Baghdad soars to 125 blistering degrees, its highest temperature on record

Baghdad soars to 125 blistering degrees, its highest temperature on record

SOURCE: Washington Post DATE: July 29, 2020 SNIP: Record high temperatures have been plaguing the Middle East, the mercury soaring to extreme levels during a blistering and unforgiving heat wave. Baghdad surged to its highest temperature ever recorded Tuesday. Tuesday’s preliminary high of 125.2 degrees (51.8 Celsius) in Iraq’s capital city shatters its previous record of 123.8 degrees set on July 30, 2015, for any day of the year. On Wednesday, Baghdad followed up with a temperature of 124 degrees, its second-highest temperature on record. On Monday, it had reached 123 degrees. The crippling heat forced many residents indoors, and street sellers had to seek whatever shade they could find. With the state electricity grid failing, many households were relying on generators to power fridges, fans or air-conditioning units, the machines adding a guttural hum to the city’s already-noisy streets. Two protesters were shot dead by security forces Monday during demonstrations over a lack of electricity and basic services amid the heat wave. In nearby Lebanon, where a nationwide electricity crisis has left much of the country with less than three hours of state-provided power per day, the cost of a generator had doubled, leaving many households to go without. [O]n Wednesday, Damascus, Syria’s capital city, tied its hottest temperature on record, hitting 114.8 degrees (46 Celsius). More near-record temperatures in the 120s are likely Thursday in and around Baghdad before a slight moderation Friday. Highs to round out the week into the weekend should fall back into the upper...
A Marine Heat Wave Intensifies, with Risks for Wildlife, Hurricanes and California Wildfires

A Marine Heat Wave Intensifies, with Risks for Wildlife, Hurricanes and California Wildfires

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: September 18, 2019 SNIP: An intensifying marine heat wave in the northeastern Pacific Ocean has triggered government warnings about harm to salmon and other fisheries along the U.S. West Coast, and it’s raising concerns about hurricane risks to the Hawaiian islands and wildfire risks in California. The current marine heat wave covers a horseshoe-shaped area about the size of Alaska. It extends from the Gulf of Alaska down the coast of Western North America and westward to Hawaii. In the warmest areas, sea surface temperatures have reached about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit above average. Marine heat waves occur when sea surface temperatures in part of the ocean rise and stay above the expected seasonal temperatures for at least five days in a row. Scientists say these heat waves are forming more frequently, and they suspect that shifts in winds and ocean currents driven by global warming are a big part of the cause. A 2018 study showed that, since 1925, marine heat waves have become 34 percent more frequent and they are lasting longer. The majority of marine heat waves, about 87 percent, can be attributed to human-caused global warming, the authors found. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is tracking the current marine heat wave and has warned of disruptions to ocean ecosystems and fisheries along the West Coast. Andy Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla, California, said this year’s warm blob could be as strong as the last and is already one of the most significant marine heat waves on record in the region because...
Record-breaking temperatures for June

Record-breaking temperatures for June

SOURCE: Copernicus Programme Climate Change Service DATE: July 2, 2019 SNIP: Data provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Union, show that the global-average temperature for June 2019 was also the highest on record for the month. It was about 0.1°C higher than that of the previous warmest June, in 2016, following a strong El Niño event. The map of temperature anomalies highlights just how unseasonably warm the end of the month was. Compared to the average for the same five days during 1981-2010 (the standard 30-year climatological reference period), temperatures of 6-10°C above normal occurred over most of France and Germany, northern Spain, northern Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. Looking at the temperature data from a longer-term perspective reveals the month to be even more unusual. Merging the latest C3S data with datasets that extend further back in time shows that the June 2019 European-average temperature was more than 3°C higher than the average for...
Indian villages lie empty as drought forces thousands to flee

Indian villages lie empty as drought forces thousands to flee

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: June 12, 2019 SNIP: Hundreds of Indian villages have been evacuated as a historic drought forces families to abandon their homes in search of water. The country has seen extremely high temperatures in recent weeks. On Monday the capital, Delhi, saw its highest ever June temperature of 48C. In Rajasthan, the city of Churu recently experienced highs of 50.8C, making it the hottest place on the planet. Further south, less than 250 miles from the country’s commercial capital, Mumbai, village after village lies deserted. Estimates suggest up to 90% of the area’s population has fled, leaving the sick and elderly to fend for themselves in the face of a water crisis that shows no sign of abating. Wells and handpumps have run dry in the 45C heatwave. The drought, which officials say is worse than the 1972 famine that affected 25 million people across the state, began early in December. By the end of May, Hatkarwadi had been deserted with only 10-15 families remaining out of a population of more than 2,000. With 80% of districts in neighbouring Karnataka and 72% in Maharashtra hit by drought and crop failure, the 8 million farmers in these two states are struggling to survive. More than 6,000 tankers supply water to villages and hamlets in Maharashtra daily, as conflict brews between the two states over common water resources. By the end of May, 43% of India was experiencing drought, with failed monsoon rains seen as the primary reason. The country has seen widespread drought every year since 2015, with the exception of 2017. Groundwater, the source of 40%...
Australia’s extreme heatwave spans five states with high of 49C forecast

Australia’s extreme heatwave spans five states with high of 49C forecast

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: December 26, 2018 SNIP: Australia’s post-Christmas heatwave continues to sweep across the country, with a near record-breaking 49C forecast for Western Australia, and fire danger, health and air quality warnings issued across the nation. On Thursday morning, the bureau of meteorology forecast a scorching 49C maximum for Marble Bar and Pannawonica in the Pilbara region of WA – only 2 degrees below the highest temperature ever recorded in Australia, which is 50.7C at South Australia’s Oodnadatta airport in 1960. The extreme heat is stretching across WA, SA, Victoria, New South Wales and parts of central Queensland. Temperatures in the south are 10C to 14C higher than average, the bureau said on...