From Hottest Place on Earth in Australia to LA and Ontario's Winter Heat Waves, 2016 Already on Track to Be Hottest Year Ever Recorded
It's only February but it looks like 2016 is already on track to be hottest year ever recorded. As some cities shake off an especially brutal winter, other cities are melting in record-high heat, with one city poised to shatter a five-decade-old weather record.
Even my car has had enough. #PerthHeatWave https://t.co/AkizpcSA1q— Clarissa Phillips (@Clarissa Phillips)1455005371.0
Australia, which lies in the southern hemisphere, is technically on its last month of summer but the blazing-hot temps in the city of Perth signal otherwise.
In fact, the Western Australian capital "may well be the hottest place on earth right now," News.com.au reported today with temperatures shooting past 45 degrees Celsius, or 113 degrees Fahrenheit.
The city has now seen three consecutive days of triple-degree weather and could obliterate a February 50-year-old weather record if it hits 40 degrees Celsius or above tomorrow, Abc.net.au reported.
"Perth's longest run of 40 degree days or more consecutively is four, and that was recorded back in 1933, if we get five we've broken that record and we've moved into uncharted territory basically," Bureau of Meteorology spokesman Neil Bennett told the publication.
"The trough is showing no signs of movement whatsoever, it's sitting there because the high pressure system that is going to help move it away is also stationary in bight."
Perth's sweltering heat has inspired some pretty creative responses on Twitter:
Pretty much the whole week #PerthHeatWave https://t.co/FnA1LbquYn— Mark Lucas (@Mark Lucas)1454945234.0
#PerthHeatWave https://t.co/M3xwArVU4A— aleesia (@aleesia)1454941087.0
#PerthHeatWave https://t.co/lo4EKjSkS1— lolbee (@lolbee)1454935044.0
Unfortunately, climate change signals even hotter days in the future. Climate researcher and Australian National University professor Will Steffen warned that Perth's scorching weather this week could get much worse if we don't curb our reliance on fossil fuels.
“Heatwaves will be even worse than they are now,” Steffen told the Herald Sun. “What happens after mid-century depends on how we get emissions under control but if we keep burning fossil fuels ... that means really, really excessive heat during extreme weather—into the 50s [120-plus degrees Fahrenheit]."
Los Angeles, California
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, temperatures are in the high 80s with many Angelenos taking to the beach to cool off. Sun-spoiled Angelenos also had some fun on social media:
Yeah....pretty much. Mid 80's and full on beach weather in #LA this weekend.... #mydayinla #beachlife #LAlife https://t.co/q0cs6Qc2uf— Morayma (@Morayma)1454978195.0
I'm wearing shorts and sandals outside at night in early February, which is weird even for Los Angeles weather standards.— (((Adam))) (@(((Adam))))1454992694.0
This photo from Zuma Beach captures LA's February summer. By @WallySkalij https://t.co/akylgjq16I— Shelby Grad (@Shelby Grad)1454968730.0
The sun-drenched California city reached 88 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, breaking 1996’s record of 85 degrees Fahrenheit, Accuweather reported. It's predicted that some locations in Southern California, including L.A., may even reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
The weather in Los Angeles doesn't just mean long days on the beach, though. The gusty winds accompanying the warm weather might increase the risk of wildfires in some places, Accuweather noted.
Record high temp in Downtown LA, 88 degrees, beating the 85 in 1996. #NBC4You #RecordHigh #LAWeather https://t.co/tSNlXR20ls— Anthony Yanez (@Anthony Yanez)1454965069.0
The current bone-dry weather in Los Angeles has some worried that El Niño, which many thought would help replenish the drought-stricken state's depleted reservoirs and aquifers, has passed Southern California.
According to the Los Angeles Times, "Southern California is still well below average rainfall, with downtown L.A. reporting 52 percent of normal since Oct. 1."
National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto, however, told the Los Angeles Times he's optimistic. "Even though we haven't seen El Niño pan out that still doesn't mean we can't see good rains in the latter part of February and in March," he said.
Finally, Cananda—which usually experiences an inherently hazardous winter season—is seeing unusually mild, spring-like weather in some provinces.
"A plethora of new record maximum temperatures have been set February 3 across parts of southern Ontario," Environment Canada said in a statement. "Previous record highs have been shattered by several degrees on this day, which is more typical of mid April."
Stellar weather in Toronto for #WinterWalkDay. Even some #FebruaryShorts around https://t.co/pk0r4cmECR— Oliver Moore (@Oliver Moore)1454510726.0
According to Weather Network meteorologists:
Southwestern communities including Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia and Welland all broke previous records set back in 1991, with both Windsor and Sarnia climbing to 11°C [51.8°F] during the early morning hours. By noon, both communities as well as the city of London had already reached 13°C [55.4°F].
The record to beat at Toronto's Pearson International Airport was 9.3°C [48.74°F], also set on February 3, 1991. That record was officially broken by the early afternoon, when Toronto Pearson reached a balmy double-digit high of 16.0°C [60.8°F].
"Officially, the Toronto and Kitchener areas experienced new all time maximum temperatures in the mid teens for February," Environment Canada said. "What makes this record even more amazing is that one would expect the highest temperatures to be recorded near the end of February, when the sun is much higher in the sky, closer to the beginning of spring."
All-time February records broken in southern Ontario yesterday #YYZ #Toronto #KW #Kitchener https://t.co/6qIAiED2DS— Dayna Vettese (@Dayna Vettese)1454583303.0
It's undeniable that the world is getting warmer year after year. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that 2015 is likely to top the charts as the hottest year in modern observations, with 2011-15 the hottest five-year period on record ... that is until 2016.
In December, the UK Met Office forecasted that the global average temperature for next year is expected to be between 0.72 C and 0.96 C above the long-term (between 1961-1990) average of 14 C. There is just a 5 percent chance that 2016 will be below the 2015 global average temperature, the Met Office said.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
- New Clues Help Monarch Butterfly Conservation Efforts - EcoWatch ›
- Monarch Butterflies Will Be Protected Under Historic Deal - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
California faces another "critically dry year" according to state officials, and a destructive wildfire season looms on its horizon. But in a state that welcomes innovation, water efficacy approaches and drought management could replenish California, increasingly threatened by the climate's new extremes.
- Remarkable Drop in Colorado River Water Use Sign of Climate ... ›
- California Faces a Future of Extreme Weather - EcoWatch ›
Wisdom the mōlī, or Laysan albatross, is the oldest wild bird known to science at the age of at least 70. She is also, as of February 1, a new mother.
<div id="dadb2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="aa2ad8cb566c9b4b6d2df2693669f6f9"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1357796504740761602" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">🚨Cute baby alert! Wisdom's chick has hatched!!! 🐣😍 Wisdom, a mōlī (Laysan albatross) and world’s oldest known, ban… https://t.co/Nco050ztBA</div> — USFWS Pacific Region (@USFWS Pacific Region)<a href="https://twitter.com/USFWSPacific/statuses/1357796504740761602">1612558888.0</a></blockquote></div>
By Hui Hu
Winter is supposed to be the best season for wind power – the winds are stronger, and since air density increases as the temperature drops, more force is pushing on the blades. But winter also comes with a problem: freezing weather.
Comparing rime ice and glaze ice shows how each changes the texture of the blade. Gao, Liu and Hu, 2021, CC BY-ND
Ice buildup changes air flow around the turbine blade, which can slow it down. The top photos show ice forming after 10 minutes at different temperatures in the Wind Research Tunnel. The lower measurements show airflow separation as ice accumulates. Icing Research Tunnel of Iowa State University, CC BY-ND
While traditional investment in the ocean technology sector has been tentative, growth in Israeli maritime innovations has been exponential in the last few years, and environmental concern has come to the forefront.
theDOCK aims to innovate the Israeli maritime sector. Pexels<p>The UN hopes that new investments in ocean science and technology will help turn the tide for the oceans. As such, this year kicked off the <a href="https://www.oceandecade.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030)</a> to galvanize massive support for the blue economy.</p><p>According to the World Bank, the blue economy is the "sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem," <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412019338255#b0245" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Science Direct</a> reported. It represents this new sector for investments and innovations that work in tandem with the oceans rather than in exploitation of them.</p><p>As recently as Aug. 2020, <a href="https://www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/esg-investors-slow-make-waves-25tn-ocean-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Reuters</a> noted that ESG Investors, those looking to invest in opportunities that have a positive impact in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, have been interested in "blue finance" but slow to invest.</p><p>"It is a hugely under-invested economic opportunity that is crucial to the way we have to address living on one planet," Simon Dent, director of blue investments at Mirova Natural Capital, told Reuters.</p><p>Even with slow investment, the blue economy is still expected to expand at twice the rate of the mainstream economy by 2030, Reuters reported. It already contributes $2.5tn a year in economic output, the report noted.</p><p>Current, upward <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/-innovation-blue-economy-2646147405.html" target="_self">shifts in blue economy investments are being driven by innovation</a>, a trend the UN hopes will continue globally for the benefit of all oceans and people.</p><p>In Israel, this push has successfully translated into investment in and innovation of global ports, shipping, logistics and offshore sectors. The "Startup Nation," as Israel is often called, has seen its maritime tech ecosystem grow "significantly" in recent years and expects that growth to "accelerate dramatically," <a href="https://itrade.gov.il/belgium-english/how-israel-is-becoming-a-port-of-call-for-maritime-innovation/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">iTrade</a> reported.</p><p>Driving this wave of momentum has been rising Israeli venture capital hub <a href="https://www.thedockinnovation.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">theDOCK</a>. Founded by Israeli Navy veterans in 2017, theDOCK works with early-stage companies in the maritime space to bring their solutions to market. The hub's pioneering efforts ignited Israel's maritime technology sector, and now, with their new fund, theDOCK is motivating these high-tech solutions to also address ESG criteria.</p><p>"While ESG has always been on theDOCK's agenda, this theme has become even more of a priority," Nir Gartzman, theDOCK's managing partner, told EcoWatch. "80 percent of the startups in our portfolio (for theDOCK's Navigator II fund) will have a primary or secondary contribution to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria."</p><p>In a company presentation, theDOCK called contribution to the ESG agenda a "hot discussion topic" for traditional players in the space and their boards, many of whom are looking to adopt new technologies with a positive impact on the planet. The focus is on reducing carbon emissions and protecting the environment, the presentation outlines. As such, theDOCK also explicitly screens candidate investments by ESG criteria as well.</p><p>Within the maritime space, environmental innovations could include measures like increased fuel and energy efficiency, better monitoring of potential pollution sources, improved waste and air emissions management and processing of marine debris/trash into reusable materials, theDOCK's presentation noted.</p>
theDOCK team includes (left to right) Michal Hendel-Sufa, Head of Alliances, Noa Schuman, CMO, Nir Gartzman, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, and Hannan Carmeli, Co-Founder & Managing Partner. Dudu Koren<p>theDOCK's own portfolio includes companies like Orca AI, which uses an intelligent collision avoidance system to reduce the probability of oil or fuel spills, AiDock, which eliminates the use of paper by automating the customs clearance process, and DockTech, which uses depth "crowdsourcing" data to map riverbeds in real-time and optimize cargo loading, thereby reducing trips and fuel usage while also avoiding groundings.</p><p>"Oceans are a big opportunity primarily because they are just that – big!" theDOCK's Chief Marketing Officer Noa Schuman summarized. "As such, the magnitude of their criticality to the global ecosystem, the magnitude of pollution risk and the steps needed to overcome those challenges – are all huge."</p><p>There is hope that this wave of interest and investment in environmentally-positive maritime technologies will accelerate the blue economy and ESG investing even further, in Israel and beyond.</p>
- 14 Countries Commit to Ocean Sustainability Initiative - EcoWatch ›
- These 11 Innovations Are Protecting Ocean Life - EcoWatch ›
- How Innovation Is Driving the Blue Economy - EcoWatch ›