Newsdesk – June 30

A boy jumps into the water of the Trocadero Fountain in Paris on Friday, to find relief from the heat wave. Image Credit: Zakaria Abdelkafi/AFP/Getty Images

113 degrees in France: Why is Europe is vulnerable to extreme heat? All-time temperature records have been broken in the heat wave sweeping the continent. There are several key factors that make people in Europe vulnerable to extreme heat.  These factors converged to a devastating effect in the summer of 2003, when a heat wave baked the continent with temperatures 13 degrees above the average normal for the region. The heat killed at least 30,000 people and caused 13 billion Euros in financial damages. Seventeen years later, all-time temperature records have been broken in a new heat wave sweeping the continent. Monthly and all-time temperature records were broken Wednesday in parts of Germany, Poland, France, Spain, and the Czech Republic. As a result, at least two people died from the heat in Spain. But France’s all-time temperature record was reported as 113.2 degrees Fahrenheit in the village of Villevieille on Friday. This heat has forced the cancellation of some public events and caused schools in France to postpone exams for the first time ever, and has also helped create the dry conditions fueling a massive 10,000-acre wildfire in Spain, one of the worst to hit the Catalonia region in 20 years. This hot weather follows some unusually warm temperatures in other parts of the world this month, including the Arctic. Temperatures in Greenland surged up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit above what’s normal this time of year, leading to the largest ice melt this early in the season on record and a heat wave in India this month having already killed dozens. Not only are the length, intensity, and frequency of heat waves are on the rise, but Europe’s searing weather this week also comports with what scientists expect as the climate changes. Nevertheless, the high temperatures in Europe stand to harm millions of people. And as average temperatures rise due to climate change, these spans of extreme heat are poised to get longer, more intense, more frequent, and deadlier – VOX

  • Climate today: ‘Worse than worst predictions’.  Global action is desperately needed as the world needs a “green economy, not a grey economy” – Khaleej Times
  • Renewable electricity beat out coal for the first time in April – Seasonal shifts helped, but long-term changes underlie the record – Ars Technica
  • ‘Revolutionise the world’: UN chief calls for youth to lead on climate – Use social media and political organizing to ‘force’ older generation to confront the climate crisis, says António Guterres – Climate Change News
  • UN report on 1.5C blocked from climate talks after Saudi Arabia disputes science – There will be no further formal discussions of the IPCC’s findings at the UN after Saudi Arabia fought to undermine the findings of the global scientific community – Climate Change News
  • Europe failed to act after the 2003 French heatwave. We cannot ignore this one – Record temperatures are being recorded as warnings pile up. It’s vital action is taken against climate breakdown now – The Guardian
  • Seascape: The state of our oceans / ‘It’s getting warmer, wetter, wilder’: the Arctic town heating faster than anywhere – In the world’s northernmost town, temperatures have risen by 4C, devastating homes, wildlife, and even the cemetery. Will the rest of the planet heed its warning? – The Guardian
  • How robots could help keep the lights on as climate change worsens – CBC
Children held signs as they stood onstage with Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who signed bills addressing climate change last month. Image Credit: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Climate Change Is Scaring Kids. Here’s How to Talk to Them. Psychologists say the way parents and teachers talk about climate change with children has an effect on their young psyches. For instance, on Sunday’s episode of “Big Little Lies,” the HBO show about five women living in Monterey, Calif., included a second grader who had an anxiety attack after discussing climate change with a teacher. The girl worried the world was going to end. “A lot of people, when they talk to kids, are processing their own anxiety and fears,” said John Fraser, a psychologist, and chief executive of NewKnowledge, a social science think tank that studies health and the environment. As a culture, we haven’t developed good tools to talk about these things”, said Janet K. Swim, a professor of psychology at Penn State University. She emphasized several steps for parents (and teachers, for that matter) to take when talking about climate change with youngsters. You should start off with something positive, like, ‘We like the planet,’” she said. This should be followed with taking children outside to appreciate nature. “They should be thinking about what is good in the environment.” Connecting children to a world larger than their own is the goal. “They are only beginning to understand the seasons. Nature, to them, is a tree.” Both, Dr. Swim and Dr. Fraser agree that the next step is discussing the process of climate change and its effect on the planet. This is essential to demystifying the concept of global warming. But it requires parents to do some homework themselves. Sadly, it seems as parents have as much to learn about climate change as their children – The New York Times

Dead bodies are said to be appearing at Camp 4 mainly because of its flat ground

Peter Dykstra: Of ice and men. A changing world is revealed by melting glaciers and ice caps – and more than a few corpses. Two years ago, a Sherpa mountaineering guide came across a chilling sight on the Tibetan approach to Mount Everest. What they discovered was a frozen hand of an unsuccessful climber, exposed. The Sherpas have tried to bring the bodies down off the mountain, but every effort is delayed: A frozen corpse weighs about twice as much as a thawed one. Guide leader Ang Tshering Sherpa told the BBC that “because of global warming, the ice sheet and glaciers are fast melting, and the dead bodies that remained buried all these years are now becoming exposed.” Those dead bodies, some of which have been buried for decades, belonged to an estimated 300 who died trying, or, more frequently, died on the descent from the world’s tallest mountain. And not only frozen corpes been exposed on the mountain, but tons of human waste, also presumably unfreezing, now adorn the path to the Top of the World. Nevertheless, Himalayan snowmelt slakes the thirst and waters the crops of nearly a billion people in Bangaladesh, India, Pakistan, and parts of China, but the steady and alarming loss of ice thickness the last half a century provides an extended record of climate change – slow motion mutually assured destruction, 21st century style – The Daily Climate