Snow

#StopAdani We can’t afford the damage bills! #ClimateChange record $306 Billion in U.S. 2017

Natural disasters caused record $306 billion in damage to U.S. in 2017

Doyle RiceUpdated 4:46 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2018

AUSTIN — A trio of monster hurricanes and a ferocious wildfire season led to the costliest year for natural disasters on record in the U.S. in 2017, with nearly a third of a trillion dollars in damage, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday.

The U.S. endured 16 separate weather and climate disasters with losses that each exceeded $1 billion last year, with total costs of about $306 billion, a new record for the country. It broke the previous record set in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina and other disasters caused $215 billion in damage to the U.S.

Last year’s disasters killed 362 people in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, NOAA said. However, NOAA climatologist Adam Smith said the death toll could increase based on information that continues to come in from Puerto Rico.

It was also the most expensive hurricane season on record at $265 billion and the costliest wildfire season on record at $18 billion, Smith said.

The news comes only weeks after the House passed an $81 billion disaster aid package. The Senate did not take up the bill and is working on its own version.

Hurricane Harvey racked up total damage costs of $125 billion, second only to Hurricane Katrina in the 38-year period of record keeping for billion-dollar disasters. Rainfall from Harvey caused massive flooding that displaced more than 30,000 people and damaged or destroyed more than 200,000 homes and businesses, NOAA said.

Hurricanes Maria and Irma totaled $90 billion and $50 billion in damage, respectively. Maria now ranks as the third-costliest weather and climate disaster on record for the nation and Irma ranks as the fifth-costliest.

The total of last year’s disaster costs is nearly the same as Denmark’s gross domestic product, which the World Bank tallied at $306.9 billion in 2016.

Climate change is “playing an increasing role in the increasing frequency of some types of extreme weather that lead to billion-dollar disasters, most notably the rise in vulnerability to drought, lengthening wildfire seasons and the potential for extremely heavy rainfall and inland flooding,” Smith said.

Another expert, University of Georgia meteorology professor Marshall Shepherd, said that “while we have to be careful about knee-jerk cause-effect discussions, the National Academy of Science and recent peer-reviewed literature continue to show that some of today’s extremes have climate change fingerprints on them.”

The announcement came at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Austin.

As for temperatures in 2017, the U.S. sweltered through its 3rd-warmest year on record, trailing only 2012 and 2016, NOAA said.

For the third consecutive year, every state across the contiguous U.S. and Alaska was warmer than average.

Five states — Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, North Carolina and South Carolina — experienced their warmest year on record. Thirty-two additional states, including Alaska, had annual temperatures that ranked among the 10 warmest on record.

“While the weather can change on a dime, our climate is steadily warming,” said Shaun Martin of the World Wildlife Fund. “Each year provides another piece of evidence in what science has already confirmed — the consequences of rising temperatures are putting people and wildlife at risk.”

“In the U.S., we’re seeing more severe droughts, wildfires, crop losses and more frequent coastal storms with deadly impacts,” Martin added.

Global temperature data for 2017 will be released on Jan. 18 by NOAA and NASA.

Press link for more: USA TODAY

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Sydney Hottest Day in 78 years. #StopAdani #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #nswpol

Temperatures In Australia Hit 117 Degrees As Sydney Sees Hottest Day In 78 Years

The extreme weather melted one area’s roads. Elsewhere in the world, record low temperatures were seen.

Nina Golgowski

A brutal heat wave in Australia skyrocketed temperatures in Sydney on Sunday to 117 degrees Fahrenheit (47.3 Celsius), making it the hottest weather New South Wales’ capital has seen in 78 years, weather officials said.

The bizarre forecast follows record low temperatures in other parts of the world.

The worst of the weekend’s heat was recorded in the Sydney suburb of Penrith where the triple-degree temperature was just slightly lower than a 118-degree (47.8 C) reading recorded in the town of Richmond in 1939, according to the New South Wales’ Bureau of Meteorology.

James D. Morgan via Getty Images

Crowds cool off in water at Yarra Bay in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday amid a heat wave.

Temperatures became so hot across southern Australia that police in the neighboring state of Victoria warned drivers on Twitter that a 6-mile freeway was “melting.”

Fire warnings and bans were also issued across Sydney in response to the high heat threat that has caused multiple wildfires. There was also an air quality warning issued by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for higher than normal ozone levels, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Adding to some of the misery felt, a power outage left thousands of people in Sydney without electricity on Sunday evening as temperatures stayed between 91 and 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the local news site reported.

A spokeswoman for local electricity provider Ausgrid, speaking to Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, partially blamed the outage on a surge in power use.

The bizarre weather isn’t just in Australia, however.

Across the Pacific, Alaska has experienced unusually warm temperatures in recent days, roughly 10 to 20 degrees above average, prompting concerns about ice levels, NPR reported.

Last week, temperatures in Anchorage were warmer than in northern Florida, which saw snow.

The U.S.′ northeast has also endured unseasonably cold temperatures, with the mercury dipping below zero in many places. At New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the area saw an all-time low on Saturday of 8 degrees F, meteorologist Bob Oravec of the Weather Prediction Center, told Reuters.

Temperatures are expected to rise to above normal temperatures for much of the United States in the middle of January, the National Weather Service said on Sunday.

Meanwhile, World Meteorological Organization spokesperson Clare Nullis pointed out on Friday that Europe is also experiencing unusual temperatures.

“The French national average on Wednesday was 11.5 degrees Celsius [52.7 degrees Fahrenheit], so that’s about 6 degrees Celsius above the normal, so as I said, lots of extreme weather,” she said during a United Nations session, according to Newsweek.

Press link for more: Huffington Post

Freezing your ass off #ClimateChange #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

Freezing Your Ass Off Is Also a Symptom of Climate Change

The connection between a melting Arctic and frigid temperatures on the East Coast.

Clearing snow in Norfolk, Massachusetts as a major winter storm hit. Image: EPA/MATT CAMPBELL

How cold is it?

Cold enough to freeze an iguana in Palm Beach. Officials have warned residents of South Florida to look out for cold-stunned lizards falling from trees.

Meanwhile, 6,000 kilometers to the north, the Arctic has less sea ice than at any time in the 37 years that satellites have been measuring ice coverage. And while most of eastern North America is expected to be even colder by Friday, with temperatures set to plunge, Juneau, Alaska, will be a relatively balmy 6℃ (42℉).

What about climate change?

The fact that it is cold today in Palm Springs and warm in Juneau is weather.

Climate is long-term trends—years—of weather. And one of those trends is increased extreme weather, including winters too warm to ski and winters too cold to go outside.

Every winter, an extremely cold pool of air forms over the Arctic and is normally trapped in the polar vortex, a gigantic circular weather pattern around the North Pole. But the vortex is weakening, allowing the Arctic air pool to escape south when conditions are right. Researchers now believe it is the combination of a warmer Arctic and the loss of sea ice, along with a strong west-coast ridge of high pressure, that allows the polar vortex jailbreak.

Read More: TV Weathercasters Are Being Recruited to Convince People Climate Change Is Real

Climate change is heating up the Arctic far faster than anywhere else in the world.

The ice covering the Arctic Ocean has shrunk rapidly—50 percent of the summer ice extent disappeared in just the last 20 years. Without its ice cover, the Arctic Ocean is warming, especially under 24 hours of sunlight in summer. Warmer water means there is less ice even in winter, when there is 24 hours of darkness.

While it was record-breakingly cold on New Year’s Eve in parts of eastern North America, the Arctic Ocean broke a different record, with a whopping 1.35 million square kilometers less sea ice—an area the size of Texas, California, and Minnesota combined—than the 1981 to 2010 median.

Researchers have now linked the loss of sea ice in the Arctic region, along with an increase in snow cover in northern Asia, to a weaker polar vortex. This allows the Arctic air pool to escape south into North America or Europe and Asia, they found. But this doesn’t happen every winter: Last winter was the seventh warmest on record in the US. Turns out it takes “two to tango,” Jennifer Francis, a climate scientist at Rutgers University, told me via email.

When the Pacific Ocean is warm off the west coast of North America, as it is now, it strengthens a high-pressure ridge of air on the west coast. That’s led to record-breaking heat from California to Alaska over the past few weeks. The east side (or downstream side) of that high-pressure ridge is also a lot stronger, almost acting like a vacuum, sucking the Arctic air pool south away from a weakened polar vortex.

This ‘scenario is believed to have exacerbated the persistent warmth and drought in the western United States, along with cold spells in the east during the winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 that were popularized as the ridiculously resilient ridge and polar vortex, Francis wrote in a new study.

When California had record-breaking warm temperatures last fall, Jonathan Martin, a professor of meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, suspected the conditions would be right for an extended cold snap in the east in early winter. “It’s colder than normal but not unusual. We’ve gotten used to milder winters,” Martin told me.

Martin has been tracking the size of the Arctic air pool during winter and discovered that it has started to shrink. Four of the five smallest cold pools on record have occurred since 2004, he found, which parallels the loss of Arctic sea ice and the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. “My guess is that this year’s pool will be smaller than last year,” he said.

A view towards the Freedom Tower in Manhattan, obscured by snow. Image: Kaleigh Rogers

That means there is less cold air to go around. So while it might be bitterly cold in the eastern US right now, the northern hemisphere as whole is 0.9℃ warmer than normal, while the Arctic is 3.2℃ hotter.

The cold temperatures might not be exceptional, but the winds kicked up by what’s been dubbed Winter Storm Grayson will make it dangerous because of the wind chill, warns Martin. Not to mention the dangers of temporarily stunned, cold-chilled iguanas falling from trees.

Press link for more: Motherboard.vice.com

“So reckless it’s terrifying!” #StopAdani #auspol #qldpol

“So reckless it’s terrifying!” Simon Baker, award-winning actor and director, has an important message for all Australians.

SHARE + ACT: Tell Turnbull to protect our Reef >> http://www.fightforourreef.org.au/simonbaker

#FightForOurReef #StopAdani

Simon Baker’s message should be a wake up call for everyone.

Climate change is causing extreme events all over the planet.

It’s hard to believe Australian politicians from both Labor & Liberal Parties are still not taking the climate science seriously.

Future generations of Australians will never understand how we ignored the warnings.

Scientists, economists, doctors are doing what they can to create awareness.

This week in France leaders from all over the world came together to demand climate action and plan for a carbon neutral economy. The One Planet Summit was ignored by Australian politicians & most of the Australian media.

If we are to limit global warming to 2C we must cease using fossil fuels by 2050.

Investing in new coal mines is reckless, it completely ignores the science & will most likely be the end of the Great Barrier Reef putting 70,000 jobs in Tourism at risk.

The threat to humanity from air pollution is also ignored.

A recent report from the World Health Organization said the 500,000 babies die every year from air pollution a large percentage of that due to burning coal.

Using the atmosphere as a garbage dump for carbon dioxide when we use fossil fuels has to end.

Putting a price on carbon is the most cost effective way to solve the problem.

The Last Thing Australia and Our Planet needs #StopAdani New York Times Editorial #auspol 


Environmental activists protesting in Brisbane, Australia, in May. Dan Peled/AAP, via Associated Press
While global demand for coal is falling as the nations of the world have committed themselves to slashing carbon emissions, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia wants to help a powerful Indian conglomerate build an enormous system of coal mines in a remote stretch of Queensland.


Burning the estimated 66 million tons of coal a year that the Adani Group aims to produce from six open-pit and five underground complexes known as the Carmichael mine can only make it harder for the world to meet its aspirations under the Paris climate agreement.

 The project has prompted huge protests across Australia.


“You can’t have both the Paris climate agreement and Adani’s Carmichael coal mine,” the climate change activist Bill McKibben said. “Full stop.”
Mr. Turnbull has promoted the mine with the same argument President Trump has made to remove what he sees as impediments to coal mining in Appalachia, framing mining as a job creator in a region that sorely needs jobs. The prime minister has also supported Adani’s request for a taxpayer-financed loan of $800 million.
But even one of Adani’s consultants has disputed the company’s claim that the project will generate 10,000 jobs. In fact, the project could cost mining jobs elsewhere in Australia.
The nearby Great Barrier Reef supports some 64,000 full-time employees, but shipping all that coal to India risks further harm to this environmentally sensitive area, already endangered by global warming.


The Adani Group chairman, Gautam Adani, plans to use 60 percent of the Carmichael coal, which is of a higher quality than Indian coal, for his financially stressed Mundra coal-fired power plant in Gujarat, India.
It would be a regressive move for India, which is making great strides with solar and other forms of renewable energy. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed India to getting 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Existing coal-burning plants in India are running below 60 percent capacity, and while increased demand for energy may push them to full capacity, by then, “the price of renewables will be lower than the price of coal,” observes Ajay Mathur, director general of the Energy Resources Institute in New Delhi.
India’s energy minister, Piyush Goyal, was clear: “We don’t wish to import coal from anywhere in the world,” he said. “We have sufficient coal capacity in our country.”
Australia is helping Mr. Adani get what he wants, but it’s the opposite of what Australia, India or the rest of the world needs.

Press link for more: NYTimes

Former Green Leader Bob Brown Slams Evil, Corrupt Adani Mine #StopAdani #auspol

Bob Brown slams ‘evil, corrupt’ Adani mine

Veteran conservationist Bob Brown has compared Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to Tasmania’s quashed Franklin Dam, slamming the “destructive wealth and arrogance” of the company’s chairman.
The former Greens leader joined protesters from the Stop Adani group in Sydney on Saturday where he demanded no public money be spent on the Queensland project.

Mining tycoon Gautam Adani this week declared the company would break ground on its controversial $16.5 billion coal mine in Queensland in October.
“This is the biggest environmental, heritage, Indigenous and lifestyle issue I have seen come along in decades in Australia,” Mr Brown told reporters at the summit.

He said Mr Adani had signalled, in a “heightened arrogance”, that a billion-dollar loan for the project from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund was already locked in despite no public announcement from the Turnbull government.

Opponents vow to continue Adani fight
Opponents of Adani’s proposed coal mine say they will continue to examine it’s lawfulness after the Federal Court threw out two attempts to stop it going ahead.


Adani fined over Qld stormwater release
Adani has been fined by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection over a license breach at its Abbot Point facility.
“You’re not welcome to bring your destructive wealth and arrogance to ride over the majority opinion of Australian people who don’t want you to have that loan and won’t let you get away with that mine,” Mr Brown said.
He predicted a revolt at the next election if the loan and “evil, rotten, corrupt” mine went ahead.
Mr Brown rose to prominence as director of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society as it campaigned against the Franklin Dam in the late 1970s and 1980s.
It was a battle won by conservationists and Mr Brown warned Carmichael mine opponents were similarly prepared to physically sit in front of machinery.
Maggie McKeown from the Mackay Conservation Group said Queenslanders had seen the impacts of climate change in the form of heat, coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and cyclone damage.
“If Adani opens up the coal in the Galilee Basin, it’s undeniable that these events will become more frequent and more intense,” she said.

Hanson says Adani railway should be built by Australians, not ‘foreign investors’
Pauline Hanson says a railway between Adani’s mega-coal mine and the Queensland coast should be built and owned by Australia, rather than “foreign investors”.
Adani mine ‘threatens finch’s survival’
Experts working to save an endangered species of finch say Adani’s Queensland coal mine will put it on a fast track to extinction.
Mine opponents argue the project cannot proceed because carbon emissions from the coal being burned in India will further damage the already-ailing reef through climate change.
The Federal Court last week dismissed two legal bids to stop it going ahead, from traditional owners and environmental groups.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ruled out financial support but her Labor government views the enormous project as a valuable jobs generator.
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been accused by protesters of sitting on the fence on the issue.
The Stop Adani group will hold a national day of action against the project on October 7.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office declined to comment.

Press link for more: SBS.COM

Scientists expect more of these extremely snowy winters for Boston.

When word got around that this winter was Boston’s snowiest ever recorded, a lot of people were thrilled. 

“Congratulations Boston!” the National Weather Service tweeted on Sunday, announcing the history-making event. “We are truly a title city,” the city’s mayor wrote

But for much of the winter, the 108.6 inches of snow Boston got was nothing to celebrate. When the season is over, Boston will have spent $50 million just trying to move snow out of the city. The city’s subway and commuter rail systems were crippled. In apartment buildings, melting snow leaked into the ceilings. Cemeteries could not hold burials. A lot of people lost their dogs. Piles of trash are everywhere.

Scientists expect more of these extremely snowy winters for Boston and the Northeastern United States in the years to come, as sea surface temperatures get warmer and the atmosphere is able to hold more moisture. Both those predicted characteristics are driven by human-made greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change.

Press link for more: Emily Atkin | thinkprogress.org