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Tuesday, Feb 07th

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Greta Thunberg detained at coal protest in Germany

Greta Thunberg detained at coal protestGreta Thunberg was among climate activists detained during a protest against the demolition of a German village to make way for a coalmine.

Thunberg was detained after sitting near the edge of the opencast Garzweiler 2 mine, about 5 miles from the village of Lützerath.

“We are going to use force to bring you to the identity check, so please cooperate,” a police officer said to the group.

Thunberg, who joined the protesters on Friday, was seen sitting alone in a large police bus after she was detained.

Riot police backed by bulldozers removed activists from buildings in the village with only a few left in trees and an underground tunnel at the weekend, but protesters including Thunberg remained at the site staging a sit-in into Tuesday.

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Warning of unprecedented heatwaves as El Niño set to return in 2023

El Nino effectThe return of the El Niño climate phenomenon later this year will cause global temperatures to rise “off the chart” and deliver unprecedented heatwaves, scientists have warned.

Early forecasts suggest El Niño will return later in 2023, exacerbating extreme weather around the globe and making it “very likely” the world will exceed 1.5C of warming. The hottest year in recorded history, 2016, was driven by a major El Niño.

It is part of a natural oscillation driven by ocean temperatures and winds in the Pacific, which switches between El Niño, its cooler counterpart La Niña, and neutral conditions. The last three years have seen an unusual run of consecutive La Niña events.

This year is already forecast to be hotter than 2022, which global datasets rank as the fifth or sixth hottest year on record. But El Niño occurs during the northern hemisphere winter and its heating effect takes months to be felt, meaning 2024 is much more likely to set a new global temperature record.

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California’s rainstorm hell ‘among the most deadly disasters in our history’

California rainstorm hellAs more dangerous storms bear down on California, the state is only just beginning to grapple with the destruction and death left by weeks of extreme weather that wreaked havoc in nearly every region from the northern coast to Los Angeles.

The series of storms that have pummeled California since late December have killed at least 19 people, brought hurricane force winds that toppled trees and power lines, cutting energy to thousands, and flooded roads and rivers, covering swaths of land in dense mud and debris that stretches for miles. Entire communities have been forced to evacuate while road closures and power disruptions left some rural regions isolated and almost cut off from the outside world.

Authorities are still documenting the toll of the disaster, an effort that’s been hampered by a fresh onslaught of more storms. Joe Biden has approved emergency declarations from 41 of California’s 58 counties.

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Powerful Storms Slam South; At Least 6 Killed In Alabama

powerful storms slam southA giant, swirling storm system billowing across the South killed at least six people Thursday in central Alabama, authorities said, and spawned a tornado that shredded the walls of homes, toppled roofs and uprooted trees in Selma.

Ernie Baggett, the emergency management director in Autauga County, Alabama, told The Associated Press he could confirm six fatalities were scattered across multiple homes in the Old Kingston community. Baggett said mobile homes and conventional homes were both damaged.

“It seems to have been a couple of different houses where people were at home,” Baggett said.

He said at least 12 people were injured severely enough to be taken to hospitals by emergency responders. Baggett said he didn’t know the extent of their injuries.

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Warm 2022 makes the past eight years hottest ever recorded

Past 8 years warmest on record

The relentless challenge of global heating has again been underscored by the tally of a passing year, with 2022 ranking as one of the warmest years ever recorded and the past eight years now collectively the hottest documented by modern science.

Last year’s average temperature was about 1.15C warmer globally than levels seen in the pre-industrial era, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), with searing, record heat enveloping much of Europe and Asia, which both experienced their second hottest years on record. Europe had its warmest ever summer.

The cooling influence of La Niña, a periodic climate event now in its third year that delivers brisker temperatures to parts of the globe, helped take some of the edge off the 2022 heat, with the year ranking as either the fifth or sixth hottest year on record.

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Latest atmospheric river takes aim at San Francisco Bay Area; more flooding possible

California floodsWhile Southern California's famous sunshine was finally making a return appearance Wednesday, the region's counterparts to the north were not as fortunate as rain continued to pelt large swaths of water-logged terrain.

"The atmospheric river has refocused over northern and central California,'' the National Weather Service said. "Heavy rain on saturated soils and gusty winds may lead to flooding and damaged or downed trees and power outages.''

The service warned of "Hazardous Weather Conditions'' for the San Francisco Bay Area and the Monterey peninsula to its south. There was a wind advisory in place until Wednesday evening and a high-surf advisory going into effect Thursday.

It all added up to further misery for a region that has endured a relentless string of atmospheric rivers since the final week of 2022. The 12.37 inches of rain San Francisco received from Dec. 26 through Monday represent more than half its typical yearly total and the city's third-highest amount ever over 15 days, meteorologist Jan Null tweeted.

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Over 220,000 still without power due to California storm

220,000 still without power in CaliforniaMore than 220,000 homes and businesses were still without power on Tuesday, as severe flooding hits California after a massive storm last week, according to data from PowerOutage.us.

Bad weather disrupted road travel with flash floods and rock slides and have wreaked havoc on the state's power grid, knocking out electricity to tens for thousands of Californians.

According to PowerOutage.us, the utility with the most outages was Pacific Gas and Electric Co (PG&E) with over 190,000 customers without power, followed by Sacramento Municipal Utility District at 22,900.

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