Aug 06

Tokyo Endures Longest Heat Wave Ever Recorded; Death Toll Surges to 55 in Japan (Weather.com, Aug 6, 2015):

A heat wave that has already killed dozens and sickened thousands in Japan reached ominous thresholds Wednesday as new heat records for intensity and duration were set in Tokyo and other Japanese cities.

Tokyo reached 35.1 degrees Celsius (95.2 degrees Fahrenheit) Wednesday, marking its fifth consecutive day of highs at or above 35 C (95 F). According to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, this set a new all-time record for the most consecutive days at or above that threshold since records began in central Tokyo in June 1875. The city had already reached 35.1 C by 10:53 a.m. local time Thursday, according to preliminary JMA data, extending the streak to a sixth day. Continue reading »

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Jan 10


This undated handout picture provided by New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW Rural Fire Service) on January 8, 2013 shows a NSW Rural Fire Service worker spraying water on a bush fire at Green Point in New South Wales. (AFP Photo/ NSW Rural Fire Service)

‘Catastrophic’: Hundreds of wildfires rage in Australia amid record heat wave (VIDEO, PHOTOS) (RT, Jan 8, 2013):

A heat wave that has already caused devastating fires on the Island state of Tasmania, with 100 people still missing, has now moved to mainland Australia and is reaping havoc in New South Wales, as the heat wave looks to smash records.

­In some areas temperatures have shot up by as much as 20C in three hours and combined with 50 mph winds have created disastrous fire conditions.

Right across Australia records have been broken by the heat wave and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has been forced to add colors to its forecast charts to take account of temperatures of 50-54 degrees Celsius.

Australia’s all-time record of 50.7 degrees; set in January 1960 at Oodnadatta in South Australia is likely to be smashed over the coming days. On Tuesday, in some places temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius were recorded.

“The scale has just been increased today and I would anticipate it is because the forecast coming from the bureau’s model is showing temperatures in excess of 50 degrees,” David Jones , the BoM’s head of climate monitoring, told Fairfax newspapers.
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Jul 23

A deadly heatwave spreading across central and eastern America is expected to become more severe, forecasters have warned.

Deadly heatwave spreading across US to become more severe (Telegraph, July 22, 2011):

The authorities issued heat alerts for more than half the 50 states as a blanket of hot air smothered the country, leaving at least 20 people dead.

“The dangerous heatwave continues across much of the central and eastern United States, with excessive heat and humidity expected to expand into the Ohio Valley and East Coast states for the remainder of the week,” the National Weather Service said on its website.

The heatwave, dubbed “the big broil”, has left states from Texas to Michigan sweltering in temperatures above 100F (37C). Some cities have also been engulfed in smog.

On the East Coast, humidity was assaulting Washington. In Maryland, near the US capital, officials reported temperatures of 108F (42C).

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Jan 31


Spectators seek shade at the Australian Open in Melbourne

MELBOURNE (AFP) – Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne ground to a halt Saturday, crippled by a once-in-a-century heatwave that has claimed almost 30 lives and razed at least 17 homes.

Wildfires raged through the southeastern state of Victoria, where authorities said flames had come dangerously close to major electricity transmission lines which supplied power to Melbourne on Saturday.

More than 500,000 homes and businesses in Melbourne were left without power on Friday night after an electrical substation exploded in the heat, bringing the city to a standstill.

Temperatures in Victoria topped 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) for a record-breaking third consecutive day on Friday, when 10 homes and a timber plantation were destroyed in a 6,500 hectare (16,000 acre) blaze.

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Mar 18

Southeast water shortage a factor in huge cooling requirements

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LAKE NORMAN, N.C. – Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

Utility officials say such shutdowns probably wouldn’t result in blackouts. But they could lead to shockingly higher electric bills for millions of Southerners, because the region’s utilities could be forced to buy expensive replacement power from other energy companies.

Already, there has been one brief, drought-related shutdown, at a reactor in Alabama over the summer.

“Water is the nuclear industry’s Achilles’ heel,” said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environmental group critical of nuclear power. “You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants.” He added: “This is becoming a crisis.” Continue reading »

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Mar 14

Climate change could lead to a heatwave in the south-east of England killing 3,000 people within the next decade, a Department of Health report said today.It put the chances of a heatwave of that severity happening by 2017 at 25%.

Without preventative action, the report said that a nine-day heatwave, with temperatures averaging at least 27 degrees over 24 hours, would cause 3,000 immediate deaths, with another 3,350 people dying from heat-related conditions during the summer.

It predicted that there would be an increase in skin cancers due to increased exposure to sunlight and that, over the next half century, air pollution could lead to an extra 1,500 deaths and hospital admissions a year.

While malaria outbreaks were likely to remain rare, the report – Health Effects of Climate Change in the UK 2008 – said health authorities would need to be alert to the dangers posed by possible larger outbreaks of malaria in continental Europe.

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Eggborough power station, near Selby. The report says climate change
could lead to a heatwave in the south-east of England killing 3,000 people.
Photograph: John Giles/PA

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