In the desert near Agua Dulce, north of Los Angeles, hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail who reached mile marker 502 encountered a cistern of water that smelled bad and tasted worse, with a dead rat floating inside. They got out their filters and refilled their bottles anyway. “Will update if I get sick,” one wrote on a message board to those coming up behind.
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Ronald Tyra knew it was time to flee when the 100-acre blaze across the street began igniting spot fires as it raced down the mountain. Tyra sped from his Klamath River, Calif., home with little more than the clothes on his back.
“Rare” weather disasters are becoming much more common. There were five 1,000-year events, one each in South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Maryland and Louisiana, during a one-year period in 2015-2016. Five-hundred and 100-year disasters are more frequent, too.
One month ago, a 20-foot deep sinkhole opened on Radcliff Avenue in the Bronx, swallowing a parked van. No one was hurt in the incident, but water service was temporarily cut for 70 homes in the middle of a heat wave.
At a joint City Council hearing on Tuesday, New York City officials confirmed what some had already assumed: The sinkhole can be attributed to climate change. New York City Chief Climate Officer and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala said extreme rainfall over the past year – including from Hurricanes Henri and Ida last summer, as well as heavy rainfall earlier that July week – created a “pressure test” for the sewer under Radcliff Avenue, putting a hole in its roof. Aggarwala, along with colleagues at DEP and the Department of Transportation, testified that the particular method of construction of the sewer in Morris Park, which dates back to 1916, hadn’t been identified elsewhere around the city. “The sinkhole on Radcliffe Avenue would not have been easy to predict given what we know and the tools we currently have,” he said.
Trillions of dollars may be misallocated to deal with the wrong climate threats around the world because the models used by central banks and regulators aren’t fit for purpose, a leading Australian climate researcher says.
Prof Andy Pitman, director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, said regulators were relying on models that are good at forecasting how average climates will change as the planet warms, but were less likely to be of use for predicting how extreme weather will imperil individual localities such as cities.
The average temperature of the contiguous U.S. in July was 76.4°F, which is 2.8°F above average, ranking third warmest in the 128-year record. Generally, temperatures were above average and/or record-warm across nearly all of the Lower 48, with Texas having its warmest July, May-July and April-July on record.
July precipitation for the contiguous U.S. was 2.74 inches, 0.04 inch below average, ranking in the middle third of the historical record. Precipitation was above average in pockets across the West Coast, Southwest, Northern Rockies and Plains, Great Lakes and from parts of the Midwest to southern Appalachians. Precipitation was below average across portions of the Northwest, southern Plains, Upper Midwest and Northeast
One battered N.C. community illustrates how summer, fueled in part by climate change, is proving an especially perilous and costly season.
Right-wing media downplay climate change amid deadly extreme heat, attack idea that we are in a climate emergency
In Europe, extreme “red” heat warnings were issued in the United Kingdom for the first time, and Wales recorded its highest-ever temperature. Railroad lines, major highways, and airport runways in the U.K. buckled under the extreme heat. Multiple regions of Germany also set all-time highs, as did at least part of Denmark. Over 2,000 people have died in Spain and Portugal due to the extreme heat, which has fueled wildfires there and in parts of France. These record-setting events are not contained to Europe. Parts of the U.S. and Central Asia are suffering from extreme heat as well.
Houston, Texas, is experiencing its hottest summer on record, with sizzling stretches of triple digit days and rolling blackouts caused by extreme power demand. Lena Arango, a local meteorologist at FOX26, wanted her viewers to understand why. “The temperatures we’re experiencing today are five times more likely [because of] climate change,” she said on a TV forecast earlier this month. “I thought that was pretty interesting.”
In Montana and Wyoming, massive flooding has destroyed bridges, swept away homes, and forced the evacuation of more than 10,000 visitors from Yellowstone National Park. Half a million households in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley lost power earlier this week after violent thunderstorms swept through. And a record-setting heat wave pushed temperatures into the triple digits from Nebraska to South Carolina, leaving more than 100 million Americans under heat warnings and killing at least 2,000 cattle in Kansas.