Daily updates on climate change and the global economy.

4th Feb 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

An elusive record that has stood strong for nearly 122 years might have been broken during the monster snowstorm that has pummeled New Jersey during the past three days.

“The National Weather Service announced Tuesday night it received a preliminary report of 35.1 inches of snow on the ground in Mount Arlington in Morris County.

“If that report is confirmed, it would top the state’s longtime record of 34 inches of snow, which fell during a multi-day blizzard that stretched from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14 in 1899.”


“A powerful winter storm engulfed the US Northeast on Monday, blanketing much of the region in heavy snow, blasting coastal areas with high winds and bringing New York City and other major urban centres nearly to a standstill…

“It’s the storm of the century!” predicted snowplough operator James Carew, 56, of Union, New Jersey…” [Photos]


Extreme drought could become common in Scotland as climate change alters our weather over the next two decades, scientists suggest.

“Research published by national agency NatureScot predicts that the number of extreme drought events could increase from an average of once in 20 years to one every three years.”


Park staff at Ferry Meadows, Peterborough (UK) are once again dealing with the effects of heavy rainfall at the park – with this winter described as the worst ever for flooding

“Greg Higby, Park Manager, said this year had been the worst he could remember – and because of climate change, he was expecting it to get worse in the future.”


The leading climate scientist James Hansen has warned Boris Johnson that he risks “humiliation“ over plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

“The UK government, which hosts a climate summit this year, has allowed the mine at Whitehaven to go ahead. Dr Hansen, formerly Nasa’s leading global warming researcher, urged the PM to halt production – or be “vilified”.”


A Paris court has convicted the French state of failing to address the climate crisis and not keeping its promises to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

“In what has been hailed as a historic ruling, the court found the state guilty of “non-respect of its engagements” aimed at combating global warming.”


Days of torrential rain has caused rivers across France to burst their banks, overflowing roads and villages, with 18 départements still on high flood alert on Thursday…

“The Garonne river that passes through the southwestern département of Lot-et-Garonne, was at risk of “major flooding”, according to the national weather forecaster.”


Located in Central Anatolia and once known as Turkey’s grain warehouse, the Konya Closed Basin is fighting drought due to improper irrigation activities and uncontrolled agriculture.

“Çıralı Sinkhole, one of the most important natural formations in the region with an area of nearly 17,500 square meters, has also dried up after weeks without rain.”


Morocco’s unemployment rate rose last year to 11.9% from 9.2% in 2019, the planning agency said on Wednesday, citing the double impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and drought.

“Farm income hinges on volatile rainfall levels in the semi-arid North African country, pushing more rural people to seek work in urban areas.”


Climate crisis accelerates the risks of another catastrophic Western Cape drought:

“The recent Western Cape drought cannot be written off as a once-in-a-lifetime event. If we were living in a world without human-induced climate change, this might be the case – but we are not.”


Torrential rains are wreaking havoc across Botswana with weather experts predicting more rains and thunderstorms in most parts of the southern African country.

“These torrential rains caused by the remnants of Cyclone Eloise have triggered flashflood in many parts of the country especially in Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone…”


Madagascar: Thousands Migrate North to Escape Hunger and Drought:

“Famine hit the Androy and Anosy regions harder than usual in 2020. In a local health centre in southern Madagascar, the number of malnourished children doubled in one year.”


The Jakarta provincial administration has deployed around five thousand members of the trash task force (pic), including river troops, to clear several main rivers of waste, as part of flood prevention measures during rainy season…

“In early 2020, flash floods triggered by high-intensity rainfall over several days had swamped several parts of 17 sub-districts of Jakarta as well as many other sub-districts in its metropolitan areas, including Bekasi and Bogor.”


Flash floods inundated certain areas of the villages of Lamolda and Sekinyak near the Indonesia-Malaysia land border in West Kalimantan after heavy rains pelted the areas from morning to afternoon on Wednesday (Feb 3).

“The floodwaters that submerged certain areas of the two villages in Lumar Sub-district, Bengkayang District, reached as high as an adult’s waist…”


Dubbo’s warmest February [NSW, Australia] night is usually around 24 degrees, more than two degrees warmer than it was 50 years ago.

“However, last year’s warmest February night smashed this average, reaching 31.6 degrees… Its not just night time temperatures that are changing in Dubbo.”


How Heatwaves and Drought Combine to Produce the Perfect Firestorm:

“Long heatwaves during entrenched drought often trigger fears of bushfire. It’s easy to imagine rolling days of hot, dry weather desiccating leaves, bark and twigs, transforming them into a potent fuel.”


Fiji grapples with unfolding crisis of cyclones and COVID-19 tourism downturn, urges Australia to allow travel bubble:

“Days after being smashed by a second devastating cyclone, Fiji is grappling with an unfolding crisis, with roads in some areas cut, food in short supply and concerns over dirty drinking water.”


The heavy and unseasonal rainfall in much of Chile over the weekend has caused an unprecedented disaster for the fruit industry, according to the chief of the Federation of Fruit Producers (Fedefruta)…

“”These rains were a climatic phenomenon out of proportions, a catastrophe that the fruit sector had not seen before,” Jorge Valenzuela told Agriculture Minister María Emilia Undurraga on Monday.”


Increasing risk of floods as glaciers recede in Central Andes:

“A researcher at the University of Huddersfield has examined the rate at which glaciers have been retreating in the Central Andes and says further monitoring is needed to address the growing risk of ‘Glacial Lake Outburst Floods’ to communities located downstream from the melting glacier lakes.”


Eight dead and more than 30,000 families affected by floods in Bolivia:

“Floods and other disasters caused by the latest rains in Bolivia have so far left eight dead and 30,943 families affected, of which more than a fifth have suffered great losses, reported the Vice Minister of Civil Defense, Juan Carlos Calvimontes.”


Floods after unusual rain: more than a thousand houses were affected in Cordillera [Paraguay]:

“The road network in the department of Cordillera was literally destroyed and today the routes, bridges and other roads remain disabled. About a thousand homes were affected by the floods.”


Antarctica Is Melting in a Way Our Climate Models Never Predicted, Scientists Say:

“”The ice sheet is not changing with a constant rate – it’s more complicated than a linear change,” explains Lei Wang, who researches civil, environmental, and geodetic engineering at Ohio State University.

“”The change is more dynamic: The velocity of the melt changes depending on the time.””


Global heating-driven ice melt could result in blooms of potentially toxic plankton algae in the Arctic:

“As a result of climate change, the sea ice is shrinking in the Arctic, which in turn has an impact on the plankton community that forms the foundation of the entire marine food web.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.

2nd Feb 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Rising Arctic Temperatures Bring Wild Weather Around the World: This week’s winter storm is part of a pattern caused by disturbances to the upper-atmosphere phenomena known as the polar vortex that can send icy blasts from the Arctic into the middle latitudes, chilling Europe, Asia and parts of North America.

“The disturbance and its effects have persisted for an unusually long time this year, said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, with two disruptions of the polar vortex so far this year and, potentially, a third on the way.”


A powerful winter storm has engulfed the US north-east, blanketing much of the region in heavy snow. The storm is expected to bring nearly 2ft of snow to New York, Boston and several other cities.

’This is a dangerous, life-threatening situation,’ New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, said while declaring a state of emergency in 44 counties and New York City.”


January crammed 5 months of Austin [Texas] weather into 4 weeks: Snow, springlike heat, bit of rain

“In what was possibly the most anticipated January of all time as we looked to get rid of the wretched year of 2020, the month did not disappoint. We got snow in Central Texas, for crying out loud! January brought five months’ worth of weather in four weeks…”


The number of heat-related deaths in Arizona soared to a new high last year as people endured the hottest summer on record and the complications of the pandemic.

“The deaths of at least 494 people were linked to heat during 2020, state health officials said this week, a preliminary number that may continue to grow as more deaths under investigation are resolved.”


Further drop in Lake Mead water level could trigger water shortage declaration:

“The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s recent study shows the water level at Lake Mead is being closely monitored as it is nearing a mark that could cause a federally declared water shortage.”


“Have you noticed this December and January has been warmer than usual this year? Well there’s a reason.

“The National Weather Service says this December and January 2020-21 is shaping up to tie last winter as the second warmest on record in Portland, Oregon.”


It wasn’t just warmer and milder than a typical Winnipeg winter this past month — it was record-breaking.

“Dave Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, says the temperatures in January were about six degrees warmer than they typically are.”


“The Arctic has seen rapid transformation in recent years as a result of climate change, with rising temperatures and significant fluctuations in sea ice thickness.

“Those changes could be causing three species of Arctic seals to lose body mass at alarming rates, according to a new study.”


Softening of environmental law paves way for big oil push into pristine Arctic lands:

“A lobby offensive by Russia’s biggest oil companies is followed by more relaxed eco-regulations for the far northern region.”


Photographs taken in 1989 and 2020 by a father and son reveal how Vatnajökull [Iceland], one of Europe’s biggest glaciers, has shrunk by about 150 square miles (400 square kilometres) due to climate change.

“Dr Kieran Baxter from the University of Dundee followed his father’s footsteps to Iceland more than 30 years on to recreate photos of the Vatnajökull glacier.”


“That dream house in southern France that so many fantasise about is going to become uncomfortably hot in coming decades…

France as a whole is on track to heat up nearly three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by about 2070, Meteo France said in a report.”


“Out of the frying pan…

Forest fires top off record-breaking month on both ends of the scale in Spain’s Valencia region.”


A firefighter was killed on Monday in the region of Evros in northeastern Greece during an operation to rescue dozens of children that were trapped in a school flooded by torrential rains.

“The incident occurred as the fire service was called to a kindergarten and a primary school in the small town of ​​Apalos, near Alexandroupolis.”


Torrential rains caused flash floods Tuesday morning in Izmir [Turkey], blocking main arteries in the downtown area and surrounding districts of Aliağa, Foça and Dikili. [The article doesn’t quite capture how nuts these floods were; there is footage on YouTube for the curious].

“Calling the situation a disaster, the municipality urged residents to not leave their homes unless necessary.”


Jammu and Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar [India] witnessed the lowest temperature of minus 8.8 degree Celsius [16.6F] on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, a record since the January of 1991.

“Kashmir continues to be under the grip of a severe cold wave…”


“Guam suffered a severe cold snap, at least by local standards.

“In fact it was so cold on the island of Guam that it broke a 71 year record with a recorded temperature of 69 degrees fahrenheit just after dawn Saturday… The previous record was 70 degrees in 1950…”


More than meets the eye (of the storm): Typhoons in Korea amplified wildfires in America

“…the Oregon wildfire intensified to an uncontrollable extent and was spread over a wide area by strong gusts of wind that carried it forward. These unseasonably strong winds may have been stoked by an unexpected source: typhoons on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.”


One person has died, and five, including a three-year-old boy, are still missing after Cyclone Ana pummelled Fiji on Sunday, just over a month after category 5 Cyclone Yasa tore through the country’s northern islands.

“Two more cyclones are already forming off Fiji’s coastline, and cyclone season still has three months left to run.”


Amid fears of huge damage to marine ecosystems from the giant A68a berg [Antarctica], British researchers are setting sail to assess its impact

“”Essentially we have this gigantic ice cube floating in the ocean and it is cooling and freshening the water around it… That raises worries about the food-chain…”


The largest mammal ever to live on the Earth, the blue whale, is under threat from boat collisions as one of its main feeding grounds in Chilean Patagonia is overrun with vessels, a new study has revealed.

“The endangered whales must contend with up to 1,000 boats moving daily through an important feeding area in the eastern South Pacific…”


A new report documents draconian budget cuts to Brazilian environmental monitoring and firefighting of 9.8% in 2020, and 27.4% in 2021 — reductions, analysts say that were inflicted by the Bolsonaro administration in “a clear policy for dismantling national environmental policies.”

“Brazil’s environmental agencies under Bolsonaro have also been subjected to nearly 600 administrative and rules changes, invoked by presidential executive order and resulting in massive environmental deregulation.”


An atypical summer storm continues to hit Chile this Monday after a three-day pass through the south-central part of the country, where it left floods, floods and blackouts, and threatens to leave almost six million people in Santiago without drinking water.

“The unexpected rains at this time of year in the central area, which suffered the worst drought in its history in the last 10 years, affected crops, mainly table grapes, an export product in this country and of which it is estimated that half of the production has been decimated.”


Sea lions in California had been dying of a mysterious cancer for decades. Now, scientists say they have finally uncovered the likely cause: toxic chemicals from industrial trash, pesticides and oil refinery waste.

“A team of mammal pathologists, virologists, chemists and geneticists have concluded that sea lions with higher concentrations of DDT, PCBs and other chemicals in their blubber are more prone to cancer triggered by a herpes virus.”


Ocean pollution is widespread, worsening, and poses a clear and present danger to human health and wellbeing. But the extent of this danger has not been widely comprehended – until now.

“Our recent study provides the first comprehensive assessment of the impacts of ocean pollution on human health…”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.

30th Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Spain swings from record cold to record heat: “Yesterday was also a record, but today it was even hotter!

The stunning weather today turned out to be the hottest January day on record, hitting 28.7 degrees Celsius [84F] in the capital city of the region, Murcia at 15.40 this afternoon.” #climatecrisis

[Other northern hemisphere nations that have seen record heat for Jan include Malta, Greece, Turkey, Georgia and Russia].


Unusual almond blossoms lift spirits in Alicante [Spain] as spring-like weather causes trees to bloom in abundance:

“According to figures released by Observatory of Climatology of the University of Alicante, January 28 registered a whopping 29.2 [84.6] degrees on thermometers, equalling the all-time record for Jan, which was set in 1982.”


It was warmer in Mallorca on Friday than it had been on Thursday, and new records for January were set at six Aemet weather stations on the island. The highest temperature was 26.8C [80.2F] at the Son Servera weather station.

“This beat a previous record from 2018 of 24.6C.”


Humanitarian staff have been working “round the clock” to reopen access roads and provide emergency relief from the disastrous impact that recent floods have unleased on displaced people living in camps in northwest Syria, the UN’s deputy humanitarian coordinator there said on Friday.

“Providing shelter, food, clean water and other relief supplies is “a massive undertaking…[that] will continue for months”, Mark Cutts told a press briefing in Geneva.”


Shell must pay damages to four Nigerian farmers for two oil spills back in 2008, a Dutch court has ruled today. [So, only 13 years that the villagers had to wait in their unliveable villages. Sheesh.]

The court found that the Nigerian subsidiary of Shell was liable for two pipeline leaks that occurred in the Niger Delta 13 years ago. The plaintiffs argued that the oil spill meant that their villages had become unliveable due to the pollution.”


The export of Cameroonian timber to Vietnam conceals enormous environmental and fiscal abuses. According to a report published by two local non-governmental organisations (NGOs), these exchanges are marked by the illegal cutting of protected species and the issuing of false invoices.

“The loss of income due to this illegal flow is estimated at 58 million dollars, over the period from January 2016 to July 2020.”


The death toll from Storm Eloise has risen to 21 across southern Africa after Mozambique and eSwatini reported a further five and two people killed respectively.

“Eloise, at the time a cyclone, slammed into Mozambique’s central port city of Beira and surroundings – an area still recovering from the devastation of Cyclone Idai in 2019 – on Saturday.”


The onset of tropical cyclone Eloise across the Southern Africa region last weekend has raised the spectre of widespread crop damage to South Africa’s corn crop…”


High-intensity tropical cyclones have been moving closer to coasts over the past 40 years, potentially causing more destruction than before.

“The trend of tropical cyclones – commonly known as hurricanes or typhoons – increasingly moving towards coasts over the past 40 years appears to be driven by a westward shift in their tracks, say the study’s authors from Imperial College London.”


A forest fire has been raging Nason Rural Municipality in Manang [Nepal] for the past three days. It has not been controlled yet.

The fire has destroyed huge tracts of high montane forests, shrouding the mountains in smoke…

“Lamichhane said that months-long drought also helped spread the fire in the forests this winter.”


Analysts say Chinese officials are diverting so much water from dams along the upper Mekong River system that Southeast Asian countries are going dry during prime agricultural seasons and turning to other powers for help.

“Eleven southwest China dams have left much of the Lower Mekong region, with its population of 60 million, dry since 2019, according to data from the Stimson Center in Washington.” [Not a totally unbiased source, obviously, but I do believe this is an issue.]


Downpours caused widespread flooding across Fiji. The Ba River broke its banks yesterday, resulting in floodwaters pouring into the town and adjacent areas.

“Rakiraki Town was underwater from Thursday while many low-lying areas in Vanua Levu, Nausori, and Tavua reported incidences of flash flooding from unrelenting overnight rain.”


“From the National Meteorological Service (SMN) they reported that the high temperature event that originated the famous heat wave in localities of 9 Argentine provinces lasted from January 18 to 27…

“Meanwhile, Cipolletti and Malargüe registered [all-time] record temperatures. In the first case it reached 43.8 ° C [110.8F] while in the second 38.9 ° C [102F].”


Through a municipal decree, Buenavista [Bolivia] declared itself in a disaster zone due to the damage caused by the flooding of the rivers and the constant rain in recent days.

“They are more than 25 affected communities, where crops were lost houses, bridges, animals. While the roads were impassable.”


Heavy rain from a winter storm system pounded Southern California on Friday, triggering car accidents, road closures, mudslides and lightning flashes that temporarily closed L.A. County beaches.

“There was moderate mud and debris flow near the area burned last year by the Bond fire, which scorched over 6,000 acres in Orange County, destroying vegetation and causing the soil to destabilize.”


Marine heatwaves becoming more intense, more frequent:

“When thick, the surface layer of the ocean acts as a buffer to extreme marine heating—but …this “mixed layer” is becoming shallower each year. The thinner it becomes, the easier it is to warm. The new work could explain recent extreme marine heatwaves, and point at a future of more frequent and destructive ocean warming events as global temperatures continue to climb.”


Arizona in 2020 saw its second hottest and second driest year on record with Phoenix seemingly leading the way, according to weather officials.

Phoenix set a new record for the most days in a year with high temperatures at or above 100 degrees, totaling 145 days… In July, Phoenix set a new record for the hottest month ever with an average temperature of 98.9 degrees; however, the record was toppled by August…”


It has been almost two years since Washington had a day with highs at or below 32 degrees, the longest period on record.

“At the same time, the mercury hasn’t dropped below 22 degrees since February 2019, even at night, the longest period by far without colder temperatures.”


Alpine plants face extinction as melting glaciers force them higher, warns study.

“‘Escalator to extinction’ means aggressive species will eventually take over, threatening the entire mountain ecosystem.”


Ukraine is in an epicenter of a snow cyclone. A state of emergency is announced in Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

“Snowdrifts on the roads reach 1,5 meters. More than 2,400 hundred road workers are clearing highways with about 1,700 units of equipment involved.”


Calling attention to climate emergency, Lapland town Salla [which normally markets itself as the coldest place in Finland] launches parody bid for 2032 Summer Olympics.

“Please, don’t let these games happen,” the municipal authorities in Salla writes in their call to host the 2032 Summer Olympics.”


How long might the Arctic’s ‘Last Ice’ area endure? …”The warming of the Arctic and decline in Arctic ice have come “far faster” than models had been projecting just two decades ago, says Chris Horvat of Brown University.

Don’t think of it as being the warmest day, or the warmest month, over the past hundred years,” he cautions.

“Think of its being the coolest month for the next hundred.”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.

28th Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Siberian peat fires have continued to burn after a year of record-setting wildfires in and around the Arctic Circle despite temperatures below minus 50 degrees Celsius, The Siberian Times reported Wednesday.

“Footage showing smoke rising from the snow in January and November offers physical evidence of the “zombie fire” phenomenon…”


Massive Craters in Siberia Are Exploding Into Existence. What’s Causing Them?

“So far, researchers have gathered that the explosions come from gas, likely methane, building up in isolated pockets across the tundra. The pressure accumulates fast — the hills that precede each explosion swell in about three to five years — and when the strain is finally too much, the bubble explodes.”


Russian gas tankers make first winter voyages of Northern Sea Route as ice retreats:

“Just 10 years ago, the ice meant winter voyages along Russia’s Northern Sea Route were impossible, but in recent years the window during which the waters are navigable has opened ever wider.”


Deep water temperatures hit ‘scary’ highs in Gulf of St. Lawrence

“Experts haven’t seen anything like it since records started in 1915… January 2021 has already seen its own anomaly — no sea ice in the Gulf.”


Rise in algal blooms puts southern sea [aka Californian] otters at increased risk of fatal heart disease

“A new study led by the University of California, Davis, has highlighted the link between long-term exposure to domoic acid and fatal heart disease in southern sea otters, a threatened marine mammal.”


A series of powerful winter storms are barreling across the parched state of California, knocking out power to more than 400,000…

“Evacuation orders are in place in parts of San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, warning of an “immediate threat to life… parts of the Bay Area, and the Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia mountains could see up to 10 inches of rainfall through late Thursday.”


Early US crop reports from three southern wheat-producing states have shown crop conditions below average and soil moisture shortage above average as extensive drought across the country has started to show signs of damage to the 2021/22 crop.”


Aerial photos show the destruction and debris from an Alabama tornado that ripped off roofs and destroyed homes while leaving one dead and 30 injured on Monday.

“The shocking pictures show heaps of mangled metal and wooden debris littered across the Darlene Estates neighborhood in Fultondale – just north of Birmingham.”


Nearly one-third of U.S. homes are at high risk of natural disaster, study says:

“Twenty-two weather- or climate-related disasters each resulted in at least $1 billion in damages last year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration… “Nearly every property in the U.S. has exposure to peril risk,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.”


A wildfire raging in the south of Argentina has consumed a vast swathe of forestland in three days, local authorities said Wednesday—an area half the size of Liechtenstein.

“About a hundred firefighters, 26 fire trucks, two water-bombing helicopters and two planes are fighting to contain the blaze in a region unaccustomed to forest fires, officials said.”


Brazil’s ongoing military-led operation to curb illegal deforestation and fires in the Amazon rainforest will end April 30, Vice President Hamilton Mourão said at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

“Mourão defended the success of Operation Green Brazil 2, which was launched last May and saw deployment of thousands of soldiers across the Amazon.”


There has been little relief for South Islanders [NZ] with another day of record-breaking temperatures with the mercury topping 36C in Blenheim.

“Blenheim… hit 36.1C [97f] at 4pm, smashing its January temperature record set in 1972.”


Philippine forest trees threatened by deforestation and climate change:

“Philippines is home to more than 50 dipterocarp tree species, of which 25 cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. About 97% of the Philippines’ tropical forest have been subjected to logging activities, and are often converted to other land uses such as for agriculture.”


Landslides cause buildings to collapse in Indonesia… Landslides across Indonesia, including Citraland, Lampung and Cimandar, cause disruption, including the destruction of buildings, in Indonesia. January 26th 2021.”



A tropical cyclone that struck central Mozambique last week has affected 250,000 people, a sharp increase over initial estimates, according to a UN official.

“Myrta Kaulard, the UN’s resident coordinator in Mozambique, added on Tuesday that 18,000 people were internally displaced after Cyclone Eloise made landfall in the early hours of Saturday.”


The UK government will investigate a complaint against mining giant Glencore over a wastewater spill in Chad in 2018.

“According to three human rights groups, which brought the complaint, the FTSE 100 firm “failed to conduct appropriate environmental and human rights due diligence in relation to wastewater leaks and an alleged oil spill at the Badila Oilfield”.”


Tens of thousands in northwest Syria lose shelter after floods inundate camps:

“Heavy rains and floods in north-west Syria has worsened the plight of tens of thousands of internally displaced persons, destroying their tents, food and belongings in the midst of winter, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Tuesday. “


Lake of garbage: Every winter pollution is swept from overflowing landfills into Balkan waterways:

“…huge cranes are being used to clear tons of garbage crammed at the foot of the power plant. Serbia and other Balkan nations are overwhelmed by communal waste after decades of neglect and a lack of efficient waste-management policies…”


Spain prepares to be battered by yet another storm as Justine heads our way:

“As the country continues to pick up the pieces after the devastating Storm Filomena, which caused an estimated €1billion in damages in Madrid alone, meteorologists have warned that Spain is in for another battering by “explosive” Storm Justine in the coming days.”


Covid and drought strands barge owner on France’s canals: it took one Australian traveller seven months to make what is usually a three-week trip along the impacted waterways last year…

“Voies Navigables de France’s spokesman said, “We… had no rain during that period, unheard of for this part of the country, which meant we had very little water for the canal system.”


The planet is hotter now than it has been for at least 12,000 years, a period spanning the entire development of human civilisation, according to research.

“Analysis of ocean surface temperatures shows human-driven climate change has put the world in “uncharted territory”, the scientists say. The planet may even be at its warmest for 125,000 years…”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.

26th Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

Two Canterbury towns [New Zealand] have recorded all-time record temperatures today, with others breaking January highs.

“According to NIWA, Cheviot and Akaroa reached all-time record high temperatures with 38 [100.4F] and 37.9 degrees [100.2F] Celcius respectively. Akaroa’s previous all-time high was 35.4 [95.7F], with Cheviot’s 37.8 [100.04F] degrees.”


Sydney has endured its hottest Australia Day in 60 years as residents swelter through a summer heatwave… Sydney Airport recorded a temperature of 40.2C [104.4F] at 1pm…

“Elsewhere, parts of Queensland are also expected to swelter while a new wave of heat begins in Western Australia.”


Archaeologists have used food scraps from the earliest Australians to discover the northern part of the country is experiencing its driest period for 65,000 years

““It’s not so much that there’s less rainfall today, but the rainfall is coupled with more evaporation because we have warmer overall temperatures now,” Dr Florin said.”


Abu Dhabi: The Arabian Gulf has been experiencing the longest recorded meteorological drought over the last two decades, with temperatures in the region being on the rise since 1998, a top climate expert said today.

The general pattern of the climate in the region is warming. There is warming over the seas and sea surfaces, a rise in maximum temperatures and drying precipitation. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of Category 4 and 5 severe tropical cyclones, which is critical when we look at the economy,” warned Dr Said Alsarmi, meteorological expert…”


Cyclone Eloise, which made landfall across southeastern Africa Saturday, has displaced thousands in the region and the death toll has increased to at least 12 on Monday, according to figures from authorities…

“Eloise is expected to move toward southwestern Botswana tomorrow, where it will cause heavy rain.

“More downpours are also expected in South Africa in the coming days.”


Climate change hit poorest countries hardest in 2019Heavy rain and storms exacerbated by climate change particularly affected East Africa, Asia and South America in 2019…

More than 1,000 people lost their lives Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi in March 2019, causing “catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis,” the authors wrote.”


“”The lion is Africa’s signature wild animal, yet fewer than 20,000 remain in the entire continent, down from an estimated 100,000 five decades ago,” says British photographer, George Logan.

“At the current rate of decline, lions will be extinct in the wild by the middle of this century.”


“Forests remain a carbon sink, stashing away 7.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, but their ability to lock carbon is weakening.

In the last 20 years alone, forests in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia, have turned into net carbon emitters, and the Amazon threatens to go the same way.”


Brazil had a trying start to 2020, namely 100 cities across three states who were under a state of emergency due to extreme rainfall

“Between Jan. 23 – 24, the city of Belo Horizonte saw 171 mm of rain [6.7 inches]. This amount obliterated the standing record set 110 years before.”


The rain that continues to fall in Santa Catarina caused on Sunday morning (24th) new floods and landslides in Florianópolis [Brazil]. Teams of Civil Defense and Fire Department are on the streets to check the occurrences.”



Phoenix tied the record for the coldest afternoon temperature of 36 degrees on Monday at Sky Harbor International Airport

“The only other day in Sky Harbor history that reached temperatures that low during the afternoon was on Dec. 6, 1998.”


A tornado described as “large and extremely dangerous” by the National Weather Service (NWS) in Birmingham, Alabama, caused significant damage throughout Jefferson County and surrounding areas Monday night, including ripping through a hotel and tearing off part of the roof of a church…

“”Significant damage has been reported…” NWS Birmingham said.”


“The National Weather Service called it “historic” and “the big one… In the end, the winter storm that hit Lincoln and most of eastern Nebraska on Monday lived up to its billing.

By 7 p.m., snowfall had already covered the tops of footlong rulers in some locations, with the Lincoln Airport recording 13 inches, an all-time January single-day record.”


Thousands of England’s vital flood defences were in such a state of ruin last year they would fail to protect communities from extreme weather, an investigation has found.

“More than 3,400 of England’s “high consequence” flood assets, defined as those where there is a high risk to life and property if they fail, were judged by the Environment Agency to be in such a bad condition they were almost useless.”


Small increases in air pollution are linked to an increased risk of irreversible sight loss from age-related macular degeneration, a large UK study has found.

“Previous work had already found a link between dirty air and glaucoma and a link to cataracts is suspected. The scientists said the eyes have a particularly high flow of blood, potentially making them very vulnerable to the damage caused by tiny particles that are breathed in and then flow around the body.”


A record snowfall that paralysed Madrid two weeks ago has taken a catastrophic toll on the Spanish capital’s trees, severely damaging up to 70 per cent of those in its main parks.

“The heaviest snow for 50 years, brought by Storm Filomena, caused at least €1.4 billion damage and prompted the government to declare the city a disaster zone last week.”


Over the last 30 years, up to a quarter of all known bee species have fallen off international global records, despite a major increase in the number of such records available.

“Around 20,000 species of bee are known to science, but analysis of a detailed international data set suggests around 5,000 of these species have not been seen since 1990.”


Gray whales are starving and dying off at an alarming rate along the Pacific Coast

“Scientists are not exactly sure why the whales are dying, but in a newly released study, published in the journal Marine Ecology, researchers conclude it is likely a result of starvation due lack of prey, perhaps caused by warming Arctic waters where they feed.”


Human activities might have shifted the movement of caribou in and near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

“A UC study published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution identified a shift in one herd’s movements after the 1970s that coincided with changes in herd size and climate, and the construction of new roads and other energy infrastructure.”


Sun-Loving Bacteria May Be Accelerating Glacial Melting:

“Cyanobacteria—photosynthetic microbes that live in meltwater—are likely growing more abundant here [Greenland], thanks to warmer temperatures and decreased cloud cover.”


The melting of ice across the planet is accelerating at a record rate, with the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets speeding up the fastest, research has found.

“The rate of loss is now in line with the worst-case scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s leading authority on the climate…”


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

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23rd Jan 2021 Today’s Round-Up of Climate News

The ongoing collapse of the world’s aquifers: All over the world—from the Netherlands to Indonesia to Mexico City—geology is conspiring with climate change to sink the ground under humanity’s feet.

“More punishing droughts mean the increased draining of aquifers, and rising seas make sinking land all the more vulnerable to flooding. According to a recent study published in the journal Science, in the next two decades, 1.6 billion people could be affected by subsidence, with potential loses in the trillions of dollars.”


The most populous city in Africa [Lagos, Nigeria] is also one of its most vulnerable to sea level rise and floods.

“To stay afloat, everything from its architecture to its transport may have to change.”


Roughly 160 International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff in central Mozambique are working to prepare local communities for the imminent arrival of Cyclone Eloise, which is currently packing winds of at least 150 km/h [93mph and may be as strong as 120mph on landfall).

The people are scared,” said Cesaltino Vilanculo, an IOM Mobile team leader in the provincial capital Beira, who helped hundreds of families evacuate from unsafe temporary settlements to two accommodation centers.” [memories of Idai and Kenneth still fresh from 2019]


Indonesia’s environment minister claims deforestation for oil palm plantations and coal mines had nothing to do with a recent deadly flood in southern Borneo.

“But the ministry’s own data, and statements by a senior minister, attribute the intensity of the flooding on the massive loss of forest cover across the Barito River’s watershed.”


Kapit folk [Borneo] have been warned to be on the alert for possible flooding as incessant rainfall has led to a rise in water levels in the Rajang River and its tributaries.

“Kapit District Officer Cerisologo Sabut advised those in low-lying and flash flood-prone areas in particular to be prepared for the worst.”


Torrential floods sink houses in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia… Following heavy rain, flood waters fill the streets in Manado, Indonesia. January 21st 2021.”



Temperatures recorded by the Taipei weather station reached 29.8 degrees Celsius [86F] on Thursday, tying the record for the second highest temperature ever recorded by the station in the month of January, according to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB)…

“The weather station was established in 1949, the CWB added.”


After a relatively mild summer, [Australian] authorities are warning of a potentially dangerous heatwave forecast for Victoria the weekend.

“Sunday will be the hottest in the north-west with temperatures predicted to soar to around 44 degrees Celsius [111F] in Mildura as the heat begins to build.”


Northern Patagonia and the central region of Argentina are preparing to face a severe heat wave during the next 48 hours… [provisionally the town of Maquinchao, which is 888m / 2913 feet above sea-level, has recorded its all-time highest temperature of 38.4C / 101F]

“As reported by the National Meteorological Service, in some parts of the Patagonian and central regions of Argentina, temperatures may reach 40 degrees, between Thursday and Friday.”


Mega winter storm is forecast to dump more than half a foot of snow across Midwest [US, lash drought-stricken California with two year’s worth of rain in one day and cause severe thunderstorms in the South

“Beginning on Friday, the first low-pressure system is expected to bring snow from California’s Sierra Nevada into parts of the Great Basin and Rockies…”


“Most years, by January the majority of the Great Lakes are so cold they look like a scene from “Frozen.” This year, that’s not the case…

“…the Great Lakes total ice coverage right now is sitting at 3.9%… The previous record low for this date was 5% back in 2002.”


If Iqalummiut [far North Canada] feel like winter has been especially mild this year, they’re not wrong If the rest of this month continues on a warm streak, David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada says, December and January’s average temperatures will be the warmest on record.

He adds that what’s exceptional is not the odd warm days necessarily, but the relentlessness of the warmth. “It’s almost [like] this cold weather has been missing in action,” Phillips said. “It’s going on week after week.””


UK Temperatures could drop as low as -10C in the coming days, as heavy rain brought by Storm Christoph is replaced by sub-zero conditions this weekend.

“Parts of the North West of England devastated by flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday turned drier overnight on Thursday as the storm moved eastwards… More floods possible next week…”


Climate change is altering the types of plants that can thrive in British soil. The United Kingdom is continuing to witness increasing annual temperature, winter flooding, and summer droughts.

“Although many of the plants and vegetation are learning to adapt to these changing conditions, there are some quite noticeable changes in gardens across the country…”


Wind gusts up to 170 km/h [105.6 mph] as Mallorca takes a pounding from Storm Hortense

Aemet reported a gust of 130 kilometres per hour [80 mph] at Son Sant Airport, which broke the record – the previous was 118 km/h in February 1996.”


Displaced by floods in Bulgaria, rodents find home in Turkey:

“Coypus, semiaquatic rodents bred for fur in Bulgaria, found themselves as accidental migrants to neighboring Turkey recently. Hundreds of coypus, also known as nutria, were sighted on the banks of the Tundzha (Tunca) and Maritsa (Meriç) rivers…”


By 2050 most people will live downstream of a large dam built in the 20th century, many of which are approaching the limits of the useful lifetime they were designed for, according to global research.

“To avoid the potential for dam failures, overtopping or leaks, the dams will require increasing maintenance, and some may have to be taken out of service. Many governments have not prepared for these needs…”


Southern oceans are warming faster than thought, threatening antarctic ice:”


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

If you found value in this content, please help me continue this work by becoming a patron of my work via patreon.com.