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Thursday, 21 November 2019

Climate Crisis: Sydney and Adelaide blanketed by smoke: Record rain hits Las Vegas: Mysterious disease killing American beeches: Propane shortages rock midwest states

Queensland FiresThe Courier-Mail

Australia

Code red: Fire emergencies, dust storm, heatwave, smoke haze in SA, Victoria, NSW and Queensland as bushfire danger continues. Melbourne has experienced its hottest November day in more than a century as the state battled strong winds and up to 60 bushfires that destroyed at least two properties. Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Kevin Parkyn said the thermometer hit 40.9, a couple of degrees higher than the forecasted maximum, in Melbourne on Thursday the last time the mercury crept that high November in 1894. More than 80,000 Victorian households are currently without power as extreme weather brings catastrophic fire conditions to the state, schools are closed and strong winds have triggered storms blanketing cities in dust. The Australian

Smoke from Australia's bushfire crisis has blanketed the major cities of Sydney and Adelaide. In Sydney, locals woke on Thursday to smoke that appeared worse than a fire-driven haze that was seen on Tuesday. Health officials issued warnings as air quality surpassed "hazardous" levels and some residents wore face masks. Fire conditions classified as "severe" or higher have affected all six states in the past week. Several states have faced "catastrophic" levels of danger. BBC
PHOTO: Mildura was blanketed in orange as the hot winds whipped up dust. (ABC News: Christopher Testa)
The U.S.

Propane shortages have rocked eight midwest states in the middle of harvest season as the Arctic blast and record blizzard covered crops in snow which requires excessive drying but a lack of propane grinds USA harvest to a trickle. Ham prices in the USA are expected to double for Thanksgiving after a shortage of pigs as swine fever grips Asia. Adapt 2030

Record rain hits LasVegas. Emergency Crews rescued two people from a wash flowing with runoff from record rain in Las Vegas, and up a to half-foot of Sierra snow (15 centimetres) triggered chain controls around Lake Tahoe as a cold front moved across Nevada on Wednesday, see video below. AP


Record heavy rain hits Las Vegas

A mysterious disease is starting to kill American beeches, one of eastern North America's most important trees, and has spread rapidly from the Great Lakes to New England. But scientists disagree about what is causing the ailment, dubbed beech leaf disease. Some have recently blamed a tiny leaf-eating worm introduced from Asia, but others are sceptical that's the whole story. Regardless of their views, researchers say the outbreak deserves attention. "We're dealing with something really unusual," says Lynn Carta, a plant disease specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Beltsville, Maryland. Sciencemag

Canada

Tofino fish farms are reporting mass salmon die-offs due to harmful algae caused by warmer waters. According to Cermaq, the fish are being targeted by an aggressive form of algae that is native to the region. Cermaq first reported the die-off on Nov. 15. A local environmental group estimates thousands of fish were affected. The Tyee

Climate change causes sinkholes, unstable bridges and ruptured pipelines.
Roads, buildings and industrial facilities rely on the integrity of the ground they’re built upon. But when soils shift or are washed away after heavy rain, severe damage can occur. Ruptured pipes, abrupt sinkholes, hanging rail tracks and fallen bridges can seriously compromise public safety and the environment. Soils are like sponges with a network of pores that allows water and air to freely enter and escape. They can be quite stiff when they’re dry and soft when they’re wet. But some soils are more vulnerable to changes in water content than others. Alternate wetting and drying cause swelling and shrinkage in some clays, whereas freezing and thawing can weaken sandy silts. Full Story
A large sinkhole opened up in downtown Ottawa in June 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Europe

A massive cyclone is travelling across the southern Bay of Biscay and will bring a powerful windstorm along the northern Iberia through Friday and early Saturday, Nov 22-23rd.
Associated with the large trough, a deep cyclone takes place over the Bay of Biscay this Friday and delivers an intense windstorm into parts of SW Europe. Peak gusts are likely to reach an extremely severe threshold, peaking above 120 km/h in some areas. Excessive rainfall is also expected across western Iberia due to strong westerlies producing orographic rainfall into NE Portugal and NW Spain. Severe Weather Europe

India

Put on your anti-smog mask first: AirAsia India gives passengers flying to Delhi pollution protection. One of India’s no-frills airlines has expanded the range of masks available onboard; in addition to one for oxygen, it will now give passengers masks to help cope with smog in the capital which recently hit toxic levels. AirAsia India has started to hand out the anti-smog masks, free of charge, to those travelling to Delhi from large cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The air in the Indian capital is so toxic that deadly particles – known as PM 2.5 – can reach deep into the lungs, causing cancer. RT
Men walk in front of the iconic India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi © REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Chad

Chad – Over 200,000 Hit by Floods Says UN. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) says that flooding has affected over 200,000 people in Chad. In a report of 19 November, UN OCHA said heavy rain has triggered flooding across several provinces of Chad, affecting over 211,000 people. Floodlist 

World

2019 likely to be the second hottest year ever recorded Only 2016 was hotter. By global temperature, this October was the second-hottest October on record, according to a report from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information. And by their Global Annual Temperature Rankings Outlook, 2019 will probably be the second hottest year on record. 2016 is currently the hottest year on record since recording started in 1880, Scientific American reports. That was a strong year for El Niño, which is unusually hot weather over the Pacific that affects global climate. The fact that 2019 is approaching 2016’s global temperatures is worrisome, given that 2019 had a weak El Niño effect that ended in July. Changing America

Climate impacts 'to cost the world $7.9 trillion' by 2050, analysis shows. PARIS – Climate change could directly cost the world economy $7.9 trillion by the middle of the century as increased drought, flooding and crop failures hamper growth and threaten infrastructure, a new analysis showed Wednesday. Japan Times

Climate Crisis

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