Tuesday, Apr 23rd

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Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing ‘devastating’ tipping point, study finds

Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing tipping point

The circulation of the Atlantic Ocean is heading towards a tipping point that is “bad news for the climate system and humanity”, a study has found.

The scientists behind the research said they were shocked at the forecast speed of collapse once the point is reached, although they said it was not yet possible to predict how soon that would happen.

Using computer models and past data, the researchers developed an early warning indicator for the breakdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (Amoc), a vast system of ocean currents that is a key component in global climate regulation.

They found Amoc is already on track towards an abrupt shift, which has not happened for more than 10,000 years and would have dire implications for large parts of the world.


EPA tightens rules on some air pollution for the first time in over a decade

EPA tightens rules

When Cynthia Pinto-Cabrera developed asthma at 12, it didn't seem that unusual to her. Lots of her classmates in California's San Joaquin Valley carried inhalers to school. Her little brother needed a nebulizer every morning just to start his day breathing right.

But when she left the valley for college in Santa Barbara, Pinto-Cabrera encountered a world with far less air pollution than she had lived with. She found it shocking that other parts of the country simply lived with cleaner air— and their health benefited.


'1-in-1,000 year rain': State of emergency due to floods, mudslides in California

Atmospheric river hits CaliforniaThe tail end of a powerful atmospheric river storm that knocked out power to nearly 400,000 California homes and businesses was deluging the state Monday with more heavy rain, mudslides, flooding and several feet of snow in the mountains.

The brunt of the storm's fury Monday centered on the Los Angeles area, where 1.4 million people were under a flash flood warning – including the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills. A local state of emergency was issued for the city of Los Angeles by Mayor Karen Bass on Monday afternoon.

Across Southern California, the heavy winds that blasted the region Sunday were diminishing, but the National Weather Service warned that an unstable weather pattern could generate waterspouts or small tornadoes.


Second atmospheric river hits California amid ‘life-threatening’ flooding warning

Pineapple Express IIA second atmospheric river-fueled storm is lashing California, threatening dangerous extreme weather in the state.

The National Weather Service warned continuous rainfall would hit over a 48-hour period in some already sodden areas across the state, including the central coast, the Los Angeles basin and in the mountain ranges.

“This heavy rainfall will bring the threat for life-threatening flash, urban, and river flooding as well as debris flows and mudslides,” the agency reported in a Sunday morning update.

Heavy snow and strong winds are expected to create impossible travel conditions in the mountains and destructive high surf along the coast.

The National Weather Service issued its first ever warning of hurricane force winds for the San Francisco area in northern California, with winds strong enough to cause flight cancellations and diversions out of San Francisco airport while, further south, the federal service gave a rare “high risk” of flash flooding warning for Los Angeles.


The EPA is proposing that 'forever chemicals' be considered hazardous substances

PFAS chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing that nine PFAS, also known as "forever chemicals," be categorized as hazardous to human health.

The EPA signed a proposal Wednesday that would deem the chemicals "hazardous constituents" under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

For the agency to consider a substance a hazardous constituent, it has to be toxic or cause cancer, genetic mutation or the malformations of an embryo. The full list of the nine substances can be found here.


First of two 'Pineapple Express' atmospheric river storms slams California with rain, snow

Pineapple Express

The first storm hit the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday and moved south on Thursday, arriving in Los Angeles just in time to snarl the morning commute.

The river of rain “will be taking aim at mostly Southern California” on Thursday, National Weather Service forecaster Bob Oravec said.

The heavy rain was forecast to create mainly localized areas of flash flooding, with urban areas, roads, small streams, and burn scars the most vulnerable, the weather service warned.


Anchorage hit with over 100 inches of snow − so heavy it weighs 30 pounds per square foot

Anchorage hit with 100 inches of snowIn the midst of the hefty snowfall, other parts of the state saw record-high temperatures. Sitka Airport recorded a new record of 54 degrees on Sunday, and Ketchikan Airport tied a record of 55 degrees the same day, according to the National Weather Service.

Even with the record-setting highs, Sunday and Monday were the "coldest days statewide in four years, if you average for the entire state," Brettschneider said.

Juneau Airport also reached a record high of 46 degrees days after the capital city was hit with a winter storm warning that saw snow pile up to more than 5 feet. The snow caused route changes to the Juneau bus system and closed down in-person operations of city buildings last week.

The combination of heavy snow levels with record high temperatures threatened to trigger landslides and avalanches in the area. City officials warned residents to avoid avalanche paths on Wednesday after two avalanches blocked a local intersection.


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