January 2020 Climate Crisis Update

BRAZIL: CRAZY RECORD RAINS + FLOODS + MUDSLIDES

One year after extreme weather induced a mining waste dam collapse (271 dead) catastrophe, record rains have wrought flooding and landslides in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Dozens are dead and missing and thousands have been evacuated as rains continue for the third day.

New records were set for most rainfall in a 24 hour period.

Several men clear debris following a landslide (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Futura Press/A. Mota)

ADD DUST STORMS AND DEVASTATING HAIL TO AUSTRALIA’S APOCALYPTIC TROUBLES:

The wildfires that have consumed Australia’s southeast, including areas around it’s major population centers, have gotten plenty of media coverage. That is due in large part to the good visuals that accompany this type of story. An area about the size of Virginian has been burned. Millions of animals and birds have died. The economic toll had not even begun to be calculated when the area was hit with a massive dust storm followed by an apocalyptic hail storm.

2019 was the hottest, driest year on record in Australia, which is saying something. Summer is only half over. With no moisture in the air, the intensity of these fires is hard to describe.

INDONESIA RECORD STORMS / JAKARTA SINKS

Beginning New Year’s Day, Jakarta has been inundated by catastrophic storms that brought intense rainfall and lethal flooding to the city of 30 million, with 15 or 20 inches coming in 24 hours. Even in a megalopolis prone to flooding, this storm is in a class of its own. Millions have been evacuated. The situation of course, is exacerbated by stupid human tricks, because massive quantities of groundwater have been sucked out from beneath the city. As is often the case, there is both too much water and not enough to drink.

Monsoons are normal in this region, but the new weather patterns bring much greater quantities of rain over the course of fewer, less predictable storms.

NEW WINTER HEAT RECORD AS TEMPS REACH 66.2 F IN NORWAY

Norway broke it’s all time national high temperature record for any January, reaching 66.2F (or 19C as they say in Norway) two weeks ago.  The far northern country broke several records last summer as well.

Record highs were also reported in Boston and New York, running 35 degrees higher than normal.

STORM GLORIA BRINGS 60 MPH WINDS AND 45 FOOT WAVES TO SPAIN / FRANCE

Coastal towns were lashed by 60-foot waves, and villages farther inland were buried under mountains of snow. Dozens of people died and bridges collapsed as  sea surges reached as far as two miles inland.

OCEAN TEMPERATURES HOTTEST EVER IN 2019 AND CLIMBING FASTER

The heat in the world’s oceans reached a new record level in 2019. Although 2019 was only the “second warmest” on record for atmospheric temperatures, the oceans are heating up faster than ever. Oceans absorb and store 90% of solar heat energy. Hotter seas cause more severe storms and further contribute to rising seas through thermal expansion and kill marine life.