The Stream, December 14: Hurricane Harvey Rains Were Three Times More Likely Due to Global Warming

The Global Rundown

Rising salinity in the Sea of Galilee forces Israel’s Water Authority to pump salt water from the lake. A U.S. government report reveals that Arctic permafrost is thawing faster than ever. Hurricane Harvey’s deadly rains were made three times more likely by global warming, a study finds. A NASA study shows that the Sierra Nevada mountain range rose by nearly an inch during California’s recent drought. The Saudi-led blockade of commercial imports to Yemen, which has left millions without water, shows no signs of stopping.

“[A] number of communities are either without clean water or will be very shortly, and in both cases that is a terrible concern from the cholera perspective and the survival perspective.” –Mark Green, USAID administrator, in reference to water shortages in Yemen caused by a lack of fuel imports. A Saudi-led commercial import blockade has now been in effect for over a month, and officials say there are no signs of the blockade being lifted. Reuters

In context: Clean water runs out and Yemen hovers on edge of another epidemic

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By The Numbers

17,000 tons Amount of salt that Israel’s Water Authority is extracting from the Sea of Galilee each year to maintain its drinkability. Drought has caused water levels in the lake to drop record lows, pushing salinity higher. The Times of Israel

In context: Israel’s Mediterranean desalination plants shift regional water balance.

24 millimeters Amount that California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range rose in height from October 2011 to October 2015, according to NASA research. The rise was caused by the loss of water from rocks during California’s drought. U.S. News & World Report

Science, Studies, And Reports

The World Weather Attribution (WWA) published a recent report claiming that Hurricane Harvey’s deadly rainfall was three times more likely and 15 percent more intense due to global warming. Scientists at the WWA rely on historical rainfall records and high-resolution climate models to determine the influence of global warming on major storms. The Guardian

On The Radar

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual report reveals that Arctic permafrost is thawing at its quickest pace in over a thousand years. Data shows that the far north region of the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, which could have detrimental effects across the planet. The Guardian