the Bering Strait is open waters. The ice cap further north has never been reported weaker and thinner than this year.”


The events of this year are yet another sign of how incremental increases in temperature can lead to exponentially worse natural disasters, experts say

“It’s really been a shocking escalation,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California at Los Angeles.”


You can read the previous ‘Climate’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here. I’ll be back over the weekend with a ‘Socio-Economic’ thread.