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Tuesday, Oct 04th

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Time running out to protect world’s oceans, conservationists say as UN treaty talks stall

oceans

A fifth round of negotiations for a UN ocean treaty to protect and manage the high seas failed to reach an agreement on Friday in New York.

The treaty has been described as “the most significant ocean protection agreement for four decades”.

It seeks to protect 30% of the world’s oceans – 11m sq km – by 2030, and would provide a legally binding mechanism for safeguarding the high seas – areas that lie beyond national jurisdictions more than 200 nautical miles from shore.

A group of more than 50 countries known as the High Ambition Coalition committed last year to protect 30% of the planet’s land and sea by 2030. But without an agreement, these pledges have no legal basis in the high seas, which cover almost half of the earth’s surface and account for two-thirds of the global ocean.

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6 months into invasion, what is the endgame in Ukraine?

6 monthis into Ukraine invasionWednesday marks six months since Russia invaded Ukraine.

In the months since Russia's blitzkrieg attack from the north and east, which was met with a stronger-than-expected resistance from the outmanned and outgunned Ukrainians, the evolving conflict has become more of a "static war" with no clear winners, according to ABC News contributor retired Col. Steve Ganyard.

"At this stage, both countries, both Ukraine and Russia, seem to be losing," Ganyard said. "And now the fight is obviously who can lose first and who will have to lose last."

It's impossible to predict how much longer the war will last -- it could be months or even years, Ganyard said.

"This is a war that's unfolding at this point very, very slowly," he said. "Neither side has the ability to conduct significant offensive operations."

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Florida, Texas, Central US could see biggest increase in hot days, new modeling shows

heat surge to come in west and south

A new report examines how dangerously high temperatures could increase over the next 30 years and reveals a grim outlook for much of the nation, especially a vast swath of the central U.S. where residents aren’t accustomed to extreme heat.

South Florida is forecast to see the biggest increases in the number of very hottest days, according to a new heat model and assessment by the First Street Foundation. But the report suggests even some of the nation’s northernmost counties won’t escape the effects of the warming world.

"Extreme heat exposure is increasing across the country," said Jeremy Porter, chief research officer for First Street, a Brooklyn, New York, esearch and technology group.

The foundation looked at average heat index temperatures – what it feels like outside based on temperature and humidity – on the seven hottest days of the year.

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The Arctic is heating up nearly four times faster than the whole planet, study finds

Arctic drying up

The Arctic is heating up nearly four times faster than the Earth as a whole, according to new research. The findings are a reminder that the people, plants and animals in polar regions are experiencing rapid, and disastrous, climate change.

Scientists previously estimated that the Arctic is heating up about twice as fast as the globe overall. The new study finds that is a significant underestimate of recent warming. In the last 43 years, the region has warmed 3.8 times faster than the planet as a whole, the authors find.

The study focuses on the period between 1979, when reliable satellite measurements of global temperatures began, and 2021.

"The Arctic is more sensitive to global warming than previously thought," says Mika Rantanen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute, who is one of the authors of the study published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

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1,000 People Stranded In Death Valley National Park After Flash Flooding

Flash floods strand 1,000 people and cars at DV Park Record rainfall Friday trigged flash floods at Death Valley National Park that swept away cars, closed all roads and stranded hundreds of visitors and workers.

There were no immediate reports of injuries but roughly 60 vehicles were buried in mud and debris and about 500 visitors and 500 park workers were stuck inside the park, officials said.

Record rainfall at Death Valley National Park buried dozens of vehicles in mud and debris and trapped hundreds of workers and visitors there.

The park near the California-Nevada state line received 1.46 inches (3.71 centimeters) of rain at the Furnace Creek area. That’s about 75% of what the area typically gets in a year and more than has ever been recorded for the entire month of August.

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Tonga's volcano sent tons of water into the stratosphere. That could warm the Earth

Tonga volcano eruption could warm the earth

The violent eruption of Tonga's Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano injected an unprecedented amount of water directly into the stratosphere — and the vapor will stay there for years, likely affecting the Earth's climate patterns, NASA scientists say.

The massive amount of water vapor is roughly 10% of the normal amount of vapor found in the stratosphere, equaling more than 58,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

"We've never seen anything like it," said atmospheric scientist Luis Millán, who works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Millán led a study of the water the volcano sent into the sky; the team's research was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Death toll rises to 35 in Kentucky flooding; 'hundreds' unaccounted for; severe weather threats loom

Kentucky flooding

The death toll from last week's devastating flooding in Kentucky rose to 35 Monday as a round of severe storms threatens to bring further rainfall, high winds and even flash flooding to residents still trying to find their footing.

At a press conference Monday morning, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said that five days after the flooding began, a minimum of "hundreds" of people remain unaccounted for in the state. The death toll is still expected to rise as search efforts continue this week.

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