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Some reading for the “anti-warmalists” and “climate-change deniers”


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Author Topic: Some reading for the “anti-warmalists” and “climate-change deniers”  (Read 18027 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #1150 on: August 05, 2018, 01:57:01 pm »


from The New York Times…

Scorching Summer in Europe Signals Long-Term Climate Changes

Hot weather has touched all of the continent, but it has had the most impact in northern countries,
 unaccustomed to sustained heat, suggesting that hard years lie ahead.


By ALISSA J. RUBIN | Saturday, August 04, 2018

People trying to cool down in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. — Photograph: Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
People trying to cool down in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. — Photograph: Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

PARIS — In Northern Europe, this summer feels like a modern-day version of the biblical plagues. Cows are dying of thirst in Switzerland, fires are gobbling up timber in Sweden, the majestic Dachstein glacier is melting in Austria.

In London, stores are running out of fans and air-conditioners. In Greenland, an iceberg may break off a piece so large that it could trigger a tsunami that destroys settlements on shore. Last week, Sweden's highest peak, Kebnekaise mountain, no longer was in first place after its glacier tip melted.

Southern Europe is even hotter. Temperatures in Spain and Portugal are expected to reach 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend. On Saturday, several places in Portugal experienced record highs, and over the past week, two people have died in Spain from the high temperatures, and a third in Portugal.

But in the northern-most latitudes, where the climate is warming faster than the global average, temperatures have been the most extreme, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and the World Weather Attribution network.

By analyzing data from seven weather stations in northern Europe, the researchers found that the closer a community is to the Arctic Circle, the more this summer's heat stood out in the temperature record. A number of cities and towns in Norway, Sweden and Finland hit all-time highs this summer, with towns as far north as the Arctic Circle recording nearly 90-degree temperatures.

Not only is much of northern and western Europe hotter than normal, but the weather is also more erratic. Torrential rains and violent thunderstorms have alternated with droughts in parts of France. In the Netherlands, a drought — rather than the rising seas — is hurting its system of dikes because there is not enough fresh water countering the seawater.


A crowded beach in Nazaré, Portugal, on Thursday. The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere warned that the maximum temperatures will be well above normal. — Photograph: Paulo Cunha/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.
A crowded beach in Nazaré, Portugal, on Thursday. The Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere warned that the maximum temperatures
will be well above normal. — Photograph: Paulo Cunha/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.


The preliminary results of the Oxford study found that, in some places, climate change more than doubled the likelihood of this summer's European heat wave.

“In the past, we had this kind of heat wave once every 10 years, and now we have them every two years or something like that,” said François-Marie Bréon, a climatologist and deputy director of the Laboratory of Climate and Environmental Science, a research institute affiliated with France's National Center for Scientific Research. “That's really the sign of climate change: We have heat waves that aren’t necessarily more intense but that are more and more frequent.”

Temperatures that used to be seen as outliers — like those in the summer of 2003 when at least 70,000 people died across Europe — will become “the norm for summer” after 2060, said Jean Jouzel, who was vice chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007 when it won the Nobel Prize.

Occasional heat waves could push temperatures in Europe toward 120 degrees unless there is a dramatic slowdown in global warming trends, he said.

“This really is to enter into another world,” Mr. Jouzel said. “This is a world that France and Western Europe are not used to. For Western Europe, this is truly a major change of climate if we do not fight efficiently against global warming.”


A wildfire in Karbole, Sweden, in July. Forest fires have destroyed more than 61,000 acres of timber in the country. — Photograph: Tt News Agency/Reuters.
A wildfire in Karbole, Sweden, in July. Forest fires have destroyed more than 61,000 acres of timber in the country. — Photograph: Tt News Agency/Reuters.

The Dachstein glacier is one of the more dramatic symptoms. The glacier “is melting so fast you can see it with your naked eye,” the meteorologist Klaus Reingruber told journalists.

It has been melting incrementally for many years, but the change became more visible this summer after the hottest June on record since 1767, when the country started keeping track, according to researchers at Innsbruck University.

For Europeans living with the heat day to day, a raft of practical problems has become worrisome — difficulties that might have happened elsewhere or rarely, but never before seemed likely to become facts of daily life.

Climate change is gradually becoming understood here as something that will alter many aspects of how Europeans live, potentially destroy or diminish some parts of the economy, and halt beloved local traditions such as the summer barbecue, which was banned this year in public spots in parts of Sweden to reduce the chance of fire.

“In Europe, each year about 5 percent of Europeans have to face an extreme climate event — be that a heat wave, a flood, a drought. But in the second half of this century, if the global warming is not checked, we could see two Europeans out of every three who have to face extreme climate events,” said Mr. Jouzel, citing a recent study in The Lancet — Planetary Health.

It used to be winter storms that closed down airports and delayed flights. But this summer in the northern German city of Hannover, the 50-year-old runways buckled in the 93-degree heat and travelers were delayed for hours.


Jumping in a pond on Hampstead Heath in London. — Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters.
Jumping in a pond on Hampstead Heath in London. — Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters.

Across northern Germany, trees, especially saplings, have been hard hit by the drought and cities have been calling on citizens to help local trees. They have responded by dragging garden hoses from their houses or sloshing pails of water to nearby trees.

Throughout the Alps but especially in eastern Switzerland and western Austria, as well as in Ireland, the water shortages have been so severe that there is not enough hay in the pastures to feed local milk cows. So farmers are having to dip into their winter feed stocks, diminishing what they will have for their livestock later in the year.

In Switzerland, where the herds are led to the high pastures in summer to graze, the drought has stranded cows without water. Farmers have turned to the country's helicopter association and the Swiss Air Force to transport tens of thousands of gallons of water every week to keep the herds alive.

“The situation is very serious,” said Christian Garmann, a spokesman for the Swiss Helicopter Association. “For thousands of years, the cows could get water at small watering holes. Now they are dry in many places.”

The last time the association undertook an aid mission was in the summer of 2003, but this year “the situation is more extreme” with some farmers considering slaughtering their herds, Mr. Garmann said.

The association's managing director, Reto Rüesch, said they are running 30 to 40 trips a day, transporting 250 gallons on each run.


A parched section of the Wayoh Reservoir near Bolton, England. Drought has already increased food prices in England. — Photograph: Paul Ellis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
A parched section of the Wayoh Reservoir near Bolton, England. Drought has already increased food prices in England.
 — Photograph: Paul Ellis/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


In France, the hot weather has not broken records so far. But it is part of an overall trend — this July was one of the three hottest on record — and subtle changes are taking place countrywide. Among them are rising sea levels, which Mr. Bréon, the climate scientist, fears are being underestimated.

“Today, the sea level is increasing by three millimeters per year, or between three and four millimeters,” Mr. Bréon said. “One might think that's not very much, but I would insist otherwise because it is completely irreversible.”

“Even if we respect the Paris climate accord and manage to stabilize the temperatures at two degrees higher than in the preindustrial era, the level of the sea will continue to rise for many hundreds of years. There are coastal cities that are already condemned,” Mr. Bréon said.

Among them are areas of the Camargue on the Mediterranean, in Brittany both on the English Channel and along the Atlantic coast and in the Vendée and Gironde, the area near Bordeaux. In some places, that is already affecting land and house values as well as bird habitats.

In England, as in almost all of Europe, growing patterns are changing. The drought has increased food prices, and staples may be in short supply this fall.

In July, farmers had to fly in lettuce from overseas to meet contracts with supermarkets. One cargo firm said it flew in 30,000 heads of lettuce from Los Angeles during one hot July weekend alone.


Cooling down in the Katzensee Lake in Zurich in July. — Photograph: Melanie Duchene/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.
Cooling down in the Katzensee Lake in Zurich in July. — Photograph: Melanie Duchene/European Pressphoto Agency/Shutterstock.

The drought in Ireland means that income for dairy farmers is likely to be cut in half this year, said Teagasc, the state's farming advisory body.

Sweden has faced some of the most severe repercussions from the hot weather, starting with the forest fires that destroyed more than 61,000 acres of timber, according to David Sundström of the Swedish Contingencies Agency. Wildfires are still burning, although significantly fewer than when they were at their height.

The drought has also severely hurt production of the iconic Scandinavian bilberries (similar to blueberries), cloudberries (similar to raspberries and blackberries, but often yellow or orange), and red lingonberries.

Sylve Bjorkmanm, 62, said he buys berry crops from farmers and brings 1,000 workers from Thailand each year to pick them. In a telephone interview from Vasterbotten in Sweden’s north, where he was looking for berries for his pickers, he said bilberry prices are up 30-35 percent because the hot weather has meant a smaller harvest.

The cloudberry harvest was down as well because it was too hot for the beautiful alpine fruit.

“We had an early season and the cloudberries ripened really fast,” said Mr. Bjorkmann, adding that the berry season had outstripped the arrival of the pickers, who came too late.


__________________________________________________________________________

Reporting was contributed by Aurelien Breeden and Emma Bubola in Paris; Melissa Eddy and Christopher Schuetze in Berlin; Elisabetta Povoledo in Rome; Milan Schreuer in Brussels; Rafael Minder in Madrid; Christina Anderson in Stockholm; Ceylan Yeginsu and Palko Karasz in London; Ed O'Loughlin in Dublin; and Niki Kitsantonis in Athens.

Alissa Johannsen Rubin is the Paris bureau chief for The New York Times. She joined The Times in January 2007 as a correspondent in Baghdad and covered Iraq and Afghanistan, becoming bureau chief in Baghdad in the fall of 2008, and then moving to Afghanistan in October 2009, becoming bureau chief there a couple of months later. She was in Kabul for almost four years, leaving in the late summer of 2013 to take up the job as Paris bureau chief. However, she continued to work on projects in Afghanistan and joined the team covering the Islamic State's takeover of northern and western Iraq in 2014. That August, she was seriously injured and nearly killed in a helicopter crash in Kurdistan, covering the beleaguered Yazidis. Before joining The N.Y. Times, she was the Los Angeles Times co-bureau chief in Baghdad, and its bureau chief for the Balkans for five years. She started at the L.A. Times' Washington bureau in 1997, covering health care policy and financing, abortion politics and legislation, and the fight over tobacco legislation on Capitol Hill. Before the Los Angeles Times, she was a reporter for Congressional Quarterly magazine, where she covered health care and then taxes and trade on Capitol Hill. She came to Washington after working for four years as a reporter in Wichita, Kansas, for the Knight-Ridder newspaper then known as The Wichita Eagle-Beacon. She also covered taxes there as well as the troubled farm economy. Her career in journalism started at The American Lawyer magazine where she was a researcher. While in Washington, D.C., she freelanced for The New Republic, The Washington Monthly and The Washington Post's Outlook section as well as The Washington Post Magazine. Ms. Rubin, was born and brought up in New York City and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1980 from Brown University with an honors degree in Renaissance studies and a minor in classics (Latin). She received a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities to pursue her graduate studies in modern European history (with a focus on the history of the Catholic Church) at Columbia University, where she received an M.A. in 1986. She is a winner of a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting; the 2015 John Chancellor Award for journalistic achievement; a 2010 Overseas Press Association award for a piece on women suicide bombers titled “How Baida Wanted to Die”, and a 1992 Washington Monthly award for a piece that appeared in the Washington City Paper, “What People Talk About When They Talk About Abortion”. In 1992 she won an Alicia Patterson Fellowship to report on the medical and religious roots of the abortion controversy in the wake of the United States Supreme Court's 1989 Webster decision. She was twice part of teams that won the National Farm Writers of America Award at the Wichita Eagle in 1986 and 1988 for their coverage of farm issues. She also won the William Allen White Award in 1989 for her coverage of Kansas' overhaul of its real estate taxes. Her college thesis, which was a translation and annotation of some of the letters of Lionardo Bruni, a Renaissance humanist, was published in Allegorica, an academic journal. Ms. Rubin lives in Paris with her husband, James E. Castello, a lawyer who specializes in international arbitration.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Sunday, August 5, 2018, on Page A6 of the New York print edition with the headline: “A Miserably Hot Europe Is Fast Becoming the Norm”.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Sweden's Tallest Peak Shrinks in Record Heat

 • ‘Furnace Friday’: Ill-Equipped for Heat, Britain Has a Meltdown

 • U.K. ‘Heat Wave’? Irish ‘Drought’? Unfamiliar Words for Unfamiliar Times


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/04/world/europe/europe-heat-wave.html
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