Environment

Record Temperature in South Africa

Vioolsdrif, a village in the Northern Cape, has broken a new record for the highest temperature in the country — reaching over 50 degrees Celsius. On Thursday, it reached a new record of 50.1°C and then it broke its own record again on Friday by reaching 53.2°C.

There was an upper high weather system situated over the area that resulted in an increase of temperatures, which is the reason we had a heatwave condition in parts of SA. Planet Earth and Storm Report SA reported that the temperature recorded at the Viooldrif weather station is now the highest yet recorded anywhere in Africa in the modern era.

Environment

Heatwave in Europe Continues

Europe sweltered Saturday on the sixth day of a widespread, deadly heatwave that has fuelled record-breaking temperatures, huge blazes and pollution peaks. France, Italy, Spain and some central European nations posted all-time high temperatures.

The heat has officially claimed four lives in France, two in Italy and another two in Spain, including a 17-year-old harvest worker, a 33-year-old roofer and a 72-year-old homeless man.

The hot spell sparked several blazes, including in Spain where firefighters were again battling high flames in strong winds and blistering heat Saturday just after they managed to contain another inferno after nearly 72 hours. A fire that started Friday in the central Spanish town of Almorox burnt at least 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres), spilling over into the Madrid region and forcing the evacuation of a village, emergency services said.

In France, about 40 fires were reported, razing about 600 hectares and dozens of houses in the Gard department in the country’s south. This is the same region where a new French record of 45.9 degrees Celsius (114.6 degrees Fahrenheit) was set Friday, prompting the Meteo France weather service to issue its highest alert level of red for the first time.

Winegrowers in the south of France said their precious crops have been badly burnt.

Environment

“Plasticrust”

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Researchers say they have found a strange new combination of rock and plastic forming on Portugal’s Atlantic island of Madeira.

Researcher Ignacio Gestoso says the new hybrid geology was first observed on the island’s volcanic shore in 2016, the apparent result of waterborne plastic pollution being slammed into rocks by wave action.

The new “plasticrust” looks like melted plastic encrusted on the rocks, according to Gestoso and colleagues at the island’s Marine and Environmental Research Center. They say the plastic is mainly polyethylene, a mixture of polymers and ethylene used in single-use packaging, bottles and food containers.

Heatwave in Europe

Europe’s record-breaking heatwave is forecast to intensify further on Thursday with authorities on high alert as temperatures threaten to exceed 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of the continent.

The stifling heat prompted traffic restrictions in France, sparked forest fires in Spain, and fanned debate in Germany over public nudity as sweltering residents stripped down.

Meteorologists blame a blast of hot air from northern Africa for the heat this week, which has already set new records in Europe for June. According to reports, the high temperatures have already claimed the lives of three people.

Exceptional for arriving so early in summer, the heatwave will on Thursday and Friday likely send mercury above 40C in France, Spain and Greece.

Paris Bans 60% of Cars Due To Heatwave and Pollution Levels

Paris imposed a ban on older and less efficient cars on Wednesday and is due to stay in place within the A86 second ring-road – which encompasses Paris and 79 towns around it – as long as the hot weather lasts, the city council said.

Data firm AAA Data said that nearly five million vehicles registered in the Ile-de-France area around Paris were covered, about 60 percent of total, a record number to be restricted. The city was not immediately available to comment on those estimates.

Traffic was lighter in Paris, but not significantly so. Several drivers said they were ignoring the restrictions as the fines for breaking them – just 68 euros ($77) for cars and 135 euros for vans – were so low.

French authorities also stepped up restrictions on water use on Thursday as swathes of western Europe remained in the grip of an intense heatwave.

Paris’ driving ban was imposed under the new “Crit’Air” colored stickers system, which classifies cars by age and pollution levels.

Only electric or hydrogen vehicles, petrol cars registered after Jan. 2006 and diesel cars registered from Jan. 2011 – corresponding to Crit’Air levels 1 and 2 out of 5 – were allowed on the roads.

Environment

Heatwave in India

Almost half of India has been put on heatwave alert, with at least 500 people being reported to have died in the heatwave sweeping India, with temperatures reaching 48C (118F) in some areas. Most deaths have taken place in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where more than 140 people have died since Saturday.

Environment

Cool Roofs

A new study finds that making rooftops a light-reflective colour can reduce heat-related deaths and cool peak daytime temperatures by more than 3 degrees Celsius during heat waves.

Cities store more heat than the surrounding countryside due to the urban heat island effect. This makes cities more susceptible to the increasing number and intensity of heat waves under global warming.

New modelling by the University of Oxford found that introducing cool roofs across a city could prevent about a quarter of heat wave-related deaths and cut the need for air conditioning.

Global Warming

‘Stuck’ Weather

Recent extended heatwaves across Europe, North America and Asia are being driven by stalled weather patterns that are becoming more frequent due to record Arctic warmth, according to a new study by a team of international researchers.

It points to the polar region warming more quickly than any other part of the planet, which is slowing the jet stream and other large-scale planetary winds.

This means areas of high and low barometric pressure are getting stuck in the middle latitudes, resulting in longer periods of extreme weather, including heat waves.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, the researchers say the more frequently stalled patterns turn sunny days into heat waves, dry conditions into wildfires and rains into floods.

Global Warming

Animated Earth Map Shows Extent of Global Heat Wave

Earth is boiling under record-high temperatures. Global heat waves have landed thousands of people in the hospital and fueled massive wildfires in places ranging from Greece to the Arctic Circle.

An animation called “earth” shows just how high worldwide temperatures really are. The animation, designed by computer programmer Cameron Beccario, an engineering manager at Indeed Tokyo in Japan, updates every 3 hours with weather data taken from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction’s Global Forecast System.

Environment

Record high temperatures around world this week

Record high temperatures have been set across much of the world this week as an unusually prolonged and broad heatwave intensifies concerns about climate change.

The past month has seen power shortages in California as record heat forced a surge of demand for air conditioners. Algeria has experienced the hottest temperature ever reliably registered in Africa. Britain, meanwhile, has experienced its third longest heatwave, melting the roof of a science building in Glasgow and exposing ancient hill forts in Wales.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said the rising temperatures were at odds with a global cyclical climate phenomena known as La Niña, which is usually associated with cooling.

Taiwan is the most recent place to report a new high with a temperature of 40.3C in Tianxiang on Monday.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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India – The heaviest rainfall in over a century caused massive flooding across Tamil Nadu, driving thousands from their homes, shutting auto factories and paralysing the airport in capital Chennai. The national weather office predicted three more days of torrential downpours in the southern state of nearly 70 million people. No deaths were reported and the extent of damage would only become clear when the floodwaters recede. Air and rail traffic has ground to a halt.

South Africa – A heat wave has claimed the lives of two people in a shopping mall in Cape Town. Two people died in Khayelitsha Shopping Mall as the mercury reached 34°C.

Environment

Heat Wave in Israel

Forecasters say high humidity levels to intensify heat; Jordan Valley gears up for temperatures up to 48º. A punishing heat wave wracking Israel was set to peak on Sunday, with temperatures projected to rise above 40°C (104°F) in some areas.

In the southern resort city of Eilat, vacationers were expected to brave a sweltering 46ºC (115ºF), while cities and towns in the Jordan Valley will endure a combination of high humidity and blazing heat, with temperatures up to 48ºC (118ºF). In Tiberias, temperatures are expected to climb to 45°C (113ºF). But with 35 percent humidity in the afternoon hours, it will feel more like 58° (136ºF). Meanwhile, at the Dead Sea, the 44ºC weather (111º F) will feel more like 48°C (119ºF) when factoring in humidity. Tel Aviv’s relatively benign 35°C (95ºF) will feel more like 45°C (113ºF), given a whopping 60% humidity rate. Elsewhere in Israel, temperatures were predicted to climb to 42ºC (108º F) in Beersheba, 39ºC (102º F) on the Golan Heights and 35ºC (95º F) in Haifa.

Environment

Heatwave in Egypt

A scorching heatwave gripped Egypt this week, killing at least 42 people, officials said on Tuesday. Egyptian summers are usually hot, but this week’s temperatures in the south soared to 44°C.

The Health Ministry said 21 people died from the heat on Sunday, when temperatures topped 40°C in the country’s north. Nineteen more died on Monday, authorities said, mostly elderly citizens.

Environment

Hong Kong Swelters

Hong Kong on Saturday recorded its hottest day since authorities began taking temperature readings 130 years ago, due to the influence of a nearby typhoon.

The daily maximum temperature hit 36.3 degrees Celsius, the Hong Kong Observatory said, with higher temperatures recorded in some parts of the city earlier in the day.

A layer of haze hung over the metropolis of seven million, as people wielding electric fans and umbrellas tried in vain to beat the boiling heat.

Europe in Heat Wave

Just one month after setting its all-time national heat record, Germany tied that mark on Friday at the same location, as yet another multiway heat wave swept across much of Europe. The German meteorological agency (Deutscher Wetterdienst) confirms that the town of Kitzingen reached 40.3°C (104.5°F) on Friday, the same national record it reached on July 5. More than 100 towns and cities in Germany either tied or broke their all-time record highs on Friday. Berlin’s Kaniswall station hit 38.9°C (102.0°F)–the hottest temperature ever observed in the Berlin area, beating the old record of 38.6°C (101.5°F).

Record heat extended far across other parts of Europe on Friday. Friday’s high of 38.3C (100.9°F] at Genoa, Italy, topped the all-time airport record by a full 4°F. Records at the airport extend back to 1962; the previous reporting site for Genoa was located further inland, with a warmer microclimate. Even at that location, the previous Genoa record was 37.8°C (100.0°F) in July 1952.

Environment

Heat Wave in Europe

A heat wave has soared across Europe. The heat wave set a record in Germany as 104.54 Fahrenheit was measured in Kitzingen, northern Bavaria, on Sunday afternoon. It is the highest level in Germany since measurements began in 1881.

The heatwave caused the deaths of five elderly people, two cyclists and three beachgoers, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.