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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #5

Posted on 3 February 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Ice, fire, storms and heat: Climate change is now part of our everyday lives

New Zealand Wildfires

While the West Coast was being inundated, on the other side of the Alps, there were fires.  Photo: Iain McGregor/Stuff

Analysis: January 2018 was officially the hottest month ever recorded in New Zealand.

Niwa made the announcement on Friday afternoon, as communities on the West Coast were mopping  up the mess created by a powerful storm that descended over eroding coasts; as some in Dunedin settled into their homes after a sweeping fire while others in low-lying parts of the city clear up after yet another flood; as it was snowing in Cromwell during the hottest summer in many years, after a month where the mean air temperature was 3C warmer than usual, based on the country's century-old seven-station record.

Earlier in the week, the news was filled with fan shortages, wildfires and mountains shedding rock because of a lack of snow; at its end, it was 14C in parts of central Otago, multiple areas near Christchurch were on fire, and homes throughout the South Island had been damaged by the sea. An ominous super blood moon part way through the week, whilst unrelated, summed up the vibe: unsettled, bordering on Biblical. 

Ice, fire, storms and heat: Climate change is now part of our everyday livesAnalysis by Charlie Mitchell, Stuff (New Zealand), Feb 2, 2018 

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Jan 28, 2018

Mon Jan 29, 2018

Tue Jan 30, 2018

Wed Jan 31, 2018

Thu Feb 1, 2018

Fri Feb 2, 2018

Sat Feb 2, 2018

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Comments 1 to 2:

  1. I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and the artcle sums things up well. Its certainly been a rollercoaster ride of weather.

    Just a couple of additional points. We have had about a couple of weeks of heatwave conditions, mainly in the south island, due to la nina conditions, and large southerly anticyclones leading to unusually warm oceans well above the norm. Last years temperatures were also one of the hottest in our history due to climate change. Not sure how this year is tracking, but it certainly feels well above average temperature for January, but fortunately mostly low humidity in Auckland.

    A few days ago the heatwave collided with the remnants of a tropical cyclone from the north, causing significant wind damage and flooding in the south island, and higher than anticipated. It was a small tropical low moving down, however it then gained intensity due to the very warm oceans right near NZ's coast.

    We also sometimes get tropical cyclones getting right down to NZ , eg Cyclone Bola.  Climate change is expected to increase the strength of tropical cyclones that reach NZ, according to NIWA, as oceans warm.

    The heatwave ended a couple of days ago, with low pressure cells and fronts over the country and colder southerly air masses dominating. Night time temperatures have dropped about 8 degrees in Auckland. The change has been quite abrupt.

    I recommend Dyson fans. Incredibly strong air flow and quiet.

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  2. Nigel@1,

    The anticyclone you're talking about affected not just NZ. The whole east of OZ have been under the same heat stress. In NSW, it was maybe not as hot but extremely humid for some 2 weeks, making the wet bulb temp unusually high and unconfortable. The nighttime lows, running at 24-25 degrees with 100% humidity were the most terrible part of the conditions because you could not sleep. In Melburne VIC, last sunday night, during evening tennis final starting 8pm, they must have applied extreme heat policy and close the roof of the arena. This was an unprecedented decision, because this is an outdoor event and with the exception of couple daylight matches in extreme heat of 40+ played in recent years, the roof is meant to stay open. Both fans and at least one player were unhappy that the playing conditions were so distort, unprecedented final in OZ open history. But if you check the weather data in Melbourne at 8pm that evening, you note that it was 39 degrees and some 50% humidity and wet bulb conditions were unprecedently exceeded so organisers acted according to their rules.

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