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Tuesday, Oct 04th

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‘Just hell.’ 5 countries suffering in Europe’s heat wave

Just hell in European heat wave

As Europe feels the heat, politicians are sweating.

In the U.K., an emergency Cabinet meeting was called Saturday to discuss Britain’s first-ever “Extreme Red” heat warning. In France, one lawmaker described the sweltering weather as “hell.” In Portugal, the prime minister is monitoring dangerous forest fires.

With temperatures in Western Europe set to soar beyond 40 degrees Celsius this week, Southern Europe is already fighting the effects of more blistering summer heat, which scientists say is a result of the world’s changing climate.

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Over 100 homes damaged, dozens reported missing after flooding in southwest Virginia, officials say

Virginia flooding

Officials in southwestern Virginia say dozens of people have been reported missing and likely over 100 homes were damaged after heavy rains caused devastating flooding in rural Buchanan County.

First responders, including swift water rescue teams, from across southwest and central Virginia headed to the area as water levels rose overnight and early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service office in Charleston, West Virginia, had issued a flash flood warning lasting into early Wednesday for parts of West Virginia and Virginia and also warned of severe thunderstorms in the area.

Gov. Glenn Younkin declared a state of emergency on Wednesday to respond to the severe flooding.

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Nearly $2tn of damage inflicted on other countries by US emissions

Damage done by US emissions

The US has inflicted more than $1.9tn in damage to other countries from the effects of its greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new analysis that has provided the first measurement of nations’ liability in stoking the climate crisis.

The huge volume of planet-heating gases pumped out by the US, the largest historical emitter, has caused such harm to other, mostly poor, countries through heatwaves, crop failures and other consequences that the US is responsible for $1.91tn in lost global income since 1990, the study found.

This puts the US ahead of China, currently the world’s leading emitter, Russian, India and Brazil as the next largest contributors to global economic damage through their emissions. Combined, these five leading culprits have caused a total of $6tn in losses worldwide, or about 11% of annual global GDP, since 1990 by fueling climate breakdown.

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Firefighters attempt to save giant sequoias as Yosemite wildfire grows

Firefighters attempt to save sequoias

A grove containing some of the world’s oldest giant sequoia trees is under threat from a rapidly growing wildfire at California’s Yosemite national park.

From Friday to Monday, the blaze expanded from 250 acres to roughly 2,340 acres, with the terrain of timber and brush fueling the flames, officials said. Visitors on the Washburn trail of the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias first reported the blaze on 7 July, and 545 firefighters and other personnel were currently working to contain it as of Monday.

The firefighters’ efforts included laying down a sprinkler system within the grove to keep the trunks of more than 500 mature giant sequoias moist. Officials also hope the steady spray of sprinkler water keeps the flames away from the grove, which they had also previously protected with so-called prescribed burns aimed at clearing out materials that could help fuel fires.

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'Not much relief in sight': Temperatures from powerful 'heat dome' lead to record-breaking highs

US heat dome shows no relief in sight

At least 10 heat records were broken in cities across the Southwest and central U.S. over the weekend, and more could fall this week amid continued forecasts of searing heat.

Cities and towns in Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas all saw record highs on Friday and Saturday. Some broke temperature records set nearly a decade ago and others exceeded previous highs by up to six degrees. The high temperatures are largely the result of a "heat dome" – a persistent region of high pressure trapping heat over the area.

While the daily records broken weren't necessarily widespread, given July is already a hot time of year, the conditions created by the heat dome have still been conducive to approaching and meeting record numbers in many areas, Accuweather Meteorologist Joseph Bauer told USA TODAY.

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‘All that’s needed is a spark’: why the US may be headed for a summer of mega-fire

Akk that's needed is a sparkFollowing an explosive spring that unleashed major wildfires from the US south-west to Alaska, the west is now bracing for a summer of blazes as the parched landscapes risk turning into tinderboxes.

Fire activity is expected to increase in several US states over the coming months, according to a newly released outlook from the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), with parts of the Pacific north-west, northern California, Texas, Hawaii and Alaska forecast to be among those hardest hit by fire conditions in the months ahead.

The severity of the emergency will depend on four key factors: drought, dried fuels, windy or warm weather, and of course, ignitions. But the climate crisis and human-caused warming has turned up the dial on risk-factors with more intense conditions and a greater frequency with which these conditions align.

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Earth Is On Track To Lose More Than 1,000 Wild Mammal Species, UN Report Says

Earth on track to lose 1,000 species Every day billions of people depend on wild flora and fauna to obtain food, medicine and energy. But a new United Nations-backed report says that overexploitation, climate change, pollution and deforestation are pushing one million species towards extinction.

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services - or IPBES - report said Friday that unless humankind improves the sustainable use of nature, the Earth is on its way to losing 12% of its wild tree species, over a thousand wild mammal species and almost 450 species of sharks and rays, among other irreparable harm.

Humans use about 50,000 wild species routinely and 1 out of 5 people of the world’s 7.9 billion population depend on those species for food and income, the report said. 1 in 3 people rely on fuel wood for cooking, the number even higher in Africa.

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