Mozambique Hit by Second Historic Cyclone in Little Over a Month
Cyclone Kenneth made landfall in Mozambique's Cabo Delgado province on Thursday as the strongest storm to ever hit the country, The Guardian reported. It struck with wind speeds of 140 miles per hour and was expected to raise waves 16 feet higher than usual and bring torrential rain.
The storm comes little over a month after Cyclone Idai killed more than 700 people, displaced tens of thousands and caused $1 billion in damage, making it the deadliest and costliest storm in Mozambique's history, CNN reported. In the entire region, including Mozambique's neighbors Malawi and Zimbabwe, Idai killed more than 1,000 and forced millions from their homes, The New York Times reported.
"It's really an anomaly in the history of cyclones in this region. There's never been two storms this strong hit in the same year, let alone within five weeks of each other in Mozambique," meteorologist Eric Holthaus told The Guardian.
Satellite animation shows #CycloneKenneth's path after lashing Comoros island, killing 3, before reaching northern… https://t.co/GROQT1n9vN— #Africa_eNCA (@#Africa_eNCA)1556272563.0
Kenneth has already killed one person in Mozambique, who was struck by a falling coconut tree in the city of Pemba, BBC News reported. The storm was downgraded to an ex-cyclone Friday as winds decreased, but France's meteorological agency predicts more than 23.6 inches of rain could fall over the next few days. That's nearly double the 10 days of rainfall that caused devastating flooding in the port city of Beira during Cyclone Idai.
It's the extreme rainfall that can be directly linked to climate change, Holthaus told The Guardian.
"We have very strong evidence that everywhere in the world, rainfall is getting more intense. So that means you can get the same amount of rainfall, but it just happens in a shorter period of time, because if the atmosphere is warmer then that will create more intense thunderstorms that rain out faster," Hotlhaus said. "We can directly link Kenneth with climate change for that reason. Not only is this an extremely intense rainfall event, globally, but it's being made worse because of climate change."
Cabo Delgado, where Kenneth struck, is 600 miles northeast of Beira. The region had never before in modern history been struck by a hurricane-force storm, The New York Times reported.
"This is another potential tragedy for Mozambique," Oxfam manager Dorothy Sang told The New York Times. "We're still struggling to scale up and meet the needs of everyone after the last cyclone. This will make it much harder."
Mozambique has already taken out a $118 million loan from the International Monetary Fund to help pay for recovery from Idai, The Guardian reported.
Sang said that since the region hit by Kenneth was not used to strong storms, residents would be less prepared for flooding. Further complicating matters is the fact that violence by Islamic militants has forced thousands of people to flee to camps for displaced persons in the region, BBC reported.
However, the region is less densely populated than the area impacted by Idai and has more elevation. In addition, the government evacuated 30,000 people from the storm's path. However, reports have said that thousands of homes have been flattened by the wind.
Before hitting Mozambique, Kenneth traveled north of the island of Comoros, killing three people and causing massive damage, The Guardian reported.
Devastating images from #Comoros following #CyloneKenneth. Homes and roads are damaged and destroyed, telephone p… https://t.co/diARynmsXa— IFRC Africa (@IFRC Africa)1556179555.0
Mozambique's northern neighbor, Tanzania, has also responded to the storm by closing schools and businesses in parts of the south, BBC News reported.
A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.
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By Harry Kretchmer
By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.
Sweden is a world leader in renewable energy consumption. Swedish Institute/World Bank
Naturally Warm<p>54% of Sweden's power comes from renewables, and is helped by its geography. With plenty of moving water and 63% forest cover, it's no surprise the <a href="https://sweden.se/nature/energy-use-in-sweden/#" target="_blank">two largest renewable power sources</a> are hydropower and biomass. And that biomass is helping support a local energy boom.</p><p>Heating is a key use of energy in a cold country like Sweden. In recent decades, as fuel oil taxes have increased, the country's power companies have turned to renewables, like biomass, to fuel local 'district heating' plants.</p><p>In Sweden these trace their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank">origins back to 1948</a>, when a power station's excess heat was first used to heat nearby buildings: steam is <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/district-heating-system" target="_blank">forced along a network of pipes</a> to wherever it's needed. Today, there are around 500 district heating systems across the country, from major cities to small villages, providing heat to homes and businesses.</p><p>District heating used to be fueled mainly from the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140" target="_blank">by-products of power plants</a>, waste-to-energy plants and industrial processes. These days, however, Sweden is bringing more renewable sources into the mix. And as a result of competition, this localized form of power is now the country's<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544217304140#fig3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> home-heating market leader.</a></p>
Sweden is using smart grids to turn buildings into energy producers. Huang et al/Elsevier
Energy ‘Prosumers’<p>But Sweden doesn't stop at village-level heating solutions. Its new breed of energy-generation takes hyper-local to the next level.</p><p>One example is in the city of Ludivika where 1970s flats <a href="https://www.buildup.eu/sites/default/files/content/transforming-a-residential-building-cluster-into-electricity-prosumers-in-sweden.pdf" target="_blank">have recently been retrofitted with the latest smart energy technology</a>.</p><p>48 family apartments spread across 3 buildings have been given photovoltaic solar panels, thermal energy storage and heat pump systems. A micro energy grid connects it all, and helps charge electric cars overnight.</p><p>The result is a cluster of 'prosumer' buildings, producing rather than consuming enough power for 77% of residents' needs. With <a href="http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1232060/FULLTEXT01.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">high levels of smart meter usage</a>, it's a model that looks set to spread across Sweden.</p>
<div id="d7bf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8757b138d5570bec9d6aad18074a429a"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1273556364263071744" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Read more about Western Harbour and book a visit: https://t.co/ujSmVs9rNK 🏡🌳🌊 https://t.co/C5PuPziqIM</div> — Smart City Sweden (@Smart City Sweden)<a href="https://twitter.com/SmartCitySweden/statuses/1273556364263071744">1592474473.0</a></blockquote></div>
Scaling Up<p>A recent development by E.ON in Hyllie, a district on the outskirts of Malmö, southern Sweden, <a href="https://www.eonenergy.com/blog/2019/February/sweden-smart-city" target="_blank">has scaled up the smart grid principle</a>. Energy generation comes from local wind, solar, biomass and waste sources.</p><p>Smart grids then balance the power, react to the weather, deploying extra power when it's colder or putting excess into battery storage when it's warm. The system is not only more efficient, but bills have fallen.</p><p>Smart energy developments like those in Hyllie, Ludivika, and renewable-driven district heating, offer a radical alternative to the centralized energy systems many countries rely on today.</p><p>The EU's leaders have a challenge: how to generate 32% of energy from renewables by 2030. Sweden offers a vision of how technology and local solutions can turn a goal into a reality.</p>
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By Jessica Corbett
In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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