“Even in the Arctic, microscopic particles of plastic are falling out of the sky with snow, a study has found.
“The scientists said they were shocked by the sheer number of particles they found: more than 10,000 of them per litre in the Arctic.
“It means that even there, people are likely to be breathing in microplastics from the air – though the health implications remain unclear.
“The region is often seen as one of the world’s last pristine environments.”
“The dramatic melt suggests that Greenland’s ice sheet is approaching a tipping point that could set it on an irreversible course towards disappearing entirely.
“If that happens, catastrophic sea-level rise would swallow coastal cities across the globe. As ice melt continues to outpace scientists’ expectations, some fear that could happen more quickly than they thought.”
“Territory covered with wildfires across Russia has reached its peak for the year so far, with some 5.4 million hectares ablaze mostly in Siberia and the country’s far east.
“The total land destroyed by flames will soon exceed 2018 with weeks of the burning season still to go. Greenpeace Russia has predicted the damage can overtake the worst year on record, 2012.”
“France’s record July heat wave caused several stones to fall from the ceiling of Notre Dame Cathedral, highlighting the fragility of the fire-ravaged landmark.
“An official with the French Ministry of Culture said the extreme heat – Paris reached a record high of more than 108 degrees – dried out the mortar holding the stones in place, which contributed to the stones crumbling and falling…”
“Tourists in Majorca were evacuated by lifeguards from a popular beach as a huge fire engulfed a section of forest just metres away. The blaze took hold of a 250sq metre area of woodland behind the Es Trenc beach, close to Campos on the southern coast of the island…
“Last weekend, thousands were forced to flee their homes after a fire ravaged more than 1,000 hectares of a national park in Gran Canaria.”
“Over 25 million people are under dangerous heat alerts as temperatures approach record levels in California and the desert Southwest. The heat will then spread east into the weekend.”
“There were at least four reports of tornadoes in Colorado on Tuesday and countless reports of very large hail. In fact, hail that fell near Burlington in the small town of Bethune is now the largest hail ever recorded in Colorado…
“…4.5 inches or grapefruit size.”
“Poor harvests and prolonged drought are driving rural families in parts of Central America from their homes to seek better opportunities in their own or neighboring countries and in the United States, the United Nations said on Wednesday.
“Five years of recurring droughts have destroyed maize and bean harvests…”
“A deadly fungus that plagued banana plantations in Southeast Asia for 30 years has made the inevitable leap to Latin America, where much of the world’s bananas are grown.
“The Colombian Agricultural Institute confirmed on Aug. 8 that it had found a strain of the Fusarium oxysporum fungus…”
“Landslides and flooding as a result of heavy rains are nothing new, especially for Rio de Janeiro. But over the past years the situation has gotten visibly worse.
“While increasing climate vulnerability is a global concern, coastal cities like Rio—situated along the Atlantic Ocean with a terrain that is both mountainous and low-lying—are predicted to be particularly hard hit by natural disasters.”
“While fires in Siberia have created a cloud of smoke larger than the European Union, on the other side of the world, forest blazes in the Amazon are causing a phenomenon of almost the same magnitude.
“Santiago Gassó, a researcher at NASA’s Goddard center, warned on his Twitter account on Tuesday that the surface of Latin America covered by the smoke layer was about 3.2 million square kilometers.”
“A disturbing new study has found that populations of animals living in the world’s forests have declined by over half in the last 50 years.
“This global assessment done by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London incorporated 455 populations of 268 species of wildlife that only live in forests, and found that these populations have declined by 53% on average since 1970.”
“An estimated 12,751 people were rushed to hospitals due to heat-related conditions across Japan over the week from Aug 5, of whom 23 died, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday.
“With severe heat continuing to hit Japan, the number of those taken to hospitals surpassed the 10,000 mark for the second consecutive week…”
“A powerful tropical storm made landfall in Hiroshima Prefecture on Thursday, bringing strong winds and torrential rain, and prompting warnings of landslides and flooding, as well as sparking evacuation advisories and travel chaos during a peak holiday period…
“The Meteorological Agency predicted torrential downpours. It said rainfall could exceed 1,200 millimeters on the Pacific coast.”
“Floods and landslides have killed more than 270 people in India, displaced over one million and inundated thousands of homes across six states, authorities said after two weeks of heavy monsoon rains.”
“Rain in Kochi has shattered all rainfall records this Monsoon season, with city receiving highest rainfall ever in August.
“Kochi has recorded 820 mm [around 33 inches] of rain till now, surpassing the all-time high rainfall record that stood at 783.5 mm in August 2014… we expect Kochi rains to set new record in the coming days.”
“The boom in the US shale gas and oil may have ignited a significant global spike in methane emissions blamed for accelerating the pace of the climate crisis, according to research.
“Scientists at Cornell University have found the “chemical fingerprints” of the rising global methane levels point to shale oil and shale gas as the probable source.”
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