Sunday, 22 July 2018

Abrupt climate change and extreme weather update - 07/21/2018


Dozens dead in Japan from record-setting, long duration extreme heat event

19 July, 2018


With torrential rain and punishing heat, devastating weather has afflicted Japan for much of July.

Early in the month, more than 200 people died in its worst flood in decades, spurred by up to 70 inches of rain. Since then, dozens more have perished from an extended period of scorching heat, which has shattered records throughout the country.

Kyodo News reports the death toll from heat has risen above 30 since July 9. On Thursday alone, 10 people died and 2,605 people were hospitalized in the sweltering conditions, the Japan Times wrote.

Sayaka Mori, a meteorologist for the broadcasting service NHK World-Japan, tweeted that mercury climbed as high as 105.3 degrees (40.7 Celsius), the highest in five years and 0.5 degrees (0.3 Celsius) off the national record.


The city of Kyoto saw its temperature soar to 103.6 degrees (39.8 Celsius) Thursday, matching its highest temperature ever recorded (on August 8, 1994). To its south, Yamaguchi hit 101.7 degrees (38.7 Celsius), topping its previous highest temperature of  101.1 degrees (38.4 Celsius).

Friday’s conditions could be comparably hot, as temperatures may rise 20 degrees above average.

The heat is the result of a high-pressure area or heat dome parked over the region. It is forecast to remain more or less stationary for days and possibly strengthen in about a week.  On Thursday, the Japan Meteorological Agency issued an extended forecast calling for an elevated likelihood of very high temperatures through the end of the month.

European model simulation of high pressure area or heat dome parked over Japan Thursday. (WeatherBell.com)
Local officials are warning people about dangers of heat stroke and advising precautions such as staying hydrated and adjusting room temperatures.
Japan joins many other locations in the Northern Hemisphere that have seen some of their hottest weather ever recorded. They include:

Temperature difference from normal forecast Friday afternoon over Japan from American model. (WeatherBell.com)
Excessively hot weather has persisted in Japan for days. On Wednesday, French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian, who closely monitors global weather extremes, tweeted that five locations had posted their highest recorded temperatures for any month of the year. A number of other locations set all-time (for any month) or July heat records in the days prior.

On Sunday, 200 of 927 weather stations in the country witnessed temperatures of at least 95 degrees (35 Celsius).


BLISTERING temperatures are set to continue to plague the UK as forecasters warned thermometers will rocket next week, hitting 33C and putting summer 2018 in line to become one of the hottest on record.

BBC Weather - Blistering heat hitting UK next week

BBC Weather predicted the persistent heatwave will strengthen next week as a suffocating area of high pressure brings temperatures towards the mid-30s.

A ‘monster heatwave’ at the end of next month could tumble all records bringing to an end one of the hottest summers in decades.

BBC Weather meteorologist Stav Danaos said: "As we head in towards next week things are hotting up for England and Wales. To the north and the west though we’ll see a new weather front which will wax and wane here, fairly cloudy and cool conditions at times.

"But for England and Wales, it starts to import very warm and humid south-westerly winds and, don’t be surprised, one or two places in the south-east could reach 32C or 33C."

Abnormally hot temperatures continue to wreak devastation across northern and central parts of the continent

Farmers across northern and central Europe are facing crop failure and bankruptcy as one of the most intense regional droughts in recent memory strengthens its grip.

States of emergency have been declared in Latvia and Lithuania, while the sun continues to bake Swedish fields that have received only 12% of their normal rainfall.

The abnormally hot temperatures – which have topped 30C in the Arctic Circle – are in line with climate change trends, according to the World Meteorological Organization. And as about 50 wildfires rage across Sweden, no respite from the heatwave is yet in sight.

"The most robust study of the ice mass balance of Antarctica to date," scientists say, "now puts Antarctica in the frame as one of the largest contributors to sea-level rise."
bye, ice

Scientists are expressing alarm over "utterly terrifying" new findings from NASA and the European Space Agency that Antarctica has lost about 3 trillion tons of ice since 1992, and in the past five years—as the atmospheric and ocean temperatures have continued to climb amid ongoing reliance on fossil fuels—ice losses have tripled.

This should be a wake-up call, said University of Leeds professor Andrew Shepherd, a lead author of the report. "These events and the sea-level rise they've triggered are an indicator of climate change and should be of concern for the governments we trust to protect our coastal cities and communities."

Published in the journal Nature, "This is the most robust study of the ice mass balance of Antarctica to date," said NASA's Erik Ivins, who co-led the research team. The report offers insight into the future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which the authors note "is an important indicator of climate change and driver of sea-level rise."


The fire season now runs almost year-round, and 2018 is already worse than usual

Wildfires have almost become a year-round threat in some parts of the western United States. From Colorado to California, it feels like the blazes from last year never went out.

Flames ignited forests and chaparral virtually nonstop in 2017, and the year ended with record infernos in Southern California that burned well into 2018.

Officials don’t refer to “fire seasons anymore but rather to fire years,” Jennifer Jones, a spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center, told me in an email.


The Department of Agriculture's fire danger warning remains at condition orange - high fire risk


Temperatures are due to hit 24C tomorrow

AN ORANGE fire alert remains in place across Ireland as many areas continue to experience severe drought after recent heatwaves.

The Department of Agriculture’s fire danger warning remains at condition orange – high fire risk.

The Department confirmed: “Arising from preceding drought conditions, a High Fire Risk remains in all areas where hazardous fuels exist.

Fire Risk condition is likely to be moderated on a localised basis by scattered light rain, cooler temperatures and higher ambient humidity levels in many areas.

However, an increase in fire risk values is very likely as the weekend progresses.

Highest ignition risks are likely to remain in public amenity areas in proximity to urban centres.


Map showing the deadly heat wave over Japan and Korean, 21 July 2018. Graphic: AccuWeather

Japan is in the midst of a deadly, record-breaking heat wave.

Thirty people have died with the high temperatures and thousands have been rushed to the hospital across the country.

Officials are advising people to be sure to drink water and find air conditioning in an effort to avoid heat stroke.

In central Japan, the temperature rose to 40.9 Celsius (105F).

The city of Kyoto registered 38 Celsius (100F) for seven days in a row.

The scorching temperatures have people wondering about the wisdom of holding the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


Queen's Necklace is littered with filth that we've been chucking into the sea

The government has grand plans for Mumbai’s seafront: a marina for yachts on the eastern seaboard, floating restaurants off the southern tip, watersports off Marine Drive and much more. But one look at the putrid waters and you’ll want nothing to do with any of this. This weekend, the Arabian Sea sent its annual reminder of the state of affairs by dumping trash and sewage on Mumbai’s shores. The BMC collected nearly 2,15,000kg of garbage from the beaches of Mumbai on Sunday, with Marine Drive itself accounting for 9,000kg of those.


Extreme weather 2018 - Sweden's call for help (& global fires) - BBC News - 19th July 2018




  • Blue-green algae flourishes in sunlight and is spreading into British lakes
  • In large quantities, the algae can be very harmful to humans and fatal for animals
  • Toxic algal scum has been linked with brain damage, say Welsh health officials
  • One utility firm wants to use the infected waters to replenish their supply levels

A Global Heat Wave Has Set the Arctic Circle on Fire




From Japan to Sweden, and Oman to Texas, a global heat wave is setting records, igniting wildfires, and killing dozens all across the world this week.

The south-central region is home to the highest temperatures in the U.S. this week, with nearly 35 million people living under excessive heat warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Temperatures are expected to be in the triple digits across Texas this weekend, marking the most severe heat wave in the state since 2011.
The Texas heat has already led to record-breaking days for the Texas power grid twice this week. Things aren’t any better elsewhere in the region, with heat indexes in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana reaching up to 110 degrees.


Alaska Glacier's Melt Could Trigger Record Flooding Near Juneau

  • Officials are closely monitoring lake levels downstream of a glacier near Juneau, Alaska.
  • Water releases are projected to drive the Mendenhall Lake to its highest level on record.
  • If that happens, numerous homes are in danger of flooding.
The vast Sahara Desert is getting even bigger
Rainfall is decreasing along its southern edge.


The Sahara Desert covers an area of northern Africa larger than the lower 48 United States. And it’s growing even bigger.

Over the past century, rainfall levels have decreased along the southern edge of the Sahara. So some areas that were once semi-arid grassland have become desert.

Nigam: “The desert has expanded southward during summer by about ten percent, so it’s a fairly significant increase in the desert expanse over this 93-year period that we analyzed.”

Iowa Nightmare As Tornadoes Ravage Towns; Officials Declare State Of Emergency


Parts of Iowa was left devastated as several tornadoes carved a path through the state. In Marshalltown, a city of 27,000 people around 50 miles northeast of Des Moines, roofs were peeled off buildings like tin cans, buildings were flattened, and the cupola of the historic courthouse was blown 175 feet to the ground as city officials declared a state of emergency with a 9pm curfew

Rivers dry and fields dust, Iranian farmers turn to protest


Every day, farmers hold their small protest outside Varzaneh. It's a sign of the anger that has been growing over water shortages caused by a years-long drought but worsened, experts say, by government mismanagement.

Protests have gotten larger, with bursts of violence, at a time when economic woes in the country from inflation to unemployment have fueled unrest repeatedly over the last year.

Summer heat in India could soon be unbearable. Literally.
Indian street vendors sleep on their carts early morning in Lucknow, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh in May.
Extreme heat can kill, as it did by the dozens in Pakistan in May. But as many of South Asia’s already-scorching cities get even hotter, scientists and economists are warning of a quieter, more far-reaching danger: Extreme heat is devastating the health and livelihoods of tens of millions more.
If global greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, they say, heat and humidity levels could become unbearable, especially for the poor.
It is already making them poorer and sicker. Like the Kolkata street vendor who squats on his haunches from fatigue and nausea. Like the woman who sells water to tourists in Delhi and passes out from heatstroke at least once each summer. 
Like the women and men with fever and headaches who fill emergency rooms. 
Like the outdoor workers who become so weak or so sick that they routinely miss days of work, and their daily wages.

Vietnam warns of floods, landslides after tropical storm Son Tinh hits
Vietnam has warned of floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains after tropical storm Son Tinh made landfall in northern coastal areas, although no casualties were reported on Thursday.
 
A long coastline makes Vietnam prone to destructive storms and flooding, with 389 people last year in natural disasters such as floods and landslides, the General Statistics Office said.

Son Tinh weakened to a tropical low pressure event by the time it reached Vietnam late on Wednesday, curbing fears of immediate and widespread damage, but raising concerns of flooding.

"Heavy rain is forecast to continue in northern and central provinces, and threatens to cause flash floods and landslides in Hoa Binh, Son La, Lai Chau and Lang Son provinces," the national weather forecaster said.

Heatwave Threatens Nordic Crops as Lapland Gets New Heat Record


The heatwave that’s gripping northern Europe is sending power prices skyrocketing, threatening Nordic grain crops and forcing Sweden to seek help from Italy and France to help combat wildfires.


As the chart below shows, there’s no let up until early August when the temperatures could start to fall back toward more normal summer levels. Even in Finnish Lapland, the home of Santa, a new heat record of 33.4 degrees Celsius (92 Fahrenheit) was reached on Wednesday


AS WHEAT HARVEST HEADS TO PARCHED NORTH, EUROPE BRACES FOR MORE LOSSES
* Harvesting to start in coming days in north Germany, UK
* Northern Europe parched by dry, hot spells
* Top EU grower France set for smaller, good-quality crop

BLACK BEAR NEWS 7.20.18 Crop failure and bankruptcy threaten farmers as drought grips Europe

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