Sunday, 15 July 2018

Extreme weather in the midst of abrupt climate change

Statistics which should make any normal person extremely concerned as global heat-wave continues and just what did happen in Japan

14 July, 2018

Africa's hottest recorded temperature ever was recorded was in 1931 when the mercury reached 55 deg C (131 deg F) in Kibili Tunisia, however, The BBC claim that record could be unreliable according to scientists.

On July the 5th some experts are claiming Africa's hottest temperature was reached when the mercury hit an incredible 51.3 deg C, (124.3 deg F) Ouargla in Algeria.

So why did this happen?

The BBC's environment correspondent Matt McGrath writes: "In common with many parts of the world, Algeria has seen a significant rise in heat waves over the past 30 years that experts say is down to rising global temperatures.

"According to one study, the frequency of heat waves lasting three days or longer has more than doubled between 1988 and 2015.

Earlier this year Pakistan experienced the world's hottest April day on record, with temperatures peaking at 122.4F (50.2C).

Meanwhile, after being sunless for 5 months much of the entire Arctic was abnormally warm around the same time.

The temperature averaged over the whole region appears to be the warmest on record for that time of year, dating back to at least 1958.

Coming back to July, cities across Eastern Canada suffered a deadly heat wave, with at least 70 deaths attributed to the record hot spell in Quebec province alone.

In Canada's capital Ottawa, in Ontario, the humidity index - the method used there to measure the combined humidity level and temperature - hit 47C (116.6F) on 2 July.

According to BBC Weather's Ben Rich: "The jet stream has shifted further north than usual, allowing a plume of very warm air to waft northwards across the USA and into large parts of Canada.

There was also less rainfall than normal during May and June - and dry ground heats up more quickly, so temperatures have been able to rise well above average."

Record after record fell in southern parts of California last week:

Downtown Los Angeles had its hottest July night in history, with a minimum of 26.1C (79F) on 7 July

Chino, outside LA, saw its hottest-ever temperature - 48.9C (120F)

The temperature at University of California, Los Angeles, hit 43.9C (111F), breaking a 79-year-old record

The heat also caused much health concern with breathing problems and asthma attacks from bushfires.

In essence, it's the same problem that has affected eastern Canada.

So is this down to climate change?

It's hard to pin it on that and only that, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Australia bakes in the summer but it's the middle of the winter there now, however, they have not escaped the heat, last week, the temperature in Sydney topped 24.7C (76.5F) over two days in July for the first time since records began.
That's roughly eight Celsius higher than the average temperature for this time of year.

This comes after most parts of the city recorded their hottest-ever autumn.
According to Ben Rich: "Temperatures rose during early July as an area of high pressure settled to the east of Australia, bringing warm northwesterly winds from the Equator down across the eastern side of Australia.

The whole Caucasus region, a mountainous area on the border of Europe and Asia, has suffered particularly high temperatures this month.

The capital of Georgia, Tbilisi, hit an all-time high of 40.5C (104.9F) on 4 July, but the heat has put a significant strain on (often ageing) power grids in other countries nearby.

Nearby, there have been major power cuts in Iran because demand outstripped the electrical system's capabilities as people try to stay cool.

The government there has urged people to conserve energy wherever possible.
In Europe, it's the same with parts of south-west France hitting40 deg C (104 deg F)

The UK and Ireland have seen the hottest summer they have had since 1976 and here in Holland where I am based, it hasn't rained for nearly two months.

At the beginning of June, a heat wave in Mexico increased temperatures to 50 C (122 F) in many areas and led authorities to declare a state of emergency, the country's National Weather Service (SMN).

According to the SMN, temperatures rose to 50 C in the northern state of Sinaloa, the western state of Michoacan and the central state of Hidalgo, while temperatures in the rest of the country exceeded 30 C (113 F).

It's not all about heat, many frightening statistics are being released after the unprecedented torrential rainfall eases in Japan and the real problem now for rescuers looking for the many people missing is the heat with temperatures around 35 deg C, (95 deg F).

Almost half a year's rain has fallen in Japan in just ten days.
Nearly ten million people were ordered to leave their homes.

Almost 10,000 are people are in shelters, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

More than 200 people have died with dozens still missing.

More than 250,000 people are without water.

70,000 rescuers continue the search for missing people.

Aid supplies and volunteers have been arriving in affected areas, although a local official in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, said there are “not enough people or vehicles” to distribute the abundant supplies.

According to, the devastating torrential rains and subsequent flooding and landslides in western Japan — Hiroshima, Okayama, Ehime, Kyoto, Fukuoka, Yamaguchi, Kagoshima, Hyogo, Gifu, Shiga, Kochi, Saga — have left at least 200 people dead so far with rescuers still searching for dozens more.

According to, communities that grappled with rising floodwaters last week now find themselves battling scorching summer temperatures well above 30 degrees Celsius, as foul-smelling garbage piles up in mud-splattered streets.

"We need the water supply back," said Hiroshi Oka, 40, a resident helping to clean up the Mabi district in one of the hardest-hit areas, the city of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, where more than 200,000 households have gone without water for a week.

The soaring temperatures have fuelled concern that residents, many still in temporary evacuation centres, may suffer heat strokes or illness as hygiene levels deteriorate.

Greece, where you would expect heat this time of the year, is recovering from flash floods which have devastated Athens for the second time in less than a year.

Unseasonable extreme rains- unheard of in Greece in the summer months- has left much of the Greek mainland drenched.

Flooding and rivers overflowing their banks were reported in regions throughout the mainland, including Larisa.

The town of Mandra, where 24 people lost their lives last November during torrential rains and extreme flooding, was hard hit again.

According to Chile's Ministry of Health (Minsa), 604 people have died of pneumonia by June 20, 2018, due to low temperatures.

The number includes more than 400 older adults and 72 children under the age of 5.

Since winter season is just beginning, low temperatures, snow and frost are expected to continue.

Earlier this year, Cape Town braced for Day Zero.

That would be the day that South Africa's second-largest city turned off its taps and sent its 4 million residents to water-collection points for no more than 25 litres (7 gallons) per person per day.

Day Zero was scheduled for early May 2018, but Day Zero now been deferred to 2019.

  • Almost half a year's rain has fallen in Japan in just ten days.
  • Nearly ten million people were ordered to leave their homes.
  • Almost 10,000 are people are in shelters.
  • More than 200 people have died with dozens still missing.
  • More than 250,000 people are without water.
  • 70,000 rescuers continue the search for missing people.

Scorching heat wave in northern Europe – locations far inside the Arctic circle hit 

30 °C

Northern Europe is in the midlle of an intense heat wave. Temperatures have regularly reaching the upper 20s and locally exceeding 30 °C for days. We take a look at the situation and outlook for the near future.

Temperatures hit 30 °C as far north as far northern Norway: 30.1 °C in Banak (Norway) at 70.0°N, far inside the Arctic circle.
Average daytime highs in July in southern Norway are approximately 21.5 °C. In southern Sweden, July average daytime highs are around 23 °C. The entire region is experiencing temperatures 5-10 °C higher than average for this period, however, the northernmost parts of the region are up to 10 °C above average. Very warm weather is set to continue for the next several days, as temperature anomaly over the region remains between 5-10 °C above average.

3-day temperature anomaly forecast (GFS). Map:
Notably, there has also been some remarkable thunderstorm activity across the region:

Lightning activity over Europe in the past 48 hours. Map:

An iceberg the size of a hill has drifted close to a tiny village on the western coast of Greenland, causing fear that it could swamp the settlement with a tsunami if it calves.

The iceberg towers over houses on a promontory in the village of Innaarsuit but it is grounded and has not moved overnight, local media KNR reported.

A danger zone close to the coast has been evacuated and people have been moved further up a steep slope where the settlement lies, a Greenland police spokesman told Reuters.

Last summer, four people died after waves swamped a settlement in northwestern Greenland.

Temperatures shot up over 110 degrees in Southern California on Friday, obliterating all kinds of long-standing heat records, and the lights went out for tens of thousands of customers. Californians were powerless, without air conditioning, in the hottest weather many had ever experienced.

Climate scientists have known this was coming, and it may only be the beginning.

We studied this a long time ago . . . now our projections are becoming reality,” tweeted Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University.

In 2006, Hayhoe and colleagues published the study “Climate, Extreme Heat, and Electricity Demand in California” in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology.

Over the twenty-first century, the frequency of extreme-heat events for major cities in heavily air-conditioned California is projected to increase rapidly,” the study said. It warned that as temperatures soared, electricity demand would exceed supply.

Friday’s weather and the resulting blackouts illustrated their point.

Skyrocketing electricity demand due to Friday’s triple-digit temperatures triggered power outages around Los Angeles that are still affecting about 34,500 residences and businesses,” the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday afternoon. “Peak energy demand climbed to 6,256 megawatts on Friday, knocking down the previous July record of 6,165 megawatts set in 2006,” which happened to be the same year the Hayhoe study was published.

The Met Office has issued a heatwave warning as Hurricane Chris is expected to send temperatures soaring across the country.

Forecasters have warned people to take extra care as a level two “alert and readiness” heat warning has been put in place in eastern parts of England from 9am Sunday to 9am Tuesday.

Hurricane Chris is expected to trigger soaring temperatures in many parts of the country as it moves up across the northwest of the UK on Saturday night into Sunday – although Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson says it will no longer be a hurricane....

There is an 80 per cent chance of heatwave conditions affecting Yorkshire, the Humber, East Midlands, east of England and southeast....

There will be hot sunshine across the country on Saturday and Sunday, with temperatures expected to be widely in the mid to high 20s, getting up to 31C in London

 Drought Map for July 12, 2018   

Hot, dry conditions across Michigan have promtped the Department of Natural Resources to issue a warning about fire danger.

Most of the state, particulary from I-96 north to the Mackinac Bridge in the Lower Peninsula and from M-35 east to Drummond Island in the Upper Peninsula, are ripe for accidental fires and will remain that way into the weekend.

The DNR says fire danger is high even if the grass looks green since hot, dry weather has sucked most of the moisture from it.

Farmers will need up to 3.5 inches of rainfall to have any hope of salvaging crops and restoring normal dairy and beef production.

According to Met √Čireann, parts of the west of Ireland are currently experiencing a deficit of 90mm (3.5 inches) of rainfall for this time of year, with other areas across Ireland down an average of 2.3 inches (60mm).

Average rainfall countrywide for the month of July is between 60-90mm. Parts of Ireland received just 8mm of rainfall daily during July 2017.

The west may experience some light showers on Tuesday night, and isolated showers are possible in the south on Friday, but it may be next week before any sign of a break in the weather is likely.

People are more likely to be hospitalized for respiratory disorders during the annual haze season in Southeast Asia, when densely polluted air hovers over the region, than at other times of year, a Malaysian study suggests.

Since 2005, Southeast Asia has experienced an annual haze due to a combination of human activities and climate factors that promote both drought and natural fires, researchers note in the journal Respirology. The haze has worsened in recent years with illegal agricultural and land-clearing fires in parts of Indonesia, they add.

Although it’s been a known fact that haze and air pollution are related to breathing problems, there has not been any hard evidence showing the link between the two,” senior study author Tidi Hassan of the National University Malaysia Medical Center in Kuala Lumpur said by email.

Natural gas is displacing coal, which could help fight climate change because burning it produces fewer carbon emissions. But producing and transporting natural gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas that also contributes to climate change. How big is the methane problem?

For the past five years, our research teams at Colorado State Universityhave made thousands of methane emissions measurements at more than 700 separate facilities in the production, gathering, processing, transmission and storage segments of the natural gas supply chain.

This experience has given us a unique perspective regarding the major sources of methane emissions from natural gas and the challenges the industry faces in terms of detecting and reducing, if not eliminating, them.

Our work, along with numerous other research projects, was recently folded into a new study published in the journal Science. This comprehensive snapshot suggests that methane emissions from oil and gas operations are much higher than current EPA estimates.

Japan faces 'frequent' disasters as flood toll reaches 200

Japan risks more severe weather and must find ways to alleviate disasters, a government spokesman said on Thursday, as intense heat and water shortages raised fear of disease among survivors of last week’s floods and landslides.

Torrential rain in western Japan caused the country’s worst weather disaster in 36 years, killing 200 people, many in communities that have existed for decades on mountain slopes and flood plains largely untroubled by storms.

But severe weather has been battering the country more regularly in recent years, raising questions about the impact of global warming. Dozens of people were killed in a similar disaster last year.

It’s an undeniable fact that this sort of disaster due to torrential, unprecedented rain is becoming more frequent in recent years,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo.

Salmon used to be infrequent visitors to the Mackenzie River and communities of the Arctic, but more species have begun to show up in the North more often and in greater numbers than ever before.

They’re indicating change,” says Karen Dunmall, a research scientist with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans who is overseeing the Arctic Salmon project.

The climate change they’re indicating is affecting the Arctic more potently and quickly than anywhere else. It’s manifesting in thinner ice that forms later and breaks up earlier, warmer rivers, milder winters, longer summers and changes in wildlife and vegetation across the Arctic.

Dunmall’s community-based research has found that although some salmon have been found for generations in communities across the Arctic and up the Mackenzie River, they have always been limited in numbers and species.

Before 2004, for instance, there was the odd pink salmon that was noticed,” Dunmall told The Narwhal.

But now, every other year, salmon are being noticed by fishermen in more and more communities. They have been participating in the research, sending whole fish and heads to Dunmall for recording and analysis

More than half a million hectares of forest was cleared in the Great Barrier Reef catchments over four years – an area more than twice the size of the Australian Capital Territory.

Official environment and energy department data shows that 596,000 hectares of forest was cleared between 1 July 2012 and 30 June 2016.

Labor’s environment spokesman, Tony Burke, said “land clearing of this scale should never have been permitted”.

It’s a destruction of habitat and a disaster for the Great Barrier Reef,” Burke said.

The Liberal party seems to think that they can turn a blind eye to the destruction of the environment and runoff into the Great Barrier Reef and then throw money to private organisations and pretend that the vandalism never occurred.”

CO2 surface concentration in North 


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