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Map: Does your drinking water contain ‘forever chemicals’?

 Map of drinking waterSo-called “forever chemicals” have been found in 45% of the nation’s tap water, according to a recent government study, but is your tap water affected?

If you’re wondering whether or not your tap water might contain synthetic chemicals known as PFAS, nonprofit Environmental Working Group created an interactive map using official records and data from public drinking water systems to show where forever chemicals were found to be above and below the advised maximum concentration level, 4 parts per trillion (PPT).

EWG notes that while researchers used the highest quality data available, contamination levels are based on a single point in time and may not reflect changes to the water system or treatment efforts.

The synthetic compounds known collectively as PFAS are contaminating drinking water to varying extents in large cities and small towns — and in private wells and public systems, the U.S. Geological Survey said in July.




The world inches closer to feared global warming 'tipping points': 5 disastrous scenarios

Melting Arctic ice

As of July 18, Antarctic sea ice was more than 1 million square miles below the 1981-2010 average. That's an area larger than the seven southwestern states, including Utah and Texas, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. It is also more than half a million square miles lower than last year, which had also been the previous record low.

In Greenland, temperatures over the country's central-north ice sheet between 2001 and 2011 were the warmest in the past 1,000 years, said Maria Hörhold, a glaciologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany and author of a study published this year.

  • What could happen: Massive ocean currents that move hot and cold water around could grind to a halt. Some studies have called it an "irreversible transition."

What is a 'fire whirl,' the rare weather phenomenon spotted in a California wildfire

Fire whirl

They may sound like something from science fiction, but "fire whirls" are in fact real.

And the flaming vortexes have been spotted in recent days by firefighters battling a blaze along the California-Nevada border, federal authorities say.

"In some locations, firefighters on the north side of the fire observed fire whirls also known as whirlwinds," the Mojave National Preserve said in a Facebook post on Monday.

"While these can be fascinating to observe they are a very dangerous natural phenomena that can occur during wildfires."

Climate change is making the U.S. hotter and drier, increasing the risk of wildfires and in some cases the intensity of blazes.

When wildfires do ignite, they can create their own weather patterns, including fire whirls.



York wildfire still blazing, threatening Joshua trees in Mojave Desert

Mojave Desert

Firefighters continue to battle the York wildfire in California and Nevada, which grew to more than 80,000 acres Tuesday and is threatening the region's famous Joshua trees and other wildlife.

The fire became California's largest wildfire of 2023 after starting Friday in the state's New York mountains in the Mojave National Preserve.

An unusually wet winter in California increased the likelihood of wildfires this summer, according to the United States Forest Service. Powerful winds from rainstorms this summer also could have caused the fire to "spread more rapidly and unpredictably," the Mojave National Park Service said Tuesday.

When the fire first began, the windy conditions, combined with dry weather, made the York fire unusually difficult to control, the forest service said. Crews battling the fire have seen flames rising 20 feet into the air, according to the air quality tracking site IQAir.


Phoenix’s record streak of temperatures above 110F ends after 31 days

Phoenix high temperature streak endsPhoenix’s record stretch of daily highs over 110F (43.3C) ended Monday as cooling monsoon rains slightly tempered the dangerous heatwave that suffocated the American south-west throughout July.

The region, from Texas across New Mexico and Arizona and into California’s desert, has been grappling with historic heat since June. Phoenix and its suburbs sweltered more intensely than most, with several records including the 31 consecutive days of 110F days. The previous record was 18 straight days, set in 1974.

The streak was finally broken Monday, when the high topped out at 108F (42.2C), the National Weather Service reported.

But the reprieve was expected to be brief, with the forecast calling for highs again above 110F for several days later in the week. And National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Hirsch said August could be even hotter than July.

Over 50 million Americans remain under a heat advisory in one of the hottest summers ever recorded, and a heatwave continues to affect vast parts of the country.


Huge wildfire explodes in southern California and spreads into Nevada

Huge wildfires explode in southern californiaA huge wildfire burning out of control in California’s Mojave national preserve is spreading rapidly amid erratic winds and high temperatures.

The York Fire erupted on Friday near the remote Caruthers Canyon area of the wildland preserve. It crossed the state line into Nevada on Sunday and sent smoke further east into the Las Vegas Valley.

The fire is one of two major blazes burning in California as the region faces hot and dry weather. Firefighters said they had made progress battling the other blaze, the Bonny fire in Riverside county.

The York Fire was mapped at roughly 120 sq miles (284 sq km) on Monday with no containment.



Biden acts to protect workers as temperatures soar in record-setting July

Biden acts to protect workers in heat waveU.S. President Joe Biden took steps to protect workers from extreme heat and met with the mayors of sweltering cities Phoenix and San Antonio on Thursday as an intensifying heat wave put half of Americans under heat watches and warnings.

With this July set to become the hottest on record globally,

temperatures and heat index values across the United States were forecast to soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius) until at least Saturday, the National Weather Service said.


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