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The world is still falling short on limiting climate change, according to U.N. report

UN report  warns world of climate crisis

The world needs to "rapidly accelerate action" on cutting heat-trapping emissions, warns a new report from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Countries have an ever-shrinking window of time to stave off temperatures that would bring more dangerous heat waves, droughts and storms.

The warning comes ahead of major climate change negotiations among world leaders in early December at COP28, to be held in the United Arab Emirates. Countries use the annual summit to discuss their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but so far, they're still falling short.

Climate scientists warn that the world needs to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Beyond that threshold, sea level rise threatens to inundate coastal cities, coral reefs could disappear almost entirely, and extreme weather events become even more common. Currently, the world is on track for around 2.5 degrees Celsius of warming.


Phoenix breaks heat record as city hits 110F for the 54th consecutive day

Phoenix breaks heat record
  • The temperature in Phoenix, Arizona continues to rise as the city broke its previous record of the most consecutive days at or above 110F (43C).

On Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service announced that the temperature at Phoenix Sky Harbor international airport reached 110F, making it the 54th day this year with temperatures of at least 110F.

Saturday’s temperature breaks the previous record of 53 days that was set in 2020. From 1991 to 2020, the average consecutive days of 110F or above is 21 days, the NWS said.

An excessive heat warning has been issued for south central and south-west Arizona until 8pm on Sunday as weekend highs are expected to range between 108F and 114F. Meanwhile, lows are expected to range between 80F to 86F.


Hurricane Lee is rapidly intensifying, and it's forecast to be a Category 5 storm

Hurricane Lee intensifying

Hurricane Lee is exceeding expectations as it becomes the fearsome storm it was predicted to be, undergoing "rapid intensification" as it moves across the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters said on Thursday. The hurricane's maximum winds are now predicted to hit 165 mph by Friday.

Lee currently has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph — making it a Category 4 storm — and is over open water, following a west-northwest path that will likely see its center pass north of the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

Lee roared to major hurricane status on Thursday, with its maximum sustained winds increasing from 105 mph at 11 a.m. ET to 130 mph at 5 p.m. — all on the same day that it developed a well-defined eye.


IG says refineries emitted excess benzene amid insufficient EPA action

IG calls for EPA regulaotion of benzeneOil refineries have been releasing unsafe levels of cancer-causing benzene, says a new report calling for more action from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA’s office of the inspector general said this week that out of 25 refineries that had an instance of excess benzene levels, 18 later emitted the chemical at unsafe levels.

The report looked at a period from January 2018 to September 2021.

It particularly pointed to refineries in Pennsylvania and Texas that emitted unsafe levels of benzene during 23 separate two-week sampling periods and 11 separate two-week sampling periods, respectively.

Eric Schaeffer, former director of the EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement, described benzene emissions at this level as “posing a significant risk to people downwind.”


Lee is a hurricane now and will be a 'major' storm soon — with 150 mph winds or more

Lee developing into major storm

Lee has strengthened into a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean and forecasters say it's expected to grow rapidly into a major hurricane by this weekend.

In its last advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Lee has winds of 75 mph and is moving toward the Leeward Islands. Forecasters are already using stark language about the storm and its prospects.

"It is becoming a question of when and not if rapid intensification occurs with Lee," the advisory noted. Winds are forecast to reach 150 mph which is a powerful Category 4 'major hurricane' with the possibility of "explosive intensification."


Utah officials sued over failure to save Great Salt Lake: ‘Trying to avert disaster’

Utah officials sued over Great Salt lakeEnvironmental and community groups have sued Utah officials over failures to save its iconic Great Salt Lake from irreversible collapse.

The largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere has been steadily shrinking, as more and more water has been diverted away from the lake to irrigate farmland, feed industry and water lawns. A megadrought across the US south-west, accelerated by global heating, has hastened the lake’s demise.


Las Vegas residents dry out after heavy rainfall and floods

Las Vegas residents dry out

Las Vegas residents on Sunday were drying out after two days of heavy rainfall that flooded streets, prompted various water rescues, shut down a portion of Interstate 15 south of the city and possibly resulted in at least one death.

The National Weather Service in Las Vegas issued a severe weather outlook for the region, warning of strong winds and hail as the storm activity leaves eastern Clark county.

The heavy rainfall over the past couple of days resulted in 24 water rescues, including more than 30 vehicles stranded in water and about a dozen people rescued from standing or moving water, according to Las Vegas Fire & Rescue.


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