Tech & Science : Flood, fire and plague: climate change blamed for disasters - - PressFrom - Australia
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Tech & Science Flood, fire and plague: climate change blamed for disasters

09:32  14 november  2019
09:32  14 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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Mozambique's National Institute for Disaster Management blames climate change for the worsening floods , which this year wiped out crops and left tens of thousands homeless. The agency has had to redraft maps devised seven years ago to identify new zones out of reach of the rising waters, said

Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management blames climate change for the worsening floods , which this year wiped out crops and left tens The disaster agency is seeking to teach locals to use new methods to build their homes, baking the mud bricks they make in kilns like Mozambicans

a large white building in the rain: FILE PHOTO: A water taxi transported by floods into a street during a night of record-high flooding is seen in Venice, Italy© Reuters/Manuel Silvestri FILE PHOTO: A water taxi transported by floods into a street during a night of record-high flooding is seen in Venice, Italy

By Robert Birsel

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Extreme floods in Venice, fires in Australia and even an outbreak of plague in China have been attributed to climate change this week, while researchers have warned that global warming could saddle future generations with life-long illness.

Venice declared a state of emergency on Wednesday after "apocalyptic" floods swept through the lagoon city, flooding its historic basilica and inundating squares and centuries-old buildings.

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Officials blamed climate change while shopkeepers on the Grand Canal raged against those who have failed to protect the UNESCO city from the high tide. They said corruption had repeatedly delayed a barrier protection system which could have prevented the disaster . "The city is on its knees," Venice

Officials blamed climate change while shopkeepers on the Grand Canal raged against those who Environment Minister Sergio Costa blamed climate change and the “tropicalisation” of violent The fire brigade said it had carried out over 400 operations as well as laying on extra boats as water

a person standing in front of a building: FILE PHOTO: A man wades in the flooded crypt of St Mark's Basilica during a period of exceptionally high water levels in Venice, Italy© Reuters/Manuel Silvestri FILE PHOTO: A man wades in the flooded crypt of St Mark's Basilica during a period of exceptionally high water levels in Venice, Italy

"This is the result of climate change," city mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter.

City thoroughfares were turned into raging torrents, stone balustrades were shattered, boats tossed ashore and gondolas smashed against their moorings as the lagoon tide peaked at 187 cm (6ft 2ins).

a group of people that are standing in the water: FILE PHOTO: People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy© Reuters/Manuel Silvestri FILE PHOTO: People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy

It was the highest since the record 194 cm set in 1966, but rising water levels are becoming a regular threat to the tourist jewel.

"Venice is on its knees," said Brugnaro. "The damage will run into hundreds of millions of euros."

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  Port Macquarie residents prepare for worst The smoke in Port Macquarie is so thick you can "easily taste it", says 15-year-old high school student Patrick Rudd.The 15-year-old's high school - Hastings Secondary College - was the last in the NSW mid-north coast town to close on Monday, reduced to minimal supervision as the state's bushfire crisis continued.

Much of Venice was underwater on Wednesday after the highest tide in 50 years ripped through the historic Italian city, beaching gondolas, trashing hotels and sending tourists fleeing through rapidly rising waters.

Officials blamed climate change while shopkeepers on the Grand Canal raged against those who have failed to protect the UNESCO city from the high tide. They said corruption had repeatedly delayed a barrier protection system which could have prevented the disaster . "The city is on its knees," Venice

On the other side of the world, parts of Australia have been ravaged by wild bushfires this week, with four people killed and communities forced to flee the flames.

Since 2016, parts of northern and inland New South Wales, along with southern Queensland, have been in drought that the Bureau of Meteorology says is being driven, in part, by warmer sea-surface temperatures affecting rainfall patterns.

a group of people standing in front of a building: FILE PHOTO: People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy© Reuters/Manuel Silvestri FILE PHOTO: People walk on a catwalk in the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy

Air temperatures have also warmed over the past century, increasing the ferocity of droughts and fires.

But links between climate change and extreme weather events have become a political football in Australia.

The coal-industry supporting government accepts the need to cut emissions while arguing that stronger environmental action would cripple its economy.

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Officials blamed climate change while shopkeepers on the Grand Canal raged against those who have failed to protect the UNESCO city from the high tide. They said corruption had repeatedly delayed a barrier protection system which could have prevented the disaster . "The city is on its knees," Venice

Officials blamed climate change while shopkeepers on the Grand Canal raged against those who have failed to protect the UNESCO city from the high tide. They said corruption had repeatedly delayed a barrier protection system which could have prevented the disaster . "The city is on its knees," Venice

That pits the country against its Pacific island neighbours which are particularly susceptible to warmer temperatures and rising seas.

Globally, concern about effective action has surged since U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the international Paris Accord on climate change and took steps to dismantle environmental protections.

a statue of a man and a woman standing in front of water: FILE PHOTO: A woman carrying a child on her back wades in the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy© Reuters/Manuel Silvestri FILE PHOTO: A woman carrying a child on her back wades in the flooded St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy

Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro are among the world's only leaders who publicly question the science of climate change, despite devastating fires in their countries - in California and the Amazon basin - that environmentalists at least partly blame on global warming.

a zebra standing on top of a dry grass field: Social media image of a kookaburra perching on a burnt tree in the aftermath of a bushfire in Wallabi Point, Australia© Reuters/ADAM STEVENSON Social media image of a kookaburra perching on a burnt tree in the aftermath of a bushfire in Wallabi Point, Australia

PLAGUE

While the politicians argue, concern is growing about the impact on the health of a warmer world.

In China, health officials have reported a rare outbreak of pneumonic plague after two cases were confirmed this week in Beijing.

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Officials blamed climate change while shopkeepers on the Grand Canal raged against those who have failed to protect the UNESCO city from the high tide. They said corruption had repeatedly delayed a barrier protection system which could have prevented the disaster . "The city is on its knees," Venice

The disasters this fall have been severe and prominent, and have caused widespread damage. As those in California’s Wine Country are still battling But he adds that “ climate change is playing a role in amplifying the frequency and intensity of some types of extreme weather that lead to billion-dollar

The two were infected in the province of Inner Mongolia, where rodent populations have expanded dramatically after persistent droughts, worsened by climate change, state media said.

An area the size of the Netherlands was hit by a "rat plague" last summer.

The wider implications for health are sobering.

The Lancet medical journal published a study this week saying climate change was already harming people's health by increasing the number of extreme weather events and exacerbating air pollution.

A warmer world brings risks of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods and extreme heat.

If nothing is done, the impacts could burden an entire generation with disease and illness throughout their lives, researchers said.

"Children are particularly vulnerable to the health risks of a changing climate. Their bodies and immune systems are still developing, leaving them more susceptible to disease and environmental pollutants," said Nick Watts, one of those who led the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change study.

Health damage in early childhood is "persistent and pervasive", he warned, bringing lifelong consequences.

"Without immediate action from all countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions, gains in wellbeing and life expectancy will be compromised, and climate change will come to define the health of an entire generation," he told a London briefing.

(Reporting by Riccardo Bastianello in Venice, Colin Packham in Sydney, Kate Kelland in London, David Stanway in Shanghai; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Fire chiefs' climate warning showed 'sheer irrationality' .
Sky News host Andrew Bolt says the five former fire chiefs who warned Australians Thursday to act on climate change showed “sheer irrationality”. “As if tiny Australia could suddenly make the world so cold that never again will we get bushfires in November,” he said. While Mr Bolt admitted the “fires were bad,” he expressed doubt about whether they were “catastrophic”. He pointed out the top temperature in Sydney on Tuesday was 37 degrees Celsius. “It’s like we’re all goldfish, we don’t have any memory at all,” he said. “Each new heatwave, unprecedented, never seen anything like it before.

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