Global boiling fuels disasters in nuclear nations – Masters: “The Great Russian Heat Wave of 2010 continues…. Thousands of deaths, severe fires, and the threat of radioactive contamination”
[Via Climate Progress]
Prior to this year, the hottest temperature in Moscow’s history was 37.2°C (99°F), set in August 1920. The Moscow Observatory has now matched or exceeded this 1920 all-time record five times in the past eleven days, including today….
… soil moisture in some portions of European Russia has dropped to levels one would expect only once every 500 years.
That’s meteorologist Jeff Masters writing about “One of the most remarkable weather events of my lifetime.” The impact of the decline in soil moisture, along with the epic heat and fires, has been devastating, causing Russia to ban wheat exports. Coupled with extreme weather around the globe, it has helped nearly double wheat prices since June.
Sharp and long-lasting declines in soil moisture over much of the planet’s habited landmass are a major prediction of climate science, something I’ve called “DUST-BOWL-IFICATION” (since readers pointed out to me that many deserts really aren’t so bad). Here’s what the recent scientific literature says we face in the second half of the century if we stay anywhere near our current emissions path:
Loss of soil moisture is a big deal, with lots of top soil blowing away. The record temperatures in MOscow are a demonstration of the extreme weather we can look forward to, possible as a new climate regime takes over.
And with large parts of Greenland glaciers calving off state-size pieces of ice, extreme climate events will continue for a long, long time.