Climate Change & Environment
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El Ninos are far costlier than once thought

The natural burst of El Nino warming that changes weather worldwide is far costlier with longer-lasting expenses than experts had thought, averaging trillions of dollars in damage, a new study found.

An El Nino is brewing now and it might be a big — and therefore costly — one, scientists said. El Nino is a temporary and natural warming of parts of the equatorial Pacific, that causes droughts, floods and heat waves in different parts of the world. It also adds an extra boost to human-caused warming.

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Humans, climate change, diversion costs trillions of gallons annually

Climate change 's hotter temperatures and society's diversion of water have been shrinking the world's lakes by trillions of gallons of water a year since the early 1990s, a new study finds.

A close examination of nearly 2,000 of the world's largest lakes found they are losing about 5.7 trillion gallons (21.5 trillion liters) a year. That means from 1992 to 2020, the world lost the equivalent of 17 Lake Meads, America's largest reservoir, in Nevada. It's also roughly equal to how much water the United States used in an entire year in 2015.

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Italy deadly floods latest example of climate change weather extremes

The floods that sent rivers of mud tearing through towns in Italy's northeast are another drenching dose of climate change's all-or-nothing weather extremes, something that has been happening around the globe, scientists say.

The coastal region of Emilia-Romagna was twice struck, first by heavy rain two weeks ago on drought-parched ground that could not absorb it, overflowing riverbanks overnight, followed by this week's deluge that killed 13 and caused billions in damages.

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Arab conflict zones missing out on climate funds

Conflict-plagued countries in the Middle East are among the most vulnerable to climate change but are almost entirely excluded from meaningful financing to mitigate its effects, aid groups warned Thursday.

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Oil project near Amazon River mouth blocked by Brazil's environment agency

Brazil's environmental regulator refused on Wednesday to grant a license for a controversial offshore oil drilling project near the mouth of the Amazon River, prompting celebration from environmentalists who had warned of its potential impact.

The decision to reject the state-run oil company Petrobras' request to drill the FZA-M-59 block was made "as a function of a group of technical inconsistencies," said the agency's president, Rodrigo Agostinho, who highlighted environmental concerns.

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More villages evacuated as Italy counts cost of deadly floods

Authorities in Ravenna issued an immediate evacuation order Thursday for three villages threatened by floods after heavy rains left nine people dead across northeastern Italy.

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EU countries adopt law banning products which fuel deforestation

The 27 European Union countries on Tuesday formally adopted new rules that should help the bloc reduce its contribution to global deforestation by regulating the trade in a series of products driving the decrease in forested areas across the world.

Under the legislation, companies trading palm oil, cattle, wood, coffee, cocoa, rubber and soy will need to verify that the goods they sell in the EU haven't led to deforestation and forest degradation anywhere in the world since 2021.

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Flirting with climate danger: UN forecasts 2 in 3 chance of briefly hitting key heat limit soon

There's a two-out-of-three chance within the next five years that the world will temporarily reach the internationally accepted global temperature threshold for limiting the worst effects of climate change, a new World Meteorological Organization report forecasts.

It likely would only be a fleeting and less worrisome flirtation with the agreed-upon climate danger point, the United Nations weather agency said Wednesday. That's because scientists expect a temporary burst of heat from an El Nino will supercharge human-caused warming from the burning of coal, oil and gas to new heights and then slip back down a bit.

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Five dead as heavy rains in northern Italy burst riverbanks, flood towns

Officials in northern Italy warned residents to get to higher ground Wednesday amid fears that rain-swollen rivers would again burst their banks, after flooding killed at least five people, forced the evacuation of some 5,000 and suspended some train services.

Days of heavy rain stretched across a broad swath of northern Italy and the Balkans, where "apocalyptic" floods, landslides and evacuations were also reported in Croatia, Bosnia and Slovenia.

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Heat wave in Asia made 30 times more likely because of climate change

A searing heat wave in parts of southern Asia in April this year was made at least 30 times more likely by climate change, according to a rapid study by international scientists released Wednesday.

Sizzling temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) were recorded in monitoring stations in parts of India, Bangladesh, Thailand and Laos last month — which was unusually high for the time of year.

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