Environment

9,000 evacuated in northeast Canada due to wildfires

MONTREAL, July 14, 2024 (AFP) – Around 9,000 people have been evacuated in northeastern Canada because of raging wildfires, officials said Saturday. Residents of the towns of Labrador City and Wabush in Newfoundland and Labrador province were ordered to leave their homes, said provincial fire duty officer Jeff Motty. “We are seeing extreme fire behaviour out there. The fire is moving about 50 meters per minute,” Motty said. Images shared on social media showed lines […]

Hong Kong matches record for hottest summer solstice

HONG KONG (AFP) – Hong Kong matched on Friday its record for the hottest summer solstice as a subtropical ridge drove temperatures up to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit). “The maximum temperature recorded at the observatory was 34C, the highest so far this year and equalling the record high for summer solstice set in 1980,” the city’s weather observatory said. The Chinese finance hub saw its hottest summer on record last year, with the […]

Italy swelters in first summer heatwave

ROME (AFP) – Tourists and locals sweltered under Italy’s first summer heatwave on Friday, with the installation in Rome of potted trees for shade providing little relief. Temperatures were forecast to hit 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts of the country, according to the official air force weather service, while the health ministry issued red alerts for Rome and Palermo among other cities. Weather website Il Meteo blamed an African anticyclone it dubbed […]

Extreme heat is new danger stalking US-bound migrants

By Hérika MARTÍNEZ CIUDAD JUÁREZ, Mexico (AFP) – In the Mexican desert near the US border, security forces are on alert after a man was found dead from heat stroke on the journey to what he hoped would be a better life in North America. The 45-year-old Mexican man’s body was found buried among sand and bushes under the merciless sun, a week after a woman died from dehydration in the northern state of Chihuahua, […]

New report warns of heat danger at Paris Olympics

PARIS, June 18, 2024 (AFP) – A new report backed by climate scientists and athletes warned Tuesday about the dangers of extreme high temperatures at this year’s Paris Olympics. The “Rings of Fire” report — a collaboration between non-profit Climate Central, academics at Britain’s University of Portsmouth and 11 Olympians — said conditions in Paris could be worse than the last Games in Tokyo in 2021. It warned that “intense heat at the Paris Olympics […]

Five hurt as police, activists, clash at French motorway protest

PUYLAURENS, France, June 8, 2024 (AFP) – Police and masked activists clashed at a protest over a motorway project in southern France Saturday, leaving five people hurt, local officials said. Thousands of demonstrators ignored a ban on the gathering to turn out for the protest at the site of the A-69 motorway between Castres and Toulouse in the southwest. A police officer hit by a Molotov cocktail, two paramilitary gendarmes and two protesters were injured […]

Extreme heat brings Cyprus to a halt

NICOSIA, June 5, 2024 (AFP) – Outdoor work and food delivery services were suspended in Cyprus on Wednesday as the first heatwave of the year brought scorching temperatures to the Mediterranean island. The meteorological department issued an orange warning as the mercury hit 43 degrees Celsius (109 Fahrenheit) in Nicosia, 38 degrees on the coast and 34 in the mountains. Due to the extreme heat alert, the labour department issued a decree stating that all […]

May marks 12th straight month of record global heat: EU

PARIS, June 5, 2024 (AFP) – C It is the latest red flag in a year already hit by climate extremes and rising greenhouse gas emissions, spurring fresh calls for more rapid action to limit global warming. “The global average temperature for the last 12 months (June 2023-May 2024) is the highest on record… and 1.63 degrees Celsius above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average”, EU monitor Copernicus said, referring to the period before human-caused greenhouse gas […]

EarthCARE satellite to probe how clouds affect climate

By Juliette Collen PARIS, May 26, 2024 (AFP) – Will clouds help cool or warm our world in the years ahead? The EarthCARE satellite will soon blast off on a mission to find out, aiming to investigate what role clouds could play in the fight against climate change. The collaboration between the European Space Agency and Japan’s JAXA space agency is scheduled to launch Tuesday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from California’s Vandenberg base. […]

Low-lying Maldives seeks easier funding to battle waves

MALÉ, Maldives, May 25, 2024 (AFP) – The Maldives on Saturday demanded international funding to battle rising sea levels, saying the low-lying Indian Ocean archipelago was being unfairly excluded from the most generous support measures. “The Maldives is liable for just 0.003 percent of global emissions, but is one of the first countries to endure the existential consequences of the climate crisis,” President Mohamed Muizzu wrote in Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “Wealthier nations have a moral […]

Global coral bleaching event expanding to new countries: scientists

By Lucie AUBOURG WASHINGTON (AFP) – The massive coral bleaching episode signaled by US authorities last month is expanding and deepening in reefs around the globe, scientists warned Thursday. Amid record ocean temperatures, coral bleaching has been recorded in 62 countries and territories since February 2023, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said — an increase of nine from its warning in April. “This event is still growing in size and impacts,” Derek […]

‘Danger behind the beauty’: more solar storms could be heading our way

By Daniel Lawler PARIS, May 18, 2024 (AFP) – Tourists normally have to pay big money and brave cold climates for a chance to see an aurora, but last weekend many people around the world simply had to look up to see these colourful displays dance across the sky. Usually banished to the poles of Earth, the auroras strayed as far as Mexico, southern Europe and South Africa on the evening of May 10, delighting […]