Not much snow, peaks of 19 degrees Celsius in Norway and even 28 degrees in France: official data confirms the anomalously high temperatures of this past winter.
No rain and drought grab Italy by the throat. And winter feels like summer
Po, Ticino, ma anche i grandi laghi del Nord registrano livelli d’acqua preoccupanti. Gli eventi estremi aumentano di frequenza e intensità, segno che i cambiamenti climatici sono già in atto.
Just a few rainfalls and snowfalls and temperatures above the seasonal average. This is the kind of winter Italy is going through, which has brought Italian major basins to their knees. “In January, rainfalls registered a decreased by 60% compared to the seasonal average. The month of December was the driest in 215 years – when recording has begun -, whilst November’s rainfalls halved,” reported Coldiretti, Europe’s largest agricultural professional organization.
2015 was the hottest year on record, but this year’s winter feels like summer: Po River’s conditions are similar to those usually found during summer. Its water levels, in fact, are 2 metres lower than last year, according to surveys carried out by Coldiretti in Pontelagoscuro, in the Province of Ferrara, at the end of January.
Lakes in Northern Italy are facing water shortage too. Lake Maggiore lacks 330 billion litres of water, the renowned Lake Como’s water levels decreased by 12%, whilst Lake Garda’s levels dropped by 33%. Besides the fact that almost no rainfalls were registered over the past few months, snow is missing too, with the Alps and the Apennines sadly barren. In fact, some ski areas didn’t manage to open totally, having ski slopes still covered with grass. According to Coldiretti, it’s necessary to act by bringing water to lakes and ensuring the minimum vital flow in order to avoid risks of land desertification, which could have severe effects on agriculture and the environment.
According to the Italian Association of Farmers (CIA), it’s upsetting how high temperatures and the consequent drought translated into agricultural costs worth 650 million euros and 2.9 billion euros respectively. In addition, about one fifth of damages were caused by extreme weather conditions. From 2007 and 2015, crops yields decreased by up to 80%.
A spotlight on Licypriya Kangujam, the eight-year-old Indian climate change activist raising her voice against climate change inaction and whose tireless campaigning has even led two Indian states to adopt climate change as a school subject.
Ocean warming has risen to record highs over the last five years: just in 2019 the heat released into the world’s oceans was equivalent to that of 5-6 atomic bombs per second. The culprit, no doubt, is climate change.
What did Greta Thunberg tell participants at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos? Once again, the Swedish activist underlined the total lack of concrete solutions to the climate crisis presented by leaders so far.
Kivalina is located on a small island once guarded by sea ice, which is now melting due to global warming. While the sea threatens to wipe the village off the face of the Earth, its inhabitants refuse to give up their lives and traditions.
Thanks to activists, the voice of the world’s peoples resounded through the COP25 like an alarm bell. Governments didn’t reach the results they demanded, but their cries and messages were stronger than ever, reaching even those who weren’t in Madrid.
Climate change poses a risk for millions. However, women are the most vulnerable to its negative consequences: a few simple considerations by the Italian Climate Network help us perceive the global implications of this.
The COP25 ended two days late and with very few steps ahead made. Climate negotiations in 2020 will be an uphill battle as political will clearly seems to be lacking, once again.
Living in the “climate moment”: a dialogue between Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben and Alexandria Villaseñor
What does it mean to live in the “climate moment”? How did we get here? Is it too late to change? Naomi Klein, Alexandria Villaseñor, Joëlle Zask and Bill McKibben discuss these vital questions at the Albertine Festival in New York City.