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Climate Change Anecdotes

Heatwave in China is the most severe ever recorded in the world

Low rainfall and record-breaking heat across much of China are having widespread impacts on people, industry and farming. River and reservoir levels have fallen, factories have shut because of electricity shortages and huge areas of crops have been damaged. The situation could have worldwide repercussions, causing further disruption to supply chains and exacerbating the global food crisis.​
People in large parts of China have been experiencing two months of extreme heat. Hundreds of places have reported temperatures of more than 40°C (104°F), and many records have been broken. Subway stations have set up rest areas where people can recover from the heat.​
On 18 August, the temperature in Chongqing in Sichuan province reached 45°C (113°F), the highest ever recorded in China outside the desert-dominated region of Xinjiang. On 20 August, the temperature in the city didn’t fall below 34.9°C (94.8°F), the highest minimum temperature ever recorded in China in August. The maximum temperature was 43.7°C (110.7°F).​
It is the longest and hottest heatwave in China since national records began in 1961. According to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera, who monitors extreme temperatures around the world, it is the most severe heatwave recorded anywhere.​
“This combines the most extreme intensity with the most extreme length with an incredibly huge area all at the same time,” he says. “There is nothing in world climatic history which is even minimally comparable to what is happening in China.”​
Together with the extreme heat, low rainfall in parts of China has led to rivers falling to low levels, with 66 drying up completely. In parts of the Yangtze, water levels are the lowest since records began in 1865. In a few places, local water supplies have run out and drinking water has had to be trucked in. On 19 August, China announced a national drought alert for the first time in nine years.​
In Sichuan alone, 47,000 hectares of crops are reported to have been lost and another 433,000 hectares damaged. The agriculture ministry has said it will try to increase rainfall by seeding clouds. It remains scientifically unclear whether cloud seeding makes a significant difference.
China is far from the only place affected by drought. Europe is having what may be its worst drought in 500 years. There is also a drought in the Horn of Africa, and across much of the US and Mexico.​

Some places get drier and some get wetter. I'm sure you must know that.

The weather gets more extreme.

Yep I didn't post it here as we get floods every other year somewhere.
My hometown in New Jersey is the dryest I've ever seen it. Creeks running completely dry which hasn't happened since I've been alive, undergrowth in the woods wilting and dying, all the grass brown.

Edit: (oh and fwiw I'm young but older folks who've lived there longer than I've been alive are also saying they've never seen it like this before). I'm afraid of what might happen with wildfires if this continues.
Some of the trees here in Oklahoma look like they're dying because of a bad drought. But from what I've heard 2011 was worse (I moved here in 2016). Dallas had some flooding recently, but most of that rain stayed in Texas, and we got less than a half inch in the OKC metro (about 1.0 cm total).
I personally haven't noticed any change in weather in all these years. People say there is less rain and it is hotter here in southern Spain now but i see not difference. When I was a child i remember the asphalt melting in specially hot days, i have not seen such phenomenon anymore since then, and there was a mega-drought which lasted from 1991 to 1996 or so, with basically not rain at all in 5 or 6 years. Water distribution was cut at 18:00 PM and government began building desalination plants wich were cancelled when the rain finally came. I remember my smaller cousins who were born in 1990 being frightened when they saw raining abundantly for the first time in 1996.
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I too can remember soggy asphalt when I was a child, but I have not yet seen any in record temperatures, in the UK, this year.

It could merely be that they improved the consistency/quality of the asphalt.
It's good to keep news of more floods posted.
I've seen 'global drought ' posted now that the ' global north ' is hot and dry.

I ended up posting it. I think my province gets 800mm a year so 1000 in 3 days is a lot.

Parts here get 2000mm+ per annum.
Deadly Pakistan floods are a climate catastrophe, says UN chief

Devastating floods that have killed more than 1000 people in Pakistan are a “climate catastrophe” requiring a strong international response, according to the secretary general of the United Nations, António Guterres.​
“Pakistan is awash in suffering,” said Guterres in a video statement. “The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids – the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding.” The UN today launched a flash appeal to raise funds to support those affected.​
Eight weeks of torrential rain during a severe monsoon season have left a third of Pakistan underwater in the country’s worst flooding since 2010. In some areas, unprecedented water flows have been estimated by the Global Flood Awareness System, a European satellite monitoring scheme, with the most extreme destruction taking place in the south of the country.​
Pakistan has long been considered one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impacts of climate change, due to its geography and levels of poverty there. Earlier this year, the country, along with India, was hit by a prolonged and brutal heatwave. Jacobabad, one of the world’s hottest cities, reached a record high of 51°C. A study has since found that climate change made the heatwave at least 30 times more likely.
In his address today, Guterres said it was outrageous that action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was being put on the back burner. “Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country,” he said.​
Rehman told the AFP news agency yesterday it was time for big emitters – a reference to countries including China, the US, India and members of the European Union – to review their climate policies. The human and economic cost of the Pakistan floods is likely to provide fresh impetus at UN climate talks on the issue of “loss and damage”, with lower-income countries calling for some form of reparations from large historical emitters for the impacts of climate change .​
I too can remember soggy asphalt when I was a child, but I have not yet seen any in record temperatures, in the UK, this year.

It could merely be that they improved the consistency/quality of the asphalt.

Given how frequently asphalt is replaced on roads, I wouldn't be surprised if they used a superior formulation for increased heat levels. It's not like they don't have roads in hotter countries! It might not even be foresight, just the technology can have gotten better and so we mix asphalt that has a broader range of temperature appropriateness. Kind of like how I basically only used all season tires when I had a car.
'Doomsday' glacier,' which could raise sea level by several feet, is holding on 'by its fingernails,'

Antarctica's so-called "doomsday glacier" -- nicknamed because of its high risk of collapse and threat to global sea level -- has the potential to rapidly retreat in the coming years, scientists say, amplifying concerns over the extreme sea level rise that would accompany its potential demise.​
Understanding the recent history of Thwaites Glacier, and the processes controlling its ongoing retreat, is key to projecting Antarctic contributions to future sea-level rise. Of particular concern is how the glacier grounding zone might evolve over coming decades where it is stabilized by sea-floor bathymetric highs. Here we use geophysical data from an autonomous underwater vehicle deployed at the Thwaites Glacier ice front, to document the ocean-floor imprint of past retreat from a sea-bed promontory. We show patterns of back-stepping sedimentary ridges formed daily by a mechanism of tidal lifting and settling at the grounding line at a time when Thwaites Glacier was more advanced than it is today. Over a duration of 5.5 months, Thwaites grounding zone retreated at a rate of >2.1 km per year—twice the rate observed by satellite at the fastest retreating part of the grounding zone between 2011 and 2019. Our results suggest that sustained pulses of rapid retreat have occurred at Thwaites Glacier in the past two centuries. Similar rapid retreat pulses are likely to occur in the near future when the grounding zone migrates back off stabilizing high points on the sea floor.​
Writeup Paper
Given how frequently asphalt is replaced on roads, I wouldn't be surprised if they used a superior formulation for increased heat levels. It's not like they don't have roads in hotter countries! It might not even be foresight, just the technology can have gotten better and so we mix asphalt that has a broader range of temperature appropriateness. Kind of like how I basically only used all season tires when I had a car.
Aussie roads are usually ok in heat but quickly get holes in from rain.
For first time on record, Greenland saw extensive melting in September

A heatwave last weekend caused extensive melting across Greenland at a time when the melt season should have been over. Researchers estimate that about 20 billion tonnes of ice was lost across Greenland, amounting to 7% of the total ice lost in the country in a typical year. Greenland already contributes more than the Antarctic ice sheet and mountain glaciers to rising sea levels — which this event will further elevate. “This event demonstrates how global warming does not only increase the intensity but also the length of the melting season,” says polar scientist Maurice van Tiggelen.​

Spoiler Big picture of greenland melting :

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Another organisation, another load of apocalyptic messages

United in Science 2022 by the World Meteorological Organization

The science is unequivocal: we are going in the wrong direction.​
Greenhouse gas concentrations are continuing to rise, reaching new record highs. Fossil fuel emission rates are now above pre-pandemic levels. The past seven years were the warmest on record. Cities, which contribute 70% of global emissions, are highly vulnerable to climate impacts.​
These trends will continue if we do not act urgently to reduce fossil fuel emissions. Ambition of emissions reduction pledges for 2030 needs to be seven times higher to meet the 1.5 °C goal of the Paris Agreement.​
The combined effects of higher temperatures and humidity in some regions could have dangerous consequences for human health in the next few decades. This could lead to physiological tipping points beyond which outdoor human labor is no longer possible without technical assistance. Research on this and other climate tipping points, such as the melting of polar ice sheets, will help society better understand the costs, benefits and potential limitations of climate mitigation and adaptation in the future.​
Climate science is increasingly able to show that many of the extreme weather events that we are experiencing have become more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change. It is more important than ever that we scale up action on early warning systems to build resilience to current and future climate risks in vulnerable communities.​

Spoiler More graphs :

Switzerland records worst melt rate of its glaciers
Swiss glaciers lost six percent of their volume this year, which far exceeded the record set in 2003, a new study says.

Switzerland has recorded the worst melt rate of its glaciers since monitoring began more than 100 years ago, losing six percent of their remaining volume this year or nearly double the previous record of 2003, according to the Swiss Glacier Monitoring Network (GLAMOS).​
“2022 was a disastrous year for Swiss glaciers: all ice melt records were smashed by the great dearth of snow in winter and continuous heatwaves in summer,” the group, coordinated by the Cryospheric Commission, said in its report on Wednesday.​
“Melt rates have far exceeded the previous records from the hot summer of 2003: the glaciers have lost around 3 cubic kilometres (0.72 cubic miles) of ice in 2022; more than 6 percent of the remaining volume.”​
Matthias Huss, head of GLAMOS, told the Reuters news agency that based on climate change projections, “this situation would come, at least somewhere in the future”.​
“And realising that the future is already right here, right now, this was maybe the most surprising or shocking experience of this summer,” he added.​

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