Disasters getting worse, say Brazil cyclone victims

By Fernando Marron In his 74 years, Humberto Simonaio had never experienced anything like it: the cyclone that hit southern Brazil swelled the Taquari river so badly it inundated even high ground he had never seen flood before. Simonaio, the owner of a beloved, half-century-old ice cream parlor called Keko in the hard-hit town of Mucum, said he knew he needed to get his freezers and other equipment to higher ground as last week’s storm […]

10,000 missing in Libya storm floods, death toll ‘huge’: Red Cross

GENEVA, Sept 12, 2023 (AFP) – The death toll from freak floods in eastern Libya is expected to soar dramatically, with 10,000 people reported missing, the Red Cross warned on Tuesday. Officials in Libya have said at least 150 people were killed in the sudden flooding on Sunday afternoon after storm Daniel swept the Mediterranean, lashing Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. But Tamer Ramadan of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) […]

California firefighters use AI to battle wildfires

By Romain FONSEGRIVES When a wildfire erupted in the middle of a recent California night, it could have been a disaster. But thanks to a new monitoring system that uses artificial intelligence to scan for danger, firefighters were able to quell the blaze long before it got out of hand. “It was less than a quarter acre,” Captain Kris Yeary of Cal Fire told AFP. “Had the AI not alerted us to it, it could […]

Survivors suffer as Morocco quake aid trickles in

By Sahar Al Attar with Joshua Melvin in Missirat, Morocco Homeless, traumatised and in some cases feeling abandoned by the authorities, many survivors of Morocco’s powerful earthquake escaped death only to fear they are now on their own to stay alive. The deadly quake has put a heavy burden on the North African kingdom’s emergency resources and some stranded in shattered communities were angry and shocked over what they say is a lack of a […]

Small islands take ocean protection case to UN court

The UN maritime court will on Monday hear a landmark case brought by a group of small island states seeking protection of the world’s oceans from catastrophic climate change. The nine island states have turned to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to determine if carbon dioxide emissions absorbed by the oceans can be considered pollution, and if so, what obligations countries have to prevent it. Ocean ecosystems create half the oxygen […]

Ecuador to reintroduce species on Galapagos island

Ecuador’s government has announced it will spend $3.4 million on reintroducing 12 endemic bird and turtle species that have disappeared from an island in the Galapagos archipelago. The project, funded with government money and donations, will also seek to weed out invasive rodents and cats on the island of Floreana, the environment ministry said late Saturday. The government plans to reintroduce vegetarian finches, vermillion flycatchers, lava gulls, barn owls, Galapagos hawks and giant turtles through […]

Hong Kong flooded by heaviest rainfall in 140 years

Hong Kong was flooded by the heaviest rainfall in nearly 140 years on Friday, leaving the city’s streets and some subway stations under water and forcing its schools to close. Just across the border, authorities in China’s tech hub Shenzhen recorded the heaviest rains since records began in 1952. Climate change has increased the intensity of tropical storms, experts say, with more rain and stronger gusts leading to flash floods and coastal damage. The heavy […]

Climate change supercharged this summer’s record heat: study

Record-shattering temperatures that impacted billions of people in the northern hemisphere this summer were given a massive boost by human-caused climate change, an analysis showed Thursday. The new paper by the nonprofit Climate Central group examined the period from June to August 2023, finding that greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial era made the heat waves that baked Asia, Africa, Europe and North America far more likely. Nearly […]

Biden bars drilling over vast swath of Alaska

By Issam AHMED US President Joe Biden’s administration announced Wednesday it is banning new oil and gas drilling over a vast region of Alaska home to iconic animal species. The move comes a little over a year before the 2024 election, as Biden seeks to shore up his green credentials that were damaged by a decision earlier this year to greenlight a project by US energy giant ConocoPhillips in the same area. The prohibition covers […]

At least 36 dead in Brazil cyclone, many still stranded

By Silvio AVILA The death toll from a cyclone that unleashed torrential rain and flooding on southern Brazil rose to at least 36 Wednesday, authorities said, as the region braced for more violent weather. With the flood waters forcing some residents to climb onto their roofs, a major emergency operation was underway, with one official saying more than 1,000 people were awaiting rescue. The storms, which started Monday, left whole neighborhoods submerged in the southern […]

2023: Weather extremes and smashed records

From devastating fires in the north to winter heatwaves in the south, the last three months produced another grim litany of extreme, and often deadly, weather events. The June-August period was the hottest in history, according to the latest report Wednesday from the European climate observatory Copernicus. Here’s a recap of how the season unfolded: – Northern hemisphere sweltered – One heat record after the other tumbled over the course of summer in the northern […]

‘We’re going to sink’: hundreds abandon Caribbean island home

By Juan José Rodríguez On a tiny Caribbean island, hundreds of people are preparing to pack up and move to escape the rising waters threatening to engulf their already precarious homes. Surrounded by idyllic clear waters, the densely populated island of Carti Sugtupu off Panama’s north coast has barely an inch to spare with houses crammed together — some jutting out into the sea on stilts. The island’s Indigenous community of fewer than 2,000 souls […]