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Tuesday, Jan 31st

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Australia's southeast remains on flood watch as river levels peak

Wyangala, AustraliaFlood-weary residents across Australia's southeast rushed to fortify their properties with sandbags on Wednesday as water continued to flow from overloaded dams and swollen rivers.

Heavy rain over three days into Monday burst river banks, unmoored houses, submerged bridges and cut off entire towns in the rural southwest regions of New South Wales the worst-affected state, and northeast parts of Victoria.

Emergency crews have rescued hundreds of residents in New South Wales by helicopters and boats, with some clinging to trees and rooftops.

Police said the body of a 60-year-old woman believed to have been missing in flood waters was found on Wednesday while search continued for a missing 85-year-old man.

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Nicole leaves 'unprecedented' building damage along part of Florida coast

Nicole leaves huge building damageThe soaking remains of Hurricane Nicole brought heavy rains to Georgia and the Carolinas on Friday after it left a trail of destroyed and teetering beachside homes and damaged hotels and condos along Florida's Atlantic coast and killed at least four people.

In Volusia County, local officials evacuated 24 beachside hotels and condos after the structures were deemed unsafe late on Thursday, hours after the storm slammed ashore as a Category 1 hurricane.

In Wilbur-by-the-Sea, an upscale beachfront community just south of Daytona Beach, about a half-dozen homes crumbled into the sea while another 25 single-family homes were declared structurally unsafe and evacuated, officials said.

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COP27: U.S. targets methane in 'relentless' emissions focus

Methane emissionsU.S. President Joe Biden's administration plans to toughen a crackdown on oil and gas industry methane leaks as part of a "relentless focus" on preventing planet-warming emissions, officials said on Friday at the COP27 climate talks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will expand its 2021 methane rule so that it requires drillers to find and plug leaks at all of the country's well sites, and not just the biggest ones, defying months of lobbying from drillers.

White House National Climate Adviser Ali Zaidi, speaking at the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, said the planned crackdown on methane, which is among the most powerful greenhouse gases, was part of the Biden administration’s “relentless focus on making sure we root out emissions everywhere we can find them.”

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Investments of 125 billionaires have the same carbon footprint as France, study finds

Billionaires have large carbon footprint

Some of the world's richest billionaires each emit about 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide on average per year, more than 1 million times the amount emitted by 90% of people, according to a new study.

The sample consisted of 125 billionaire with investments in 183 corporations, and who have a combined corporate equity value of $2.4 trillion. About 50 to 70% of their emissions stem from their investments.

Collectively, their annual carbon dioxide emissions total about 393 million metric tons, which is about the same annual carbon footprint of France with its population of 67 million people, according to the report by Oxfam, a charity collective that aims to reduce poverty.

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Effects Of Climate Change In The U.S. Already Terrible And Widespread, Report Finds

Climate change in US

The effects of climate change in the United States are already “far-reaching” and getting worse, but there remains hope that a rapid transition to a net zero economy can stave off the worst impacts of a warmer world, according to a sweeping new report.

The findings are part of the draft version of the country’s fifth National Climate Assessment, which Congress mandates must be compiled every four years. Authors include leading voices from many federal science agencies, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Army Corps of Engineers, among others.

The draft report — which is in a public comment phase — comes as dignitaries from around the globe meet in Egypt for the United Nations’ annual climate summit.

The full report will be released sometime next year.

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Two dead and dozens injured after twisters rip through three US states

Two dead and dozens injured by tornadoes

At least two people have died and dozens more are injured after tornadoes ravaged parts of Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Several twisters caused property damage and physical injury across the various states on Friday. Tornado warnings had still been in effect as of late Friday in parts of Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

An early report from the National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center found that nine tornadoes formed in Texas, four in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma, CNN reported.

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced on social media that a 90 year old man was killed near the town of Idabel. A spokesperson for the state’s Department of Emergency Management, said the man’s body was found at his home.

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UN chief warns ‘we will be doomed’ without historic climate pact

UN chief warns we will be doomed

Rich countries must sign a “historic pact” with the poor on the climate, or “we will be doomed”, the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, has warned, as a deepening gulf between the developed and developing world has put climate talks on the brink.

The stark warning comes as world leaders start to gather for the UN Cop27 climate summit, which opens on Sunday in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, but which even the hosts admit will be the most difficult in at least a decade.

Cop27 is taking place amid the worst geopolitical tensions for years, over the Ukraine war, a spiralling global cost of living crisis, and deepening economic gloom.

But the gulf must be bridged if humanity is to have a hope of avoiding the worst ravages of climate breakdown, Guterres said.

“There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation, if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact,” he told the Guardian in an interview on the eve of the summit. “Because at the present level, we will be doomed.”

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