The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Main Topic: Sustainability For Our Most Vulnerable Countries…Case In Point Haiti
Dear Diary. All of my adult life I’ve heard about awful tragedies coming from the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti. This overpopulated country is situated in the central Caribbean, so it is very vulnerable to organized tropical activity. Even slow moving weak depressions have been known to kill thousands if they drop about a foot of rain during a short timeframe. Earthquakes by far are the worst killers. The 7.2 on the Richter Scale quake from last week has racked up over 1,300 deaths, so far. Other Caribbean countries only have to contend with ramped up tropical activity from carbon pollution as the 21st century rolls along.
Every time a big natural disaster occurs on Haiti the United States and other countries are taxed with aid and building back that country. Even when there are several consecutive years when no horrific disasters occur extreme poverty, mostly stemming from lack of birth control, lack of jobs, and no big industry, there is much suffering. I know a Haitian missionary who has told me horror stories. So, the question today is how a country like Haiti can break this vicious cycle of death and poverty?
The United States has made plain after the Afghanistan debacle that it no longer will be a nation builder, yet Haiti is one country which could be rebuilt properly if its corrupt politicians are not allowed to hold office. The U.S. considers this to be an internal problem, though, and are not likely to intervene.
This leaves us with changing the population itself if allowed by a government that could once again be a military dictatorship in the future. Education is the biggest key here, but that too would take a herculean effort to upgrade. I can just see U.S. politicians getting heat from their constituents saying that their public schools are not getting proper resources while Haiti is receiving a lot of expensive aid.
Currently a very small percentage of Haitians can break the cycle of poverty by establishing small businesses in the country or leaving Haiti altogether. “The population of Haiti is expected to grow by 127,000 in 2021 and reach 11,623,000 in 2022. Migration (including immigration and emigration) decreases population by 35,000 people yearly. The population density of Haiti has changed from 206.4 in 1980 to 407.9 in 2019.” From:
I can envision a Haiti with strong earthquake safe buildings and a happy, well fed, educated people and an energy system powered by renewables. Is my vision too much pie in the sky, though? Until this dream becomes reality we will continue to see death and destruction. We almost had an intersection of a powerful earthquake with severe flooding from a tropical system the last few days. Here is more from the New York Times:
Grace Restrengthens Into Tropical Storm After Dumping Heavy Rain on Haiti
The storm’s arrival in Haiti intensified the need for help in recovering from an earthquake that killed more than 1,000 on Saturday.
People affected by a recent earthquake walked in the rain at a refugee camp in Les Cayes, Haiti, on Monday, as Grace moved through. Credit…Joseph Odelyn/Associated Press
By The New York Times Aug. 17, 2021, 12:22 p.m. ET
Grace, which made landfall in Haiti on Monday as a tropical depression, restrengthened into a tropical storm early Tuesday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm’s heavy rains brought the potential for mudslides and flooding that could hamper recovery efforts from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the country three days earlier.
Several inches of rain could complicate search-and-rescue efforts after the earthquake collapsed thousands of homes and made some roads and bridges impassable.
“That heavy rainfall can really lead to life-threatening flooding and mudslides and potentially urban flooding as well,” Michael Brennan, the branch chief of the center’s hurricane specialist unit, said on Monday.
Updates from Haiti. Read more about Grace’s impact on Haiti here.
The center said in an advisory on Tuesday that the storm was about 75 miles east of Montego Bay, Jamaica, with maximum sustained winds of 50 m.p.h. Grace’s center was forecast to move near the northern coast of Jamaica on Tuesday afternoon and then near the Cayman Islands by nightfall. It will then approach the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Grace could be near hurricane strength when it approaches Mexico’s Yucatán coast, according to the center, which said that a hurricane watch was in effect for parts of the peninsula.
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A tropical storm watch continued for the entire coast of Haiti, while Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and parts of Cuba were under the more severe tropical storm warning.
The storm could dump an additional two to four inches of rain in Haiti, with isolated totals of up to 15 inches, the center said on Tuesday. Heavy rainfall could lead to flooding and mudslides, it added. Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, parts of Cuba and the Yucátan Peninsula could get three to six inches of rain, with isolated totals of up to 10 inches.
Grace’s arrival in Haiti intensified the need for help in recovering from the earthquake. Prime Minister Ariel Henry of Haiti on Monday vowed that there would be a “tenfold” increase in rescue and aid efforts to the quake-ravaged southern peninsula of his country, as he privately expressed frustration to the American ambassador at the slow rollout of help.
“We will act with greater speed,” Mr. Henry said on Twitter. “Aid management will be sped up. We are going to increase our energies tenfold to reach, in terms of assistance, the maximum number of victims possible.”Extreme Weather
Updated Aug. 17, 2021, 7:55 a.m. ET5 hours ago5 hours ago
- The Dixie fire threatens towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
- Three simultaneous storm systems are bringing heavy rain to the U.S. and Haiti.
- In a First, U.S. Declares Shortage on Colorado River, Forcing Water Cuts
Grace is the seventh named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, following several days of floods and power outages unleashed this week by Fred, the sixth named storm of the season. Fred dissipated on Saturday, but its remnants redeveloped into a tropical storm on Sunday and made landfall Monday afternoon in the Florida Panhandle. It was later downgraded to a tropical depression as it moved inland across southern Alabama on Tuesday morning.
A third Atlantic storm, Henri, formed Monday afternoon as a tropical storm off the East Coast of the United States, becoming the eighth named storm of the hurricane season. It was tracking 135 miles south southeast of Bermuda, where a tropical storm watch was in effect.
While it is not uncommon for there to be several active weather systems at once during hurricane season, forecasters said, it is somewhat unusual to have three with tropical storm watches or warnings for land areas at the same time.
“It’s a busy period here,” said Dr. Brennan of the hurricane center.
The links between hurricanes and climate change are becoming more apparent. A warming planet can expect to see stronger hurricanes over time, and a higher incidence of the most powerful storms — though the overall number of storms could drop, because factors like stronger wind shear could keep weaker storms from forming.
Here are some “ET” reports from the last couple of days:
Here is more climate and weather news from Tuesday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)
Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”