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Summer 2021 Hotter Than ‘Dust Bowl’ Of The 1930s, NOAA Says

Summer 2021 Hotter Than ‘Dust Bowl’ Of The 1930s, NOAA Says

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed in a new report that the average temperature during this summer for the contiguous U.S. was hotter than the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

The meteorological summer between June 1 to Sept. 1 averaged 74F for the U.S., or 2.6 degrees warmer than the long-term average. NOAA said, “this technically exceeds the record heat of the 1936 Dust Bowl Summer, but the difference is extremely small (less than 0.01 of a degree F).” 

Readers should be familiar with our weather notes this summer, pointing out extreme temperatures and drought across the country’s western half.

NOAA said 18.4% of the contiguous U.S. experienced records, with five states, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah, setting new records for the warmest meteorological summers of all time. Another 16 states had a top-five warmest summer on record.

The most notable heat wave of the summer was in the Pacific Northwest of the country, which sparked wildfires and stressed out energy grids across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Northern California. More than 35 metro areas in the western U.S. tied or registered new records during multiday heat waves. In some of these places, temperatures surpassed 120F.

Tying a couple of months of heat waves to global warming requires a lot of analysis. Although climate alarmists, such as Greta Thunberg, had no problem tweeting mainstream media reports about how the world was going to hell and condemning fossil fuels.

We noted last week cooler weather trends are ahead after Sept. 17-19.

Plunging Crop Supplies Send Prices Soaring And Reignite Food Inflation Fears, WASDE Reports

Plunging Crop Supplies Send Prices Soaring And Reignite Food Inflation Fears, WASDE Reports

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report was released Thursday afternoon and pointed to declining grain supplies that sent grain futures prices higher and will keep food inflation in focus.

The closely watched supply and demand report slashed estimates for corn yields and stockpiles. World inventories for wheat were reported near a five-year low.

Grain and oilseed futures soared to a near-decade high earlier this year but have been in a holding pattern for the last month, awaiting new reports on the outlook for upcoming U.S. harvests. A megadrought and back-to-back heat waves have plagued the corn belt and the U.S. West for much of the summer. 

December corn futures were up more than 2% to $5.7150 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean futures popped on the report and are now flat at the end of the U.S. cash session, wheat futures rose more than 3%, hitting a fresh eight-year high.

The Bloomberg Grains Index closed up 1% on the report.

Bloomberg outlines the key takeaways from the August WASDE report:

  • DROUGHT BITES: U.S. corn and soybean yields fell below analyst expectations and the declines were largely centered in the drought-stricken northern Plains, where severe drought has withered crops.
  • RUSSIA: So goes Russia’s harvest, so goes the wheat market. A large cut in the harvest means a lot less global wheat supplies and Russia’s wheat-export throne as the world’s top shipper is in doubt with the current forecast in line with exports out of the E.U.
  • WHEAT PEAK: Benchmark Chicago wheat prices hit the highest levels for a most-active contract since 2013. Corn and soybeans each touched multi-week highs but remain below multi-year peaks from earlier in 2021.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

200 Million Americans Roast In Two Massive “Heat Domes” 

200 Million Americans Roast In Two Massive “Heat Domes” 

At the beginning of the week, we told readers the dog days of summer have finally arrived with above-average temperatures for most of the country.

By late Thursday, watch/warning/advisory alerts for dangerous heat extended to nearly 200 million Americans as multiple heat domes scorch the Pacific Northwest, Central states, and East Coast.

“Dangerous heat and humidity in the Northwest, Northeast, and central portions of the CONUS have prompted Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories. Severe thunderstorms will impact the areas from the Midwest into the Great Lakes through Thursday,” the National Weather Service (NWS) wrote on its website. 

“Around 195 million Americans are under a watch/warning/advisory for dangerous heat. Yes, it’s summer, but this type of heat can kill,” the National Weather Service (NWS) warned in a tweet. 

Temperature forecasts for the lower 48 states show mean temperatures will peak Friday/Saturday and trend lower through Monday, with another spurt of hot weather slated through Aug. 22.

NYMEX Natgas futures have slumped nearly 4% in the last four sessions as traders begin to price in colder weather next week.

As we’ve shown, average temperatures are peaking for the lower 48 states and should begin to decline after this month.

Meanwhile, hot temps and a megadrought in the US West have fueled 105 large files burning 2.4 million acres in 14 states. The largest fire is Dixie in northern California, burning more than 500,000 acres so far.

Making matters worse, Bloomberg reports a La Niña weather pattern is forecasted to develop during the August-October season and last through the 2021-22 winter.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Frost Bites Brazilian Sugar Crop As Prices Zoom Higher 

Frost Bites Brazilian Sugar Crop As Prices Zoom Higher 

Brazil’s top producing regions for coffeeoranges, and sugar have been devastated by the worst weather in decades and could leave a lasting impact on prices, according to Bloomberg.

The South American country is one of the world’s leading coffee, sugar, and orange producers experienced a cold snap and drought this growing season in the Center-South area that has significantly damaged crops.

We have focused on coffee and orange markets and how prices are sloping higher after harvest output will likely come in well below average.

Now we’re setting our eyes on the sugar market, where losses in production, exacerbated by an already tight global supply, is fueling higher prices that may be sticking around for the next 18 months.

“We are getting into a boom cycle for the commodity prices,” said Pierre Santoul, chief executive officer in Brazil of France-based Tereos SCA. He said sugar prices are expected to remain elevated through early 2023. 

Tereos’s sugar-cane crushing may fall to the lowest levels since the 2009-10 season, to 16.6 million metric tons, or about a 21% reduction from 20.9 million crushed in 2020-21. The nation’s sugar-cane industry group Unica said sugar content in cane fell in the country from a year ago, while cane yield dropped 18%.

Santoul said the extent of the devastation is still unknown. He said mills had increased harvesting to avoid further cane deterioration. He added that if the weather improves in October and rains relieve droughts, the dismal scenario may slightly improve.

Weather disruptions in Brazil mean higher prices for coffee, oranges, and or sugar. Since most of these farm goods are exported, and shipping costs are at record highs, it’s only a matter of time before US wholesalers pass along the costs to consumers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

All of a sudden: Climate change tipping points appear with a vengeance

All of a sudden: Climate change tipping points appear with a vengeance

Across the world climate change seems to have arrived earlier than expected. There are world-class athletes with bodies trained for endurance and strength breaking down from the extreme heat visited on the Tokyo Olympics by mother nature. There are the continuing wildfires in the American West that take out entire towns. The drought there is so bad that states are thinking about paying farmers NOT to irrigate their crops as a conservation strategy.

One of the other effects of climate change is heavier rains and devastating floods. Recent floods in Germany were caused by rains characterized as once-in-a-millennium, rains which, for example, killed more than 200 people and caused $1.5 billion in damage to the German railway network. But, of course, statements about once-in-a-fill-in-the-blank rains or droughts seem less and less relevant in the age of climate change as what we call extraordinarily destructive weather just morphs into “the weather.”

Once-in-a-millennium rains also visited parts of China recently dumping in just three days an entire year’s rainfall on one town of 12 million.

The infrastructure we have built and the way we work and live are simply not designed for these extremes. Our systems are breaking down under the pressure of climate-change-induced extreme weather.

But the scariest thing is that all of the incidents I cited above could happen all over again next year and the next year and the next after that in the same places as extreme weather worsens and becomes just “weather.” In California, 2020 marked the worst fire season ever in the state. But 2021 is now on pace to be even worse.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Agricultural Catastrophe” – France Forecasts 30% Plunge In Wine Production Amid Cold Spells, Heavy Rains

“Agricultural Catastrophe” – France Forecasts 30% Plunge In Wine Production Amid Cold Spells, Heavy Rains

Oenophiles will be heartbroken to learn that the world’s second-largest wine-producing country is expected to slash production by as much as 30% this year due to spring frosts and summer downpours caused disease in grapes.

“Wine production in 2021 is forecast to be historically weak, below levels in 1991 and 2017 that were also affected by severe frost in spring,” the French farm ministry said in a report

“Yields are expected to be close to those of 1977, a year when the harvest was cut by damaging frost and summer rainfall.”

The 2021 wine outlook produced by the ministry said output would be between 32.6 million and 35.6 million hectolitres, 24-30% less than last year.

For some context, a hectolitre is around 100 liters or about 133 wine bottles.

Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie described the weather anomalies that impact crops this year as the “greatest agricultural catastrophe of the beginning of the 21st century.”

The weather catastrophe in France is widespread and has affected all wine-producing regions. In Champagne, cold weather destroyed 30% of buds.

French wine prices aren’t expected to surge because of producers’ tradition of balancing supply with stocks from previous seasons.

However, if impacts continue into the next growing season – supply woes may develop, which would then be reflected in higher prices.

Heat domes, wet spells, and the weather patterns that tie them together

Heat domes, wet spells, and the weather patterns that tie them together

Do you have a favorite kind of weather that you love to experience? For me, it’s the first warm evening of spring, when the air is just warm enough and the wind just strong enough for the air to feel as though it is dripping off my fingers. On nights like that, I can tell that the air really is a fluid, the topic of this week’s blog.

The wind of spring, Toshihiro Oimatsu via Commons Wikimedia

What causes atmospheric weather patterns?

You may have noticed this year that the weather patterns across both the United States and Europe have been very persistent. That has led to the occurrence of record-setting high temperatures in some locations like the Pacific Northwest and the central US and southern Europe as well as day after day of rain in the Southeastern US. Both of these weather patterns have caused no end of grief for gardeners and farmers, since weather is seldom stuck on day after day of “perfect” conditions (even if you could define what those are).

To understand how weather patterns get stuck, it helps to know how the air moves through the atmosphere. Wind is driven by differences in heating between two areas. That contrast leads to differences in density and pressure between the areas, and the air flows from higher pressure to lower pressure to try to equalize the amount of air between those areas. The large-scale weather patterns across the globe are caused by differences in the sun heating the spherical earth at the equator and at the poles at different angles due to latitude. There are also smaller-scale wind circulations due to differences in heating between land and water (oceans or lakes) that cause the same movement of air molecules…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“Apocalyptic Scenes” – Wildfires Consume Turkey 

“Apocalyptic Scenes” – Wildfires Consume Turkey 

Wildfires have been ravaging Turkey’s Mediterranean coast for the past few days, killing four, burning thousands of building structures, and affecting more than a dozen provinces.

Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin called the wildfires a national disaster.

According to Reuters, at least 60 wildfires have broken out across the country’s Mediterranean and southern Aegean region.

Forestry Minister Pakdemirli said 4,000 firefighters, 680 firefighting vehicles, 38 helicopters, nine drones, and three planes battle the wildfires.

“We were hoping to contain some of the fires as of this morning but while we say cautiously that they are improving, we still cannot say they are under control,” Pakdemirli said.

DW correspondent Julia Hahn tweeted scenes from Manavgat in Antalya province showing “apocalyptic scenes” of one wildfire.

Social media is full of horrifying videos of the wildfires.

Senior scientist of Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service Mark Parrington used satellite data to determine the “deadly scale” of the wildfires and shows which coastal areas are most affected.

Another view of the wildfires from space.

There’s still no word how the destructive fires began, but one government says “sabotage” cannot be ruled out.

Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish presidential communications director, said “comprehensive investigations” are being launched into the origins of the wildfires.

“Those responsible will have to account for the attacks against nature and forests,” Altun tweeted.

Turkey has been plagued with a heat wave like much of southeast Europe.

In neighboring Greece, authorities warned the public against the heightened risk of wildfires during the latest heat wave.

“A difficult weather phenomenon is coming in the next days with extremely high temperatures and several days of heat wave,” Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis said. “I call on – I urge – everyone to show the highest degree of responsibility and cooperation.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Corn Belt At Risk For ‘Damaging Derecho’ Storms

Corn Belt At Risk For ‘Damaging Derecho’ Storms

A derecho, otherwise known as a widespread, long-lived, straight-line wind storm, is expected to traverse parts of the Midwest Wednesday night and early Thursday, according to The Weather Channel.

Derechos can cause hurricane-force winds, tornadoes, torrential rains, and flash floods. This one could wreak havoc in the areas shaded in purple below.

What’s important to note is that this derecho is sweeping across the corn belt.

Last year, a derecho rolled through Iowa and damaged about 14 million crop acres, or about 57% of the state’s farms.

Across the corn belt, crops have already been damaged by sweltering heat and a persisting megadrought. This could weaken the root system and make corn more susceptible to snap under wind pressure.

World’s Food Supplies In Jeopardy Amid Climate Disasters

World’s Food Supplies In Jeopardy Amid Climate Disasters

Devastating floods in Germany, China, Turkey, and India. Scorching hot weather in the Western U.S. and Canada. Worst frost in two decades across Brazil. These recent weather phenomena are rapidly intensifying and threaten further food inflation already at decade highs.

We documented last week Brazil had some of the worst frost conditions in two decades. Temperatures dropped below zero and delivered a massive blow to farmers across the country’s coffee belt. The result has been sky-high coffee prices.

Back-to-back heatwaves continue to scorch the Earth across the Western half of the U.S. The corn belt, which spans the Midwest, lacks rainfall, and hot weather could negatively impact crop development, leading to an underwhelming harvest.

In Europe, China, Turkey, and India, devastating floods have torn apart towns, damaged farmland, and killed hundreds of people. Torrential rains have the risk of sparking fungal diseases for grain crops.

“All of these events are touched by jet streams, strong and narrow bands of westerly winds blowing above the Earth’s surface. The currents are generated when cold air from the poles clashes against hot air from the tropics, creating storms and other phenomena such as rain and drought,” Bloomberg said.

“Jet streams are the weather—they create it, and they steer it,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center. “Sometimes the jet stream takes on a very convoluted pattern. When we see it taking big swings north and big dips southward, we know we’re going to see some unusual weather conditions.”

Source: Bloomberg 

Meteorologists worry whenever those swings and dips form omega-shaped curves that look like waves. When that happens, warm air travels further north and cold air penetrates further south…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Christmas Tree Farms Scorched In Oregon Amid Record Heat

Christmas Tree Farms Scorched In Oregon Amid Record Heat

Oregon’s record-breaking heat waves and raging wildfires are set to dent Christmas tree crop output, resulting in supply constraints that may send prices skyrocketing come December.

According to Reuters, who spoke with multiple Christmas tree farm operators in Oregon, one of the top Christmas tree producing states, extreme heat and wildfires are impacting crop yields.

Jacob Hemphill, the owner of Hemphill Tree Farm in Oregon City, estimates he’s already lost more than $100,000 in trees due to the latest back-to-back heatwaves. At one point, temperatures in the area were triple digits for days.

“The second day of the heat, it was 116. I came in the driveway that night and seen the trees were basically cooking. Burnt down to nothing,” Hemphill said.

He said the losses will impact his farm revenue this year but hopes the 2022 season will improve.

“I mean, you just kind of got to roll with the punches, and replant next year… and hopefully make up for the loss that we’re gonna have in the future.”

Reuters spoke to several tree farm operators across the Willamette Valley who said the heat waves have severely damaged their crops.

On top of the heat waves, the Bootleg Fire in Southern Oregon, spurred by months of drought, has burned nearly 400,000 acres and is likely to increase in size as no relief is in sight.

Oregon is the top-selling state of Christmas trees which are Douglas fir, Noble fir, Grand fir, and Nordmann fir. This could present supply constraints come December.

In other words, on the back of already record-high prices, consumers could shell out even more money this year for a Christmas tree if shortages materialize in Oregon. On top of the supply crunch, the cost of everything, from fuel to labor to transportation, has soared and will positively impact prices.

Our climate change turning point is right here, right now

People are dying. Aquatic animals are baking in their shells. Fruit is being cooked on the tree. It’s time to act.

In April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino, where he announced a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma counties. On July 8, Newsom added nine more counties to the state’s emergency proclamation.
In April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino, where he announced a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma counties. On July 8, Newsom added nine more counties to the state’s emergency proclamation. Photograph: Kent Porter/AP

Human beings crave clarity, immediacy, landmark events. We seek turning points, because our minds are good at recognizing the specific – this time, this place, this sudden event, this tangible change. This is why we were never very good, most of us, at comprehending climate change in the first place. The climate was an overarching, underlying condition of our lives and planet, and the change was incremental and intricate and hard to recognize if you weren’t keeping track of this species or that temperature record. Climate catastrophe is a slow shattering of the stable patterns that governed the weather, the seasons, the species and migrations, all the beautifully orchestrated systems of the holocene era we exited when we manufactured the anthropocene through a couple of centuries of increasingly wanton greenhouse gas emissions and forest destruction.

This spring, when I saw the shockingly low water of Lake Powell, I thought that maybe this summer would be a turning point. At least for the engineering that turned the southwest’s Colorado River into a sort of plumbing system for human use, with two huge dams that turned stretches of a mighty river into vast pools of stagnant water dubbed Lake Powell, on the eastern Utah/Arizona border, and Lake Mead, in southernmost Nevada…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Scientists Call Northwest Heatwave the ‘Most Extreme in World Weather Records’

Wildfires rage amid a devastating heatwave in the Pacific Northwest

Flames surround the drought-stricken Shasta Lake in Lakehead, California on July 2, 2021. (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Scientists Call Northwest Heatwave the ‘Most Extreme in World Weather Records’

“Never in the century-plus history of world weather observation have so many all-time heat records fallen by such a large margin.”

A pair of climate scientists on Thursday said the record-high temperatures that have ravaged the northwestern U.S. and western Canada over the past week—killing hundreds and sparking dozens of wildfires—represent the “world’s most extreme heatwave in modern history.”

“It’s not hype or exaggeration to call the past week’s heatwave the most extreme in world weather records.”
—Bob Henson, Jeff Masters

“Never in the century-plus history of world weather observation have so many all-time heat records fallen by such a large margin than in the past week’s historic heatwave in western North America,” meteorologist Bob Henson and former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane scientist Jeff Masters wrote for Yale Climate Connections.

“It’s not hype or exaggeration to call the past week’s heatwave the most extreme in world weather records,” they argued. “The only heatwave that compares is the great Dust Bowl heatwave of July 1936 in the U.S. Midwest and south-central Canada. But even that cannot compare to what happened in the Northwest U.S. and western Canada over the past week.”

In British Columbia, the chief coroner said her office has received nearly 500 reports of “sudden and unexpected” deaths since last Friday, many of which are believed to be connected to the record temperatures that the region has suffered in recent days.

Residents of the small British Columbia village of Lytton—which on Tuesday recorded Canada’s all-time high temperature of 121°F—were forced to evacuate Wednesday as a wildfire ripped through the area and quickly engulfed the small town, destroying homes and buildings.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Bootleg Fire In Oregon Uncontrollably Doubles In Size Amid Megadrought

Bootleg Fire In Oregon Uncontrollably Doubles In Size Amid Megadrought

Large swaths of the Western half of the US experienced triple-digit temperatures this past weekend, with intense heat expected to continue through mid-week. As the West baked, a huge wildfire doubled in size in southern Oregon, continuing to threaten major transmission lines that feed power into northern California.

California and other surrounding states are plagued with a megadrought, continuing heat waves, water shortages, fears of rolling blackouts, and an early fire season that could be one for the record books.

The fire in focus Monday is the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, approximately doubling in size in the last 48 hours to more than 150,000 acres.

The U.S. Forest Service published an incident report from the weekend specifying, “firefighters, emergency managers and other public safety officials faced the fifth day in a row of extreme, intense fire behavior on the Bootleg Fire, as hot, dry, windy weather persists in the area.”

The Bootleg fire began in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near the Sprague River last Tuesday. Nearby residents in Klamath County were told to evacuate because of imminent fire danger.

On Sunday, the wildfire continued to spread and was zero percent contained. Extreme hot temperatures and a megadrought appear to be what fuels the fire.

According to NBC News, “the fire interrupted electrical lines that transmit power from Oregon to California. The state lost thousands of megawatts of imported power and struggled to maintain operating reserves as temperatures soared into triple digits in parts of the state.”

Last week, the wildfire prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy supplies.

On Friday, the state’s grid operator, California Independent System Operator (ISO), was very close to triggering rolling blackouts to thwart a collapse of the power grid.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

California Grid Strained As Power Shortfalls Loom

California Grid Strained As Power Shortfalls Loom

Amid another heat wave across the Western half of the US, California issued a stage-2 power-grid emergency alert Friday and urged customers to conserve power as temperatures surpassed 100 degrees, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The state’s grid operator, California Independent System Operator (ISO), issued the alert on Friday, which is one step away from rolling blackouts.

Readers may recall, as early as Tuesday, we outlined how “scorching temperatures return to the West, persisting through mid-week, and reappear this weekend.” By Friday, we gave the full breakdown of the second heat wave and its impact for the next several days, affecting upwards of 28 million people from California to Washington State.

Excessive heat warnings have already been posted for California, Nevada, western Arizona, and western Utah. Watches have also been posted for interior portions of Oregon and southern Idaho.

By late Friday, ISO discontinued the emergency, but with multiple 100-degree-plus days forecasted for Saturday and Sunday for Californians, the power grid operator may have to reissue grid alerts.

Large swaths of the West could experience temperatures 20 or more degrees above average. Below is a temperature anomalies forecast showing the heat dome could last through mid-next week

For those who are curious what “stage 2” means, power consumption is exceptionally high in the state, and the grid has become “reserve deficient,” allowing grid operators to resupply the grid with generators. If supply doesn’t meet demand, the next stage would be rolling blackouts to prevent the grid from collapse. The alert was the first in 2021 and was last declared in August 2020.

Making matters worse is a wildfire raging in southern Oregon and may threaten transmission lines bringing power into California.

The wildfire prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy supplies.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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