Tuesday January 28, 2020

Dangerously High Temperatures in United States could Quickly Cause Heat Stress

The NWS advises people to check in on relatives and friends, especially the elderly

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Temperature, United States, Heat Stress
Tourists gather around the Capitol pond with the Washington Monument in the background on a hot day in Washington, DC as temperature rises into the upper 80s Fahrenheit, Friday, July 19, 2019. (Photo by Diaa Bekheet). VOA

The National Weather Service warned that dangerously high temperatures and humidity in the United States over the weekend could quickly cause heat stress or heat stroke, if precautions are not taken. The NWS advises people to check in on relatives and friends, especially the elderly.

Temperatures have been rising in cities from the Midwest to the East Coast because of a high pressure system that has trapped the  warm air.  City officials are allowing public pools to stay open longer and municipalities are issuing advisories to inform the public about how best to deal with the heat.

Forecasters say temperatures in New York City will reach 33 degrees Celsius Saturday, but with the humidity, it will feel like 43 degrees Celsius.

Saturday in the nation’s capital will reach 38 degrees Celsius and Philadelphia will go up to 36 degrees Celsius.

Temperature, United States, Heat Stress
The National Weather Service warned that dangerously high temperatures and humidity in the United States over the weekend could quickly cause heat stress or heat stroke. Pixabay

The World Meteorological Organization says June 2019 was the planet’s warmest month ever. In addition, both land and sea temperatures set record highs in June.

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June was also Europe’s hottest June on record, according to the WMO. Greenland, Alaska and parts of South America, Africa and Asia had temperatures substantially above normal in June, according to the WMO.  The organization said India and Pakistan experienced a severe heatwave in the early part of June, before the onset of the monsoon season. (VOA)

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River Ice Cover Declines Rapidly due to Global Warming: Study

Global warming behind river ice cover loss, said a recent study by environmentalists

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Ice cover global warming
River ice cover will decline by about six days for every one degree Celsius increase in global temperatures, leading to economic and environmental consequences. Pixabay

River ice cover will decline by about six days for every one degree Celsius increase in global temperatures, leading to economic and environmental consequences, says a new study.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature, more than half of Earth’s rivers freeze over every year. These frozen rivers support important transportation networks for communities and industries located at high latitudes.

Ice cover also regulates the amount of greenhouse gasses released from rivers into Earth’s atmosphere, the study added.

“We used more than 400,000 satellite images taken over 34 years to measure which rivers seasonally freeze over worldwide, which is about 56 per cent of all large rivers,” said the study’s lead author Xiao Yang from the University of North Carolina, US.

“We detected widespread declines in monthly river ice coverage. And the predicted trend of future ice loss is likely to lead to economic challenges for people and industries along these rivers, and shifting seasonal patterns in greenhouse gas emissions from the ice-affected rivers,” Yang said.

River ice cover
Ice cover regulates the amount of greenhouse gasses released from rivers into Earth’s atmosphere. Pixabay

The researchers also looked at changes to river ice cover in the past and modelled predicted changes for the future.

Comparing river ice cover from 2008-2018 and 1984-1994, the team found a monthly global decline ranging from 0.3 to 4.3 percentage points.

According to the researchers, the greatest declines were found in the Tibetan Plateau, eastern Europe and Alaska.

“The observed decline in river ice is likely to continue with predicted global warming,” the study explained.

For the future, the research team compared expected river ice cover through 2009-2029 and 2080-2100.

the study’s findings showed monthly declines in the Northern Hemisphere ranging from 9-15 per cent in the winter months and 12-68 per cent during the spring and fall.

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The Rocky Mountains, northeastern US, eastern Europe and Tibetan Plateau are expected to take the heaviest impact, the study said.

“Ultimately, what this study shows is the power of combining massive amounts of satellite imagery with climate models to help better project how our planet will change,” said study researcher Tamlin Pavelsky. (IANS)