The Great Meltdown 2: Extreme hailstorms, the new normal

    The Great Meltdown 2 is the sequel to 3Bee's film documenting climate change from the point of view of human actions-altering ecosystems and biodiversity. Discover the fourth episode dedicated to the extreme hailstorms of 2023 in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
    The Great Meltdown 2: Extreme hailstorms, the new normal

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    The Great Meltdown: the climate change film

    The Great Meltdown is the "film" that is before our eyes every day: the real and dangerous effects of climate change, which are affecting everyone. Unlike the first docu-film, which explored environmental disasters caused directly by human actions, this new season focuses on the devastating effects of extreme weather events. The episodes will be 5 and will be released weekly during the month of November 2023.
    - Episode 1: Milan of fire, the islands of heat
    - Episode 2: Vaia, a storm to remember
    - Episode 3: Silent Invasion, Blue Crab and Alien Species
    - Episode 4: Extreme Hail, the New Normal
    - Episode 5: Emilia Underwater - Coming Soon 27/11/2023

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    Extreme hailstorm in Mortegliano, Udine

    'Every time there's a thunderstorm, my son asks me: is it like the last one? He is afraid'. These are the words of a resident of Mortegliano, in the province of Udine, who in July 2023 experienced first-hand one of the most devastating hailstorms ever recorded in Italy. Lasting almost five minutes, it destroyed façades, roofs, solar panels and much more in a small village of just under 5,000 inhabitants. With this extreme event, the Friuli Venezia Giulia won the 'gold medal' for the biggest hailstone in Europe, beating Romania by just one centimetre: the Italian hailstone has a diameter of a good 19 cm. The world record is held by the United States, particularly South Dakota, but hailstones are likely to reach 20 or even 30 centimetres in the coming years due to climate change. The thought that this could be the reality in the future is truly devastating.

    Mortegliano

    An extreme event never before recorded

    In Mortegliano, much of the damage from last summer's hailstorm is still clearly visible. In the coming years, the climate conditions will continue to worsen and, unfortunately, these extreme phenomena will become increasingly frequent. Hence the title of the fourth episode of The Great Meltdown 2: "Extreme Meltdowns, the new normal". "That evening I was having dinner at my parents', in a small town near Udine. We saw the sky darken and decided to go home because we had the windows open and the dogs outside in the garden. - continues the inhabitant of Mortegliano interviewed by the 3Bee team during the episode - In the ring road we realised we were completely surrounded by a black cloud full of electricity, it was a continuous flash of lightning. We got home, picked up the dogs and a very strong wind came, we were in a panic. Something I had never seen before."

    Sindaco Mortegliano

    Damage Restoration Interventions

    The 3Bee team also interviewed Roberto Zuliani, mayor of Mortegliano. "The interventions carried out on Mortegliano were 1495: over 250 men were engaged on the territory on a daily basis between the permanent and volunteer corps of the fire brigades of the province of Trento and Bolzano, volunteers of the mountain rescue and civil protection. I must say that the weather conditions are being observed much more carefully than before, but it is clear that an event of this kind leaves a mark on you." Luca Chiminello, VVG Volunteer of the FVG Region, also told 3Bee about the immense force with which this event affected the area. "Initially, it seemed that only trees had fallen or elements were obstructing circulation, but then we received more and more calls for help because of the damage suffered by this exceptional hailstorm with large hailstones."

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    How to effectively reduce hail

    To effectively reduce hailstorms there is an effective way: geoengineering. The method consists of injecting substances such as silver iodide and salts into the clouds, which reduce freezing temperatures, thus effectively decreasing hailstorms and making it rain more. This methodology is widely used in America, with good results. Also in America, we find the Tornado Alley: a huge area of land in the centre of the United States that has been created by the collision of cold, dry winds from Canada and moist air rising from the Gulf of Mexico. The clash between these two fronts results in the formation of supercelles that create tornadoes, thunderstorms, hailstorms, strong winds. This sounds like a description of what has been happening in northern Italy recently: the Po Valley is becoming the new Tornado Alley.

    Concrete actions to combat climate change

    The Mediterranean Sea is warming much faster than expected, two degrees above the historical average. The Severe Storms Laboratory has estimated that in the coming years the frequency of these phenomena will not increase by 20% but triple, even in intensity. "We have to start protecting ourselves by understanding, analysing and preventing these extreme events. - says Niccolò Calandri, CEO of 3Bee - Things are not getting better, the climate change exists and we have to start not only talking about it - by now everyone is aware of it - but taking concrete action. In this context, 3Bee works every day to create Oases of Biodiversity, recreating urban and agroforestry habitats in areas of low biodiversity, with the aim of regenerating it. A first step towards climate resilience through an technology-based innovative approach to develop a resilient ecosystem: only in this way can we defend ourselves against an uncontrollable future.

    By Elena FraccaroNovember 20, 2023
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have any doubts or other curiosities about this article? Here you will find some insights

    How can hail be effectively reduced?

    There is an effective way to reduce hailstorms: geoengineering. The method consists of injecting substances such as silver iodide and salts into the clouds, which reduce freezing temperatures, thus effectively reducing hailstorms and making it rain more. This methodology is widely used in America, with good results. Also in America, we find Tornado Alley: a huge area of land in the centre of the United States that has been created by the collision of cold, dry winds from Canada and moist air rising from the Gulf of Mexico. The clash between these two fronts results in the formation of supercells that create tornadoes, thunderstorms, hailstorms, and strong winds. This sounds like the description of what has been happening in northern Italy recently: the Po Valley is becoming the new Tornado Alley.

    How can we fight climate change?

    The Mediterranean Sea is warming up much faster than expected, two degrees warmer than the historical average. The Severe Storms Laboratory has estimated that in the next few years the frequency of these phenomena will not increase by 20 per cent but will triple, even in terms of intensity. "We must start protecting ourselves by understanding, analysing and preventing these extreme events. - says Niccolò Calandri, CEO of 3Bee - Things are not getting better, climate change exists and we have to start not only talking about it - by now everyone is aware of it - but taking concrete action. In this context, 3Bee works every day to create Biodiversity Oases, recreating urban and agroforestry habitats in areas of low biodiversity, with the aim of regenerating it. A first step towards climate resilience through an innovative technology-based approach to develop a resilient ecosystem: only in this way can we defend ourselves against an uncontrollable future.

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