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Posts Tagged ‘heat waves’

Sunburned in Siberia: Heat Wave Leads to Wildfires

August 17, 2013 1 comment

kitsapsun.com

Russia_amo_2013206_lrgAn intense heat wave in Siberia has contributed to an unusual flare up of wildfires across the fragile and carbon-rich landscape. Smoke from the fires is lofting high into the atmosphere, and is drifting toward the Arctic, where soot can hasten the melting of snow and sea ice.

The Siberian city of Norilsk, the most northerly city in the world with a population greater than 100,000, recorded temperatures above 83F over eight consecutive days starting on July 18, according to blogger Chris Burt of Weather Underground. During that timespan, Burt reported, the mercury hit 90F, breaking the record for the hottest temperature recorded for the city. For comparison the average July high temperature in Norilsk is a comparatively chilly 61F.

Norilsk isn’t an isolated example, but rather sits amid a sea of abnormally hot temperatures and smoky conditions in north-central Siberia. According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, from July 20 through July 27, temperatures were about 30F above average across a large swath of this vast, sparsely populated region.

The warm weather has contributed to a spike in wildfires. As of July 29, wildfires continued to burn at least 22,200 acres in Siberia, according to news reports. Heavy smoke from them grounded commercial flights in Omsk, a city in Read more…

Categories: Fires, Russia Tags: , , ,

Severe Heat Waves Are Expected to Double by 2020

August 15, 2013 Comments off

usnews.com

By 2100, extreme heat waves could cover 80 percent of the globe

Heat distorts the appearance of a car as a heat wave spreads across the American West on June 30, 2013 in Death Valley National Park, California.Heat distorts the appearance of a car as a heat wave spreads across the American West on June 30, 2013 in Death Valley National Park, California.

Hundreds of thousands of East Coasters suffered through hot and sticky climates for much of July, as temperatures reached record highs in some places. Although these types of extreme heat waves are unusual, they will become more frequent and severe across the globe in the next 30 years, and there’s nothing that can be done about it, according to a new study from a team of international researchers.

Most environmental and climate researchers believe that extreme heat waves are the result of global warming and high levels of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere. But no matter what actions are taken to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, intense summer heat waves are expected to Read more…

Is Siberia the Newest Hot Spot?

August 13, 2013 Comments off

thinkprogress.org

SiberiaCREDIT: NASA Earth Observatory

It hasn’t been a typical summer in Siberia. High temperatures for this time of year are usually in the mid-to-low 60s Fahrenheit, but this July they hit 90 degrees, and didn’t drop much below a high of 80 until just this week. Meanwhile, potentially record-breaking wildfires continue to rage, with over 22,200 acres of active burning.

The Siberian Times emphasized the lighter side of the heat wave, with photos of young people playing beach volleyball in swimsuits, a rare sight in Novosibirsk.

But high temperatures are becoming more frequent, and they are an important factor in Siberia’s historic fires. And although the whole planet is warming, Russia has seen it happen particularly quickly, “about .51°C per decade compared to Read more…

More than 1,000 fish killed by Alaska summer heat wave

August 3, 2013 1 comment
Rainbow Trouts [Wikipedia Commons]

By Yereth Rosen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) – Alaska’s summer heat wave has been pleasant for humans but punitive for some of its fish.

Overheated water has been blamed for large die-offs of hatchery trout and salmon stocks in at least two parts of the state as hot, dry weather has set in, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Hundreds of grayling and rainbow trout died in June after being placed in a Fairbanks lake, the department reported. An unusually cold spring caused lake ice to linger much longer than normal, before the water quickly became too warm, department biologist April Behr said.

Surface temperatures in the lake rose to about 76 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius), she said. The precise number of dead fish was not yet known. “We picked up several hundred,” she said.

A similar incident occurred in Read more…

Categories: Alaska Tags: , , ,

China endures worst heat wave in 140 years

August 2, 2013 1 comment

usatoday.com

A child cooks shrimp and an egg in a frying pan heated by a manhole cover on a hot summer day on July 31 in Jinan, China. It has been so hot that eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard burst into flames in one of the worst heat waves in 140 years. AP

SHANGHAI (AP) – It’s been so hot in China that folks are grilling shrimp on manhole covers, eggs are hatching without incubators and a highway billboard has mysteriously caught fire by itself.

The heat wave — the worst in at least 140 years in some parts — has left dozens of people dead and pushed thermometers above 104 degrees F in at least 40 cities and counties, mostly in the south and east. Authorities for the first time have declared the heat a “level 2” weather emergency — a label normally invoked for typhoons and flooding.

“It is just hot! Like in a food steamer!” 17-year-old student Xu Sichen said outside the doors of a shopping mall in the southern financial hub of Shanghai while her friend He Jiali, also 17, complained that her Read more…

Violence will rise as climate changes, scientists predict

August 2, 2013 2 comments

latimes.com

Death Valley

Death Valley in July. (David McNew / Getty Images / July 14, 2013)

By Monte Morin 

Long before scientists began to study global warming, author Raymond Chandler described the violent effects of dry, “oven-hot” Santa Ana winds gusting through the city of Los Angeles.

“Every booze party ends in a fight,” he wrote in his 1938 story “Red Wind.” “Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husband’s necks. Anything can happen.”

While social commentators have long suggested that extreme heat can unleash the beast in man, formal study of the so-called heat hypothesis — the theory that high temperatures fuel aggressive and violent behavior — is relatively new. Using examples as disparate as road rage, ancient wars and Major League Baseball, scientists have taken early steps to quantify the potential Read more…

Wars in prospect as climate change stirs unrest, UN told

February 15, 2013 Comments off
Imagine India in 2033. It has overtaken China as the most populous nation. Yet with 1.5 billion citizens to feed, it’s been three years since the last monsoon. Without rain, crops die and people starve.

The seeds of conflict take root.

This is one of the scenarios Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, presented today to members of the United Nations Security Council in New York to show the connection between climate change and global security challenges.

Either rich nations will find a way to supply needy nations suffering from damaging climate effects “or you will have all kinds of unrest and revolutions, with the export of angry and hungry people to the industrialised countries,” Schellnhuber said in an interview.

In the Marshall Islands — site of US nuclear tests in the 1940s and 1950s and now being lost to Read more…