“Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have hit a record number this year, with 72,843 fires detected so far by Brazil’s space research center INPE, as concerns grow over right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policy.
“The surge marks an 83% increase over the same period of 2018, the agency said on Tuesday…
“The unprecedented surge in wildfires has occurred since Bolsonaro took office in January vowing to develop the Amazon region for farming and mining, ignoring international concern over increased deforestation.
“Asked about the spread of uncontrolled fires, Bolsonaro brushed off criticism, saying it was the time of the year of the “queimada” or burn, when farmers use fire to clear land.”
“Homeowners in fire-prone regions [of California] have complained in the past year about being dropped from their home-insurance policies and forced to buy coverage from surplus carriers or from the state insurer of last resort, the California FAIR Plan.
“Surplus insurers specialize in unusual risks and can charge much higher premiums.”
“Phoenix has broken another record — and not the good kind.
“The National Weather Service tweeted that Phoenix had broken its heat record for Aug. 20 on Tuesday afternoon, reaching a high of 113 degrees just after 2 p.m. The previous record was 112 degrees in 1986.”
“…while [Alaska’s] fires typically start to peter out in August, recently there’s been a major uptick.
“About 236 of the 663 fires that started this year are still burning in the state, and it’s not clear when they’ll start to fizzle out.
““This is not normal,” Ipsen tells TIME.”
“It is so warm here, just inside the Arctic Circle, that on an August day, coats are left on the ground and Holland and colleagues work on the watery melting ice without gloves.
“In one of the closest towns, Kulusuk, the morning temperature reached a shirtsleeve 52 degrees Fahrenheit (10.7 degrees Celsius). The ice Holland is standing on is thousands of years old. It will be gone within a year or two…”
“A high fire risk persists in forests of Russia’s Siberia and the Far East, in the south of the European part of Russia, and in some other regions across the country, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring reports on Tuesday.”
“Reports about bears becoming extremely active in searching for food next to towns and villages – and attacking people in the process – come from many areas of Siberia and the Far East of Russia.
“This footage with an unusually large group of animals prowling around the village of Takhtoyamsk in Magadan region, on shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, appears to be the most peaceful of all encounters. But elsewhere this was not the case…”
“Chinese authorities say at least 201 people have been killed and 63 are missing following flooding across the nation in July and August.
“The most recent deaths came in mountainous western Sichuan province, where eight were killed and 23 missing as of Wednesday morning. Earlier in August, 39 were killed and nine left missing by Typhoon Lekima.”
“Dozens of Pakistani villages were submerged and scores of people evacuated after India released up to 38,000 cusecs of water into River Sutlej without intimation earlier this week…
“Crops stretching over hundreds of acres near the bed of Sutlej were also destroyed by the flooding.”
“Heavy rains and floods in White Nile state [Sudan] and neighbouring North Kordofan resulted in the death of two children and four adults on Monday. Eight villages in White Nile state and large agricultural areas were flooded.
“El Jeili, north of Khartoum, was partly flooded.”
“Raging wildfire burnt 11,254 hectares of forests and rangelands across the country [Iran], since the beginning of summer, the commander of the forest protection unit of Forests, Range, and Watershed Management Organization, has said…
“Heavy rains over the past few months led to the plants and vegetation grown in vast areas of forests and rangelands which soon turned dry due to temperature rise and enhanced the possibility of massive fires.”
“Turkey experienced 503 forest fires between July 20 and Aug. 20 that destroyed 1,344 hectares (3,321 acres) of land, Habertürk reported on Tuesday. Turkish authorities are in the midst of trying to control a wildfire that erupted in Izmir on Sunday. According to Habertürk, 1,345 wildfires have been reported in the country since the beginning of the year.”
“After a recent ‘funeral’ in Iceland to mark the virtual disappearance of the country’s Okjökull glacier because of climate change, groups in Switzerland are now planning a similar event in the Alps to mark the first-ever death of a Swiss glacier.
“The ceremony, set for September 22nd, will mark the end of the Pizol Glacier in the eastern Swiss canton of Sankt Gallen.”
“Nearly two weeks after a tornado hit the south of Luxembourg, clean-up and reconstruction work is progressing as volunteers continue to support the effort.
“The tornado struck the area between Pétange and Bascharage on 9 August, damaging some 300 homes, with around 100 left uninhabitable.”
“Britain could enjoy the hottest August bank holiday on record this weekend with temperatures predicted to soar as high as 30C.
“The wet weather will persist for parts of the country this week, with further downpours and thunder predicted for northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Tuesday.”
“Crops in the Mallee’s Millewa district, stretching 100km west from Mildura to near the South Australian border, are on the brink of ruin…
“Farmers say conditions are the worst since the 1940s — eclipsing the devastating 1982 drought — and have appealed to governments to intervene with support measures.”
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