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tv   Weather World  BBC News  August 30, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm BST

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clarence has lived here for 50 years and says this is the worst storm he's lived through. it's terrifying. i mean, we're in the bedroom, and it started leaking and theni we come out the bedroom and go into another room, and it started| leaking in that room. and then finally we came into the living room - and the dining room here, i and this was the only room where it didn't really leak. it leaked, but it didnn't really leak that bad - where the sheetrock fell in. without proper shelter, power or water, he has no choice but to leave. his dilemma now — where to go. hurricane ida strengthened so rapidly that it gave people here very little time to prepare or evacuate. for those who stayed, the night was scary, but seeing the fallout the morning after has been even harder. along the roadways closed and impassable in many areas, we found this family walking to find food.
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the storm's strong winds ripped their trailer apart in the middle of the night. they took shelter at a neighbour's house. i ain't got nothing left. house is gone, car is gone... sorry... emergency crews are now focused on rescue operations. the next step, recovery, will be long and difficult. nada tawfik, bbc news, new orleans. in tokyo, jonnie peacock has won a bronze medal in his 100—metre sprint final after being paralympic champion for the last two games. elsewhere, there have been three more golds for great britain — for wheelchair racer andrew small, archer phoebe paterson pine and for sir lee pearson in dressage. he is the third most successful british paralympian ever. from tokyo, here's andy swiss. he couldn't do it again, could he? jonnie peacock chasing
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a paralympic hat—trick. peacock has struggled with injury since the last games, but he roared out of the blocks. the rest were closing in, though, and the result was one of the most thrilling races in paralympic history. felix streng, i think... gold for germany's felix streng, but just look how tight it was. the first four within three hundredths of a second. had peacock got a medal? well, a photo couldn't separate him and johannes floors, so the pair shared the bronze. peacock later said he probably should have won it, but in defeat he contributed to a dazzling spectacle. well, what a dramatic night we've had here in tokyo. but whilejonnie peacock�*s reign might be over, earlier on, britain found a new 100—metre star. andrew small took up athletics after watching the london paralympics. now the man inspired by 2012 was victorious in 2021. small gets it. for small, who had to train in his garage during lockdown, the pride was plain. but it was nothing to that
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back at his family home. his dad steve pushing every inch of the way, and come the finish, this is what it meant. cheering. yeah, my family are my biggest supporters, through thick and thin. they've seen a lot of ups and downs. there was a lot of long, hard sessions in a cold, dark garage at night. but, you know, the culmination of that is here. and other british athletes had gold in their sights. in the archery, phoebe paterson pine taking the title by a single point. the tiniest possible margin for the biggest possible prize. but most remarkably of all, there was another gold for sir lee pearson, on breezer, the horse he bred at his home in staffordshire, his third title here and his 14th in total. another glittering games for one of british sport's most glittering stars.
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andy swiss, bbc news, tokyo. now it's time for weather world. this time on weather world, code red for humanity, the stark warning that time is running out to avert a climate catastrophe. it's the beginning of a future that can be very catastrophic and very, very hard for us to survive in. after the heat, the floods on a catastrophic scale, killing hundreds of people, amid claims we are simply not prepared for more extreme rainfall. i'll be asking whether these disasters could mark a turning point in how the world reacts to climate change. and i'll be finding out why even a small empty reservoir like this one can help protect us from the effects of it. and i'll be looking at how the way our food is farmed is having to adapt to climate change. and why some farmers are just as interested in the weather around the world as they are at home. also on weather world...
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early warning, how weather forecasts are predicting the conditions which lead to meningitis outbreaks in sub—saharan africa. and, just how hot has it got at death valley? the tussle over earth's highest temperature, and why exact extremes matter. we know that the climate is changing and we can in partjudge that climate change by the quality of the observations that are being used to assess it. welcome to weather world. first a question — what do mexico, finland, hungary, estonia, oman, republic of congo have in common? they are all countries that have set new temperature records since we were last on air in april.
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but it's what happened in canada in a week of extreme heat, then fire that took the eyes of the world to a small village in british columbia. the whole village is going. this is lytton, filmed by residents fleeing as it burns almost to extinction. for three straight days injune, this place recorded canada's highest temperature on record, reaching 49.6 celsius, just before fire swept through it, burning nearly everything. it was an historic heatwave across western canada and the north—west usa, as a so—called high—pressure heat dome grew over the area, both trapping and building the heat day on day. it's thought the extreme heat was a contributing factor in hundreds of deaths. in the usa, california is suffering another disastrous fire season, with the state's second—largest fire on record, the dixie fire,
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almost completely destroying the town of greenville in august. searing heat in europe, too, and on the italian island of sicily in august, a reading of 48.8 celsius. if verified, it's europe's highest temperature on record during a heatwave felt throughout the mediterranean. for nine straight days, thousands of greek firefighters have struggled to contain the raging flames that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of hectares of land. on the island of euboea in august, ferries carried hundreds of people to safety after they fled to the beaches. fires burned around the greek capital, athens, which injuly became the first european city to appoint a heat officer. i asked her what it had been like there. it's been devastating to a large extent because it feels like it's a premonition for the future.
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it's the beginning of a future that can be very catastrophic and very, very hard for us to survive in around the mediterranean. and the problem is that the more the forests burn, the higher the temperatures and the less the humidity, so it's a vicious circle. it's what they've been telling us for years now, all the scientists talking about climate change. that this could start getting out of control. i mean, the devastation is also the fact that we haven't been prepared, right? if we were better prepared, we wouldn't have this amount of destruction and this amount of ravaging of our ecosystems and of the people's livelihoods of the areas that were burnt. extreme rainfall has dominated the headlines, too. london injuly, and flash flooding after a month's worth of rain fell in just a few hours.
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as the same weather system swept east across europe, it strengthened, turning disruption into disaster. in germany, floods wiped out entire villages. here, the ground just fell away under the weight of water in the night. over 100 people died in these floods in germany alone. awful scenes from china injuly, with flooding trapping people in an underground metro system, where a year's worth of rain fell in just three days. in the usa, death and destruction in tennessee in august as over 400 millimetres of rain falls injust 24 hours. a new state record. and vehicles are tossed around in a torrent in turkey in august as flooding causes chaos in northern parts of the country. scientists say we are unprepared for extreme rainfall. too often action comes after rather
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than before a flood. where i'm standing now is a reservoir in berkshire. it's supposed to be empty, but it's one of a number that have been developed here and are designed to fill up with flood water to prevent it rushing unchecked towards the town of thatcham over there. that's what happened back in 2007 when over 1000 homes were flooded here as nearly 100 millimetres of rain fell in just 24 hours. the flood prompted this scheme to build these reservoirs, with this one alone capable of holding 25,000 cubic metres of water. scientists say a warmer world means more frequent, intense rainfall. and july was the world's hottest month in records going back 142 years. a united nations report in august said without immediate deep cuts to emissions, limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 or even 2 degrees
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will be beyond reach. well, to help put into context everything that we've seen happening over the past few months, i'm joined here at the reservoir in thatcham by professor hannah cloke, a climate scientist and hydrologist at the university of reading here in the uk. hannah, we of course are shocked by what's happened, but there's an element from climate scientists of we told you so. so, can we both be shocked, but also not surprised at these events? if you see the scale of the recent flooding and the recent heat that we've seen and the fires, i mean, it's impossible not to be shocked by this kind of thing. but you know we do know that these types of rainfall and these types of heat events and fires are possible. we've seen some of this in the historical record as well. but when we look towards the future climate, we know that these things are going to happen more often, and we need to be more prepared. of course, the rainfall has been extreme, but are we prepared enough for these events? for example, the little
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things like this reservoir is significant in stopping a town getting floods. so, are we prepared enough for these extreme rainfall events? it's really frustrating actually as a climate scientist, as a hydrologist, to see people not prepared for these really bad floods that we've seen. i know that we need to have these places, just like this reservoir, to store the water, to stop it rushing down to people's houses and to the streets. but we just haven't done anything about it. we make such small steps, and we know that the future's going to get worse, so we need more of this preparation. could these disasters actually focus the mind, become a turning point in how the world faces up to climate change? i really hope that we do take note of these events and we don't wait for terrible events to happen like here in thatcham. we actually do something now to prepare ourselves for the worst. hannah, for now, thank you, but we will talk again later in the programme as we look ahead to that major, crucial climate conference of world leaders
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coming up in november. right now, though, it's time to find out what sarah's up to, and she's on a farm in kent. we're all being affected in some way by climate change. but if you are as connected to the natural world as a farm like this and it's your livelihood, well, the stakes are high. and in an industry that's always involved a degree of risk, things aren't getting any easier. the farm i've come to see was established over 70 years ago and is huge, covering more than 900 hectares. it's an arable farm, and the main crops are wheat, oilseed rape and potatoes. alan clifton holt is the farm director here. now, alan, yourfamily has been farming here for generations in kent. so, what have you noticed in terms of changes to the weather and climate here in recent decades? the weather has really blocked up into different segments. you only look at this year. april, we had one of the driest aprils ever, may, we have one of the wettest and june
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was one of the wettest. the sunlight levels that we rely on to grow our crops has really been reduced, and that affects our yield. so, it has really changed in just this year, let alone the last 20 years. so, what have you had to do differently to adapt to these changing weather conditions that you're seeing? so, this combine is 30% bigger than what we've had in the past. it's got a new very fancy header on, which is on rubber belts, which gather in the crop and bring that in in slightly wetter conditions and so it allows us to do a bit more each day. we're here at one of your wheat fields, about 40 acres of wheat here. and what do you do differently now in terms of when you plant this crop compared to what you would've done traditionally? so, traditionally this would have been a plough—based system. we would've ploughed it and then drilled in the autumn or winter wheat or we would've ploughed it here ready for the spring cropping and left it as a plough over the winter. that releases an awful lot of carbon, and it creates an awful lot of energy. so, to reduce that, we're now doing direct drilling
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and drilling in the autumn, direct drilling the crop seed into it without that plough movement, so we're reducing carbon that way. and once all these crops have been harvested and you've got bare soil, what do you do to protect that soilfrom, say, increasing extreme rainfall events? so, in the autumn, we would direct drill a cover crop into there and use it as almost as a false crop during that winter period and then come the springtime, we would kill off that crop and then plant a new crop in there that will be our cash crop for spring. we've had some really heavy storms that have washed away the soil and we're trying to protect that and trying to protect our precious soil that we need to farm. thanks so much, alan. more from the farm later in the programme when i'll be looking at why solar panels are becoming just as common as sheep in some fields. now, more world weather, and to india, where this monsoon may have been late to arrive, but when it did, record—breaking rainfall led to severe flooding, including here in maharashtra injuly. and intense rain is said to be a factor in landslides in himachal pradesh.
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this one injuly sending huge boulders towards and then destroying a bridge. tropical storm henri strikes new york city in august, as lightning hits the one world trade center and central park receives its highest one—hour rain total on record. tornadoes now, and terrifying scenes you might think from the usa, but this is the czech republic injune as a storm with winds up to 200 mph ripped through this area. the damage it caused is on a scale so unusualfor a tornado in europe. thankfully, this tornado in canada injune is only reported to have caused minimal crop damage, but was certainly an incredible sight from a distance. and let's not forget the southern hemisphere winter.
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and a rare widespread snowfall brought the crowds out in southern brazil injuly, many of them seeing snow for the first time. now to some of your weather watcher pictures from northern ireland's hottest day on record. when the temperature reached 31.3 celsius onjuly 21. this heatwave saw northern ireland and parts of wales and england covered by a new met office extreme heat warning, designed to highlight the danger prolonged heat can have on people's health. still to come on weather world... no time for delay and no room for excuses, the urgent warning ahead of a key climate summit later this year. there is no denial any more that we are beginning to see these impacts and they are devastating for us as a country, as an economy.
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most of us check the weather forecast every day, perhaps to know what to wear or, for us, what the weather is going to be like when we are filming weather world. not many of us check the forecast to prevent our chances of catching a deadly disease. but that's the aim of a ground—breaking project now under way in africa. meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal column, and this part of africa, the so—called meningitis belt, sees thousands of cases every year. with one in ten infections leading to death. a link between weather and the spread of the disease has led to a new early warning system, led in africa by this doctor. we know from past studies that there is a link between climate and meningitis outbreak in the african meningitis belt. and from this knowledge we are looking at the temperature, relative humidity, wind and dust.
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we are making a map for areas that a meningitis outbreak is expected during the dry season. giving an early warning for meningitis can give preparation to make a decision for vaccination and for alerting districts to be ready. it can help to stop the outbreak. this joint project between african and british scientists will play a part in the goal to eradicate meningitis in africa by 2030. this time on weather world, i'm looking at how this large farm in kent is adapting to climate change. a major step in reducing harmful carbon emissions is by generating power from renewable sources. and that's why when you travel around the countryside, you've probably noticed more of these. in the uk, the national farmers�* union says about 70% of the country's solar capacity
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is owned or hosted by agriculture. but whilst making a significant contribution towards the goal of net—zero carbon emissions, they take up land that could be used for growing crops, and many people say they detract from the natural look of the countryside. so, toby, you're commercials director, and we've come down to a different part of the farm now. so, talk me through what we can see here. so, we're down on the marsh now. just behind us here we've got the wind farm, there's 26 turbines behind us there. and in front of us here we've got the solar park. over 120 acres, it's 20 mw capacity and produces enough electricity for about 20,000 homes. earlier on, i was talking to your brother, alan, about ways that you're adapting to climate change in terms of your traditional agricultural practices, but what drove your decision to move into renewables, including your solar farm and also the wind farm? well, we basically try to make a decision based around the different climate impacts that can happen to the farm
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in the way of the extreme weathers we experience now. and to do that, we look at revenue streams that can help sort of plateau out the lows when you have a bad year, as we experienced in previous years. how difficult was the decision to move into the renewables here, and how did it go down with the local community? does it split opinion? yes, certainly does. it was very difficult for us. you know, there's a number of things for us to consider. there's the environmental side for us to consider. there was the emotional side, as well as also the business side and obviously the revenue stream that comes with it. but i think people with their mindsets towards climate change, have probably come to accept that renewable energy is actually warranted and needed. so, as farmers, you're obviously keeping a hawk�*s eye on the weather forecast here locally and in the uk. but people might be surprised to hear that you're also really interested in the weather right around the world. so, how do big weather events affect you, such as the north american heatwave that we've seen this year? yeah, they can have a massive impact on the farm.
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so, if there's an extreme weather situation across the world, that can have a serious impact to the commodity price. earlier this year, it was nearly a 50% increase in price due to severe weather in other parts of the world. so, alan has to look at different peaks and troughs in the world price which will affect his price when he's trying to trade. thank you so much for showing us around. no worries, thank you. death valley in the usa. unarguably one of the hottest places on earth. butjust how hot is being argued within the meteorological world. it currently holds the record for the highest temperature on earth, 56.7 celsius, 134 fahrenheit, back in 1913. but that reading, taken at this weather station, just doesn't add up, according to weather historian christopher burt. observations got to be a little kind of screwy in may of 1913 when it kind of looked like maybe he was just filling in the spaces for the temperature, because they were kind
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of all the same day after day even though temperature was varying wildly from day to day at all the other surrounding sites. so, that was kind of a little red flag in the beginning there. the world meteorological organisation verifies temperature records, and randy cerveny, who signs off their investigations, says he hasn't seen enough evidence to discount the 1913 reading. obviously we don't have as good of quality of data going back that time as we do with modern records today. we can take a record and actually have the sensor that recorded it tested independently in a lab and make sure that it was working. we don't have that luxury back with observations that go back to the 19005. but we do the best that we can, and in the case of the death valley 1913 record, the evidence just hasn't been presented yet that it was a faulty observation. wmo temperature verification takes time. injuly this year, it officially recognised a new high
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temperature from antarctica, over a year after it was recorded in early 2020. christopher burt says time is not on the side of the 1913 death valley record. the fact is, if there was an investigation and it takes two or three years, 134 is probably going to happen somewhere on earth in the next three years anyhow, so it's kind of a moot point in a way, i think, going forward. the wmo is also looking into the new europe high temperature from italy in august. randy cerveny says it's important to get their investigations into extremes right. we need to know extremes so that we can build a better world. we know that the climate is changing, and we can in partjudge that climate change by the quality of the observations that are being used to assess it. in a few months from now,
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a summit of world leaders to be held here in the uk will be hugely important in formulating a global response to climate change, with the united nations saying that only a combined international effort can avert a climate catastrophe. the conference, called cop26, will be held in glasgow, a city which saw flash flooding after thunderstorms in august. we've asked some of the delegates from around the world to give us their thoughts on what they want it to achieve. this conference is quite important, that all the countries agree to a legally binding agreement to mitigate against climate change. the face of climate change cannot be those high—ranking politicians. it would be great that the people who are feeling the burden should be the ones... and what that means for them. and i think that is what needs to be taken into consideration
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so that we can accelerate and have faster action than what has been happening. in india, the monsoon is really the true finance minister of india. and the monsoon is what millions in this country survive on. with climate change, what we are seeing now is huge changes in the monsoon pattern. it rains for only 100 hours in a year on an average, and now we are going to get more rain in lesser number of hours. which means that we're getting extreme rain events leading to floods and then prolonged droughts. so, i think we need to go to glasgow knowing that the world is at risk and that we as a country can and will do more. well, now to talk more about that crucial summit on the way, i'm joined again by professor hannah cloke, a climate scientist at the university of reading.
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these disasters we've seen this year, as horrible as they are, could they, though, add a sense of urgency to proceedings in glasgow in november? it's very frustrating as a climate scientist to know that we're in grand danger and the world is burning, really, and nobody�*s doing anything about it. and then it happens again and we say the same thing, and then there's another conference and we're still saying the same thing — and nobody�*s listening. please let us take some firm action this time, and i think we can avert the worst of the disaster. but we're coming up to the time when it might be too late. because we're told that if action isn't fast, then we are facing catastrophe. we must act fast. we must do something now. people must listen to this. as climate scientists, we have been clamouring about this for so long, and it's come to the stage where we can't shout any louder.
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we just need everybody to listen. and then we really do have a chance at avoiding the worst of the disaster. well, we'll follow of course what happens in glasgow very closely. hannah, thank you for talking to us on this edition of weather world. and finally, a rather unusual pitch invasion at a football match in bolivia. a whirlwind or dust devil sweeps through the players, delaying the start of the game. it's doubtful the match itself was as dramatic as this. and that's it for weather world. we'll be back later in the year with a full round—up of this year's weather. and before then, do look out for the bbc�*s coverage of that crucial climate conference in november. but for now, it's goodbye. goodbye. hello there. sunshine has been in shorter supply
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today, and we'll have a blanket of cloud covering much of england and wales through this evening and overnight. the cloud a little bit thinner in scotland and northern ireland. temperatures here could dip away to 7—8 degrees. under the cloud in england and wales, 11—14, and there could still be a little drizzle across some eastern parts of england. that will continue in some areas during tuesday. but towards the south east, it may well brighten up a bit. hint of some sunshine around here. northern ireland, central and western parts of scotland should see some sunshine, too. for many, though, there will be cloudy skies, and with the wind coming in off the north sea, the east coast of england and scotland not very warm once again. yet some sunshine further west, and temperatures could reach 20 degrees or so. similar sort of picture, i think, on wednesday. again, generally dry, a lot of cloud around, especially for england and wales. maybe a bit more sunshine for scotland and northern ireland, and also the far north west of england, with temperatures in the sunshine up to 21 celsius.
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this is bbc news. i'm christian fraser. our top stories: 0h, oh, my gosh! yo! hurricane ida comes ashore in louisiana as one of the most powerful storms on record. 1 million people in new orleans are without power, as a widescale search and rescue operation begins. after 20 years in afghanistan, the american operation will wind down in the next 24 hours. the pentagon says it is a dangerous moment, as the troops prepare to fly out for the last time. in brazil a gang of heavily armed bank robbers have tied hostages to the top of getaway vehicles, bringing the southern city of aracatuba to a standstill. and in china, the communist party move to protects children's mental health, by limiting their online gaming to three hours a week.


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