background image

The week in climate | April 22-27

author image

By illuminem

· 3 min read

illuminem provides essential climate insights from this week, including, among others, the EU’s report on extreme weather in Europe, the effects of air pollution in the US, and the impact of El Niño.

1. Copernicus report reveals 2023 as a year of weather extremes in Europe
Category: Nature 🌿
European State of the Climate report for 2023 reveals a year of extreme weather in Europe: droughts, wildfires, floods, and record heat. Authored by the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service and WMO, it highlights Europe's ongoing struggle with climate change, driven by greenhouse gas emissions. The escalating extreme events signal a global climate crisis, threatening biodiversity, health, and economies. While Europe progresses towards renewable energy and net-zero emissions, in 2023 climate-related damages in Europe totaled €13.4 billion.

2. Almost 40% of individuals in the US reside in areas with unhealthy air pollution levels Category: Pollution 🌫️ 
A new report by the American Lung Association finds that nearly 40% of Americans (around 131 million) reside in areas with harmful air pollution levels. This alarming trend, particularly prevalent in the Western U.S., is exacerbated by climate change and wildfires, as highlighted in the "State of the Air" report spanning 2020 to 2022. Despite past improvements under the Clean Air Act, particle pollution and ozone levels have worsened, notably impacting regions experiencing rapid industrial and population growth. The consequences extend beyond environmental concerns, disproportionately affecting marginalized communities and exacerbating social inequalities. 

3. Drought, food shortages and deadly heat: El Niño has ended but its effects persist Category: Nature 🌿
Australia's weather bureau confirms the recent El Niño event, which began last June, has ended due to significantly cooled temperatures in the Pacific. El Niño, a natural climate pattern marked by ocean warming in the central and eastern Pacific, had fueled global temperature records and severe weather worldwide. The conclusion of El Niño offers relief, particularly for regions reliant on hydropower like South America, which suffered from water scarcity and energy challenges. Despite this respite, March marked the tenth consecutive month of setting new global heat records, highlighting the ongoing challenges of climate change.

4. Asia’s heat wave scorches hundreds of millions
Category: Climate Change🌡️
Severe heatwave grips South and Southeast Asia, affecting millions with school closures, agricultural disruptions, and health risks like heat strokes. Bangladesh sees temperatures surpassing 107°F (42°C), worsened by extreme humidity. Higher temperatures in April, coupled with ongoing climate trends and El Niño, emphasize the need for urgent climate adaptation. Forecast indicates prolonged high temperatures, impacting events like Indian elections and energy demands until the monsoon arrives. Residents, like Dhaka's rickshaw driver Nur-e-Alam, feel the intensity, with humidity peaking at 73%.

5. Solving shipping’s climate problem
Category: Climate Change🌡️
Cargo ships are turning to innovative sail technologies to reduce costs and combat emissions, with sails resembling airplane wings or rotating cylinders harnessing wind power autonomously. These sails, designed by companies like BAR Technologies and Norsepower, can save ships up to 25% on fuel consumption and significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions. As global regulations tighten around shipping emissions, these modern sails offer a viable solution to mitigate the industry's environmental impact while extending the lifespan of existing vessels

Do you want to stay one step ahead on the most recent developments in sustainability? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters

Did you enjoy this illuminem voice? Support us by sharing this article!
author photo

About the author

illuminem's editorial team - delivering the most effective, updated, and comprehensive access to sustainability & energy information.

Follow us on Linkedin, Instagram & Twitter

Other illuminem Voices

Related Posts

You cannot miss it!

Weekly. Free. Your Top 10 Sustainability & Energy Posts.

You can unsubscribe at any time (read our privacy policy)