Tag Archives: Atmospheric science

Q&A: How climate change, other factors stoke Australia fires

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Australia’s unprecedented wildfires are supercharged thanks to climate change, the type of trees catching fire and weather, experts say.

And these fires are so extreme that they are triggering their own thunderstorms.

Here are a few questions and answers about the science behind the Australian wildfires that so far have burned about 5 million hectares (12.35 million acres), killing at least 17 people and destroying more than 1,400 homes.

“They are basically just in a horrific convergence of events,” said Stanford University environmental studies director Chris Field, who chaired an international scientific report on climate change and extreme events. He said this is one of the worst, if not the worst, climate change extreme events he’s seen.

“There is something just intrinsically terrifying about these big wildfires. They go on for so long, the sense of hopelessness that they instill,” Field said. “The wildfires are kind of the iconic representation of climate change impacts.”

Q: IS CLIMATE CHANGE REALLY A FACTOR?

A: Scientists, both those who study fire and those who study climate, say there’s no doubt man-made global warming has been a big part, but not the only part, of the fires.

Last year in Australia was the hottest and driest on record, with the average annual temperature 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) above the 1960 to 1990 average, according to Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. Temperatures in Australia last month hit 121.8 F (49.9 C).

“What would have been a bad fire season was made worse by the background drying/warming trend,’’ Andrew Watkins, head of long-range forecasts at Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology, said in an email.

Mike Flannigan, a fire scientist at the University of Alberta in Canada, said Australia’s fires are “an example of climate change.”

A 2019 Australian government brief report on wildfires and climate change said, “Human-caused climate change has resulted in more dangerous weather conditions for bushfires in recent decades for many regions of Australia.”

Q: HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE MAKE THESE FIRES WORSE?

A: The drier the fuel — trees and plants — the easier it is for fires to start and the hotter and nastier they get, Flannigan said.

“It means more fuel is available to burn, which means higher intensity fires, which makes it more difficult — or impossible — to put out,” Flannigan said.

The heat makes the fuel drier, so they combine for something called fire weather. And that determines “fuel moisture,” which is crucial for fire spread. The lower the moisture, the more likely Australian fires start and spread from lightning and human-caused ignition, a 2016 study found.

There’s been a 10% long-term drying trend in Australia’s southeast and 15% long-term drying trend in the country’s southwest, Watkins said. When added to a degree of warming and a generally southward shift of weather systems, that means a generally drier landscape.

Australia’s drought since late 2017 “has been at least the equal of our worst drought in 1902,” Australia’s Watkins said. “It has probably been driven by ocean temperature patterns in the Indian Ocean and the long term drying trend.”

Q: HAS AUSTRALIA’S FIRE SEASON CHANGED?

A: Yes. It’s about two to four months longer, starting earlier especially in the south and east, Watkins said.

“The fires over the last three months are unprecedented in their timing and severity, started earlier in spring and covered a wider area across many parts of Australia,” said David Karoly, leader of climate change hub at Australia’s National Environmental science Program. “The normal peak fire season is later in summer and we are yet to have that.”

Q: IS WEATHER, NOT JUST LONG-TERM CLIMATE, A FACTOR?

A: Yes. In September, Antarctica’s sudden stratospheric warming — sort of the southern equivalent of the polar vortex — changed weather conditions so that Australia’s normal weather systems are farther north than usual, Watkins said.

That means since mid-October there were persistent strong westerly winds bringing hot dry air from the interior to the coast, making the fire weather even riskier for the coasts.

“With such a dry environment, many fires were started by dry lightning events (storms that brought lightning but limited rainfall),” Watkins said.

Q: ARE PEOPLE STARTING THESE FIRES? IS IT ARSON?

A: It’s too early to tell the precise cause of ignition because the fires are so recent and officials are spending time fighting them, Flannigan said.

While people are a big factor in causing fires in Australia, it’s usually accidental, from cars and trucks and power lines, Flannigan said. Usually discarded cigarettes don’t trigger big fires, but when conditions are so dry, they can, he said.

Q: ARE THESE FIRES TRIGGERING THUNDERSTORMS?

A: Yes. It’s an explosive storm called pyrocumulonimbus and it can inject particles as high as 10 miles into the air.

During a fire, heat and moisture from the plants are released, even when the fuel is relatively dry. Warm air is less dense than cold air so it rises, releasing the moisture and forming a cloud that lifts and ends up a thunderstorm started by fire. It happens from time to time in Australia and other parts of the world, including Canada, Flannigan said.

“These can be deadly, dangerous, erratic and unpredictable,” he said.

Q: ARE THE AUSTRALIAN TREES PRONE TO BURNING?

A: Eucalyptus trees are especially flammable, “like gasoline on a tree,” Flannigan said. Chemicals in them make them catch fire easier, spread to the tops of trees and get more intense. Eucalyptus trees were a big factor in 2017 fires in Portugal that killed 66 people, he said.

Q: HOW CAN YOU FIGHT THESE HUGE AUSTRALIA FIRES?

A: You don’t. They’re just going to burn in many places until they hit the beach, Flannigan said.

“This level of intensity, direct attack is useless,” Flannigan said. “You just have to get out of the way… It really is spitting on a campfire. It’s not doing any good.”

Q: WHAT’S THE LONG-TERM FIRE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR AUSTRALIA?

A: “The extreme fire season in Australia in 2019 was predicted,” said Australian National University climate scientist Nerilie Abram. “The question that we need to ask is how much worse are we willing to let this get? This is what global warming of just over 1 degree C looks like. Do we really want to see the impacts of 3 degrees or more are like, because that is the trajectory we are on.”

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Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears .

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Experts say adapting to climate change can pay off manifold

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A group of leaders from business, politics and science have called for a massive investment in adapting to climate change over the next decade, arguing it would reap significant returns as countries avoid catastrophic losses and boost their economies.

The Global Commission on Adaptation, comprising dozens of prominent figures including Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, urged governments and businesses to tackle the inevitable consequences of climate change, in addition to trying to curb it.

In their 81-page report released Tuesday, the experts proposed investing $1.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 in areas such as early warning systems, infrastructure that can withstand rising sea levels and extreme weather, and boosting agriculture to cope with droughts. Other areas they propose investing in are bolstering scarce water resources and improving mangrove forests that provide key protection to vulnerable shorelines in developing nations.

Ban cited Bangladesh’s response to two devastating cyclones as a good example of the way countries can adapt to environmental threats. Following the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in 1970 and 1991, the South Asian nation reinforced flood defenses, built shelters and trained volunteers, sharply cutting the death toll in subsequent storms.

He also pointed to recent environmental devastation in the Bahamas as further proof of the importance of preparing for climate change.

“Just one cyclone devastated the country,” Ban said. “Of course there’s a very good way of weather forecasting but when these countries are well-prepared in infrastructures and provide some shelters (…) then we could have reduced as much as possible the damages that we have seen now.”

The commission said protection measures have allowed valuable land to be used in places such as the Netherlands and London that would otherwise have risked flooding.

While rich countries already have the means to invest in such measures, poor nations risk losing out, the group said.

“If we do not act now, climate change will supercharge the global gap between the haves and have-nots,” said Ban.

Christiana Figueres, a former U.N. official who helped forge the 2015 Paris accord, said talk on adaptation has for years been neglected, compared with efforts to mitigate, or lessen, climate change.

“Mitigation and adaptation are actually two sides of the very same coin,” she said. “If we delay mitigation any further we will never be able to adapt sufficiently to keep humanity safe. And if we delay adaptation we will pay such a high price that we would never be able to look at ourselves in the mirror.”

The report was released ahead of a U.N. summit on climate change later this month.

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Sam McNeil in Beijing contributed to this report.

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Global Commission on Adaptation: https://gca.org/global-commission-on-adaptation/home

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New UN warming report sees hungry future that may be prevented

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Human-caused local weather change is dramatically degrading the Earth’s land and the best way folks use the land is making world warming worse, a brand new United Nations scientific report says. That creates a vicious cycle which is already making meals dearer, scarcer and fewer nutritious.

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“The cycle is accelerating,” stated NASA local weather scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a co-author of the report. “The specter of local weather change affecting folks’s meals on their dinner desk is rising.”

But when folks change the best way they eat, develop meals and handle forests, it may assist save the planet from a far hotter future, scientists stated.

Earth’s land lots, that are solely 30% of the globe, are warming twice as quick because the planet as an entire. Whereas heat-trapping gases are inflicting issues within the ambiance, the land has been much less talked about as a part of local weather change. A particular report, written by greater than 100 scientists and unanimously accepted by diplomats from nations world wide Thursday at a gathering in Geneva, proposed potential fixes and made extra dire warnings.

“The best way we use land is each a part of the issue and in addition a part of the answer,” stated Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French local weather scientist who co-chairs one of many panel’s working teams. “Sustainable land administration will help safe a future that’s comfy.”

Scientists at Thursday’s press convention emphasised each the seriousness of the issue and the necessity to make societal adjustments quickly.

“We do not need a message of despair,” stated science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial School London. “We need to get throughout the message that each motion makes a distinction.”

Nonetheless the stark message hit house laborious for a few of the authors.

“I’ve misplaced plenty of sleep about what the science is saying. As an individual, it is fairly scary,” Koko Warner, a supervisor within the U.N. Local weather Change secretariat who helped write a report chapter on danger administration and decision-making, advised The Related Press after the report was introduced on the World Meteorological Group headquarters in Geneva. “We have to act urgently.”

The report stated local weather change already has worsened land degradation, brought on deserts to develop, permafrost to thaw and made forests extra weak to drought, fireplace, pests and illness. That is occurred at the same time as a lot of the globe has gotten greener due to further carbon dioxide within the air. Local weather change has additionally added to the forces which have diminished the variety of species on Earth.

“Local weather change is basically slamming the land,” stated World Sources Institute researcher Kelly Levin, who wasn’t a part of the examine.

And the long run may very well be worse.

“The soundness of meals provide is projected to lower because the magnitude and frequency of maximum climate occasions that disrupt meals chains will increase,” the report stated.

Within the worst-case state of affairs, meals safety issues change from reasonable to excessive danger with only a few extra tenths of a level of warming from now. They go from excessive to “very excessive” danger with simply one other 1.Eight levels Fahrenheit (1 diploma Celsius) of warming from now.

“The potential danger of multi-breadbasket failure is rising,” NASA’s Rosenzweig stated. “Simply to offer examples, the crop yields have been effected in Europe simply within the final two weeks.”

Scientists had lengthy thought one of many few advantages of upper ranges of carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gasoline, was that it made crops develop extra and the world greener, Rosenzweig stated. However quite a few research present that the excessive ranges of carbon dioxide scale back protein and vitamins in lots of crops.

For instance, excessive ranges of carbon within the air in experiments present wheat has 6% to 13% much less protein, 4% to 7% much less zinc and 5% to eight% much less iron, she stated.

However higher farming practices — akin to no-till agricultural and higher focused fertilizer purposes — have the potential to combat world warming too, lowering carbon air pollution as much as 18% of present emissions ranges by 2050, the report stated.

If folks change their diets, lowering pink meat and rising plant-based meals, akin to fruits, greens and seeds, the world can save as a lot as one other 15% of present emissions by mid-century. It will additionally make folks extra wholesome, Rosenzweig stated.

The science panel stated they don’t seem to be telling folks what to eat as a result of that is a private selection.

Nonetheless, Hans-Otto Pörtner, a panel chief from Germany who stated he misplaced weight and felt higher after lowering his meat consumption, advised a reporter that if she ate much less ribs and extra greens “that is a superb determination and you’ll assist the planet scale back greenhouse gasoline emissions.”

Lowering meals waste can combat local weather change much more. The report stated that between 2010 and 2016, world meals waste accounted for 8% to 10% of heat-trapping emissions.

“At present 25%-30% of complete meals produced is misplaced or wasted,” the report stated. Fixing that may release hundreds of thousands of sq. miles of land.

With simply one other 0.9 levels F of warming (0.5 levels C), which may occur within the subsequent 10 to 30 years, the chance of unstable meals provides, wildfire harm, thawing permafrost and water shortages in dry areas “are projected to be excessive,” the report stated.

At one other 1.Eight levels F of warming (1 diploma C) from now, which may occur in about 50 years, it stated these dangers “are projected to be very excessive.”

Most situations predict the world’s tropical areas can have “unprecedented weather conditions by the mid-to-late 21st century,” the report famous.

Agriculture and forestry collectively account for about 23% of the heat-trapping gases which are warming the Earth, barely lower than from automobiles, vans, boats and planes. Add in transporting meals, power prices, packaging and that grows to 37%, the report stated.

However the land can also be an excellent carbon “sink,” which sucks heat-trapping gases out of the air.

From about 2007 to 2016, agriculture and forestry yearly put 5.7 billion tons (5.2 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide into the air, however pulled 12.three billion tons (11.2 billion metric tons) of it out.

“This extra reward from nature is proscribed. It is not going to proceed endlessly,” stated examine co-author Luis Verchot, a scientist on the Worldwide Middle for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia. “If we proceed to degrade ecosystems, if we proceed to transform pure ecosystems, we proceed to deforest and we proceed to destroy our soils, we will lose this pure subsidy.”

General land emissions are rising, particularly due to reducing down forests within the Amazon in locations akin to Brazil, Colombia and Peru, Verchot stated.

Latest forest administration adjustments in Brazil “contradicts all of the messages which are popping out of the report,” Pörtner stated.

Saying “our present way of life and our financial system dangers our future and the way forward for our kids,” Germany’s surroundings minister, Svenja Schulze, questioned whether or not it is sensible for a rustic like Germany to import massive quantities of soy from Latin America, the place forests are being destroyed to plant the crop, to feed unsustainable numbers of livestock in Germany.

“We ought to acknowledge that we’ve profound limits on the quantity of land out there and we’ve to watch out about how we put it to use,” stated Stanford College environmental sciences chief Chris Subject, who wasn’t a part of the report.

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AP Science Author Seth Borenstein reported from Washington. Frank Jordans contributed from Berlin.

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For extra Related Press tales about local weather change, go to https://www.apnews.com/Local weather

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Observe Seth Borenstein on Twitter: @borenbears

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The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives assist from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Division of Science Schooling. The AP is solely chargeable for all content material.

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Walloped by warmth wave, Greenland sees large ice soften

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The warmth wave that smashed excessive temperature data in 5 European nations every week in the past is now over Greenland, accelerating the melting of the island’s ice sheet and inflicting large ice loss within the Arctic.

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Greenland, the world’s largest island, is a semi-autonomous Danish territory between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans that has 82% of its floor coated in ice.

The realm of the Greenland ice sheet that’s exhibiting indications of soften has been rising every day, and hit a document 56.5% for this 12 months on Wednesday, stated Ruth Mottram, a local weather scientist with the Danish Meteorological Institute. She says that is anticipated to increase and peak on Thursday earlier than cooler temperatures gradual the tempo of the soften.

Greater than 10 billion tons (11 billion U.S. tons) of ice was misplaced to the oceans by floor soften on Wednesday alone, making a web mass ice lack of some 197 billion tons (217 billion U.S. tons) from Greenland in July, she stated.

“It seems like the height will probably be at the moment. However the long-term forecast is for persevering with heat and sunny climate in Greenland, so which means the quantity of the ice loss will proceed,” she stated Thursday in a phone interview from Copenhagen.

The scope of Wednesday’s ice soften is a quantity tough to understand. To grasp simply how a lot ice is being misplaced, a mere 1 billion tons — or 1 gigaton — of ice loss is equal to about 400,000 Olympic-sized swimming swimming pools, the Danish Meteorological Institute stated . And 100 billion tons (110 billion U.S. tons) corresponds to a 0.28 mm (0.01 inch) rise in international sea ranges.

Mottram stated since June 1 — roughly the beginning of the ice-loss season — the Greenland ice sheet has misplaced 240 gigatons (240 billion metric tons) this 12 months. That compares with 290 gigatons misplaced total within the 2012 soften season, which normally goes by way of the tip of August.

A June 2019 research by scientists within the U.S. and Denmark stated melting ice in Greenland alone will add between 5 and 33 centimeters (2 to 13 inches) to rising international sea ranges by the 12 months 2100. If all of the ice in Greenland melted — which might take centuries — the world’s oceans would rise by 7.2 meters (23 ft, 7 inches), the research discovered.

The present melting has been introduced on by the arrival of the identical heat air from North Africa and Spain that melted European cities and cities final week, setting nationwide temperature data in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Britain.

In Russia, in the meantime, forest fires attributable to scorching, dry climate and unfold by excessive winds are raging over practically 30,000 sq. kilometers (11,580 sq. miles) of territory in Siberia and the Russian Far East — an space the dimensions of Belgium. The smoke from these fires, a few of them in Arctic territory, is so heavy it might probably simply be seen in satellite tv for pc images and is inflicting air high quality issues in cities and a few cities, together with Russia’s third-largest metropolis, Novosibirsk. Residents need the Russian authorities to do extra to combat the blazes.

Greenland has additionally been battling a slew of Arctic wildfires, one thing that Mottram stated was unusual prior to now.

In Greenland, the soften space this 12 months is the second-biggest when it comes to ice space affected, behind greater than 90% in 2012, stated Mark Serreze, director of the Snow and Ice Information Heart in Boulder, Colorado, which displays ice sheets globally. Information return to 1981.

A whole lot of what melts can later refreeze onto the ice sheet, however due to the situations forward of this summer time’s warmth wave, the quantity of ice misplaced for good this 12 months could be the identical as in 2012 or extra, in accordance with scientists. They famous a protracted construct as much as this summer time’s ice soften — together with larger total temperatures for months — and a really dry winter with little snow in lots of locations, which might usually supply some safety to glacier ice.

“That is definitely a climate occasion superimposed on this total development of hotter situations” which have more and more melted Greenland ice over the long run, Serreze stated.

Compounding the soften, the Greenland ice sheet began out behind this 12 months due to the low ice and snow accumulation, stated Snow and Ice Information Heart scientist Twila Moon.

With man-made local weather change, “there is a potential for these form of charges to turn into extra frequent 50 years from now,” Moon stated.

Warmth waves have at all times occurred, however Mike Sparrow, a spokesman for the U.N. World Meteorological Group, famous that as international temperatures have risen, excessive warmth waves are actually occurring at the least 10 occasions extra ceaselessly than a century in the past. This 12 months, the world noticed its hottest month of June ever .

“These form of warmth waves are climate occasions and might happen naturally however research have proven that each the frequency and depth of those warmth waves have elevated as a result of international warming,” Sparrow stated in a phone interview from Geneva.

He famous that sea ice unfold within the Arctic and Antarctic are each at present at document lows.

“When individuals speak concerning the common international temperature growing by slightly greater than 1 diploma (Celsius), that is not an enormous quantity to note in the event you’re sitting in Hamburg or London, however that is a world common and it is a lot higher within the polar areas,” he stated.

Despite the fact that temperatures will probably be taking place in Greenland by the tip of this week, the ice soften just isn’t more likely to cease anytime quickly, Mottram stated.

“Over the past couple of days, you possibly can see the nice and cozy wave passing over Greenland,” she stated. “That peak of heat air has handed over the summit of the ice sheet, however the clear skies are virtually as essential, or perhaps much more essential, for the overall soften of the ice sheet.”

She added that clear skies are more likely to proceed in Greenland “so we are able to nonetheless get a whole lot of ice soften even when the temperature just isn’t spectacularly excessive.”

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Science Author Seth Borenstein contributed to this report from Southern Pines, North Carolina

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For extra Related Press tales about local weather change, go to https://www.apnews.com/Local weather

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The Newest: UN official involved, hopeful on local weather change

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The Newest on a brand new United Nations report on local weather change (all instances native):

3:10 p.m.

A supervisor within the U.N. Local weather Change secretariat who helped write a brand new report on the topic, mentioned the grueling work by the volunteer authors was “like a dentist’s appointment for six days” and left her with each considerations and hopes that individuals will unite and reply to the threats of local weather change.

Koko Warner, who contributed to a chapter on threat administration and decision-making, advised the AP that: “I’ve misplaced lots of sleep about what the science is saying. As an individual, it is fairly scary. We have to act urgently.”

Talking Thursday after the report was offered on the World Meteorological Group’s headquarters in Geneva, she added: “However all of us as volunteers are united on this trigger of constructing positive that policymakers perceive the danger to people, to ecosystems, and to verify these policymakers in addition to residents, my youngsters, individuals on the road, that they’ve choices.”

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11:30 a.m.

A brand new United Nations science report on local weather change says chopping down bushes is making the world hotter and hungrier.

Though the report does not pinpoint any nation, scientists, when requested, pointed a finger at Brazil’s latest stepped-up deforestation of the Amazon.

Hans-Otto Portner, a panel chief from Germany, mentioned: “It contradicts all of the messages which can be popping out of the report.”

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11:15 a.m.

A brand new United Nations science panel says that if the world eats much less meat and extra plant-based meals it can assist battle local weather change. However scientists emphasize they don’t seem to be telling you what to eat.

Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change Chairman Hoesung Lee says the panel does not make client decisions, simply suggestions for presidency leaders.

When pressed, nevertheless, about half a dozen of the scientists raised their arms to say they’ve lowered their private diets due to local weather change, with one among them saying it helped him drop pounds and really feel more healthy.

Hans-Otto Portner, a panel chief from Germany, advised a reporter that if she ate much less ribs and extra greens “that is an excellent determination and you’ll assist the planet cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions.”

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10:01 a.m.

A brand new United Nations scientific report says local weather change is hitting us the place it counts: the abdomen — to not point out the forests, crops and animals.

The report examines how world warming and land work together in a vicious cycle. Human-caused local weather change is dramatically degrading the land, whereas the best way individuals use the land is making world warming worse.

Thursday’s science-laden report says the mixture is already making meals dearer, scarcer and even much less nutritious.

However scientists say if individuals change the best way they eat, develop meals and handle forests, it might assist save the planet from a far hotter future.

Earth’s land plenty, that are solely 30% of the globe, are warming twice as quick because the planet as a complete.

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Europe warmth wave breaks data, mercury set to go larger

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Europeans cooled off in public fountains Wednesday as a brand new warmth wave unfold throughout elements of the continent and was already breaking data.

Belgium and Germany registered their highest-ever temperatures, whereas the Netherlands noticed its hottest day in 75 years.

And the mercury is anticipated to rise even additional.

Paris and different elements of France might see temperatures exceeding 40 C (104 F) on Thursday together with Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

The warmth is placing stress on authorities to assist defend the aged and the sick. Air con shouldn’t be frequent at houses, workplaces, colleges or hospitals in European cities.

The climate can be aggravating droughts because it hasn’t rained a lot in lots of elements of Europe this summer time. The mixture of warmth, wind and potential lightning from thunderstorms additionally will increase the chance of wildfires.

WHY IS IT SO HOT?

The second likely-to-be-record-breaking warmth wave in two months in Europe contains among the similar elements of the primary — scorching dry air coming from northern Africa. That scorching air is trapped between chilly stormy methods within the Atlantic and japanese Europe and types “a bit warmth dome,” mentioned Ryan Maue, a personal meteorologist within the U.S.

This warmth wave is a comparatively quick occasion the place the warmth comes with a southerly wind — and dirt — from Africa’s Sahara Desert, in distinction to the massive European warmth waves of 2003 and 2010 which lasted for much longer and had been sustained by a stationary excessive stress system with little wind, specialists say.

On the finish of June, a number of nations reported file temperatures, and France hit its all-time warmth file: 46 C (114.eight F) within the small southern city of Verargues.

IS CLIMATE CHANGE CAUSING THIS?

Warmth waves are taking place extra often in massive elements of Europe, Asia and Australia, specialists say. Because the world warms, scientists say there might be extra and warmer warmth waves, however attributing single occasions to local weather change includes exact pc modeling and calculations.

A group of European local weather scientists did a fast, non-peer reviewed evaluation of Europe’s June warmth wave and located man-made warming made it not less than 5 occasions extra possible.

“Both of the 2 European warmth waves this summer time would have been exceptional in isolation. However now we’re seeing a number of episodes of file warmth in a given summer time. By mid-century, we’ll merely name these episodes ‘summer time’ — if we proceed on this trajectory,” mentioned Pennsylvania State College local weather scientist Michael Mann, who wasn’t a part of the European group.

The warmth waves aren’t simply because the world is 1 diploma Celsius hotter than earlier than the commercial period, but in addition as a result of local weather change and the melting of Arctic sea ice has slowed down the jet stream, which is the river of air that strikes climate alongside, Mann mentioned. The gradual jet stream is “an enormous a part of the story on the subject of these very persistent warmth extremes we’ve got seen in current summers,” Mann mentioned in an e mail.

HOW HOT COULD IT GET THIS WEEK AND WHERE?

Temperatures in France particularly are more likely to be 15 C (27 F) larger than regular, with Paris more likely to break its all-time hottest file mark of 40.four levels (104.7 Fahrenheit). Surrounding areas round Paris might hit 41 or 42 C (106 to 108 Fahrenheit), climate specialists mentioned.

The Dutch meteorological institute tweeted that Wednesday’s warmth wave broke a file that stood for almost 75 years of the most well liked temperature ever recorded within the Netherlands. The Dutch climate service Weerplaza mentioned that the southern metropolis of Eindhoven reported a temperature of 39.3 (102.7 F) Wednesday afternoon.

Belgium measured its highest temperature since data had been first saved in 1833. In sun-baked Kleine Brogel in northeastern Belgium, temperatures rose to 39.9 C (102.Three F), and the climate forecaster of the Royal Meteorological Institute mentioned that it was “the best ever Belgian temperature.”

Additionally, temperatures will not quiet down a lot at night time, and possibly keep round 24 C (75 F) or larger.

The German Climate Service mentioned a file excessive of 40.5 C (104.9 F) for the nation was recorded in Geilenkirchen and put the complete nation on warmth alert. The earlier file of 40.Three C (104.5 F) was set in 2015.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE AND AUTHORITIES DOING TO STAY COOL?

France particularly is haunted by the 2003 warmth wave that killed an estimated 15,000 individuals there, most of them remoted aged individuals whose households in lots of instances had been on trip. The nation has since taken measures to strive to make sure such a disaster is not repeated.

These measures embody a color-coded warmth alert system to warn individuals when temperatures are anticipated to rise to harmful ranges of their space. The alert system went to its most degree of crimson for the primary time throughout final month’s warmth wave, when France noticed its highest-ever recorded temperature.

There are additionally public service bulletins on tv, radio and in public transportation methods about dangers of excessive temperatures, telling individuals to drink water and be careful for remoted aged individuals.

Tens of millions of euros in further funding for emergency providers, together with extra workers members in hospitals and nursing houses overwhelmed in 2003. A authorities report on the time blamed the loss of life toll on lack of coordination amongst authorities businesses, nursing houses that lacked air con and in a single day workers, lack of a public alert system, and different issues.

Nonetheless, few houses in France or Germany have air con, and lots of public buildings additionally lack air con, together with hospitals and colleges.

Within the Netherlands, native authorities have taken an uncommon precaution — with vehicles scattering salt on the roads like they normally do within the winter.

The salt spreaders are normally used to forestall ice forming on Dutch roads within the chilly, however Arnhem municipality began utilizing them to chill off asphalt that’s baking within the warmth wave.

The town says in an announcement that the salt “attracts moisture from the air and cools the asphalt.” It additionally prevents the asphalt from changing into sticky.

Throughout London, authorities began handing out water and sunscreen to homeless individuals and opened day facilities for them to relaxation and bathe. Within the Lewisham district of the British capital, rubbish collectors will begin working as early as 5 a.m. within the morning to beat the warmth.

London police warned individuals to not swim within the metropolis’s River Thames after a younger man died there Tuesday night time.

“While at occasions, the Thames might look interesting, particularly on this scorching climate, it stays very harmful all 12 months spherical,” police mentioned in an announcement. “On preliminary entry the water can appear heat on the floor, however additional in it may be freezing chilly and there are sometimes very robust undercurrents.”

WHEN IS IT OVER?

The warmth wave will finish in a number of days. On the weekend, temperatures are anticipated to fall. Nevertheless, very often finish of a warmth wave brings storms, together with lightning and heavy flooding.

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Seth Borenstein reported from Washington. Elaine Ganley and Angela Charlton in Paris, Natasha Livingstone in London, Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands, and Raf Casert in Brussels contributed reporting.

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Emails: Trump official consulting climate-change rejecters

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A Trump administration national security official has sought help from advisers to a think tank that disavows climate change to challenge widely accepted scientific findings on global warming, according to his emails.

The request from William Happer, a member of the National Security Council, is included in emails from 2018 and 2019 that were obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund under the federal Freedom of Information Act and provided to The Associated Press. That request was made this past March to policy advisers with the Heartland Institute, one of the most vocal challengers of mainstream scientific findings that emissions from burning coal, oil and gas are damaging the Earth’s atmosphere.

In a March 3 email exchange Happer and Heartland adviser Hal Doiron discuss Happer’s scientific arguments in a paper attempting to knock down climate change, as well as ideas to make the work “more useful to a wider readership.” Happer writes he had already discussed the work with another Heartland adviser, Thomas Wysmuller.

Academic experts denounced the administration official’s continued involvement with groups and scientists who reject what numerous federal agencies say is the fact of climate change. “These people are endangering all of us by promoting anti-science in service of fossil fuel interests over the American interests,” said Pennsylvania State University climate scientist Michael Mann.

“It’s the equivalent to formulating anti-terrorism policy by consulting with groups that deny terrorism exists,” said Northeastern University’s Matthew Nisbet, a professor of environmental communication and public policy.

The National Security Council declined to make Happer available to discuss the emails.

The AP and others reported earlier this year that Happer was coordinating a proposed White House panel to challenge the findings from scientists in and out of government that carbon emissions are altering the Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

President Donald Trump in November rejected the warnings of a national climate-change assessment by more than a dozen government agencies. “I don’t believe it,” he said.

Happer, a physicist who previously taught at Princeton University, has claimed that carbon dioxide, the main heat-trapping gas from the burning of coal, oil and gas, is good for humans and that carbon emissions have been demonized like “the poor Jews under Hitler.” Trump appointed him in late 2018 to the National Security Council, which advises the president on security and foreign policy issues.

The emails show Harper expressing surprise that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, a former Oklahoma congressman who once questioned mainstream climate science, has come round to accepting that science.

A May 2018 email exchange between Heartland’s Wysmuller and Happer calls the NASA chief’s change of heart on climate science “a puzzle.” The exchange calls scientifically established rises in sea levels and temperatures under climate change “part of the nonsense” and urges the NASA head — copied in — to “systematically sidestep it.”

Happer at the time was not yet a security adviser, although he had advised the Trump EPA on climate change.

A NASA spokesman on Thursday upheld the space agency’s public statements on climate change. “We provide the data that informs policy makers around the world,” spokesman Bob Jacobs said. “Our science information continues to be published publicly as it always has.”

But spokesman Jim Lakeley at the Heartland Institute defended the effort, saying in an email that NASA’s public characterization of climate change as manmade and a global threat “is a disservice to taxpayers and science that it is still pushed by NASA.”

After joining the agency, Happer sent a February 2019 email to NASA deputy administrator James Morhard relaying a complaint from an unidentified rejecter of man-made climate change about NASA’s website.

“I’m concerned that many children are being indoctrinated by this bad science,” said the email that Happer relayed.

Happer’s own message was redacted from the records obtained by the environmental group.

Two major U.S. science organizations took issue with Happer’s emails.

“We have concerns that there appear to be attempts by a member of the National Security Council to influence and interfere with the ability of NASA, a federal science agency, to communicate accurately about research findings on climate science,” said Rush Holt, chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advance of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society.

There have been hundreds of scientific assessments by leading researchers and institutions the last few decades that look at all the evidence and have been “extremely credible and routinely withstand intense scrutiny,” said Keith Seitter, executive director of the American Meteorological Society. “Efforts to dismiss or discredit these rigorous scientific assessments in public venues does an incredible disservice to the public.”

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