Fwd: The era of super-wild weather

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Art Hunter

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Jun 18, 2024, 2:31:33 PMJun 18
to CACOR CG, cacor-public
Another example of "if I would have known I would have prepared."  Yea, sure!   It is not as if this has been a deep secret for decades.   

 There is time to prepare for the ever deepening disaster chain.    Playing the affordability card has been exposed as an excuse not a reason.

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---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Bloomberg Green <nor...@mail.bloombergbusiness.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 18, 2024 at 11:27 AM
Subject: The era of super-wild weather
To: <art....@gmail.com>


More volatile than ever before |
Bloomberg

Today’s newsletter takes a step back to look at life on our overheated planet. New research finds that extreme floods, wildfires and droughts have become more widespread and more volatile than any time since record keeping began. You can read the full story on Bloomberg.com. For unlimited access to climate news and data, please subscribe.

The beginning of extraordinary times

By Akshat Rathi

Each year at Bloomberg Green we brace for the start of the Northern Hemisphere summer. While many people think about their holidays, we ready ourselves to write about the increasingly wild weather unleashed on an overheating planet.  

Yet 2024 has already been an exceptional year for climate impacts – and it’s only June. What we’ve seen so far has been “stunning,” Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist at the nonprofit Nature Conservancy, said on the Zero podcast.

On the latest episode of Zero, Texas Tech University professor Katharine Hayhoe explains why we’re all experiencing “global weirding.” 

Let’s start in Hayhoe’s home of Texas, which she calls the “poster child of extreme weather” in the US. The state sees more billion-dollar damage from climate-linked disasters than any other. In February the worst wildfire in Texas history scorched more than 1 million acres. Last month, Texas experienced extreme heat, hail, and tornados. At the same time, local leaders in the oil state say they are worried about ensuring continued fossil fuel investment. (Though Texas hasn’t gone as far as climate-vulnerable Florida, which is making it the law to ignore global warming when creating government policies.)

A resident collects belongings from his vehicle after riding out a tornado in the bathrooms of a truck stop in Valley View, Texas, on May 26, 2024. Photographer: Julio Cortez/AP

Global temperatures are now, on average, 1.3C above pre-industrial times and many parts of the world are just trying to survive through this new climate reality. Zambia, a country of 20 million people with less than $1,500 of annual income per capita, is suffering through one of its worst droughts in four decades. That’s caused the production of corn to fall to a 16-year low and forced the country to seek $900 million in humanitarian aid. It’s not the only nation where climate has become a severe economic threat: This year’s heat also badly wilted Pakistani cotton, which forms the basis of the country’s giant textile manufacturing industry. 

A burnt ear of corn during a heat wave. Photographer: Hector Quintanar/Bloomberg

Major cities have had to grapple with completely unexpected catastrophes. Dubai is a megacity in a desert country that gets so little rain the nation has regularly turned to cloud-seeding to generate precipitation. The oil-producing country was caught off guard by devastating floods in April, made worse by climate change, which destroyed Ferraris and forced the government to pledge $544 million for home repairs. 

A Ferrari sportscar in a showroom damaged by floodwater following heavy rains in Dubai on April 19, 2024. Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg

The daily high temperature in New Delhi, the capital of my home country, hasn’t gone below 40C (104F) in over a month. The nation’s longest and most extreme heat wave has killed dozens of people over the past few months. Some of those were poll workers, because the extreme temperatures coincided with a national election where 600 million people turned out to vote. The new government cabinet includes a former coal minister who will be tasked with helping India hit its renewable energy targets. (Oil-rich Mexico also saw record heat during its national election, which resulted in climate and energy scientist Claudia Sheinbaum winning the presidency.)

People gather around a municipal tanker to collect water during high temperatures in New Delhi on May 18, 2024. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Global warming has dramatically altered everything from the sea to the sky – as this year’s mass coral bleaching event and reports of extreme turbulence show. And things are set to get worse because our fossil fuel-powered lives aren’t slowing down and the amount of planet-warming gas in the atmosphere keeps rising as a result. 

In some cases, extreme weather is actually increasing our desire for these polluting fuels. Egypt’s extreme heat wave has led the gas-rich country to import liquefied natural gas to keep all of its air conditioners humming. In other cases, attempts to move away from fossil fuel production are causing short-term shortages. Colombia’s President Gustavo Petro has made fighting climate change a priority and has refused to grant licenses to explore for new oil and gas sites. That means, for now, the country is having to meet its demand for gas through more expensive imports.

Going through the seemingly never-ending list of extreme weather events that have occurred just in the last 12 months, I realized that I’m not capable of processing the scale of devastation. A troubling realization dawned on me: In the time it would take to make any reasonable attempt, new and worse catastrophes would no doubt have occurred. It’s the same conclusion Hayhoe came to when we talked: “We are going to see events that are even more extreme.”

Akshat Rathi is the author of Climate Capitalism that will be out in paperback this month.

Rising numbers 

60%
This is the current probability that 2024 will overtake 2023 as the hottest year on record.  

Everything, everywhere, all at once

"Extreme weather events are getting more intense and more frequent. The geographies that they impact are also widening, hitting some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Adaptation is as critical as mitigation."
Rohit Magotra
Deputy director at Integrated Research and Action for Development

More from Green

In some good news, the European Union approved a law on Monday to re-wild a fifth of the continent’s land and sea. The first-of-its-kind policy is a milestone for the world, after global leaders pledged at a United Nations biodiversity summit in 2022 to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. Few, if any, countries have put in place measures that are as comprehensive as the EU’s.

The Nature Restoration Law has been on the cusp of failure numerous times over the past two years — and it took one Austrian minister’s defiance against her boss to see it passed. Bloomberg Green looks at the details of the law and why it became so controversial

Austrian climate minister Leonore Gewessler, pictured here, saved the EU’s most hated climate law.  Photographer: John Thys/Getty Images

Here are 13 other people you should know. Meet some of the investors, policymakers, scientists and activists who are shaping the future of the environment in the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Carbon removal gets big backers in Europe. The Frontier fund, which includes companies such as Alphabet, Meta and Shopify, will pay $48.6 million to a Swedish utility to capture and store carbon.

Planted Solar lines up $20 million. A California startup that uses robots to help construct solar farms in hard-to-reach locations received new funding from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

Weather watch

By Brian K Sullivan

Parts of the Texas coast and northeastern Mexico are bracing for tropical storm conditions on Wednesday, as a potential system churns its way through the Bay of Campeche, the US National Hurricane Center said. 

With winds of 40 miles per hour, the storm is already at tropical storm strength, however it currently lacks the organization to be named Alberto, the first name on this year's Atlantic list, the center said. It will likely reach that threshold Wednesday and its winds will peak at 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour) as it nears Mexico's coastline, where watches are in place. 

Tropical storm warnings have been posted for the Texas coast between Port O’Connor and the mouth of the Rio Grande, the center said. The storm will likely make landfall in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas early Thursday.

In other weather news:

Heat advisories stretch from Iowa to Maine as temperatures soar into the 90sF (32C) and even to 100F or more in some places. Schools are cutting class time short across Massachusetts, governments are warning residents to prepare and electricity demand is set to soar along with temperatures.

More than 120 daily high temperatures records may be tied or broken through Sunday, the US Weather Prediction Center said.

Read more here

See you in Seattle!

The world needs radical solutions to address global warming and climate change. Join us in Seattle July 10-13 for the inaugural Bloomberg Green Festival, a groundbreaking celebration of thinkers, doers and innovators leading the way into a new climate era. The festival will immerse attendees in solutions-driven experiences with world-renowned experts to inspire climate action. Secure your tickets today.

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