Warmer air, warmer water and still missing the effects of El Niño

Good morning,

At the time I send this newsletter, the fire in Odemira, which broke out on Saturday, was still ongoing and causing concern. More than a thousand firefighters are trying to contain the advance of the flames towards the south, towards the Monchique mountain range, and which have already reached 10 thousand hectares of areas of pine forest, eucalyptus, cork oaks, strawberry trees and bush. In one week, the area burned in the entire year of 2023 more than doubled.

The numbers are still far from what was destroyed by the flames in 2022 or in the fateful year of 2017, with the fires in Pedrógão and the Centro region. But no one can be satisfied with the images of scorched earth that make huge areas of forest and bush in desolate landscapes, frightening populations day and night and destroying homes and livelihoods.

And these are scenarios that, in all probability, will be repeated over and over again, in Portugal and a little around the world. With extreme weather events happening more and more frequently and the planet breaking temperature records, in the air and in the sea, the conditions are created for more perfect storms. The alerts also follow one another, although have not been able to halt this progression towards “climate chaos”.

Yesterday came the confirmation of what had already been anticipated: July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth and the surface water temperature of the seas broke new records. According to data published by the European climate monitoring system (Copernicus), last month surpassed the previous record, recorded in July 2019, by 0.33ºC. And it is estimated to have been 1.5°C warmer than the average for the period 1850-1900. The value assumes particular importance, since this was the maximum limit of global warming, compared to pre-industrial levels, which the signatory countries of the Paris Agreement assumed could be admitted, making every effort to ensure that it was not exceeded by at the end of the 21st century.

So far, it’s only happened in a month. But the event, even if temporary, shows the “urgency to make ambitious efforts to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases, the main cause of these records”, recalled one of the deputy directors of the Department of Climate Change at Copernicus.

To make matters worse, this year and the next will likely feel the impacts of El Niño, the atmospheric phenomenon capable of extreme weather conditions globally and which is already being felt in the waters of the Pacific, and which should spread over the next few months to the rest of the globe.

Other news

Fewer applicants, more money A 1st phase of the national competition for access to higher education had fewer candidates than in the last two years, but the number exceeds 59 thousand and will still grow with the next phases of the contest. Nonetheless, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education has already guaranteed that it will have more money to give to public universities and polytechnics. At the next year and until 2027.

Scouts safe The 762 Portuguese scouts participating in a world meeting (jamboree) in South Korea are fine and were evacuated yesterday, along with all the more than 40,000 participants, from Saemangeum to Seoul, 200 km away, due to the approach of a typhoon. The conditions of the meeting had already been criticized for poor hygiene conditions and the extreme heat that was felt over the weekend caused 600 participants to suffer from heatstroke or other problems related to high temperatures. The meeting now continues in Seoul, the city that will be the next stop on the World Youth Day of the Catholic Church, scheduled for 2027.

Altice’s suppliers The Portuguese police identified more than 100 entities around the world with links to Armando Pereira, co-founder of Altice Portugal, and other suspects, to which several names have been added, some of which are “important Portuguese”. Altice has already started to cut relations with some, few, of those that it managed to identify, announced the owner of the companyPatrick Drahi.

Name and gender change Almost 150 minors changed their name and gender on their citizenship card in the last five yearsthe vast majority from female to male, according to data from the Ministry of Justice, which show an increase in requests over the years. The law enshrining the right to self-determination of identity and change of name and gender in the civil registry from the age of 16 (with a mandatory document issued by a doctor or psychologist in the case of minors) entered into force in August from 2018.

roll the ball O Benfica, last season’s national football champion, and Porto, winner of the Portuguese Cup, will compete this Wednesday at 20.45 (broadcast on RTP 1) for the Super Cupthe first official trophy of the season. . Yesterday the Braga beat Serbs Backa Topola 3-0 in the 1st leg of the 3rd round of access to the Champions Leaguegetting very close to qualifying for the next phase. On Friday, the Liga Portugal 2023/24 begins, with Braga and Famalicão kicking off the first of 34 matches.

Who will govern Spain? The dispute for the formation of a new Government remains, but the rope is stretched more to the side of Pedro Sánchez, the Spanish Prime Minister who, despite not having received the most votes in the last elections, seems to be to get more support to govern. The Popular Party, led by Feijóo, received almost unconditional support from Vox, but at the same time heard the Basque Nationalist Party’s refusal to integrate a solution that includes Abascal’s far-right party.. Decisions, only after August 17, the date of the inauguration of deputies and senators elected on July 23 and the appointment of the president and the tables of Congress and the Senate.

Italy taxes banks O Italian government announced that it will apply a 40% tax on extraordinary profits of banks still in 2023. The additional revenue, which can reach 2 billion euros, will be used to lower taxes and support for the purchase of a first home.

What’s going on in Niger? The military took power on the 26th of July, removing President Mohamed Bazoum, and diplomatic initiatives are now being taken to resolve the tension that escalates. There, and in the Sahel region, rich in oil, gold and uranium.


“I want to commemorate what happened here. It’s always like this: when we get married, people ask if we want to have children. When I come to the US Classic, everyone asks me about the Olympics. I’m trying to take it one step at a time. We will see”, Simon Bilesan American gymnast who, 730 days after having announced at the Tokyo Olympics that she needed to stop due to mental health problems, returned to compete in the US Classic, crushing the competition

“In the absence of a formal apology, we understand that the President of AGIF [Agência para a Gestão Integrada dos Fogos Florestais] does not meet the necessary conditions for the performance of his duties, given the irrecoverable breach of trust of the agents fighting forest fires, and must therefore resign or be dismissed”, excerpt from letter that the League of Portuguese Firefighters delivered to the Prime Ministerafter Tiago Oliveira, president of AGIF, questioned in parliament, in July, the fact that “fire brigades receive according to the burned area”, considering the “perverse objective”

What am I reading?

The Cousins, by Aurora Venturini

It was only at the age of 85 and thanks to this novel that Aurora Venturini gained worldwide visibility and jumped onto the shelves of bookstores. The Argentine writer, who died in 2015, already had dozens of works published when she received the Nueva Novela prize (awarded in her home country). She wrote on a typewriter or by hand and always about her family or other families, generally dysfunctional or “monstrous”, one reads in the prologue of the Alfaguara edition.

“The Cousins” is no exception. Between physical and cognitive disabilities, abuse and other miseries, Yuna, the protagonist who describes the horrible domestic world around her, tries to escape the violence that surrounds her and the women of her family through complicity with her cousin Petra and painting. After each episode of disgrace she encounters, she paints a picture. From the dictionary she looks for the words she doesn’t know, pointing them out to the reader each time that happens with the word idem. “(…) I clarify that idem means dictionary, but because it is a shorter word, it suits me better and since I never have anything pending, I say that this word corresponds to my inquiries about the dictionary culture that helps me to overcome the inherited disability.”

Yuna’s family history is thus told, in a cruel and cynical way, but also with a great sense of humour, sometimes without periods or commas, which “fill her head with incredible visions and ways of thinking”.

Podcast suggestions from the multimedia team

🌐 “We have on the horizon the possibility that the use of cyberspace, by itself, could trigger a war.” Luís Barreira de Sousa came to the Futuro do Futuro podcast to talk about digital diplomacy. Learn more about cyberattacks and the importance of applying international conventions in cyberspace to ensure democracy with the new episode of the podcast

🏄‍♀️ WYD ended with praise from the Pope and a celebration that belongs to everyone. But not everything went well. And there is a surfer – to use Francisco’s words – who wanted to enjoy the wave more than the others. This Political Commission looks behind the scenes of the Journey and makes a political analysis, as it should be, of the religious event

😜 Portuguese and Portuguese: the government arrived with 4 ministries. A monumental savings in the country’s coffers, the four ministers even waive their salary, but want allowances, of course. In this Government of Bad Language there is no lack of proposals to make Portugal a poorer country…, sorry, richer. A good mood is certain, listen to this episode of Night of the Bad Tongue and find out which portfolios the four new ministers will occupy

This Expresso Curto ends here, with wishes for a good rest of the week.

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