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Archive for the ‘Climate Change’ Category

Deadly Heatwaves Plague Europe

Posted by feww on July 19, 2015

Extreme heat continues to scorch much of Europe, killing hundreds and igniting forest fires in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain…

Health authorities in Italy have issued a level-3 “red alert” for at least 22 cities, while the fire authorities in Liguria placed the entire region under a forest fire alert as the elevated temperatures brought by the latest heatwave dubbed “Caronte,” and dry conditions posed significant risks.

Record temperatures in northwestern Italy have killed at least 140 senior citizens during the first ten days of July, according to data from the environmental agency, Arpa Piedmont, said a report.

“July 2015 has everything it takes to be among the hottest ever,” says a meteorologist with 3bmeteo. “[We are experiencing]  the most intense heat wave in 70 years.”

The extreme heat has caused a fall in production across Italian farms. Milk production in Italy fell by more than 50 million in the first two weeks of July due to the heat stressing the dairy cows, said a report.

Temperatures in many parts of Europe have been persistently above average by as much as 6ºC for more than three weeks.

Some 60,000 residents of Troyes, a town in the Champagne region of France, woke up in a sweat as the temperature climbed from 24ºC to 33°C, an increase of 9ºC (or 16.2 degrees F), in just one hour (between midnight and 1.00 am), in a phenomena called a heat burst, said a report.

An earlier heatwave that hit France between June 29 and July 5 left 700 dead and thousands more hospitalized, said a report quoting the country’s Ministry of Health.

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State of Emergency Declared in Missouri amid Widespread Flooding

Posted by feww on June 19, 2015

Tropical Depression BILL batters central U.S. bringing torrential rains, and causing deadly flooding

Gov. Nixon has declared a state of emergency in Missouri as extreme rain events and flooding continued to affect large portions of the state.

“With more heavy rain in the forecast, we will continue to remain in direct contact with law enforcement and local officials as we work to protect lives and property,” Nixon said.

The storm has claimed several lives so far including those in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

BILL  hit in Texas on Tuesday, and is forecast to move northeast into West Virginia, dumping as much as 30cm (12 in) of rain in some areas, forecasters said.

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Earth’s Fever Continues: Warmest May on Record

Posted by feww on June 19, 2015

Year-to-date also record warm: Report

The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was 15.67°C (60.17°F), the highest for the month since record keeping began in 1880. Globally averaged temperature for March–May and the year-to-date (January–May) were also record highs, according to the State of the Climate Report.

  • The combined average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces for May was 0.87°C (1.57°F) above the 20th century average of 14.8°C (58.6°F)—the highest for May in the 136-year period of record, topping the previous record set in 2014 by 0.08°C (0.14°F).
  • The globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 16.3°C (61.3°F)—the highest ever recorded for the month, topping record set in 2014 by 0.07°C (0.13°F).
  • The average global temperature across land surfaces was 1.28°C (2.30°F) above the 20th century average of 11.1°C (52.0°F), tying with 2012 as the highest May temperature on record.
  • The average Arctic sea ice extent for May was about 1.89 million km² (730,000 square miles), or 5.5 percent below the 1981–2010 average, making it the third smallest May extent since records began in 1979.  [The smallest sea ice extent occurred in May 2004, when the cover shrank to about 1.82million km² (703,000 square miles,) said the report
  • Antarctic sea ice during May was about 1.3 million km² (500,000 square miles), or 12.1 percent above the 1981–2010 average. The May extent was the largest Antarctic sea ice extent on record, exceeding the previous record set in 2014 by about 52,000km² (20,000 square miles).

January – May 2015

  • The first five months of 2015 were the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces, at 0.85°C (1.53°F) above the 20th century average, surpassing the previous record set in 2010 by 0.09°C (0.16°F).

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for May 2015, published online June 2015, retrieved on June 19, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201505.

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Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters – 2014 Update

Posted by feww on June 19, 2015

Eight weather and climate mega disasters in 2014 caused more than $17 billion in losses

In 2014, eight weather and climate events across the United States, each with losses exceeding $1 billion, caused  a total of more than $17 billion in losses.

In 2013, there were nine events with over $24 billion in losses (CPI-adjusted). Since 1980, the year 2011 had the most billion-dollar events (16) while 2005 was the most damaging year with more than $200 billion in losses (CPI-adjusted), according to the official Scorekeeper, the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

The greatest economic impact of the weather and climate events have occurred since 1980 [and are ongoing.] The U.S. experienced 178 weather and climate mega disasters during the 1980-2014 period, with overall damages/costs of each event exceeding $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2015). The total cost of these 178 mega disasters exceeds $1 trillion, said NCEI (NOAA/NCDC).

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A Third of World’s Major Aquifers Rapidly Depleting: Report

Posted by feww on June 18, 2015

Groundwater basins likely far smaller than previously thought: Researchers

Some of the world’s largest groundwater basins are rapidly depleting due to excessive human consumption, according to two new studies led by UC Irvine.

Researchers say they they don’t know exactly how much more water remains in the basins.

The findings are significant because humans are consuming groundwater quickly without knowing when it might run out, the researchers say.

“Available physical and chemical measurements are simply insufficient,” said UCI principal researcher. “Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left.”

Researchers classified eight of the planet’s 37 largest aquifers as “overstressed,” with almost “no natural replenishment to offset usage,” and five others as “extremely or highly stressed.”

Unsurprisingly, the most stressed aquifers are in the world’s driest areas, which depend greatly on underground water. “Climate change and population growth are expected to intensify the problem.”

“What happens when a highly stressed aquifer is located in a region with socioeconomic or political tensions that can’t supplement declining water supplies fast enough?” asks the lead author on both studies. “We’re trying to raise red flags now to pinpoint where active management today could protect future lives and livelihoods.”

Researchers found that the Arabian Aquifer System, on which more than 60 million people depend, is the most overstressed reserve in the world.

The second-most overstressed reserve is the Indus Basin aquifer in NW India and Pakistan, with the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa in third position. California’s Central Valley is also classified as “highly stressed.”

“As we’re seeing in California right now, we rely much more heavily on groundwater during drought,” said the principal researcher.

“We don’t actually know how much is stored in each of these aquifers.” The lead author said. “In a water-scarce society, we can no longer tolerate this level of uncertainty, especially since groundwater is disappearing so rapidly.”

[Globally, about 2.2 billion people rely on groundwater as the primary source of freshwater. Estimate is based on FIRE-EARTH Models.]

The report is posted at Water Resources Research

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From the ‘SUBLIME’ to the RIDICULOUS

Posted by feww on February 7, 2015

Gauguin’s “When Will You Marry?” sold for $300 million

An oil painting by Paul Gauguin, the French artist, has been sold to a “Qatari buyer” for about $300 million, said reports.

When Will You Marry? [“Nafea Faa Ipoipo,”] painted in 1892, was owned by a Swiss collector. The sale tops the previous highest price for a painting, a work by Paul Cezanne, which sold for $260m.

When will you marry- Gauguin 1892 - public domain in the US
When Will You Marry? [“Nafea Faa Ipoipo”] by Paul Gauguin 1892. The image is in the public domain in the U.S.

Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar

To produce a GDP of 77.61 trillion (International Dollars) in 2014, the world economies emitted about 40.33 billion metric tons of CO2 [~ 11 billion tons of carbon.] That is, for every dollar paid (or received), each time, an average of 520  grams of CO2 (142g carbon) was released to the environment!

Based on the above calculations, “When Will You Marry?” has a carbon footprint of about 160,000 metric tons of CO2.   [Sources: CASF, MSRB, EDRO, FEWW.]

This amount of pollution is equivalent to Vincent van Gogh driving an economy car 16,000 times around the equator.

See the original calculation for 2007: Carbon Footprint of Your Dollar

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Drought Disaster Declared in 12 States

Posted by feww on February 6, 2015

UPDATED February 7, 2015

RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE
EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC DISASTERS
DROUGHT
MULTIPLE CROP DISASTERS
SCENARIOS  900, [500,] 444, 117, 111, 100, 067, 03, 02
.

Drought destroys or damages crops in 504 counties across 12 states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated a total of 504 countiesiii in 12 states as crop disaster areas due to losses and damages caused by drought.

Those designations are for:

Arizona (20 counties/disaster designations), California (68 disaster designations, which cover ALL of the state’s 58 counties), Colorado (36), Idaho (9), Kansas (54), Nebraska (1), Nevada (28 designations, which cover ALL of the state’s 16 counties and Carson City), New Mexico (27), Oklahoma (77), Oregon (7), Texas (154) and Utah (22).

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 731 countiesiii across 14 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

All of the 2015 disaster designations so far are due to drought.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on February 4, 2015.

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Floods Devastate Malawi, Affecting 638,000 People

Posted by feww on January 29, 2015

Malawi Floods Situation Report  by UNOCHA, UNICEF and FAO

28 January 2015

  • Some 638,000 people affected countrywide, according to Department of Disaster Management Affairs/OCHA situation report 23 January 2015
  • [More than ¼ million people have been displaced in Malawi floods including] 174,000 in 3 most affected districts—Chikwawa, Nsanje and Phalombe.
  • At least 15 of country’s 28 districts are affected.
  • 79 deaths have been reported.
  • At least 153 people missing in Nsanje District.
  • 181 Schools occupied by displaced people (Reports from District Education Managers 26 .01.15)
  • An estimated 116,000 households have lost their crops and livestock.
  • More than 63,000 hectares of land is submerged under floodwater, including 35,000 hectares of cropland.
  • A state of emergency has been declared for 15 of Malawi’s 28 districts.
  • Floods have destroyed thousands of homes, washing away scores of livestock, and submerging hundreds of hectares of crops, a senior official said.
  • Untold numbers of goats and chickens have perished where waters rose with unexpected speed, raising the risk of livestock disease outbreaks.

FIRE-EARTH Models show that Malawi is facing its worst ever flooding.

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State of Emergency Declared in East Java

Posted by feww on January 26, 2015

Outbreak of dengue fever kills dozens across 38 areas in East Java

Authorities in East Java have declared a state of emergency [“an extraordinary situation (KLB) status”] due to an outbreak of dengue fever, which has sickened at least 1,054 people, killing 25 across 38 regencies and cities, said a report.

The state of emergency covers 11 regions in the province including the regencies of Jombang, Banyuwangi, Probolinggo, Kediri, Sumenep, Pamekasan, Nganjuk, Trenggalek, Mojokerto and Madiun as well as Madiun city, said the report.

“Data from the provincial administration show that most cases of dengue fever in the province were recorded in January or December. Of the more than 26,000 cases of dengue fever in 2010, for example, some 5,500 occurred in January,” the report said.

“Similarly, of the nearly 5,500 cases in 2011, more than 1,000 occurred in January, while of the more than 8,000 cases recorded in 2012, more than 1,000 occurred in December.”

East Java, Indonesia’s second most populated province [pop: ~ 40million,] is located on eastern part of island of Java, covering an area of 47,800 km², which is administratively divided into 29 regencies and 9 cities.

Global Impact: Up to 100 million infections reported annually

The incidences of dengue fever infection continue growing globally, especially since 2009, putting at least half of the world’s population at risk.

“In the past few years, there has been a very significant increase of dengue fever infection in tropical areas such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including Brazil, which constitutes a tremendous public health challenge. It is estimated that 2 to 5 billion people are under risk of acquiring the infection worldwide, with 50 to 100 million infections reported annually, and approximately 500,000 hospital admissions. Death numbers associated with dengue are difficult to estimate,” said a report.

Aedes aegypti, aka the yellow fever mosquito, is a vector for transmitting several tropical disease viruses including dengue fever, Chikungunya (CHIKV) and yellow fever.


This 2006 photograph depicts a female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she acquires  a blood meal from her human host, the biomedical photographer, James Gathany, at the Centers for Disease Control.  Dengue fever is caused by four virus strains spread by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. (Photo Credit: James Gathany/University of Notre Dame).

Fatal Staphylococcal Infection following Classic Dengue Fever

“Dengue represents an important public health issue in many tropical areas, leading to high morbidity and the employment of substantial health resources. Even though the number of fatalities related to dengue is unknown, several reports warn about the potential occurrence of severe infections and even death. The clinical spectrum of dengue is highly variable, ranging from a mild flu-like syndrome to severe disease, with shock and hemorrhage. The occurrence of bacterial superinfection, or coinfection, in patients with dengue has been noted by some authors, but the available information comes from anecdotic reports. In this study, we show the clinical and anatomopathological data of a patient infected with dengue, who subsequently died of acute multi-organic failure related to Staphylococcus aureus infection. The autopsy revealed a severe disseminated staphylococcal disease and confirmed dengue infection.”

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‘Historic’ Blizzard to Batter U.S. East Coast

Posted by feww on January 26, 2015

Major nor’easter to impact northeastern U.S.

A massive nor’easter is forecast to impact parts of the Northeast Monday through Wednesday. The system will bring heavy snowfall and [hurricane-force] winds, with possible blizzard conditions along coastal areas from New Jersey to Massachusetts, said National Weather Service (NWS), describing the storm as “crippling and potentially historic blizzard.”

This could be the biggest snowstorm in the history of New York, said NY Mayor at a news conference, adding that the snowfall could top 3 feet (91cm).

“I want everyone to understand that we are facing—most probably—one of the largest snowstorms in the history of this city,” said de Blasio.
“My message to all New Yorkers is prepare for something worse than we have seen before. Prepare … for this extreme weather,” he said.

Blizzard Warnings are in effect along the coast from central New Jersey to the Canadian border.

Warnings issued by NWS include

Hurricane Force Wind Warning
Blizzard Warning
Winter Storm Warning
Gale Warning
High Wind Warning
Storm Warning
Coastal Flood Warning
Flood Warning

NWS forecast:

  • Heavy snow for New England and the Northern Mid-Atlantic Coast
  • Snow for the Upper Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley to Mid-Atlantic
  • Temperatures to rise up to 30 degrees above average from the
    Northern High Plains to parts of the Central Plains…

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Malawi Floods Devastate Half the Country

Posted by feww on January 17, 2015

500 Dead or missing, ¼ million displaced in Malawi floods

Malawi floods are a “national tragedy that urgently needs both local and international response,” the president has said.

The floods have devastated half the the country’s 28 districts, destroying thousands of homes, washing away scores of livestock, and submerging hundreds of hectares of crops, a senior official said.

Last week, the Malawi president declared more than a third of the country disaster areas, as torrential rains inundated large swathes of land, destroying crops, homes, roads, railroads and other infrastructure.

“I flew over some parts of the Lower Shire but we could not find anywhere to land,” said the country’s vice president. “It’s a big challenge we have before us.”

“Most of Nsanje and East Bank are submerged under two to three meters of water, which has transformed these vast plains into a giant lake engulfing houses and bridges,” said Doctors Without Borders’ mission head in Malawi’s south, AP reported.

“Sanitation will be compromised now with waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid likely to occur,” said Malawi’s health ministry spokesman.

“Sanitation will be compromised now with waterborne diseases such as cholera, dysentery and typhoid likely to occur.”

Death and devastation in Mozambique

Malawi shares a river system with neighboring Mozambique, where floods have displaced up to 20,000 families, killing at least 52 people.

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2014 Hottest Year on Record: NOAA

Posted by feww on January 16, 2015

UPDATED January 17, 2014

2014 Hottest year on record at 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average

The December 2014 average combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the highest on record since record-keeping began 135 years ago, at 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F), making 2014 the warmest year on record, according to the latest State of the Climate report released by NCDC/NOAA.

January–December 2014 Blended Land and Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies in degrees Celsius

 

Selected Highlights

  • The December 2014 globally-averaged temperature for land and ocean surfaces combined was 0.77°C (1.39°F) above the 20th century average of 12.2°C (54.0°F), the highest on record for December since records began in 1880.
  • The January–December temperatures were warmer than average across the vast majority of the globe during 2014, resulting in  record warmth for 2014, at 0.69°C (1.24°F) above the 20th century average.
  • The 2014 average global ocean surface temperature was also the highest on record, at 0.55°C (0.99°F) above average.
  • The highest temperature anomalies (more than 5°C / 9°F above the 1981–2010 average) were observed in parts of Alaska and Siberia.

December 2014 Selected Climate Anomalies and Events Map

Source: NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Global Analysis for December 2014, published online January 2015, retrieved on January 16, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2014/12.

The latest data show that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred this century.

2001-2010 was the warmest decade on record.

The Atmospheric Temperatures

Two different analyses examined NOAA satellite-based data records for the lower and middle troposphere and the lower stratosphere.

  • The 2014 temperature for the lower troposphere (roughly the lowest five miles of the atmosphere) was third highest in the 1979-2014 record, at 0.50°F (0.28°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), and sixth highest on record, at 0.29°F (0.16°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS).
  • The 2014 temperature for the mid-troposphere (roughly two miles to six miles above the surface) was third highest in the 1979–2014 record, at 0.32°F (0.18°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by UAH, and sixth highest on record, at 0.25°F (0.14°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by RSS.
  • The temperature for the lower stratosphere (roughly 10 miles to 13 miles above the surface) was 13th lowest in the 1979–2014 record, at 0.56°F (0.31°C) below the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by UAH, and also 13th lowest on record, at 0.41°F (0.23°C) below the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by RSS. The stratospheric temperature is decreasing on average while the lower and middle troposphere temperatures are increasing on average, consistent with expectations in a greenhouse-warmed world. [NOAH]

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65% of Africa’s Arable Land ‘Too Damaged’ for Food Production

Posted by feww on January 14, 2015

NO ORDINARY MATTER:

Soil degradation affecting 180 million people in SSA alone

The impacts of land degradation in Africa are substantial: 65% of arable land, 30% of grazing land and 20% of forests are too damaged for food production, according to a report published by the Montpellier Panel—a group of agriculture, ecology and trade experts from Africa and Europe.

“Affecting nearly one-third of the earth’s land area, land degradation reduces the productive capacity of agricultural land by eroding topsoil and depleting nutrients resulting in enormous environmental, social and economic costs. In sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) an estimated 180 million people are affected, while the economic loss due to land degradation is estimated at $68 billion per year.”

africa soil degradation
Types of soil degradation in Africa. Source: MONTPELLIER PANEL December 2014 Report.  Read more…

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Overexploitation, Drought Destroying China’s Largest Freshwater Lake

Posted by feww on January 12, 2015

E. China’s Poyang Lake drying up!

Fed by the Gan, Xin, and Xiu rivers, the area of Poyang Lake fluctuates considerably between the wet and dry seasons; however, the average size of the lake has continued to shrink in recent years.

The lake area averages about 3,500 km² in a normal year, but it reached a low of under 200 km² in 2012, due to drought and the water intercepted for storage at the Three Gorges Dam.

Each year, up to a million migratory birds visit the vanishing lake, the largest freshwater lake in China.

During the Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD) the lake area reached its greatest size of more than 6,000 km².

Poyang Lake is known as the “Bermuda Triangle of the East,” said a report.

Between early 1960s and late 1980s, more than 200 boats reportedly sank in the lake leaving a total of “1,600 people missing and 30 survivors who became mentally ill.”

“Among the boats missing in this area was one as large as 2,000 tons. It is documented that on Aug. 3, 1985, 13 boats had accidents in the Laoye Temple waters. The mystery is that those boats could not be recovered,” said the report.

east china lake
Original caption: A stone bridge relic of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) is revealed on the bed of drought-affected Poyang Lake in east China’s Jiangxi Province, Dec. 30, 2014. Poyang Lake is renowned for its rich fishing resources, while in recent years, persistent drought and over-exploitation have endangered the lake’s resources. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun). More images…

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Thousands Displaced by Deadly Floods in Malawi

Posted by feww on January 11, 2015

Deadly floods force thousands out of their homes

At least 6 people are dead and thousands more displaced after severe flooding triggered by extreme rain events submerged large regions across  the southeast African country, nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa.”

The disasters have been described as national crisis, but the authorities have yet to declare a state of emergency, said reports.

The extreme weather events have destroyed more than a thousand homes and thousands of hectares of crops.

“The Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services has warned of high rainfall amounts which will eventually trigger flash floods in the country for the next two to three weeks,” said a report.

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2014 U.S. Temperature Tops 20th-Century Average (Again)

Posted by feww on January 10, 2015

DISASTERS CAUSED BY CLIMATE CHANGE
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
RISING TEMPERATURES
EXTREME WET & EXTREME DRY CONDITIONS
ECOLOGICAL COLLAPSE
SPECIES EXTINCTION 
MAIN SCENARIOS: 900, 888, 808, 800, 797,  777, 666, 560, 555, 444, 300, 123, 117, 114, 111, 101, 100, 097, 090, 080, 078, 071, 067, 066, 047, 033, 027, 025, 024, 023, 022, 012, 011, 09, 04, 03, 02, 01
.

2014 U.S. temperature tops 20th-century average for the 18th consecutive year

Contiguous U.S. experienced its 2nd warmest December on record, according to the State of the Climate Summary Information released by NOAA National Climatic Data Center.

Highlights from the Summary Report

  • During December, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 37.1°F, 4.5°F above the 20th century average.
  • Eight weather and climate disasters exceeded $1 billion in damages each and resulted in 53 fatalities. The events included the western U.S. drought, the Michigan & Northeast flooding event, five severe storm events, and one winter storm event.
  • 2014 annual average contiguous U.S. temperature was 52.6°F, 0.5°F above the 20th century average.
  • The temperature exceeded the 20th Century average for the 18th consecutive year.
  • The average contiguous U.S. precipitation was 30.76 inches, 0.82 inch above average.

Damage from eight weather and climate disasters in U.S. exceeded $1 billion each

billion-dollar disasters
In 2014, there were 8 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included a drought event, a flooding event, 5 severe storm events, and a winter storm event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 53 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Further cost data and figures on individual events in 2014 will be announced in mid-2015. The U.S. has sustained 178 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2014). The total cost of these 178 events exceeds $1 trillion. Source: NOAA/NCDC.

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: National Overview for December 2014, published online January 2015, retrieved on January 10, 2015 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2014/12.

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Largest ‘Natural Disasters’ in 2014 Cost $110B: Munich Re

Posted by feww on January 10, 2015

2014 Costliest Catastrophes: Cyclone HUDHUD, Storms, Floods, Earthquake, Drought

Some 980 disasters left at least 7,700 people dead globally and cost about $110 billion in damages, according to Munich Re.

The five costliest ‘natural catastrophes’ were Cyclone HUDHUD in India (cost of $7 billion), winter damage in Japan ( $5.9 billion), floods in India & Pakistan ($5.1 billion), earthquake in China ($5 billion) and drought in Brazil ($5 billion), said the reinsurance company based in Munich, Germany.

The greatest losses in North America last year were due to an unusually cold winter, with heavy frost lasting for weeks in many parts of the USA and Canada, as well as heavy snowfalls and blizzards, especially on the East Coast, said a report.

Total cost of damage and the economic loss from a magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Napa Valley, California on 24 August was more than $700m.

[Source: Münchener Rückversicherungs – Gesellschaft, Geo Risks Research, NatCatSERVICE]

[NOTE: The above report by Munich Re appears to be limited in scope. FIRE-EARTH]

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State of Emergency Declared in Washington

Posted by feww on January 8, 2015

RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE
EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC DISASTERS
RECORD RAINFALL
SEVERE WINTER STORM
RISING TEMPERATURES, ABNORMAL SNOWMELT, FLOODING, LANDSLIDES
STATE OF EMERGENCY
.

Severe winter storm causes extensive damage in 9 WA counties

Gov. Inslee has proclaimed a state of emergency for nine Washington counties in the wake of a severe winter storm that battered the region causing extensive damage to roads and other infrastructure January 4 through 6.

The emergency proclamation is for Grays Harbor, King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom counties.

“The governor noted in his proclamation that heavy rain and unseasonable snowmelt from this week’s storm combined with soils saturated by previous storms to cause slope erosion and landslides that impacted state and local roadways,” said a statement released by his office.

“WHEREAS,from November 25 through December 12, 2014, Western Washington received record rainfall from multiple storms resulting in saturated soil and slope erosion throughout the area; and […] from January 4 through 6, 2015, another significant winter storm struck Western Washington, producing extreme rainfall and above normal temperatures throughout the lowlands and mountain snowpack elevations; and […] the heavy rainfall from this storm combined with unseasonable snowmelt compounded existing soil saturation resulted in flooding, additional slope erosion, and landslides causing extensive damage to roadways, road closures and restricted access to affected areas in Grays Harbor, King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pacific, Pierce, Skagit, Wahkiakum, and Whatcom counties, affecting the life, health, and safety [of the public,]” said the proclamation.

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Major Disaster Declared in the State of Mississippi

Posted by feww on January 8, 2015

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC DISASTERS
SEVERE STORMS, TORNADOES
FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARED
SCENARIOS: 900, [500,] 477, 444, 111, 088, 066
.

Federal Disaster Declared for The  Hospitality State

Mississippi Federal Disaster Declaration (DR-4205)

The White House has declared a major disaster exists in the State of Mississippi in the area affected by severe storms and tornadoes on December 23, 2014.

The area worst affected by the severe storms and tornadoes is Marion County.

The Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

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Arctic Déjà vu: Giga Blasts to Affect 250 Million in 40 States

Posted by feww on January 7, 2015

EXTREME CLIMATIC & WEATHER EVENTS
.

Potentially deadly Arctic air to affect 250 million in U.S. —FIRE-EARTH

Massive pulses of brutally cold Arctic air are sinking southward from Canada into the central and eastern U.S., affecting the western High Plains to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. for the next few days, said NWS. “Widespread subzero overnight lows are forecast for the Dakotas, Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and interior New England.”

Temperatures will be as much as 30 degrees (F) below average for parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley, and Ohio Valley…

  • Hard Freeze Warnings, Freeze Warnings and multiples of other Weather Hazard Warnings, Watches and Advisories are in effect throughout the eastern two-thirds of the country, extending into the deep South and spanning along almost the entire Gulf Coast.
  • Up to 250 million people in 40 states could be affected by the Arctic blasts, according to FIRE-EARTH Models.

us weather hazmap 7jan2015

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Large Wildfire Threatens Homes in Victoria, Australia

Posted by feww on January 5, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
MAJOR EMERGENCY DECLARED
RISING TEMPERATURES
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
LOSS OF HABITAT
LOSS OF CROPS & LIVESTOCK
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 080, 071, 070, 03, 02
.

Emergency warning  issued as wildfire threatens homes in Victoria, Australia

The warning has been issued for towns Mockinya, Nurrabiel, Telangatuk and Toolondo in northwestern portion of the state of Victoria, said reports.

“Private properties north of the Black Range State Park and the Mt Talbot area could be impacted anytime within the next hour,” said  a warning by the country fire authority (CFA) .

The “fast moving, out of control” wildfire has consumed more than 1,500 hectares and was traveling north from the Black Range State Forest in the Southern Grampians, having reached the Mt Talbot Reserve, said the local media.

South Australia

Meantime, another major blaze has destroyed or damaged dozens of homes and numerous outbuildings in the state of South Australia.

“More than 700 firefighters from SA, New South Wales and Victoria continue to secure the blaze ahead of 38 degree Celsius temperatures forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday,” said a report..

Social media have reported looting  in the areas affected by wildfire.

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Major Emergency Declared as Wildfires Devour Homes in S. Australia

Posted by feww on January 3, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
MAJOR EMERGENCY DECLARED
RISING TEMPERATURES
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
LOSS OF HABITAT
LOSS OF CROPS & LIVESTOCK
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 080, 071, 070, 03, 02
.

Thousands flee their homes in S Australia as massive blaze burns towards multiple communities

Dozens of homes are feared lost as a massive out-of-control fire burning on multiple fronts threatens lives and property in the state of  South Australia.

The city of Adelaide Hills [Population: ~ 30,000] remains siege as the 10,000-hectare out-of-control Sampson Flat fire in the Mount Lofty Ranges threatens dozens of communities, reported ABC Australia.

A major emergency has been declared, with the fire conditions described as the worst since Ash Wednesday in 1983, when a monster blaze killed more than 75 people in the states of South Australia and Victoria and destroyed 2,300 homes.

In February 2009, the so-called “Black Saturday” bushfires claimed 173 lives and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in Victoria. A total of 12 bushfires are burning out of control across Victoria, comprising about 26 blazes,  covering up to 225,000 hectare of land.

 


Sampson Flat fire front in the Adelaide Hills approaches goats and geese in a field. Photo from firefighter Eugene Klaebe taken on January 3, 2015. User submitted: Eugene Klaebe/ via ABC (au)

2013 confirmed as Australia’s hottest year on record: Australia BoM

  • Average temperatures were 1.20°C above the long-term average of 21.8°C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17°C.
  • All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia breaking their previous annual average temperature records.

 

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5.5 Pct of Sri Lankans Affected by Deadly Floods, Landslides

Posted by feww on January 1, 2015

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
EXTREME RAIN EVENTS
DEADLY FLOODS & LANDSLIDES
CROP DISASTERS
MASS DISPLACEMENT
MAIN SCENARIOS: 900, 888, [500,] 477, 444, 117, 111, 071, 070, 066, 047, 027, 025, 023, 022, 012, 011, 09, 02
.

Daily Situation Report – Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center

Extreme rains, deadly floods and landslides affect 1.1 million in Sri Lanka  

Extreme rain events, deadly floods and landslides across Sri Lanka have affected 5.5% of the population, or 1,121,579 persons (311,623 families), leaving at least 39 people dead, 20 injured and 2 missing since December 20, reported the country’s Disaster Management Center.

The disasters have destroyed 6,500 homes and damaged 18,013 others, displacing at least 50,832 people across 22 of the country’s 29 districts, said the report.

The town of Batticaloa is the worst hit with more than 30,000 people displaced, officials have said.

The towns of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in the north central province, Sri Lanka’s largest rice-producing region, have experienced severe flooding as days of heavy rain forced the authorities to open the sluice gates on dozens of dams.

The floods have also washed away many roads and railways throughout the country.

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Record Freeze Hits England, Wales, N. Ireland

Posted by feww on December 29, 2014

Severe weather action alert issued for large portion of the UK

The UK Met Office has issued a severe weather (“amber”) alert for large portion of England, warning of “a 90% probability of severe cold weather/icy conditions/heavy snow” through December 31, which may “increase the health risks to vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.”

The country recorded its coldest temperature of 2014 so far at -9C in Cromdale, Moray, on Saturday.

“The record lows come as parts of the UK have already been hit by sub-zero temperatures and forecasters warned of further plunging temperatures over the next three days,” said a report.

The amber (level three) alert is one below a national emergency (“red” alert) and is triggered by the Met Office when weather breaches any of the thresholds that “require social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.”

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Disaster Declared in 8 Thai Provinces amid Deadly Floods

Posted by feww on December 27, 2014

CLIMATE CHANGE DISASTERS
EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS
DEADLY FLOODS
MASS DISPLACEMENT
CROP DISASTERS
STATE OF DISASTER DECLARED
SCENARIOS 900, 888, [500,] 477, 444, 117, 111, 071, 070, 066, 047, 027, 025, 023, 022, 012, 011, 09, 02
.

Disaster hits Thailand again!

Deadly floods triggered by Extreme rain events have inundated thousands of villages and communities across southern Thailand, affecting tens of thousands of people and leaving more than a dozen dead or missing, said reports.

The head of military junta in Thailand has declared states of disaster for eight southern provinces of Pattani, Songkhla, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Narathiwat, Trang, and Yala, which have been submerged since mid-December, with at least 200,000 households affected.

Deadly floods have forced about 250,000 people out of their homes in Thailand and Malaysia so far this month.

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