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US North-East Faces Rapid Warming Amid Global Climate Crisis

Climate Crisis

US north-east faces rapid warming amid global climate crisis

The coastal US northeast is one of the fastest warming areas in the northern hemisphere, having heated up rapidly by 2C (3.6F) already over the past century due in part to the soaring temperature of the nearby Atlantic Ocean, new research has found.

The coastline that stretches from Maine down to Delaware hosts urban areas such as New York City and Boston and draws millions of tourists each year to beaches and other attractions. But the region is rapidly changing due to the climate crisis, having heated up by 2C on average since the start of the 20th century, driven largely by much warmer summers.

This is one of the fastest temperature increases in the northern hemisphere, researchers found, and is double the level of heating that has taken place further inland in the same region.

The world’s governments have agreed to limit the overall global temperature rise to “well below” 2C to avoid disastrous heatwaves, floods and other impacts. The US north-east has itself now, in isolation, already breached this threshold.

“It really pops out, it’s a big jump in temperature,” said Ambarish Karmalkar, a climate scientist at University of Massachusetts Amherst and lead author of the paper, published in Nature Climate Change. “It’s an exceptional level of warming and what is surprising to me is that it’s so different within a small region. The interior of the US north-east has only warmed by 1C, whereas these popular coastal areas have warmed by 2C. That’s a big difference.”

Karmalkar and his colleague Radley Horton sought to establish the reasons for this brisk temperature increase and have pointed to a link between the rising heat of the northern Atlantic Ocean and that of the nearby land.

The old jobs are not coming back in coal towns like Danville, West Virginia. ‘You really have to think holistically about how you support the community through the transition.’

A large system of ocean currents, known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (or Amoc), acts as a sort of conveyor belt for the ocean, bringing warm, salty water from the tropics north towards Greenland, where it cools and sinks.

Recent studies indicate that this watery conveyor is slowing down as the climate heats up, meaning that warmer water is piling up along the US east coast, in places such as the Gulf of Maine and the Mid-Atlantic Bight. This warming, which is upending traditional fisheries as marine ecosystems morph, has helped drive up temperatures along the coast with the aid of altered wind patterns, according to the researchers.

“The sea surface temperatures have gone up dramatically, much faster than the global average, and more heat is being dumped there by the slowing conveyor belt,” said Karmalkar. “You are also getting these anomalous winds, and these two factors together are driving warming trends.”

Cities in the US north-east have been primarily focused on the dangers of flooding wreaked by the climate crisis – record rainfall caused severe flash flooding that killed dozens of people in New York earlier this month – but Karmalkar said that authorities would increasingly have to focus upon rising heat if current trends continue.

“The exceptional warming we’ve seen can have serious implications for heat stress and human health,” he said. “Lots of people vacation on this coast but the warming may change how people use the space. This will become an important public health issue to deal with.”

Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who was not involved in the research, said the study “nicely identifies” possible causes for the heating of the US north-east. Kopp added that adaptations to this heat would have to take place.

“Of course, there are huge inequities within the United States, and within the region the harms of extreme heat will tend to be felt most heavily by lower-income people,” he said. “This is also a densely urbanized area, with a substantial urban heat island effect.”

Scientists have warned that countries are still not cutting planet-heating emissions quickly enough to avoid catastrophic consequences, with places from the US west to Germany to China already experiencing recent severe climate crisis-fueled impacts. “These changes will only become worse if humans continue to emit carbon dioxide,” said Natalie Mahowald, a climate scientist at Cornell University.

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Environment

134 Dead, 76,887 Houses Destroyed As Flooding Hits Jigawa

Heavy flooding in Jigawa State has resulted in the death of 134 persons and destroyed 76,887 houses.

The deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Umar Namadi disclosed this when he hosted the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) official, Rahman Rihub Mahmud Fara on Saturday.

He said the state lost property worth more than N1.5 trillion to the floods.

A total of 22 roads and 11 bridges were completely washed away by the floods, he said.

The deputy governor said an entire village was also completely destroyed.

He said the flood affected 272,189 people, out of which 76,887 lost their houses.Mr Namadi said Kirikasamma and Birniwa local government areas are greatly affected.

UNICEF chief field officer in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, Mr Fara, said they came to assess the situation and see what could be done to alleviate the suffering of the communities affected by flood in the state.

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Environment

NEMA Confirms Four Dead In Mushin Building Collapse

The three-storey building which collapsed on Friday in Lagos killed four persons.

This is according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The agency said one other person was rescued in the building that collapsed on Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, in Mushin, Lagos.

NEMA South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, revealed that those who died were two males and two females.

Earlier, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins the cause of the collapse would beinvestigated.

It is learnt that the three-storey building built 40 years would be pulled down immediately for safety reasons and to forestall further collapse, said Bamgbose-Matins.

He has therefore, ordered the Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory to unravel the cause of the collapse.

 

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Environment

Flooding Displaces 2000 In Nasarawa Communities

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Heaving flooding in some communities in Nasarawa state has caused the displacement of about 2000 people.

The Chairman, Doma Local Government in Nasarawa State, Ahmed Sarki-Usman who spoke on Friday during an assessment visit to the affected communities said the incident happened on September 20.

He said his visit was to ascertain the level of damage caused by the flood to report the situation to the state government for necessary action.

“It is unfortunate that the flood destroyed houses, farmlands, produce and other valuables worth millions of naira. Many inhabitants of the area affected by the flood have deserted their homes and are now camping at primary schools as temporary sites. What my people are facing is completely devastating,’’ he lamented.

Sarki-Usman urged people in the communities to remain calm as the government would soon assist them.

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