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Europe’s record summer ‘impossible’ without global heating

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Europe’s record summer ‘impossible’ without global heating

The heatwaves and wildfires that caused devastation in Europe this summer would not have happened without global heating, new analysis shows.

The summer of 2021 was the hottest on record in the continent, with average temperatures about 1C above normal. The elevated heat caused wildfires and premature deaths.

Researchers have calculated how much more likely the climate crisis made the high temperatures. For almost all of the past 150 years, the expected frequency of a European summer as hot as 2021 was no higher than once every 10,000 years.

But since the 1990s, as carbon emissions continued to soar, the expected frequency has rocketed to reach once every three years.

The analysis is a stark reminder to the leaders meeting at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow that global heating is causing terrible damage to lives and livelihoods. If countries do not achieve drastic reductions in carbon emissions by 2030 and hit net zero by 2050, the record heat of 2021 will strike every year by the end of the century, the scientists say.

Despite the extraordinary increase in likelihood of record heat in recent years, Nikos Christidis at the Met Office, who led the analysis, said: “These kinds of results are no longer surprising. Climate change is already making our weather extremes more severe.”

“Extreme events are the new norm,” said Prof Petteri Taalas, the head of the UN World Meteorological Organization. A European temperature record of 48.8C was set in Sicily in August. “Cop26 is a make-or-break opportunity to put us back on track,” Taalas said.

The analysis used 14 climate models and scores of model runs to calculate how frequently the record summer of 2021 is expected to occur in today’s human-influenced climate, compared with a climate with no human influence.

The research analysed the period from June to August and covered all of Europe, as far east as Yekaterinburg in Russia.

For large stretches of the 20th century, the estimated frequency of such a hot summer in a world without climate change was more than one in 10,000 years. “This event was so rare, it was nearly impossible to calculate a probability,” Christidis said.

The same scientific approach has shown clear links between global heating and other severe weather. The record-breaking heatwave in the Siberian Arctic in January and February 2020 was made at least 600 times more likely, while the terrible floods in Germany and Belgium in July were made up to nine times more likely.

Prof Peter Stott, also at the Met Office, said: “We can be more confident than we have ever been about linking extreme weather events to climate change. The science is clear that the faster we reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, the more we can avoid the most severe impacts.”

“The new study is another stark reminder of just what 1.2C [of global heating to date] means,” said Friederike Otto, at Imperial College London, who conducted the Siberian study. “I really do not want to imagine the summers we’d have at 2.7C.” She said looking at large regions gives a stronger climate change signal than smaller areas.

Bob Ward, a policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, said: “The study shows clearly that the severe intensity of this summer’s heatwave was due to man-made climate change resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities.

“The cost to humans and wildlife was substantial, with heatwave conditions killing people across the continent, and the enhanced evaporation of higher temperatures turning forests into fuel for devastating wildfires.

“These extreme temperature events in Europe will continue to increase in severity and frequency for at least the next 30 years, until the world reaches net zero emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Other previous studies have shown an extreme heatwave in 2017 that saw deadly forest fires blazing in Portugal and Spain was made 10 times more likely by global warming. In Portugal, 64 people died. Previous work has also demonstrated floods in England and France – as far back as 2000 – were made significantly more likely by global heating.

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Environment

NiMet forecasts thunderstorms, cloudiness from Tues to Thursday

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and cloudiness from Tuesday to Thursday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Monday in Abuja, forecasts morning thunderstorms on Tuesday over parts of Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and
Gombe states.

It envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina and Taraba states later in the day.

“Partly cloudy conditions are expected over the central regions during the morning hours with prospects of afternoon/evening thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Kwara states.

“Cloudy skies are expected over the
southern region during the morning hours with prospects of afternoon/evening rains over part of Ondo, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Lagos states,” it said.

According to NiMet, early morning thunderstorms are expected over parts of Taraba, Adamawa and Kebbi
states on Wednesday.

It further anticipated thunderstorm over parts of Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi and Kaduna later on Wednesday. .

“Early morning thunderstorms are anticipated over
parts of Kwara and Kogi states while later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa states, while later in the day, rains are expected over most parts of the southern region,” it said.

NiMet predicted morning thunderstorms on Thursday over parts of Taraba state and thunderstorms over Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Kano states later in the day.

It envisaged thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and Nasarawa states early in the morning.

The agency predicted thunderstorms over the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi and Nasarawa states later in the day.

NiMet forecasts cloudy skies over the southern region during the morning hours with rains over the entire region later in the day.

“Strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur, public should take adequate precaution.

“Airline operators are advised to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

(NAN)

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Environment

Africa loses $15bn annually to climate change — AfDB president

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa loses between seven billion dollars and 15 billion dollars annually due to climate change.

The President of the bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said this during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which was monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to him, this is in spite contributing only three per cent of global emissions.

Adesina said that Africa was at the forefront of climate change’s impacts, which had devastating effects on agriculture and economies.

“In response, the AfDBank has inaugurated ambitious initiatives to build resilience and adapt to a changing climate.

“The AfDB has committed to doubling its climate finance to 25 billion dollars by 2030, focusing on the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme.

“This programme aims to deploy 25 billion dollars for climate adaptation, making it the largest globally.

“Additionally, the AfDB has created a climate action window with an initial investment of 429 million dollars, expected to grow to 13 billion dollars,’’ he said.

Adesina said this window supports vulnerable countries with crop insurance, land restoration, and climate information services.

He said Innovative financial mechanisms played a crucial role in supporting these climate adaptation initiatives.

Adesina said the bank had begun using partial credit guarantees, which enabled countries like Benin, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire to raise significant capital at lower interest rates.

“For example, Benin raised 400 million dollars from Chinese investors using a 195 million dollar partial credit guarantee.

“The AfDB also facilitated Egypt’s Panda Bond issuance, allowing the country to secure 500 million dollars from Chinese markets.

“These financial innovations reduce the cost of borrowing for African countries and encourage long-term investments in climate resilience.

“In spite of the challenges posed by climate change, Africa is leading the charge in innovative solutions and sustainable development,’’ he said.

The AfDB boss, therefore, said that the global financial architecture was not serving Africa’s interests very well, thus requiring change.

On Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), he said the bank was championing the course on the need for Africa to take those SDRs and use them better. (NAN)

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Environment

NiMET forecasts 3-day of sunshine, cloudiness

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has predicted sunshine and cloudiness from Monday to Wednesday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook, released on Sunday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday, with patches of clouds over the northern region and morning thunderstorms over parts of Taraba, Adamawa and Borno states.

“Later in the afternoon/evening period, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Zamfara, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Taraba and Adamawa.

“Cloudy skies with sunshine intervals are anticipated over the North Central region with chances of morning thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa states.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi and Benue states,” the NiMet forecast stated.

According to the agency, a cloudy atmosphere is expected over the southern states, with prospects of morning rains over parts of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

It anticipated thunderstorms over the entire region later in the day.

The agency envisaged patches of clouds on Tuesday with sunshine intervals over the northern part, with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba states.

According to the forecast: “Later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Kaduna, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa and Jigawa states.

“Patches of clouds with sunshine intervals are expected over the North Central region, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Kwara and Niger states during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi, Benue and Niger states.”

NiMet predicted a cloudy atmosphere over the southern states, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states during the morning hours.

It expects rain over most parts of the region later in the day.

“On Wednesday, sunny atmosphere with patches of clouds are anticipated over the northern region, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Borno, Taraba and Adamawa states during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Patches of clouds with sunshine intervals are expected over the North Central region, with prospects of thunderstorms expected over parts of Plateau, the Federal Capital Territory, Niger, Kwara and Nasarawa states during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Cloudy atmosphere is expected over the Southern states during the morning period. Later in the day, rains are expected over the entire region,” NiMet forecast.

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