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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

F.G’s Dangote Flood Committee Shares N1.5b Relief Materials To Flood Victims

The Dangote-led Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR), known as Dangote Flood Committee has distributed N1.5 billion relief materials to victims of flooding nationwide.

The PCFRR, which was established by the Federal Government following the 2012 flooding, is co-chaired by Africa’s foremost industrialist Aliko Dangote and Dr. Olisa Agbakoba.

The flagging off ceremony for the relief materials distribution for this year started in Borno State and was conducted by the State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum Tuesday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital. The Governor thanked the Dangote Flood Committee and promised that he will ensure that the items get to the victims.

UNICEF revealed that the 2022 flood killed 600 people, displaced 1.3 million and destroyed more than 82,000 homes in Nigeria, therefore making it the worst in decades.

The representative of the committee, Alhaji Umar Musa Gulani, assured at the flagging off for the Northeast zone that the exercise would also be conducted in the other five geopolitical zones of the country.

Gulani said the items from the committee have been officially handed over to the Borno State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). He said the exercise would be conducted across the six geo-political zones, beginning from the northeastern State of Borno.

The breakdown of items donated includes 86 bags of rice, 34 bags of beans, 34 bags of maize, 34 bags of millet, 34 bags of Guinea Corn, 34 bags of Garri, 86 cartons of noodles, 86 cartons of spaghetti, 86 cartons of macaroni and 86 bags of sugar, and 857 bags of cement, among several food and non-food items.

Gulani said over N10 billion has been expended by the committee to mitigate the effect of flooding since inception in 2012, adding that no fewer than 84 Hostels have been built for flood victims in 24 states of Nigeria. According to him: “This private sector led project is highly commendable and it has been sustained in the past ten years. It is a selfless service from the private sector and Nigerians should appreciate their selfless service to humanity”.

Director General of NEMA Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed described the Committee’s intervention as a milestone for Nigeria in general, and flood victims in particular. “Responding to the humanitarian outcomes of this nature requires concerted effort,” the DG said, and added that the donation by the Dangote Flood Committee would eventually be made available to flood victims across the affected states in Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the victims, Khalifa El-Miskin said the victims were extremely appreciative of the gesture.

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Environment

600 Persons Killed, 1.3m Displaced By Floods – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund has said at least that 600 persons died and 1.3 million others rendered homeless by floods.

This was disclosed by the Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, on Saturday, during an official handover of supplies for Anambra State Flood Response from UNICEF to Anambra State Government

Ms Chiluwe said the figure was obtained according to government data available it received.

During the visit by the UNICEF, the first set of supplies of 100 drums of chlorine for disinfection of water sources, 40 cartons of Aquatabs for household water treatment and 320 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic food were handed over to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was represented by his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim.

The UNICEF official said, “We acknowledged that since September 2022, the worst floods in a decade affected 2.8 million people, of which an estimated 60 per cent are children, across 34 of the 36 states in Nigeria. Of those affected, 1.3 million people have been displaced, and over 600 people have died in relation to flooding according to government data.

“Continuous heavy rains have collapsed hundreds of public health facilities, water systems and sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhoea, and malaria.

“To contribute to the effort of government and other development partners, UNICEF, with funding the Central Emergency Response Fund, has initiated a multisectoral response comprising Health, Child Protection and WASH sectors, to mitigate the impact of the floods support the early recovery-phase of the affected population in Anambra State.“

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Environment

Dantata, Rabiu, Others Gift Jigawa Flood Victims N1b

Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, and Abdulsamad Rabiu, the founder of BUA group, on Saturday raised over N1 billion for Jigawa flood victims.

The donations were made in Dutse at the fund raising in support of the 2022 flood victims in the state.

Dantata and Rabiu each donated N200 million, Jigawa State Government N250 million, Gov. Muhammad Badaru, donated N25 million on behalf of himself, family and his company, Talamis Group.

However, Dantata, who was represented by Alhaji Salisu Sambajo, expressed concern over the conditions in which the flood victims found themselves after the disaster.

The philanthropist prayed for those who died during the disaster and sympathised with those who lost their property and crops in the floods.

Similarly, Badaru also expressed appreciation to the teeming donors for their kind gesture and urged the fund raising committee to be equitable and just in the distribution of the palliatives and cash.

The committee Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, (Wazirin Dutse) and former Minister of Power, thanked individuals and group of companies for supporting the victims.

Other donors included the members of the state and National Assembly as well as Council Chairmen.

Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, FCMB, Sterling Bank, GTBANK and Unity Bank were among the financial institutions who made donations.

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