Prepare for a hotter, drier world, even in monsoon country. As global temperatures rise, in response to greenhouse gas emissions, the northern hemisphere rainy seasons are likely to arrive ever later as Earth’s water cycle reacts. And even though more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more fertility and more moisture in the atmosphere, in the last 30 years the world’s green canopy has become more and more water-stressed, according to an entirely separate study. US scientists report in Nature Climate Change that humankind has, in effect, begun to alter the planetary hydrological cycle. Increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and falling emissions of aerosols from car exhausts and factory chimneys have together combined to affect the tropical rainy season.
Climate News Network 29th June 2021 read more »
The shocking collapse of a 12-storey building in the Miami area last week has raised questions as to the role played by the climate crisis, and whether the severe vulnerability of south Florida to the rising seas may lead to the destabilization of further buildings in the future. The exact cause of the disaster that befell the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside on Thursday has yet to be fully determined, although a 2018 engineering report on the structure warned of “significant cracks and breaks in the concrete” and that design flaws and deteriorating waterproofing could cause “exponential damage” via the expansion of these cracks. “When this building was designed 40 years ago the materials used would not have been as strong against salt water intrusion, which has the potential to corrode the concrete and steel of the foundations,” said Zhong-Ren Peng, professor and director of the University of Florida’s International Center for Adaptation Planning and Design. “Cracks in the concrete allows more sea water to get in, which causes further reactions and the spreading of cracks. If you don’t take care of it, that can cause a structure failure.” Most of south Florida is just a few feet above sea level at a time when the region is experiencing a rapid increase in sea level, due to the human-caused climate crisis. Compounding this problem, the region sits upon limestone, a porous rock that allows rising seawater to bubble up from below.
Guardian 29th June 2021 read more »
California is burning – now more than ever before. Each year millions of acres of land are reduced to ashes, tens of thousands of buildings razed and countless lives put under threat. As the climate crisis fuels another destructive wildfire season, Louise Boyle meets the crews that are preparing to face disaster head-on.
Independent 30th June 2021 read more »