When it rains, it pours: Monsoon arrived in Delhi on July 13 after much delay. A swollen river due to torrential rains in Himachal Pradesh caused flash floods in Dharmashala | Photo: ETV Bharat

Monsoon covers entire country after Delhi gets rain, finally

After much delay, the monsoon season finally arrived in Delhi on June 13, several days after the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) initial prediction. There were several reports of traffic disruptions as a result of the rain. The southwest monsoon has never arrived this late in the Capital in the past 15 years. According to the IMD, the season has not covered the entire country. The agency blamed this “rare and uncommon” failure to accurately predict the arrival of the monsoon in Delhi on numerical models.

Rain also wreaked havoc in other parts of the country, mainly Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. In Dharamshala, floods because of an overflowing Manjhi river swept away shops and damaged vehicles. Tourists have been asked to stay away from Dharamshala because of a heavy rain forecast. In Uttarakhand, a landslide in a village killed 3 people after their house collapsed.  

Overall, as a result of the delay, the country-wide deficit of monsoon rainfall is 7% below normal as of July 12. According to experts, the reasons why the season stalled this year after getting off to a good start include global temperature anomalies such as the Madden Julian Oscillation and the Indian Ocean Dipole.

21 killed in flooding, landslides in western Germany 

Heavy rain and flooding killed at least 21 people and left dozens missing in the west German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North-Rhine Westphalia. There were several reports of building collapses and villages being cut off by floodwater and landslides. Rhineland-Palatinate’s state premier Malu Dreyer called the event a “catastrophe” the likes of which has never been seen before in the region.

Pacific northwest heatwave impossible without human-caused climate change: Study

Researchers found that the chances of an extreme heatwave like the one seen in the Pacific northwest region in June would have been almost impossible if it weren’t for human-induced climate change. In today’s climate, the study estimated that this kind of heatwave is a 1 in 1,000-year event. It stated that this heatwave was 2°C hotter than it would have been if it had occurred at the start of the industrial revolution (when it was 1.2° cooler than today). 

In the future (as early as the 2040s), where global warming is expected to be at 2°C (0.8°C hotter than today), such an event would be a degree hotter, the study stated. Heatwaves such as this one would be a lot less rare – occurring once every five to 10 years – in a 2°C warming scenario, compared to the 1 in 1,000 years frequency that has been estimated in the current climate, according to the study. Temperatures in the Pacific Northwest areas of US and Canada almost reached highs of 50°C in June as a result of a deadly heatwave. While the US states of Portland and Oregon observed temperatures far greater than 40°C, the village of Lytton, Canada, recorded an all-time high Canadian temperature of 49.6°C. A subsequent wildfire destroyed the village.

New oil, gas facilities in Permian basin major emitters of methane, finds study

A new study discovered new oil and gas production facilities in the US’ Permian basin to be major emitters of methane. While it is known that the basin produces almost half of all methane emissions from oil and gas producing regions in the country, the contribution of each of the facilities is unknown. The study, therefore, aimed to quantify individual contributions using the latest satellite measurements. The study found new facilities to be major emitters often because of inefficient flaring operations.   

Study aims to quantify effects on climate change on labour productivity and supply

That labour supply and productivity is on a decline as a result of climate change is known. But a new multi-model study aimed to quantify this decreased productivity. It found that in the future, climate change will reduce global total labour in the low-exposure sectors by 18 percentage points (range −48·8 to 5·3) under a scenario of 3·0°C warming (24·8 percentage points in the high-exposure sectors). 

Individually, Africa will lead the list of reduced total labour (reduction of 25.9 percentage points) followed by Asia (18.6 percentage points) in low-exposure sectors. The reduction effects on outdoor labour would be substantially higher–32·8 percentage points in Africa, 25·0 percentage points in Asia, and 16·7 percentage points in the Americas. The study stated that these reductions would lead to increased inequality and poverty, especially in developing countries. 

Last Ice Area in Arctic more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought: Study

The Arctic’s ‘Last Ice Area’, a part of the region that has thick ice cover, may be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought, according to a new study. The study arrived at the conclusion after studying an event in the region’s Wandel Sea in the eastern part of the Last Ice Area, which lost 50% of its overlying ice in the summer of 2020. According to the researchers, the decline was triggered by weather conditions, but climate change is already thinning the region’s ice every year. The study predicted more such low summer sea ice events in the future. 

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