Environment

June Hottest Month on Record

June 2019 was the hottest June on record for the globe. And, it was the second month in a row that balmy temperatures caused Antarctic sea ice coverage to reach a record low.

The sizzling average land and sea temperature of June 2019 was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 degrees Celsius) above the global average temp of 59.9 F (15.5 C), making June 2019 the hottest June in 140 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50.0 degrees Celsius) in Ouargla, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 101.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 73.9 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Global Warming

Lake Malawi – Empty Nets

Declining fish numbers in the 20 000 square kilometre Lake Malawi appear to be the result of overfishing and climate change.

The many communities living around the Lake depending on the fishing for food and livelihood are facing a collapse of their lifestyle.

The number of fish caught has decreased by up to eighty percent, while environmental changes make the fishing more difficult. Strong winds and heavy rainfall are new factors affecting the fishermen. Moreover, unsustainable overfishing has also reduced the catches.

There was no attempt by authorities to regulate the exploitation of the natural resource.

The number of fishermen has also doubled in the last ten years due to the lack of other jobs in the country.

Malawi’s agriculture-based economy is sharply vulnerable to climatic events and increasingly entrenched poverty heightens pressure on the environment.

Malawianfish

Environment

Superweeds

Weeds around the world are evolving resistance to numerous herbicides, which researchers warn will have economic and environmental consequences once no weed killers will work on them anymore.

“It is not a matter of if but when we are going to be losing chemical control of these weeds,” says Adam Davis of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Davis adds that once control is lost, the superweeds will cause massive crop losses and increased food prices. The weeds could also exacerbate climate change as even more native landscapes are turned into farmland to make up for the crop losses.

But researchers say resistance can be prevented by rotating different ways of weed control so there is no chance to evolve resistance to any one method.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50.0 degrees Celsius) in El Golea, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 98.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Global Warming

Microbes in the Tundras Increase Emissions in Warming Climate

While many parts of the world are experiencing global warming in different ways, there is an overall rise in the Earth’s temperature. Both the planet’s ice-capped poles are melting, causing a sea-level rise. The increasing warmth in these regions is causing palpable changes in the animals and plants that live in these areas.

In a new study, researchers studying the Alaskan tundras said that global warming could cause microbes living in the soil of this region to release more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Considering that half the carbon in the world (twice as much as the carbon levels in the atmosphere) is stored under the planet’s frozen soil, the consequences of having all this carbon released into the atmosphere would be disastrous.

Microbes react quickly to slight changes like warming over the span of a few years.

The researchers found that microbial species and their genes involved in carbon dioxide and methane release increased their abundance in response to the warming climate. They were surprised to see a substantial response to even mild warming.

Global Warming

Carbon Retirement

New research indicates that the only way to limit global warming to 1.5 to 2.0 degrees Celsius, as agreed to internationally, is through the early retirement of the world’s power plants and industrial equipment that burn fossil fuels. That is, unless the facilities can be retrofitted before 2050 to capture and store their carbon emissions, or those emissions are offset by pulling an equal amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

A new report published in the journal Nature points out that reaching the goal will be difficult because the number of fossil fuel-burning power plants and vehicles around the world has increased dramatically during the past decade. This has mainly been due to rapid economic expansion in China and India.

“We need to reach net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by mid-century to achieve stabilization of global temperatures as called for in international agreements such as the Paris accords,” said the study’s lead author Dan Tong of the University of California, Irvine.

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Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 121 degrees Fahrenheit (49.4 degrees Celsius) in Al Ahsa., Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 90.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 67.7 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Environment

June 2019 Hottest June Ever

The Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S) — a European Union program that monitors several aspects of climate — reported July 2 that last month saw the highest average temperatures ever recorded in the month of June in both Europe and around the world.

Global Warming

Antarctica’s sea ice is mysteriously melting, and fast

After mysteriously expanding for decades, Antarctica’s sea ice cover melted by an area four times greater than France in just a few years and now stands at a record low, according to a study published Monday.

Scientists already knew Antarctica was thawing at an increasing rate, like the Arctic, because of accelerating discharge from glaciers, the rivers of ice that push up slowly against the shore. But between 1979 and 2014, they observed a phenomenon that was both intriguing and reassuring: the sea ice cover was expanding.

From 2014 to 2017, however, “the Antarctic lost almost as much as the Arctic” over almost 40 years, Nasa climatologist Claire Parkinson said, and the trend has continued ever since.

From a peak area of 12.8-million km2, the sea ice cover receded 2-million km2 for reasons that remain unknown. “It went from its 40-year high in 2014, all the way down in 2017 to its 40-year low,” said Parkinson, whose findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land, while Antarctica is a continent surrounded by oceans, where icebergs are less constrained. Unlike the Arctic, Antarctica is not warming and remains the coldest place on Earth, as well as its largest source of freshwater. Its mountains are covered in ice are capable of raising the level of the oceans by 57m, according to a 2013 study.

Environment

Heatwave in Europe Continues

Europe sweltered Saturday on the sixth day of a widespread, deadly heatwave that has fuelled record-breaking temperatures, huge blazes and pollution peaks. France, Italy, Spain and some central European nations posted all-time high temperatures.

The heat has officially claimed four lives in France, two in Italy and another two in Spain, including a 17-year-old harvest worker, a 33-year-old roofer and a 72-year-old homeless man.

The hot spell sparked several blazes, including in Spain where firefighters were again battling high flames in strong winds and blistering heat Saturday just after they managed to contain another inferno after nearly 72 hours. A fire that started Friday in the central Spanish town of Almorox burnt at least 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres), spilling over into the Madrid region and forcing the evacuation of a village, emergency services said.

In France, about 40 fires were reported, razing about 600 hectares and dozens of houses in the Gard department in the country’s south. This is the same region where a new French record of 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 degrees Fahrenheit) was set Friday, prompting the Meteo France weather service to issue its highest alert level of red for the first time.

Winegrowers in the south of France said their precious crops have been badly burnt.

Environment

“Plasticrust”

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Researchers say they have found a strange new combination of rock and plastic forming on Portugal’s Atlantic island of Madeira.

Researcher Ignacio Gestoso says the new hybrid geology was first observed on the island’s volcanic shore in 2016, the apparent result of waterborne plastic pollution being slammed into rocks by wave action.

The new “plasticrust” looks like melted plastic encrusted on the rocks, according to Gestoso and colleagues at the island’s Marine and Environmental Research Center. They say the plastic is mainly polyethylene, a mixture of polymers and ethylene used in single-use packaging, bottles and food containers.

Heatwave in Europe

Europe’s record-breaking heatwave is forecast to intensify further on Thursday with authorities on high alert as temperatures threaten to exceed 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the continent.

The stifling heat prompted traffic restrictions in France, sparked forest fires in Spain, and fanned debate in Germany over public nudity as sweltering residents stripped down.

Meteorologists blame a blast of hot air from northern Africa for the heat this week, which has already set new records in Europe for June. According to reports, the high temperatures have already claimed the lives of three people.

Exceptional for arriving so early in summer, the heatwave will on Thursday and Friday likely send mercury above 40C in France, Spain and Greece.

Paris Bans 60% of Cars Due To Heatwave and Pollution Levels

Paris imposed a ban on older and less efficient cars on Wednesday and is due to stay in place within the A86 second ring-road – which encompasses Paris and 79 towns around it – as long as the hot weather lasts, the city council said.

Data firm AAA Data said that nearly five million vehicles registered in the Ile-de-France area around Paris were covered, about 60 percent of total, a record number to be restricted. The city was not immediately available to comment on those estimates.

Traffic was lighter in Paris, but not significantly so. Several drivers said they were ignoring the restrictions as the fines for breaking them – just 68 euros ($77) for cars and 135 euros for vans – were so low.

French authorities also stepped up restrictions on water use on Thursday as swathes of western Europe remained in the grip of an intense heatwave.

Paris’ driving ban was imposed under the new “Crit’Air” colored stickers system, which classifies cars by age and pollution levels.

Only electric or hydrogen vehicles, petrol cars registered after Jan. 2006 and diesel cars registered from Jan. 2011 – corresponding to Crit’Air levels 1 and 2 out of 5 – were allowed on the roads.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.9 degrees Celsius) in Salah, Algeria.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 98.0 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 72.2 degrees Celsius) at Russia’s Vostok base, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Wildlife

Sewage Spill Wipes out Thousands of Fish – Texas, USA

One-hundred thousand gallons of sewage spilled into a Williamson County’s Bushy Creek, wiping out several thousand fish from the ecosystem. The sewage killed everything in the water, according to local reports. Texas Parks and Wildlife said it was Monday’s storms that knocked out power at the wastewater treatment plant. Now several thousand game and non-game fish have been wiped out from Brushy Creek.

Environment

Massive Freshwater Sea Is Buried Beneath the Atlantic Ocean

A gigantic freshwater aquifer is hiding under the salty Atlantic Ocean, just off the northeastern coast of the United States, a new study finds.

While the aquifer’s exact size is still a mystery, it may be the largest of its kind, taking up a region stretching from at least Massachusetts to southern New Jersey, or nearly 220 miles (350 kilometers). The area includes the coastlines of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. This aquifer may contain about 670 cubic miles (2,800 cubic kilometers) of slightly salty water (from slight mixing with sea water over time).

This water isn’t young, either. The researchers said they suspect that much of it is from the last ice age.

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