The Stream, April 28, 2020: Meteorologists Say 2020 on Track to Be Hottest Year on Record

The Global Rundown

Meteorologists warn that 2020 is on course to be the globe’s hottest year on record. A Venezuelan plan to allow gold and diamond mining along six Amazon rivers draws criticism. Tumbling water levels in Argentina’s Parana River costs the country’s grain sector nearly $250 million. A German meteorologist warns that the country could be heading toward its second drought in two years, while low water levels in the country’s Rhine River hamper shipping. 

“The past two years were unusually dry. The ground now needs rain.” –Mojib Latif, a German forecaster and oceanographer, in reference to current conditions in Germany. The dry conditions are Germany’s second dry spell in the past two years, with a drought in 2018 causing major crop failures. Coronavirus regulations are also complicating German farming efforts as border closures limit the number of seasonal laborers searching for work. Deutsche Welle

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By The Numbers

$244 million Amount of money lost by Argentina’s grain sector this year due to water levels in the Parana River, which are at a 50-year low. The dwindling water levels have heavily disrupted shipping traffic on the river, a key highway for grain exports. Reuters

6 Rivers in the Amazon region that Venezuela opened up to gold and diamond mining last month. Activists fear the elimination of the long-standing mining prohibition could spur the spread of the coronavirus, as well as causing water contamination. Reuters

Science, Studies, and Reports

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says there is a 50 to 75 percent likelihood that 2020 will be the hottest year ever recorded, and a 99.9 percent chance it will be in the top five warmest years on record. The previous hottest year on record was in 2016. The Guardian 

On the Radar

Cargo vessels trying to sail on Germany’s Rhine River are currently unable to be fully loaded due to low water levels, according to traders and cargo owners. The low water levels are affecting the entire German stretch of the river. Reuters

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