From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"Global Environment 2021 OCT-DEC"

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/2014-2017.htm from “Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D.
    Or return to Global Environment 2021 July-Sept

Global Environment 2021 OCT-DEC

2021 World Disaster and Environmental Issues


10/1/2021 The Moon Is Leaving Us by Marina Koren, The Atlantic
    The moon is drifting away from us.
© NASA / Getty / The Atlantic
    Each year, our moon moves distinctly, inexorably farther from Earth—just a tiny bit, about an inch and a half, a nearly imperceptible change.    There is no stopping this slow ebbing, no way to turn back the clock.    The forces of gravity are invisible and unshakable, and no matter what we do or how we feel about them, they will keep nudging the moon along.    Over many millions of years, we’ll continue to grow apart.
    Given this rather melodramatic description, you might wonder: Don’t you have better things to think about than the moon?    Well no, not really, because I’m a space reporter and it’s my job to contemplate celestial bodies and write about them.    And also because a representation of this phenomenon recently played out in China during festivities for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which marks the full moon closest to the fall equinox.    A giant balloon designed to resemble the moon, craters and all, broke free and rolled into the street.    Video footage of the unscripted moment shows two people running after the massive moon as it tumbles away.    Bye!
    The moon used to be closer.    When it first formed, about 4.5 billion years ago, molded out of rocky debris that had been floating around Earth, the moon orbited 10 times nearer to the planet than it does today.    The debris, scientists believe, had come from a collision between Earth and a mysterious Mars-sized object.    Fresh out of the cosmic oven, the moon was hot and molten, glowing red in the night sky.    Back then, scientists say, the moon was moving away at a rate of about eight inches per year.
[Read: Everyone can chill out about the moon]
    Our planet and its moon were always going to grow apart like this.    The gravity of moons, small as they are in comparison, can still tug at their planets, causing the larger worlds to bulge outward a little bit.    On an ocean-covered planet like ours, the effect shows up in the shifting tides.    The moon pulls at our oceans, but those oceans pull back, making the moon speed up in its orbit.    And “if you speed up while orbiting Earth, you are escaping Earth more successfully, so you orbit from a farther distance,” James O’Donoghue, a planetary scientist at JAXA, Japan’s space agency, explained to me.    Scientists refer to this phenomenon as “lunar retreat”—a delightful term, as I’d prefer to imagine the moon enjoying itself at a relaxing getaway, bending its rocky body into various yoga poses, rather than slowly ghosting Earth.
    Scientists have measured this retreat by beaming lasers at mirrors that the Apollo astronauts left on the moon, using that data, along with other sources, to estimate past movements.    The rate of lunar retreat has shifted over the years; spikes have coincided with significant events, such as a bombardment of meteors on the moon and fluctuating ice ages on Earth.    The constant retreat has influenced Earth beyond the ebb and flow of its tides.    The forces that draw the moon away from us are also slowing down the planet’s rotation, stretching out the length of our days. In the beginning, when the moon was cozying up to us and Earth spun faster, a day lasted just four hours.    At the current rate of lunar retreat, it would take a century to tack on an extra two milliseconds or so to the length of the day.
    The moon is expected to continue drifting this way for the very scientific measure of forever.    And, despite the premise of an upcoming action movie called Moonfall, it’s not going to smack into us either.    Someday, about 600 million years from now, the moon will orbit far enough away that humankind will lose one of its oldest cosmic sights: total solar eclipses.    The moon won’t be able to block the sun’s light and cast its own shadow onto Earth.    But the moon will remain bound to Earth, looking out onto a very different, much hotter version of the planet, as oceans start to evaporate.    Of course, a few billion years after that, the sun will derail the moon entirely, and Earth too, when it runs out of fuel, expands, and engulfs the inner solar system in a spectacular act of star death.
[Read: The mystery of moon water]
    This weekend, I looked through a telescope for the first time, into a much calmer solar system.    (I know, right?    Some space reporter I am!) A neighbor had set one up on my building’s roof, and I tried to pay attention as he explained the different lenses and their amplification capacity, but I was too excited, thinking only, Let me see, let me see.    I had seen the moon just as a bright two-dimensional orb in the sky, with dark spots that play tricks on our brains, making us see familiar patterns where none exist.    People have interpreted these glyphs in many ways: a human face, the silhouette of a rabbit.    What has the moon seen in us?    “The moon had been observing the earth close-up longer than anyone,” the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami wrote in his novel 1Q84.    “It must have witnessed all of the phenomena occurring—and all of the acts carried out—on this earth.”    The moon is still watching.    What must it be thinking now, after such a horrid year and a br>     My neighbor swiveled his telescope across the cloudless sky.    There was Jupiter and its twisty bands, faint but unmistakable, and three tiny points of light just off to the side—its largest moons.    There was Saturn, a perfect ball, its rings sticking out at each side.    And then there was the moon: covered in craters and cracks and shadows, so richly textured that the skin of my fingertips prickled at the sight, as if I were rolling the moon around in my hand like a marble, feeling its jagged edges.    I decided not to spoil the moment for everyone else on the roof that night by telling them that the moon was, slowly but surely, distancing itself from us.    The experience of distance—from our families, from a time of relative normalcy—had already tormented many of us enough.    Better to focus on the little image in the lens, on seeing the moon properly for the first time.    It may be wishing Earth a very long goodbye, but it was nice to say hello.

10/1/2021 Lava Streams From New Vents In La Palma Volcano by OAN Newsroom
The lava flow produced by the Cumbre Vieja volcano falls into the Atlantic Ocean at Los Girres beach in Tazacorte
on the Canary island of La Palma early on September 30, 2021. (Photo by SUNSETS SWEDEN/AFP via Getty Images)
    After an increase in seismic activity, a volcano erupted on La Palma.    Following the volcano’s eruption on Sunday, emergency evacuations began.
    La Palma is one of Spain’s Canary Islands that sits in the Atlantic Ocean.    The volcano on La Palma was considered one of the most active of the islands after more than 22,000 seismic shocks were felt leading up to the eruption.    Many residents have said they weren’t expecting it.
    “This has been very stressful, especially for the elderly and for my generation that has never experienced this,” said one resident on the island.    “My parents didn’t go to the information center, they came to our house.    Now we are waiting for information from authorities to see what we do in the next hours.”
    Authorities said residents would continue to face the dangers from the volcano in the coming weeks.    Additionally, scientists have said the flows of lava could last for weeks and possibly months.
    Since its eruption, the volcano has destroyed or partially destroyed more than 1,000 buildings, forcing at least 7,000 of the island’s residents to flee.
    As of the first day of October, more destruction is feared as lava has been seen flowing out of two new vents from the volcano.    Rivers of molten rock slid downhill from the new fissures on Friday, flowing along a more than 50 acre path into the Atlantic Ocean.
    Lava has continued to spew nearly two weeks after the volcano first erupted, prompting the evacuation of more than 6,000 people. Residents have been asked to wear eye protection and face masks against heavy falls of volcanic ash, with some even carrying umbrellas.
    In the meantime, Spanish officials have vowed to provide aid to the island after recently assessing the damage done exceeds $460 million.

10/2/2021 More Destruction Feared In La Palma As Lava Pours From New Volcano Vent by Juan Medina and Marco Trujillo
Lava flows following the eruption of a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma,
as seen from Tazacorte port, Spain, October 1, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    MADRID (Reuters) - Lava flowed from a newly opened crack in the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain’s La Palma on Friday, carving a different path from previous flows and raising fears of more destruction, while fine ash forced islanders to don masks and goggles.
    A river of red-hot lava snaked downhill from the new fissure, which burst open late on Thursday around 400 metres (1,300 ft) to the north of the primary eruption site.
    Multiple vents have opened since the volcano began erupting on Sept. 19 but the Canaries Volcanology Institute described the latest opening as a new “focus of eruption.”
    “There is concern about the path of this new flow towards the sea, although it is expected to join up with the previous one within the next few hours,” said the head of La Palma’s council, Mariano Hernandez Zapata.
    He said more houses had been engulfed by lava overnight.
    “We have more drama ahead, more people to take care of,” he told a news conference.
    About 6,000 people have been evacuated since the eruption began and are yet to return home.    More than 800 buildings including houses, churches and schools have been destroyed.
    The volcano has thrown out 80 million cubic metres of molten rock, regional leader Angel Victor Torres said, doubling the amount expelled during La Palma’s last major eruption 50 years ago in half the time.
    Residents of Los Llanos de Aridane, one of the worst affected towns, have taken to carrying umbrellas and wearing eye protection as a precaution against the volcanic dust blanketing the streets and floating in the air.
    “Last night the ash was irritating my eyes a lot, I had to use eye drops and my skin was stinging,” said Matilde Gonzalez Tavarez, a 45-year-old nursing assistant visiting her mother at a care home in Los Llanos.
    “It’s helplessness, fear, insecurity.    You don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said, while street cleaners brushed away the carpet of black ash behind her.
    Juan Antonio Perez Gonzalez, 56, who runs a floristry business in the town, fears the worst is yet to come.
    “I can’t put a good face on it or give you good news because this is a calamity,” he told Reuters.    He said many of the townspeople were preparing to pack up and leave.
(Additional reporting by Emma Pinedo in Madrid; Writing by Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Janet Lawrence)

10/2/2021 Big Nations Urged To Heed Climate Activists’ Demands For Bolder Action by Stephen Jewkes
People take part in the 'Global march for climate justice' while environment ministers meet ahead
of Glasgow's COP26 meeting, in Milan, Italy, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    MILAN (Reuters) – The world’s major economies must do more at the upcoming U.N. COP26 climate summit in Scotland to show they are serious about wanting to tackle global warming and heed the warnings of young activists, policymakers said on Saturday.
    COP26 President Alok Sharma said there was renewed urgency in the climate debate following preparatory talks in Milan where thousands of youth activists, including Greta Thunberg, urged governments to match words with action and stump up billions of dollars to wean the world off fossil fuels.
    “We had a very constructive set of discussions and there was a real sense of urgency in the room,” Britain’s Sharma told reporters after the meeting in Italy’s financial capital.
    The COP26 conference in Glasgow aims to secure bolder climate action from the nearly 200 countries that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement and agreed to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
    Sharma said delegates in Milan agreed to do more to keep the 1.5 degrees target within reach and deliver on a $100 billion per year pledge to help the most vulnerable nations confront climate change.
    “The energy that came forward from the (youth) did galvanise the ministers,” Sharma said.    “As we go forward in the next few weeks and into the COP, we must always keep (their) voices … in our minds.”
    New energy and funding pledges from the United States and China have raised negotiators’ hopes, but many G20 countries – including major polluters such as China and India – have yet to announce updates of their short-term climate plans.
    Sharma said national action plans needed to include more ambitious targets for emissions reduction.
‘TRILLIONS, NOT BILLIONS’
    U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry also urged major economies to commit to more radical policies.
    “We now have about 55% of global GDP (gross domestic product) committed to undertake tracks that will hold the temperature to 1.5 degrees,” he said.
    Wealthy nations pledged a decade ago to mobilize $100 billion a year to help vulnerable countries adapt and transition to cleaner energy, but they are still short of their 2020 goal.
    Kerry said that while he expected donors to fulfil the pledge, a post-2025 finance plan “with an emphasis not just on billions, but on trillions” would be required.
    “(The) private sector is needed for this … We’ll be announcing one specific agenda item in conjunction with the World Economic Forum,” he said, without giving further details.
    Financing climate action will be vital to the success of COP26, said Oscar Soria, campaign director at the U.S.-based activist network Avaaz who was in Milan for the talks.
    “Developing and developed nations should urgently sit together to design a plan: without real money at the table it will be difficult to build trust in the negotiations in Glasgow,” Soria said.
    Sharma said all countries agreed on the need to decarbonise their economies, with a 2030 target date for industrial nations, and 2040 for other countries.
    Asked about coal mining, EU climate commissioner Frans Timmermans said the industry would gradually disappear even without specific climate action because it would eventually become economically unviable.
    “I’d be highly surprised if there is still a significant coal mining industry after 2040,” he said, adding that negotiators were in a “constructive dialogue with India and China
    China and India, the world’s top two coal producers, still rely on coal for much of their power supply.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Writing by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by Helen Popper)

10/2/2021 Stay-Home Order Lifted For Residents Near La Palma Volcano Eruption
The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma,
as seen from Tacande, Spain, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) - Authorities advised people to limit time outdoors in parts of La Palma on Saturday as the erupting volcano on the Spanish island spewed red-hot lava and thick clouds of black smoke.
    However emergency services lifted a stay-home order that had been in effect in Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and areas of Tazacorte, places near the volcano that had been affected by poor air quality.
    “In response to the improvement in air quality measurements in the area, the lockdown in Tazacorte, El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane will be lifted,” the services said in a statement.
    They advised people to continue to avoid spending a “prolonged amount of time” outside, and said vulnerable groups including children and the elderly should remain indoors.
    The Cumbre Vieja volcano began its fiery eruption on Sept. 19 and has destroyed more than 800 buildings.    About 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the island, which has a population of about 83,000 and is one of an archipelago making up the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.
    On Friday, lava flowed from a new vent https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/lava-blasts-out-new-vent-la-palma-volcano-2021-10-01 in the volcano, which the Canaries Volcanology Institute described as a new “focus of eruption.”
    The volcano was experiencing “intense activity,” Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca response committee, told a news conference on Friday.    But he also put the eruption into the context of the wider island.
    “Less than 8% of the island is affected by the volcano.    The rest is leading a normal life,” he said.
(Reporting by Miguel Pereira, Juan Medina and Marco Trujillo; Writing by Jessica JonesEditing by Frances Kerry)

10/2/2021 Federal Officials: American Bumblebee Could Be Declared Endangered Species by OAN Newsroom
A bumblebee lands on a Stonecrop flower at Lindoya island in Oslo on July 07, 2019. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)
    Federal officials said the American bumblebee could soon be declared an endangered species.    Recent reports cited a petition by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, noting “substantial information indicates action may be warranted.”
    The service said it has a plan to review the status of the insect in order to determine if further action is needed.    Meanwhile, officials said the bumblebee population has dropped almost 90 percent over the last 20 years, adding it’s disappeared from at least eight states and has become very rare in 16 other states.
    The American bumblebee plays an essential role in ecosystems as pollinators, pollinating flowers among other crops using vibration.    The petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Bombus Pollinators Association of Law Students of Albany Law School outlined threats against the species that include disease, habitat destruction, pesticide use and competition from non-native honey bees.
    If put under protection, those who kill the insects could face fines up to $13,000.

10/3/2021 Fire Devastates Honduras’ Caribbean Resort Island Of Guanaja
Smoke billows from a fire at a residential area on the island of Guanaja, Honduras in this
screen grab taken from a video taken October 2, 2021. COPECO/Reuters TV via REUTERS
    TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – A huge fire destroyed or damaged more than 200 houses and businesses on the Honduran island of Guanaja on Saturday, forcing hundreds of residents to flee for safety and ravaging the tourism-dependent resort, relief authorities said.
    Dramatic video footage shared on social media showed rows of seaside houses engulfed in flames and wooden homes collapsing in Guanaja, a Caribbean island about 70 kilometres (44 miles) off the north coast of Honduras.
    Honduran Air Force dropped water on the island to douse the fire but not before it had destroyed many homes.    Footage taken after the inferno was brought under control showed dozens of concrete houses with no roofs and windows.
    “We can confirm that we have no human losses but vast material losses,” said Max Gonzales, minister of the National System for Risk Management and National Contingencies (SINAGER) agency.
    Four people were injured in the blaze, which destroyed 90 houses and damaged another 120, including some used as businesses, Gonzales said.
    The fire broke out before dawn and residents struggled to bring it under control as the island does not have a firefighting service.
    Guanaja is one of the country’s three picturesque Bay Islands, where snorkelers and divers come to see dolphins and a big coral reef.
(Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Sandra Maler)

10/3/2021 Vatican Hopes Its Pre-COP26 Climate Event Will Raise Stakes In Glasgow by Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary of Relations with States for The Holy See, addresses the 73rd session
of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican hopes a meeting where world religious leaders will take a common stand on the environment can “raise ambitions” on what can be achieved at next month’s U.N. Climate Change Conference, its foreign minister says.
    Monday’s day-long event, organised by the Vatican, the United Kingdom and Italy, brings together about 40 faith leaders of the world’s major religions and scientists, from about 20 countries.
    The leaders, including Pope Francis, will sign a joint appeal and hand it to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of the U.N. gathering known as COP26 in Glasgow.
    “It is our hope that (the Monday meeting) will give an impact to opinion in general but within our faith groups and faith families and also within the political community to raise ambitions with regards to what can be achieved by COP26,” said Archbishop Paul Gallagher.
    Speaking in a telephone interview with Reuters on Sunday, Gallagher said the Vatican hoped the direct appeal to COP26 leaders would have the same effect as the pope’s landmark 2015 environmental encyclical “Laudato Si” (Praised Be).
    It drew massive attention to climate crisis and spurred activism by faith groups.
    “Most of the religions represented, whether it’s through their sacred scriptures or their traditions or the spirituality that they represent, have the basis for a renewal of our relationship with the environment and with the planet,” Gallagher said.
    The meeting is called “Faith and Science: Towards COP26."    It brings together Christian leaders, including the pope, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Orthodox ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew, as well as representatives of Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism.
    The pope, Welby and Bartholomew issued a joint appeal https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/worlds-top-three-christian-leaders-climate-appeal-ahead-un-summit-2021-09-07 to members of their Churches last month to “listen to the cry of the earth.”
POPE EXPECTED TO ATTEND COP26 OPENING
    Scotland’s bishops said in July that the pope will attend the opening of COP26, health permitting. A decision is expected in the next few days.
    Francis strongly supports https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/you-are-making-future-today-pope-tells-youth-climate-activists-2021-09-29 the goals of the 2015 U.N. Paris accord to reduce global warming.    Over the weekend, he told young people that theirs was “perhaps the last generation” to save the planet.
    Gallagher, who is British, said it was “a sign of great hope” that U.S. President Joe Biden returned the United States to the Paris accords after his predecessor Donald Trump pulled out.    Biden and the pope are expected to meet at the Vatican at the end of October.
    “Translating commitment into action is the great problem and we all know that our political leaders are very good at promising and very good at talking but the action that we need now is urgent and it is enormous,” he said.
    He said the Vatican hoped Monday’s conference would underscore the need for “an ecological conversion in the way we relate to the planet,” and the realisation that lifestyle changes would be necessary but not easy.
    “Most aspects of life have a political dimension and if you are going to say that faith should also be part of every part of your life then obviously your faith is going to affect your politics,” Gallagher said.
    He said organisers did not consider inviting the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet’s Buddhists, who is not recognised by China.
    “His Holiness the Dalai Lama knows how well he is respected here by the Holy See but he also appreciates that our relations (with China) are complicated and difficult and he has always respected that and we appreciate that very much and so the dialogue goes on with Buddhism on many, many levels,” he said.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/4/2021 Cyclone Shaheen Hits Oman With Ferocious Winds, Killing Four
Flooded streets are seen as Cyclone Shaheen makes landfall in Muscat Oman,
October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Sultan Al Hassani NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Tropical Cyclone Shaheen killed four people as it slammed into Oman on Sunday with ferocious winds and heavy rain, flooding streets, prompting evacuations from coastal areas and delaying flights to and from the capital, Muscat.
    As the cyclone approached, a child who had been swept away by water was found dead, the state news agency said, and another missing person was also found dead.    Two Asian workers were killed when a hill collapsed on their housing area in an industrial zone, the state news agency reported.
    When its eye crossed land, the cyclone was carrying winds of between 120 and 150 km per hour (75-93 mph), Omani authorities said.    It was throwing up waves of up to 10 metres (32 feet).
    Video footage from Omani broadcasters showed vehicles submerged as people tried to make their way through muddy brown floodwater.
    Part of the eyewall of the storm, where the most severe weather occurs, had entered Al Batinah South governorate, the state news agency said.    The eye also entered between the states of Musanah and Suwaiq.
    Up to 500 cm (20 inches) of rain was expected in some areas, raising the risk of flash floods.
    Cyclones steadily lose their power over land and Shaheen was downgraded to a tropical storm after it cleared the ocean, the meteorology service said on Twitter.
    The national emergency committee said the power supply would be cut in al-Qurm, east of the capital, to avoid accidents.    More than 2,700 people were put up in emergency shelters.
    Most of the oil-exporting country’s five million people live in and around Muscat.    Authorities said roads in the capital would be open only to vehicles on emergency and humanitarian work until the storm dies down.
    A wooden ship sank at Sultan Qaboos Port and its crew was rescued, the National Committee for Emergency Management said on Twitter.
PRECAUTIONS IN UAE, SAUDI ARABIA
    In the United Arab Emirates, authorities said precautionary measures were being taken.    Police were moving to ensure safety with patrols near beaches and valleys where torrential rains were expected.
    Government and private sector employees in the city of Al Ain on the border with Oman had been urged to work remotely on Monday and authorities called on residents to avoid leaving home except for emergencies, the Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said.
    “Authorities are working proactively around the clock to evaluate residential units in expected affected areas and transport families to safe locations until it is safe to return,” it said.
    Saudi Arabia’s civil defence authorities called for caution in several regions from Monday to Friday in expectation of high winds and possible flooding, the state news agency reported.
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli, Nadine Awadalla, Enas Alashray, Ahmed Elhamy, Nayera Abdallah and Omar FahmyWriting by Nadine Awadalla and Michael GeorgyEditing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise, Philippa Fletcher, Catherine Evans and Frances Kerry)

10/4/2021 Lava Flow Thickens On La Palma After Volcanic Crater Collapses by Borja Suarez and Marco Trujillo
FILE PHOTO: The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island of La Palma,
as seeen from the sea, Spain, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – A river of red-hot lava gushing from the Cumbre Vieja volcano on Spain’s La Palma thickened on Monday, after the north side of the crater collapsed the previous night causing spectacular explosions, but authorities ruled out further evacuations.
    Despite the heightened activity, the lava appeared to be following a similar trajectory to previous flows and avoiding areas that have so far been spared, Canary Islands’ regional president Angel Victor Torres said.
    “We had to order a few lockdowns because of the air quality, but we are not planning to evacuate more people,” he said in an interview to TV channel TVE on Monday morning.
    Torres said the volcano had emitted roughly three times the material expelled during the island’s last major eruption in 1971, in a quarter of the time.
    He added that his administration planned to buy around 300 houses to accommodate those who lost their homes and said it was too early to tell how great the total damage would be.
    “We’re still in the middle of this…if the lava keeps springing up in the same quantities we saw last night, the damage is going to be greater,” Torres said.
    Roughly 1,000 buildings have been destroyed since the eruption began on Sept. 19 and 6,000 people have been evacuated, mostly from the towns of El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane, two of the main population centres in the island of 83,000 people.
    While visiting the island over the weekend, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez pledged 206 million euros in aid to help rebuild and insisted La Palma was safe for tourism.
(Reporting by Borja Suarez and Marco Trujillo in La Palma and Inti Landauro and Nathan Allen in Madrid; Editing by Alex Richardson)

10/4/2021 Stay-Home Order Lifted For Residents Near La Palma Volcano Eruption
A woman climbs a hill with a child to see the Cumbre Vieja volcano as it continues to erupt
in Tacande de Arriba on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -Authorities advised people to limit time outdoors in parts of La Palma on Saturday as the erupting volcano on the Spanish island spewed red-hot lava and thick clouds of black smoke.
    However emergency services lifted a stay-home order that had been in effect in Los Llanos de Aridane, El Paso and areas of Tazacorte, places near the volcano that had been affected by poor air quality.
    “In response to the improvement in air quality measurements in the area, the lockdown in Tazacorte, El Paso and Los Llanos de Aridane will be lifted,” the services said in a statement.
    They advised people to continue to avoid spending a “prolonged amount of time” outside, and said vulnerable groups including children and the elderly should remain indoors.
    The Cumbre Vieja volcano began its fiery eruption on Sept. 19 and has destroyed more than 800 buildings.    About 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the island, which has a population of about 83,000 and is one of an archipelago making up the Canary Islands in the Atlantic.
    On Friday, lava flowed from a new vent https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/lava-blasts-out-new-vent-la-palma-volcano-2021-10-01 in the volcano, which the Canaries Volcanology Institute described as a new “focus of eruption.”
    The volcano was experiencing “intense activity,” Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of the Pevolca response committee, told a news conference on Friday. But he also put the eruption into the context of the wider island.
    “Less than 8% of the island is affected by the volcano.    The rest is leading a normal life,” he said.
(Reporting by Miguel Pereira, Juan Medina and Marco Trujillo; Writing by Jessica JonesEditing by Frances Kerry)

10/4/2021 Seven More Killed In Oman Following Tropical Storm Shaheen
Strong waves hit the shore as Cyclone Shaheen makes landfall in Muscat Oman,
October 2, 2021. Picture taken October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Sultan Al Hassani
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Seven more people were killed in Oman as heavy winds and rain swept through the country after tropical storm Shaheen made landfall, the national emergency committee said on Monday on its official Twitter account.
    Four people had been killed on Sunday, including a child.
    Latest data showed that the storm had subsided, the civil aviation authority said on Monday, warning that scattered rainfall was still expected.
    It urged citizens to be careful crossing valleys and avoid low-lying areas.
    When the eye of the storm crossed land, Shaheen was carrying winds of between 120 and 150 km per hour (75-93 mph), Omani authorities said.    It was throwing up waves of up to 10 metres (32 feet).
    Video footage from Omani broadcasters showed vehicles submerged as people tried to make their way through muddy brown floodwater.    State TV showed people in flooded areas being rescued by helicopter. People walked along flooded streets, while a tractor ploughed through mud.
    Up to 500 mm (20 inches) of rain was expected in some areas, raising the risk of flash floods.
    Cyclones steadily lose their power over land and Shaheen was downgraded to a tropical storm after it cleared the ocean, the meteorology service said on Twitter.
(Reporting by Lilian Wagdy; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Michael Georgy; Editing by Toby Chopra and Giles Elgood)

10/4/2021 Major Oil Spill Off Southern Calif. Coast Kills Wildlife, Closes Beaches by OAN Newsroom
Cleanup contractors deploy skimmers and floating barriers known as booms to try to stop further oil crude incursion
into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh in Huntington Beach, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
    An oil spill off the Southern California coast is causing serious ecological impacts as a a major disaster declaration is requested for Orange County. Leaking around 3,000 barrels of crude oil or an estimated 126,000 gallons into the water, officials said the spill occurred after a pipe leak from an oil platform.
    The oil slick was spotted over the weekend reaching the communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach as well as local marshes.    Officials said cleaning up the spill is considered a high priority and are working to lessen any environmental impact.
    “We’re working with the Coast Guard, the state, the county and all of our local conservancies to do everything possible to assess the situation,” stated Kim Carr, Mayor pro tempore for Huntington Beach.
    Multiple beaches in the region have been closed or partially closed due to dead fish and birds washing up the coast as well as harmful fumes health officials say can be dangerous if inhaled.
    “At this time I strongly recommend due to the possible injury from vapors fumes that people please do not swim, surf or use the beach for exercise,” cautioned Dr. Clayton Chau, an Orange County health official.
    Officials said they will issue a public health order to warn those in beach towns about the potentially hazardous oils forming clusters ashore.    Orange County locals were upset after the last day of the Pacific Air Show was cancelled in order for     Marines to be able to begin clean up efforts.    Approximately 1.5 million showed up for the event Saturday.
    Barriers and booms were deployed to help prevent the inflow of oil into nearby ecological reserves and Huntington Beach wetlands.    The offshore pipeline was shut down and is no longer leaking and an investigation into what caused the leak is ongoing.

10/4/2021 U.S. Coast Guard Says Officials Are Looking Into Ship’s Anchor As Possible Cause Of Calif. Oil Spill by OAN Newsroom
Workers in protective suits clean oil in the area of the Talbert Marsh wetlands after a 126,000-gallon oil spill from an
offshore oil platform on October 4, 2021 in Huntington Beach, California. The spill forced the closure of the popular
Great Pacific Airshow yesterday with authorities closing beaches in the vicinity. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
    Authorities in California are now looking into the possibility of a ship’s anchor causing the massive oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach.    On Monday, an official from the U.S. Coast Guard suggested several ships have been awaiting entry into Los Angeles and Long Beach ports as one could have struck the pipeline when casting anchor.
    The spill off the Southern California coast has caused serious ecological impacts as a a major disaster declaration was requested for Orange County.    Leaking around 3,000 barrels of crude oil or an estimated 126,000 gallons into the water, officials said the spill occurred after a pipe leak from an oil platform.
    The oil slick was spotted over the weekend reaching the communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach as well as local marshes.    Officials said cleaning up the spill is considered a high priority and are working to lessen any environmental impact.
    “We’re working with the Coast Guard, the state, the county and all of our local conservancies to do everything possible to assess the situation,” stated Kim Carr, Mayor pro tempore for Huntington Beach.

10/5/2021 Al Gore: China Could Surprise The World At Glasgow Climate Talks by Axel Threlfall and Timothy Gardner
FILE PHOTO: Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Climate Reality Project Chairman, gestures as he attends
the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
    (Reuters) -Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is hopeful China and the United States will set aside their differences at U.N. climate change talks in Glasgow, just as they came together in 2015 to help hammer out the Paris Agreement.
    Speaking in an interview broadcast on Monday at the Reuters Impact conference, Gore also said China could surprise the world by bringing forward one or both of its targets for reaching peak emissions and becoming carbon neutral.
    Gore said frictions between China and the United States, the world’s top two greenhouse-gas polluters, had to be taken into account.    Beijing and Washington have clashed over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, as well as military activity in the South China Sea.
    But Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on informing the world about climate change, held out hope that tensions between the two could ease at the U.N. COP26 talks in Glasgow, Scotland, which start on Oct. 31.
    “It’s true that in the earlier part of this year…, it didn’t seem as if the stars were aligned,” he said.    “Since then, we have seen a welcome pledge from (President) Xi Jinping at the U.N. General Assembly, announcing that China will halt its financing of overseas coal plants.”
    Xi announced last month https://reut.rs/3oBZPhv that China would stop building new coal-fired power plants overseas, after similar pledges by Japan and South Korea earlier this year.    U.S. climate envoy John Kerry had urged China to follow their lead.
    Ahead of COP26, global business leaders and politicians are taking part in the Reuters Impact conference to discuss efforts to mitigate climate change and drive sustainable growth.
‘ABSOLUTELY FALSE INFORMATION’
    Gore said he believes Xi could pull forward one or both of the climate targets that he set at last year’s U.N. General Assembly – that China would reach peak emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral before 2060.
    “China could surprise the world at Glasgow,” Gore said.
    U.S. President Joe Biden pledged in September https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/us-seeks-double-climate-change-aid-developing-nations-biden-2021-09-21 to work with Congress to double funds to help developing countries deal with climate change to $11.4 billion a year by 2024, and Gore said this could help push other countries to boost their pledges.
    An increase in funding could help achieve a global goal set more than a decade ago of $100 billion per year by 2020 to help countries vulnerable to climate change, a deadline that has come and gone without the target being hit.
    Gore also said he was hopeful about recent actions by business groups such as the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, a group of investors with $43 trillion in assets that have joined a push to limit greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050.
    But he called out efforts by fossil fuel companies pushing “absolutely false information to try to deceive people into thinking that the climate crisis is not real or not that bad, or that they have solutions in their purview.”
    He criticized announcements by U.S. energy company Chevron about expanding capacity of renewable natural gas (RNG), or gas captured at landfills and from agricultural waste.
    “That’s ridiculous.    There is no such thing,” Gore said about so-called renewable natural gas.
    Chevron spokesperson Sean Comey said RNG, a fuel recognised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as having the potential to cut emissions, “is one element of our approach to helping transition to a lower carbon future.”
    Despite being hopeful, Gore said the world was not moving fast enough.
    Without more action, extreme weather could lead to an increase in refugees fleeing developing countries, which can trigger “xenophobia” and “populist authoritarian impulses,” in the countries they move to, he said.
    To watch the Reuters Impact conference please register here https://reutersevents.com/events/impact/
(Reporting by Axel Threlfall in London and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by David Clarke)

10/6/2021 Officials Say Displaced Pipeline Responsible For Calif. Oil Spill by OAN Newsroom
A couple of cargo vessels are seen anchored offshore, sharing space with several oil platforms,
before heading into the Los Angeles-Long Beach port, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)
    The U.S. Coast Guard revealed a major oil spill off the coast of Southern California was caused by a ship’s anchor moving a pipeline.    In a press conference Tuesday, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore confirmed about 4,000 feet of the pipeline, located off the coast of Huntington Beach, was somehow moved.
    “In the course of conducting those operations, we learned and identified a slight bend in that pipeline, which resulted in further investigation by that remotely operated vehicle,” she explained.    “Upon further investigation, we’ve determined that approximately 4,000 feet of the 17.7 mile pipeline has been displaced and it’s been laterally displaced by 105 feet.”
    Capt. Ore added, they also spotted a split in the line at the bend’s peak.
    “What they further located was a 13-inch split in that pipe, on the side of the pipe, that is a likely source of release of oil,” she stated.    “What we can say is that from that 13-inch split in that pipeline, there is no visible product that can be observed coming from that line, so there is no oil coming out of that line from that split in the pipeline.”
    Meanwhile, Amplify Energy President Martyn Willsher said it’s rare for a pipeline to move the way it did.
    “If you can picture the pipeline essentially vertically, the pipeline has been essentially pulled like a bow string,” he explained.    “I’m not here to speculate about the cause.    There will be a full investigation.    Obviously, the pipeline has been displaced.    It is a 160inch steel pipeline that’s a half inch thick and covered in an inch of concrete.    And for it to be moved 105 feet is not common.”
    More than 140,000 gallons of oil have spilled out of the pipeline since the rupture was first discovered over the weekend.    The spill has caused serious ecological impacts and a a major disaster declaration was requested for Orange County.
    The oil slick was spotted over the weekend reaching the communities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach as well as local marshes.    Officials said cleaning up the spill is considered a high priority and are working to lessen any environmental impact.
    “We’re working with the Coast Guard, the state, the county and all of our local conservancies to do everything possible to assess the situation,” stated Kim Carr, Mayor pro tempore for Huntington Beach.
    Multiple beaches in the region have been closed or partially closed due to dead fish and birds washing up the coast as well as harmful fumes health officials say can be dangerous if inhaled.
    “At this time I strongly recommend due to the possible injury from vapors fumes that people please do not swim, surf or use the beach for exercise,” cautioned Dr. Clayton Chau, an Orange County health official.
    Officials said they will issue a public health order to warn those in beach towns about the potentially hazardous oils forming clusters ashore.    Barriers and booms were deployed to help prevent the inflow of oil into nearby ecological reserves and Huntington Beach wetlands.
    A California congressman is now pushing to preserve natural resources following the massive oil spill in Orange County.    Rep. Mike Levin (D) surveyed the spill on Monday.
    Levin said it’s inconceivable to keep drilling off the California coast considering it doesn’t make up that much oil for the country as a whole.    The lawmaker also said there are only 23 active oil rigs in a 200 mile span.
    “Why in the world are we drilling for oil out here in this beautiful place with millions and millions of people?" asked the Democrat lawmaker.    “And our entire coastal tourism economy, the thousands and thousands of jobs directly linked to having clean beaches and clean water…it’s just inconceivable to me that we would keep drilling for oil.”
    Levine reiterated he has authored legislation, which would end all new offshore oil drilling off California’s coast.

10/6/2021 EU To Back Five-Year Targets At COP26 Climate Talks by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium, July 14, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Wednesday agreed to back five-year climate targets at the COP26 climate change conference, where countries will attempt to finalise the rules needed to put the Paris Agreement into effect.
    At the COP26 summit, to be held in Glasgow from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, countries will attempt to unblock years of negotiations on the technical rules. One issue they will address is whether their climate targets under the Paris 2015 accord should follow a “common timeframe.”
    Environment ministers from EU countries agreed on Wednesday to support the view that countries should set climate targets every five years.    Some EU states, including Poland, had wanted an option to set 10 years goals.
    The EU will express its preference for five-year targets “only in the case all parties would be required to do so and in a manner consistent with the European climate law,” the ministers said in a statement.
    The EU decision boosts the negotiating position of the United States, African countries and small island states, who also support five-year climate pledges.
    They say the shorter five-year cycle would keep up pressure on countries to set ambitious targets, and help track whether they are cutting emissions fast enough to avert catastrophic climate change.
    They also worry that 10-year pledges could let countries with weaker climate goals fly under the radar for a whole decade.
    China and India are among the countries opposed to a single timeframe.
    Setting a Paris Agreement pledge every five years would not necessarily change the EU’s legally binding targets to cut emissions by 2030 and 2050. Brussels will also set a 2040 emissions-cutting target.
    For example, the EU could submit a 2035 climate pledge to the U.N. that would estimate where its emissions need to be that year, to stay on track for its 2040 goal.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

10/7/2021 At Least 20 Killed In Earthquake In Southern Pakistan
People gather outside a hospital following an earthquake in Harnai, Balochistan, Pakistan, October 7, 2021,
in this still image obtained from video. Courtesy of QuettaVoice.com / Social Media via REUTERS
    QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) -At least 20 people were killed and more than 200 injured when an earthquake struck southern Pakistan, Disaster Management Authority Director General Naseer Nasir said on Thursday.
    The earthquake with a magnitude of 5.7 struck in the early hours of Thursday while people were sleeping.    Rescue workers said the dead were mostly women and children.
    The quake was relatively shallow at 20 kms (12 miles) with an epicentre 102 km (62 miles) east of Quetta, said the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
    More than 100 mud houses collapsed and a large number were damaged, including government buildings.    Hundreds of people were rendered homeless, Sohail Anwar, deputy commissioner in the city of Harnai, told Reuters.
    Social media showed houses shaking and light fittings swaying as the quake struck, and later stunned residents gathering in the street in the dark.
    The injured were rushed to hospital, while some were treated on stretchers in the street under phone torch light.
    A 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit Quetta in 1935, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 people, making it one of the deadliest quakes to hit South Asia in recorded history.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Gul Yousafzai from Quetta ; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Stephen Coates)

10/7/20221 Saharan Dust Storm Carries Volcanic Ash To Cuba by OAN Newsroom
Smoke rises on the horizon as lava flows from a volcano on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain on
Wednesday Oct. 6, 2021. A volcano that has destroyed nearly 1,000 buildings on a Spanish island increased its
explosive power, roaring louder and spewing thicker lava flowing out of its main vent. The eruption started on Sept. 19
and has forced the evacuation of over 6,000 residents of the island of La Palma. (AP Photo/Daniel Roca)
    A large sandstorm originating from North Africa is arriving in Cuba after traveling more than 4,000 miles over the Atlantic Ocean.    On Wednesday, clouds of sand and dust shrouded the island nation, in turn, obstructing the sky and prompting worries of public health.
    Saharan sandstorms reach Cuba and parts of the southern U.S. every year.    This time, however, the dust is mixed up with sulfuric ashes from volcano eruption in the Canary Islands.    This fact is adding to health concerns.
    “The sky today has been a bit opaque due to the dust from the Sahara.    In addition to the pandemic, we also have these dust clouds and we have to take extreme health measures.    We are here getting some air at the Malecon, but we have to take extreme health measures because there are two things.    It is no longer one, now it is also the dust that can get us sick.”
— Huber Nieves – resident of Havana, Cuba
    Cuban authorities recommend residents to stay indoors to reduce exposure to volcanic particles.    The Saharan storm has yet to reach the U.S.

10/7/2021 We Need More, EU And U.S. Urge China Ahead Of Climate Summit by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: A coal-burning power plant can be seen behind a factory in the city
of Baotou, in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, October 31, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States and European Union’s climate envoys urged China to step up its targets to cut emissions on Thursday, adding to the pressure on the world’s biggest emitter ahead of the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
    With three weeks to go until the United Nations’ COP26 summit begins, the United States and the EU are attempting to convince other countries to fight climate change faster.    Top of the list is China, which produces around 28% of the world’s emissions.
    “We need more clarity from the Chinese, for instance, on when they’re going to peak out with their emissions, what their plans are with coal-fired power generation in China,” EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans told an EU conference on Thursday.
    The United States, the second biggest emitter after China, is responsible for about 15% of emissions and the EU for roughly 8%.
    China has a goal to become carbon neutral by 2060 and a nearer term target for its CO2 emissions to peak by 2030, which is not aligned with the steep reductions scientists say are needed this decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
    “We hope China will join us in this effort to have serious enough reductions,” U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said.
    “China has to decide whether it wants to be counted as a genuine leader on this topic and also as a responsible nation with respect to global efforts.”
    President Xi Jinping last month said China will stop financing international coal-fuelled power generation – which analysts said could wipe out $50 billion of planned investments, although it did not cover new domestic plants.
    Ambitious action from China could pressure other countries to act, with India and Saudi Arabia among those that have yet to upgrade their emissions-cutting commitments.
    Efforts to raise climate action up the agenda face headwinds from other geopolitical tensions.
    The United States and China this week agreed their presidents would hold a virtual meeting by the year’s end to try to improve communication as strategic rivalry intensifies and relations are strained over hotspots including Taiwan.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by Barbara Lewis)

10/7/2021 Magnitude 6.1 Quake Jolts Tokyo, Causing Blackouts But No Tsunami Warning by Elaine Lies and Hideyuki Sano
The entrance of JR Shimbashi station is crowded with passengers as the train services are suspended following an
earthquake in Tokyo, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo October 7, 2021. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
    TOKYO (Reuters) -A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.1 jolted Tokyo and surrounding areas late on Thursday, stopping train lines and causing sporadic power cuts, but there were no reports of major damage, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said.
    The tremor, at 10:41 p.m. (1341 GMT), registered “strong-5” on Japan’s intensity scale, a level that could cause some damage to buildings and power cuts, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
    The quake had an epicentre in Chiba prefecture, to the east of the capital Tokyo.    There was no danger of a tsunami from the quake, accoring to NHK.
    The government set up an emergency response task force.
    NHK showed new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida rushing back to his office.    He told reporters he had instructed the task force to “find out about the latest situation, coordinate with local authorities on rescuing the victims of the disaster,” and to provide information to the public in a speedy manner.
    Several minutes earlier Kishida tweeted: “Take actions to protect your lives while confirming the latest information.”
    NHK said four people sustained injuries in Chiba and showed a two-storey building in neighbouring Saitama prefecture on fire.    Private broadcaster TBS reported incidents of water pipes bursting in Tokyo.    Tokyo Electric Power Corporation reported 250 cases of blackouts in the city.
    Several train and subway lines in Tokyo and Chiba which initially halted their trains had since restarted their operations, NHK said.
    Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas.    The country accounts for about 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.
    On March 11, 2011, the northeast coast was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, the strongest in Japan on record, and a massive tsunami.    Those events severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, triggering the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.
(Reporting by Hideyuki Sano, Tokyo NewsroomEditing by Mark Heinrich)

10/7/2021 Volcanic Ash Buildup Shuts Airport On La Palma In Spain’s Canary Islands
Smoke rises as lava flows into the sea following the eruption of a volcano, as seen
from Tazacorte port, Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, October 6, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    MADRID (Reuters) -A buildup of ash and dust from the erupting Cumbre Vieja volcano on the runway forced authorities in Spain’s La Palma to close the island’s airport on Thursday, air traffic operator AENA said.
    Other airports in the Canary Islands’ archipelago off North Africa remained open, however, and an AENA spokesperson said the ash cloud was unlikely to pose any wider risks to air travel for now.
    It is the second time that La Palma’s airport has been shut due to ash buildup since the eruption began on Sept. 19.     “The La Palma Airport is inoperative due to ash accumulation.    The established protocols are being applied. Safety is the priority,” the operator said in a post on Twitter.
    In 2011, sweeping closures of European airspace due to an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland disrupted travel plans for millions of passengers in Europe and elsewhere, and cost airlines over a billion euros in revenues.
    The volcano on La Palma has been blasting out jets of red-hot lava for more than two weeks, laying waste to hundreds of buildings and farms, and forcing the evacuation of thousands.
    The airport was closed on Sept. 25 but reopened the following day after workers swept volcanic ash off the runway.
(Reporting by Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip and Susan Fenton)

10/8/2021 Scientists spot giant 'mystery creature' while exploring shipwreck by Amanda Kooser, C|NET
    It's cool enough to find a shipwreck. It's even better to spot a massive, mysterious sea creature hanging out with the wreck. That's what happened to the crew of the OceanX OceanXplorer research vessel during an expedition in the Red Sea in late 2020.
© Provided by CNET This deep-sea animal surprised OceanX scientists when they spotted it
on camera while investigating a shipwreck in the Red Sea. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET
    A year later, OceanX is revealing more information about the remarkable animal that swam past its remote-vehicle camera as it examined the wreck of the passenger ship Pella at a depth of nearly 2,800 feet (850 meters).
    Zoologist and squid expert Mike Vecchione studied the footage and suggested that despite its size, the animal was not an infamous "giant squid" due to its body proportions and shape of its fins. Vecchione identified it as a jumbo example of a purpleback flying squid.
    An OceanX video posted on Wednesday shows the fast-moving animal and Vecchione's analysis.
    OceanX science program lead Mattie Rodrigue described seeing the squid -- which she estimated was larger than a human being -- for the first time as it swam past the bow of the wreck.    "I was frozen in absolute shock," she said.
    The researchers spotted either the same squid or others like it during subsequent dives.    Vecchione said they represent "the giant form" of the purpleback flying squid.
    OceanX is focused on ocean research, exploration, outreach and protection.    The Red Sea mission's goal was to answer the question: "How do species in the Red Sea thrive where others would die?"    Researchers discovered large animals, like the squid, as well as sites with climate-change resistant corals.<
    This deep-sea animal surprised OceanX scientists when they spotted it on camera while investigating a shipwreck in the Red Sea.
    While the creature Rodrigue observed wasn't a legendary giant squid, it was a stunning and unexpected sight.    A true wonder of the deep.

10/8/2021 White Turns Black: Volcanic Ash Darkens Salt Flats On Spain’s La Palma by Silvio Castellanos and Juan Medina
Andres Hernandez, manager of salt flats Salinas de Teneguia, poses next to the salt flats that were
damaged by the action of the ashes caused by the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in Fuencaliente,
on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, October 7, 2021. Picture taken October 7, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – A blanket of volcanic ash has turned Andres Hernandez’s pristine white salt flats black, ruining about a third of his annual production in the past two weeks since the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma.
    The Hernandez family is used to living under the threat of volcanoes – in La Palma’s last eruption 50 years ago, lava stopped just 200 metres short of his family’s saltworks, putting them out of business for two years.
    Now, Hernandez, a third-generation salt flat owner, is resolved to cleaning up and carrying on making salt.
    “It will take lots of work but we will be able to recover this area,” he told Reuters, adding that many islanders were far less lucky as they had lost their homes and livelihoods.
    The volcano, 18 km (11 miles) from the saltworks in Fuencaliente, has been blasting out jets of lava and ash since Sept. 19, destroying hundreds of buildings and farms and forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.
    But the economic damage has yet to be properly evaluated.
    “When the ash fell we were about to collect the salt, but it completely covered everything creating a crust on top and we cannot separate the salt from the ash.    It has completely penetrated the grain.    It’s impossible to separate,” Hernandez said, adding that up to 200 tonnes of salt had been ruined.
    The eruption has also deterred visitors to the saltworks, which are also one of the island’s tourist attractions.
    “As owners of this place who live here we feel very sad to see the salt flats in this condition.    It looks abandoned, with no activity,” Hernandez said.
    But the salt flats will survive.
    “Our experience with volcanoes goes (back) a long way, many generations,” he said.
(Writing by Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip and Mike Collett-White)

10/8/2021 UN Declares Access To A Clean Environment A Human Right by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: Villagers walk on a street as the haze shrouds Pulau Mentaro village
in Muaro Jambi, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, September 15, 2015..REUTERS/Beawiharta
    GENEVA (Reuters) -The U.N. Human Rights Council on Friday recognised access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right, formally adding its weight to the global fight against climate change and its devastating consequences.
    The vote passed with overwhelming support, despite criticism in the lead-up from some countries, notably the United States and Britain.
    The resolution, first discussed in the 1990s, is not legally binding but has the potential to shape global standards.    Lawyers involved in climate litigation say it could help them build arguments in cases involving the environment and human rights.
    “This has life-changing potential in a world where the global environmental crisis causes more than nine million premature deaths every year,” said David Boyd, U.N. special rapporteur on human rights and the environment, who called the decision a “historic breakthrough.”
    The text, proposed by Costa Rica, the Maldives, Morocco, Slovenia and Switzerland, was passed with 43 votes in favour and 4 abstentions from Russia, India, China and Japan, prompting a rare burst of applause in the Geneva forum.
    Britain, which was among the critics of the proposal in recent intense negotiations, voted in favour in a surprise, last-minute move.    Its ambassador to the UN in Geneva, Rita French, said the UK was voting ‘yes’ because it shared supporters’ ambition to tackle climate change but added that states would not be bound to the resolution’s terms.
    The United States did not vote since it is not currently a member of the 47-member Council.
    Costa Rica’s ambassador, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, said the decision will “send a powerful message to communities around the world struggling with climate hardship that they are not alone.”
    Critics had raised various objections, saying the Council was not the appropriate forum and citing legal concerns.     Environmental defenders had said Britain’s earlier critical stance was undermining its pledges ahead of the global climate conference it is hosting in Glasgow next month.
    John Knox, a former U.N. special rapporteur, said ahead of the vote that those who had criticised the resolution were “on the wrong side of history.”
    The World Health Organization estimates that some 13.7 million deaths a year, or around 24.3% of the global total, are due to environmental risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure.
    Another proposal led by the Marshall Islands to create a new special rapporteur on climate change was also approved by the Council on Friday.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Stephanie Nebehay, John Stonestreet and Dan Grebler)

10/8/2021 Three Decades On, German Mushrooms Still Show Imprint Of Chernobyl by Zuzanna Szymanska and Thomas Escritt
FILE PHOTO: A wood frog rests beside a chanterelle mushroom in the forest
at Medvednica mountain overlooking Zagreb June 6, 2011. REUTERS/Nikola Solic
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Around 95% of wild mushroom samples collected in Germany in the last six years still showed radioactive contamination from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, albeit not above legal limits, the German food safety regulator said on Friday.
    Elevated concentrations of caesium-137 and caesium-134 isotopes bearing the characteristic signature of the Chernobyl blast were found especially in southern Germany, the federal office for consumer protection and food safety (BVL) said.
    However, none of the 74 samples tested exceeded the legal limit of 600 becquerels of radiation per kg.
    The Chernobyl reactor, located in what is now Ukraine, spewed tonnes of nuclear waste into the atmosphere, spreading radioactivity across swathes of the continent and causing a spike in cancers in the more immediate region.
    The BVL said the radioactive material lingered in forests because their ecosystems recycled nutrients so efficiently, meaning that wild mushrooms will show contamination for much longer than other agricultural products.
    Concern at the long-term impact of nuclear disasters has fuelled public opposition to nuclear power, and in Germany triggered a decision, shortly after the accident at Japan’s Fukushima plant in 2011, to abandon it altogether.
(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska and Thomas Escritt; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

10/8/2021 Helium Balloons Enter The Space Tourism Race by OAN Newsroom
World View’s Explorer Space Capsule will carry eight passengers and to crew to altitudes of about 30 kilometers,
giving them high-altitude views of the Earth on flights lasting up to 12 hours. (Credit: World View)
    Helium balloons are now officially competing with rockets in the space tourism industry.    On Thursday, CEO of tech company World View, Ryan Hartman, gave Reuters an exclusive look into his balloon tourism company.
    Hartman said travelers will be in a capsule attached to the balloons, which ascend to 100,000 feet.    He noted most importantly the pressure inside the balloon is the same as outside, creating an extremely safe space for passengers.
    Tickets will be offered for $50,000, which is quite a discount compared to other companies.    The CEO said his view on space tourism differs drastically from his competitors, adding he wants the experience to be beautiful.
    “So, in every aspect, our approach is very different and the thing that we don’t have on our experience is weightlessness and our opinion is that weightlessness is a distraction from what the actual experience is of viewing the curvature of the Earth, viewing it as a living organism, viewing the beauty of it,” said Hartman.
    World View voyages are set to kick off by giving customers a unique experience seeing sights such as the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China in early 2024.

10/9/2021 Finland Limits Moderna Vaccine After Reports Of Side Effects In Younger Males by OAN Newsroom
LAHTI, FINLAND – FEBRUARY 25: A Finland flag is waved as the skiers compete in the Men’s Cross Country Skiathlon during
the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on February 25, 2017 in Lahti, Finland. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
    Finland pauses the use of Moderna vaccines in certain age groups.
    On Thursday, Finland joined Sweden, Norway and Denmark in pausing the use of Moderna vaccines due to reports of rare cardiovascular side effects found in younger males.    The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare announced males under 30 would be offered the Pfizer vaccine instead, after studies found younger males were at a slightly higher risk of developing heart issues with Moderna.
    “An increased risk of side effects such as inflammation of the heart muscle or the pericardium [the double-walled sac containing the heart and the roots of the main vessels].    The risk of being affected is very small,” said Sweden’s Public Health Agency.
    All four countries based their decision on an unpublished study with Sweden’s Public Health Agency and although the study suggests risks of being affected are small, the Nordic countries have encouraged using other vaccines for now.
[SOMEBODY TELL JOE BIDEN TO TELL HIS MINIONS TO STOP TORTURING OUR CHILDREN WITH A VACCINE THEY DO NOT NEED.].

10/10/2021 U.N. Urges Nations To Spend More On Species Protection As New Pact Talks Begin by David Stanway
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows a deforested plot of the Amazon rainforest
in Rondonia State, Brazil September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
    KUNMING, China (Reuters) – The global community must invest much more and raise the scale and speed of its pledges to protect nature and prevent species loss, a senior U.N. official said on Sunday on the eve of a new round of global biodiversity talks.
    The first part of the twice-postponed “COP15” biodiversity negotiations begin in the southwestern Chinese city of Kunming on Monday, with the aim of generating momentum for an ambitious post-2020 agreement to reverse decades of habitat destruction caused by human encroachment and climate change.
    David Cooper, deputy executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, told a briefing that ministers attending virtual meetings this week needed to show more ambition and give “clear political direction” to negotiators, who will thrash out a final deal in Kunming in May next year.
    Environmental groups say there is no time to lose when it comes to protecting habitats and slowing extinction rates, especially after governments failed to complete any of the 2020 biodiversity targets agreed in Aichi, Japan a decade earlier.    However, Cooper said the level of urgency was still not enough.
    “Currently, most countries are spending orders of magnitude more funds subsidising activities that destroy biodiversity than we are spending on conserving it – this will have to change,” he said.
    The United Nations wants countries to commit to protecting 30% of their land by 2030, a pledge already agreed to by the United States and others.    China has not yet made the commitment, despite implementing an “ecological protection red line” system that already puts 25% of its territory out of the reach of developers.
    Cooper told reporters that it was important all countries protected more of their ecosystems, but that would not be enough in itself to fix biodiversity loss, saying more commitments were required to manage the other 70%.
    He said the global pandemic had injected new urgency into biodiversity protection, but warned that this was not yet reflected in “business-as-usual” post-COVID-19 stimulus measures.
    “We have to make sure… (the stimulus) is strengthening biodiversity and not adding to the problem,” he said.    “Globally, if you look around, the stimulus packages are making it worse rather than better.”
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

10/10/2021 Lava Blocks The Size Of Buildings Falling From La Palma Volcano by Silvio Castellanos and Juan Medina
    The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island
of La Palma, as seen from Tajuya, Spain, October 10, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) - Blocks of molten lava as large as three-storey buildings rolled down a hillside on the Spanish island of La Palma on Sunday while a series of tremors shook the ground three weeks after the volcano erupted.
    There were 21 seismic movements on Sunday, with the largest measuring 3.8, the Spanish National Geological Institute (ING) said, shaking the ground in the villages of Mazo, Fuencaliente and El Paso.
    The blocks of red-hot magma flowed down the side of the Cumbre Vieja volcano were the size of three-storey buildings, the Spanish Institute of Geology and Mining said.
    From Monday, members of the Spanish Navy will help clean volcanic ash that covers large parts of the island, Defence Minister Margarita     Robles said during a visit on Sunday.
    The lava flow, with temperatures of up to 1,240 degrees Celsius (2,264 degrees Fahrenheit), destroyed the last few buildings that remained standing in the village of Todoque, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said on Twitter.
    There was a partial cone collapse near the volcano’s emission vent on Saturday, Stavros Meletlidis, a spokesman for ING told Reuters.
    “The collapse of the northern flank of the Cumbre Vieja volcano has caused the release of large blocks of material and the appearance of new flows that run through areas already evacuated,” tweeted Spain’s National Security Department.br>     “The lava has reached the Camino de la Gata industrial estate and new buildings.”
    Rivers of lava have destroyed 1,186 buildings since the eruption on Sept. 19, the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute said.
    Lava has engulfed 493 hectares (1,218 acres) of land, said Miguel Ángel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) organisation.
    About 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on La Palma, which has about 83,000 inhabitants.
    Lightning was seen near the eruption early on Saturday.    A study published in 2016 by the journal Geophysical Research Letters found lightning can be produced during volcanic eruptions because the collision of ash particles creates an electrical charge.
(Reporting by Silvio Castellanos, Juan Medina, writing by Graham Keeley; editing by Jason Neely)

10/11/2021 U.S. Coast Guard: Pipeline Was Initially Damaged Months Ago by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This still image from video taken Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, and provided by The U.S. Coast Guard shows an underwater pipeline
that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of oil off the coast of Orange County, Calif. Video of the ruptured pipeline shows
a thin crack along the top of the pipe that could indicate a slow leak that initially was difficult to detect, experts said Thursday,
Oct. 7. The pipeline was likely damaged by a ship’s anchor several months to a year before it ruptured and sent oil spewing into the
ocean and then onto some of the area’s best-known beaches, investigators said Friday. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP, File)
    The U.S. Coast Guard revealed the underwater pipeline which caused the oil spill off the coast of Southern California was initially damaged several months to a year ago.
    In a press conference on Friday, officials said video evidence shows the pipeline was intact in October 2020, but has since moved 150 feet.    The investigation has, so far, revealed a ship’s anchor dragged the pipeline, but it wasn’t the only factor which contributed to the rupture.
    “When I say multiple incidents, we know that the oil spill started occurring later, at least was noticed later, than several months ago,” announced Capt. Jason Neubauer, U.S. Coast Guard.    “So there could be contributing incidents down the line, either anchor strikes or geological events.”
    The oil spill created an environmental disaster, which is threatening marine life and impacting coastal communities.    Coast Guard officials said the investigation is still underway and will now focus on vessel movement above the pipeline over the past year.
    Last week, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore confirmed about 4,000 feet of the pipeline, located off the coast of Huntington Beach, was somehow moved.
    “In the course of conducting those operations, we learned and identified a slight bend in that pipeline, which resulted in further investigation by that remotely operated vehicle,” she explained.    “Upon further investigation, we’ve determined that approximately 4,000 feet of the 17.7 mile pipeline has been displaced and it’s been laterally displaced by 105 feet.”
    Capt. Ore added, they also spotted a split in the line at the bend’s peak.
    “What they further located was a 13-inch split in that pipe, on the side of the pipe, that is a likely source of release of oil,” she stated.    “What we can say is that from that 13-inch split in that pipeline, there is no visible product that can be observed coming from that line, so there is no oil coming out of that line from that split in the pipeline.”
    Meanwhile, Amplify Energy President Martyn Willsher said it’s rare for a pipeline to move the way it did.
    “If you can picture the pipeline essentially vertically, the pipeline has been essentially pulled like a bow string,” he explained.    “I’m not here to speculate about the cause.    There will be a full investigation.     Obviously, the pipeline has been displaced.    It is a 160 inch steel pipeline that’s a half inch thick and covered in an inch of concrete. And for it to be moved 105 feet is not common.”
    More than 140,000 gallons of oil have spilled out of the pipeline since the rupture was first discovered.    The spill has caused serious ecological impacts and a major disaster declaration was requested for Orange County.    Officials said cleaning up the spill is considered a high priority and they are working to lessen any environmental impact.
    “We’re working with the Coast Guard, the state, the county and all of our local conservancies to do everything possible to assess the situation,” stated Kim Carr, Mayor pro tempore for Huntington Beach.
    Meanwhile, Rotterdam Express officials said they had no role in the spill and the Coast Guard confirmed the ship was no longer under scrutiny for the incident.    People are also still questioning whether the oil company, Amplify Energy, was aware of the problem before reporting it to the public.
    Federal and state laws require immediate notification of spills and pipeline safety regulators reported the time of the incident at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, even though the pipeline wasn’t shut off until around 6 a.m. that same day.
    Multiple beaches in the region have been closed or partially closed due to dead fish and birds washing up the coast as well as harmful fumes health officials say can be dangerous if inhaled.
    “At this time I strongly recommend due to the possible injury from vapors fumes that people please do not swim, surf or use the beach for exercise,” cautioned Dr. Clayton Chau, an Orange County health official.
    Officials said they will issue a public health order to warn those in beach towns about the potentially hazardous oils forming clusters ashore.    Barriers and booms were deployed to help prevent the inflow of oil into nearby ecological reserves and Huntington Beach wetlands.
    In the meantime, the Coast Guard confirmed at least 6,000 gallons of crude has been collected and local residents are still prohibited from surfing or swimming in those waters until more clean up efforts make way.
    A California congressman is now pushing to preserve natural resources following the massive oil spill in Orange County.    Rep. Mike Levin (D) surveyed the spill on Monday.
    Levin said it’s inconceivable to keep drilling off the California coast considering it doesn’t make up that much oil for the country as a whole.    The lawmaker also said there are only 23 active oil rigs in a 200 mile span.
    “Why in the world are we drilling for oil out here in this beautiful place with millions and millions of people?” asked the Democrat lawmaker.    “And our entire coastal tourism economy, the thousands and thousands of jobs directly linked to having clean beaches and clean water…it’s just inconceivable to me that we would keep drilling for oil.”
    Levine reiterated he has authored legislation, which would end all new offshore oil drilling off California’s coast.

10/11/2021 Climate Action At COP26 Could Save Millions Of Lives, WHO Says by Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside a building of the World Health Organization (WHO) during an executive board meeting on
update on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Geneva, Switzerland, April 6, 2021. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) -The World Health Organization and about three-quarters of global health care workers on Monday called on governments to step up climate action at the COP26 global climate conference, saying it could save millions of lives a year.
    The UN health agency’s report on climate change and health calls for transformational action in every sector including energy, transport and finance, saying the public health benefits of ambitious climate actions far outweigh the costs.
    “The burning of fossil fuels is killing us. Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity,” the WHO said on Monday.
    The WHO has previously said some 13.7 million deaths a year, or around 24.3% of the global total, were due to environmental risks such as air pollution and chemical exposure.
    It is not clear exactly how many of those are directly linked to climate change, although the WHO’s Maria Neira said about 80% of the deaths from air pollution could be prevented through compliance with its guidelines.
    Climate change is also stoking some infectious diseases such as dengue fever and malaria, causing deaths in some of the world’s poorest regions, said Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, head of a WHO climate change unit.
    “Our health is not negotiable: we are going into climate negotiations, we are negotiating many things but the life of a single child whether it is lost to air pollution or climate change is not something that should be on the table,” he said.
    The report’s release coincides with a letter https://healthyclimateletter.net backed by more than 400 health bodies representing more than 45 million nurses, doctors and medical professionals also calling for action.
    “Paediatricians are speaking up because we do prevention, we give immunisations to prevent communicable diseases and we are speaking up now because we know that the health of the people and the health of the climate are one,” said Ruth Etzel with the International Pediatric Association.
    Last week, the United Nations Human Rights Council recognised access to a clean and healthy environment as a fundamental right, adding its weight to the fight against climate change.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Hugh Lawson)

10/11/2021 Plane Crashes In Residential Neighborhood In Santee, Calif. by OAN Newsroom
Fire crews work the scene of a small plane crash, Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, in Santee, Calif. At least two
people were killed and two others were injured when the plane crashed into a suburban
Southern California neighborhood, setting two homes ablaze, authorities said. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
    At least two people have died after a small airplane crashed in a residential neighborhood in Southern California.     According to reports, the plane heading to San Diego from Yuma, Arizona crashed into a UPS truck near Santana High School in Santee on Monday.
    The plane was owned and piloted by local cardiologist Dr. Sugata Das, who reportedly lived in San Diego, but flew back and forth from his work at the Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona.    At least two people were rushed to the hospital in connection to the crash.
    The resulting blast sparked two severe house fires nearby.    Authorities have asked residents to avoid the area as they investigate the scene.
    “The number of houses that have been damaged at this point, we have two that are complete loss, and you can see from behind us those are the ones that are completely burned that fire crews are still trying to mitigate some of the smoldering ash,” explained explained Deputy Fire Chief Justin Matsushita of Santee Fire Department.    “…A debris field that is almost a block as far as length, and we have parts of the actual airplane strewn across at least 10 homes and into some of the streets.”
    More information on the crash will be provided as it is released.

10/11/2021 It’s Down To World Leaders To Honour Climate Pledges, Says UK COP26 Chief
FILE PHOTO: People take part in the 'Global march for climate justice' while environment ministers meet ahead
of Glasgow's COP26 meeting, in Milan, Italy, October 2, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – The G20 group of leading economies must come forward with more ambitious 2030 climate action plans, Britain’s Alok Sharma, president of the upcoming United Nations COP26 climate change conference, will say on Tuesday.
    With less than a month before the talks begin in Glasgow, Scotland, Sharma will seek to increase pressure on those who have yet to enhance national goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions under plans known as “Nationally Determined Contributions” that are central to the 2015 Paris Agreement.
    “Responsibility rests with each and every country.    And we must all play our part.    Because on climate, the world will succeed, or fail as one,” he will say, according to advance extracts of a speech.
    COP26, which begins on Oct. 31, aims to secure more ambitious action from the nearly 200 countries that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2.0 degrees Celsius – and preferably to 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) – above pre-industrial levels.
    “COP26 is not a photo op or a talking shop.    It must be the forum where we put the world on track to deliver on climate.    And that is down to leaders,” Sharma will say at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris.
    “It is leaders who made a promise to the world in this great city six years ago.    And it is leaders that must honour it.”
    Sharma will also be clear that there must be new commitments on public and private finance to support the countries most vulnerable to climate change and progress on adaptation to the effects of the changing climate, his office said.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by Barbara Lewis)

10/12/2021 Calif. Attorney General Opens Investigation Into Oil Spill by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., left, answers questions accompanied by California Attorney General Rob Bonta
in a news conference on a beach in Huntington Beach, Calif., Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. Huntington Beach reopened
its shoreline this morning after water testing results came back with non-detectable amounts of oil associated
toxins in ocean water, city officials and California State Parks announced. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
    California’s attorney general announced his office is opening an investigation into the oil pipeline leak in Huntington Beach.    During a press conference Monday, Rob Bonta discussed the probe into what caused the major crude oil spill.
    His announcement came as state and city officials reopened beaches to surfers as well as swimmers after they had been closed for over a week due to the leak.    Water quality tests reportedly showed no detectable levels of oil-associated toxins on the shoreline.
    Bonta said depending on what the investigation turns up, charges will be filed if the law was broken.    He has confirmed oil company Amplify Energy is at the center of his investigation.
    “We also wanted to know how this happened, who knew and when,” stated the state attorney general.    “That’s why today I’m announcing that the California Department of Justice is investigating the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach.    Our investigation will determine the facts and who is ultimately responsible.    If our laws were violated, we will hold those responsible accountable.”
    The U.S. Coast Guard revealed the underwater pipeline, which caused the oil spill off the coast of Southern California, was initially damaged several months to a year ago.    In a press conference on Friday, officials said video evidence shows the pipeline was intact in October 2020, but has since moved 150 feet.    The investigation has, so far, revealed a ship’s anchor dragged the pipeline, but it wasn’t the only factor which contributed to the rupture.
    “When I say multiple incidents, we know that the oil spill started occurring later, at least was noticed later, than several months ago,” announced Capt. Jason Neubauer, U.S. Coast Guard.    “So there could be contributing incidents down the line, either anchor strikes or geological events.”
    The oil spill created an environmental disaster, which threatened marine life and impacted coastal communities.    Coast Guard officials said the investigation is still underway and will now focus on vessel movement above the pipeline over the past year.
    Last week, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore confirmed about 4,000 feet of the pipeline, located off the coast of Huntington Beach, was somehow moved.    She added, they also spotted a split in the line at the bend’s peak.
    Meanwhile, Amplify Energy President Martyn Willsher said it’s rare for a pipeline to move the way it did.    He asserted that he will not speculate about the cause, but will wait for a full investigation to determine the factors.
    More than 140,000 gallons of oil spilled out of the pipeline since the rupture was first discovered.    The spill caused serious ecological impacts and a major disaster declaration was requested for Orange County.    Officials said cleaning up the spill was considered a high priority.
    Some people are also still questioning whether Amplify Energy was aware of the problem before reporting it to the public.    Federal and state laws require immediate notification of spills and pipeline safety regulators reported the time of the incident at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, even though the pipeline wasn’t shut off until around 6 a.m. that same day.
    Meanwhile, California congressman is now pushing to preserve natural resources following the massive oil spill.    Rep. Mike Levin (D) surveyed the damage on Monday.    He said it’s inconceivable to keep drilling off the California coast considering it doesn’t make up that much oil for the country as a whole.    The lawmaker also said there are only 23 active oil rigs in a 200-mile span.
    “Why in the world are we drilling for oil out here in this beautiful place with millions and millions of people?” asked the Democrat lawmaker.    “And our entire coastal tourism economy, the thousands and thousands of jobs directly linked to having clean beaches and clean water…it’s just inconceivable to me that we would keep drilling for oil.”
    Levine reiterated he has authored legislation, which would end all new offshore oil drilling off California’s coast.
FILE – This Oct. 4, 2021, aerial file photo shows floating barriers known as booms set up to try to stop further
incursion into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh after an oil spill in Huntington Beach, Calif. Finding the cause of the major
oil spill, who’s to blame and if they will be held accountable could take a long time. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

10/12/2021 Hundreds Evacuated As Red-Hot Lava Threatens Homes In Spain’s La Palma by Bart Biesemans and Silvio Castellanos
The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava and smoke as it continues to erupt on the Canary Island
of La Palma, as seen from Tacande, Spain, October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -Over 700 residents were ordered to abandon their homes on Tuesday on the Spanish island of La Palma as red-hot lava advanced towards their neighbourhood.
    As the river of molten magma descended from the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the northeast of the Canary Island, authorities ordered between 700 and 800 inhabitants of La Laguna to leave home with their belongings and pets, according to the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca).
    “We want to pick up documents and other things because our whole life is in that house and we cannot collect over 30 years in five minutes,” Enrique, 50, a Spanish home-owner, told Reuters.
    Authorities gave homeowners until 1800 GMT to collect their things.
    “We have been obliged to evacuate a new area.    The lava is advancing slowly.    People should have time to take their documents, their personal items and anything of value,” said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of Pevolca.
    There were 64 seismic movements on Tuesday, the strongest measuring 4.1, the Spanish National Geological Institute said.
    La Palma airport remained open but 11 flights were cancelled on Tuesday and others were delayed, airport operator AENA said.
    Earlier on Tuesday, officials lifted a lockdown ordered because of a cloud of smoke over two villages caused by the eruption, allowing more than 3,000 residents to go outside.
    Lava gushing from the volcano engulfed a cement plant on Monday, raising clouds of smoke and prompting authorities to instruct people in the area stay at home.
    Lava from the eruption that began on Sept. 19 has laid waste to nearly 600 hectares in total, authorities said.
    After the volcano’s cone partially collapsed on Saturday, a new river of lava streamed towards the sea, devouring banana and avocado plantations and most of the remaining houses in the town of Todoque.
    Torrents of molten rock have destroyed 1,186 buildings in the three weeks since the eruption, the Canary Islands Volcanic Institute said, and forced the evacuation of about 6,700 people.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley, Silvio Castellanos, Bart Biesemans; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/13/2021 Bulgarian Miners March To Protect Coal Industry
A woman holds a placard reading "Timmermans, how will we live without electricity?" as miners and workers at Bulgaria's largest
coal-fired power plant Maritsa East 2 take part in a demonstration urging the government to avoid an early closure of coal-fired
energy production in the Balkan country under the EU Green Deal, Sofia, Bulgaria, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Spasiyana Sergieva
    SOFIA (Reuters) – About 1,000 miners and workers from Bulgaria’s largest coal-fired power plant marched in Sofia on Wednesday to protect their jobs and to urge the government to support their industry.
    Demonstrators called on the Cabinet to guarantee it would not rush to shut mines and power plants at the Maritsa East lignite coal complex in southern Bulgaria, despite a European Union push to decarbonise the bloc’s economy by 2050.
    “There should be green, clean energy, but time is needed for investment first,” said Spaska Ruskova, 58, who works for a mining equipment company.
    “It will probably happen for our grandchildren, but it cannot happen now, because hundreds of families are destined to lose their jobs and doomed to high power bills,” she said.
    Bulgaria needs to set a date when it will phase out power generation from coal if it wants to draw on EU recovery funds and meet the bloc’s climate goals.
    The interim government has said it will present its plan for EU aid to Brussels on Friday.    It will defend its target of closing coal-fired plants by 2038 or 2040 – largely in line with the miners’ demands.
    Environmental group Greenpeace has demanded that the polluting plants be closed by 2030, urging Bulgaria to focus on renewable energy and providing new jobs in the coal regions.
    Protesters say early closure of the plants, which produce 40% of Bulgaria’s electricity, would lead to power shortages and rising energy costs.
    Some 10,000 people work at the Maritsa East complex, whose lignite coal deposits are rich in sulphur blamed for poor air quality and respiratory diseases.
    Trade unions say the complex provides livelihoods for more than 100,000 people in the European Union’s poorest member and have vowed to keep up pressure on the government that is to formed after a Nov. 14 general election.
(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/13/2021 Storm Pamela Wanes, Will Re-Strengthen Before Hitting Mexico’s Bread Basket - NHC
A man walks on a closed beach as storm Pamela approaches the Pacific coast
resort, in Mazatlan, Mexico, October 12, 2021. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
    MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Storm Pamela weakened on Tuesday on its path toward Mexico’s western coast, although the U.S.     National Hurricane Center (NHC) predicted it will strengthen into a hurricane again before crashing into the fertile farm state of Sinaloa.
    Sinaloa is the country’s top grower of corn, Mexico’s staple grain, as well as a major producer of tomatoes and other fruits that figure prominently in the country’s agricultural exports to the United States.
    The storm was located about 240 miles (385 km) southwest of the major Sinaloa beach resort of Mazatlan, the latest NHC advisory showed.    The NHC estimated Pamela would build into a hurricane again before it hits the coast on Wednesday morning.
    Pamela packed maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 kph) on Tuesday afternoon, the NHC said, with the center expected to pass far south of the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula through the evening.
    Pamela is expected to drench Sinaloa, which in recent months has suffered dry weather seen as potentially hurting agricultural production.
    A tropical storm watch extends from the fishing village of Los Barriles on the Sea of Cortes side of Mexico’s Baja peninsula down to the southern tip at Cabo San Lucas.
    But Pamela’s fury is seen mostly targeting Mexico’s southwest mainland, with “large and destructive waves” near the coast and rainfall of between 4 inched and 12 inches (10 and 30 cm) seen hitting both Sinaloa and the neighboring state of Durango.
    The storm was churning northward at about 9 miles per hour (15 kph) on Tuesday afternoon.
    “This rainfall may trigger significant and life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides,” the NHC added.
    Last year, Sinaloa alone produced more than 380,000 tonnes of tomatoes, or nearly a fifth of national output and overwhelmingly destined for export, according to government data.
(Reporting by Laura Gottesdiener in Monterrey and David Alire Garcia in Mexico City; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)

10/13/2021 As Spanish Volcano Roars, Drones Drop Food For Dogs Stranded By Lava
FILE PHOTO: The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt on the Canary Island
of La Palma, as seen from El Paso, Spain, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Juan Medina
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – Several emaciated dogs lie curled up in and around a walled, ash-covered yard cut off by volcanic lava in the mountainous area of Todoque on the Spanish island of La Palma, until a drone appears in the sky to drop packages with food and water.
    They lift their heads to look and can be seen ambling towards the packages which they pry open with their teeth and paws to take on much-needed nutrition, drone footage provided by one of the companies in charge of the operation showed.
    In a statement, the Island Council of La Palma thanked the two local companies – Ticom Soluciones and Volcanic Life – for feeding the dogs for the past five days.    They are resolved to continue as long as safety and meteorological conditions allow.
    The companies have been assisted by veterinarians who choose the nourishment and decide on portions befitting the situation.
    The council told Reuters helicopters cannot fly in the area due to the hot air emanating from the lava and volcanic ash that can damage the rotors, so the dogs cannot be airlifted for the moment.
    Elsewhere in La Palma, humans set up a makeshift animal shelter in a school playground to rehouse hundreds of pets made homeless when their owners fled the Cumbre Vieja volcano that erupted on Sept. 19.
    With no end in sight to the flows of molten rock that have laid waste to nearly 600 hectares and some 1,200 buildings, and forced thousands to evacuate, authorities on Tuesday ordered another 700 residents to abandon their homes.
(Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Mike Collett-White)

10/13/2021 Countries Call For Urgent Action On Biodiversity With ‘Kunming Declaration’ by David Stanway
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A giant panda rests on a tree "panda kindergarten", a refuge for baby pandas,
inside Bifengxia giant panda base in Ya'an, Sichuan province April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
    KUNMING, China (Reuters) - More than 100 countries pledged on Wednesday to put the protection of habitats at the heart of their government decision-making but they stopped short of committing to specific targets to curb mass extinctions.
    Chinese Environment Minister Huang Runqiu told delegates to a U.N. Biodiversity Conference in the city of Kunming that the declaration they adopted was a document of political will not a binding international agreement.
    The Kunming Declaration calls for “urgent and integrated action” to reflect biodiversity considerations in all sectors of the global economy but crucial issues – like funding conservation in poorer countries and committing to biodiversity-friendly supply chains – have been left to discuss later.
    With plant and animal species loss now at the fastest rate in 10 million years, politicians, scientists and experts have been trying to lay the groundwork for a new pact on saving biodiversity.
    In a previous agreement signed in Aichi, Japan, in 2010, governments agreed on 20 targets to try to slow biodiversity loss and protect habitats by 2020, but none of those targets was met.
    At the heart of efforts to save nature is a call by the United Nations for countries to protect and conserve 30% of their territory by 2030 – a target known as ’30 by 30,’ which the conference acknowledged though it was not clear to what extent host China backed it.
    “The declaration made a reference to the ’30 by 30' target, but did not indicate if Beijing is on board with it or not,” said Li Shuo, senior climate adviser with environment group Greenpeace.
    A 30% pledge could prove too much for land-stressed China, which has nearly 10,000 nature reserves covering 18% of its territory.
    “There are academics who say they think 24%, 25% might be reasonable, but even getting to the 18% was challenging, so 30% might be difficult,” said Alice Hughes, a conservation biologist attending the talks on behalf of the Beijing-based China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation.
    A one-size fits-all target would also be inappropriate for countries like Indonesia and Brazil, where a 30% goal would actually allow more deforestation, she added.
    Elizabeth Mrema, executive secretary of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, played down the importance of the adoption of the specific 30% target.
    “We need to keep in mind that we must focus on biodiversity outcomes rather than spatial area,” she told Reuters.
‘TOO SLOW’
    Apart from the question of targets for conservation, some activists have complained that disagreement over the wording of the declaration had diverted delegates’ attention when urgent action was needed.
    A first draft of the declaration, released in August, included political slogans associated with Chinese President Xi Jinping, which caused tension and underlined what some critics said was China’s inexperience in shepherding international agreements through to conclusion.
    After feedback from more than 40 countries, Xi’s slogan “lucid waters and lush mountains” was removed from the text, though the Chinese concept of “ecological civilisation” was retained.
    There were complaints, particularly from Japan, that China had pushed the declaration through without sufficient discussion, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
    “Basically they felt that there had been insufficient time for consultation on some of the declarations,” said Hughes.
    Huang told delegates that China had followed the same procedures used to adopt previous biodiversity agreements.
    However, Li said it remained to be seen whether China had the experience to drive through a new pact during a second phase of talks next year.
    “Our global biodiversity crisis is urgent but so far the Convention on Biological Diversity’s progress has been too slow,” he said.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Edwina Gibbs, Robert Birsel)

10/14/2021 Boldly going where no 90-year-old has gone before - ‘Star Trek’ star William Shatner calls trip to final frontier ‘unbelievable’ by Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY
    William Shatner can now say he’s gone boldly where no man (his age) has gone before.
    He’s certainly not the first person to visit space, but as of Wednesday, the “Star Trek” veteran is the oldest.    At 90, the actor joined Blue Origin, founded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2000, for its second human spaceflight.    Shatner and three others were launched in a New Shepard rocket from the aerospace company’s West Texas launch site just before 11 a.m. EDT.
    The crew safely landed back on Earth several minutes later, when Shatner could be heard saying the experience was “unlike anything they described.”    All four passengers on board gave a thumbs up to the recovery crew upon landing to indicate they were OK.
    Bezos greeted the passengers with a double thumbs-up outside the landing capsule, followed by the passengers’ family and friends, who cheered and applauded.
    “In a way it’s indescribable,” Shatner told Bezos.    “Not only is it different than what you thought, it happened so quickly.    The impression I had that I never expected to have is the shooting up: There’s blue sky –” he paused as Bezos sprayed a bottle of champagne.
    “Everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see it,” Shatner continued.    “It was unbelievable.    The little things – the weightless – but to see the blue color (of the sky) whip by you and now you’re staring into blackness. … And then it’s gone.    It was so moving. This experience did something unbelievable.”
    An emotional Shatner reiterated to Bezos how in awe he was of what he saw and how it prompted him to consider life and death.
    “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine,” he told Bezos.    “I hope I never recover from this.”
    Shatner, best known for playing Captain James T. Kirk in the “Star Trek” franchise, said in a press release on Oct. 4 that he had “heard about space for a long time now” and was “taking the opportunity to see it for myself.”
    But Shatner also admitted to being nervous to go to space.
    “I’m terrified!” he said during New York Comic Con last Thursday, according to Space.com.    “I know! ... I’m Captain bloody Kirk and I’m terrified!
    The launch had been scheduled for Tuesday but forecasted high winds prompted a delay to the following day.    Blue Origin announced prior to the launch that it would last just 10 minutes, with the fully automated capsule reaching a maximum altitude of about 66 miles before parachuting back into the desert.
    Along with Shatner, the spaceflight passengers in Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight were Audrey Powers, Blue Origin’s vice president of mission and flight operations; Chris Boshuizen, a tech entrepreneur; and Glen de Vries, the founder of a clinical trials software company.    The latter two passengers paid for tickets for the flight – Blue Origin has not publicly disclosed the price of tickets, though Bezos has previously said totals of tickets sold were nearing $100 million.
    A statement on Blue Origin’s website added that New Shepard NS-18 met all mission requirements and the astronauts were prepared through training.
    Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight launched on July 20, when it flew Bezos, Bezos’ brother Mark, Mercury 13 aviator Wally Funk (formerly the oldest person in space) and 18-year-old student Oliver Daemen (son of a hedge fund manager) to suborbital space.
    Contributing: Rob Landers, Florida Today; Marcia Dunn, Associated Press;
    Martha Pskowski, El Paso Times; and John Bacon and Emre Kelly, USA TODAY
    “What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine.” William Shatner, Actor, to Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos
William Shatner, who was Capt. James T. Kirk in “Star Trek,” said he wanted to see space for himself. AP

Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket carrying passengers William Shatner, Chris Boshuizen, Audrey Powers
and Glen de Vries blasts off from its spaceport near Van Horn, Texas, on Wednesday. LM OTERO/AP

10/14/2021 Storm Pamela Knocks Down Trees, Floods Streets In Western Mexico
A man speaks on his mobile phone as hurricane Pamela pounds the Pacific coast resort with strong
winds as it makes landfall in Mazatlan, Mexico October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Hurricane Pamela was set to dissipate on Wednesday night after knocking down trees, damaging businesses and flooding streets in the western Mexican state of Sinaloa, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Mexican officials said.
    Mexico’s National Guard police said officers helped some people trapped in their homes by flooding, and were working to clear debris and dozens of fallen trees in the beach resort of Mazatlan.    Some shops and restaurants in the area were damaged, the National Guard added in a statement.
    Mexican authorities opened 40 temporary shelters in Sinaloa in anticipation of heavy rains and winds.
    Reuters images showed palm tree fronds whipping in the wind and a bank with its windows blown out.
    Sinaloa is the country’s top grower of corn, Mexico’s staple grain, as well as a major producer of tomatoes and other fruits that figure prominently in the country’s agricultural exports to the United States.
    The NHC’s latest advisory ranked Pamela as a tropical depression about 255 miles (415 km) northeast of Mazatlan and said it was packing maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 kph).
    “The center of Pamela will continue to move over Central Mexico until dissipation,” the NHC said.
    Pamela is set to unleash another 1 to 3 inches of rain in western Durango state and northern Nayarit state on Wednesday evening, before bringing rain to parts of Texas and Oklahoma through Thursday.
    Swells generated by Pamela are expected to affect portions of the southern Baja California peninsula and southwestern and west-central mainland Mexico through Wednesday evening, likely producing “life-threatening” surf and rip conditions, the NHC added.     Before reaching Sinaloa, Pamela passed near the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, home to key tourist destinations such as Los Cabos, where no damage was reported.
(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez, Anthony Esposito and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)

10/14/2021 Alisal Fire In Calif. Prompts New Evacuations, Air Quality Advisory by OAN Newsroom
GOLETA, CA – OCTOBER 12: Firefighters battle the Alisal Fire on October 12, 2021
near Goleta, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
    A massive wildfire in Southern California rages on. The Alisal Fire has so far, spread across more than 16,000 acres in Santa Barbara County.
    The flames have prompted new evacuations as it threatens homes and ranches.    Officials have also issued an air quality advisory throughout the region as smoke from the blaze drifts into Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside Counties.
    More than 1,300 personnel have been battling the fire, which is only five percent contained as of Thursday.    Officials said drought conditions and strong winds have been fueling the flames.
    “We’ll see some see-sawing action on this fire over the next few days and we’ll be very, very busy out there.    We expect that for weeks, you will see, if not months, you’ll see fire crews out there putting out hotspots on this fire,” said Chief Mark Hartwig of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
    Crews have been fighting the fire on the ground and from the air. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) has reportedly received federal assistance to help with the response to the fire.

10/15/2021 Fire In Southern Taiwan Kills 46
A damaged residential building following a fire is pictured in
Kaohsiung, Taiwan October 15, 2021. REUTERS/I-Hwa Cheng
    TAIPEI (Reuters) - A fire in a residential building in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung has killed 46 people and injured another 41, the government said on Thursday.
    The fire broke out in the 40-year-old building in Kaohsiung’s Yancheng district in the early hours of the morning and was extinguished around dawn.
    The Kaohsiung fire department said in a statement that after completing a search of the building they were able to confirm 46 deaths.
    Mayor Chen Chi-mai said the building was partly abandoned, having previously been host to restaurants, karaoke lounges and a cinema.
    The government is investigating the cause including whether arson was to blame.
(Reporting by Ben BlanchardEditing by Peter Graff)

10/15/2021 Hundreds More Flee As Lava Spreads On Spain’s La Palma
Flames blaze near a soccer pitch on Spain's La Palma island on October 14, 2021 as red hot lava flows
from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, in this screen grab taken from video. REUTERS TV/via REUTERS
    LA PALMA (Reuters) – Around 300 more people fled their homes early on Thursday as flows of molten rock pouring from the Cumbre Vieja volcano threatened to engulf another area on the Spanish island of La Palma.
    Emergency crews gave people living between the towns of Tazacorte and La Laguna a few hours to collect their belongings and pets and go to a meeting point.
    During the morning, a 4.5 magnitude earthquake rocked the island, the Spanish National Geographic Institute said – the strongest of 100 quakes that have hit the eruption zone over the past 24 hours.
    Tremors have been recorded almost constantly since before the eruption.
    With no end in sight to the eruption, which is in its fourth week, authorities said they were expecting the lava flow to keep spreading northwest from the volcano.
    Red hot lava has already laid waste to nearly 600 hectares of land and destroyed about 1,500 houses and other buildings, including a cement plant that gave off toxic fumes earlier in the week.
    The flow has also devoured banana and avocado plantations vital to the island’s economy.
    According to the official register, 300 people live in the area located between Tazacorte and La Laguna.
    A small group of between 10 and 15 people who lived nearby already left on Wednesday evening.    More than 6,000 people have been evacuated on the island of 83,000 people.
(Reporting by Silvio Castellanos, Sergio Perez and Bart Biesemans; Writing by Emma Pinedo; Editing by Inti Landauro, Robert Birsel and Andrew Heavens)

10/15/2021 NASA’s ‘Lucy’ Spacecraft Set To Visit Multiple Asteroids by OAN Newsroom
This photo provided by NASA shows a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with the Lucy spacecraft aboard at Space Launch Complex 41,
Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Lucy will be the first spacecraft to study Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids.
Like the mission’s namesake – the fossilized human ancestor, “Lucy,” whose skeleton provided unique insight into humanity’s evolution
– Lucy will revolutionize our knowledge of planetary origins and the formation of the solar system. (Bill Ingalls/NASA via AP)
    NASA scientists discussed their latest mission of launching a spacecraft to explore asteroids in our solar system.    On Thursday, officials said they are targeting to launch the vessel for its 12-year mission this coming weekend.
    NASA’s ‘Lucy’ spacecraft will travel nearly 4 billion-miles as it sets out to explore and even destroy swarms of asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit.    Researchers said the spacecraft gets to fly closely near these objects, allowing them to be able to see what the asteroids really look like.
    “We’re going to study the geology, surface composition, bulk properties and we’re going to search for satellites around these objects,” explained Cathy Olkin of the Southwestern Research Institute.    “I’ll give you a flavor for some of our science investigations.    One of them is to map the craters across our surfaces, the surface of the trojan asteroids.    We’re going to look for craters smaller than a football field.”
    According to scientists, this mission is an outstanding opportunity and may unlock vital clues into the history of our solar system.

10/15/2021 German Couple Take Refuge On Boat As Volcano Threatens Their Spanish Home by Bart Biesemans
FILE PHOTO: The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava as it continues to erupt on the Canary Island
of La Palma, as seen from Tajuya, Spain, October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
    LA PALMA (Reuters) -Juergen Doelz and his girlfriend Jacqueline Rehm were in the process of selling their small sailboat on the Spanish island of La Palma when the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted, forcing them to flee their dream home and move to the boat.
    Doelz, 66, and Rehm, 49, who are from Germany, had been trying to sell the boat to save money after she lost her job at a car rental company due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    On Sept. 19, when the volcano starting spewing red-hot lava just 4 km (2-1/2 miles) from their home in Todoque, the couple had just returned from a trip with a potential buyer.    But the sale fell through as the yacht was “not sporty enough,” Doelz told     Reuters on the boat, moored in Tazacorte port.
    A few hours later, they were ordered to evacuate their rented house with its vineyard and terrace with a sea view and had to leave behind most of their belongings.
    “Luckily we still had the boat. … And since then we have been living on this boat.    It’s small, but it’s OK,” said Doelz, who is retired.
    A new vent spewed gas at the southeastern side of the main vent on Friday, said the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute.
    “What the volcano is leaving behind is a desolate scene for many families, for the island in general because it has a very direct impact on the island’s economy.    If strong action is not taken people will have a bad time,” Civil Guard officer Raul Campillo told Reuters.
    Streams of lava have laid waste to more than 600 hectares (1,480 acres) of land and destroyed about 1,600 buildings on La Palma. About 6,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the island, which has about 83,000 inhabitants.
    “We moved here (La Palma) two and a half years ago and after half a year we found our dream house. … To lose that after two years, it’s hard,” Doelz said.
    Although the lava has not yet engulfed their home they believe it’s just a matter of time after the flow destroyed their Swiss neighbours’ place and as the eruption is showing no signs of abating.
    “We’ll stay on the boat as long as we don’t know what to do next.    Shall we stay here or shall we maybe go to another island, like Tenerife?    No idea, I don’t know.    It’s written in the stars,” Rehm explained.
(Aditional reporting by Graham Keeley, Emma Pinedo and Jesus Aguado, writing by Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip, Jane Merriman and Jonathan Oatis)

10/16/2021 NASA To Launch First Space Probe To Study Jupiter’s Trojan Asteroids
The capsule with NASA's Lucy spacecraft, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket for a mission to
study the Trojan asteroids in the outer solar system, stands at Pad-41 in preparation for launch at
Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. October 15, 2021. REUTERS/Steve Nesius
    (Reuters) – NASA is set on Saturday to launch a first-of-its kind mission, dubbed Lucy, to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, two large clusters of space rocks that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed the solar system’s outer planets.
    The space probe, packed inside a special cargo capsule, is due for liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:34 a.m. EDT (0934 GMT), carried aloft by an Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance (UAL), a joint venture of Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp.
    If all goes according to plan, Lucy will be hurled into space on a 12-year expedition to study a record number of asteroids.    It will be the first to explore the Trojans, thousands of rocky objects orbiting the sun in two swarms – one ahead of the path of giant gas planet Jupiter and one behind it.
    The largest known Trojan asteroids, named for the warriors of Greek mythology, are believed to measure as much as 225 kilometers (140 miles) in diameter.
    Scientists hope Lucy’s close-up fly-by of seven Trojans will yield new clues to how the solar system’s planets came to be formed some 4.5 billion years ago and what shaped their present configuration.
    Believed to be rich in carbon compounds, the asteroids may even provide new insights into the origin of organic materials and life on Earth, NASA said.
    “The Trojan asteroids are leftovers from the early days of our solar system, effectively the fossils of planet formation,” principal mission investigator Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, was quoted by NASA as saying.
    No other single science mission has been designed to visit as many different objects independently orbiting the sun in the history of space exploration, NASA said.
    As well as the Trojans, Lucy will do a fly-by of an asteroid in the solar system’s main asteroid belt, called DonaldJohanson in honor of the lead discoverer of the fossilized human ancestor known as Lucy, from which the NASA mission takes its name.    The Lucy fossil, unearthed in Ethiopia in 1974, was in turn named for the Beatles hit “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
    Lucy the asteroid probe will make spaceflight history in another way. Following a route that circles back to Earth three times for gravitational assists, it will be the first spacecraft ever to return to Earth’s vicinity from the outer solar system, according to NASA.
    The probe will use rocket thrusters to maneuver in space and two rounded solar arrays, each the width of a school bus, to recharge batteries that will power the instruments contained in the much smaller central body of the spacecraft.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

10/16/2021 Earthquake Of Magnitude 4.8 Strikes Bali, Kills Three
A man is seen among damaged buildings of a temple after a 4.8 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Bali,
in Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia October 16, 2021, in this photo taken by Antara Foto/Fikri Yusuf/via REUTERS.
    JAKARTA (Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 4.8 struck Indonesia’s Bali island on Saturday morning, killing at least three people, Indonesia’s search and rescue agency said.
    The quake affected the Karangasem and Bangli districts on the eastern side of the tourist island and a search has been concluded, the agency said in a statement, but authorities were continuing to monitor situation.
    A landslide triggered by the quake killed two of the victims, the agency said. A third, a three-year old girl, was killed by falling debris.
    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the 4.8 magnitude quake struck off Banjar Wangsian, and put its depth at 10 km (6.21 miles).
    “All affected by the quake have been evacuated while data on damage is still being collected by Bali’s disaster mitigation agency,” search and rescue official Gede Darmada said in the statement.
    Rescue services evacuated people across a lake as the road to the stricken community had been cut off by a landslide, he added.
    There was no significant damage in other parts of Bali, while the quake was felt also in the neighbouring island of Lombok, local media reported.
    Bali reopened for international tourists on Thursday after 18 months of pandemic restrictions, but they are only expected to start arriving later this month.
(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy, Yuddy Cahya Budiman and Juby Babu; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

10/16/2021 China Launches Second Crewed Mission To Build Space Station
The Long March-2F Y13 rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft and three astronauts in China's second crewed mission to build its own space station,
launches at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center near Jiuquan, Gansu province, China October 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
    JIUQUAN, China (Reuters) - China on Saturday launched a rocket carrying three astronauts – two men and one woman – to the core module of a future space station where they will live and work for six months, the longest orbit for Chinese astronauts.
    A Long March-2F rocket carrying the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, which means “Divine Vessel” blasted off from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu at 12:23 a.m. (1623 GMT on Friday).
    The vessel successfully docked to the port of the space station on at 6:56 a.m. (2156 GMT), and the astronauts entered the space station’s core module at 10:03 a.m., the China Manned Space Agency said.
    China began constructing the space station in April with the launch of Tianhe – the first and largest of the station’s three modules.    Slightly bigger than a city bus, Tianhe will be the living quarters of the completed space station.br>     Shenzhou-13 is the second of four crewed missions needed to complete the space station by the end of 2022.    During the first crewed mission https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/science/chinese-astronauts-return-after-90-day-mission-space-station-2021-09-17 that concluded in September, three other astronauts stayed on Tianhe for 90 days.
    In the latest mission, astronauts will carry out tests of the key technologies and robotics on Tianhe needed to assemble the space station, verify onboard life support systems and conduct a host of scientific experiments.
    The mission commander is Zhai Zhigang, 55, from China’s first batch of astronaut trainees in the late 1990s.    Born to a rural family with six children, Zhai carried out China’s first spacewalk in 2008.    Shenzhou-13 was his second space mission.
    “The most challenging task will be the long-term stay in orbit for six months,” Zhai told a news conference on Thursday.    “It will exact higher demands (on us), both physically and psychologically.”
    He was accompanied by Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu, both 41.
    Wang, also born to a rural family, is known among colleagues for her tenacity.    The former air force pilot first travelled to space in 2013, to Tiangong-1, a prototype space lab.
    She is China’s second female astronaut in space, following Liu Yang in 2012.
    Shenzhou-13 is the first space mission for the third astronaut, Ye.
    After the crew returns to Earth in April, China plans to deploy six more missions, including deliveries of the second and third space station modules and two final crewed missions.
    China, barred by U.S. law from working with NASA and by extension on the International Space Station (ISS), has spent the past decade developing technologies to build its own.
    With the ISS set to retire in a few years, China’s space station will become the only one in Earth’s orbit.
    China’s space programme has come far since late leader Mao Zedong lamented that the country could not even launch a potato into space.    China became the third country to put a man in space with its own rocket, in October 2003, following the former Soviet Union and the United States.
(Reporting by Carlos Garcia and Xihao Jiang; additional reporting by Josh Horwitz; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Nick Macfie and William Mallard)

10/17/2021 No End In Sight To Volcanic Eruption On Spain’s La Palma – Canaries President by Miguel Gutierrez
Lava spewed by the Cumbre Vieja volcano flows down a hill as it continues to erupt on the
Canary Island of La Palma, as seen from Tajuya, Spain, October 17, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) -There’s no immediate end in sight to the volcanic eruption that has caused chaos on the Spanish isle of La Palma since it began about a month ago, the president of the Canary Islands said on Sunday.
    There were 42 seismic movements on the island on Sunday, the largest of which measured 4.3, according to the Spanish National Geographical Institute.
    “There are no signs that an end of the eruption is imminent even though this is the greatest desire of everyone,” President Angel Víctor Torres said at a Socialist party conference in Valencia, citing the view of scientists.
    Streams of lava have laid waste to more than 742 hectares (1833 acres) of land and destroyed almost 2,000 buildings on La Palma since the volcano started erupting on Sept. 19.
    About 7,000 people have been evacuated from their homes on the island, which has about 83,000 inhabitants and forms part of the Canary Islands archipelago off northwestern Africa.
    Airline Binter said it had cancelled all its flights to La Palma on Sunday because of ash from the volcano.
    “Due to the current situation of the ash cloud, operations with La Palma will continue to be paralyzed throughout today.    We continue to evaluate the situation,” the airline tweeted.
    Almost half – 22 out of 38 – of all flights to the island on Sunday have been cancelled, state airport operator Aena said, but the airport there remains open.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Pravin Char)

10/17/2021 MSC Cargo Ship Investigated Amid Calif. Oil Spill Probe by OAN Newsroom
The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) cargo ship Daniela, filled with containers, waits offshore for entry to the
Port of Los Angeles on October 6, 2021 in San Pedro, California. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
    California’s attorney general announced his office is opening an investigation into the oil pipeline leak in Huntington Beach. During a press conference Monday, Rob Bonta discussed the probe into what caused the major crude oil spill.
    His announcement came as state and city officials reopened beaches to surfers as well as swimmers after they had been closed for over a week due to the leak.    Water quality tests reportedly showed no detectable levels of oil-associated toxins on the shoreline.
    Bonta said depending on what the investigation turns up, charges will be filed if the law was broken.    He has confirmed oil company Amplify Energy is at the center of his investigation.
    “We also wanted to know how this happened, who knew and when,” stated the state attorney general.    “That’s why today I’m announcing that the California Department of Justice is investigating the oil spill off the coast of Huntington Beach.    Our investigation will determine the facts and who is ultimately responsible.    If our laws were violated, we will hold those responsible accountable.”
    The U.S. Coast Guard revealed the underwater pipeline, which caused the oil spill off the coast of Southern California, was initially damaged several months to a year ago.    In a press conference on Friday, officials said video evidence shows the pipeline was intact in October 2020, but has since moved 150 feet.    The investigation has, so far, revealed a ship’s anchor dragged the pipeline, but it wasn’t the only factor which contributed to the rupture.
    “When I say multiple incidents, we know that the oil spill started occurring later, at least was noticed later, than several months ago,” announced Capt. Jason Neubauer, U.S. Coast Guard.    “So there could be contributing incidents down the line, either anchor strikes or geological events.”
    The oil spill created an environmental disaster, which threatened marine life and impacted coastal communities.
    Coast Guard officials said the investigation is still underway and will now focus on vessel movement above the pipeline over the past year.
    Last week, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore confirmed about 4,000 feet of the pipeline, located off the coast of Huntington Beach, was somehow moved. She added, they also spotted a split in the line at the bend’s peak.
    Meanwhile, Amplify Energy President Martyn Willsher said it’s rare for a pipeline to move the way it did.    He asserted that he will not speculate about the cause, but will wait for a full investigation to determine the factors.
    More than 140,000 gallons of oil spilled out of the pipeline since the rupture was first discovered.    The spill caused serious ecological impacts and a major disaster declaration was requested for Orange County. Officials said cleaning up the spill was considered a high priority.
    Some people are also still questioning whether Amplify Energy was aware of the problem before reporting it to the public.    Federal and state laws require immediate notification of spills and pipeline safety regulators reported the time of the incident at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, even though the pipeline wasn’t shut off until around 6 a.m. that same day.
    Meanwhile, California congressman is now pushing to preserve natural resources following the massive oil spill.    Rep. Mike Levin (D) surveyed the damage on Monday.    He said it’s inconceivable to keep drilling off the California coast considering it doesn’t make up that much oil for the country as a whole.    The lawmaker also said there are only 23 active oil rigs in a 200-mile span.
    “Why in the world are we drilling for oil out here in this beautiful place with millions and millions of people?” asked the Democrat lawmaker.    “And our entire coastal tourism economy, the thousands and thousands of jobs directly linked to having clean beaches and clean water…it’s just inconceivable to me that we would keep drilling for oil.”
    Levine reiterated he has authored legislation, which would end all new offshore oil drilling off California’s coast.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard will be questioning the owner and operator of an MSC Mediterranean shipping company cargo ship in connection with the spill.    Authorities boarded the vessel in the Port of Long Beach on Saturday, suspecting it was responsible for dragging its anchor across the ocean floor and rupturing the Southern California Pipeline.
    As a result, officials said the owner of MSC Danit and the Dordellas Finance Corporation were named as parties of interest. The cargo ship is just one of several ships under investigation as the probe continues.
FILE – This Oct. 4, 2021, aerial file photo shows floating barriers known as booms set up to try to stop further incursion
into the Wetlands Talbert Marsh after an oil spill in Huntington Beach, Calif. Finding the cause of the major oil spill,
who’s to blame and if they will be held accountable could take a long time. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

10/18/2021 Explainer – Sticking Points At The U.N. Climate Conference by Nina Chestney
FILE PHOTO: A truck drives by as steam rises from the five brown coal-fired power units of RWE, one of Europe's biggest
electricity companies in Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany, Germany, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Representatives from nearly 200 countries will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31-Nov. 12 for climate talks to strengthen action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
    Amid extreme weather events around the world and following a United Nations’ climate report which warned that global warming was close to spiralling out of control, the actions of governments at this conference will determine whether it is a success.     Here are some of the issues which need to be resolved:
EMISSIONS CUT PLEDGES
    Six years ago in Paris, countries agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and ideally 1.5C. To do this, emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 and reach net-zero by around mid-century.
    As the U.N. conference was postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year is the deadline for countries to make steeper emissions cut pledges (called nationally determined contributions or NDCs).
    A U.N. analysis of new or revised NDCs submitted by the end of July found that by 2030, those 113 countries would together lower their emissions by 12% from 2010 levels.
    But the available NDCs of all 191 parties of the Paris Agreement combined equate to a 16% increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 compared to 2010, it said.
    Around 120 countries have so far submitted revised NDCs, but there is a lack of consistency with no common timeframe for realising pledges.    There are also a variety of approaches in the NDCs, making comparability difficult.
    Negotiators also need to agree on common timeframes for future emissions cuts.
    Major emitters China, India, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – together responsible for around a third of global greenhouse gas emissions – have not yet come forward with strengthened NDCs and need to do so at this conference, known as COP26.
FINANCE
    As far back as 2009, developed countries agreed to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries deal with the impacts of climate change.
    However, the most recent data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows that in 2019, developed nations’ governments raised $79.6 billion for vulnerable countries, up 2% from $78.3 billion in 2018.
    As rich nations are not meeting the $100 billion a year goal, it can break down trust at the climate talks, experts say.    And a new finance goal needs to be worked out for 2025 onwards.
LOSS AND DAMAGE
    Governments agreed to address the impact of climate change on developing countries but there is no detail about liability or compensation, a bone of contention for many poorer countries.
    A platform to enable technical assistance for vulnerable countries was established in 2019 but developing nations want a more robust mechanism to include financing.
FOSSIL FUELS
    The UK COP26 president, Alok Sharma, has said he wants this conference to be the one where coal power is consigned to history.
    The U.N. has called for phasing out coal by 2030 in OECD countries but environment ministers from the Group of 20 big economies have failed to agree a timeline.
ARTICLE 6
    Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which covers the role of carbon markets, has not been resolved since the pact was struck.    Progress on it broke down at the last talks in 2019.
    The article calls for “robust accounting” to avoid “double counting” of emissions reductions.    It also aims to establish a central U.N. mechanism to trade carbon credits from emissions reductions generated from low-carbon projects.
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

10/19/2021 A mysterious and powerful radio signal from space is repeating itself by Nicole Karlis Salon
© Provided by Salon Radio tower emitting - Radio tower emitting Getty Images/alengo
    Outer space is chirping, and no one quite knows why.
    Known as fast radio bursts, or FRBs for short, these very brief yet incredibly powerful bursts of radio wave energy appear to be coming from all corners of the universe.    And while astronomers can pick up such signals, they are, because of their brief duration, very difficult to study.    Very few of them ever repeat; and since they only last a millisecond, telescopes can rarely focus on them in time to get a good look.    Moreover, astronomers do not quite know exactly where they are coming from, or where the next one might land.
    All of this uncertainty around fast radio bursts has only heightened their mystery.
    But astronomers may have found some answers in a fast radio burst that, unusually, repeats — which has given them more opportunities to study the strange signals.
    Dubbed FRB 121102, the first repeating FRB has revealed new insights about this mysterious phenomenon.    According to a study published in Nature last week, an international group of scientists found 1,652 independent radio bursts from the same source over the course of 47 days between August 29 and October 29, 2019.    The analysis is significant for being the largest set of FRBs ever recorded from a single source.    At one point during observation, 122 radio bursts occurred in the span of one hour from the source.
    "This was the first time that one FRB source was studied in such great detail," said astrophysicist Bing Zhang, an astrophysicist at the University of Nevada–Las Vegas and one of the study's corresponding authors.    "The large burst set helped our team hone in like never before on the characteristic energy and energy distribution of FRBs, which sheds new light on the engine that powers these mysterious phenomena."
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    Part of the mystery around FRBs is that they are relatively new to science. Scientists discovered the first FRBs in 2007, and have since turned to powerful radio telescopes to track down the bursts and search for clues on where they originate and how they are produced.    One prominent theory on their origins is that they spawn from a type of incredibly dense neutron star called a magnetar, which have some of the strongest magnetic fields in the universe.    Another theory posits that FRBs emerge from shock waves traveling at near light-speed outside a magnetosphere.
    In a news release, Zhang said the latest observations "pose great challenges to the latter model."
    "The bursts are too frequent and — given that this episode alone amounts to 3.8% of the energy available from a magnetar — it adds up to too much energy for the second model to work," Zhang said.
    Pei Wang, one of the article's lead authors from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), agreed.
    "During its most active phase, FRB 121102 included 122 bursts measured within a one-hour period, the highest repeat rate ever observed for any FRB," Wang said.
    Indeed, in a separate study published in Nature in June 2020 suggested that some fast radio bursts could be coming from a magnetar in our galaxy nearly 10,000 parsecs away.
    "Because magnetars are spinning quickly and have powerful magnetic fields, they have huge reservoirs of energy that can produce outbursts," Alexandra Witze wrote in Nature.    "One idea about the source of these outbursts is that something happening inside the magnetar — such as a 'starquake,' analogous to an earthquake — could crack its surface and release energy."
    While their precise causes remain a mystery, astrophysicists have mostly ruled out the possibility that these mysterious radio waves are coming from an alien civilization, as Salon has previously reported.
    "It is unlikely that all FRBs are from alien civilizations due to the power requirements at cosmological distances, but possible," Avi Loeb, the former chair of Harvard's astronomy department previously told Salon.

10/19/2021 As Africa’s Glaciers Melt, Millions Face Drought And Floods, U.N. Says by Tim Cocks
FILE PHOTO: Mount Kenya is seen from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia
national park, Kenya, May 22 , 2019. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File Photo
    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Africa’s fabled eastern glaciers will vanish in two decades, 118 million poor people face drought, floods or extreme heat, and climate change could shrink the continent’s economy by 3% by mid-century, the U.N. climate agency warned on Tuesday.
    The latest report on the state of Africa’s climate by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and African Union agencies paints a dire picture of the continent’s ability to adapt to increasingly frequent weather disasters.
    The report says last year was Africa’s third warmest on record, according to one set of data, 0.86 degrees Celsius above the average in the three decades leading to 2010.    It has mostly warmed slower than high-latitude temperate zones, but the impact is still devastating.
    “The rapid shrinking of the last remaining glaciers in eastern Africa, which are expected to melt entirely in the near future, signals the threat of … irreversible change to the Earth system,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a foreword to the report.
    The report came as African countries demanded a new system to track funding from wealthy nations that are failing to meet a $100-billion annual target to help the developing world tackle climate change.
    The demand by Africa’s top climate negotiator Tanguy Gahouma, ahead of the COP26 climate summit, highlights tensions between the world’s 20 largest economies that produce more than three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions, and developing countries that are bearing the brunt of global warming.
‘EXTREME HEAT’
    The report forecast that at current rates all three of Africa’s tropical ice fields – Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro, Kenya’s Mount Kenya, and Uganda’s Rwenzoris, which are often identified as the location of the legendary Mountains of the Moon – would be gone by the 2040s.
    In addition, “By 2030, it is estimated that up to 118 million extremely poor people (living on less than $1.90 per day) will be exposed to drought, floods and extreme heat … if adequate response measures are not put in place,” African Union Agriculture Commissioner Josefa Sacko said.
    Africa, which accounts for less than 4% of greenhouse gas emissions, has long been expected to be severely impacted by climate change.    Its croplands are already drought-prone, many of its major cities hug the coast, and widespread poverty makes it harder for people to adapt.
    Apart from worsening drought on a continent heavily reliant on agriculture, there was extensive flooding in East and West Africa in 2020, the report noted, while a locust infestation of historic proportions, which began a year earlier, continued to wreak havoc.
    The report estimated that sub-Saharan Africa would need to spend $30-$50 billion, or 2-3% of GDP, each year on adaptation to avert even worse consequences.
    An estimated 1.2 million people were displaced by storms and floods in 2020, nearly two and half times as many people as fled their homes because of conflict in the same year.
(Additional reporting by Alessandra Prentice in Libreville; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/19/2021 Explainer-Net Zero: Just Patching Over Emissions Or Path For Saving Planet? by Shadia Nasralla and Susanna Twidale
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises above a factory at sunset in Rugby, Britain February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Matthew Childs/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – More than 190 countries committed in 2015 to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels in an effort to stave off the worst effects of climate change such as drought, flooding and loss of species.
    Scientists say bringing global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2050 is the way to meet the central goal of the Paris Agreement, although it was left to individual states to work out how to achieve what they signed up to.
    Some such as Britain and France have enshrined a net zero 2050 target into law, while many other countries and countless companies have stated policies aiming for net zero by 2050.
    On Tuesday the British government published its Net Zero Strategy, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson said would put the country at the vanguard of green economies, forcing competitors such as China and Russia to follow its lead.
    But what does net zero mean and will it set the world on a path to meeting its Paris goals?
WHAT DOES NET ZERO MEAN?
    Net zero does not mean zero emissions but balancing out remaining greenhouse gas emissions with other actions.
    While countries and companies say they will cut emissions as much as possible, net zero means that some sectors are expected to still be releasing greenhouse gases in 2050.
    To offset them, emitters count on projects that cut emissions elsewhere or on using natural solutions or technology to stop emissions reaching the atmosphere.
    Natural solutions include planting trees or restoring soil or wetlands, while technical projects include capturing and storing CO2 when it is emitted, or sucking carbon out of the air – all of which have yet to make a difference to the climate, given their use remains relatively small-scale.
WILL TREES AND OFFSETS DELIVER?
    Countless voluntary initiatives have sprung up offering offset certificates based on forestry projects and other nature-based solutions which individuals and corporates can buy.
    Critics say such offsets are a fig-leaf for continued fossil fuel consumption.    They point to a lack of common standards and hard-to-verify baselines determining the added climate value of projects underlying offset certificates.
    An August report by charity Oxfam said using land alone to remove the world’s carbon emissions to achieve net zero by 2050 would require new forests at least five times the size of India or more than all the farmland on the planet.
    Proponents say offsets are a useful tool to boost investment in protecting nature while the global economy moves to net zero.
CARBON CAPTURE’S CONTRIBUTION
    Typically carbon capture and storage (CCS) refers to types of filter on industrial smokestacks and projects to store the filtered carbon underground, for example in disused oil fields.
    Most current CCS projects can decarbonise high-emitting industrial processes.    They do not suck any carbon out of the atmosphere but just prevent new carbon from entering.
    While the technology is proven, global CCS capacity is at only about 40 million tonnes of CO2e.
NEGATIVE EMISSIONS?
    There is technology that results in negative emissions, for example direct air capture (DAC) or projects that combine bioenergy with technology to capture and store carbon emissions.
    A June report by the Coalition for Negative Emissions (CNE) said the pipline of projects in development could remove only around 150 million tonnes of CO2 by 2025, making only a tiny dent in global emissions, which hit a record 59.1 billion tonnes in 2020, according to a UN Environment Programme report.
SETTING A CARBON BUDGET
    Greenhouse gases are not just made up of CO2 but also gases such as CH4 (methane) and N2O (nitrous oxide), which are often expressed in terms of tonnes of CO2 equivalent or tCO2e.
    In 2019, atmospheric CO2 concentrations were higher than at any time in at least 2 million years and concentrations of CH4 and N2O were higher than at any time in at least 800,000 years.
    Global CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emissions hit a record 59.1 billion tonnes in 2020, the report by the UN Environment Programme said in April.
    Annual emissions must be cut to 25 billion tonnes CO2e by 2030 to limit the increased global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it said.
    The Earth’s surface temperature was already 1.09 degrees Celsius higher in 2011–2020 than in 1850–1900.
    If the world continues on its current trajectory, the rise could be 2 degrees Celsius by 2060 and 2.7 by the century’s end, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.
NOT YET ZERO?
    Apart from much criticism of firms’ reliance on offsets that have yet to materialise, there is no standardised way to lay out net zero strategies and emissions reporting, making holding companies to account difficult.
    Selling high-emitting assets – a move that can make a company’s emissions report card look better – makes no difference to the planet’s atmosphere if the buyer keeps operating the asset.
    Both countries and companies are also facing increasing pressure to set detailed, binding intermediate targets on the way to 2050 to avert fears that CEOs and political leaders are just kicking the can down the road.
    Prominent climate campaigner Great Thunberg has criticised net zero goals, counting them among world leaders’ empty promises after years of climate talks.
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla and Susanna Twidale; Editing by Alexander Smith and Gareth Jones)

10/19/2021 La Palma Evacuees See No End To Ordeal After Month Of Volcanic Eruption by Guillermo Martinez
Lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano flows as seen from Tajuya on the Canary Island
of La Palma, Spain, October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) - One month after the Cumbre Vieja volcano erupted on the Spanish island of La Palma spewing red-hot lava and ash, Culberta Cruz, her husband and their dog are living in a tiny caravan on a parking lot and see no end of the ordeal in sight.
    “I’m tired, so tired … but who are we to fight against nature?,” the 56-year-old hospital kitchen worker said, sitting on a camping chair.
    Her husband, banana grower Tono Gonzalez, was pulling electric cables and water hoses to connect to the vehicle, with their French bulldog looking on.    The couple have been living in the small camping car for a month, constantly brushing off volcanic ash from the vehicle.
    “One day it’s exploding there, the other a vent opens here, it’s just anguish and living in fear, waiting and praying for it to stop erupting,” Cruz said.    “And it’s a lot of sadness for those who lost their homes.”
    Streams of red-hot lava have engulfed almost 800 hectares (2000 acres) of land, destroying about 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations since the eruption started on Sept. 19. More than 6,000 people have had to leave their homes.
    Carmen del Fresno, from the National Geographic Institute’s volcano monitoring department, told Reuters the eruption was unlikely to stop for at least another week, but there was no way to predict how long it would last.
    “Historical records show eruptions lasting 24 to 84 days … It would be logical to assume something within those bounds, but we cannot risk (predicting) anything.”
    After being ordered to evacuate, Cruz and Gonzalez first stayed at a relative’s farm and then took the caravan to the parking lot where they could get fresh water and a bit of electricity.    They are now looking into renting an apartment that accepts pets.
    “We don’t know when it’s going to stop, that’s the problem.    This is nature and we have to deal with it, it’s bigger than us,” said Gonzalez.
    Added Cruz: “The future is to try to remove what (belongings) we had and to wait for it to end, then get back to the lives we had before, even if it will be more difficult.”
(Additional reporting by Emma Pinedo in Madrid, writing by Inti Landauro and Andrei Khalip; Editing by Peter Graff)

10/20/2021 Grapefruit-Sized Hail Hits Australia’s East Coast
FILE PHOTO: Huge hailstones pelt into a garage in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia October 19, 2021,
in this still image obtained from video. Courtesy of Greg Hateley / Social Media via REUTERS
    CANBERRA (Reuters) – Record-sized hailstones fell across Australia’s east coast this week, with ice pellets larger than grapefruits lashing residents in parts of Queensland, the country’s metereology bureau said on Wednesday.
    A thunderstorm struck the Yalboroo area north of Mackay, 954 km (593 miles) north of Brisbane on Monday, bringing record-sized hailstones measuring 16 cm (6.3 inches) in diameter, the Bureau of Metereology (BOM) said.
    Video obtained by Reuters also showed vehicles and buildings at an industrial site in the Gold Coast being pelted by hail on Monday, with a man picking up one hailstone the size of a golf ball and showing it to the camera.
    Giant hailstones are very rare, and only form under specific conditions, according to the BOM.
    “Central Queensland had a combination of very cold, dry air and warm, moist air,” BOM said in an emailed statement.
    “Once these thunderstorms developed, the atmosphere was extremely unstable, which allowed hail to continue growing before gravity forced the hail to the ground.”
    The previous record of largest hailstones was set in 2020 during a storm in Queensland, BOM said.
    A severe thunderstorm warning remained in place for parts of Queensland on Wednesday, with storms expected to expand across eastern areas of the state, according to BOM.
    Australia has been lashed by wild weather in recent days, with a rare tornado recorded across northern New South Wales earlier this week.
(Reporting by Colin Packham and Lee Ying Shan; Editing by Karishma Singh)

10/20/2021 Japanese Volcano Spews Plumes Of Ash, People Warned Away
A video grab from the Japan Meteorological Agency's live camera image shows an eruption of Mount Aso in Aso,
Kumamoto prefecture, southwestern Japan, October 20, 2021. Japan Meteorological Agency/Handout via REUTERS
    TOKYO (Reuters) -A volcano erupted in Japan on Wednesday, blasting ash several miles into the sky and prompting officials to warn against the threat of lava flows and falling rocks, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
    Mount Aso, a tourist destination on the main southern island of Kyushu, sent plumes of ash 3.5 km (2.2 miles) high when it erupted at about 11:43 a.m. (0243 GMT), the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
    It raised the alert level for the volcano to 3 on a scale of 5, telling people not to approach, and warned of a risk of large falling rocks and pyroclastic flows within a radius of about 1 km (0.6 mile) around the mountain’s Nakadake crater.
    The government is checking to determine the status of a number of climbers on the mountain at the time, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters, but added that there were no reports of casualties.
    Television networks broadcast images of a dark cloud of ash looming over the volcano that swiftly obscured large swathes of the mountain.
    Ash falls from the 1,592-metre (5,222-foot) mountain in the prefecture of Kumamoto are expected to shower nearby towns until late afternoon, the weather agency added.
    Mount Aso had a small eruption in 2019, while Japan’s worst volcanic disaster in nearly 90 years killed 63 people on Mount Ontake in September 2014.
(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

10/20/2021 At Least 34 Dead After Floods In North India by Alasdair Pal
Members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) evacuate stranded people following heavy rains at Chhara village in Nainital
district, in the northern state of Uttarakhand, India, October 20, 2021. National Disaster Response Force/Handout via REUTERS
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – At least 34 people have died following days of heavy rains in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand, the state’s chief minister said, as rescuers continued work to free those stranded on Wednesday.
    Aerial footage of the affected areas showed engorged rivers and villages partially submerged by floodwaters.
    “There is huge loss due to the floods … the crops have been destroyed,” Pushkar Singh Dhami told Reuters partner ANI after surveying the damage late on Tuesday.
    “The locals are facing a lot of problems, the roads are waterlogged, bridges have been washed away.    So far 34 people have died and we are trying to normalise the situation as soon as possible.”
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a tweet he was “anguished” by the loss of life.
    The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is especially prone to flooding.
    More than 200 were feared killed in February after flash floods swept away a hydroelectric dam.
    Unseasonally heavy rains across India have led to deadly floods in several areas of the country in recent days.
    Authorities in the southern state of Kerala said on Monday more than 20 people had died there following landslides. (This story corrects typographic error in the last paragraph) (Reporting by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Jane Wardell)

10/21/2021 U.S. Holds Three Tests To Advance Hypersonic Weapon Programs, Pentagon Says by Mike Stone
FILE PHOTO: The Pentagon logo is seen behind the podium in the briefing room
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Al Drago
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy and Army tested hypersonic weapon component prototypes on Wednesday that will inform development of new weapons, the Pentagon said, calling the three tests successful.
    The tests occurred the same day that U.S. President Joe Biden said he was concerned about Chinese hypersonic weapons.
    The Sandia National Laboratory ran the tests from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia which will help “inform the development of the Navy’s Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) and the Army’s Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) offensive hypersonic strike,” a statement said.
    The Navy and Army will conduct a flight test of the common hypersonic missile in fiscal 2022, which began on Oct. 1.
    Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at more than five times the speed of sound, or about 3,853 miles per hour (6,200 kph).
    These tests “demonstrated advanced hypersonic technologies, capabilities, and prototype systems in a realistic operating environment,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
    The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons as a part of its conventional prompt global strike program since the early 2000s.
    Companies such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies are working to develop the hypersonic weapon capability for the United States.
(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
[WHAT IS IT WITH THESE GAY WOKE TOP GENERALS IS THIS ONE OF THOSE YOU SHOW ME YOURS AND I WILL SHOW YOU MINE BUT WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT IRON MAN IS STILL AROUND IN 2021 WAITNG PATIENTLY SO WE NOW KNOW WE HAD THEM ALL ALONG AND ALSO TRUMP DID THE SPACE FORCE TO HAVE ITS PROJECT IN THAT TO.].

10/21/2021 Flood Deaths In India And Nepal Cross 150
FILE PHOTO: Members of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) evacuate stranded people following heavy rains at Chhara village in
Nainital district, in the northern state of Uttarakhand, India, October 20, 2021. National Disaster Response Force/Handout via REUTERS
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – More than 150 people have died in flooding across India and Nepal, officials said on Thursday, as unseasonably heavy rains across the region led to flash floods in several areas, stranding residents and destroying homes and infrastructure.
    The north Indian state of Uttarakhand has been especially badly-hit, with 48 confirmed deaths, SA Murugesan, secretary of the state’s disaster management department told Reuters.
    In Nainital, a popular tourist destination in the Himalayan state, the town’s main lake broke its banks, submerging the main thoroughfare and damaging bridges and rail tracks.    And rescuers from India’s paramilitary National Disaster Response Force were evacuating residents from communities hit by landslides.
    India’s federal interior minister Amit Shah is set to survey affected areas on Thursday.
    Some 42 people have died in the last week in the southern Indian state of Kerala, according to a statement from the chief minister’s office.
    In neighbouring Nepal, at least 77 people have died.
    India’s annual monsoon rains usually run from June to September.
(Reporting by Saurabh Sharma in Lucknow and Jose Devasia in Kochi; Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Simon Camedron-Moore)

10/21/2021 ‘Window For Action Closing’ – G20 Urged To Hike Climate Pledges by Kate Abnett and Isla Binnie
FILE PHOTO: Glacial ice is seen from the window during a NASA flight to support the Oceans Melting
Greenland (OMG) research mission above the east coast of Greenland, March 13, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Denmark, Costa Rica, the Marshall Islands and six other countries on Thursday urged the world’s biggest economies to hike their climate pledges, warning that their actions would set the tone for the upcoming COP26 summit in Scotland.
    Extreme weather events and increasingly urgent calls from scientists to curb global warming are cranking up pressure on lawmakers who will meet in Glasgow later this month to discuss action to reduce their carbon emissions.
    “The window for taking decisive climate action is rapidly closing,” said the letter, seen by Reuters, which was sent to Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, the current president of the G20 club of rich nations.
    G20 leaders will gather in Rome on Oct. 30-31 for a summit. Climate change will be high on the agenda, with divisions deep over the rapid emissions reductions scientists say are needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. [nL1N2RH0JV]
    The meeting will “set the tone” for COP26, which starts on Oct. 31, the letter said.    The signatories also include Grenada, which like the Marshall Islands is particularly vulnerable to climate impacts such as storms and rising seas, along with Sweden, Latvia, Belgium, Estonia and Ireland.
    “Our message is very clear, that we need the G20 to step up and to raise their ambitions before we meet in Glasgow,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.
    Climate envoys from Britain, the EU and United States are making a last-minute diplomatic push to clinch more ambitious pledges in time for the summit.
    But consensus looks a long way off. Sources said on Wednesday that with days to go before the G20 meets, countries are still split over committing to phase out coal.
    Meanwhile, a group of like-minded developing countries this week released a statement slamming developed countries for expecting poorer nations to commit to tougher emissions targets when rich countries have broken their own promises to cut CO2.
    The group, which includes China, India and Saudi Arabia, also said richer nations had failed to deliver on promises of $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries battle climate change.
    Their letter called on the G20 to hike climate finance pledges, which some members, including the United States, Canada and Germany, did earlier this year.
    The EU attends meetings of the G20. France, Germany and Italy are members of both.
    EU leaders are meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss issues including preparation for COP26, just as a sharp rise in gas prices has exposed disagreements between countries over the bloc’s shared plans to tackle climate change.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett and Isla Binnie; Editing by Catherine Evans)

10/22/2021 Guilt, Grief And Anxiety As Young People Fear For Climate’s Future by Natalie Thomas, Barbara Lewis and Jonathan Shenfield
FILE PHOTO: Environmental campaigners hold a stork puppet as they take part in a march and delivery of a petition
to the Buckingham Palace, demanding that the British royal family rewild their land, ahead of the COP26 climate
summit due to take place in November, in London, Britain, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – Overwhelmed, sad, guilty are some of the emotions young people say they feel when they think of climate change and their concerns world leaders will fail to tackle it.
    Broadly referred to as climate anxiety, research has stacked up to measure its prevalence ahead of the U.N. talks in Glasgow, which begin at the end of the month to thrash out how to put the 2015 Paris Agreement on curbing climate change into effect.
    One of the biggest studies to date, funded by Avaaz, an online campaign network, and led by Britain’s University of Bath, surveyed 10,000 young people aged 16-25 years in 10 countries.    It published its results in September.
    It found around three quarters of those surveyed considered the future frightening, while a lack of action by governments and industry left 45% experiencing climate anxiety and distress that affected their daily lives and functioning.
    Elouise Mayall, an ecology student at Britain’s University of East Anglia and member of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, told Reuters she had felt guilty and overwhelmed.
    “What I’d be left with is maybe the sense of shame, like, ‘how dare you still want lovely things when the world is ending and you don’t even know if you’re going to have a safe world to grow old in’.”
    She spoke of conflicting emotions.
    “You might have sadness, there might be fear, there might be a kind of overwhelm,” she said.    “And maybe even sometimes a quite like wild optimism.”
    Caroline Hickman, a psychotherapist and lecturer at the University of Bath and one of the co-authors of the research published in September, is working to help young people manage climate-related emotions.
    “They’re growing up with the grief and the fear and the anxiety about the future,” she told Reuters.
SENSE OF MEANING
    London-based psychiatrist Alastair Santhouse sees climate change, as well as COVID-19, as potentially adding to the burden, especially for those pre-disposed to anxiety.
    For now, climate anxiety alone does not normally require psychiatric help.    Painful as it is, it can be positive, provided it does not get out of control.
    “Some anxiety about climate change is motivating.    It’s just a question of how much anxiety is motivating and how much is unacceptable,” said Santhouse, author of a book that tackles how health services struggle to cope with complex mental issues.
    “The worry is that as climate change sets in, there will be a more clear cut mental health impact,” he added.
    Among some of the world’s communities that are already the most vulnerable, extreme weather events can also cause problems such as post traumatic stress disorder.
    Leading climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, 18, has experienced severe climate anxiety.
    “It’s a quite natural response, because, as you see, as the world is today, that no one seems to care about what’s happening, I think it’s only human to feel that way,” she said.
    For now, however, she is hopeful because she is doing everything she possibly can.
    “When you take action, you also get a sense of meaning that something is happening.    If you want to get rid of that anxiety, you can take action against it,” she said.
(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Alison Williams)

10/22/2021 La Palma Volcano Continues To Wreak Havoc by OAN Newsroom
Lava flows from a volcano destroying houses at La Laguna neighbourhood on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain
on Thursday Oct. 21, 2021. A second tongue of lava is expected to reach the Atlantic today and release more toxic gases
into the atmosphere, an event which will lead to the home confinement of some nearby towns. (AP Photo/Saul Santos)
    Spanish authorities updated the world on the latest destruction caused by the La Palma volcano.    Officials have continued to relay that there have been no injuries or deaths from the eruption.
    However, over 2,000 buildings have been destroyed by an excess of 80 million cubic meters of ash and lava.    In addition, around 2,000 acres of land have been entirely engulfed by lava.
    “One day it’s exploding there, the other a vent opens here, it’s just anguish and living in fear, waiting and praying for it to stop erupting,” said Culberta Cruz, a local who has been living with her husband and dog in a small caravan on a parking lot.    “And it’s a lot of sadness for those who lost their homes.”
    La Palma is one of Spain’s Canary Islands that sits in the Atlantic Ocean.    The volcano on La Palma was considered one of the most active of the islands after more than 22,000 seismic shocks were felt leading up to the eruption.    Many residents said they weren’t expecting it.
    “This has been very stressful, especially for the elderly and for my generation that has never experienced this,” said one resident on the island.    “My parents didn’t go to the information center, they came to our house.    Now we are waiting for information from authorities to see what we do in the next hours.”
    Authorities said residents would continue to face the dangers from the volcano in the coming weeks.    Additionally, scientists have said the flows of lava could last for weeks and possibly months.
    “Historical records show eruptions lasting 24 to 84 days…it would be logical to assume something within those bounds, but we cannot risk [predicting] anything,” said Carmen del Fresno, from the National Geographic Institute’s volcano monitoring department.
    On the first day of October, more destruction was feared as lava begun flowing out of two new vents from the volcano.    Rivers of molten rock slid downhill from the new fissures, flowing along a more than 50-acre path into the Atlantic Ocean.
    Lava has continued to spew over one month after the volcano first erupted, prompting the evacuation of more than 6,000 people.    Residents have been asked to wear eye protection and face masks against heavy falls of volcanic ash, with some even carrying umbrellas.
    “We don’t know when it’s going to stop, that’s the problem.    This is nature and we have to deal with it, it’s bigger than us,” said Cruz’s husband, Tono Gonzalez.
    In the meantime, Spanish officials have vowed to provide aid to the island after recently assessing the damage done exceeds $460 million.

10/23/2021 Spain Vows To Speed Up Aid To Volcano-Hit La Palma
A cross is seen as the Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to erupt in the background at Los Llanos
de Aridane, on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Susana Vera
    LA PALMA (Reuters) – Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Spain would speed up aid to the hard-hit agriculture and fishing industries on the island of La Palma, where part of the volcano’s cone collapsed on Saturday and red hot lava continued to flow over a month after the eruption began.
    Lava has covered almost 900 hectares of land, destroying over 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations.br>     More than 7,000 people have had to leave their homes since the eruption started on Sept. 19.
    “At the cabinet meeting next Tuesday we are going to make a budgetary modification to accelerate the arrival of economic resources for both the Employment Plan and aid for the entire agriculture and fishing sector,” Sanchez said at a press conference during his fifth visit to the island since the eruption began.
    In early October, Sanchez announced 206 million euro ($239 million) in government funding for the island to rebuild infrastructure and boost employment, agriculture and tourism. [L1N2QZ06F]
    The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute said that part of the main cone had collapsed on Saturday morning.    It tweeted footage of dark ash clouds billowing from the volcano.
    Reuters footage showed lava engulfing buildings and a dog who appeared to have had a narrow escape after running away from the fast-moving flow.
    The eruption has been devastating some of the island’s banana crops, which account for around half its economic output. [L8N2QQ2J0]
    Sanchez paid tribute to all those working to tackle the eruption, which has caused no deaths.
(Reporting by Antony Paone; Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Christina Fincher)

10/24/2021 Hurricane Rick Edges Closer To Mexican Coast North Of Acapulco
People are pictured on a beach as tropical Storm Rick strengthened into a hurricane off
Mexico's Pacific coast, in Acapulco, Mexico October 23, 2021. REUTERS/Javier Verdin
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Hurricane Rick edged slowly closer to Mexico’s Pacific coast on Sunday, expected to unleash heavy rains north of the beach resort of Acapulco late in the evening, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
    Rick was packing maximum sustained winds near 85 miles (140 km) per hour with strong gusts as it moved northward at about 3 miles (6 km) per hour.
    The storm was located 130 miles (210 km) south of the beach city of Zihuatanejo in Guerrero state.
    The NHC estimated that Rick will strengthen as it draws closer to the coast and bring “life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds” along a stretch of coastline from Tecpan de Galeana in Guerrero, just north of Acapulco, to Punta San Telmo in Michoacan.
    Rainfall in some areas was expected to amount to 20 inches, likely causing flooding and mudslides.
    Authorities in Guerrero warned that waves in the Acapulco area and northward could reach between 3 and 4 meters high.
    Rick was expected to dissipate by Tuesday, the NHC said.
    The coastal states of Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit states were opening shelters in areas expected to receive heavy rains, a government official told Televisa News.
    Storm Pamela hit Mexico’s western state of Sinaloa https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/hurricane-pamela-hits-western-mexico-quickly-weakens-tropical-storm-2021-10-13 in mid-October as a hurricane, leaving downed trees, damaged businesses and flooded streets.
(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Mark Porter)

10/25/2021 UK’s Johnson Urges Putin To Advance Russia’s Net Zero Target To 2050
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends the Global Investment Summit
at the Science Museum, in London, Britain, October 19, 2021. Leon Neal/Pool via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to bring forward by 10 years Russia’s target for achieving net zero carbon emissions, Johnson’s office said on Monday after the two leaders spoke by phone.
    The talks took place after Russia delivered a blow to hopes of a breakthrough international deal on climate change when the Kremlin said last week that Putin would not fly to Scotland for talks starting at the end of October.
    “He (Johnson) welcomed the steps Russia has taken in recent days to commit (to) net zero by 2060,” the statement said.
    “The prime minister expressed his hope that Russia will raise that target to achieving net zero by 2050 as well as making further progress on ending deforestation and an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution.”
    Britain, which hosts the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties, or COP26, in Glasgow from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, is seeking support from major powers for a more radical plan to tackle global warming.
    The Kremlin said Putin promised that Russia’s delegation to Glasgow “will contribute to a successful work of such an important international forum.”
    Putin and Johnson also agreed that cooperation between Moscow and London should be established in a number of fields, the Kremlin statement said, without elaborating.
(Reporting by William James in London and Andrey Ostroukh in Moscow, writing by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Michael Holden)

10/25/2021 UN Sounds Alarm On Missing Climate Pledges by Kate Abnett and Emma Farge
FILE PHOTO: A truck drives by as steam rises from the five brown coal-fired power units of RWE, one of Europe's biggest
electricity companies in Neurath, north-west of Cologne, Germany, Germany, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BRUSSELS/GENEVA (Reuters) -Global governments’ plans to cut emissions in the years ahead are not enough to avert catastrophic climate change which would lead to “endless suffering,” a U.N. report said on Monday.
    With less than a week until the United Nations COP26 conference begins, the report laid bare the gap between the actions governments are taking today, and what would be needed to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement target to try to limit human-caused global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    “Overshooting the temperature goals will lead to a destabilised world and endless suffering, especially among those who have contributed the least to the (greenhouse gas) emissions in the atmosphere,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
    Under countries’ current pledges, global emissions would be 16% higher in 2030 than they were in 2010, according to an analysis by the UNFCCC.
    That is far off the 45% reduction by 2030 that scientists say is needed to cap warming at 1.5 degrees and avoid its most devastating impacts like the deadly heat waves and destructive storms already battering countries around the world.
    “We are nowhere near where science says we should be,” Espinosa said.
    Without more ambitious commitments, global temperatures could hit 2.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, the UNFCCC said.
    The warning came as a separate World Meteorological Organization report showed that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the last decade despite a temporary dip in new emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns.
    “We are way off track,” https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/world-scrambles-contain-damage-greenhouse-gas-emissions-hit-record-2021-10-25 said Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on prospects for meeting the Paris cap.    “We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life,” he added, calling for a “dramatic increase” in commitments at COP26 which runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.
INCOMING PLEDGES
    The reports on Monday emphasised the high stakes for the COP26 conferences, where world leaders and thousands of delegates will attempt to secure pledges from countries and enough action from polluters to keep the Paris goals alive.
    Scientists say capping global warming to 1.5 degrees would require global net emissions of CO2 – the main greenhouse gas – to fall to zero by 2050.
    The UNFCCC said it had received a flurry of new climate pledges in the last month, and that as of Oct. 12 some 143 of the nearly 200 countries that signed the Paris agreement had submitted new pledges.
    Most of the pledges received in recent weeks were from small countries responsible for a tiny share of global emissions, however, while submissions from bigger polluters like Saudi Arabia had not moved the needle for emissions over the next decade.
    The European Union and United States – the world’s second and third-biggest emitters after China – also set new targets this year to reduce emissions this decade.    China and India are among those facing pressure to commit to cut emissions faster.
    The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to rise for as long as countries keep putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than they can remove.
    Emissions, which fluctuate depending on the current level of fossil-fuel burning, are distinct from the carbon dioxide concentrations accumulated over centuries.
    The WMO report confirmed that last year’s temporary dip in emissions “did not have any discernible impact on the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases and their growth rates.”    Concentrations of other gases methane and nitrous oxide also rose in 2020 and beat the last decade’s average, it showed.
    It also flagged concerns about the ability of the ocean and trees to soak up roughly half of carbon dioxide levels, thus protecting us against potentially more dramatic temperature hikes.
    “It’s not automatic that the strength of sinks will continue at the same rate,” said Taalas, describing “alarming” new data showing that a portion of the Amazon rainforest was now emitting carbon rather than absorbing it due to deforestation and fires.
(Reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva and Kate Abnett in Brussels; Editing by Alexander Smith and Toby Chopra)
[IT COULD BE THAT YOUR JUSTIFICATION OF GREENHOUSE GASES IS A CON AND WILL MAKE THINGS WORSE FOR THEM IF THEY COMPLY.].

10/25/2021 World ‘Way Off Track’ In Halting Warming, UN Warns Ahead Of COP26 by Emma Farge and Gerry Mey
FILE PHOTO: A truck engine is tested for pollution exiting its exhaust pipe near
the Mexican-U.S. border in Otay Mesa, California September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake
    GENEVA/GLASGOW (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record last year and the world is “way off track” in capping rising temperatures, the United Nations said on Monday in a stark illustration of the task facing climate talks in Glasgow.
    A report by the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) showed carbon dioxide levels surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the last decade despite a temporary dip in emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns.
    WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said the current rate of increase in heat-trapping gases would result in temperature rises “far in excess” of the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average this century.
    “We are way off track,” he said.    “We need to revisit our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life,” he added, calling for a “dramatic increase” in commitments https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/un-warns-world-way-off-track-greenhouse-gases-soar-2021-10-25 at the COP26 conference beginning on Sunday.
    The Scottish city of Glasgow was putting on the final touches before hosting the climate talks https://www.reuters.com/business/cop, which may be the world’s best remaining chance to cap global warming at the 1.5-2 degrees Celsius upper limit set out in the Paris Agreement.
    “It is going to be very, very tough this summit,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during a news conference with children.
    “I am very worried because it might go wrong and we might not get the agreements that we need and it is touch and go, it is very, very difficult, but I think it can be done,” he said.
    The German government announced Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Glasgow to take part.    Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend in person.    He and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to make video appearances instead.
STAKES ARE HUGE
    The stakes for the planet https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/climate-change-what-are-economic-stakes-2021-10-25 are huge – among them the very survival of low-lying countries, the impact on economic livelihoods the world over and the future stability of the global financial system.
    Alok Sharma, the president of COP26, said developed nations are set to be three years late meeting a pledge to commit a total of $500 billion to help poorer countries tackle climate change.
    Rich nations vowed in 2009 to deliver $100 billion a year for five years, starting in 2020.    But a plan on how to do so, prepared by Canada and Germany ahead of the summit, said the annual target would now not be met until 2023.
    “Understandably, this has been a source of deep frustration for developing countries,” Sharma told a televised news conference.    “The aim of putting this plan together has been to rebuild trust … countries will need to deliver on this.”
    Saudi Arabia’s crown prince said on Saturday that the world’s top oil exporter aims to reach “net zero” emissions of greenhouse gases, mostly produced by burning fossil fuels, by 2060 – 10 years later than the United States.    He also said it would double the emissions cuts https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/saudi-arabia-worlds-biggest-oil-exporter-unveil-green-goals-2021-10-23 it plans to achieve by 2030.
    A Reuters poll of economists found that hitting the Paris goal of net-zero carbon emissions will require investments in a green transition worth 2%-3% of world output each year until 2050, far less than the economic cost of inaction https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/climate-inaction-costlier-than-net-zero-transition-economists-2021-10-25.
    By contrast, governments since January 2020 have spent a total of $10.8 trillion – or 10.2% of global output – in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    A “business-as-usual” trajectory leading to temperature rises of 1.6C, 2.4C and 4.4C by 2030, 2050 and 2100 respectively would result in 2.4% lost output by 2030, 10% by 2050 and 18% by 2100, according to the median replies to the survey.
    In London, climate activists restarted their campaign of blockading major roads by disrupting traffic in the city’s financial district, while in Madrid a few dozen people staged a sit-in protest, briefly blocking the Gran Via shopping street.
    “Greenhouse gas emissions are provoking climate catastrophes all over the planet.    We don’t have time.    It’s already late and if we don’t join the action against what’s happening, we won’t have time to save what is still left,” said Alberto, 27, a sociologist who took part in the protest.
(Additional reporting by William James and Kylie MacLellan in London, Zuzanna Szymanska in Berlin, David Ljunggren in Ottawa and Marco Trujillo in Madrid; Writing by Michael Shields, Editing by William Maclean and Nick Macfie)
[MAYBE IF WE OFFER AOC TO THE CLIMATE GODS THEY BELIEVE IN IT SO THAT WILL SAVE THE WORLD FOR MORE YEARS PAST HER 12 YEAR GUESS (2030) WHICH WOULD TURN OUT TO BE HER END OF THE WORLD BUT THERE WILL COME A ANTICHRIST AND I EXPECT AND PUT MY FAITH THAT THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB WILL COME TO TAKE AWAY TRUE CHRISTIANS AWAY IN RAPTURE AND THAT LEAVES AS THE BIBLE STATES IN REVELATION "THOSE WHO LIVE ON THE EARTH" TO EXPERIENCE NOT A CLIMATE CHANGE BUT WHAT COMES NEXT AS STATED IN REVELATION TO THOSE WHO EXCEPTED THE MARK OF THE BEAST.].

10/25/2021 In Major Ocean Polluter Philippines, Group Turns Plastic Waste Into Planks by Adrian Portugal
Shredded plastic is loaded in a machine to be moulded into waterproof planks in the factory of social enterprise The Plastic Flamingo
or The Plaf, in Muntinlupa, Philippines, October 18, 2021. The Plaf gathers plastics from restaurants, companies,
and consumers and transforms them into useable raw material like waterproof planks. Picture taken October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez
    MANILA (Reuters) – A group of recyclers in the Philippines is trying to ease the country’s worsening plastic waste crisis by turning bottles, single-use sachets and snack food wrappers that clog rivers and spoil beaches into building materials.
    The Plastic Flamingo, or “The Plaf” as they are commonly known, collect the waste, shred it and then mould it into posts and planks called “eco-lumber” that can be used for fencing, decking or even to make disaster-relief shelters.
    “(It) is 100% upcycled material, 100% made from plastic waste materials, we also include some additives and colorants and it is rot-free, maintenance-free, and splinter-free,” said Erica Reyes, The Plaf’s chief operating officer.
    Having collected over 100 tonnes of plastic waste to date, the social enterprise is doing its bit to address a local problem that has global ramifications.
    Approximately 80% of global ocean plastic comes from Asian rivers, and the Philippines alone contributes a third of that total, according to a 2021 report by Oxford University’s Our World in Data.
    The Philippines does not have a clear strategy on tackling its plastics problem and its environment department has said it has been in contact with manufacturers to identify ways to manage waste.
    COVID-19, though, has made the battle against plastic waste harder to win.
    Some 300 million tonnes of plastic waste are produced annually, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, a problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic which sparked a rush for plastic face shields, gloves, takeaway food containers and bubble wrap as online shopping surged.
    “People are unaware of how to dispose of these plastics,” said Allison Tan, The Plaf’s marketing associate.
    “We give that avenue that instead of putting it in landfills or oceans…you give it to recycling centres like us and we would upcycle them into better products.”
    As well as tackling waste problems, the group says it is in talks with other non-government organisations to help rebuild houses destroyed by typhoons using their sustainable building materials.
(Reporting by Adrian Portugal; Editing by John Geddie and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

10/25/2021 Hurricane Rick Makes Landfall On Mexico’s Pacific Coast
People are pictured on a beach as Hurricane Rick edges closer to Mexican
coast north of Acapulco, Mexico October 24, 2021. REUTERS/Javier Verdin
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The eye of Hurricane Rick came ashore on Mexico’s Pacific coast early on Monday, lashing the region with 100 mile-per-hour (MPH) winds and heavy rains that could trigger flash flooding and mudslides, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
    The storm, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 MPH (165 KM/H), was 15 miles (25 kilometers) north-northeast of the port of Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan state as of 7:00 A.M. local time (1200 GMT), the Miami-based NHC said in a public advisory.
    “Rapid weakening is expected today while Rick moves over land, and Rick is forecast to dissipate over the mountainous terrain of southern Mexico tonight or Tuesday,” it said.
    Rick is forecast to move farther inland over southern Mexico throughout Monday and expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated storm total amounts of 20 inches across parts of the Mexican states of Guerrero and Michoacan through Tuesday.
    The heavy rains “will likely produce flash flooding and mudslides,” the NHC said.
    Mexico’s civil protection agency told residents in the southern parts of those states to stay indoors as of Sunday evening.
    Guerrero’s education ministry said classes in the coastal area would be suspended on Monday, warning of intense rain, strong gusts of wind and high waves in the Costa Grande region.
    Officials in Guerrero and Michoacan as well as the coastal states of Colima, Jalisco and Nayarit were opening shelters in areas expected to get downpours, a government official told Televisa News.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; editing by Barbara Lewis)

10/25/2021 In Ocado’s World, The Rise Of The Machines Is Unstoppable by James Davey and Kate Holton
A robotic picking machine is seen inside the Ocado warehouse in
Erith, London, Britain, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Paul Childs
    ERITH, England (Reuters) – In a warehouse in London’s suburbs, thousands of robots swarm in a mesmerising dance across the top of a grid the size of six football pitches, racing to supply groceries to the British capital’s shoppers.
    Built by UK online supermarket pioneer Ocado, the washing-machine sized bots have caught the eye of international retailers battling a shortage of workers and rising wage demands in a post-pandemic world.
    It has already struck deals to provide its technology to supermarket groups in eight countries including the United States, Japan and France.    In a recent three-week window it hosted prospective clients from another five countries.
    Luke Jensen, CEO of the London-listed company’s technology arm, Ocado Solutions, told Reuters they want to automate the entire process from farm and factory gate to shopper’s fridge, while driving up productivity at its sites known as customer fulfilment centres (CFCs).
    With plans in place to eventually automate most manual warehouse jobs, Ocado’s success could have profound implications for labour in the retail industry globally.
    “At a ten year horizon we would expect most lower value added tasks to be performed by technology and for the jobs in CFCs to be focused on supervision and engineering,” he said.
    Founded two decades ago by three former Goldman Sachs bankers, Ocado has long faced doubts that it can turn a sustainable profit – in 2017 and 2018 it was often the most shorted UK stock, according to analytics firm Ortex.
    But the international deals have changed the conversation: its shares are up around 700% since it struck its first major partnership in late 2017, giving it a market value of $19 billion.
    It now needs to deliver – profit at the technology arm will be held back by the costs of building partner sites, before Ocado starts earning a portion of sales once operational.
    At its largest site, the $310 million building in Erith, southeast London, more than 2,000 robots whizz around the steel and aluminium grid covering four metres a second, replacing the humans who once retrieved groceries.
    Workers below pack the goods, but a robotic picking arm is machine learning the task, and will eventually replace them.
    The arm can already handle 15% of Ocado’s product range, a figure the company expects to reach around 50% in two years, with 80% “absolutely feasible” in the longer term. Retail partners will be using it within three years, Jensen said.
    It is also working to automate the arrival of goods into CFCs and the loading of customer orders onto delivery vans, and eventually wants to use autonomous vehicles to move goods between suppliers, warehouses and homes.
TOP PRIORITY
    While retailers in Asia like JD.com have already automated the whole warehouse process, IGD analyst Simon Mayhew said Ocado led the way in grocery automation, where goods are fragile and can require chilled or frozen temperatures.
    Jensen says automation is “the number one boardroom pre-occupation for retailers,” driven not just by the shortage of workers but also an acknowledgement that the pandemic has moved the dial on online groceries.
    Analysts expect online ordering to make up 15-20% of total grocery sales in major markets in the medium term.
    Many grocers have concluded that in densely populated areas the old model of solely store picking online orders for delivery may not be the best use of capital.
    Firms such as Walmart and Tesco have been working with tech groups such as Dematic, Fabric and Alert Innovation, mostly with a focus on smaller-scale micro fulfilment centres, often next to stores.
    Norway’s AutoStore, a closer rival to Ocado, works with brands including British supermarket Asda, and Gucci.
    But while retail giant Amazon has automated many parts of its operations, its Whole Foods staff still largely pick online orders in store.
    Ocado says that while others can offer services such as webshop design, routing systems or warehouses, only it can join them all together, delivering metrics such as food waste of just 0.4% of sales versus 2.5%-3% for most supermarket groups.
    Erith’s productivity is already 25% higher than that of Ocado’s first British CFC and Jensen sees scope for further gains of 50-70%.
    Burt Flickinger, head of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, says credibility gained from Ocado’s success in the UK and the U.S. affirms it can operate anywhere.
    It has partnership deals with America’s biggest grocery retailer Kroger, Casino in France, Aeon in Japan, Coles in Australia and Auchan’s Alcampo chain in Spain.
    At Erith, Jensen is already thinking about taking Ocado’s technology beyond grocery retailing into general merchandise.
    “It’s definitely an option longer term,” he said.
(Reporting by James Davey and Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge, Kirsten Donovan)

10/26/2021 U.N. Warns World Set For 2.7C Rise On Today’s Emissions Pledges by Nina Chestney
FILE PHOTO: A car drives near wind turbines on a power station near Yumen, Gansu province, China
September 29, 2020. Picture taken September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) - Current commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions put the planet on track for an average 2.7 degrees Celsius temperature rise this century, a United Nations report said on Tuesday, in another stark warning ahead of crunch climate talks https://www.reuters.com/business/cop.
    Governments will be in the spotlight at the COP26 conference next week to meet a deadline of this year to commit to more ambitious cut pledges, in what could be the last chance to put the world on track to limiting warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and ideally to 1.5C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
    As extreme weather events from wildfires to floods have hit countries around the world, a U.N. report in August https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/un-sounds-clarion-call-over-irreversible-climate-impacts-by-humans-2021-08-09 warned that global warming due to greenhouse gas emissions could breach 1.5C in the next two decades.
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday it was “touch and go” whether the most important round of U.N. talks since the Paris Agreement in 2015 will secure the agreements needed to tackle climate change.
    And the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said ahead of the two-week event that begins in Glasgow, Scotland on Sunday that greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record last year and the world is “way off track” in capping rising temperatures.
    The annual “emissions gap” report by the United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP), which measures the gap between anticipated emissions and those consistent with limiting the temperature rise this century as agreed in the Paris accord, said updated pledges only reduce forecast 2030 emissions by an additional 7.5%, compared to the previous commitments.
    If continued throughout this century, this would lead to warming of 2.7C, slightly less than the 3C UNEP forecast in its last report.    A 30% cut is needed to limit warming to 2C and a 55% cut is needed to limit to 1.5C.
    It said current commitments to net zero could limit warming to around 2.2C by the end of the century, but 2030 pledges so far do not put major emitters on a clear path to this.
    As a group, G20 countries, which represent 80% of global emissions, are not on track to achieve their original or new 2030 pledges.
    “If there is no meaningful reduction of emissions in the next decade, we will have lost forever the possibility to reach 1.5 degrees,” U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres told a press briefing.
    “It is absolutely essential that all G20 countries present before Glasgow or in Glasgow (pledges) that are compatible with 1.5C,” he added.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING
    Latest U.N. data shows 143 countries, accounting for around 57% of global emissions, have submitted new or updated emissions cut plans ahead of COP26 and their total emissions are estimated to be around 9% of 2010 levels by 2030 if implemented fully.
    But if all pledges by 192 countries under the Paris Agreement are taken together, an increase of around 16% in global emissions is expected by 2030 compared to 2010, which would lead to warming of around 2.7C.
    China and India, which are together responsible for around 30% of global emissions, have not yet made enhanced pledges.
    Over the last 11 years, policies have been put in place which will lower annual emissions by 11 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2 equivalent by 2030, compared to what would have happened without these policies, the report said.
    However, fossil fuel https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/big-fossil-fuel-producers-plans-far-exceed-climate-targets-un-says-2021-10-20 production is not slowing at the rate needed, with major economies set to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas in 2030 than is consistent with meeting climate goals.
    “On current progress, we’ll close the 2030 emissions gap sometime in the 2080s,” Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the report, said.
    By 2030, to reach the 1.5C limit, annual greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by an extra 28 Gt, or be halved from current levels of nearly 60 Gt, over and above what is promised in updated pledges and other 2030 commitments, UNEP said.
    For the 2C limit, an additional 13 Gt cut in annual emissions is needed by 2030.
    “We have eight years to make the plans, put in place the policies, implement them and ultimately deliver the cuts,” UNEP executive director Inger Andersen said.
    “The clock is ticking loudly.”
(Reporting by Nina Chestney; additional reporting by Emma Farge in Geneva; Editing by Alexander Smith and Barbara Lewis)

10/26/2021 Fierce Cyclonic Storm Turns Squares Into Lakes In Southern Italy
Debris and damaged scooter are seen during heavy rainfall on the island
of Sicily, in Catania, Italy, October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
    CATANIA, Italy (Reuters) - A powerful cyclonic storm hit the southern Italian island of Sicily on Tuesday causing widespread flooding around the city of Catania, turning streets and squares into rivers and lakes and causing at least two deaths, rescuers said.
    A spokesman for the Misericordia group of volunteers, who are helping police and firefighters, said the body of a man was found under a car amid torrential rains sweeping the town of Gravina, north of Catania.
    Contacted by Reuters, police confirmed the death without providing details.
    On Monday, a 67-year-old man died after his car was hit by rising waters and mud.    His wife was still missing.
    The rain has inundated some of Catania’s most famous streets and squares, causing a blackout in the city centre and flooding shops.
    “I urge all people not to leave their homes except for emergencies,” Mayor Salvo Pogliese wrote on Facebook, announcing that he was ordering the closure of all shops, apart from pharmacies and groceries, until midnight.
    Floods also hit a ward at Catania’s Garibaldi hospital, media reported.
    “The emergency situation is widespread and extremely critical and it does not seem to be improving,” a spokesman for the firefighters said.
    Italian weather site Ilmeteo.it said parts of Sicily and the adjacent toe of Italy, Calabria, were being pounded by a rare tropical-like cyclone known as a medicane, and the sea was 8 degrees Celsius warmer than the average for this time of year.
    The storm was expected to peak between Thursday and Friday, it said.
(Reporting by Antonio Parrinello in Catania and Angelo Amante in Rome; Editing by Nick Macfie and Crispian Balmer)

10/27/2021 Biden Could Head To Europe Without A Climate Deal, White House Concedes
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden campaigns for Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia
Terry McAuliffe at a rally in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. October 26, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said it is still “realistic” that U.S. President Joe Biden’s signature spending plan could get congressional support by Thursday, but conceded that he may need to depart to Europe without a final deal in hand.
    Biden is expected to depart Thursday morning to a meeting of G20 nation leaders in Rome and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
    The Glasgow conference was expected to be a showcase for Biden to demonstrate U.S. efforts to tackle climate change and ask other countries to adopt similar measures.
    However, his roughly $1.5 to $2 trillion spending plan aimed at curbing climate change and expanding the social safety net remained mired in intra-party squabbles Wednesday, as did a linked $1 trillion infrastructure bill that also includes climate related measures.
    “Of course he would like to head on this trip with a deal,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Wednesday.    However, world leaders are “looking at the president’s commitment” on infrastructure and climate she said, not what’s being passed in Congress.
    “They’re seeing we’re on the verge of making a deal,” she said.
    Some progressive Democrats in Congress said it seemed unlikely there will be an agreement Wednesday, and suggested fundamental issues, like how to pay for it, remain.
    “I don’t know,” Senator Bernie Sanders said.    “But I don’t think so. I’m not quite clear in terms of the revenue package.    Every sensible revenue option seems to be destroyed.”
    Biden would need to sign any passed bill into law.    He won’t push his trip back substantially to push for it further, Psaki said.
    “There’s some flexibility in the morning, but I’m not going to suggest he’s going to delay his trip,” Psaki said.
(Reporting By Jeff Mason and Jarrett Renshaw; Editing by Heather Timmons and Alistair Bell)

10/27/2021 India Rejects Net Zero Carbon Emissions Target, Says Pathway More Important by Sanjeev Miglani
FILE PHOTO: Birds fly next to electricity pylons on a smoggy afternoon in the
old quarters of Delhi, India, October 30, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Wednesday rejected calls to announce a net zero carbon emissions target and said it was more important for the world to lay out a pathway to reduce such emissions and avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures.
    India, the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, is under pressure to announce plans to become carbon neutral by mid-century or thereabouts at next week’s climate conference in Glasgow.
    But environment secretary R.P.Gupta told reporters that announcing net zero was not the solution to the climate crisis.
    “It is how much carbon you are going to put in the atmosphere before reaching net zero that is more important.”
    The United States, Britain and the European Union have set a target date of 2050 to reach net zero, by which point they will only emit an amount of greenhouse gases that can be absorbed by forests, crops, soils and still-embryonic “carbon capture technology.
    China and Saudi Arabia have both set targets of 2060, but these are largely meaningless without tangible action now, critics say.
    Between now and the middle of the century the United States will release 92 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere and the EU 62 gigatons, Gupta said, citing Indian government calculations. China would have added a staggering 450 gigatons by its net zero target date, he added.
    Representatives of nearly 200 countries will meet in Glasgow, Scotland, from Oct. 31-Nov. 12 for climate talks to strengthen action to tackle global warming under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the conference in a sign of how the country is taking climate change seriously, officials say. Chinese President Xi Jinping is not expected.
    While working towards net zero, countries are expected to announce new and strengthened intermediate targets for cutting emissions.
    Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav said India was on track to achieve targets set at the 2015 Paris conference and left the door open to revising them.    “All options are on the table,” he said.
    India has committed to cutting the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33%-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels, achieving a 24% reduction by 2016.
    Some environment experts say India could consider lowering its emissions intensity by as much as 40 percent dependent on finance and whether it has access to newer technologies.
    Yadav said he would measure the success of the Glasgow conference by how much it delivered on climate finance to help the developing world cut their emissions while ensuring economic growth.
(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Hugh Lawson, Kirsten Donovan)

10/27/2021 Factbox: Which Countries And Blocs Are Major Players At The Glasgow Climate Summit? by Andrea Januta
FILE PHOTO: People take part in a Climate March in Brussels, Belgium, ahead of
the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, October 10, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    (Reuters) – The diverse interests among the 197 signatories to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) make for a tough challenge reaching consensus on the next steps to stem global warming.    Here are some of the main stakeholders in the U.N. climate conference (COP26) starting in Glasgow on Oct. 31.
CHINA
    Currently the world’s top carbon emitter, China’s near-future actions will help determine whether the world can meet its climate goals.    It is also facing the impact of climate change, including extreme rainfall that devastated the province of Henan and unleashed flooding that killed more than 300 people in the summer.
    President Xi Jinping said last year China planned for an emissions peak in 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 – 10 years beyond the target scientists say is needed.    China also pledged to halt funding coal projects overseas and to start cutting its own coal consumption in 2026.    But an economic slowdown coupled with power shortages in recent weeks have fueled policymakers’ arguments that China is not yet ready to make bolder moves.
    Xi is not expected to attend the talks in person, and China will likely send vice-environment minister Zhao Yingmin, but analysts say that without Xi there would be little chance for a bold announcement.
UNITED STATES
    The United States is currently the world’s second-largest carbon emitter but has historically put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country since the Industrial Revolution.
    It returns this year to U.N. climate talks, after former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement and eschewed global efforts to curb emissions.
    U.S. public awareness has grown amid a series of climate-fueled disasters, including wildfires and the worst drought in nearly a century in the U.S. West.
    President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement and has pledged that the country will cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030.
    But domestic climate legislation is facing headwinds in Congress.    A lack of concrete policies will undermine U.S. efforts in Glasgow to push major emitters like China, India and Brazil to do more, diplomats and NGOs have said.
UNITED KINGDOM
    The conference host, along with Italy. British minister Alok Sharma, who is leading the conference, said he hopes the talks “consign coal power to history.”     In 2019, Britain pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and earlier this year committed to a 78% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.    But Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government faces a dilemma: there is increasing public pressure to halt new North Sea oil and gas exploration, but doing so would leave the country more reliant on imported fuel. EUROPEAN UNION
    The 27-country bloc produces around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and its emissions have been trending downward for years.    The EU has fixed into law targets to cut net emissions at least 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels, and reduce them to zero by 2050.    Now, its member countries are negotiating a huge legislative package to meet those goals.
    Extreme heatwaves and floods killed thousands in Europe over the last two years.
    EU countries negotiate as one group at the climate talks, and are expected this year to push for rules requiring stronger climate targets every five years from all countries, a position likely to prove sticky in negotiations.
LEAST DEVELOPED COUNTRIES (LDCs)
    This group represents the world’s 46 poorest nations, whose 1 billion citizens across Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to climate change, but least responsible for causing it.
    Along with blocs such as the African Group of Negotiators and the Climate Vulnerable Forum, LDCs are expected to push wealthy countries to honour a pledge to provide $100 billion per year in climate finance to the developing world for the 2020-2024 period – a target they are on track to miss.
‘BASIC’ COUNTRIES
    Brazil, South Africa, India and China make up this bloc of populous, fast-developing countries with high-polluting economies.    Each has called on rich countries to provide more climate financing, and have demanded equity through the UNFCCC concept of “common but differentiated responsibilities” – meaning wealthy countries that contributed the most emissions to the atmosphere have a greater responsibility to address it.
    New Delhi has said the current $100 billion a year pledge is not enough, and that India is unlikely to commit to a net-zero target by 2050.    Brazil also wants financial compensation to halt rampant Amazon deforestation.    South Africa wants stronger evidence developed countries will come up with the annual $100 billion they have promised, but also says the figure should be more like $750 billion.
OTHER NEGOTIATING BLOCS INCLUDE:
CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM
    Representing 48 countries most at risk from climate impacts, including Bangladesh and the Maldives, this group urges the need for a strong global agreement and is also asking for countries to update their climate pledges annually, instead of every five years.
ALLIANCE OF SMALL ISLAND STATES
    The alliance’s countries are disproportionately vulnerable to climate change effects, particularly sea level rise and coastal erosion.
POWERING PAST COAL ALLIANCE
    Spearheaded by the UK and Canada, 41 nations and dozens more local governments and private companies have pledged a faster transitions from coal to clean energy.
HIGH AMBITION COALITION
    Formed in 2014 by the Marshall Islands, Costa Rica, the United States and the EU, this group pushes for more progressive emissions targets and climate policies.
G77 + CHINA
    A longtime alliance of 77 developing countries and China, this group holds the line on the concept that different countries have differing responsibilities.
UMBRELLA GROUP
    This alliance of 12 non-EU developed countries includes Australia, Japan, Russia, and the United States.
AFRICA GROUP
    Africa’s U.N. members will push for additional climate financing for the developing world.
(Additional reporting by Valerie Volcovici, David Stanway, Kate Abnett, Alessandra Prentice, Jeff Mason and Tim Cocks; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/27/2021 Harvard’s Modern-Day Darwin Warns Against Humanity’s Downward Slope by Tim McLaughlin and Kanupriya Kapoor
American biologist E.O. Wilson is interviewed by Reuters in Lexington, Massachusetts,
U.S., October 21, 2021. Picture taken October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl
    BOSTON (Reuters) – The Harvard University scientist who has called for setting aside half the planet as a nature preserve says the slope of human history will always be downward unless there is global cooperation to save existing species.
    Edward O. Wilson, a 92-year old naturalist hailed as the Darwin of the 21st century, said humankind is not too polarized to save the planet, even as some of the world’s biggest polluters drag their feet on cutting carbon emissions and arresting global warming.
    He sees preventing catastrophic climate change — the aim of U.N. climate talks starting in Scotland on Sunday — and saving biodiversity, or the variety of plant and animal species in the world, as two initiatives that must happen together.
    “This is the most communal endeavor with a clear definable goal that humanity has ever had and we need to get the kind of cooperation and ethical harmony and planning in order to make it work,” Wilson told Reuters in an interview outside Boston on Oct. 21.
    “Otherwise, the slope of human history will always be downward.”
    Today, species are going extinct at a rate not seen in 10 million years, with around 1 million currently on the brink.    To limit the loss, the United Nations has urged countries to commit to conserving 30% of their land and water – almost double the area currently under some form of protection – by 2030.
    The so-called “30 by 30” target is in part inspired by Wilson’s Half-Earth Project.    First outlined in 2016, it calls for protecting half the planet’s land and sea so there are enough diverse and well-connected ecosystems to reverse the course of species extinction.
    “The point is that human nature has not changed enough.    Our strongest propensities of a social nature tend to disfavor the lives of most other species,” Wilson said.
    Humanity continues to solve problems by burning materials – coal and oil – left behind by ancient organisms, Wilson said, decrying the continued exploration and burning of fossil fuels, which amplifies the destruction of biodiversity.
    The Group of 20 rich countries remain divided over phasing out coal and committing to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.    G20 nations account for 80% of global emissions, but big polluters such as China and India have also so far dug in their heels.
THE ANT MAN STARTED YOUNG
    Alongside British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Wilson is considered the world’s leading authority on natural history and conservation.
    He is also the world’s foremost authority on ants, of which he has discovered over 400 species.    He has written two Pulitzer Prize-winning books and popularized the term “biodiversity,” leading to a movement to preserve all species on the planet while safeguarding against humankind’s domination of natural resources.    He has worked at Harvard for 70 years and still puts in time as a curator in entomology.
    His trajectory as an entomologist – someone who studies insects – was set at age 10, when he spent hours in the woods of Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C.
    “I already had a serious library from my collection of bugs and butterflies,” Wilson recounted during the interview.
    A highlight of his career would come years later when he climbed more than 13,000 feet (3,962 meters) to the center of the Sarawaged Range in Papua New Guinea.
    He said he owes part of his adventuresome spirit to his great-grandfather, William “Black Bill” Wilson, who piloted a steam ship during the U.S. Civil War.    He was captured and imprisoned by Union troops for trying to move arms and other supplies to the Confederacy.
    Wilson is a natural storyteller and his accessible writing style is on full display in “The Ants,” a 1990 book he wrote with Bert Holldobler. The monograph is more than 700 pages and weighs more than 7 pounds (3.2 kg).
    He said one of his greatest achievements was working out how ants communicate danger and food trails, for example, by emitting chemicals.
    Now living in a retirement community in a suburb of the northeastern U.S. city of Boston, Wilson continues to write and is working on a book about ecosystems.
    Despite his love and fascination of ants, he waves off any suggestion that humans should model themselves after their traits or those of any other species as a way of improvement.
    “I’m going to say something daring,” Wilson said.    “To follow the ethics and behavior of most other species would lead us to even more warfare over (resource) utilization …
    Still, he is optimistic humankind will set aside more space than it has in the past to save the rest of Earth’s biology.
    “It will be one of humanity’s proudest achievements,” Wilson said.    “If we fail to do it, and a large portion of the biological diversity of the world is allowed to be exterminated, for all of the generations to come that carelessness will be regarded as one of humanity’s greatest failures.”
(Reporting By Tim McLaughlin; Additional reporting by Kanupriya Kapoor in Singapore, Editing by William Maclean)

10/29/2021 Rich Nations To Acknowledge Climate Change Threat, Take Urgent Steps -Draft Communique by Jan Strupczewski, Colin Packham and Philip Pullella
FILE PHOTO: General view of the coal power plant of German LEAG energy company, in Jaenschwalde,
Germany, October 21, 2021. Picture taken October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) – Leaders of the 20 richest countries will acknowledge the existential threat of climate change and will take urgent steps to limit global warning, a draft communique seen ahead of the COP26 summit https://www.reuters.com/business/cop shows.
    As people around the world prepared to demonstrate their frustration with politicians, Pope Francis https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/pope-francis-cop26-must-offer-concrete-hope-future-generations-2021-10-29 lent his voice to a chorus demanding action, not mere words, from the meeting starting on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.
    The Group of 20, whose leaders gather on Saturday and Sunday in Rome https://www.reuters.com/world/climate-set-dominate-g20-summit-ahead-un-conference-2021-10-28 beforehand, will pledge to take urgent steps to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
    While the 2015 Paris Agreement committed signatories to keeping global warming to “well below” 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, and preferably to 1.5 degrees, carbon levels in the atmosphere have since grown.
    “We commit to tackle the existential challenge of climate change,” the G20 draft, seen by Reuters, promised.
    “We recognise that the impacts of climate change at 1.5 degrees are much lower than at 2 degrees and that immediate action must be taken to keep 1.5 degrees within reach.”
    U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that the world was rushing headlong towards climate disaster and G20 leaders must do more to help poorer countries.
    “Unfortunately, the message to developing countries is essentially this: the cheque is in the mail.    On all our climate goals, we have miles to go.    And we must pick up the pace,” Guterres said.
    Climate activist Greta Thunberg https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/protests-proposals-activists-face-climate-talks-test-2021-09-28, who has berated politicians for 30 years of “blah, blah, blah” is among those who took to the streets of the City of London, the British capital’s financial heart, to demand the world’s biggest financial companies withdraw support for fossil fuel.
U.S. BACK IN THE FRAY
    Demonstrators in the United States also protested outside several Federal Reserve Bank buildings and other banks.
    U.S. President Joe Biden will join leaders at the G20 meeting after a setback on Thursday https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-give-update-democrats-spending-plans-before-europe-trip-source-2021-10-28 when the House of Representatives abandoned plans for a vote on a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which would have represented the biggest investment in climate action in U.S. history.
    Biden had hoped to reach an agreement before COP26, where he wants to present a message that the United States has resumed the fight against global warming.
    The 84-year-old pope will not attend COP26 following surgery earlier this year, but on Friday he led the calls for action at the talks that run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.
    The world’s political leaders, he said, must give future generations “concrete hope” that they are taking the radical steps needed.
    “These crises present us with the need to take decisions, radical decisions that are not always easy,” he said.    “Moments of difficulty like these also present opportunities https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/pope-francis-cop26-must-offer-concrete-hope-future-generations-2021-10-29, opportunities that we must not waste.”
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is hosting COP26, said this week the outcome hangs in the balance.
    On Friday, Britain sought to align business more closely with net-zero commitments by becoming the first G20 country to make a set of global voluntary disclosure standards on climate-related risks mandatory https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/britain-says-company-climate-disclosures-will-be-mandatory-2022-2021-10-29 for large firms.
    But leaders of Europe’s biggest oil and gas companies, among big firms conspicuous by their absence at COP26, said only governments can effectively curb fossil fuel demand.
SURVIVAL
    The statement from the G20 countries, which are responsible for an estimated 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions, said members acknowledged “the key relevance of achieving global net zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by 2050.”
    But countries on the climate frontline struggling with rising sea levels want steps taken now.
    “We need concrete action now. We cannot wait until 2050, it is a matter of our survival,” said Anote Tong, a former president of Kiribati.
    Tong has predicted his country of 33 low-lying atolls and islands was likely to become uninhabitable in 30 to 60 years’ time.
    UN climate experts say a 2050 deadline is crucial to meet the 1.5 degree limit, but some of the world’s biggest polluters say they cannot reach it, with China, by far the largest carbon emitter, aiming for 2060 https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/china-submits-updated-climate-pledges-united-nations-2021-10-28.
    Britain’s Johnson said he had urged Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday to do more to reduce his country’s reliance on coal https://www.reuters.com/article/climate-un-coal-demand/insight-cop26-aims-to-banish-coal-asia-is-building-hundreds-of-power-plants-to-burn-it-idINL4N2RI1DL and to bring forward its prediction for peak emissions.
    “I pushed a bit on (peak emissions), that 2025 would be better than 2030, and I wouldn’t say he committed on that,” Johnson said.
    Xi is not expected https://www.reuters.com/world/china/britain-not-expecting-chinas-xi-glasgow-un-envoy-2021-10-28 to attend the conference in person.
    In the G20 draft communique, the 2050 date for net zero emissions appears in brackets, indicating it is still subject to negotiation.
    Current commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions put the planet on track for an average 2.7C temperature rise this century, a United Nations report https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/un-warns-world-set-27c-rise-todays-emissions-pledges-2021-10-26/#:~:text=LONDON%2C%20Oct%2026%20(Reuters),ahead%20of%20crunch%20climate%20talks said on Tuesday.
    Pacific Island leaders said they would demand immediate action in Glasgow.
    “We do not have the luxury of time and must join forces urgently and deliver the required ambition at COP26 to safeguard the future of all humankind, and our planet,” said Henry Puna, former Cook Islands prime minister and now secretary of the Pacific Islands Forum.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski, Costas Pitas, Colin Packham, Jeff Mason, Philip Pullella, Timothy Gardner, Trevor Hunnicutt, Elizabeth Piper and Richard Cowan; Writing by Alexander Smith; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Angus MacSwan and Toby Chopra)

10/29/2021 Pope Francis: COP26 Must Offer Concrete Hope To Future Generations
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis arrives for a meeting at the Paul VI Audience Hall
in the Vatican, October 25, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) -Political leaders must give “concrete hope” to future generations that they are taking the radical steps needed to tackle climate change when they meet at COP26, Pope Francis said in a message released in Friday.
    The United Nation’s COP26 summit runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, and Pope Francis called for a “renewed sense of shared responsibility for our world” to spur action.
    “It is essential that each of us be committed to this urgent change of direction,” he said on BBC Radio.
    “The political decision makers who will meet at COP26 in Glasgow are urgently summoned to provide effective responses to the present ecological crisis and in this way to offer concrete hope to future generations.”
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the summit is unbelievably important, but the outcome is in the balance as talks will be difficult.
    Pope Francis said the summit would be tough, but also represents an opportunity.br>     “These crises present us with the need to take decisions, radical decisions that are not always easy,” he said.
    “At the same time, moments of difficulty like these also present opportunities, opportunities that we must not waste.”
    The Vatican is sending a delegation to the summit, but the 84-year-old pope will not be going following surgery earlier this year.
    Pope Francis warned against the danger of isolationism and protectionism in dealing with the climate crisis.
    “We can confront these crises by retreating into isolationism, protectionism and exploitation.    Or we can see in them a real chance for change, a genuine moment of conversion, and not simply in a spiritual sense,” he said.
    “This last approach alone can guide us towards a brighter horizon.”
(Reporting by Costas Pitas, writing by Alistair Smout, Editing by Paul Sandle)

10/30/2021 Jupiter’s mega storm is surprisingly deep by Marcia Dunn ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a storm so big it could swallow Earth, extends surprisingly deep beneath the planet’s cloud tops, scientists reported Thursday.
    NASA’s Juno spacecraft has discovered that the monster storm, though shrinking, still has a depth of between 200 and 3/00 miles or so.    When combined with its width of 10,000 miles the Great Red Spot resembles a fat pancake in new 3D images of the planet.
    The mission’s lead scientist, Scott Bolton of Southwest Research Institute, said there might not be a hard cutoff at the bottom of the storm.
    'It probably fades out gradually and keeps going down,' Bolton said at a news conference.
    The research was published Thursday in the journal Science.
    The Great Red Spot is probably the tallest Jovian storm measured so far with Juno’s microwave and gravity-mapping instruments, Bolton said.    Thousands of storms rage across the gas giant at any given time – beautiful and colorful swirls, plumes and filaments covering the entire planet, as seen by the spacecraft’s camera.
    Still ahead for Juno: measuring the depth of the polar cyclones, which might penetrate even deeper beneath the clouds.
    'I wouldn’t want to be too quick to guess that we’ve seen the deepest,' Bolton told reporters.    'But the Great Red Spot is the largest and that makes it special by itself, and you might expect that it might be deeper just because of that.'
    By contrast, some of the surrounding jet streams extend an estimated 2,000 miles into Jupiter.
    Launched in 2011, Juno has been orbiting the solar system’s largest planet since 2016.
    NASA recently extended the mission by another four years, to 2025.
This combination of images shows the planet Jupiter seen by the Juno probe’s microwave radiometer, left, and in
visible light, captured by the Gemini Observatory. NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS; Kevin M. Gill; Gemini Observatory/AP

10/30/2021 U.S. Back With ‘Guns Blazing’ On Climate Issue – U.S. Treasury Adviser by Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from the chimneys of a power plant in Chinese border city Heihe, as seen from
Blagoveshchensk, in Amur region, Russia, November 30, 2019. Picture taken November 30, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
    ROME (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury’s top climate adviser said that renewed U.S. engagement on climate change under President Joe Biden has helped put the issue at the top of the Group of 20 agenda and is galvanizing fresh commitments to reduce emissions to net zero.
    Climate change will feature prominently in this weekend’s G20 summit in Rome, said John Morton, a former private equity adviser and Treasury’s first climate counselor. He also forecast a spate of new commitments from countries and the private sector ahead of the COP26 U.N. climate conference that starts on Monday in Glasgow.
    “That’s an indication of the seriousness with which the global community is now taking climate change,” he told Reuters in an interview on Friday.    “And obviously, this administration has come back in guns blazing on the issue in really important ways.”
    At their weekend meeting, leaders of the Group of 20 richest nations will commit to step up their efforts to limit global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
    Morton, who coordinates climate-focused work across Treasury divisions, said he hoped Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending plan https://www.reuters.com/world/us/what-are-climate-change-provisions-us-budget-bill-framework-2021-10-28, with $555 billion in clean energy tax credits and other climate-related measures, would be finalized in coming days.
    “It would be an absolutely historic investment into climate change, by far the biggest in American history, and it would supercharge the efforts around the transition,” he said.
    That spending comes on top of separate measures included in a separate $1 trillion infrastructure bill, but several of the administration’s original proposals were killed in congressional negotiations.
    Biden’s framework includes a slew of clean energy tax credit, investments aimed at helping the United States adapt to the worst impacts of climate change, and funding for incentives intended to spur new domestic supply chains and technology.
    Morton said cutting emissions and transitioning to a net-zero economy was an “economic imperative” required to ensure continued U.S. competitiveness, especially given massive investments being made by other countries like China.
    “The benefit of this legislation is that it puts in place the incentives and the building blocks to actually begin addressing that issue,” he said, referring to tax credits and incentives in the spending bill that are aimed at advancing technologies such as solar, wind and batteries.
    “Shame on us if we don’t take advantage of those economic opportunities at home and create the jobs that we know will be the jobs of the next decades,” he said.
    Washington is also working with international partners to invest in accelerating efforts to transition away from coal, Morton said.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Frances Kerry)

10/30/2021 G20 Leaders Struggling To Toughen Climate Goals, Draft Shows by Jan Strupczewski and Gavin Jones
FILE PHOTO: Carabinieri police officers inspect the area with explosive detection dogs outside the convention
centre "La Nuvola" (the cloud) ahead of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy, October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) -Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies will say they aim to cap global warming at the 1.5 degrees Celsius level scientists say is vital to avoid disaster, but will largely avoid firm commitments, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.
    The joint statement on the need for climate action reflects tough negotiations among diplomats as the leaders gathered for a two-day summit in Rome, but the draft details few concrete actions to limit carbon emissions.
    “We remain committed to the (2015) Paris Agreement goal to hold the global average temperature increase well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels,” the draft says.
    The statement also says the leaders recognised “the key relevance” of achieving net zero carbon emissions by the middle of this century.
    This is a goal that United Nations experts say is needed to achieve the 1.5 degree cap on warming, but some of the world’s biggest polluters have still not committed to it.
    China, the largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, has set a 2060 target date.
    Overall, the fifth draft produced does not seem to have toughened up the language on climate action compared with previous versions, and in some areas it has slightly softened it.
BIG EMITTERS
    The role of the G20 is crucial ahead of a broader U.N. climate summit https://www.reuters.com/business/cop known as “COP26” to be held in Glasgow, Scotland next week involving almost 200 countries.
    The G20 bloc, which includes Brazil, China, India, Germany and the United States, accounts for more than 80% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), 60% of its population and an estimated 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
    “Keeping 1.5°C within reach will require meaningful and effective actions by all countries,” the latest draft says.
    That compares with a previous draft which said “immediate action” was needed, reflecting the painstaking discussions over wording involved in climate diplomacy.
    The reference in the latest draft to the importance of reaching net zero emissions “by mid-century,” replaces a previous version which referred to the more specific “by 2050”    This was in brackets, indicating it required negotiation.
    The latest draft acknowledges that current national plans on how to curb emissions will have to be strengthened, but offers little detail on how this should be done.
    U.N. experts say that even if current national plans are fully implemented, the world is headed for global warming of 2.7 degrees, with a catastrophic acceleration of events such as drought, storms and flooding.
    The draft includes a pledge to halt financing of overseas coal-fired power generation by the end of this year, and to “do our utmost” to stop building new coal power plants before the end of the 2030s.    Both these commitments were in previous drafts, as was another reiterated pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies “over the medium term.”
    In the latest draft the G20 leaders also say they will “strive to reduce our collective methane emissions significantly.”    Methane has a much more potent, but less long-lasting, impact on global warming than carbon dioxide.
    The willingness of wealthier countries to help finance the ecological transition of poorer ones, known as “climate financing,” is likely to be crucial to the success of the G20 and the Glasgow summits.
    In 2009, rich nations promised to provide $100 billion per year of climate financing but they have failed to meet the pledge, generating mistrust and a reluctance among some developing nations to accelerate their emissions reductions.
    “We stress the importance of fulfilling the joint commitment to the goal of developed countries to mobilize USD 100 billion annually from public and private sources through to 2025 to address the needs of developing countries, in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation,” the latest G20 draft says.
    There is no reference to retroactive payment of the money promised by 2020, which some developing countries and activists say is needed.
(Reporting by Jan StrupczewskiWriting by Gavin JonesEditing by Crispian Balmer and Helen Popper)

10/30/2021 Tourists Head To Spanish Island Of La Palma To See Erupting Volcano by Marco Trujillo and Elena Rodriguez
Tourists arrive at the Tajuya viewpoint to see the Cumbre Vieja volcano that continues to
expel lava, on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – Olga Reinoso took advantage of the All Saints Day public holiday to see the erupting volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma but like other tourists she wanted to help islanders whose homes have been destroyed and crops ruined.
    Tourists were keen to help La Palma by spending money to boost the island’s economy.
    “In a passive way, our way to help is to come here to visit the volcano, which is something unique, but we contribute with money by spending money at hotel, restaurants, car rental,” Reinoso, who is from the nearby island of Fuerteventura, told Reuters.br>     The Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) has restricted access to the roads near the Cumbre Vieja volcano so that security and emergency teams can operate as visitors arrive for the All Saints’ Day weekend.
    However, Pevolca has set up a free bus service so people can access the volcano area from a safe distance.
    Since the eruption began on Sept. 19, lava from the volcano has covered nearly 900 hectares (2,200 acres) of land, destroying around 2,000 buildings and many banana plantations.
    More than 7,000 people have had to evacuate their homes.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Editing by Frances Kerry)

11/1/2021 Astronomers may have spotted a planet in another galaxy for the first time by Jon Fingas
    The hunt for exoplanets is venturing beyond the Milky Way. Astronomers using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected what might be the first signs of a planet in another galaxy.    The team noticed dips in X-ray brightness that hint at a planet transiting in front of a star in the Messier 51 (aka M51) galaxy 28 million light-years away.    For context, all the exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way are no more than 3,000 light-years from Earth — this planet would easily set a distance record if confirmed.
© X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/R. DiStefano, et al.; Optical: NASA/ESA/STScI/Grendler
Illustration: NASA/CXC/M... Illustration of a possible planet in the Messier 51 galaxy
    The very nature of stars made the feat possible.    As the researchers had to focus on X-ray bright binary systems where the region of bright rays is relatively tiny, the transit was considerably easier to spot.    Conventional detection of nearby stars requires much more sensitive light detection, as a planet might only block a small amount of light from a given star.
    The planet itself is believed to be as large as Saturn, but would orbit its hosts (a star 20 times the mass of the Sun as well as a black hole or neutron star) at twice the distance.
    Scientists didn't believe the dimming was due to gas clouds or dust, as those aren't consistent with the event they recorded in M51.    A planet, however, would line up with the data.
    The challenge, as you might guess, is verifying that data.    The planet's large orbit could rule out another transit for roughly 70 years, and it wouldn't be clear exactly when astronomers would have to take a look.    The three-hour transit of this planet candidate didn't provide a large window.    That's also assuming the 'living' star doesn't explode and bathe the planet in radiation.
    If there's ever a confirmation, though, the discovery would be very significant.    While there aren't many doubts that planets exist in other galaxies, it would be useful to have evidence of their existence.    This could also significantly widen the scope of future planetary searches to include the galactic neighborhood, not just close-by stars.

11/1/2021 Denmark, U.S. And 12 Other Nations Back Tougher Climate Goal For Shipping by Kate Abnett, Jonathan Saul and Ilze Filks
FILE PHOTO: Clouds are seen above the sail training ship The Royalist during the Cloud
Appreciation Society's gathering in Lundy, Britain, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – Denmark, the United States and 12 other countries on Monday backed a goal to reduce emissions by the global maritime sector to zero by 2050, a target to be fleshed out in negotiations at the United Nations shipping agency.
    The initiative, led by Denmark and announced on the sidelines of the U.N. COP26 climate summit https://www.reuters.com/business/sustainable-business/biden-tout-largest-investment-climate-glasgow-2021-11-01 in Glasgow, Scotland, aims to build support among countries for the goal at the International Maritime Organization, which is considering new emissions-cutting measures by a 2023 deadline.
    “We urge the IMO to take action to set ambitious targets to achieve zero emission shipping by 2050,” Danish Prime     Minister Mette Frederiksen told a news conference at COP26.    “Carbon-neutral shipping is vital to reaching our climate goals.”
    Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, the Marshall Islands, Norway, Panama and Sweden also signed the maritime sector declaration.
    It commits countries to “work at IMO to adopt such a goal, to adopt goals for 2030 and 2040 that place the sector on a pathway to full decarbonisation by 2050, and to adopt the measures to help achieve these goals.”
    The IMO sets shipping regulations through its 175 member countries and aims to reach decisions through consensus.    A tougher target would need approval from a majority, posing political challenges.    Countries with big maritime shipping sectors including Japan and Greece did not sign the declaration.
    An IMO spokesperson said it would hold discussions on proposals from countries for broader climate measures to be adopted in 2023.    “IMO is providing the global forum where member states can begin forward their proposals for discussion.”
    In 2018 the IMO adopted an objective to halve international shipping emissions by 2050 from 2008 levels.    That would still fall far short of the net zero CO2 emissions that scientists say the world must achieve by 2050 to avoid the most calamitous impacts of climate change.
    With around 90% of world trade transported by sea, global shipping accounts for nearly 3% of global CO2 emissions.
    Decarbonising the sector will require huge investments to scale up production of green fuels and launch clean ships this decade.    The world’s largest container line, Denmark’s Maersk, plans to operate its first carbon-neutral ship in 2023 using green methanol produced from renewable sources.
    Some countries are pressing ahead with stricter policies.    The 27-country European Union is considering a proposal to add shipping to the EU carbon market, forcing ship owners to pay a fee when they pollute.
    Britain is trying to assemble a group of countries to make a similar declaration on aviation at COP26, to push the U.N. aviation agency to set a tougher emissions target, according to documents seen by Reuters.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels, Jonathan Saul in London, Ilze Filks in Glasgow; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

11/2/2021 NASA chief Bill Nelson latest official to suggest UFOs have otherworldly origins by Marik von Rennenkampff, Opinion Contributor, The Hill
    In a freewheeling Oct. 19 discussion on space policy, NASA administrator Bill Nelson spoke passionately about his agency's mission to seek out life beyond Earth.    In his comments, Nelson pivoted almost immediately to a series of U.S. military encounters with mysterious flying objects, many of which appeared to maneuver in extraordinary ways while in restricted airspace.
© Getty Images NASA chief Bill Nelson latest official to suggest UFOs have otherworldly origins
    After speaking with several of the naval aviators who observed the unknown craft, NASA's chief is convinced that the pilots "saw something, and their radars locked onto it."    Asked to speculate about the nature of the phenomena, Nelson - an Army veteran, former senator and ex-astronaut - responded, "Who am I to say that planet Earth is the only location of a life form that is civilized and organized like ours?"
    As surprising as his answer may be, Nelson is only the latest high-level official to hint that UFOs may have otherworldly explanations.
    Asked in June about the military's recent encounters with mysterious craft, former President Bill Clinton - like Nelson - responded by pondering the vastness of the universe and the high probability of life existing beyond Earth.    Similarly, former President Obama speculated about the extraordinary implications if recent incidents involved otherworldly objects.    Of note, Clinton and Obama retain access to top-level intelligence briefings.
    But that's just the tip of the iceberg.    Queried about the Navy's encounters with UFOs, former CIA director John Brennan speculated that the objects might "constitute a different form of life."    Channeling Clinton, Obama and NASA's Nelson, Brennan stated that "it's a bit presumptuous and arrogant for us to believe that there's no other form of life anywhere in the entire universe."
    In much the same vein, former CIA Director James Woolsey, a longtime UFO skeptic, recently signaled openness to the possibility that such encounters have otherworldly explanations.
    John Ratcliffe, former President Trump's director of national intelligence, is particularly vocal about UFOs.
    In a series of interviews, Ratcliffe ruled out secret U.S. technology and cited "high confidence" intelligence assessments to eliminate foreign adversaries as possible explanations for the most compelling UFO encounters.    According to the former head of U.S. intelligence, some UFOs exhibit "technologies that we don't have and, frankly, that we are not capable of defending against."
    Like Ratcliffe, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) ruled out foreign powers or highly classified American technology, leaving few explanations for the phenomena.
    By now, readers should be sufficiently convinced that this topic transcends America's deepest political fault lines.
    Perhaps more importantly, Luis Elizondo, former director of a Pentagon unit that analyzed military encounters with UFOs, has suggested that the most compelling incidents have extraterrestrial explanations.    Ditto for     Christopher Mellon, the top civilian military intelligence official during the Clinton and second Bush administrations.    At the same time, U.S. intelligence analysts are reportedly considering the possibility that recent encounters involved "non-human technology."
    As surprising as these developments may seem, a holistic view of the phenomenon suggests that history is repeating itself.
    Reports of unidentified craft maneuvering in extraordinary ways surged in the 1940s, shortly after the first nuclear weapons were detonated.    With stark parallels to recent developments, declassified documents show that from 1947 to 1952, U.S. intelligence analysts ruled out foreign adversaries - such as the Soviet Union - or highly classified American technology as plausible explanations for the most credible and compelling UFO encounters.    Unsurprisingly, top military officials began "seriously considering the possibility of interplanetary ships."
    In early 1953, however, such objective, open-minded government analyses came to an abrupt halt.
    Over several days the previous summer, pilots and radar operators in Washington, D.C., reported extraordinary (and still unexplained) encounters with unidentified objects.    But the sheer volume of UFO reports - and the deluge of public queries that followed - spooked America's defense planners.
    Officials grew concerned that future mass UFO sightings would again overwhelm intelligence and communications channels.    The Soviet Union, these officials worried, could exploit public interest in UFOs to sow "mass hysteria and panic," handing Moscow a "surprise advantage in any nuclear attack."
    In response to these Cold War fears, the CIA convened a panel of scientists to assess the UFO phenomenon.    Over the course of two days, the scientists, who - critically - were "not given access to the truly puzzling [UFO] cases," recommended a sweeping government effort to "debunk" UFO sightings.
    Fearing another flood of UFO reports, the CIA-convened panel reasoned that a "debunking" campaign would decrease "public interest in 'flying saucers'" and reduce Americans' "susceptibility to clever hostile propaganda."
    As investigative journalist Leslie Kean notes, the CIA's remarkably brief, superficial meetings "would forever change both the course of media coverage and the official attitude toward the UFO subject."
    Indeed, the U.S. Air Force's two decade-long project to investigate UFO reports morphed into a determined effort to discredit UFO sightings and witnesses, no matter how credible.    According to James McDonald, one of the world's leading atmospheric physicists, the Air Force began applying "meteorologically, chemically and optically absurd" explanations to the most compelling UFO sightings.
    Vice Admiral Roscoe Hillenkoetter, the first director of the CIA, summarized the situation: "Through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe [UFOs] are nonsense. ... Behind the scenes," however, "high-ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned..."
    As the Air Force systematically discredited witnesses (many of whom had nothing to gain by coming forward), widespread public and congressional anger followed.
    Unsurprisingly, the Air Force's campaign to "debunk" UFO sightings at all costs fueled widespread perceptions of a government coverup, creating fertile ground for an array of exotic (and enduring) conspiracy theories.    Moreover, by wrongfully tarring credible witnesses as kooks, the Air Force further fueled the powerful stigma that continues to stifle good-faith reporting of unidentified objects by reliable observers.
    Perhaps worst of all, as astronomer and long-time consultant to the Air Force's UFO project J. Allen Hynek bluntly stated: The 1953 CIA panel "made the subject of UFOs scientifically unrespectable."
    Ultimately, the two scientists who immersed themselves in the study of UFOs more than any of their contemporaries became fierce advocates of serious academic inquiry of the phenomenon.
    Initially skeptics, renowned atmospheric physicist James McDonald and J. Allen Hynek - whose career inspired the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" - proceeded to make convincing arguments that the most compelling UFO incidents may have otherworldly explanations.
    Sixty year later, as high-level officials speculate openly about such extraordinary possibilities, McDonald and Hynek's meticulous, undeniably scientific work deserves close examination.
    Marik von Rennenkampff served as an analyst with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, as well as an Obama administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Defense.    Follow him on Twitter @MvonRen.

11/2/2021 Over 100 Global Leaders Pledge To End Deforestation By 2030 by Jake Spring and Simon Jessop
FILE PHOTO: A logging truck is pictured among burned trees, felled following last year's Rim fire,
near Groveland, California July 30, 2014. Long, heavy logging trucks, swaying with the weight of charred
California pines, wind through the forest near Yosemite National Park, part of an effort to clean up
from last year's devastating wildfires even as new blazes break out this summer. To match Feature
USA-CALIFORNIA/WILDFIRES-TREES REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – More than 100 global leaders late on Monday pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.
    The joint statement at the COP26 climate talks https://www.reuters.com/business/cop in Glasgow was backed by the leaders of countries including Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which collectively account for 85% of the world’s forests.
    The Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use will cover forests totaling more than 13 million square miles, according to a statement from the UK prime minister’s office on behalf of the leaders.
    “We will have a chance to end humanity’s long history as nature’s conqueror, and instead become its custodian,” said British leader Boris Johnson, calling it an unprecedented agreement.
    A slew of additional government and private initiatives were launched on Tuesday to help reach that goal, including billions in pledges for indigenous guardians of the forest and sustainable agriculture.
    Forests absorb roughly 30% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the nonprofit World Resources Institute.    The forests take the emissions out of the atmosphere and prevent them from warming the climate.
    Yet this natural climate buffer is rapidly disappearing.    The world lost 258,000 square kilometers of forest in 2020, according to WRI’s deforestation tracking initiative Global Forest Watch.    That is an area larger than the United Kingdom.
    Monday’s agreement vastly expands a similar commitment made by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of Forests and goes further than ever before in laying out the resources to reach that goal.
    Under the agreement, 12 countries including Britain have pledged to provide 8.75 billion pounds ($12 billion) of public funding between 2021 and 2025 to help developing countries, including in efforts to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.
    At least a further 5.3 billion pounds would be provided by more than 30 private sector investors including Aviva, Schroders and AXA.
    The investors, representing $8.7 trillion in assets under management, also pledged to stop investing in activities linked to deforestation by 2025.
    Five countries, including the Britain and United States, and a group of global charities on Tuesday also pledged to provide $1.7 billion in financing to support indigenous people’s conservation of forests and to strengthen their land rights.
    Environmentalists say that indigenous communities are the best protectors of the forest, often against violent encroachment of loggers and land grabbers.
    More than 30 financial institutions with more than $8.7 trillion in assets under management also said they would make “best efforts” to eliminate deforestation related to cattle, palm oil, soy and pulp production by 2025.
    COP26 aims to keep alive a target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.    Scientists say forests and so-called nature-based solutions will be vital to reaching that goal.
    Woodlands have removed about 760 million tonnes of carbon every year since 2011, offsetting about 8% of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement, according to the Biomass Carbon Monitor project backed by data analytics firm Kayrros and French research institutions.
    “Our biosphere is really helping bail us out for the time being, but there is no guarantee those processes will continue,” said Oliver Phillips, an ecologist at the United Kingdom’s University of Leeds.
($1 = 0.7312 pound)
(Reporting by Jake Spring and Simon Jessop; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

11/2/2021 Leaders At Global Climate Talks Pledge To Cut Methane And Save Forests by Jake Spring and William James
A person walks past a sign during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)
in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – Leaders at the COP26 global climate conference in Glasgow have pledged to stop deforestation by the end of the decade and slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane to help slow climate change.
    The inability of major powers so far to agree more broadly on rapid reductions in the use of fossil fuels, the main cause of manmade global warming, has upset the poorer, smaller countries likely to suffer its worst effects.
    Surangel Whipps Jr, president of Palau, a Pacific state of 500 low-lying islands under threat from rising sea levels, told the leaders of the G20 industrial powers in a speech: “We are drowning and our only hope is the life-ring you are holding.”
    Nearly 90 countries have joined a U.S.- and EU-led effort to slash emissions of methane 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels, a senior Biden administration official said ahead of a formal announcement on Tuesday.
    Methane is more short-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but 80 times more potent in warming the earth.    Cutting emissions of the gas, which is estimated to have accounted for 30% of global warming since pre-industrial times, is one of the most effective ways of slowing climate change.
    The Global Methane Pledge, first announced in September, now covers emissions from two-thirds of the global economy, according to the U.S. official.
    Among the signatories to be announced on Tuesday is Brazil – one of the five biggest emitters of methane, which is generated in cows’ digestive systems, in landfill waste and in oil and gas production.    Three others – China, Russia and India – have not signed up, while Australia has said it will not back the pledge.
    Humanity has also boosted the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by hacking away at the forests that absorb roughly 30% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the nonprofit World Resources Institute.
LOST FORESTS
    In 2020, the world lost 258,000 sq km (100,000 sq miles) of forest – an area larger than the United Kingdom, according to WRI’s Global Forest Watch. The conservation charity WWF estimates that 27 football fields of forest are lost every minute.
    More than 100 national leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by $19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.
    The agreement vastly expands a commitment made by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of Forests, and promises more resources.
    “Let’s end this great global chainsaw massacre by making conservation do what we know it can do and deliver long-term sustainable jobs and growth as well,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
    COP26 aims to keep alive a receding target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels to avert still greater damage from the intensified heatwaves, droughts, storms, floods and coastal damage that climate change is already causing.
    Under the agreement, 12 countries pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 for developing countries to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.
    At least $7.2 billion will come from private sector investors representing $8.7 trillion in assets under management, who also pledged to stop investing in activities linked to deforestation such as cattle, palm oil and soybean farming and pulp production.
    Brazil, which has cleared vast swathes of the Amazon rainforest, did make a new commitment on Monday to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, compared with a previous pledge of 43%.
    And Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the first time set out a target date for India, heavily reliant on coal, to reduce its carbon emissions to a level it can absorb, albeit only in 2070 – 20 years beyond the U.N.’s global recommendation.
‘IMPOSSIBLE TO NEGOTIATE’
    But there is scant sign so far of shared resolve by the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, China and the United States, which together account for more than 40% of global emissions but are at odds on numerous issues.
    U.S. President Joe Biden has singled out China and leading oil producer Russia for failing to step up their climate goals in Glasgow, while Beijing has rejected Washington’s efforts to separate climate issues from their wider disagreements.
    The Communist Party-run Global Times said in an editorial on Monday that Washington’s attitude had made it “impossible for China to see any potential to have fair negotiation amid the tensions.”    China said on Tuesday that President Xi Jinping, who decided not to attend in person, had not been given an opportunity to deliver a video address, and had to send a written response instead – in which he offered no additional pledges.
    The British government said it had wanted people to attend the conference in person, and had offered absentees the chance to provide recorded addresses or statements.
    “If the world was a private company,” said Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, “imagine that for a minute, and the leaders of the world were to be different CEOs of the corporations – today we would all be fired.”
(Reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels, Valerie Volcovici in Washington; Jake Spring, Simon Jessop, William James and Ilze Filks in Glasgow; David Stanway, Josh Horwitz and Yew Lun Tian; Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

11/2/2021 World Should Respond To Climate Change As If Hit By A Global War, Pope Tells COP26
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis attends the weekly general audience at the Paul VI
Audience Hall, at the Vatican, October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Tuesday that the twin wounds inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change were comparable to those caused by a global conflict and should be confronted in the same way.
    In a message to the U.N. COP26 climate talks read in Glasgow by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Francis also said rich countries had an outstanding “ecological debt” with poorer countries because of the disproportionate use of natural resources from developing nations by advanced ones.
    “The wounds inflicted on our human family by the COVID-19 pandemic and the phenomenon of climate change are comparable to those resulting from a global conflict,” he said.
    He called for the implementation of collegial and farsighted action “as in the aftermath of the Second World War” in which nations show solidarity and cooperation for the good of all, particularly the weakest.
    Countries with greater means should take the lead in “decarbonisation in the economic system and in people’s lives” and provide more support to the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
    Rich countries owed an “ecological debt” to make amends for the “disproportionate use of the natural resources of one’s own and of other countries,” he said.
    “Now is the time to act, urgently, courageously and responsibly,” he said.
    “The young, who in recent years have strongly urged us to act, will only inherit the planet we choose to leave to them, based on the concrete choices we make today.    Now is the moment for decisions that can provide them with reasons for hope and trust in the future,” Francis said.
    The 84-year-old pope, who has made protection of the environment a cornerstone of his pontificate, had said several times that he hoped to attend COP26, but the Vatican announced on Oct. 8 that Parolin would head its delegation.    It gave no explanation.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alex Richardson)

11/3/2021 Danish PM Denies She Knew Order For Mink Kill Was Not Legally Valid
FILE PHOTO: Members of Danish health authorities are assisted by members of the Danish Armed Forces
in disposing of dead mink in a military area near Holstebro in Denmark November 9, 2020.
Morten Stricker/Dagbladet Holstebro Struer/Jysk Fynske Medier/Ritzau Scanpix/via REUTERS
    COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, facing a probe over the slaughter of the country’s entire mink herd last year, on Wednesday denied that she knew then that the government did not have legal authority to order the move.
    Responding to the rising spread of coronavirus from mink to people, including a new mutated strain, Frederiksen’s Social Democratic government in November 2021 ordered all of the country’s 17 million minks killed.
    The government later admitted it did not have the legal authority to kill healthy mink herds, only those infected with coronavirus, leading to the exit of the minister of agriculture.
    Parliament launched a probe in December into whether other ministers including Frederiksen knew of but ignored the faulty legal basis for the order.
    “What motive should the government have had for not disclosing the lack of legal basis?    Let me make it very clear: I did not know,” Frederiksen told a press briefing, offering her most detailed defence so far.
    Prior to the slaughter, which left the industry in ruins, Denmark was the world’s largest producer of high-quality mink skins, coveted in the fashion industry for their silky-soft character.
    Opposition lawmakers have accused the prime minister of deliberately working against the probe.
    Investigators wanted to review text messages sent by Frederiksen and officials in her office but said they had been deleted because the officials set their phones to erase texts after 30 days. The Justice Ministry is working with police to recover the messages.
    “Will those text messages show anything new about my knowledge of the lack of legal basis?    No, they will not,” Frederiksen said.
    That probe, which will put Frederiksen on the stand on Dec 9, is set to present its conclusion in April.
(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

11/3/2021 Climate Change Extremes Spur U.N. Plan To Fund Weather Forecasting by Andrea Januta, Kanupriya Kapoor and Katy Daigle
FILE PHOTO: The carcass of a donkey who died due to an ongoing drought is seen near
the town of Kargi, Marsabit county, Kenya, October 9, 2021. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – As climate change triggers deadly heatwaves, droughts and floods, three U.N. agencies on Wednesday rolled out funding plans to improve weather forecasting in vulnerable countries.
    The initiative, announced at the U.N. climate summit https://www.reuters.com/business/cop in Glasgow, aims to plug gaps in weather monitoring and data collection so developing countries can better prepare for possible climate-fuelled disasters.
    Over the next decade, organizers at the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) plan to boost weather monitoring in 75 small island nations and least-developed countries that have done little to cause the climate crisis but face the biggest and costliest impacts.
    “We have to invest in weather and climate services,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas told conference attendees.    “Without observations we are not able to provide good services.”
    “In modelling we say that if you put junk in your forecasting models you are getting junk out.    Unfortunately that’s the situation in several developing countries and also several island state countries,” he said.
    Improving rain forecasts, for instance, can help farmers manage their fields, communities manage water resources or governments plan for food imports when yields look likely to falter.    They can also allow people to prepare for possible flooding.
    For the Red Cross in Burkina Faso, such forecasts – when they exist – are crucial to the aid organization’s budget and procurement planning, Red Cross climate scientist Kiswendsida Guigma said.
    But in many places, there is a “huge gap” in accuracy and detail, Guigma said.    “We don’t have very dense networks of instruments collecting data, and (there is) a lack of human and technical capacity.”
    The new initiative, called the Systematic Observations Finance Facility, is led by the WMO, the U.N. Development Programme and the U.N. Environment Programme and falls under global plans to provide $100 billion a year in climate financing to poorer nations.
    Failure by rich nations to meet this 2020 goal has earned wide rebuke in Glasgow.    On Tuesday U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said the world might meet https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/japan-pledge-brings-100-bln-climate-funding-target-closer-us-envoy-says-2021-11-02 that goal by 2022.
    Improving weather data can also help with longer-term predictability around climate change, said Lars Peter Riishojgaard, director of the WMO’s Earth System Branch.
    “If you’re a rural economy with subsistence farming, you need to know: Can people have their livelihoods where they are right now, or do they need to pick different crops?” Riishojgaard said.    “If you can’t predict it, you can’t adapt to it.”
DISAPPEARING DATA
    In recent years, weather data for Africa has declined as readings from weather balloons equipped with observation equipment – known as radiosondes – decreased by about half between 2015 and 2020.
    Radiosonde data, which unlike satellite data is collected at various atmospheric altitudes, is crucial for both weather predictions and climate modelling.    Lack of investment, security conflicts and other problems have prevented African countries from floating new balloons, said Columbia University climate scientist Tufa Dinku.
    “There is almost no data outside the roads, outside the towns and cities,” he said.    And “if you think about it, agriculture doesn’t happen in towns or cities.”
    That has left African farmers and herders struggling to plan ahead, even as the rates of temperature increase in the continent’s south have been among the world’s fastest.
    Madagascar, off Africa’s southeast coast, has this year suffered from a crippling famine https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/madagascar-prays-rain-un-warns-climate-change-famine-2021-10-11 that scientists say is caused by climate-fuelled drought.
    More than a million people face extreme hunger in the island nation that has produced less than 0.01% of the carbon-dioxide emissions causing global warming, according to the Global Carbon Project.
    Globally, weather-related natural disasters have increased five-fold over 50 years, the WMO said.    More than 91% of associated deaths have occurred in developing countries.
    Prime Minister of Fiji Frank Bainimarama told attendees at the initiative’s rollout that climate-driven superstorms, rising seas, and changing weather patterns are the “new norm” in the Pacific.    He added that 13 cyclones have struck the island nation since 2016.
    “Disaster readiness and disaster resilience are two sides of the same coin,” Bainimarama said.    “They both depend on robust weather and climate data.”
(Reporting by Andrea Januta in New York, Kanupriya Kapoor in Singapore and Katy Daigle in Glasgow; Additional reporting by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Janet Lawrence, Barbara Lewis and David Gregorio)

11/4/2021 COP26 Coal Pledge Falls Short On Support As Emissions Surge by Kate Abnett and Elizabeth Piper
COP26 President Alok Sharma speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference
(COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – A pledge to phase out coal gained the support of 23 more countries at the U.N. climate conference on Thursday, but was shunned by big users of the dirtiest of the fuels that cause global warming.
    The COP26 summit https://www.reuters.com/business/cop hopes to find ways to keep within reach a target of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit), but the scale of the challenge was underlined by a study showing carbon dioxide emissions have returned to near pre-pandemic levels.
    Greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal are the single biggest contributor to climate change, and weaning the world off coal is considered vital to achieving global climate targets.
    The pledge to drop coal did not include Australia, India, the United States and China, which has around half the coal-fired plants operating around the world and plans to build more.
    Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 5.4% in 2020 as economies ground to a halt, but the new report by the Global Carbon Project forecast a 4.9% rebound in emissions for this year.
    “We were expecting to see some rebound,” said the report’s lead author Pierre Friedlingstein, a climate modelling researcher at the University of Exeter.
    “What surprised us was the intensity and rapidity.”
    It was a stark reminder to leaders in Glasgow of the challenge of preventing more than 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming above pre-industrial levels.
    The United Nations says a rise above 1.5C would trigger climate impacts far more catastrophic than the intensifying storms, heatwaves, droughts and floods already being seen.
    “I think we can say that the end of coal is in sight,” Alok Sharma, British president of the two-week summit, said in detailing the pledge https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/cop26-coal-deals-take-aim-dirtiest-fossil-fuel-2021-11-03 to phase out existing coal-fuelled power plants and to stop building new ones.
    The non-binding pledge “has 77 signatories, including 46 countries, such as Poland, Vietnam, and Chile, 23 of which are making commitments on ending coal for the first time,” he said.
    Richer nations agreed to quit coal power by the 2030s and poorer ones by the 2040s.    Poland said it was aiming for the 2040s – having previously pledged to stop mining coal in 2049.    Indonesia did not agree to the part of the deal on ending finance for new coal plants.
    Coal-fired power today produces more than a third of the world’s electricity.    Many developing countries currently rely on cheap, accessible coal https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/cop26-aims-banish-coal-asia-is-building-hundreds-power-plants-burn-it-2021-10-29 to fuel their economies, just as developed countries did from the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century onwards, despite the costs https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/cost-coal-south-africa-dirty-skies-sick-kids-2021-11-04 to the environment and public health.
‘CANNOT CELEBRATE’
    The International Energy Agency, the world’s energy watchdog, said net-zero emissions pledges and promises to cut methane announced at COP26, if enforced, would enable the world to limit warming to below 2 degrees.
    “New @IEA analysis shows that fully achieving all net zero pledges to date & the Global Methane Pledge by those who signed it would limit global warming to 1.8C,” IEA chief Fatih Birol wrote on Twitter.
    Selwin Hart, special adviser to the U.N. secretary-general on climate action, challenged Birol’s assertion.
    “Fatih, I heard your numbers.    But based on the NDCs that have been submitted, the world is on a 2.7 degree pathway – a catastrophic pathway,” Hart said in Glasgow.
    “And therefore we are a long way from keeping the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement alive.    We cannot be complacent.    We cannot celebrate before we’ve done the job,” he added.
FUNDING GAP
    The U.N. Environment Programme said poorer countries needed five to 10 times more money to adapt to the consequences of climate change than they are now getting.
    Richer countries failed to meet a 2020 deadline for delivering $100 billion a year in “climate finance” https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/climate-finance-could-make-or-break-cop26-summit-heres-why-2021-11-01.
    Questions of finance also swirled around the COP26 coal deal, which some countries said they would not be able to deliver without more financial help.
    “We need to have funding to retire coal earlier and to build the new capacity of renewable energy,” said Indonesia’s finance minister, Sri Mulyani Indrawati.    The Southeast Asian nation is the world’s biggest coal exporter, and relies on the fuel for 65% of its own energy capacity.
    It also will be among the first recipients of a multibillion dollar pilot programme to speed a transition to clean energy, along with India, South Africa, and the Philippines, the Climate Investment Funds said.
    The main aim of COP26 is to get promises of enough cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to put the world on a clear path towards capping the rise in global temperature – already up 1.1C since pre-industrial times.
(Additional reporting by Katy Daigle, William James, Andrea Januta, Noah Browning, Fathin Ungku, Stanley Widianto and Valerie Volcovici; Writing by Kevin Liffey and Alexander Smith; Editing by Janet Lawrence and Philippa Fletcher)

11/4/2021 Mich. Residents Line Up To Collect Bottled Water Amid Ongoing Benton Harbor Lead Crisis by OAN Newsroom
Volunteers prepare bottled water to be distributed to residents at the local high school
parking lot Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, in Benton Harbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
    Residents in Benton Harbor, Michigan have been advised to drink and cook with bottled water due to alarming levels of lead found in the city’s water system.    For the past three years, the city detected elevated levels of lead in their water system and with a water main rupturing Thursday, the city was forced to temporarily shut off the public water supply altogether.
    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued an executive directive the same day to address drinking water safety and previously promised to allocate millions of dollars to replace the city’s lead service lines, although it could take decades to replace.
    “We have to replace the pipes,” stated the superintendent of Benton Harbor area schools Andrae Townsel.    “It’s plain and simple.    Pipes need to be replaced.    Once we replace it, we can drink this fresh, tasty, beautiful water, you know?
    Gov. Whitmer announced a six-step plan to help prevent residents from consuming potentially hazardous water and said her first priority is getting clean water for everyone in Michigan.    However, the state already experienced a similar crisis in Flint, Michigan causing people to wonder why this recurring problem isn’t being fixed sooner if Whitmer claims it’s her top priority.
    Families in Benton Harbor say waiting in lines for cases of water is time consuming and also question what it means for their health since the issue has been ongoing.
    “We need all the help we can get, all the water we can get right now, because like I said, we don’t know how this is going to end up,” stressed volunteer, Willie Davis.
    For now, residents have been advised to continue cooking and drinking only from bottled water as part of the governor’s initiative.    In addition, residents have resorted to even filling their toilets with the provided water in order to be able to flush.
    Meanwhile, the county sheriff said this isn’t just a problem for Benton Harbor, but for the entire country.
    “Cities are getting old, and we put lead pipes in a long time ago.    So, this is not going to just happen here.    It’s going to happen across the country,” said Sheriff Paul Bailey.    “These lead pipes are going to have to be replaced.”


11/5/2021 A Father And Son’s Ice Age Plot To Slow Siberian Thaw by Maxim Shemetov, Tom Balmforth and Clare Baldwin
Sergey Zimov, 66, a scientist who works at Russia's Northeast Science Station, checks for permafrost at the Pleistocene
Park outside the town of Chersky, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Russia, September 13, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
    CHERSKY, Russia (Reuters) – In one of the planet’s coldest places, 130 km south of Russia’s Arctic coast, scientist Sergey Zimov can find no sign of permafrost as global warming permeates Siberia’s soil.
    As everything from mammoth bones to ancient vegetation frozen inside it for millennia thaws and decomposes, it now threatens to release vast amounts of greenhouse gases.
    Zimov, who has studied permafrost from his scientific base in the diamond-producing Yakutia region for decades, is seeing the effects of climate change in real time.
    Driving a thin metal pole metres into the Siberian turf, where temperatures are rising at more than three times the world average, with barely any force, the 66-year-old is matter-of-fact.
    “This is one of the coldest places on earth and there is no permafrost,” he says.    “Methane has never increased in the atmosphere at the speed it is today … I think this is linked to our permafrost.”
    (Open https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/climate-un-russia-permafrost in an external browser to see a picture package)
    Permafrost covers 65% of Russia’s landmass and about a quarter of the northern landmass.    Scientists say that greenhouse gas emissions from its thaw could eventually match or even exceed the European Union’s industrial emissions due to the sheer volume of decaying organic matter.
    Meanwhile permafrost emissions, which are seen as naturally occurring, are not counted against government pledges aimed at curbing emissions or in the spotlight at U.N. climate talks.
    Zimov, with his white beard and cigarette, ignored orders to leave the Arctic when the Soviet Union collapsed and instead found funding to keep the Northeast Science Station near the part-abandoned town of Chersky operating.
    Citing data from a U.S.-managed network of global monitoring stations, Zimov says he now believes the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that permafrost has begun to release greenhouse gases.
    Despite factories scaling back activity worldwide during the pandemic which also dramatically slowed global transport, Zimov says the concentration of methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been growing at a faster rate.
    Whole cities sit on permafrost and its thawing could cost Russia 7 trillion roubles ($100 billion) in damage by 2050 if the rate of warming continues, scientists say.
    Built on the assumption that the permafrost would never thaw, many homes, pipelines and roads in Russia’s far north and east are now sinking and increasingly in need of repair.
ICE AGE ANIMALS
    Zimov wants to slow the thaw in one area of Yakutia by populating a nature reserve called the Pleistocene Park with large herbivores including bison, horses and camels.
    Such animals trample the snow, making it much more compact so the winter cold can get through to the ground, rather than it acting as a thick insulating blanket.
    Zimov and his son Nikita began introducing animals into the fenced park in 1996 and have so far relocated around 200 of different species, which they say are making the permafrost colder compared with other areas.
    Bison were trucked and shipped this summer from Denmark, along the Northern Sea Route, past polar bears and walruses and through weeks-long storms, before their ship finally turned into the mouth of the Kolyma River towards their new home some 6,000 kilometres to the east.
    The Zimovs’ surreal plan for geo-engineering a cooler future has extended to offering a home for mammoths, which other scientists hope to resurrect from extinction with genetic techniques, in order to mimic the region’s ecosystem during the last Ice Age that ended 11,700 years ago.
    A paper published in Nature’s Scientific Reports last year, where both Zimovs were listed as authors, showed that the animals in Pleistocene Park had reduced the average snow depth by half, and the average annual soil temperature by 1.9 degrees Celsius, with an even bigger drop in winter and spring.
    More work is needed to determine if such “unconventional” methods might be an effective climate change mitigation strategy but the density of animals in Pleistocene Park — 114 individuals per square kilometre — should be feasible on a pan-Arctic scale, it said.
    And global-scale models suggest introducing big herbivores onto the tundra could stop 37% of Arctic permafrost from thawing, the paper said.
PERMATHAW?
    Nikita Zimov, Sergey’s son, was walking in the shallows of the river Kolyma at Duvanny Yar in September when he fished out a mammoth tusk and tooth.
    Such finds have been common for years in Yakutia and particularly by rivers where the water erodes the permafrost.
    Three hours by boat from Chersky, the river bank provides a cross-section of the thaw, with a thick sheet of exposed ice melting and dripping below layers of dense black earth containing small grass roots.
    “If you take the weight of all these roots and decaying organics in the permafrost from Yakutia alone, you’d find the weight was more than the land-based biomass of the planet,” Nikita says.
    Scientists say that on average, the world has warmed one degree in the last century, while in Yakutia over the last 50 years, the temperature has risen three degrees.
    The older Zimov says he has seen for himself how winters have grown shorter and milder, while Alexander Fedorov, deputy director of the Melnikov Permafrost Institute in Yakutsk, says he no longer has to wear fur clothing during the coldest months.
    But addressing permafrost emissions, like fire and other so-called natural emissions, presents a challenge because they are not fully accounted for in climate models or international agreements, scientists say.
    “The difficulty is the quantity,” says Chris Burn, a professor at Carleton University and president of the International Permafrost Association.
    “One or two percent of permafrost carbon is equivalent to total global emissions for a year.”
    Scientists estimate that permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere contains about 1.5 trillion tons of carbon, about twice as much as is currently in the atmosphere, or about three times as much as in all of the trees and plants on earth.
    Nikita says there is no single solution to global warming.
    “We’re working to prove that these ecosystems will help in the fight, but, of course, our efforts alone are not enough.”
(Reporting by Maxim Shemetov in Chersky, Russia, Tom Balmforth in Moscow, Clare Baldwin in Hong Kong; Editing by Alexander Smith)

11/5/2021 As Spain Pledges More La Palma Aid, Some Islanders Ask: Where’s The Cash? by Marco Trujillo
FILE PHOTO: The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava and smoke while it continues to erupt, as seen from
El Paso, on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, October 31, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez/File Photo
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – Spain will provide whatever is necessary for La Palma to recover from the destruction wrought by weeks of volcanic eruptions, its prime minster said on Thursday, as some residents said financial aid had been slow to arrive.
    Visiting on Thursday, Pedro Sanchez said financial assistance for housing would be tax-exempt and that taxes on air travel to and from the island, part of the Canaries archipelo off northwest Africa, would be subsidised for a year.
    “We are not going to spare any resource, energy or personnel to tackle the reconstruction tasks,” he said.    “The Spanish government is providing all possible resources to ensure the wellbeing, serenity and safety of La Palma residents.”
    Lava has destroyed more than 2,000 properties on the island since the Cumbre Vieja volcano began erupting in mid-September and thousands more have fled their homes as a precaution, prompting the government last month to pledge 225 million euros ($260 million) in aid.
    Some 21 million euros of that has been disbursed and Sanchez said his administration would this week transfer a further 18.8 million euros for the agriculture and fishing industries and 5 million euros to tackle the “social aspect” of the crisis.
    But in Los Llanos de Aridane, the closest town to the lava flow, some expressed frustration that they had yet to receive any of the promised cash.
    “I want to believe (the aid is coming) but time is passing by and we see nothing,” said Oscar San Luis outside the local notary’s office, where he was waiting to file paperwork to apply for compensation.
    “I remain hopeful.    If you don’t have hope what are you doing with your life?” said the 57-year old, who lost several holiday properties and his avocado plantation to the eruption.
    The Canarian regional government said it had hired 30 people to verify claims lodged in a register for compensation.
    Speaking shortly after Sanchez’s address, Carlos Cordero Gonzalez, who runs a clothes shop in Los Llanos, said it was time for action as well as words.
    “Now (the Prime Minister) just needs to say that the money is going to be sent directly to businesses and residents… I hope next week we have the funds in our accounts.”
($1 = 0.8678 euros)
(Writing by Nathan Allen; editing by John Stonestreet)

11/5/2021 Greenpeace, Texas Prosecutor Settle Charges In 2019 Climate Protestbr>
FILE PHOTO: Traffic is pictured on the Fred Hartman Bridge where Greenpeace USA climbers formed a blockade, shutting
down the Houston Ship Channel, the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare in the United States, ahead of the third Democratic
primary debate in nearby Houston, near Baytown, Texas, U.S. September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/File Photo
    HOUSTON (Reuters) -Environmental activists who shut the largest U.S. energy export port for a day to protest climate change agreed to pay police, fire and court costs to settle state criminal charges, officials said on Friday.
    Greenpeace members halted shipping in September 2019 by dangling on ropes from a bridge https://www.reuters.com/article/us-houstonshipchannel-closure-idINKCN1VY1EX over the Houston Ship Channel, an effort to pressure political leaders during a presidential debate in the city.
    Mike Herbert, 36-year-old protester who took part in the demonstration, previously told Reuters that the group wanted to “force the hand of the political hopefuls to address the elephant in the room: climate change.”
    Felony charges of disrupting critical energy infrastructure were later dismissed https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/grand-jury-refuses-felonies-for-greenpeace-activists-and-others-charged-in-houston-oil-industry-protest by a Houston grand jury.    The state pursued lesser charges of obstructing a highway against 25 Greenpeace members involved in the protest.
    The agreement calls for charges to be dismissed against the 25 in six months if there are no further violations.    Members of the group also agreed to pay $250 in court costs to settle the state highway obstruction charges.
    Settlement talks on separate federal charges of blocking a waterway levied against the activists are underway, a Greenpeace spokesperson said.    “We are very optimistic about its resolution in the near future,” said spokesperson Valentina Stackl.
    The U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Texas did not reply to requests for comment.
    Greenpeace paid $58,450 in restitution to local police and fire departments that retrieved the protesters and their banners from the bridge.
    “They wasted the time of police officers and firefighters, who potentially could have been used to respond to real emergencies,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
    The protesters accepted the state’s pre-trial intervention agreement without entering a guilty plea, and the organization was not charged, Stackl said.
(Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Editing by David Gregorio and Aurora Ellis)

11/5/2021 ‘It’s Our Lives On The Line’, Young Marchers Tell UN Climate Talks by Elizabeth Piper, Lucy Marks and Natalie Thomas
FILE PHOTO: An Extinction Rebellion activist carries a sign during a protest, as the UN Climate Change
Conference (COP26) takes place, in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) -Thousands of young campaigners marched through the streets of Glasgow on Friday, demanding urgent action from world leaders at the U.N. climate conference to stave off catastrophic climate change.
    A week of government speeches and pledges https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/new-promises-glasgow-climate-talks-2021-11-02 at the two-week gathering https://www.reuters.com/business/cop has included promises to phase out coal, slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane and reduce deforestation.
    But campaigners and pressure groups have been underwhelmed by the commitments made so far, many of which are voluntary, exclude the biggest polluters, or set deadlines decades away.
    “We are in a disaster that is happening every day,” activist Vanessa Nakate said of life in her home country Uganda, which has one of the fastest changing climates in the world.    “We cannot keep quiet about climate injustice.”
    Some of the marchers and community leaders who addressed the crowd demanded deep-rooted change to the status quo.
    “This is a message from indigenous women in the Amazon to keep oil in the ground, to stop mining.    That is good for all of us, for indigenous people and for the world,” one speaker said.
    Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg said leaders of the global north appeared to be fighting to prevent real change.
    “They are actively creating loopholes and shaping frameworks to benefit themselves and to continue profiting from this destruction,” she said.    “We need immediate annual drastic annual emission cuts unlike anything the world has ever seen.”
    Sixteen-year-old protester Hannah McInnes said climate change was the most universally devastating problem: “It’s our lives and our futures that are on the line.”
    Inside the COP26 conference venue in the Scottish city, civil society leaders took over discussions.
    “We must not declare victory here,” said former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work informing the world about climate change.    “We know that we have made progress, but we are far from the goals that we need to reach.”
PROMISES
    The talks aim to secure enough national promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions – mainly from fossil fuels – to keep the rise in the average global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    Scientists say this is the point at which the already intense storms, heatwaves, droughts and floods that the Earth is experiencing could become catastrophic and irreversible.
    To that end, the United Nations wants countries to halve their emissions from 1990 levels by 2030, on their way to net-zero emissions by 2050. That would mean the world would release no more climate-warming gases than the amount it is simultaneously recapturing from the atmosphere.
    The summit on Thursday saw 23 additional countries pledge to try to phase out coal – albeit over the next three decades, and without the world’s biggest consumer, China.
    A pledge to reduce deforestation brought a hasty about-turn from Indonesia, home to vast and endangered tropical forests.
    But a plan to curb emissions of methane by 30% did appear to strike a blow against greenhouse gases that should produce rapid results.
    And city mayors have been https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/nations-talk-climate-cities-say-we-deliver-2021-11-04 working out what they can do to advance climate action more quickly and nimbly than governments.     The Glasgow talks also have showcased a jumble https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/mission-coalition-cop26-spawns-confusing-clusters-2021-11-05 of financial pledges, buoying hopes that national commitments to bring down emissions can actually be implemented.
    But COP26 President Alok Sharma warned time was running short, with too many issues still unresolved.
    Efforts to set a global pricing framework https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/glimmers-hope-seen-global-carbon-market-deal-cop26-2021-11-05 for carbon, as a way to make polluters pay fairly for their emissions and ideally finance efforts to offset them, are likely to continue to the very end of the two-week conference.
THE NEW NORMAL
    U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said a deal at the summit could be reached to settle the final details of the rulebook for how to interpret the 2015 Paris Agreement.
    The United States favoured “the most frequent possible” assessments of whether countries were meeting their goals to reduce emissions, he said.
    But President Joe Biden’s mammoth “Build Back Better” package, including $555 billion of measures https://www.reuters.com/world/us/what-are-climate-change-provisions-us-budget-bill-framework-2021-10-28 aimed at hitting the 2030 target and adapting to climate change ran into snags on Friday as the House of Representatives was due to vote on it.
    The placards and chants of the crowd in Glasgow suggested people’s patience was running out.
    “The Earth’s climate is changing!” a schoolchild’s sign read, under a hand-painted picture of a globe on fire.    “Why aren’t we?
(Additional reporting by Katy Daigle in Glasgow; Editing by Kevin Liffey, Janet Lawrence and Philippa Fletcher)

11/5/2021 Heavy Rains Cause Floods In Bosnia, Black Out In Sarajevo
Rescue workers lead a dinghy boat with people in it on a flooded street in Otes
near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina November 5, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
    SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Flooding caused by heavy rains overnight caused power cuts in many parts of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on Friday, with roads blocked, school classes cancelled and a plant filling oxygen tanks for COVID-19 patients submerged, officials and media said.
    Dozens of people have been evacuated from retirement homes, other institutions and private houses in the worst hit parts of the city as well as in towns in the southern Herzegovina region, local media reported.
    Floods and landslides struck across the country as the rain fell.
    The Sarajevo cantonal government called an extraordinary session while the power transmission company Elektroprijenos said it was uncertain when the electricity supplies would stabilise due to the multiple disruptions on the grid.
    The Messer plant where the oxygen tanks for COVID-19 patients are being refilled for much of Bosnia has been completely submerged, local media quoted a health ministry official as saying.
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Alison Williams)

11/7/2021 With COP26 Credibility At Stake, Some Urge Ratcheting Up Schedule by Mark John, Simon Jessop and William James
People demonstrate during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26),
in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 7, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – Behind the headlines touting new emissions and finance commitments, the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow are facing a battle for credibility.
    Over the last week, rich countries were accused of repeatedly breaking promises.    Big polluters traded barbs.    And environmental campaigners have cried betrayal, as years of U.N. climate negotiations to rein in climate-warming carbon emissions and protect the world’s most vulnerable have had little effect.
    “We have not seen sincerity in the commitments and progress made by developed countries, and have heard far more slogans than practical results,” Chinese delegate Gao Xiang wrote in Saturday’s official Shanghai newspaper, Guangming Daily.
    Emissions are rising, and global temperatures – already 1.1 degree Celsius higher on average than in pre-industrial times – continue to climb. Rich nations that failed to meet a 2020 deadline to extend $100 billion a year in climate finance to poorer nations now say they won’t meet that pledge until 2023.
    Activists have dismissed the first week’s fanfare as “greenwashing,” even as country delegates and U.N. negotiators are still working on the details for implementing old and new promises.
    But with the history of climate diplomacy littered with broken promises, many have asked: what needs to change beyond this year’s two-week conference to ensure accountability?
TIGHTEN THE RATCHET
    Negotiators from nearly 200 countries return to the COP26 table on Monday, with just five days left to cut deals needed to cap global warming at 1.5 C – the limit beyond which the world will be courting devastating climate change impacts.
    Among the big issues to resolve are: setting reliable rules for carbon markets, assessing how industrialized countries should pay for climate-linked losses incurred by the rest of the world, and working out financing to help developing countries adapt.
    But one idea has gained traction: making countries review and, if necessary, update their emissions-cutting pledges every year, rather than on the current five-year schedule.
    “It’s an emergency.    Every five years? That’s not treating it like an emergency,” said Saleemul Huq, advisor to the 48-country Climate Vulnerable Forum, which began lobbying for more frequent reviews before the Glasgow talks even began.
    U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told delegates last week that, if COP26 fell short, countries should be required to revisit their climate plans every year.
    U.S. climate envoy John Kerry also backed more regular reviews.
    “I hope we come out with a very good framework.    Whether it’s five years (or) less, I can’t tell you today,” Kerry told journalists Friday. “But I definitely believe it should be as short as we can.”
    Supporters say such a change is crucial. With just 10 years left to bring global emissions down by 45%, which scientists say is vital to keeping the temperature rise in check, countries must be held accountable on an annual basis, they say.
    “It would be negative in my mind to come out of here with too long a horizon,” Kerry said.
CAPACITY CHALLENGE
    For poorer countries with limited government capacity, an annual initiative could prove a strain.
    “One year is too short,” said Chioma Felistas Amudi, the assistant chief scientific officer in the climate change department of Nigeria’s Ministry of Environment.
    She said many of country pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), spanned a wide range of policy areas, energy plans, and government initiatives that needed both political will and financial backing.
    “So a one-year check-in would disrupt the process of implementation,” she said.    “Five years gives us broader time to implement, and also do the stock-take.”
    Britain’s environment minister questioned whether formal changes to the U.N. process were needed, saying it was already designed for incremental progress.
    “I am not sure whether the technicality around a ratchet is something that we would push for or would be in the final text” this year, Environment Minister George Eustice told Times Radio.    But he didn’t rule it out.     “When you have these annual events … there is a lot of referring back to previous agreements.”
(Additional reporting by Kate Abnett in Brussels, David Stanway in Shanghai, and Kylie MacLellan in London; Editing by Katy Daigle)

11/8/2021 Focus Turns To Climate Finance After Flurry Of COP26 Pledges by Elizabeth Piper and Andrea Januta
An advertising board is seen during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26),
in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 7, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – Governments will push for agreement on Monday on how to help vulnerable countries deal with global warming and compensate them for damage already done, a test of whether developing and rich nations can end a standoff over cash for climate change.
    At the start of a crunch week for the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, government ministers will get down to the nitty gritty of trying to honour earlier promises to pay for https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/climate-finance-could-make-or-break-cop26-summit-heres-why-2021-11-01 climate-linked losses and damages and addressing questions of how best to help nations adapt to the effects of climate change.
    Britain, which is hosting the COP26 meeting, will again try to set the pace, announcing 290 million pounds ($391 million) in new funding, including support for countries in the Asia Pacific to deal with the impact of global warming.
    That will come, the British government says, on top of the “billions in additional international funding” already committed by rich countries such as the United States, Japan and Denmark for adaption and resilience in vulnerable nations, many of which have experienced the worst effects of climate change.
    But while developing countries want more money to help them adapt to higher temperatures https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/whats-difference-between-15c-2c-global-warming-2021-11-07 that have caused more frequent droughts, floods and wildfires, developed nations have encouraged finance to go towards cutting emissions.
    “We must act now to stop climate change from pushing more people into poverty.    We know that climate impacts disproportionately affect those already most vulnerable,” said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who was appointed by the British government to focus on adaptation and resilience.
    “We are aiming for significant change that will ultimately contribute to sustainable development and a climate resilient future for all, with no one left behind,” she added in a statement.
    After a week when many pledges https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/new-promises-glasgow-climate-talks-2021-11-02 were made and richer countries were accused by some developing nations of breaking past promises, Monday’s session will focus on ministers’ arguments on dealing with adaptation, loss and damage.
FIVE DAYS LEFT
    There are just five days left at the Glasgow talks to cut deals needed to keep alive the possibility of capping global warming at 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels – the limit beyond which the world will be courting devastating climate impacts.    Richer nations want to show they can come good on earlier pledges.
    Developing countries may well be wary. At a U.N. climate summit 12 years ago in Copenhagen, rich nations promised to hand developing countries $100 billion a year by 2020 to help them adapt to climate change.
    The target was missed and at COP26, richer nations have said they will meet the goal in 2023 at the latest, with some hoping it could be delivered a year earlier.
    Potentially more problematic for rich nations is how they should compensate less developed countries for loss and damages caused by historic emissions, an area where concrete pledges have yet to be made.
    Emily Bohobo N’Dombaxe Dola, facilitator of the Adaptation Working Group of the official youth constituency to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said she was drawn to action after seeing how climate change has affected Senegal.
    “Now it is time for governments and donors to level up on equitable finance and plans for loss and damage and for adaptation,” she said in a statement.
($1 = 0.7414 pounds)
(Additional reporting by Jake Spring; Writing by Elizabeth Piper)

11/8/2021 Tuvalu Minister Stands In Sea To Film COP26 Speech To Show Climate Change
Tuvalu's Minister for Justice, Communication & Foreign Affairs Simon Kofe gives a COP26 statement while standing in the ocean in Funafuti,
Tuvalu November 5, 2021. Courtesy Tuvalu's Ministry of Justice, Communication and Foreign Affairs / Social Media via REUTERS
    CANBERRA (Reuters) – Tuvalu’s foreign minister has given a speech to the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow standing knee-deep in seawater to show how his low-lying Pacific island nation is on the front line of climate change.
    Images of Simon Kofe standing in a suit and tie at a lectern set up in the sea, with his trouser legs rolled up, have been shared widely on social media, drawing attention to Tuvalu’s struggle against rising sea levels.
    “The statement juxtaposes the COP26 setting with the real-life situations faced in Tuvalu due to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise and highlights the bold action Tuvalu is taking to address the very pressing issues of human mobility under climate change,” Kofe said of his video message to the conference.
    The video was shot by public broadcaster TVBC at the far end of Fongafale, the main islet of the capital Funafuti, a government official said.
    It is due to be shown at the climate summit on Tuesday and comes as regional leaders push for more aggressive action https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/focus-turns-climate-finance-after-flurry-cop26-pledges-2021-11-08 to limit the impact of climate change.
    Many big polluters have vowed to intensify their carbon cuts https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/new-promises-glasgow-climate-talks-2021-11-02 over coming decades with some aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
    But Pacific Island leaders have demanded immediate action, pointing out that the very survival https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/actions-not-words-pacific-islands-urge-strong-commitment-climate-2021-10-29 of their low-lying countries is at stake.
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Karishma Singh)
[Tuvalu is somewhere between Hawaii and Australia whare there is a lot of ocean.].

11/8/2021 China, Russia, U.S. Republicans Harming Progress On Climate – Obama
U.S. former President Barack Obama gives a speech during the UN Climate Change
Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 8, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Barack Obama lambasted those who would play politics to avoid acting on climate change, calling out Russia and China in the same breath as Republican politicians back home.
    “It was particularly discouraging to see the leaders of two of the world’s largest emitters, China and Russia, declined to even attend the proceedings” in Glasgow, Obama said.
    Their “national plans so far reflect what appears to be a dangerous lack of urgency and willingness to maintain the status quo on the part of those governments, and that’s a shame.”
    The Democratic former president, speaking on the main stage at the COP26 climate summit, also took aim at domestic lawmakers from the Republican Party.
    Obama said both he and current Democratic President Joe Biden had been “constrained in large part by the fact that one of our two major parties has decided not only to sit on the sidelines but express active hostility toward climate science and make climate change a partisan issue.”
    “For those listening back home in the U.S., let me say this: It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat if your Florida house is flooded by rising seas, or your crops fail in the Dakotas or your California house is burning down."
    “Nature, physics, science, do not care about party affiliation,” he said.
(Reporting by William James; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jonathan Oatis)

11/8/2021 EU Says Face Masks Don’t Pose Health Risks After Report Raises Concerns by Francesco Guarascio and Bart Biesemans
FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an illustration of a virus outside a regional science
centre amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Oldham, Britain August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU authorities say there is no conclusive evidence of a cancer risk from synthetic face masks and have urged people to keep wearing them after a Belgian study warned last month they may contain carcinogens.
    Face masks are widely considered crucial tools to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and have become an everyday item for a large part of the world’s population through the pandemic.
    A report in October by Belgium’s public health body Sciensano said it had found titanium dioxide (TiO2), a potentially hazardous substance, in the synthetic face masks it examined, including commonly worn models.
    Titanium dioxide is used as a white colorant and matting agent in masks and textile products, as well as sunscreen, paints and food products such as soups and chewing gums.
    The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said there was currently no evidence to suggest the presence of titanium dioxide in face masks posed a health risk and recommended their continued use.
    “In the light of the currently available elements, it cannot be concluded that FFP face masks or surgical masks, which may contain TiO2, may pose a risk to health,” a Commission spokesperson told Reuters when asked about the Sciensano report.
    Belgian Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, in a statement following the release of the study, said more research was needed but urged the public to continue using masks as there was no evidence they posed a serious health risk.
    He also said that Belgium planned to force manufacturers to disclose the presence of titanium dioxide in face masks.
    A spokeswoman for the Belgian Superior Health Council, which advises the government on health issues, said potential health risks did not “outweigh the benefit of their use to prevent COVID-19 contamination.”
    According to the Belgian study, nanoparticles of titanium dioxide were found in masks made of non-woven synthetic fabrics, and in those containing nylon and polyester fibres.
    Joris Van Loco, one of the report’s authors, told Reuters that TiO2 particles were found in most of the commonly used masks, including reusable and single-use textile models, surgical masks and FFP respirators.
    The report’s preliminary findings said a health risk was “possible for many of the examined face masks” but said more research was needed.    It recommended use of titanium dioxide in face masks be limited until there was conclusive evidence.
    The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) lists titanium dioxide as a possible carcinogen.
    Belgium first flagged its concerns in February, when it advised the public against using batches of face masks previously distributed for free after it emerged they contained nanoparticles of silver and TiO2.
    The European Commission has proposed to ban titanium dioxide in food from as early as mid-2022 after the EU’s food safety agency said the substance was no longer safe because carcinogenic effects could not be excluded when it is ingested.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Jon Boyle and Nick Tattersall)

11/10/2021 UK Researchers Identify T-Cell Targets For Future COVID Vaccines by Alistair Smout
FILE PHOTO: A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine in Northampton,
Britain, October 21, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – British researchers said on Wednesday they had identified proteins in the coronavirus that are recognised by T-cells of people who are exposed to the virus but resist infection, possibly providing a new target for vaccine developers.
    Immunity against COVID-19 is a complex picture, and while there is evidence of waning antibody levels six months after vaccination, T-cells are also believed to play a vital role in providing protection.
    The University College London (UCL) researchers examined 731 health workers in two London hospitals during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and found that many had not tested positive despite likely exposure to the original coronavirus.
    They found that, while a subset of the workers did not generate antibodies or test positive with PCR tests, they had still generated a large and broad T-cell response following possible exposure.
    This suggests that rather than the workers avoiding exposure to the coronavirus altogether, the T-cells had cleared the virus before there were any symptoms or positive test result – a so-called “abortive infection,” the researchers said.
    “We know that some individuals remain uninfected despite having likely exposure to the virus,” said Leo Swadling, lead author of the study, which was published in science journal Nature.
    “What is really informative is that the T-cells detected in these individuals, where the virus failed to establish a successful infection, preferentially target different regions of the virus to those seen after infection.”
    Current vaccines, which provide high protection against severe disease but do not fully stop transmission or re-infection, target the spike protein of the coronavirus.
    In contrast, the T-cell responses that led to abortive infections in the UCL study recognised and targeted instead “replication proteins.”
    The researchers said that while such T-cells were associated with protection from detectable infection, they were not necessarily sufficient for protection alone, and the study did not look at whether people had protection on re-exposure.
    They added that the replication proteins are among the least changed by mutations to coronaviruses, and exposure to other coronaviruses may be one reason why some of the health workers were able to mount such quick T cell responses.
    It also means that a vaccine which targeted these proteins in addition to the spike protein should work against a broad range of coronaviruses including the currently dominant Delta variant, the researchers said.
    “This is a strong rationale for including these proteins to supplement spike in next-generation vaccines,” Swadling told reporters.
(Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
FROM JIM A. CORNWELL MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE HONG KONG FLU IN THE LATE 1970'S
    The outbreak in 1968-1969 known formally as H3N2, the flu strain was highly contagious, and left clinics in the city packed, with 500,000 people infected, before it steadily spread through Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Europe and the US, and killed an estimated one to four million people globally.    These viruses: H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2, respectively, an epidemic in 1977.
    So heres my story one day in the late 1970's I began to experience pain in my chest and breath, and coughing, so I went to the doctor that day.    I was checked out and the doctor told me that I had the Hong Kong Flu.    I asked him to give me something to cure it and he informed me that there is no medicine for it and I would just have to survive it.
    So I went home and sat in my chair and tried to breathe, and my lungs hurt and it hurt to walk and this continued for three weeks.    My parents who lived in Kentucky were going to fly to California to visit me and concerned.
    So my wife drove me to Los Angeles to LAX and we parked, and I got out and as I walked toward the airport and I had to stop every 15 feet to catch my breath and eventually made it to the airport.
    Their flight had not come yet and the wife wanted to go shop and I saw a bar to my right with some comfty seats and said I would be in there.    So I sat and ordered a martini, so I hoped would put me out of my misery.    It was pretty good so I ordered another one and drank it.    It was getting close to when their flight was due so I paid the tab and walked to go find the wife and when I went out of the door I realized that the Hong Kong Flu was gone.    I could breath, jump, and run and felt great, it was gone.
    So what was the cure, a martini is made from vodka and vermouth (an aromatized, fortified wine, flavoured with various botanicals roots, barks, flowers, seeds, herbs, and spices) and I was normal again and no one has ever asked me about it in the medical world so I do not know what was the cure.
    So to make a long story short we were married for only 5 years five months and divorced.    I was the reason for the divorce apparently due to a generation gap and we grew apart in time because of my moving up in the company status as you will read below.    I thought being with an older woman would be the right thing to do, but it was not.    Gloria contacted me in 1995 needing a copy of our divorce papers because she was getting married again somewhere in Arizona.
[THE REASON I PUT THIS ABOVE IS TO SHOW THAT I BELIEVE THAT I HAVE IMMUNITY FROM THE COVID-19 SINCE IT IS A CONTINUATION OF THE ORIGINAL CORONAVIRUS AND SINCE COVID HAS BEEN OUT I HAVE GONE EVERYWHERE IN PADUCAH KY AND DID NOT WEAR MASK UNLESS MADE TO AND RECENTLY I HAVE BEEN SWABBED FOR 3 SURGERIES AND NO COVID SO MADE THE ARTICLE ABOVE IS PROOF OF THAT.].

11/10/2021 Parts Of Northeast China Hit By Record Snowfall
Men clear snow from a roof following heavy snowfall in Shenyang, Liaoning province,
China November 9, 2021. Picture taken November 9, 2021. China Daily via REUTERS
    BEIJING (Reuters) - Snowstorms have wreaked havoc in northeast China this week, with record snowfall in some parts snarling traffic, disrupting train services and raising concerns about power supplies as temperatures plunge, state media reported on Wednesday.
    Traffic in Liaoning province has been severely disrupted, with the majority of expressway toll stations shut as of Tuesday.    Train and bus stations were also closed, except those in the cities of Dalian and Dandong.
    Since the arrival of a cold wave on Sunday, temperatures in northeastern China had plunged by as much as 14 degrees Celsius in certain areas by Tuesday.
    Meteorological departments in Liaoning and the province of Jilin have issued red alerts for snowstorms, the most severe in a four-tier, colour-coded weather warning system.
    Zhou Chunxiao, chief forecaster at the Liaoning Provincial Meteorological Observatory, said recent snowfall in western Liaoning had been the heaviest since records began in 1951, state-run China News Weekly reported on Wednesday.
    A maximum snow depth of 53 cm (21 inches) was recorded in the Liaoning city of Anshan on Tuesday, the report added, citing the China Meteorological Association.
    The northeastern region has also stepped up efforts to keep homes warm, with authorities working to increase energy production capacity and coal imports.
    China’s State Grid Corp warned on Sunday of a “tight balance” between power supply and demand through the winter.
    A wide swathe of the country – including northeastern China – has suffered outages since May as soaring prices and tight supply of coal restricted operations at power plants.
    In snow-hit Shenyang, authorities have urged markets and grocery stores to lower the prices of some vegetables while increasing their supplies.
(Reporting by Ryan Woo; additional reporting by Tom DalyEditing by Peter Graff and Gareth Jones)

11/10/2021 Rock Rises Out Of The Sea As Second La Palma Lava Flow Reaches Ocean
Lava spewed by Cumbre Vieja volcano reaches the Atlantic Ocean at Los Guirres
beach in this handout image released by Spanish Transport Ministry on the Canary Island
of La Palma, Spain, November 10, 2021. Spanish Transport Ministry/Handout via REUTERS
    MADRID (Reuters) – New cascades of red-hot lava tumbled into the Atlantic Ocean off Spain’s La Palma on Wednesday morning, sending up plumes of white smoke and extending a platform of volcanic rock created by earlier flows.
    The stream of molten rock from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which began erupting in mid-September, reached the water near the popular surf spot of Los Guirres beach just before 2 a.m, according to the Transport Ministry.
    A video uploaded by Spain’s Geology and Mining Institute showed rivers of molten rock sliding into the sea and large rocks rolling down a cliff, causing a cone of debris to emerge from the waterline.
    Unlike the first time lava reached the ocean – just over a month ago – authorities said there was no need for residents to stay indoors.
    “New confinements are not necessary because the populations are far away from the point of contact with the sea that occurred last night,” an emergency services spokesperson told Reuters.
    Few people live in the affected area, which is mostly banana plantations.
    Early on in the eruption authorities had feared that the reaction between the superheated lava and seawater could unleash powerful explosions and set off toxic gas clouds.
    During the last major eruption on the island, some 50 years ago, a man died after inhaling such gases.
    La Palma’s council said on Tuesday that seismic activity around the eruption site, as well as emissions of toxic sulphur dioxide, had been decreasing and the air quality remained good across most of the island.
(Reporting by Nathan Allen and Emma Pinedo; Editing by Giles Elgood)

11/11/2021 Heavy Rains In India, Sri Lanka Kill 41, Authorities Say by Sudarshan Varadhan and Uditha Jayasinghe
FILE PHOTO: People wade through a flooded beach after heavy rainfall
in Chennai, India, November 8, 2021. REUTERS/P. Ravikumar
    CHENNAI/COLOMBO (Reuters) - Heavy rains across southern India and Sri Lanka have killed at least 41 people, authorities said on Thursday, with weather forecasters expecting the downpours to ease in the next few days as stricken communities pumped out the deluge.
    The Indian Meteorological Department forecast light to moderate rain in most affected areas, with occasional flooding of some roads and low-lying areas.
    Counterparts in neighbouring Sri Lanka said rain there was expected to ease from Thursday as the low pressure that brought the bad weather moved away.
    “The worst is over and occasional rains will happen,” said Pradeep John, an amateur forecaster who is widely followed in Tamil Nadu, India’s worst-affected state.
    “Today rains will be on and off, with large breaks and nothing alarming.”
    The rains have killed 25 people in the island nation of Sri Lanka, most of whom drowned, while landslides injured five, officials said.
    Sixteen people were killed in Tamil Nadu, state disaster management minister KKSSR Ramachandran told a news conference.
    Many parts of the state capital Chennai, which is India’s auto manufacturing centre, were waterlogged and government officials used pumps to drain some communities that had been stranded waist deep.
    Thousands of people in low lying areas were moved to safety, officials said.
    Many schools and colleges in Tamil Nadu remained closed while some train services were still suspended.
    India’s northeast monsoon usually runs from October to December, bringing heavy rain, particularly to the south.
(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan in Chennai; Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel)

11/12/2021 Analysis: As Countries Wrangle Over Climate Pledges, How Enforceable Are They? by Andrea Januta
FILE PHOTO: Trucks and cars are seen driving past while smoke rises from the Duvha coal-based
power station owned by state power utility Eskom, in Emalahleni, in Mpumalanga province,
South Africa, June 3, 2021. Picture taken June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – When all is said and done at the U.N. climate talks, and the ink on the COP26 agreement is dry, one awkward question will remain: how enforceable will the deal be anyway?
    In the last year, countries have announced a flurry of net-zero emissions pledges.    The United States promised net zero by 2050, China and Saudi Arabia targeted 2060, and India.    Many other countries submitted formal pledges – known as “nationally determined contributions” or NDCs – to cut emissions this decade, ahead of this month’s U.N. climate conference in Glasgow.
    Whether those goals are legally binding is for individual countries to decide.
    The 2015 Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty, commits its nearly 200 signatory countries only to hold global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and aim for 1.5C.    But the accord left it up to countries to set their own national contributions towards the overall Paris targets, and doesn’t require they meet them.
    “The NDCs are voluntary measures,” said Lakshman Guruswamy, an international environmental law expert at the University of Colorado-Boulder.    “There’s no way of implementing, imposing, or trying to enforce a non-binding agreement.”
    Countries including Britain and New Zealand, and the 27-country EU, have fixed individual emission-cutting targets into their own laws.    Most nations have not.
    International treaties tend not to threaten penalties and instead rely on other political strategies and pressure tactics to ensure cooperation.
    But some experts say they should mandate legally binding emissions cuts, given that decades of U.N. climate summits and voluntary pledges have so far failed to halt the rise in emissions and global temperatures.
    “I don’t think we’re going to have significant progress unless there are legally binding emissions restrictions that are placed on developing countries and developed countries,” Guruswamy said.br>     Only once has a U.N. climate treaty set binding targets for individual countries.    The 1992 Kyoto Protocol applied them to richer nations only and involved a complex process of national ratifications that meant it didn’t fully enter into force until 2005.
    Making targets binding can also backfire.
    When confronted with the final Kyoto agreement, U.S. politicians balked and the country never ratified it.    Canada withdrew from the pact in 2011, before its penalty regime took effect.
    If the Paris Agreement had included stronger rules, “countries would have stayed out,” said Ronald Mitchell, a professor of political science and environmental studies at the University of Oregon.
    “Being overly ambitious can reduce participation, there’s no question. Politics is the art of the possible.”
‘PEER PRESSURE’
    While there is no clear mechanism for enforcing a “legally binding” pact under international environmental law, U.N. climate agreements still have ways of keeping signatories in check, experts say.
    Backing out of a global deal, or even failing to meet commitments, can be a mark of shame on the international stage.    Countries that violate an agreement also risk retaliation in other spheres, such as finance or trade.
    The Paris deal includes some systems to push countries toward meeting their pledges and increasing them, including a five-year “global stock-take” of progress.
    These systems can show which countries are lagging behind, creating a “peer-pressure environment,” said Leslie-Anne Duvic-Paoli, deputy director of the Climate Law and Governance Centre at King’s College London.
LEGAL PRECEDENCE
    International climate pacts can also be included in other binding deals or bilateral agreements.
    The European Union and Japan’s 2017 trade deal, for example, referenced their Paris Agreement commitments.
    The EU now demands similar language in all its new trade accords, and from 2024 it will be able to withdraw preferential trade access for developing countries if they don’t meet environmental conventions, including the Paris accord.
    Climate pacts can also be used in court.    The U.N. Environment Programme in January described a “growing tidal wave of climate cases,” with climate lawsuits being brought in 38 countries in 2020, up from 24 in 2017.
    In a landmark 2019 legal case, activists successfully sued the Dutch government for failing to protect people from global warming, and pointed to the country’s Paris Agreement obligations in their legal arguments.    The court ordered the government to slash emissions faster.
    “We’ve seen a number of decisions in courts and jurisdictions all around the world that have read the Paris Agreement to set legally enforceable targets,” said Michael Burger, executive director of Columbia University’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
    Ultimately, states need to have the political will to see their pledges through, he said.
    “There is no international or supranational body that is going to come in and make the governments of the world do something they’re not willing to do.”
(Reporting by Andrea Januta; Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Kate Abnett in Glasgow; Editing by Katy Daigle and Giles Elgood)

11/12/2021 “Action Is Required From You” – UN Climate Talks Enter Last Stretch by Kate Abnett, Jake Spring and Elizabeth Piper
A delegate walks past a sign during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)
in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 11, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    GLASGOW (Reuters) – A new draft agreement drawn up for the last scheduled day of the U.N. climate conference in Glasgow on Friday presses countries to reach higher in their plans to tackle global warming but also tries to balance the demands of richer and poorer nations.
    While retaining a central demand for countries to set tougher climate pledges next year, the draft uses weaker language than a previous one in asking them to phase out subsidies for the fossil fuels that are the prime manmade cause of global warming.
    To increase pressure for a strong deal, protesters rallied outside the COP26 venue, where activists had hung ribbons with messages imploring delegates to protect the Earth.
    Overnight, activists deflated the tyres of large gas-guzzling SUV vehicles parked around the Scottish city.
    “Action is required from you,” read a note attached to their windscreens.    “Go small, Go public transport.”
    The conference set out with a core aim: to keep alive the 2015 Paris Agreement’s aspirational target to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, and so avoid the worst impacts of climate change.
    Under current national pledges to cut emissions this decade, researchers say the world’s temperature would soar far beyond that limit, unleashing catastrophic sea level rises, droughts, storms, floods and wildfires.
    While there is little hope that new promises to bridge that gap will appear in the final day of talks, negotiators are attempting to set requirements to raise pledges in future, hopefully fast enough to keep the 1.5C goal within reach.
    The new draft is a balancing act – trying to take in the demands of both climate-vulnerable nations and large economies reliant on fossil fuels.
WEAKER LANGUAGE
    The retention of a pledge for countries to upgrade their climate targets in 2022 will be welcomed by poorer nations that want more action to tackle worsening floods and wildfires and rising sea levels.
    But it was couched in weaker language than a previous text and failed to offer the rolling annual review that some developing countries have pushed for, but Washington in particular opposed.
    Countries are currently required to revisit – and preferably raise – their pledges every five years.
    The document also spelled out that scientists say the world must cut the carbon dioxide emissions produced by burning oil, gas and coal by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and to net zero by 2050, to hit the 1.5C target.
    This would in effect set the benchmark that future climate pledges will be measured against.
    “This is a stronger and more balanced text than what we had two days ago,” Helen Mountford of the World Resources Institute said.
    “We need to see what stands, what holds and how it looks in the end – but at the moment it’s looking in a positive direction.”
    Vanessa Perez-Cirera of the environmental campaign group bemoaned the weakening of pledges to phase out fossil fuels, but was pleased that they still figured in the text.
    She said the call for new climate pledges by 2022 “must be matched with short-term action, for example, by agreeing to phase out the trillions being spent on subsidising fossil fuels annually.”
    Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan said it was crucial to reinforce the language on phasing out subsidies:     “It’s going to be a big fight, but it’s a fight that we have to win.”
RUNNING INTO OVERTIME?
    After nearly two weeks of talks, the delegations also remain at odds on a range of other issues, and more and more delegates are suggesting the conference could overrun into the weekend.
    Questions of finance loom large, with developing countries pushing for tougher rules to ensure that rich countries, whose historical emissions are largely responsible for heating up the planet, offer more cash to help the poorest adapt to climate impacts.
    So far, rich countries have failed to meet the goal of $100 billion a year in climate finance that they set in 2009.
    The new draft said that, from 2025, rich countries should double the funding they set aside to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts – a step forward from the previous draft, which did not set a date or a baseline.
    Ministers are also attempting to finish the contentious rules that will put the Paris accord into practice, requiring agreement on long-standing disputes over carbon markets and transparency.
    “If those rules are weak or introduce loopholes, it can undermine the acceleration and ambition and solidarity that we see in the text,” said Yamide Dagnet of the World Resources Institute.
    A final deal will require the unanimous consent of the nearly 200 countries that signed the Paris Agreement.
(Writing by Kevin Liffey; Editing by Edmund Blair and Barbara Lewis)

11/14/2021 Was Glasgow Pact A Win For Climate? Time Will Tell by Kate Abnett and Valerie Volcovici
FILE PHOTO: A coal-fired heating complex is seen behind the ground covered by snow in Harbin,
Heilongjiang province, China November 15, 2019. Picture taken November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Muyu Xu//File Photo
    GLASGOW (Reuters) - Its ambition was clear: the U.N. climate summit was meant to secure a deal to give the world a chance to avert the worst impacts of climate change by capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
    The accord met that bar, but barely, and its ultimate success will be determined by the future actions of the governments that thrashed it out, according to the summit’s UK hosts, participants, and observers.
    “I think today we can say with credibility that we’ve kept 1.5 within reach.    But its pulse is weak, and we will only survive if we keep our promises,” the summit’s president Alok Sharma said late on Saturday after the pact was adopted.
    The deal, backed by nearly 200 countries, for the first time explicitly targeted fossil fuels, the biggest driver of manmade global warming, asked governments to accelerate emissions cuts, and promised more money for poor countries struggling with climate chage.
    It also ushered in voluntary pledges and pacts from countries, companies and investors to clean up emissions from cars and planes, curb the powerful greenhouse gas methane, protect forests and bolster green finance.
    But the agreement was packed with compromises, leaving all sides – from wealthy nations seeking faster action, to resource-rich developing countries and low-lying island states – dissatisfied.
    “The approved texts are a compromise,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.    “They reflect the interests, the conditions, the contradictions and the state of political will in the world today.”
    That leaves the world highly vulnerable.
    “We are still knocking on the door of climate catastrophe.    It is time to go into emergency mode,” he said.
AMBITION
    The summit did not deliver enough emissions-cutting pledges from countries to set a clear path to limiting warming to 1.5C.    Instead, it struck a deal for the nearly 200 countries represented at the event to increase their pledges next year to close the gap.
    The gap is huge.    Governments’ current pledges to cut emissions this decade would lead to 2.4C of warming.
    To align with the 1.5C target, countries need to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels.    Under current pledges, emissions would rise by nearly 14% by 2030.
    “While compromises at COP26 keep the 1.5C target within reach, it is hanging by a thread,” said Bert Wander, the acting CEO of environmental group Avaaz.
    China, the world’s biggest carbon dioxide emitter, announced in a joint declaration with the United States last week that it would accelerate efforts to reduce emissions by curbing coal use, tackling methane, and preserving forests. It provided few details, however.
    China was also among a group of resource-rich developing nations that watered down language targeting fossil fuels in the text of the Glasgow deal.
    The draft called on countries to phase out coal use and fossil fuel subsidies.    But as the negotiations played out, words were changed: coal became “unabated coal,” leaving scope for continued use of coal that uses emissions-capturing technology.
    Subsidies became “inefficient subsidies,” without a definition of which types of subsidies counted as inefficient, providing wriggle room for governments to continue funding oil, gas and coal.
    A last-minute intervention by India and China just before the pact was adopted also changed the requested coal “phase out” to a “phase down.”
FAIRNESS
    The Glasgow agreement delivered a mixed bag on finance, a contentious issue between poor countries and their rich and powerful counterparts.
    Finance boils down to the issue of fairness, and whether rich nations whose historical emissions are largely responsible for causing climate change will pay the costs it is imposing on the world’s poorest countries.
    The deal made some headway.    It asked developed countries to “at least double their collective provision of climate finance for adaptation to developing country Parties from 2019 levels by 2025.”
    It also, for the first time, made mention of “loss and damage” in the cover section of the agreement.    Loss and damage refers to the costs countries are already facing from climate-driven disasters, for which those countries have for years sought compensation.
    But after resistance from the United States, the European Union and other rich nations, the accord failed to secure funds for that compensation.
    The world’s most vulnerable countries backed the final deal grudgingly.    Antigua and Barbuda negotiator Lia Nicholson said her country and other small island states at the talks “will express our grievances in due course.”
    Rich countries broke a 2009 promise to deliver $100 billion annually by 2020 in climate finance, making poor countries wary that promised cash will not arrive.    They now expect to deliver the $100 billion by 2023.
(Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Barbara Lewis)

11/16/2021 Pandemic Peace Brings New Life To Threatened Senegalese Turtles by Ngouda Dione and Cooper Inveen
Newborn green turtles climb up the walls of a protective cage moments after hatching in
Guereo, Senegal, October 11, 2021. Picture taken October 11, 2021. REUTERS/Cooper Inveen
    GUEREO, Senegal (Reuters) – On a moonlit shore in Senegal, Djibril Diakhate’s evening walk came to an unexpected halt when his torch revealed more than 140 baby turtles clambering from their nest and sprinting towards the glimmering ocean.
    “Turtles!” Diakhate shouted, jumping and clapping.    The 47-year-old barkeeper patrols this beach up to 75 nights a year, the maximum incubation time for green turtles, to keep predators from their nests until the eggs are ready to hatch.
    “I have always been affected by the birth of these turtles,” he said.    “The first time I witnessed a hatching, I cried at these creatures of God.”
    Thousands of turtles lay eggs along West Africa’s shores each year, but nights like these have become rare in Guereo, the beachside village where Diakhate lives.
    Increased fishing, tourism and construction have left fewer safe nesting grounds for Senegal’s turtles, which are listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
    Only two or three turtles have laid their eggs in Guereo in recent years, while dozens did a generation ago, Diakhate said.
    But beaches have become quieter during the COVID-19 pandemic.    Fifteen turtles nested on Guereo’s beach last season, up from two the previous year, according to environment ministry records.
    The surge was so great that Diakhate had to relocate his restaurant – named “The Turtle Nest” – after a mother turtle laid her eggs behind the bar.    Saliou Mbodji, president of the nearby Somone Marine Protection Area, attributes the change to COVID-19 restrictions that halted local fishing and tourism for much of 2020.
    “There were not many people at the beaches or the hotels,” Mbodji said.    “There was less light, so more turtles came to lay their eggs on the beaches.”
    As people have returned to the beaches, the turtles have withdrawn again.    Seven nests were discovered near Guereo this season — half as many as last year.
    If nesting rates fall to pre-pandemic levels the ecosystem could be permanently damaged, said researchers at the Oceanium conservation group in Dakar, who provide protective cages to shield the nests from predators.
    “[Turtles] regulate marine algae by eating it, and marine algae is depended upon by other species like tuna, lobster and shrimp,” said Charlotte Thomas, Oceanium’s turtle project manager.
    “If these turtles were to disappear, that would create an imbalance in the food chain and threaten the entire ecosystem.”
(Reporting by Ngouda Dione and Cooper Inveen; Editing by Nellie Peyton and Giles Elgood)

11/17/2021 Ireland Looks To Seaweed In Quest To Curb Methane From Cows by Clodagh Kilcoyne and Conor Humphries
Dairy cattle that are participating in a trial of being fed seaweed to offset methane emissions gather around the
solar powered methane measuring machine at the AFBI (Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute) research farm in Hillsborough,
Northern Ireland, October 7, 2021. Scientists are combing Ireland's west coast for seaweed to feed to cattle
and sheep after research showed it could stop them breathing out so much climate-warming methane. Researchers
are working on how to integrate the feed additives into Ireland's predominantly grass-based cattle farming system.
On a farm outside Hillsborough, researchers use treats to coax cows to poke their heads into a solar-powered
machine that measures the level of methane on their breath. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
    ATHENRY, Ireland (Reuters) – Scientists are combing Ireland’s west coast for seaweed to feed to cattle and sheep after research showed it could stop them breathing out so much climate-warming methane.
    The project, coordinated by a state agriculture body, is tapping into the country’s growing seaweed harvesting industry, which is seeking new markets as it revives centuries-old traditions.
    But some are sceptical that the seaweed feed additives – or any quick technological fix – can sidestep the need to reverse a surge in Irish cattle numbers if the country is to reduce Europe’s largest per capita methane output by 2030.
    Around 20 species of seaweed, most from Ireland’s windswept Atlantic coast, have been tested by researchers while dozens more have been collected by the project’s partners in Norway, Canada, Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom.
    Scientists in the United States and Australia have already demonstrated dramatic methane-reducing qualities from one seaweed type – Asparagopsis – when small quantities are added to feedstock.
    But they have not yet managed to scale up production of the seaweed, which is not easy to grow in Northwest Europe.
    The Irish project aims to find abundant native seaweeds to use instead, even though the researchers admit they are unlikely to match the reduction in emissions of over 80% shown with Asparagopsis.
    “We have identified some brown seaweeds that are very positive and they’re producing results,” said Maria Hayes, Project Lead of the SeaSolutions project, whose team has achieved methane reductions of between 11% and 20% in early trials.
    “The reductions aren’t going to be a silver bullet … but it can significantly reduce emissions,” said Hayes, who works for Teagasc, Ireland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority.
    Researchers are also working on how to integrate the feed additives into Ireland’s predominantly grass-based cattle farming system.
    On a farm outside Hillsborough, southwest of Belfast, researchers use treats to coax cows to poke their heads into a solar-powered machine that measures the level of methane on their breath.
    They will test them again using seaweed additives, said Sharon Huws, Professor of Animal Science and Microbiology at Queen’s University Belfast.
    “The levels that are used to feed ruminants are very, very small so you don’t need to get a lot of it in order to get an impact,” she said.
POLITICAL PRESSURE
    The technology has caught the imagination of farming groups and politicians, who insist that stringent targets for cutting greenhouse gases like methane should not mean a reduction in the size of the Irish farming sector.
    After growth of over 10% in the past 10 years, Ireland has 7.4 million cattle and is one of the largest exporters of beef and dairy in Europe.
    Its per capita output of methane – which has a higher heat-trapping potential than CO2 – is by far the highest in the European Union, according to the Climate Watch database.
    The colourless and odourless gas leaks from waste dumps, oil and gas infrastructure and the digestive systems of cattle and sheep.
    At the COP26 U.N. Climate Change conference in Glasgow this month, Ireland signed up to a pledge to cut global output of methane by 30% by 2030 from 2020 levels.    https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/nearly-90-countries-join-pact-slash-planet-warming-methane-emissions-2021-11-02
    But government ministers insist that will mostly be achieved through a 50% cut in non-agricultural methane, with a reduction of just 10% in agricultural methane by 2030.
    They point to seaweed feed additives as a way to curb emissions without downsizing the herd – with a reduction in the average age of slaughter of beef cattle and genetics research as other possible solutions.
    Chemicals company Royal DSM says a rival food additive it produces can cut methane output by around 30%.    The company said it had received regulatory approval in Brazil and Chile and is seeking approval in the European Union.
    But not everyone is convinced the technology can meet the target.
    “Scaling up these solutions takes time. We don’t have time,” said Sadhbh O’Neill, lecturer in climate policy and environmental politics at Dublin City University, a vocal critic of industry attempts to rely on technology rather than address the sustainability Ireland’s agriculture model.
SCALING UP
    The Irish researchers have tapped into a network of seaweed harvesters who are reviving a tradition mentioned in monastic writings as far back as the 5th century.
    But they do not yet have a plan to scale up production if tests are successful.
    Some harvesters, who serve organic food and cosmetic markets, doubt the feed additives will be sufficiently lucrative with plenty of opportunities elsewhere.
    “It’s a huge market at the moment, seaweed is really thriving,” said Evan Talty, managing director at Wild Irish     Seaweeds, who has revived harvesting techniques used by his grandfather and focuses on food and skin care products.    The methane additive market is “not on our radar,” he said.
    Others are more hopeful.
    “Everyone keeps an eye on it,” said Jenny O’Halloran of Bláth na Mara, a small-scale hand harvester on Inis Mór island off Ireland’s west coast.
    “Maybe the future of that is actually farming seaweed, which I think has to be part of the conversation when it comes to the future of seaweed in Ireland,” she said.
(Writing by Conor Humphries; Editing by Giles Elgood)
[I AM WONDERING IF THE FUTURE HAMBURGERS WILL TASTE LIKE SEAWEED.].

11/18/2021 British Columbia Sees Death Toll Rising From Massive Flood; Ottawa Pledges Aid by Jesse Winter
FILE PHOTO: A person riding a Sea-Doo passes through a flooded farm after rainstorms caused flooding
and landslides in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada November 16, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier
    ABBOTSFORD, British Columbia (Reuters) – The death toll from massive floods and landslides that devastated parts of British Columbia is set to rise, with the Canadian province declaring a state of emergency on Wednesday and the federal government promising major help.
    Authorities have confirmed one death after torrential rains and mudslides destroyed roads and left several mountain towns isolated. At least three people are missing.    Some 18,000 people are displaced in the Pacific Coast province, Canadian Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said.
    “We expect to confirm even more fatalities in the coming days,” British Columbia Premier John Horgan said, describing the calamity as a once-in-500-year event.
    “We will bring in travel restrictions and ensure that transportation of essential goods and medical and emergency services are able to reach the communities that need them,” Horgan told a news conference, urging people not to hoard supplies.
    The floods and mudslides also severed access to the country’s largest port in Vancouver, disrupting already strained global supply chains.
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government would help the province recover from what he called a “terrible, terrible disaster.”
    Ottawa is sending hundreds of air force personnel to aid the recovery and “there are thousands more on standby,” Trudeau told reporters in Washington ahead of a U.S.-Canada-Mexico summit on Thursday.
    Some affected towns are in remote mountain areas with limited access and freezing temperatures.
    In Tulameen, northeast of Vancouver, up to 400 people are trapped, many without power, said Erick Thompson, a spokesman for the area’s emergency operations.
    “(We) did a helicopter flight recently, dropped off food,” he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
    In Hope, 100 miles (160 km) east of Vancouver, food was starting to run low. Pastor Jeff Kuhn said a quarter of the town’s 6,000 residents were seeking shelter.
    About 100 volunteers at the Dukh Nivaran Sahib Gurdwara Sikh temple in Surrey spent all night Tuesday preparing about 3,000 meals and then hired helicopters to deliver the food to Hope, said the temple’s president, Narinder Singh Walia.
SECOND RECENT CALAMITY
    The disaster could be one of the most expensive in Canadian history.
    The flooding is the second weather-related calamity to hit British Columbia in the past few months.    A massive in the same region as some of the devastation destroyed an entire town in late June.
    “These are extraordinary events not measured before, not contemplated before,” Horgan said.
    Canadian exporters of commodities from grain to fertilizer and oil scrambled to divert shipments away from Vancouver but found few easy alternatives.
    Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd and Canadian National Railway Co , the country’s two biggest rail companies, said their lines into Vancouver remained unusable on Wednesday.
    After a phenomenon known as an atmospheric river dumped a month’s worth of rain in two days, officials are concerned that another downpour could overwhelm a pumping station near Abbotsford, a city of 160,000 east of Vancouver, which has already been partly evacuated.
    Mayor Henry Braun said volunteers built a dam around the station overnight.
    “That will buy us some more time, but if we had another weather event like we just went through, we are in deep doo-doo (trouble),” he told reporters.
    Abbotsford farmers ignored an evacuation order on Tuesday and desperately tried to save animals from rising waters, in some cases tying ropes around the necks of cows and pulling them to higher ground.
    Provincial Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said thousands of animals had died and others would have to be euthanized.
    Environment Canada said Abbotsford would receive more rain early next week.
    Rescuer Mike Danks, part of an Abbotsford evacuation team, said the situation had been very tough.
    “The majority of people had elderly parents with them that were unable to walk, suffered from dementia,” he told local outlet Black Press Media.
(Reporting by Jesse Winter in Abbotsford, British Columbia, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru, Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Anna Mehler Paperny in Toronto and Nia William in Calgary; Writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Peter Cooney)

11/22/2021 Coastal Towns Locked Down In La Palma As Lava Crashes Into Ocean
A flow of lava is observed near la Laguna mountain on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain
November 22, 2021 in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. Involcan/via REUTERS
    MADRID (Reuters) – Authorities on the Spanish island of La Palma ordered residents of three coastal towns to stay indoors on Monday after a new stream of lava crashed into the ocean, sending thick clouds of potentially toxic gases high into the sky.
    A third tongue of lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano, which has been erupting for two months, reached the water around midday (12:00 GMT) a few kilometres north of where two previous flows hit the sea.
    Drone footage from the local council showed white clouds billowing out of the water as the red hot molten rock slid down a cliff into the Atlantic.
    Residents in Tazacorte, San Borondon and parts of El Cardon were told to stay inside with doors and windows shut as strong winds blew the cloud back inland.
    Soldiers from the Military Emergency Unit were deployed to measure air quality in the area.
    The airport was also closed and is likely to remain so for up to 48 hours due to the unfavourable weather conditions, said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Pevolca eruption response committee.
    Residents in the capital Santa Cruz had been advised to wear masks for the first time since the eruption began due to high concentrations of particulate matter and sulphur dioxide in the air, he said.
    According to the Copernicus disaster monitoring programme, lava flows have damaged or destroyed some 2,650 buildings since Sept. 19, forcing the evacuation of thousands from their homes on the island, part of the Canaries archipelego.
(Reporting by Nathan Allen, editing by Andrei Khalip and Angus MacSwan)

11/23/2021 Exclusive-German Parties Agree On 2030 Coal Phase-Out In Coalition Talks - Sources by Markus Wacket
FILE PHOTO: General view of the coal power plant in Neurath near
Cologne, Germany, November 5, 2021. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
    BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and Free Democrats, who are negotiating to form a new government, have agreed to commit to a coal phase-out by 2030 in a coalition deal, sources involved in the talks told Reuters on Tuesday.
    The three parties are in the final stages of clinching a coalition agreement and hope to present the deal on Wednesday, one source close to the talks said.
    Climate policy is one of the closest-watched areas for the new government as Europe’s biggest economy shifts towards carbon neutrality.
    The three parties have also agreed to end power generation from gas by 2040, sources involved in the coalition talks told Reuters.    In addition, gas heating systems would be banned in new buildings and replaced in existing buildings, they said.
    An end to sales of new combustion engine cars would come by 2035, coinciding with European Commission plans, said the sources.    The Greens had wanted an earlier date.
    The parties also want to allow “blue” hydrogen, or the production of hydrogen using natural gas with CO2 emissions captured in underground or subsea storage.
    They have also agreed to form a beefed-up climate ministry to include industry and energy policy, the sources said.
    If the parties finalise a deal, the SPD’s Olaf Scholz would take over as chancellor from the conservative Angela Merkel, who did not stand for a fifth term in a Sept. 26 election.
    Three sources involved in the negotiations told Reuters that Christian Lindner, head of the fiscally conservative FDP, was set to become finance minister in the planned new government.
    “That has been certain for a long time,” said one source. Another echoed that view while a third said although nothing had been finally agreed, anything else would be a surprise.
    The party leaders were due to meet on Tuesday in Berlin to discuss outstanding areas of disagreement and hoped to conclude the negotiations on Wednesday, although they could run into Thursday, a source with knowledge of the talks said.
    While the Greens and SPD are widely seen as natural centre-left partners, the FDP have historically been closer to the conservatives.
(Additional reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Kirsti Knolle and Madeline Chambers;Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, William Maclean)

11/24/2021 Lockdown Lifted In Spain’s La Palma, Volcanic Eruption Keeps Airport Shut
FILE PHOTO: Lava spewed by Cumbre Vieja volcano reaches the Atlantic Ocean at Los Guirres
beach in this handout image released by Spanish Transport Ministry on the Canary Island of La Palma,
Spain, November 10, 2021. Spanish Transport Ministry/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    MADRID (Reuters) – Authorities on the Spanish island of La Palma on Wednesday lifted lockdown on three coastal towns as toxic fumes from the lava flowing into the sea partly dissipated, but the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano showed no signs of abating.
    The red-hot molten rock continued to gush along the western flanks of the volcano, which has been erupting since Sept. 19, and the pace of daily earth tremors is yet to slow down.br>     La Palma airport remained closed since the weekend, and footage released by airport operator Aena showed staff shovelling tonnes of black ash from the runway.
    “If the eruption intensity doesn’t diminish, it is most likely to keep affecting La Palma airport,” said Carmen Lopez, who heads the National Geographic Institute’s geophysical monitoring programme.
    Local authorities on Monday forced residents of three coastal towns to stay indoors as a third tongue of lava hit the sea sending thick clouds of vapour and smoke high into the sky.
    The cloud is less dense now, said Miguel Angel Morcuende, technical director of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan.
    “However, we recommend that people living near where the lava flow reaches the sea to wear the FFP2 masks and stay protected to prevent any problem,” he told reporters.
    The lava solidifying as it crashes into the water has expanded the island’s surface by some 46 hectares, according to the authorities.
    It has engulfed 1,073 hectares of land so far, according to the EU satellite monitoring system Copernicus. The eruption has damaged or destroyed nearly 2,700 buildings, forcing the evacuation of thousands from their homes on the island.
(Reporting by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip and Mike Collett-White)

11/26/2021 Tepco Finds Melting Of Ice Wall At Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Plant
FILE PHOTO: An employee of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) looks up at a tank reserved for storing treated water at the tsunami-crippled
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma town, Fukushima prefecture, Japan March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Sakura Murakami
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) will launch remedial works at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to strengthen an ice wall intended to halt the flow of groundwater after testing indicated partial melting.
    The work could begin as early as the start of December, according to a presentation from the plant operator dated Thursday, part of a costly and troubled effort to secure the site following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
    The ice wall is intended to limit the seepage of groundwater into the plant, which has created large amounts of toxic water being stored by Tepco in tanks.
    Japan plans to release https://www.reuters.com/article/disaster-fukushima-water-release-idTRNIKBN2HQ0FT more than 1 million tonnes of water into the sea after treating it.    The water contains the radioactive isotope tritium, which cannot be removed.
(Reporting by Sakura Murakami and Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Stephen Coates)

11/26/2021 Carbonised: Kyrgyz Government Hands Out Cheap Coal Amid Energy Crunch
Lorries are seen in a queue for coal that people buy at reduced prices to heat their homes amid
the energy crunch, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Vladimir Pirogov
    BISHKEK (Reuters) – Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japparov told the COP26 global climate summit this month that his Central Asian nation would achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 – but right now his government is urging citizens to burn more coal.
    Thousands of people queue up every day to buy coal at reduced prices, an arrangement agreed by the cabinet amid an electric power crunch and ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary election.
    This bodes ill for air quality in the capital Bishkek, which last winter already briefly claimed the dubious title as the world’s most polluted city.
    But the former Soviet republic has little choice in the matter – almost half of its electric power is generated by hydroelectric plants, the biggest of which has suffered this year from low water levels due to drought across the region.
    Unable to import power from neighbours who face deficits themselves for various reasons including a cryptocurrency mining boom, Kyrgyzstan has urged citizens to heat their homes with coal rather than electric boilers and heaters, and offered them discounted supplies.
‘WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO, FREEZE?’
    Like many other Bishkek residents, housewife Chinara, 51, has queued up to buy coal at 3,000 soms ($35) per tonne, a major discount from the market price of about 5,500 soms.
    “In a cold winter, we burn about 5-6 tonnes,” she said.    “It is expensive for us to buy coal at 5,500 soms.    Therefore, I stand in line for three-four hours.    And what are we supposed to do, freeze?
    According to environmental engineer Kanykei Kadyrova at the Movegreen NGO, the combined emissions of city power plants and households burning coal are the main factor behind the heavy smog that chokes Bishkek at all times.
    The country of 6.7 million hopes to solve its energy woes in the future by building more hydroelectric power plants. But operating them causes headache too as increased water flows during winter, when consumption peaks, lead to floods downstream, in neighbouring Kazakhstan.
(Reporting by Aigerim Turgunbaeva; Editing by Gareth Jones)

11/27/2021 Storm Arwen Leaves Two Dead In UK, Triggers Power Cuts
Cars drive along a snow covered flooded road that fell overnight from Storm Arwen,
in Leek, Staffordshire, Britain, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine
    LONDON (Reuters) – At least two people died and tens of thousands were left without power as Storm Arwen brought strong winds across many parts of the United Kingdom, with gusts of up to 100 miles per hour (160 kph).
    One man died in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim when his car was struck by a falling tree on Friday evening, police said in a statement. Local media reported the man was the principal of a primary school.
    Another man was killed in Cumbria in the northwest of England when he was hit by a falling tree, police said.
    Gusts of 98 mph hit Brizlee Wood in Northumberland, northeastern England, according to the Met Office, which said yellow warnings remained in place on Saturday across much of the country.
    “Many roads remain closed so please only travel if absolutely necessary,” it said on Twitter.
    More than 100,000 customers were without power, Northern Powergrid, which delivers electricity to properties in the North East of England and Yorkshire, said on Saturday morning.
    Engineers were also working to restore supplies in Scotland and southern England.
    P&O Ferries said it had been forced to halt sailing between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas, Ian Graham and Conor Humphries; Editing by Frances Kerry and Clelia Oziel)

11/29/2021 Earthquake Hits Remote Northern Peru, 75 Homes Destroyed, No Deaths Reported by Marco Aquino
Damages are seen after an earthquake in Moyobamba, Peru, November 28, 2021 in this screengrab obtained
from a social media video. INTERACTIVA RADIO TV/via REUTERS MUST CREDIT INTERACTIVA RADIO TV.
    (Reuters) – A 7.5 magnitude earthquake shook the remote Amazon region of northern Peru on Sunday and was felt as far as Lima in the center of the country, destroying 75 homes but with no deaths reported.
    The seismological center of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP) said the earthquake had a depth of 131 kilometers (81 miles) and that the epicenter was 98 kilometers from the town of Santa Maria de Nieva in the province of Condorcanqui.
    The quake was felt throughout central and northern Peru. Some residents left their homes as a precaution, according to local radio and television reports.
    No damage was reported to the 1,100-kilometer oil pipeline of state-owned Petroperu that crosses the Peruvian Amazon region to the Pacific coast in the north.
    The National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci) said in a statement that 220 homes were affected, 81 uninhabitable and 75 destroyed. Seven places of religious worship and two shopping centers were among damaged facilities, Indeci said, adding that four residents were injured.
    President Pedro Castillo said through Twitter that he ordered the immediate deployment of support personnel and took a trip in a military plane to the area.
    “We will support those affected and address material damage,” he said.br>     Walter Culqui, mayor of the town of Jalca Grande in Chachapoyas province, said several houses had been damaged, leaving three non-serious injuries.    Part of the church tower in the area collapsed, he said.
    Through social networks, electricity cuts were reported in several locations in jungle areas.    Local TV images showed stretches of roads blocked by huge rocks and dirt that had been knocked loose.
    The U.S. warning system said there was no tsunami warning after the earthquake.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino in Lima and Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru, writing by Hugh Bronstein, Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Porter)

11/29/2021 Ritual Cups, Cemetery Shed Light On Ancient Jewish Retreat At Yavne
Pablo Betser of the IAA holds up glass phials likely used to keep precious liquids such as fragrant oils at the
site of an excavation believed to be from the time of the Sanhedrin, the late first and second centuries CE
according to the Israel Antiquities Authority, in Yavne, Israel November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
    YAVNE, Israel (Reuters) – Archaeological finds in Israel have shed light on Yavne, an ancient town that served as the retreat for Jewish authorities after the fall of Jerusalem during a rebellion against Roman rule.
    The excavation unearthed ruins of a building with cups made of chalkstone, a material deemed appropriate for Jewish religious rites, pointing to the presence of the exiled Sanhedrin legislative assembly, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.
    Cited by the Roman historian Josephus, Yavne served as focal point of Jewish activity.    According to Jewish scripture, the Sanhedrin was reconstituted there with Roman consent during a rebellion that led to the second century fighting in Jerusalem.
    “This is a direct voice from the past, from the period when the Jewish leadership salvaged the remaining fragments from the fall of the (Jerusalem) Temple,” the Authority said in a statement.
    Also discovered near the site was a cemetery with dozens of graves, including sarcophagi, and more than 150 glass phials placed on top of the tombs, which the Authority said were probably used to store fragrant oils.
(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson)

11/30/2021As we can see what is going on in this world after the COP26 corruption that was mainly a money push to get money flowing from the rich nations to the poorer nations which is definitely a Socialism concept and as you can read in the image below is clear about that and also letting you know what the Globalist Socialist One World Government that has already encompassed most of the nations and is presently in the United States of America trying to turn it into a Socialist country.

12/1/2021 US Climate Envoy Kerry Says China, India, Russia Must Do More To Tackle Warming by Katy Daigle
FILE PHOTO: John Kerry, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's special presidential envoy for climate appointee,
speaks as President-elect Biden announces his national security nominees and appointees at his
transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. climate envoy John Kerry said on Wednesday that big greenhouse gas emitting countries like China, India, Russia and others must move faster to help the world avert the worst impacts of global warming.
    Pledges by governments to cut carbon dioxide and methane emissions are currently insufficient to limit global warming to an international target of no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels this century.
    “And that means you have China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, South Africa, a group of countries that are going to have to step up,” Kerry said.
    “And we have to help them,” Kerry said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference.    “This is not just unloaded responsibility on them.”
    Kerry said Washington was engaging with countries to help them accelerate a transition to cleaner forms of energy and reduce emissions. He pointed to U.S. support for India’s clean energy initiatives, as well as a joint agreement the United States secured with China last month in which Beijing committed to accelerating emissions cuts.
    Kerry added that private investment in clean-energy technologies – including green hydrogen, long-term battery storage, modular nuclear reactors and carbon capture – was also crucial to addressing climate change.
    World governments agreed last month during a climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, to revisit their national emission-cutting pledges in 2022 to help ensure the world can meet the 1.5C target set by the Paris Agreement in 2015.    Scientists have warned crossing that threshold could unleash catastrophic climate impacts from sea level rise to more frequent powerful storms, droughts and floods.
    To watch the Reuters Next conference please register here https://reutersevents.com/events/next/ (Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

12/2/2021 NASA Astronauts Replace Faulty Space Station Antenna During Spacewalk by Steve Gorman and Brendan O’Brien
FILE PHOTO: Workers pressure wash the logo of NASA on the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy
Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., May 19, 2020. REUTERS/Joe Skipper/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Two NASA astronauts completed a 6-1/2 hour spacewalk on Thursday to replace a faulty antenna on the International Space Station, a mission NASA said carried slightly higher risk posed by orbital debris left from a Russian missile test weeks ago.
    Astronauts Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron exited an airlock of the orbiting research lab some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth to begin their work at 6:15 a.m. Eastern time (1115 GMT), an hour ahead of schedule.
    The “extra-vehicular activity” (EVA) followed a 48-hour delay prompted by a separate orbital debris alert – believed to be the first such postponement in more than two decades of space station history – which NASA later deemed inconsequential.
    The origin of the newly detected debris was left unclear by NASA.    A spokesperson said there was no indication it came from fragments of the defunct satellite that Russia blew to pieces with a missile test last month.
    Thursday’s outing was the fifth spacewalk for Marshburn, 61, a medical doctor and former flight surgeon with two previous trips to orbit, and a first for Barron, 34, a U.S. Navy submarine officer and nuclear engineer on her debut spaceflight for NASA.
    “It was awesome,” Barron told Marshburn afterward.
    During the spacewalk, they removed a defective S-band radio communications antenna assembly, now more than 20 years old, and replaced it with a spare stowed outside the space station.
    The space station is equipped with other antennae that can perform the same functions, but installing a replacement system ensures an ideal level of communications redundancy, NASA said.
    Marshburn worked with Barron while positioned at the end of a robotic arm maneuvered from inside by German astronaut Matthias Maurer of the European Space Agency, with help from NASA crewmate Raja Chari.
    The four arrived at the space station Nov. 11 in a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, joining two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut, Mark Vande Hei, already aboard the orbiting outpost.
    Four days later, an anti-satellite missile test conducted without warning by Russia generated a debris field in low-Earth orbit, forcing the seven ISS crew members to take shelter in their docked spaceships to allow for a quick getaway until the immediate danger passed, NASA said.
    The residual cloud of debris from the blasted satellite has dispersed since then, according to Dana Weigel, NASA deputy manager of the ISS program.
    NASA has calculated that remaining fragments continue to pose a “slightly elevated” background risk to the space station as a whole, and a 7% higher risk of puncturing spacewalkers’ suits, as compared to before Russia’s missile test, Weigel told reporters on Monday.
    NASA determined those risk levels fall within an acceptable range and moved ahead with preparations for a spacewalk on Tuesday as originally planned, only for mission control to delay the EVA mission hours before it was to start.
    The operation was postponed after NASA received notice from U.S. military space trackers warning of a newly detected debris-collision threat.    NASA concluded later there was no risk to spacewalkers or the station after all, and the antenna replacement was rescheduled for Thursday morning.
    Thursday’s exercise marked the 245th spacewalk in support of assembly and upkeep of the space station, and the first on record delayed due to a debris alert, NASA spokesperson Gary Jordan said.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Rosalba O’Brien)

12/2/2021 Behavioral Tools Of Pandemic Should Be Applied To Climate Policy – Scientists
FILE PHOTO: People hold a banner during a protest at the UN Climate Change Conference
(COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 12, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lessons learned from the pandemic about shifting people’s behavior will be applied to policies to counter climate change and disinformation in the future, leading scientists said Thursday.
    Carlos Scartascini, from the Inter-American Development Bank, said behavioral tools became critical in the pandemic, in a panel at the Reuters Next conference.
    “When you say ‘wash your hands’ – you can say (it) 20 times, but if you don’t change the way you say people basically do not react,” he said.
    Dr. Laura de Moliere, who heads up behavioral science in the UK Cabinet office, said a better understanding of human behavior became critical to policymakers in the pandemic, and that should carry forward.
    “Climate change is probably quite an obvious one, where if we aren’t designing rules and regulations well, we will be seeing rebound effects where people are insulating their houses, but then buying bigger houses because the energy is cheaper,” she said.
    She said transparency of decision making, central to COVID communication, would also be important for winning support for climate change policies.
    “There’s lots of really interesting avenues for behavioral science application that have arisen because of because of the pandemic,” said Mary MacLennan, the cofounder of the United Nations Behavioral Science Group.
(Reporting by William James; writing by Merdie Nzanga)

12/3/2021 UN Plans To Drastically Expand Plastic Waste Management In India by Neha Arora
FILE PHOTO: A woman collects plastic bottles for recycling at the
garbage dump on the outskirts of Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura
December 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jayanta Dey (INDIA ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY BUSINESS)/File Photo
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The United Nations Development Programme aims to almost triple its plastic waste management to 100 cities in India by 2024, A UNDP executive said, to combat the damaging effects of plastic pollution.
    Across India’s many towns and cities, which are often ranked among the world’s most polluted, the absence of an organized management of plastic waste leads to widespread littering and pollution.
    The UNDP programme, which began in 2018, has so far collected 83,000 metric tonne of plastic waste.    India generates about 3.4 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, according to official estimates.
    “In India although about 60% of plastic is recycled, we are still seeing the damage that plastic pollution is causing,” Nadia Rasheed, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP India, said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference broadcast on Friday.
      The UNDP is working with federal think tank, NITI Aayog and have jointly developed a ‘handbook’ model for local municipalities as well as the private sector.
    “In a country like India with nearly fifth of the world’s population, a key challenge is how do we make these models scalable,” Rasheed said in an interview recorded on Nov. 22.
    The government needs stricter enforcement on controls around dumping of plastic waste and has a “long way to go” to raise awareness among households, Rasheed said, addding there was a need for investment into research for alternatives.
    The programme suffered a setback after the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread increase in waste, including medical plastic waste, and hit livelihoods of collectors, who often work in hazardous conditions.
    “There was a real need to expand waste collection efforts and that was coming at the same time as lot of (COVID-19 related) restrictions were disrupting the normal waste collection,” Rasheed said.
    Plastic pollution is set to triple by 2040, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has predicted, adding 23-37 million metric tons of waste into the world’s oceans each year.
    India, also the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, has set 2070 as a target to reach net-zero carbon emissions, much later than those set by others and twenty years after the U.N.’s global recommendation.
    To watch the Reuters: Next conference please register here https://reutersevents.com/events/next
(Reporting by Neha Arora)

12/3/2021 Brightest comet of year is approaching Earth
    Jordan Mendoza USA TODAY Looks like space was saving its best for last in 2021, as the arrival of the newly found comet Leonard will be one of the most visible this year.
    The comet, discovered by Greg Leonard, a senior researcher at the University of Arizona, was first spotted at the Mount Lemmon Observatory just outside of Tucson, Arizona on Jan.3.
    Robert Lunsford with the American Meteor Society said the comet won’t be the most spectacular one ever but will be 'the brightest comet this year.'    With the help of binoculars and telescopes, people across the country can already begin to spot it in the sky, and it won’t be long before people can view the comet with the naked eye for this once-in-a-lifetime event.
    What makes Leonard special? Although recently discovered, the comet won’t be sticking around for long.    Astrophysicist and founder of The Virtual Telescope Project Gianluca Masi said Leonard is a long-period comet, meaning it doesn’t come around often.    In fact, the comet hasn’t passed by Earth in over 70,000 years, and after it passes by the sun, it will be ejected from our solar system, never to be seen on Earth again.
    'This makes the observation of this comet even more exciting, as we will say ‘farewell’ to this icy, little world,' Masi said.
    Masi noted that comets are unpredictable and they can often change course, making them more or less noticeable.    However, if Leonard stays on course, Lunsford says it will have a magnitude brightness of four, which is the same brightness as average stars.
    When, and how, can you see it? Unless you are living in Antarctica, Lunsford said anyone on the planet can view the comet right now.    From now through Dec.13, the comet can be observed in the morning sky using binoculars or a telescope.    On Dec.12, it will be 21.7million miles away from Earth, the closest it will get.    If you are able to get away from light pollution, you’ll have a better chance to see it.
    'It’s heading downward with each passing morning,' Lunsford said.    'You probably could catch some tail of the comet.'
Masi pointed out the star will appear next to the global cluster of stars, Messier 3, on Dec.3.
    On Dec.6, it will appear left of the star Arcturus, one of the brightest stars seen from Earth and a 'bright, orange star you can’t miss,' according to Lunsford.    That will also be the day people may be able to view it with the naked eye.
    Beginning Dec.14, the comet will be viewable in the night sky and for a few days, no instruments won’t be needed to see it.    Lunsford said it will appear next to Venus, and viewers will notice the comet in between the horizon and Venus right after sunset on Dec.17. On the early hours of Dec.18, Leonard will be 2.6million miles from Venus.
    It will fade away each day in the night sky, but people will be able to spot it, with instruments, to around Christmas.
The comet, discovered by Greg Leonard, a senior researcher at the University of Arizona, was first spotted at the
Mount Lemmon Observatory just outside of Tucson, Arizona in January. The Virtual Telescope Project via USA Today

12/3/2021 International Space Station Swerves To Dodge Space Junk
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The International Space Station (ISS) photographed by Expedition 56 crew members
from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking, October 4, 2018. NASA/Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – The International Space Station (ISS) had to swerve away from a fragment of a U.S. launch vehicle on Friday, the head of Russia’s space agency said, the latest in a series of incidents in which space debris have forced astronauts to respond.
    Calls to monitor and regulate space debris, or space junk, have grown since Russia conducted an anti-satellite missile test last month.    This generated a debris field in orbit that U.S. officials said would pose a hazard to space activities for years.
    Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, said on Friday that the ISS had been forced to move due to space junk from a U.S. launch vehicle sent into orbit in 1994.
    Roscosmos said the station’s orbit, in an unscheduled manoeuvre carried out by mission control, dropped by 310 metres (339 yards) for nearly three minutes to avoid a close encounter.
    Rogozin added that the manoeuvre would not affect the planned launch of the Soyuz MS-20 rocket on Dec. 8 from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and its docking at the ISS.
    Space debris consists of discarded launch vehicles or parts of a spacecraft that float around in space and risk colliding with satellites or the ISS.
    In an opinion piece published in the Financial Times on Thursday, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia’s destruction of the satellite last month risked turning space into a junk yard.
    “Unless we change course, the opportunities of space to improve our lives on Earth could be closed off for generations,” he wrote.
    Space debris also forced NASA on Tuesday to postpone a spacewalk to replace a faulty antenna on the ISS.    Last month the ISS performed a brief manoeuvre to dodge a fragment of a defunct Chinese satellite.
    In separate comments on Friday, Roscosmos said it hoped NASA chief Bill Nelson would visit Russia in the first half of 2022 to discuss further cooperation on the ISS.
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Kim Coghill and Gareth Jones)

12/5/2021 Indonesia Semeru Volcanic Eruption Kills 13; Dozens Injured by Prasto Wardoyo and Willy Kurniawan
Local people affected by the eruption of Semeru mount volcano are evacuated at
Sumberwuluh village in Lumajang regency, East Java province, Indonesia, December 4, 2021,
in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Muhammad Sidkin Ali/via REUTERS
    SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (Reuters) - Ten people trapped after Indonesia’s Semeru volcano erupted have been evacuated to safety, the disaster mitigation agency (BNPB) said on Sunday, as the death toll from the disaster climbed to at least 13 with dozens injured.
    Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java island, threw up towers of ash and hot clouds on Saturday that blanketed nearby villages in East Java province and sent people fleeing in panic.
    The eruption severed a strategic bridge connecting two areas in the nearby district of Lumajang with the city of Malang and wrecked buildings, authorities said.
    BNPB official Abdul Muhari said in a news release that 13 people were killed after the eruption, two of whom have been identified.    Ninety-eight were injured, including two pregnant women, and 902 have been evacuated, the statement said.
    Most injuries were burns, authorities said.
    In the Sumberwuluh area, thick, grey ash coated damaged houses, while volunteers tried to turn away motorists who wanted to go back to their homes near Semeru, a Reuters witness said.
    An official at Indonesia’s search and rescue agency told news channel Metro TV that evacuations have been suspended due to hot clouds hampering efforts.
    Other obstacles include heavy rocks and hot volcanic sediment that is limiting movement, a local disaster mitigation agency official said.
    Thoriqul Haq, a local official in Lumajang, said earlier that sand miners had been trapped around their work sites.
    Indonesia’s transportation ministry said on Sunday the eruption caused no disruption ton flights, though pilots have been alerted to watch out for the ashfall.
    Semeru, more than 3,600 metres (12,000 feet) high, is one of Indonesia’s nearly 130 active volcanoes.    It erupted in January, causing no casualties.
    Indonesia straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
(Additional reporting by Stanley Widianto and Nilufar Rizki in Jakarta; Editing by Ed Davies and Kim Coghill).

12/5/2021 Indonesia Semeru Volcanic Eruption Kills 14; Dozens Injured by Prasto Wardoyo and Willy Kurniawan
An aerial view of the damaged houses in Sumber Wuluh village that got affected by the eruption of Mount
Semeru volcano in Lumajang regency, East Java province, Indonesia, December 5, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
    SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (Reuters) - The eruption of Semeru volcano has killed at least 14 people and injured dozens on Java island, Indonesia’s disaster agency said on Sunday, as rescue teams searched for victims under layers of ash, sometimes digging with their bare hands.
    Semeru, the tallest mountain on Java, threw up towers of ash and hot clouds on Saturday that blanketed nearby villages in East Java province and sent people fleeing in panic.
    The eruption destroyed buildings and severed a strategic bridge connecting two areas in the nearby district of Lumajang with the city of Malang, authorities said.
    A BNPB official said in a news conference late on Sunday that 14 people had been killed, nine of whom have been identified, and 56 people suffered injuries, most of them burns.
    Around 1,300 people have been evacuated, while nine people remain unaccounted for, BNPB said.
    Taufiq Ismail Marzuqi, a resident in the district of Lumajang who had volunteered to help, told Reuters that rescue efforts were “very dire” because of the severed bridge and volunteers lacking experience.
    In a video he recorded, police and military officials tried to excavate bodies with their bare hands.
    Rescuers in the village of Curah Kobokan, also in Lumajang, found the body of a mother still holding her dead baby, the state news agency Antara reported.
    A Reuters witness in the Sumberwuluh area said homes and vehicles were almost completely submerged by thick, grey ash, fallen trees blocked roads and a cow which villagers had been unable to rescue lay by the roadside, the witness said.
    Hosniya, a 31-year-old local resident who was evacuated with her family, told Reuters that the eruption was very sudden.
    “At first, I thought it was a bomb explosive…suddenly it was all dark, like it was going to destroy the earth,” she said.
    Hosniya and her family fled, unable to take anything with them other than their official papers.
RESCUE EFFORTS
    Heavy rain is expected for the next three days, which could complicate evacuation efforts, a meteorological agency official said late on Sunday. Rock debris and hot volcanic sediment were already limiting movement, local rescuers said.
    BNPB will rebuild the wrecked homes, and heavy equipment, including excavators and bulldozers, is being deployed, its chief said.
    The agency also said that 10 people trapped in sand mines by the eruption had been evacuated to safety.
    Semeru, which according to volcano experts has been in an eruptive phase since 2014 https://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=263300, had started emitting hot clouds and lava flows recently, prompting the authorities to issue warnings for people not to go near it from Wednesday.
    Indonesia’s transportation ministry said on Sunday the eruption had not caused any disruption to flights, though pilots have been alerted to watch out for the ashfall.
    Semeru, more than 3,600 metres (12,000 feet) high, is one of Indonesia’s nearly 130 active volcanoes.
    Indonesia straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a highly seismically active zone, where different plates on the earth’s crust meet and create a large number of earthquakes and volcanoes.
    While many Indonesian volcanoes show high levels of continued activity, eruptions can be years apart.    In 2010, an eruption of the Merapi volcano on Java island killed over 350 people and displaced 400,000.
(Additional reporting by Stanley Widianto and Nilufar Rizki in Jakarta and Nur-Azna Sanusi in Singapore; Editing by Ed Davies, Kim Coghill, Gerry Doyle and Raissa Kasolowsky)

12/6/2021 Fragments of energy – not waves or particles – may be the fundamental building blocks of the universe by Larry M. Silverberg, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, North Carolina State University, The Conversation
© zf L/Moment via Getty Images
    Matter is what makes up the universe, but what makes up matter?    This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.    Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter.    We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.
© IkonStudio/iStock via Getty ImagesIn ancient times, five elements
were thought to be the building blocks of reality.
    From five to one
    The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether.    Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.    These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world.    Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.
    Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles.    One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.    The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter.    Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.
    This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements, but was still flawed.    In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave.    And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.
    Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity.    Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.    But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.
    Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the universe.    Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.    Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.    My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.
© Christopher TerrellA new building block of matter can model both
the largest and smallest of things – from stars to light.
    Flow and fragments of energy
    Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.
    Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.
    Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy.    If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the universe at the largest and tiniest scales.
    There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.    The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center and that gets smaller farther away from the center.
    Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows.    Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow. We named it a fragment of energy.    For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -?/r where ? is intensity and r is the distance function.
    Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems.    The final step was to test it out.
    Back to Einstein, adding universality
    More than 100 years ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.
    These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum.    Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.    The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.
    If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.
    For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy.    For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.    In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity.    We were stunned.
    Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule.    Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.    The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the universe.
    Larry M. Silverberg does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

12/6/2021 Poor Weather Hampers Search And Rescue Efforts At Indonesia Volcano by Willy Kurniawan and Tommy Adriansyah
Volunteers look as volcanic ash spews from Mount Semeru volcano during an eruption in Sumber Wuluh village, Lumajang,
East Java province, Indonesia December 5, 2021, in this photo taken by Antara Foto/Zabur Karuru/via REUTERS.
    SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Mt. Semeru volcano continued to spew hot clouds of ash on Monday, days after a powerful eruption killed 15 people and left dozens more missing.
    The tallest mountain on the island of Java erupted dramatically on Saturday, shooting a towering column of ash into the sky that blanketed surrounding villages.
    Aerial footage of the affected areas showed roofs jutting out of an ashen landscape, while on the ground, military officers, police and residents dug through mud with their hands to extricate victims.
    The death toll rose to 15 by Monday, while 27 people remain missing, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said in a statement.
    The volcano erupted again on Monday morning, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) confirmed via its Twitter account, warning of continued seismic activity. GRAPHIC-Indonesia Semeru eruption
    To view the graphic, click here: https://graphics.reuters.com/INDONESIA-VOLCANO/klvyknzmbvg/INDONESIA-VOLCANO.jpg
    “,” Liswanto, the head of the Semeru Volcano Observatory told Reuters.
    As some anxious residents returned to their homes to check on belongings and livestock, Liswanto urged people to keep a safe distance.
    “People need to be more vigilant because the potential threat is still there,” he added.     In the Sumberwuluh area, rescue teams battled poor weather to retrieve victims from the rubble.
    “We were looking for nine people reported missing in this village and thank God we found [the bodies of] three victims,” said Estianto Hendriantono, chief of the local search and rescue effort.
    “The challenge for the evacuation was that they were trapped under logs and rocks, and the soil was still hot.”
    On Facebook, people have posted photos of their missing relatives, with public pleas for any information about their whereabouts.
    Complicating logistics and rescue efforts, lava flows from Saturday’s eruption destroyed a bridge connecting two areas in the nearby district of Lumajang with the city of Malang.
    Public kitchens and health facilities have been set up for more than 1,700 people who have been displaced.
    A trauma healing team to work with children affected by the eruption has been dispatched, CNN Indonesia reported, while hundreds of aid packages, including rice, blankets and clothes and other basic necessities have been sent to the area.
    Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a country that straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.
GRAPHIC-The Pacific Ring Of Fire
    To view the graphic, click here: https://graphics.reuters.com/INDONESIA-VOLCANO/zjvqkyeamvx/RING-OF-FIRE.jpg (Additional reporting by Prasto Wardoyo; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Karishma Singh and Gerry Doyle)

12/6/2021 From Siberia To The U.S, Wildfires Broke Emissions Records This Year by Kate Abnett
FILE PHOTO: A specialist of Russian Federal Agency for Forestry works to put out a forest fire
outside the village of Basly in Omsk Region, Russia August 11, 2020. REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Wildfires produced a record amount of carbon emissions in parts of Siberia, the United States and Turkey this year, as climate change fanned unusually intense blazes, the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service said on Monday.
    Wildfires emitted 1.76 billion tonnes of carbon globally in 2021, Copernicus said. That’s equivalent to more than double Germany’s annual CO2 emissions.
    Some of the worst-hit hotspots recorded their highest wildfire emissions for any January-November period since Copernicus’ dataset began in 2003, including parts of Siberia’s Yakutia region, Turkey, Tunisia and the western United States.
    “We have seen extensive regions experience intense and prolonged wildfire activity.    Drier and hotter regional conditions under a changing climate have increased the risk of flammability and fire risk of vegetation,” said senior Copernicus scientist Mark Parrington.
    Globally, the wildfire emissions total wasn’t the highest since 2003, but Copernicus said such emissions were likely to increase as the impacts of climate change unfold.
    Yakutia in northeastern Siberia produced its highest CO2 emissions from wildfires for any summer since 2003, while in western Siberia, a “huge number” of blazes churned out daily CO2 emissions far above the 2003-2021 average.
    In North America, fires in Canada, California and the U.S. Pacific Northwest emitted around 83 million tonnes of CO2, emitting huge smoke plumes that drifted across the Atlantic to reach Europe, Copernicus said.
    California’s “Dixie fire,” which ravaged nearly a million acres, was the largest recorded fire in the state’s history.
    In the Mediterranean, a hot and dry summer fanned intense blazes in countries including Greece and Turkey.    Thousands of people in those countries were evacuated from their homes, and Copernicus said the region’s air quality deteriorated as the fires caused high levels of health-damaging particular matter.
(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Nick Macfie)

12/6/2021 Indonesia Volcano Erupts Again As Death Toll Rises To 22 by Willy Kurniawan and Tommy Adriansyah
An aerial view shows Mount Semeru volcano as seen from Pronojiwo village, Lumajang, East Java
province, Indonesia December 6, 2021, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Seno/via REUTERS
    SUMBERWULUH, Indonesia (Reuters) – An Indonesian volcano was active again on Monday, spewing out hot clouds of ash, two days after a powerful eruption killed at least 22 people and left dozens missing.
    Mt. Semeru, the tallest mountain on the island of Java, erupted dramatically on Saturday, shooting a towering column of ash into the sky that blanketed surrounding villages.
    Aerial footage showed roofs jutting out of an ashen landscape, while on the ground, military officers, police and residents dug through mud with their hands to pull out victims.
    The death toll had risen to 22 by Monday, while 27 were missing, Indonesia’s disaster mitigation agency said.
    The volcano erupted again on Monday, Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation confirmed via its Twitter account, warning of continued seismic activity.
    “Semeru is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia. Before and after the December 4 eruption, it will continue to be active,” Liswanto, the head of the Semeru Volcano Observatory, told Reuters.
    Some residents returned to their homes to check on belongings and livestock, but Liswanto urged people to keep a safe distance.
    “People need to be more vigilant because the potential threat is still there,” he added.
    In the Sumberwuluh area, rescue teams battled poor weather to retrieve victims from the rubble.
    “The main obstacle is the weather… Hopefully the weather going forward will be good enough to make it easier for us to search,” Wuryanto, operations director of the national search and rescue agency (Basarnas), told reporters.
    People have posted photos of missing loved ones on Facebook, with pleas for any information about their whereabouts.
    Complicating logistics and rescue efforts, lava flows from Saturday’s eruption destroyed a bridge connecting two areas in the district of Lumajang with the city of Malang.
    Public kitchens and health facilities have been set up for more than 1,700 people who have been displaced.
    Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, a country that straddles the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.
(Additional reporting by Prasto Wardoyo and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Kate Lamb and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Karishma Singh, Gerry Doyle and Nick Macfie)

12/7/2021 Hope, Sadness As Volunteers Search For Victims Of Indonesian Volcano by Tommy Ardiansyah
Rescuers use a heavy vehicle during a rescue operation following the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano in
Curah Kobokan village, Pronojiwo district, in Lumajang, Indonesia, December 7, 2021. REUTERS/Tommy Ardiansyah
    CURAH KOBOKAN, Indonesia (Reuters) – At the foot of Indonesia’s Mount Semeru, what is left of the houses along the main village road are covered in a thick layer of hardened volcanic ash.
    Curah Kobokan was among the worst-hit areas when the 3,676-metre (12,060 ft) Mount Semeru erupted on Saturday, sending a cloud of ash into the sky and dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages below.
    At least 34 people were killed and 22 people were missing as of Tuesday.
    Since day one of the disaster, volunteer Dodik Suryadiawan, 36, has driven on the bumpy roads in his personal four-wheel drive, helping to retrieve the remains of those who perished.
    Among the victims he found was a mother who died cuddling her child.
    “I feel very sorry, especially when I try to imagine hot ash falling at that time,” he said.
    Using heavy equipment and shovels, Dodik and fellow volunteers joined a search team of police, military and the disaster mitigation agency, combing through land where houses and a sand mine company once stood.    As the active volcano spews hot air behind him, Dodik, who has no formal training, is constantly reminded of how dangerous his work is.
    Indonesia’s volcanology agency on Monday said there was potential for further flows of hot gas, ash and rock.
    Dodik started volunteering as part of a four-wheel drive hobby group helping in a search and rescue operation last December when floods hit Lumajang Regency, where Curah Kobokan is located.
    “We were inspired to express our loyalty (to the community) through our hobby,” he said.    On Tuesday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo visited the disaster zone and said at least 2,000 homes would need to be relocated to safer areas.
    For Dodik, helping people to find their loved ones is all that matters.
    “We must be ready to jump into action,” he said.
(Writing by Angie Teo; Editing by Martin Petty and Janet Lawrence)

12/8/2021 Japanese Billionaire Maezawa Blasts Off Into Space
Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa reacts as he speaks with his family after donning
space suits shortly before the launch to the International Space Station (ISS) at the
Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
    BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Reuters) - Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa set out to became the first space tourist in more than a decade to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) when he blasted off on Wednesday, a voyage he sees as a dry run for his planned trip around the moon with Elon Musk’s SpaceX in 2023.
    The 46-year-old fashion magnate and art collector successfully launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan along with his assistant Yozo Hirano, who will document the journey, as well as Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin.
    Maezawa, a space enthusiast who has been training for the journey for months, has become a household name in Japan thanks to his penchant for private jets, celebrity girlfriends and cash giveaways to Twitter followers, in a country known for its conformist corporate culture.
    Maezawa plans to upload footage of his flight to his YouTube channel, which has 795,000 followers.    He has called on his supporters to give him 100 ideas of things to do in space, and said he plans to play badminton aboard the ISS.
    The cost of Maezawa’s trip was not disclosed but some reports have put the price tag for tourist space flights as high as $50 million.
    Maezawa is also set to become the first private passenger on the SpaceX moon trip and has begun searching for eight people to join him, requiring applicants to pass medical tests and an interview.
(Reporting by Shamil Zhumatov; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Alex Richardson)

12/8/2021 Indonesia Considers Relocations After Deadly Volcanic Eruption
A rescue worked jumps across the lava flow path during an operation at an area affected by the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano,
in Curah Kobokan, Pronojiwo district, Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
    JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s volcanology agency is sending a team of researchers to the Mount Semeru volcano to identify areas too dangerous for villagers to stay after it erupted on Saturday, killing dozens of people on the slopes of Java island’s highest mountain.
    In the days since the disaster, questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the disaster warning system and whether some villages should be moved.
    Ediar Usman, an official from the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG), told a media briefing that some areas were potentially no longer safe to inhabit.
    “It’s not impossible that a similar disaster could happen in the future,” he said.
    Eko Budi Lelono, who heads the geological survey centre, told Reuters the team would be sent this week and included experts from Yogyakarta who had studied the Merapi volcano near that city.
    An estimated 8.6 million people in Indonesia live within 10 km of an active volcano, well within the range of deadly pyroclastic flows.
    The magnitude of Saturday’s eruption caught many villagers off guard, with dozens unable to escape as the volcano projected an ash cloud kilometres into the sky, and sent dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages on the fertile slopes below.
    Mount Semeru eruption: https://graphics.reuters.com/INDONESIA-VOLCANO/lgvdwolbnpo/indonesia-volcano-semeru.jpg
    At least 34 people were killed, with another 22 still missing, while thousands have been displaced, according to the disaster mitigation agency.
    The eruption almost entirely buried some villages under metres of molten ash, with more than 100,000 homes partially damaged or destroyed.
    Surveying the worst affected areas by helicopter on Tuesday, President Joko Widodo said that at least 2,000 homes would have to be rebuilt in different areas.
    Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.
(Reporting by Stanley Widianto; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Robert Birsel)

12/8/2021 Indonesia Bolsters Recovery Efforts After Volcano Kills 34
Rescue workers sit on a truck as the rescue operation continues at the area affected by the eruption of Mount Semeru volcano,
in Curah Kobokan, Pronojiwo district, Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
    JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised on Tuesday to bolster evacuation efforts and repair damaged homes after visiting the site of a volcanic eruption on Java that has killed at least 34 people.
    The 3,676-metre Mt. Semeru volcano erupted on Saturday sending a cloud of ash into the sky and dangerous pyroclastic flows into villages below. [L1N2SP05Y]
    Thousands of people have been displaced and 22 remain missing, according to the disaster mitigation agency.
    After visiting evacuation centres and surveying the area by helicopter – getting an aerial view of villages submerged in molten ash – the president said recovery efforts would be bolstered now and in the months ahead.
    “I came to the site to ensure that we have the forces to locate the victims,” said the president, speaking from Sumberwuluh, one of the worst-hit areas.
    “We hope that after everything has subsided, that everything can start – fixing infrastructure or even relocating those from the places we predict are too dangerous to return to.”
    At least 2,000 homes would need to be relocated to safer areas, he said.
    Search and rescue efforts continued on Tuesday but have been hampered by wind and rain, and limited equipment in some areas.
    Mt. Semeru erupted three times on Tuesday.    Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said on Monday there was potential for further flows of hot gas, ash and rocks.
    Mt. Semeru is one of more than 100 active volcanoes in Indonesia, in an area of high seismic activity atop multiple tectonic plates known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire.”
(Reporting by Stanley Widianto and Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and Janet Lawrence)

12/10/2021 ‘No Warning’: Indonesian Village Caught Off Guard In Volcano Disaster by Kate Lamb, Stanley Widianto and Prastyo Wardoyo
A view of Mount Semeru volcano from Sumberwuluh, an area which was affected by its eruption, in
Candipuro district, Lumajang, East Java province, Indonesia, December 10, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan
    PENANGGAL, Indonesia (Reuters) - In the wake of the deadly Semeru eruption on Indonesia’s Java island, the entwined bodies of a mother and daughter encased in molten ash have come to symbolise what many living in the shadow of the volcano feel went wrong.
    “There was no warning.    If there had been, there wouldn’t have been victims, right?” said Minah, of her cousin Rumini, who died clutching her elderly mother as their kitchen roof caved in.    Like many Indonesians, they use only one name.
    Nestled at the base of volcano, their village of Curah Kobokan was among the worst-hit when Semeru spectacularly erupted on Saturday, ejecting ash clouds and pyroclastic flows that killed at least 45 people and left dozens missing.
    The eruption of Java’s tallest mountain has raised questions about the effectiveness of Indonesia’s disaster warning system, and the dangers of rebuilding on the volcano’s fertile but precarious slopes.
    Officials said some messages were sent to local administrators but acknowledged they did not result in an evacuation order, in part because the volcano’s activity is hard to predict.
    Warnings to evacuate are normally relayed by the national disaster mitigation agency, such as in 2017 when it ordered 100,000 people living near Bali’s rumbling Mt Agung to immediately leave the danger zone https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-volcano-idUSKBN1DR036.
    The national disaster mitigation agency did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for a comment.
    In Javanese, the village’s name Curah Kobokan means “pouring bowl,” a reference to the river that snakes by it.    Once a source of life, the river would also become the community’s downfall.
    When Semeru erupted, the river carried thick flows of lava and ash directly into Curah Kobokan, now a field of gray ash piled as high as the powerlines, a few triangular roofs jutting out of the newly formed disaster landscape.
    Residents say the air grew blazing hot and pitch black in seconds.    People screamed and fled in panic, some taking refuge in a prayer house, others huddled in a concrete drain.
    Of eight residents Reuters interviewed, not one said they received warning of an impending eruption.
    “If there had been warning, people would have evacuated.    Instead in a matter of minutes, lava streamed down and a lot of people died,” said 41-year-old Irawati, whose husband was knocked unconscious as they tried to escape.
‘NO TIME TO RUN’
    An archipelago of 270 million sitting atop the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone nations on earth.    The devastation wreaked by Semeru can be ascribed to a deadly confluence of factors, for which no one wants to take the blame.
    The head of Indonesia’s geological agency, Eko Budi Lelono, says messages were sent to local officials warning of hot ash clouds.    The river near Curah Kobokan, he said, was marked red on the map.
    “In the future, we can’t blame one another, but we need to synergise more,” Eko says.
    Dino Adalananto of the East Java disaster mitigation agency says the warnings were passed on to local resilience officers but there were no specific orders to evacuate.    The head of Curah Kobokan could not be reached.
    Experts say the nature of the eruption, a cave-in of the lava dome possibly triggered by external factors such as heavy rain, was also difficult to catch ahead of time.
    “Whatever the actual trigger was, it was the instability of this lava dome at the summit that collapsed and those things are very hard to predict,” said Heather Handley, a volcano scientist at Australia’s Monash University.
    Eruptions triggered by lava dome collapses account for about 6% of all volcanic eruptions, says Handley, with more research needed to understand the characteristics and causes.
    Another causal factor for the tragedy is the reality of life on Semeru’s slopes, where over the decades communities have become inured to volcanic activity, including the summit letting off steam.
    As disaster officials survey the devastation, some 100,000 homes damaged or destroyed, there is growing talk about the danger of living so close to the mountain, with Indonesian President Joko Widodo saying https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/indonesian-president-bolsters-rescue-recovery-efforts-after-deadly-eruption-2021-12-07 at least 2,000 homes will be moved.
    With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population globally living in close range to a volcano, including 8.6 million within 10km (6.2 miles).
    “What needs to be explained to people is the areas where the lava flows, our recommendation is don’t live there anymore,” said the geological agency’s Eko.
    “When they’re there, there’s no time to run.”
(Reporting by Prasto Wardoyo in Penanggal; Kate Lamb in Sydney and Stanley Widianto in Jakarta; Additional reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Karishma Singh)

12/10/2021 Cheetah Cubs Threatened By Pet Trade, Global Warming In Somaliland by Katharine Houreld
Cheetah cubs confiscated from a Somali nomad, who snatched them from their mother, are handled
by a Yassin Abdullahi at a private farm outside Harirad, in northern Somalia's semi-autonomous
Somaliland region, November 7, 2021. Picture taken November 7, 2021. REUTERS/Musawi Abdallah Musawi
    NAIROBI (Reuters) – The two starving cheetah cubs squeak and tug at their string leashes in the white dust of Somaliland as a government vet pushes needles through the fluffy fur to drip-feed them liquid and nutrients.
    Just around five months old, the baby cheetahs are dehydrated, stunted and so lacking in the calcium they would normally get from their mother’s milk that they have problems walking.    But at least they are alive.
    The Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) and the government of Somaliland – which broke away from Somalia in 1991 – have been rescuing trafficked cheetah cubs in the region for the past four years.
    Only around 6,700 adult cheetahs are left in the wild worldwide, and the population is still declining, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
    Kidnapped cubs are often destined for the exotic pet trade in the Middle East but few people realise the suffering that entails.    Four or five cheetah cubs die for each one that reaches the market, Dr. Laurie Marker, the head of CCF, said. Mothers are often killed.
    Their first year, CCF received around 40 cubs in Somaliland, she added.    Many didn’t survive long.    But by setting up safehouses and providing veterinary care, they’ve been able to cut deaths to almost zero, she said.    Right now the organisation houses 67 cheetahs.
    Droughts exacerbated by global warming are increasing pressure on the cheetahs, she said, as less grazing supports fewer herds of wild prey and farm animals.    Farmers who once shrugged it off when a cheetah attacked one of their animals are now less able to shoulder losses, she said.
    “If a predator eats their livestock, they are much more angry,” she said.    “They will go and track the mother down, where the cubs would be, and try to get money from the cubs to support the losses that they had.”
    Somaliland is planning to open a national park where the cheetahs will be able to roam, Environmental Minister Shukri Ismail Haji, said.
    But although the tiny breakaway region lies in the band most affected by climate change, it cannot access most environmental funding because hardly any world bodies recognise it as a separate country from Somalia, the minister said.
    “We are an unrecognized government.    The international funding we can get is very little as a result.”
(Editing by Andrew Heavens)

12/10/2021 Severe Flooding Kills One As Storm Barra Drenches Northern Spain by Vincent West
General view of a flood following heavy rainfall in
Pamplona, Spain, December 10, 2021. REUTERS/Vincent West
    PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) – Severe flooding in Spain’s Navarre region submerged cars and houses and killed at least one person on Friday as heavy rains from Storm Barra caused rivers to burst their banks.
    Police said one person in the small village of Sunbilla died on Friday afternoon after a landslide caved in the roof of an outbuilding at their farmhouse.
    In the regional capital of Pamplona people kayaked down a street, gliding past a bank as rescue workers waded into the waist-deep waters with pumps.
    In the centre of Villava, a small town just outside the city, houses were submerged up to their roofs.
    The regional government declared a level 2 flood emergency and said similar conditions were likely on Saturday, with the focus of the flooding heading south toward the town of Peralta.
    “The problem isn’t so much in the amount of precipitation but the level of the rivers,” regional interior secretary Amparo Lopez told reporters.
    After a cold snap sent temperatures plunging across Spain, Storm Barra has brought torrential rains and thawed snow and ice at higher altitudes, causing rivers to rise rapidly.
(Additional reporting and writing by Nathan Allen; editing by John Stonestreet)

12/11/2021 More than 56,000 left without power in Kentucky following devastating tornado outbreak by Lucas Aulbach, Louisville Courier Journal
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The series of tornadoes that ripped through Western Kentucky early Saturday morning left a trail of damage and cut power to tens of thousands in the commonwealth.
    Speaking at a press conference at 5 a.m., Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said 56,854 people in the state were without power as of 4:45 a.m.    The death toll from the storm, he said, would likely pass 50 and climb between 70 to 100 casualties.
    "Some areas have been hit in ways that are hard to put into words," he said.
    Storms hit Louisville, but the state's largest city appeared to have been spared from the worst of the damage.    Still, more than 22,000 Louisville Gas & Electric customers appeared to be without power just before 7 a.m., according to an outage map from LG&E.
    Outage maps in other hard-hit areas, including Mayfield and Bowling Green, weren't able to be accessed at about 6:30 a.m.
    A map shown by Beshear during his 5 a.m. press conference indicated power outages were at their worst in Western Kentucky — specifically in Hopkins, Muhlenberg and Ohio counties, though data from some far-west counties was unavailable.
    That area was "hit very, very hard," Beshear said, and outages stretched east into the Louisville and Lexington areas.
    In Louisville, according to a social media post from LG&E, the storms "caused a number of downed power lines we're addressing."
    The utility company urged affected users to report downed wires by calling 502-589-1444 or 800-331-7370.

    'It’s like a war zone," Jody O’Neill said Saturday after most of downtown Mayfield was wiped out following a deadly tornado that ripped through the community.    O’Neill is the director of The Lighthouse, a women’s and children’s shelter that was heavily damaged.    All residents survived, photos by Matt Stone/Courier Journal
A man surveyed the damage to his friend’s property along Creekwood Ave.
in Bowling Green on Saturday. PHOTOS BY SAM UPSHAW JR./COURIER JOURNAL

12/11/2021 Many Feared Dead After Tornadoes Ravage Across 6 States by OAN Newsroom
TOPSHOT – First responders surround an Amazon Fulfillment Center in Edwardsville, Illinois,
on December 10, 2021, after it was hit by a tornado. (Photo by TIM VIZER/AFP via Getty Images)
    Joe Biden delivered remarks on the deadly tornado outbreak seen across at least six states, killing dozens.
    “I’m monitoring the situation very closely since early this morning.    This is likely to be one of the largest tornado outbreaks in our history,” said Biden.
    The death toll has continued to climb as more than 30 tornadoes tore through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky Friday night.    Some of the tornadoes are estimated to have been EF4s, which qualify as one of the strongest weather events on earth.
    On Saturday, Biden assured the states affected would “have what they need” as they continue to survey the damage and search for survivors.
    An Amazon warehouse collapsed in Illinois, leaving dozens of employees trapped inside.    Further, in Missouri, at least one person was killed and three more injured when a tornado struck down in St. Charles County.
    “This is the most significant event that I can recall in a good long while here in our community,” said first responder Kyle Gaines.    “But thankfully, we do have a large number of first responders both on our ambulance side, as well as the fire protection side that are well trained in a variety of rescue tactics that we’re utilizing.”
    In Arkansas, two people died and at lease five were injured after the roof of a nursing home was ripped off.    In addition, Kentucky was hit especially hard, prompting Gov. Andy Beshear (D) to declare a state of emergency for his state.    Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state on Saturday.
    One tornado reportedly stayed on the ground for more than 200 miles.    The governor confirmed that more than 70 people have been killed, but the death toll could well exceed 100, far surpassing the previous worst storm to hit the state almost 50 years ago.
    “We believe our death toll from this event will exceed 50 Kentuckians, probably end up closer to 70 to 100 lost lives,” said Beshear.    “Remember, each of these are children of God, irreplaceable to their families and to their communities.”
    Over 50,000 people in Kentucky alone are without power due to the storms.
    The governor also described a roof collapsing at a candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky as a “dire situation.”    He said as many as 110 people may have been in the building.
    Though rescue efforts are currently underway, the death toll is expected to rise due to all of the heavy machinery and caustic materials inside the factory.

12/12/2021 Eruption In Spain’s La Palma Is Longest Running On Island, Experts Say by Marco Trujillo
FILE PHOTO: The Cumbre Vieja volcano continues to expel lava and ash as seen from Tacande,
on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    (Reuters) – The volcanic eruption on La Palma that has sent spectacular rivers of molten lava running down the slopes of La Cumbre for nearly three months is the longest running on the Spanish island since records began in 1500, experts said on Sunday.
    It began on Sept. 19 and Stavros Meletlidis, of the Spanish National Geographic Institute, said that was longer than any eruption on La Palma since records started over 500 years ago.
    Residents just wish it would stop so they could return to normal life.
    “People are fed up. As a local Palmero I took a break and went to Madrid to get some air,” Juan Ernesto Pérez, 57, of Los Llanos de Aridane told Reuters.
    The red-hot lava that lights up the night sky has been disruptive.    According to the Copernicus disaster monitoring programme, lava flows have damaged or destroyed at least 2,650 buildings, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes on the island, part of the Canaries archipelego.
(Reporting by Graham Keeley, Marco Trujillo and Catherine Macdonald; Editing by Frances Kerry)

12/12/2021 Storms Pound Parts Of Greece, Kill One
FILE PHOTO: A woman watches waves come ashore as strong winds hit the Faliro
suburb near Athens, Greece, December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
    ATHENS (Reuters) – The driver of a car that was swept away by floods in northern Greece was found dead on Sunday after heavy storms pounded parts of the country on Saturday, causing flooding, police said.
    The body of the 55-year old woman was found near her car at the village of Skotina by the fire brigade.
    On Saturday heavy rainfall in western and northern Greece caused some rivers to swell, flooding villages and homes with the fire brigade receiving over 900 calls for assistance with fallen trees and flooding.
    The storm system was moving eastwards on Sunday.
(Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

12/12/2021 At Least Three Dead In Building Collapse In Sicily
A rescue team searches for missing residents after a four-storey building collapsed following
a gas explosion, in Ravanusa, Italy, December 12, 2021. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
    RAVANUSA, Italy (Reuters) - At least three people died in the collapse of two buildings in the Sicilian town of Ravanusa following a gas explosion, the captain of the local fire fighters said on Sunday.
    Six people were missing and two were found alive under the rubble of the building, said the captain, Giuseppe Merendino.
    A priest who was celebrating mass nearby on Saturday evening said the houses caught fire after a natural gas pipe exploded in the town of 11,000 people near Agrigento, a city in the southwest of the island famous for its Greek temples.
    Firemen were still digging in the rubble for the missing, including a young man.
    “It is a huge tragedy… Let’s pray to ask God to avoid more deaths,” said the priest, Filippo Barbera.
(Reporting by Antonio Parrinello and Valentina Za, writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Dan Grebler, Daniel Wallis and Gareth Jones)

12/12/2021 6 Dead, 1 Injured, 45 Rescued As Recovery Efforts Continue At Ill. Amazon Facility by OAN Newsroom
Recovery operations continue after the partial collapse of an Amazon Fulfillment Center
in Edwardsville, Illinois on December 12, 2021. (Photo by TIM VIZER/AFP via Getty Images)
    At least six Amazon warehouse employees were killed after a series of tornadoes ripped through the Northern Midwest region.
    Several people remained unaccounted for in the facility on Sunday, while one person remains at a local hospital in critical condition as rescue officials continue to search through the rubble for more survivors.    Reports indicated there were more than 50 employees at the distribution center in Edwardsville, Illinois Friday night, though the shifts were changing and the true number of employees remains unknown.
    Reports said the EF-3 tornado caused the facility’s 40-foot high walls to collapse, forcing the roof to cave in.
    “Earlier this afternoon, the response portion of this incident came to a close, and we’re now focused solely on recovery.    Through our efforts so far, we identified 45 personnel who made it out of the building safely,” said Chief James Whiteford of the Edwardsville Fire Department.    “One who had to be airlifted to a regional hospital for treatment and six fatalities.    We’re continuing to search the site for evidence of life and we’ll continue recovery operations until all personnel are accounted for.”
    The tornado was one of more than 30 which ravaged through the Midwest over the weekend, leveling entire towns across six states.

12/13/2021 Rescuers Pull Bodies From Rubble After Explosion In Sicily Kills 7 by Antonio Denti
Rescuers work at the site of a gas explosion that caused several houses to
collapse in Ravanusa, Italy, December 13, 2021. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
    RAVANUSA, Italy (Reuters) – Rescuers were pulling out bodies on Monday from the rubble of houses destroyed by a suspected gas explosion on Saturday in the Sicilian town of Ravanusa, with the national fire service confirming at least seven people had died in the incident.
    Sniffer dogs found four bodies in the early hours of the morning, including a nurse that was nine-months pregnant, and firefighters and men from the Civil Protection Department were extracting them from the wreckage, according to a Reuters witness.
    Three bodies were found in the night between Saturday and Sunday and two people are still missing, a spokesman for the national fire service said on RAI NEW24 television.
    In the explosion late on Saturday, four houses collapsed and another three were damaged, authorities said, adding the blast was likely triggered by a gas leak from the town’s pipes, although an investigation was underway to ascertain the cause.
    Ravanusa is a town of about 11,000 people near the southwestern Sicilian city of Agrigento, which is famous for its Greek temples.
(Additional reporting by Giulia Segreti in Rome; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

12/13/2021 French, German Ministers Say Nuclear Power A Difficult Subject
FILE PHOTO: Steam rises from cooling towers of the Electricite de France (EDF) nuclear
power station in Cruas, France November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – The French and German finance ministers, during the first visit of new German Finance Minister Christian Lindner to Paris, said talks about the role of nuclear energy in European power markets will be difficult, even if they agreed on most other issues.
    France, which will take on the rotating presidency of the European Union in January, wants to see nuclear power classified as sustainable energy in the European Union’s new “taxonomy” system to define sustainable investment.
    However, many EU nations have abandoned nuclear energy and want EU funds to support renewable energies such as solar and wind.
    “There is a lot of ground to cover…I think we will keep that question for desert, once we will have drunk together, and then we will find a compromise,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters ahead of a dinner with Lindner on Monday evening.
    Both ministers said the two countries’ governments were broadly aligned on economic and fiscal policy as well as banking and financial markets regulation.
    Lindner, a member of the liberal FDP party, said nuclear was “a difficult debate,” and referred to “the German political context.”
    The two other parties in the German government coalition – the greens and social democrats – are less likely to agree with France’s demand to classify nuclear as sustainable energy.
    Lindner said he was sure that talks between the French and German government and the European Commission on the nuclear issue would lead to “a good solution for all sides.”
    France produces about three quarters of its electricity from nuclear energy and President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government is keen to keep France’s struggling nuclear power industry alive with contracts for new nuclear reactors.
    Classifying nuclear, which has the advantage of creating huge volumes of power without generating carbon emissions, as sustainable would make it easier for the industry to find investors and financing. But opponents point at the risk of accidents and the problem of long-lived nuclear waste.
    At a joint conference with Hungarian prime minister in Budapest on Monday, Macron said nuclear power will be at the core of French energy and decarbonisation policies.
(This story has been refiled to fix typographical error in paragraph 6)
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Chris Reese and Barbara Lewis)

12/13/2021 From Killer Heatwaves To Floods, Climate Change Worsened Weather Extremes In 2021 by Lisa Shumaker and Andrea Januta
FILE PHOTO: People ride on a front loader as they make their way through a flooded road following
heavy rainfall in Zhengzhou, Henan province, China July 23, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song
    (Reuters) – Extreme weather events in 2021 shattered records around the globe.    Hundreds died in storms and heatwaves.    Farmers struggled with drought, and in some cases with locust plagues.    Wildfires set new records for carbon emissions, while swallowing forests, towns and homes.
    Many of these events were exacerbated by climate change.    Scientists say there are more to come – and worse – as the Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm through the next decade and beyond.
    Here are some of the events Reuters witnessed over the past year: https://reut.rs/3m2pptL
    February — A blistering cold spell hit normally warm Texas, killing 125 people in the state and leaving millions without power in freezing temperatures.
    Scientists have not reached a conclusion on whether climate change caused the extreme weather, but the warming of the Arctic is causing more unpredictable weather around the globe.
    February — Kenya and other parts of East Africa battled some of the worst locust plagues in decades, with the insects destroying crops and grazing grounds.    Scientists say that unusual weather patterns exacerbated by climate change created ideal conditions for insects to thrive.
    March — Beijing’s sky turned orange and flights were grounded during the Chinese capital’s worst sandstorm in a decade.
    Busloads of volunteers arrive in the desert each year to plant trees, which can stabilize the soil and serve as a wind buffer.    Scientists predict climate change will worsen desertification, as hotter summers and drier winters reduce moisture levels.
    June — Nearly all of the western United States was gripped by a drought that emerged in early 2020.    Farmers abandoned crops, officials announced emergency measures, and the Hoover Dam reservoir hit an all-time low.
    By September, the U.S. government confirmed that over the prior 20 months, the Southwest experienced the lowest precipitation in over a century, and it linked the drought to climate change.
    June — Hundreds died during a record-smashing heatwave in the U.S. and Canadian Pacific Northwest, which scientists concluded would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change.
    Over several days, power lines melted and roads buckled.    Cities, struggling to cope with the heat, opened cooling centers to protect their residents.    During the heatwave, Portland, Oregon, hit an all-time record high of 116 Fahrenheit (46.7 Celsius).
    July — Catastrophic flooding killed more than 300 people in central China’s Henan province when a year’s worth of rain fell in just three days.
    Meanwhile in Europe, nearly 200 people died as torrential rains soaked Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.    Scientists concluded that climate change had made the floods 20% more likely to occur.
    July — A record heatwave and drought in the U.S. West gave rise to two massive wildfires that tore through California and Oregon and were among the largest in the history of both states.
    Scientists say both the growing frequency and the intensity of wildfires are largely attributable to prolonged drought and increasing bouts of excessive heat from climate change.
    July — Large parts of South America are suffering from a prolonged drought.    While Chile is enduring a decade-long megadrought linked to global warming, this year Brazil saw one of its driest years in a century.
    In Argentina, the Parana, South America’s second-longest river, fell to its lowest level since 1944.
    Around the globe, heatwaves are becoming both more frequent and more severe.
    August — In the Mediterranean, a hot and dry summer fanned intense blazes that forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes in Algeria, Greece and Turkey.
    The fires, which killed two people in Greece and at least 65 in Algeria, struck amid an intense heatwave, with some places in Greece recording temperatures of over 46 Celsius (115 Fahrenheit).
    Late August — Nearly all the world’s mountain glaciers are retreating due to global warming.    In the Alps, Swiss resort employees laid protective blankets over one of Mount Titlis’s glaciers during the summer months to preserve what ice is left.
    Switzerland already has lost 500 of its glaciers, and could lose 90% of the 1,500 that remain by the end of the century if global emissions continue to rise, the government said.
    August/September — Hurricane Ida, which hit Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, killed nearly 100 people in the United States and caused an estimated $64 billion in damage, according to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.
    As the remnants of Ida moved inland, the heavy rains created flash flooding across the densely populated Northeast, vastly increasing the storm’s death toll.
    Climate change is strengthening hurricanes, while also causing them to linger longer over land – dumping more rain on an area before moving on.    Studies also suggest these storms are becoming more frequent in the North Atlantic.
    September — Infrastructure and homes in Russia are increasingly in peril as underground permafrost melts and deforms the land underneath them.
    Permafrost was once a stable construction base, in some regions staying frozen as far back as the last Ice Age.    But rising global temperatures threaten the layer of ice, soil, rocks, sand and organic matter.
    November — The worst floods in 60 years in South Sudan have affected about 780,000 people, or one in every 14 residents, according to the U.N. refugee agency. Every year the county goes through a rainy season, but flooding has set records for three years in a row.    The destruction will likely increase as temperatures rise, scientists say.
    November — A massive storm dumped a month’s worth of rain over two days in the Canadian province of British Columbia, unleashing floods and mudslides that destroyed roads, railroads and bridges.    It is likely the most expensive natural disaster in Canada’s history, although officials are still assessing the damage.
    Meteorologists said the rain had come from an atmospheric river, or a stream of water vapor stretching hundreds of miles long from the tropics.    Atmospheric rivers are expected to become larger — and possibly more destructive — with climate change, scientists say.
(Reporting by Andrea Januta in New York and Lisa Shumaker in Chicago; Editing by Katy Daigle and Rosalba O’Brien)

12/14/2021 U.N. Agency Confirms 2020 Arctic Heat Record
FILE PHOTO: A man digs a control line during the work on extinguishing a forest fire near
the village of Magaras in the region of Yakutia, Russia July 17, 2021. REUTERS/Roman Kutukov
    GENEVA (Reuters) – An Arctic temperature record of more than 100 Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) was reached in a Siberian town last year during a prolonged heatwave that caused widespread alarm about the intensity of global warming, a U.N. agency confirmed on Tuesday.
    Verkhoyansk, where the record temperature was hit on June 20, 2020, is 115 kilometres (71 miles) north of the Arctic Circle – a region warming at more than double the global average.
    The extreme heat fanned wildfires across northern Russia’s forests and tundra, even igniting normally waterlogged peatlands, and releasing carbon record emissions.
    “It is possible, indeed likely, that greater extremes will occur in the Arctic region in the future,” the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in a statement.
    The probe was one of a record number of investigations the U.N. agency had opened into weather extremes as climate change unleashes unrivalled storms and heatwaves.
    Since Arctic records are a new category, the data needed checking against other records as part of a vigorous verification process involving a network of volunteers.
    The record is now an official entry in the World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive, a sort of Guinness World Records for weather that also includes the heaviest hailstone and longest lightening flash.
    The agency already has a category for the Antarctic and had to create a new one for the Arctic after the submission in 2020 – one of the three warmest years on record.
    A WMO committee is also verifying other potential heat records, including in Death Valley in California in 2020 and on the Italian island of Sicily this year.
(Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

12/14/2021 Indonesian Quake Rattles Residents But Only One Hurt And Minor Damage by Gayatri Suroyo and Agustinus Beo Da Costa
A still image from a social media video shows dust disturbances on side of hill after an earthquake
in Nagekeo, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia December 14, 2021. Alldo Van Robby/via REUTERS
    JAKARTA (Reuters) – A powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Indonesia on Tuesday triggering a tsunami warning and sending residents fleeing from their homes but causing only minor damage and injuring one person, authorities said.
    The tsunami warning was lifted about two hours after the quake struck at 0320 GMT in the Flores Sea, about 112 km (70 miles) northwest of the town of Larantuka, in the eastern part of Flores island.
    “Everyone ran out into the street,” Agustinus Florianus, a resident of Maumere town on Flores, told Reuters.    Maumere was badly damaged by a quake of a similar magnitude in 1992.
    Tsunami warnings were issued for the areas of Maluku, East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara and Southeast and South Sulawesi.
    The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake, had a magnitude of 7.3.    It struck at the shallow depth of 12 km.
Indonesia quake triggers tsunami warning
    To view the graphic, click here: https://graphics.reuters.com/INDONESIA-QUAKE/zdvxoxjabpx/chart.png     “It felt like a wave, up and down,” Zacharias Gentana Keranz, a resident of Larantuka told Reuters.
    The disaster mitigation agency said one person was injured in Manggarai, on Flores, and a school building and several homes were damaged on Selayar island, in South Sulawesi.
    The quake, from an active fault in the Flores Sea, was followed by at least 15 aftershocks with the biggest registering magnitude 5.6, the meteorological agency said.
    But the quake caused no significant increase in sea levels.
    Indonesian earthquakes have triggered many deadly tsunamis, most notably in 2004 when a 9.1 magnitude quake off Sumatra island in the north produced tsunami waves that killed more than 230,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries.
    The U.S-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center had earlier warned that based on preliminary earthquake parameters, hazardous tsunami waves were possible for coasts located within 1,000 km (621.37 miles) of the earthquake’s epicentre.
    Indonesia straddles the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” an area of high seismic activity that rests atop multiple tectonic plates.
(Additional reporting by Sonia Cheema and Angie Teo and Jakarta Bureau; Writing by Kate Lamb; Editing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel)

12/14/2021 Volcanic Tremors Stop On La Palma But Eruption May Not Be Over
An aerial view of the lava from the Cumbre Vieja volcano near Tacande neighborhood,
on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, December 13, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    LA PALMA (Reuters) – The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma fell silent as constant tremors stopped late on Monday, though experts cautioned this did not necessarily mean the eruption is nearing an end after 85 days.
    Seismic activity all but stopped around 9 pm local time on Monday, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, Involcan, said on Tuesday.
    It’s the longest period without tremors since the eruption began.
    “This does not imply the eruption is ending, since on other occasions halts were followed by a renewed increase in activity,” Involcan tweeted.
    It added footage of the Cumbre Vieja showing how the almost constant roaring of the volcano had ceased.
    “The eruption activity has decreased to a point it has almost disappeared,” said Miguel Angel Morcuende, head of the Pevolca eruption response committee.    “The lava keeps going but with a very reduced flow.”
    The eruption, which has sent rivers of molten lava running down the slopes of Cumbre Vieja for weeks, is the longest on the Spanish Canary Island since records began in 1500.
    The quiet on Monday evening and Tuesday morning followed the emission of dense toxic clouds of sulphur dioxide on Monday morning that prompted the lockdown of about a third of the island’s population.
    Since the eruption began on Sept. 19, thousands of people have been evacuated, at least 2,910 buildings have been destroyed, and the main livelihood of the island, banana plantations, have been devastated.
    Stavros Meletlidis, a volcanologist with the National Geographic Institute, said there were multiple possible explanations.
    Around a week after the eruption started, seismic activity suddenly dropped off for several hours before restarting with renewed vigour, a pattern that is not uncommon in the early stages of an eruption, he said.
    But after nearly three months of activity, the eruption is in a different phase and could be losing strength.
    “The magma needs energy to get to the surface and it seems that it does not have it at the moment,” Meletlidis said, explaining that could be due to a decline in levels of gases or magma volume as the eruption loses force.
    However, it could be the result of a blockage between subterranean magma chambers and the surface vent, in which case pressure would continue to build up until reaching critical mass and causing new explosions.
    “It’s too early to tell if we’re entering a terminal phase,” Meletlidis said.
    Before declaring the eruption definitively over, scientists will be looking out for a period of at least 48 hours with no seismic activity or surface eruption, he added.
(Reporting by Marco Trujillo, Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro, Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Ed Osmond)

12/16/2021 Inside La Palma’s Volcano: Lull In Activity Allows Look Into Crater by Marco Trujillo
A general view of the Cumbre Vieja volcano that continues to erupt expelling lava and ash as
seen from Tajuya, on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, November 29, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    LA PALMA (Reuters) -The Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma was silent for a second day on Wednesday, giving scientists the first chance to study the main crater from its brink as the eruption appeared to be nearing its end after three months.
    A group of scientists collecting gas geochemistry data reached the crater at 1300 GMT, the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute, Involcan, said, sharing the first footage of the interior of the volcano’s most active vent not taken by a drone.
    La Palma volcano has been quiet since seismic activity all but stopped late on Monday.    It is the longest period without tremors since the eruption began on Sept. 19.
    Although scientists and monitoring systems detected no signs of volcanic activity, except for occasional and sporadic fumes, authorities warned the next few days would be crucial as it is not uncommon for volcanoes to resume expelling lava.
    The eruption response committee said that in order to confirm that the eruption is finally over, “the recorded and observable data must remain at current levels for 10 days.”
    “The best thing to do is not to give false hopes, for example in the 1949 eruption it stopped for several days, and several days later it got reactivated,” geologist Eumenio Ancoechea told Reuters.
    The eruption, which sent rivers of molten rock down the slopes of Cumbre Vieja for weeks and expanded the size of the island by more than 48 hectares, is the longest on La Palma, according to records dating back to the 16th century.
    Thousands of people have been evacuated, at least 2,910 buildings have been destroyed and the island’s main livelihood, banana plantations, have been devastated.
(Writing by Emma Pinedo, editing by Andrei Khalip, Alexandra Hudson)

12/16/2021 Typhoon Rai Intensifies To Cat 5 Storm As It Slams Philippines by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema
A Philippine Coast Guard personnel assists a resident in their evacuation due to flooding caused by Typhoon Rai
in Cagayan De Oro City, Philippines, December 16, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/ Handout via REUTERS
    MANILA (Reuters) – Typhoon Rai rapidly intensified to a Category 5 storm before making landfall in the southern Philippines on Thursday, forcing mass evacuations and flight cancellations as floodwaters reached chest-high in low-lying communities.
    Rai, the 15th typhoon to enter Philippine territory this year, hit the holiday island of Siargao in the southern province of Surigao del Norte, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 195 km (121 miles) per hour, the Philippine weather bureau said.
    Close to 100,000 people have fled their homes as the second-most powerful typhoon to strike the nation this year dumped heavy rains on southern islands on its way towards the central part of the archipelago.
    The nation’s disaster agency said it had received reports of power outages and flooding in some areas, but there were no casualties so far.
    Footage shared by the Philippine Coast Guard showed rescuers wading through chest-deep waters in the city of Cagayan de Oro on the northern coast of Mindanao, while ferrying residents in rubber boats.
    “Filipinos are tough but this Super Typhoon is a bitter blow for millions of people who are still recovering from devastating storms, floods and COVID-19 in the past year,” Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon said in a statement.
    Airlines cancelled dozens of flights, while transport authorities banned sea and land travel in central and southern Philippines, leaving thousands stranded at ports.
    The Southeast Asian nation postponed the start of a mass vaccination drive in most of the country because of the storm.
    Around 20 tropical storms a year strike the Philippines, a nation of more than 7,600 islands, causing floods and landslides.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Editing by Ed Davies and Tom Hogue)

12/16/2021 Great Plains, Midwest Reeling After Powerful Storm by OAN Newsroom
A local bank is destroyed after a strong thunderstorm swept through the town
on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Hartland, Minn. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
    High wind warnings have been issued from New Mexico to upper Michigan as a powerful storm system battered the Great Plains region and Midwest.    Severe storms and at least 20 reported tornadoes recently wrecked havoc across the areas.
    The storm system blew through several states on Wednesday, including Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.    The National Weather Service reported hurricane-like wind gusts over 75 miles-per-hour, which is the highest recorded since 2009.     The strong winds knocked over power lines and trees leaving hundreds of thousands without power across the region.
    “We are readying equipment, we’re making sure all of our trucks are gassed up and ready to go, we’re going through maintenance checks and safety checks with our crews reminding them of the dangers of working in high winds and with potentially fallen power lines,” said Lillie Nielson, a resident of Hartland, Minnesota.
    In Iowa, a semi-truck driver was killed after being blown off the highway in what meteorologists called harsh and unusual conditions.    Residents said they’ve never seen anything like it before.
    Highways were closed and schools were canceled across several states as people were ordered to stay home and off the roads.    This comes just days after devastating tornadoes ripped through multiple states including Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri, leaving at least 85 dead.
    This current storm system is expected to shift north of the Great Lakes on Thursday and the National Weather Service has warned of high winds, snow and hazardous conditions in that region.

12/17/2021 Death Toll From Powerful Typhoon In Philippines Climbs To 12 by Karen Lema and Enrico Dela Cruz
Aftermath of Typhoon Rai is seen in Dimiao, Bohol province, Philippines December 17, 2021
in this picture obtained from social media. Marco J. Dagasuhan/via REUTERS
    MANILA (Reuters) – The death toll from a typhoon that slammed into the Philippines rose to 12 on Friday, and its president feared it could climb further as authorities assess the devastation caused by one of the strongest tropical storms to hit the country this year.
    President Rodrigo Duterte said he would visit battered central and southern areas on Saturday to see the extent of damage, as the government tried to figure out how much it could raise for the disaster response.
    Duterte said COVID-19 spending had already depleted this year’s budget.
    “I’m not so much worried about damage to structures,” Duterte said in a televised briefing with disaster officials.
    “My fear is if many people died.    I am as eager as you to go there to see for myself,” he told Ricardo Jalad, undersecretary at the disaster agency.
    Jalad said the death toll was preliminary and he was awaiting information from provincial units before a complete damage assessment could be made.
    Most of the reported deaths were due to fallen trees and drowning.
    Typhoon Rai, which saw winds of up to 195 km (121 miles) per hour before making landfall on Thursday, displaced more than 300,000 people, damaged homes and toppled power and communication lines, complicating the disaster response.
    Rai at one point intensified into a category 5 storm, the highest classification, but later weakened and was due to exit the Philippines by Saturday.    The country sees on average 20 typhoons a year.
    “It is not expected to cause massive damage compared to typhoons of the same strength previously,” said Casiano Monilla, assistant secretary at the Office of the Civil Defence.
    However, Bohol provincial governor Arthur Yap appealed for help as flooding hampered rescue efforts.
    “Families are trapped on rooftops now,” he told DZBB radio.
    The typhoon, the 15th to strike the archipelago this year, saw dozens of flights cancelled and paralysed operations at several ports, leaving about 4,000 people stranded.
    Authorities also postponed a mass vaccination drive in most regions.
(Reporting by Karen Lema and Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Ed Davies, Martin Petty and Michael Perry)

12/17/2021 Floods Kill At Least Eight In Northern Iraq
Residents clean a road full of mud after flash floods caused by torrential
rains in Erbil, Iraq, December 17,2021. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
    SULAIMANIYA, Iraq (Reuters) – Flash floods in northern Iraq killed at least eight people on Friday, Iraqi Kurdish authorities said.
    Another three people were missing after heavy rain caused the floods in remote areas south of the city of Erbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, the Kurdish civil defence first responders said.
    Flooding and intense storms often hit parts of Iraq during the winter, especially in the north, but are rarely so deadly.
    Several people were killed and thousands fled their homes in flash floods in northern Iraqi in 2018.
    Large parts of Iraq’s infrastructure remain decimated by decades of war and sanctions under former ruler Saddam Hussein, and since the U.S. invasion of 2003 which unleashed civil war.
    Despite relative peace since the defeat of Islamic State in 2017, neglect and widespread corruption have prevented meaningful rebuilding, Iraqi officials say, with funds squandered in areas destroyed by fighting.
(Reporting by Ali Sultan in Sulaimaniya, Writing by John Davison in Baghdad)

12/18/2021 Thousands Displaced By Floods In Malaysia by Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee
Partially submerged cars are seen on a flooded road in Shah Alam, Malaysia December 18, 2021,
in still image obtained from social media video. Courtesy of Ashraf Noor Azam/via REUTERS
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Torrential rains in Malaysia have caused flooding that has driven more than 11,000 people from their homes, closed dozens of roads and disrupted shipping, authorities said on Saturday.
    More than 66,000 personnel from the police, army and fire department have been mobilised nationwide to help rescue people stranded by flood waters and take them to shelters, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a news conference late on Saturday.
    Floods in Malaysia are common during the annual monsoon season between October and March, particularly on the country’s eastern coast.    But the downpour that started on Friday morning and continued into Saturday hit worst in the western state of Selangor – Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous region surrounding the capital Kuala Lumpur.
    “It’s a bit chaotic in Selangor right now… in other states, preparations would be made earlier for the monsoon.    But in Selangor, this happened almost suddenly,” Ismail Sabri said, adding that nearly 4,000 people in the state had been evacuated from their homes.
    Authorities at Port Klang, the country’s largest harbour, said shipping operations were severely disrupted by the floods. Dozens of highways and roads were also closed.
    Videos posted on social media showed overflowing rivers, landslides, and cars submerged on abandoned streets.
    Ashraf Noor Azam, a 26-year-old resident from the Selangor district of Shah Alam, said he had not expected the situation to be so serious and had been forced to leave his car on the side of a highway.
    “After four hours stranded without help, and the flood isn’t getting better, we decided to walk in the flood,” he said in a tweet with a video showing three people walking.
    Eight of the country’s 16 states and federal territories saw water levels rising to dangerous levels on Saturday, according to a government website tracking flood developments.
    The Meteorological Department warned that heavy rain in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and several states would continue until Sunday.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Liz LeeAdditional reporting by Nur-Azna SanusiEditing by David Holmes and Frances Kerry)

12/18/2021 Philippines’ Feared Death Toll From Typhoon Rai Rises To 31
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view showing damaged houses in Surigao City, Surigao Del Norte Province,
Philippines, December 17, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS.
    MANILA (Reuters) -The feared death toll from a typhoon that battered the Philippines has risen to 31, officials said on Saturday, nearly triple the previous day’s number as rescue teams reach damaged areas and communication lines are restored.
    Four people have been confirmed dead after being hit by falling trees and another 27 people are feared to have died as a result of Typhoon Rai, the country’s disaster agency said in a statement.
    Rai was the 15th and among the deadliest https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/typhoon-rai-weakens-after-pummelling-central-philippines-2021-12-17 of the tropical storms to strike the Philippine archipelago this year, driving more than 300,000 people to shelter in evacuation centres.    Many areas were still without power on Saturday.
    The hard-hit central provinces of Cebu and Bohol declared a state of calamity to access disaster funds and imposed a price freeze on basic goods.
    At one point a category 5 storm, the highest classification, Rai brought 195 km (121 miles) per hour winds before making landfall on Thursday.
    Typhoon Rai, locally named as Odette, swept out of the Philippines on Saturday afternoon after making nine destructive landfalls, the first of which https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/strong-typhoon-approaches-philippines-tens-thousands-evacuate-2021-12-16 was in the holiday island of Siargao.
    “Odette was really strong.
    Almost 95% of houses in Dinagat Island are without a roof
,” Nilo Demerey, vice governor of Surigao del Norte province, told a local radio station.
    Evacuation centres housed in churches, schools and gyms were also badly hit, Demerey added. Some 309,000 people remain in evacuation centres, data from the disaster agency showed.
    Many areas are still without power, and corn and rice plantations have been flooded, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor told the same radio station.
    Every year, about 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines, causing floods and landslides.
    The Southeast Asian nation, made up of more than 7,600 islands, is also prone to frequent earthquakes.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome MoralesEditing by Mark Heinrich)

12/18/2021 Earthquake Hits Northern Italy, No Injuries Reported
FILE PHOTO: The Upper Town of Bergamo is seen a year after the peak of
Italy's COVID-19 outbreak, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo
    ROME (Reuters) - An earthquake of magnitude 4.4 hit northern Italy on Saturday, the Italian Geophysics and Volcanology Institute (INGV) said.    There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
    The quake struck near Bonate Sotto, a small town outside the city of Bergamo, at a depth of 26 kilometres (16 miles), the INGV said.    It was strongly felt by residents in nearby Milan, the country’s second largest city.
    Some 30 minutes after the quake struck, the national fire department said it had received no reports of damage or calls for help.
    Earlier on Saturday, a quake of magnitude 5.4 rattled parts of southern Greece, with its centre in the sea between the Peloponnese and the island of Crete, the Athens Geodynamic Institute reported.    There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
(Reporting by Gavin JonesEditing by Mark Heinrich)

12/19/2021 Typhoon Death Toll In Philippines’ Bohol Province Hits 49 – Provincial Governor
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view showing damaged houses in Surigao City, Surigao Del Norte Province, Philippines,
December 17, 2021. Picture taken December 17, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS.
    MANILA (Reuters) -At least 49 people have died in the central Philippine province of Bohol, which was hit hard by the powerful typhoon Rai that slammed into the country last week, provincial governor Arthur Yap said on Sunday, as relief operations continued.
    The official death toll https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/philippines-feared-death-toll-typhoon-rai-rises-31-2021-12-18, however, was still at 31. The national disaster agency, when asked if they were aware of the Bohol numbers, said its operations unit was yet to receive an official report from its provincial unit.
    In Bohol, communication lines and power supply remained unavailable two days after Rai pummelled it, Yap said.    The province is home to some of the country’s popular tourist destinations, such as the Loboc River, which overflowed.
    “It is very clear that the damage sustained by Bohol is great and all-encompassing,” he said in video posted on his Facebook account.    “People have suffered greatly in terms of destroyed homes and agricultural losses.”
    He appealed for relief donations, especially drinking water.
    Rai, among the deadliest of the tropical storms to strike the Philippine archipelago this year, made nine landfalls, with a massive trail of destruction also reported in the provinces of Cebu, Leyte, Surigao del Norte, including the popular Siargao surfing destination, and Dinagat Islands.
    In Dinagat Islands in the south, where strong winds damaged about 90% to 95% of houses, 10 people had died, according to provincial chief information officer Jeffrey Crisostomo.
    It was unclear if these deaths were included in the official tally from the disaster agency.
    Rai has moved toward the South China Sea, but more than 400,000 people remained in temporary shelters, the disaster agency said in its Sunday morning update.
    About 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines every year, usually causing floods and landslides.
(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

12/19/2021 More Than 21,000 People Displaced By Floods In Malaysia – State Media
A view of a flooded area as seen from an airplane window, in this screen grab from a
social media video taken during a flight from Kuala Lumpur en route to Terengganu, Malaysia
December 18, 2021. Picture taken December 18, 2021. Ahmad Saifullah Sulong/via REUTERS
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – More than 21,000 people have been displaced from their homes due to flooding caused by torrential rains in Malaysia, state news agency Bernama said on Sunday.
    Perak was the latest state to be hit by floods, with flooding worsening in six other states.
    “Altogether, more than 21,000 people had been evacuated from their flooded homes to relief centres by noon,” the news agency reported.
    Over 11,000 people were driven from their homes on Saturday, as heavy rainfall that started Friday morning caused dozens of road closures and disrupted shipping.
    Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told a media conference in Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous region surrounding the capital Kuala Lumpur, that 15,000 people there had been evacuated to over 100 relief centres.
    He said the rainfall over the past day was equivalent to the total rainfall for a month in normal conditions.
    Rescue efforts are still underway for those trapped in vehicles and outside of their homes, while reports of those trapped at home have been resolved, he said.
    More than 66,000 personnel from the police, army and fire department have been mobilised to help rescue people stranded by flood waters and take them to shelters late on Saturday.
    The Meteorological Department warned of dangerous level of continuous torrential rain in Perak, but has downgraded Selangor from danger level to alert.
    Ismail also announced that the government will allocated an initial sum of 100 million ringgit ($23.71 million) for house and infrastructure repairs, and will provide financial aid to affected households.
($1 = 4.2170 ringgit)
(Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Michael Perry)
[continued]
12/19/2021 Malaysian Emergency Services, Volunteers Rescue 21,000 From Flooding by Rozanna Latiff, Angie Teo and Liz Lee
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Hard-pressed Malaysian emergency services, reinforced by civilian volunteers, on Sunday rescued 21,000 people displaced by flooding from torrential rain in seven states, officials and volunteers said.
    More than 66,000 police, army and fire department personnel were mobilised to help pluck people from vehicles marooned in flood waters or from inundated streets outside their homes.
    State news agency Bernama reported that a total of 21,000 people had been evacuated nationwide to relief centres.
    As rescue operations continued, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob earlier told reporters in Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous state and one of the hardest hit, that 15,000 people there had been evacuated to more than 100 relief centres.
    He said rainfall over the past day was equivalent to the total for a month in normal conditions.
    After reading pleas on Twitter from those trapped by floodwaters, rescue volunteer Mohamad Adib Hariz Fadzilah rushed to a camping supplies store to buy kayaks and life jackets while also sending out requests for help via social media.
    “I learned that some of the (emergency services) people were also buying supplies from here.    It was shocking to me that they too didn’t have enough equipment,” he said.
    Mohamad Adib then headed with other volunteers to the Selangor city of Shah Alam to help rescue trapped residents but said government assistance was slow to arrive.
    Rohkidah Yusof, 60, was delivering food to a customer in Shah Alam with two children and two grandchildren in tow when rising flood waters cut off their route home on Saturday.
    “I’ve never experienced floods this bad. I want to go home but I’m not sure how we are going to get there,” she said.
    Another Selangor resident, Mohammad Shahrul Azmir Selamat, said his Hulu Langat neighbourhood was spared flooding as it stood on higher ground but access roads were inundated.
    “For the time being (supplies are) still okay, 10 trucks have arrived.    Floods have receded in some areas and the victims already went home,” he told Reuters via text message.
    On Sunday evening, Malaysia’s Meteorological Department took down its warning of heavy rains nationwide.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur, Angie Teo in Jakarta; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

12/19/2021 Indonesia’s Semeru Volcano Erupts, People Warned To Stay Away
FILE PHOTO: Mount Semeru volcano spews hot ash as seen from Pronojiwo district in Lumajang, East Java province,
Indonesia, December 10, 2021, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Ari Bowo Sucipto/ via REUTERS S
    JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Semeru volcano on Java island erupted early on Sunday spewing a two km (1.24 miles) high ash column, prompting authorities to warn people to stay away from the eruption range.
    Earlier this month, the eruption of Semeru, Java’s tallest mountain, ejected ash clouds and pyroclastic flows that killed at least 46 people and left several missing, while thousands were displaced.
    On Sunday, the early morning eruption resulted in dense white and grey ash clouds, according to Indonesia’s Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG).
    The agency warned nearby residents not to conduct any activities within a five km (three miles) radius of the eruption centre and to keep a 500 metre (1,500 feet) distance from riversides due to risks of lava flow.
    PVMBG also told people to not conduct any activities within 13 km (eight miles) southeast of the eruption centre.
    With 142 volcanoes, Indonesia has the largest population globally living in close range to a volcano, including 8.6 million within 10km (six miles).
(Reporting by Bernadette Christina Munthe; Writing by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Michael Perry)

12/19/2021 Philippines Reports Dozens More Deaths From Typhoon Rai by Enrico Dela Cruz
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view showing damaged houses in Surigao City, Surigao Del Norte Province, Philippines,
December 17, 2021. Picture taken December 17, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS.
    MANILA (Reuters) - At least 72 people died in the central Philippine province of Bohol in the wake of Typhoon Rai, the provincial governor said on Sunday, taking the total number of casualties across the country to above 100.
    Authorities ramped up relief operations on Sunday after Typhoon Rai hit on Thursday and Friday, the strongest tropical storm to hit the Philippines this year.    It displaced more than 400,000 people, damaged homes and toppled power and communication lines.
    The national disaster agency had already reported 31 casualties following the storm, but those figures did not include casualties in Bohol.    The agency said it was still awaiting official reports from Bohol and other regions.
    In the southern province of Dinagat Islands, the local government on Sunday reported 10 deaths, but it was also unclear if those fatalities had already been included in the official tally from the disaster agency.
    Most deaths were due to fallen trees and drowning, officials said.
    The widespread destruction has made it difficult for authorities to immediately provide a clear picture about the extent of damage, as communication and power lines have yet to be fully restored in many areas.
    Rai, which at one point was a category 5 storm, made nine landfalls, with a massive trail of destruction also reported in the provinces of Cebu, Leyte, Surigao del Norte, including the popular Siargao surfing destination, and Dinagat Islands.
    It uprooted trees, toppled roofs, flattened houses, destroyed infrastructure and flooded many towns, hampering efforts to send much needed food and water to victims.
    The directive from President Rodrigo Duterte was to “use all government resources to ensure that all goods are delivered as soon as possible” to calamity-stricken areas, presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles told a radio station.
    Rai had displaced nearly 490,000 people in the Philippines before it moved toward the South China Sea over the weekend.
    In Bohol, home to some of the country’s popular tourist destinations, such as the Loboc River, which overflowed, Governor Arthur Yap said the number of deaths was based only on partial reports, suggesting the death toll could still rise.
    “It is very clear that the damage sustained by Bohol is great and all-encompassing,” he said in video posted on his Facebook account.    “People have suffered greatly in terms of destroyed homes and agricultural losses.”
    About 20 tropical storms hit the Philippines every year, usually causing floods and landslides.
(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Susan Fenton)

12/19/2021 Four People Killed In Expressway Bridge Collapse In China’s Hubei Province
Overturned vehicles are seen at the site where a highway flyover collapsed
in Ezhou, Hubei province, China December 19, 2021. cnsphoto via REUTERS
    SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – Four people were killed and another eight injured on Saturday when part of a bridge ramp collapsed in Ezhou City, in China’s central Hubei province, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
    The bridge collapsed over an expressway, causing three trucks to fall while a car was crushed underneath, Xinhua reported, adding an investigation is under way.
    Work was being carried out on the bridge when the incident occurred, the report said.
(Reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Cheng Leng in Beijing; editing by Jason Neely)

12/20/2021 Himalayan glaciers melting at an ‘exceptional’ rate - Climate change threatens water supply for millions by Doyle Rice, USA TODAY
    Glaciers in the Himalayas are melting at an “exceptional” rate because of global warming, threatening the water supply of millions of people in Asia, a study published Monday said.
    The study revealed that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking far more rapidly than glaciers in other parts of the world.
    “Our findings clearly show that ice is now being lost from Himalayan glaciers at a rate that is at least 10 times higher than the average rate over past centuries,” the study’s lead author, Jonathan Carrivick of the University of Leeds, said in a statement.    “This acceleration in the rate of loss has only emerged within the last few decades and coincides with human-induced climate change.”
    Researchers calculated that Himalayan glaciers have lost roughly 40% of their area in the past several hundred years.
    The glaciers are a critical source of water for about 250 million people in the mountains and 1.65 billion who live in the river valleys below.    These rivers include the Ganges, Indus and Brahmaputra.
    The Himalayan mountain range is home to the world’s third-largest amount of glacier ice, after Antarctica and the Arctic.    The region often is referred to as the world’s “Third Pole” for its huge store of ice, and it is home to Mount Everest, K2 and other iconic peaks.
    Though the mountains are tens of millions of years old, their glaciers are extremely sensitive to the changing climate.    Since the 1970s, when global warming first set in, these huge masses of ice have steadily thinned and retreated.
    Man-made climate change is caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as gas, coal and oil, which release greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane into the atmosphere.    This extra CO2 causes temperatures of the atmosphere and oceans to rise to levels that scientists say can’t be explained by natural causes.
    “We must act urgently to reduce and mitigate the impact of human-made climate change on the glaciers,” Carrivick said.
    Study co-author Simon Cook of the University of Dundee said “people in the region are already seeing changes that are beyond anything witnessed for centuries."
    “This research is just the latest confirmation that those changes are accelerating and that they will have a significant impact on entire nations and regions,” Cook said.
    Monday’s study appeared in the journal Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed publication.
A new study reveals that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking far more rapidly
than glaciers in other parts of the world. PROVIDED BY DUNCAN QUINCEY/UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS

12/20/2021 Philippine Death Toll From Typhoon Rai Climbs To 208 - Police
FILE PHOTO: Houses and trees damaged by typhoon Rai are seen, in Surigao del Norte province, Philippines,
December 18, 2021. Picture taken December 18, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS
    MANILA (Reuters) – The death toll in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Rai has risen to 208, after the storm carved a trail of destruction in central and southern provinces late last week, the national police spokesperson said on Monday.
    There were 52 people still missing, according to police data, as relief efforts continued following one of the deadliest typhoons to have struck the Southeast Asian country.
    The police have been mobilised for relief operations and to ensure order in calamity stricken areas, national police spokesperson Roderick Alba said.
    The number of casualties cited by police was far higher than the 58 deaths recorded by the national disaster agency up to now.    The agency said it was still validating reports from affected regions.
    More than half of the deaths reported by police were fatalities in the central Visayas region, which includes Bohol province, home to some of the country’s most-popular tourist destinations, including dive spots.
    On Sunday, Bohol Governor Arthur Yap reported 74 deaths in his province, citing partial reports that he said had been verified by both the health department and local government officials.
    Relief operations have been accelerating but remain hampered by damage caused to communication and power lines, which have yet to be restored in many devastated areas.
    Rai had displaced nearly 490,000 people in the Philippines before it moved toward the South China Sea over the weekend, also leaving huge destruction in the provinces of Cebu, Leyte, and Surigao del Norte, including the popular Siargao surfing destination, and Dinagat Islands.
    President Rodrigo Duterte has committed to release around 2 billion pesos ($40 million) in funds to typhoon-hit provinces to help in recovery efforts.
(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz and Karen Lema; Editing by Ed Davies)

12/20/2021 Malaysian Emergency Services, Volunteers Rescue 21,000 From Flooding by Rozanna Latiff, Angie Teo and Liz Lee
A view of a flooded area as seen from an airplane window, in this screen grab from
a social media video taken during a flight from Kuala Lumpur en route to Terengganu,
Malaysia December 18, 2021. Picture taken December 18, 2021. Ahmad Saifullah Sulong/via REUTERS
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Hard-pressed Malaysian emergency services, reinforced by civilian volunteers, on Sunday rescued 21,000 people displaced by flooding from torrential rain in seven states, officials and volunteers said.
    More than 66,000 police, army and fire department personnel were mobilised to help pluck people from vehicles marooned in flood waters or from inundated streets outside their homes.
    State news agency Bernama reported that a total of 21,000 people had been evacuated nationwide to relief centres.
    As rescue operations continued, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob earlier told reporters in Selangor, Malaysia’s wealthiest and most populous state and one of the hardest hit, that 15,000 people there had been evacuated to more than 100 relief centres.
    He said rainfall over the past day was equivalent to the total for a month in normal conditions.
    After reading pleas on Twitter from those trapped by floodwaters, rescue volunteer Mohamad Adib Hariz Fadzilah rushed to a camping supplies store to buy kayaks and life jackets while also sending out requests for help via social media.
    “I learned that some of the (emergency services) people were also buying supplies from here.    It was shocking to me that they too didn’t have enough equipment,” he said.
    Mohamad Adib then headed with other volunteers to the Selangor city of Shah Alam to help rescue trapped residents but said government assistance was slow to arrive.
    Rohkidah Yusof, 60, was delivering food to a customer in Shah Alam with two children and two grandchildren in tow when rising flood waters cut off their route home on Saturday.
    “I’ve never experienced floods this bad.    I want to go home but I’m not sure how we are going to get there,” she said.
    Another Selangor resident, Mohammad Shahrul Azmir Selamat, said his Hulu Langat neighbourhood was spared flooding as it stood on higher ground but access roads were inundated.
    “For the time being (supplies are) still okay, 10 trucks have arrived.    Floods have receded in some areas and the victims already went home,” he told Reuters via text message.
    On Sunday evening, Malaysia’s Meteorological Department took down its warning of heavy rains nationwide.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur, Angie Teo in Jakarta; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

12/20/2021 At Least Eight Dead In Malaysia Floods As Rescue Effort Stumbles by Rozanna Latiff and Ebrahim Harris
A view of buildings and vehicles submerged in flood waters in Shah Alam, Selangor state,
Malaysia, December 19, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Ebrahim Harris
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – At least eight people have died in floods that have ravaged Malaysia, authorities said on Monday, as the government faced criticism from the public and opposition lawmakers over its rescue efforts.
    Floods are common on the eastern coast of Malaysia during the annual monsoon season between October and March, but unusually heavy rainfall that started on Friday has put a strain on emergency services across the country.
    Malaysia has mobilised its army and other security agencies across seven states, with the worst flooding in Selangor, the country’s wealthiest and most populous region.
    Selangor police reported eight people found dead in the floods on Monday, according to state news agency Bernama.
    They include four in Taman Sri Muda, a neighbourhood in the district of Shah Alam, where many people are still believed to be trapped in homes and apartment buildings as rescue efforts were hampered by a lack of boats and manpower.
    More than 32,000 displaced people from Selangor have been moved into temporary shelters as of Monday, the state’s chief minister said on Twitter.
    But it is unclear how many more remain to be rescued with communication lines cut off in many parts of the state.
    Opposition lawmakers on Monday lambasted authorities for the delay in response.
    “Tonight will be the third night, people are still screaming for boats,” lawmaker Hannah Yeoh of the Democratic Action Party told reporters in parliament.
    “We want (the government) to activate assistance immediately so that we no longer find bodies.”
    Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement on Monday he had ordered all agencies to conduct “more aggressive” operations to help those affected in Taman Sri Muda.
    Taman Sri Muda resident Sazuatu Remly, 43, and her family were rescued by friends on Monday, after being trapped in their home for more than two days.
    “Help from the government never came for us, we only got help from the parents of the children I was taking care of,” she told Reuters.
    “I really hope authorities can act more quickly, and they give more attention to the people here.”
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Ebrahim Harris; Editing by John Geddie)

12/21/2021 Malaysia Warns Of More Floods As PM Acknowledges Lapses In Rescue Efforts
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view shows vehicles and buildings inundated by floods in Shah Alam's Taman Sri Muda,
one of the worst hit neighbourhoods in Selangor state, Malaysia, December 21, 2021. REUTERS/Ebrahim Harris
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia on Tuesday warned of more storms and heavy rainfall in the coming days as Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob admitted to weaknesses in the government’s response to flooding that has led to more than a dozen deaths and the displacement of over 60,000 people.
    The country mobilised its army and other security agencies after torrential rain that began last Friday, which caused floods in eight states.
    Authorities have been criticised by the public and lawmakers for their slow response, with some people trapped by floodwaters for more than two days before being rescued, particularly in Selangor, the country’s wealthiest and most populous region.
    The prime minister on Tuesday acknowledged weaknesses in coordinating the response by federal security agencies, according to a broadcast on state-run news channel Bernama TV.
    “I don’t deny (the weaknesses) and will improve in the future,” Ismail Sabri said.
    “The responsibility is not that of the federal government alone, but also the state governments, and the frontliners are the districts.”
    The Meteorological Department said Malaysia could see more floods in the coming days, as a tropical depression moved towards four states in Malaysia’s north.
    “This situation can cause continuous rainfall and strong winds in the northern states…. that could lead to flooding in low-level areas,” the department said in a statement.
    The death toll from the floods in Selangor climbed to 17 on Tuesday, while more than 30,000 people have been moved into temporary shelters, the state’s Chief Minister Amirudin Shari said in a statement.
    The national disaster management agency said nearly 63,000 people were displaced across the country as of Tuesday.
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by John Geddie and Bernadette Baum)

12/21/2021 At Least Eight Dead In Malaysia Floods As Rescue Effort Stumbles by Rozanna Latiff and Ebrahim Harris
A view of buildings and vehicles submerged in flood waters in Shah Alam, Selangor state,
Malaysia, December 19, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Ebrahim Harris
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – At least eight people have died in floods that have ravaged Malaysia, authorities said on Monday, as the government faced criticism from the public and opposition lawmakers over its rescue efforts.
    Floods are common on the eastern coast of Malaysia during the annual monsoon season between October and March, but unusually heavy rainfall that started on Friday has put a strain on emergency services across the country.
    Malaysia has mobilised its army and other security agencies across seven states, with the worst flooding in Selangor, the country’s wealthiest and most populous region.
    Selangor police reported eight people found dead in the floods on Monday, according to state news agency Bernama.
    They include four in Taman Sri Muda, a neighbourhood in the district of Shah Alam, where many people are still believed to be trapped in homes and apartment buildings as rescue efforts were hampered by a lack of boats and manpower.
    More than 32,000 displaced people from Selangor have been moved into temporary shelters as of Monday, the state’s chief minister said on Twitter.
    But it is unclear how many more remain to be rescued with communication lines cut off in many parts of the state.
    Opposition lawmakers on Monday lambasted authorities for the delay in response.
    “Tonight will be the third night, people are still screaming for boats,” lawmaker Hannah Yeoh of the Democratic Action Party told reporters in parliament.
    “We want (the government) to activate assistance immediately so that we no longer find bodies.”
    Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a statement on Monday he had ordered all agencies to conduct “more aggressive” operations to help those affected in Taman Sri Muda.
    Taman Sri Muda resident Sazuatu Remly, 43, and her family were rescued by friends on Monday, after being trapped in their home for more than two days.
    “Help from the government never came for us, we only got help from the parents of the children I was taking care of,” she told Reuters.
    “I really hope authorities can act more quickly, and they give more attention to the people here.”
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff and Ebrahim Harris; Editing by John Geddie)

12/22/2021 Philippine-Held Island In South China Sea Suffers Typhoon Damage
Damaged structures due to typhoon Rai are seen, on Philippine-claimed Thitu Island, South China Sea,
December 21, 2021. Picture taken December 21, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS
    MANILA (Reuters) – The deadly typhoon that killed hundreds in the Philippines also damaged dozens of homes and government infrastructure on the country’s biggest, strategically most important outpost in the South China Sea, including a newly built coast guard station.
    Typhoon Rai, which left nearly 400 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands, hit the remote island of Thitu, one of nine features the Philippines occupies in the Spratly archipelago, just as it was been undergoing an upgrade to facilities including the repair of a runway.
    The island is located more than 300 miles (483 kilometres) from the Philippines.
    “As soon as possible, we will rebuild the coast guard station,” Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) spokesperson Armando Balilo told Reuters.    “We need Pagasa island, it is critical to our country,” he said using the local name of the island.
    Thitu’s population of just 194 as of July has a strategic purpose for Manila – preserving a Philippine claim of sovereignty in the face of a resurgent China.
    China claims sovereignty over the Spratlys, but Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have competing claims for some or all of the islands.
    Coast guard official Balilo said the island’s residents were safe, and the coast guard’s priority was to send relief supplies.
    Images shared by the coast guard showed the trail of damage left behind by Rai on Thitu, from uprooted trees to the roofs and walls of homes being torn off.    “Only the evacuation centre was left standing, but the windows were also busted,” Balilo said.
    Rai, which struck the Philippines last Thursday, was the strongest typhoon to hit the archipelago this year.    It has affected 1.8 million and displaced 630,000 residents, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
    It revived memories in the Philippines of the devastation brought in 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, which killed 6,300.
    Balilo said the coast guard managed to reach Dinagat island, one of the southeastern provinces first pounded by the typhoon, on Tuesday, to deliver desperately needed relief supplies after residents had been pleading for food, water and shelter.
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Ed Davies and Kenneth Maxwell)

12/22/2021 Philippine Supertyphoon Rai ‘Exceeded All Predictions’ – Forecaster by Kanupriya Kapoor
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the damages caused by typhoon Rai seen in
Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, Philippines, December 21, 2021. Picture taken with a drone
December 21, 2021. Jilson Tiu/Greenpeace/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The rapid intensification that turned this week’s Typhoon Rai into the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year surpassed all predictions, forecasters said, leaving nearly 400 people dead and almost a million displaced.
    While it’s unclear exactly how global warming is affecting the intensification of such storms, the UN’s climate change agency has found it is “likely that the frequency of rapid intensification events have increased over the past four decades” as temperatures rise.
    Before Rai underwent a process of rapid intensification, forecasters at first warned of a storm that could bring “considerable damage,” with winds of up to 165 kilometres (103 miles) per hour.
    “But the situation evolved very fast,” said Nikos Peñaranda, a forecaster who studies thunderstorms at the Philippines’ national weather bureau, speaking on Tuesday.    “Our models weren’t able to predict the way the storm intensified, and it exceeded all our predictions.”
    In rapid intensification of storms, warm ocean water and differing wind speeds near the eye of the storm act as fuel to whip it up into a more severe event.    In the case of Rai, the storm turned into a category 5 supertyphoon, with speeds similar to when a passenger airplane starts to lift off the ground.
    When it made landfall, winds of up to 210 km/hr were uprooting coconut trees, ripping down electricity poles, and hurling slabs of corrugated tin and wood through the air.
    A lack of real-time data and case studies of similar storms in the region made it difficult for forecasters to predict just how much Rai, or Odette as the storm is known locally, would intensify, said Peñaranda.
    “The challenge in forecasting rapidly intensifying events is just that the speed with which this occurs, often in a matter of hours, leaves less time for disaster risk reduction mobilisation and evacuations,” said Clare Nullis, media officer specializing in climate change at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
    Hurricane Ida, a category 4 storm, experienced a similar intensification in the Gulf of Mexico hours before it slammed into the U.S. state of Louisiana in August.
    Ocean temperatures near the surface and at depths of up to 200 metres are rising around three times faster in this region than the global average, according to the WMO, making it fertile ground for more intense, less predictable storms.
    In the past three decades, the Philippines has recorded at least 205 tropical cyclones, the highest of any Asian country, according to EM-DAT, a publicly available database on disasters run by the University of Louvain.    Nearly each one of has taken lives and caused millions of dollars worth of damage.
    By comparison, China, the second-most affected country, has seen 139, and Bangladesh, also prone to storms, has seen 42.
($1 = 49.9300 Philippine pesos)
(Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales in Manila; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

12/22/2021 Food Running Out, Philippine Typhoon Survivors Warn by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema
Philippine Coast Guard personnel unload packs of relief goods for victims of Typhoon Rai, in
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, December 21, 2021. Philippine Coast Guard/Handout via REUTERS
    MANILA (Reuters) -Philippine officials and residents of areas that bore the brunt of Typhoon Rai pleaded for food, water, and shelter on Tuesday as damaged roads, flooding, and severed power and communication lines hampered relief efforts.
    Rai struck last Thursday, the strongest typhoon to hit the archipelago this year, killing nearly 400 people and affecting 1.8 million, displacing 630,000 of them, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
    “Our food supply is running low.    Maybe, in a few days, we will totally run out,” said Fely Pedrablanca mayor of Tubajon town on Dinagat Island.
    The area, facing the Pacific Ocean, was devastated by the typhoon and she said only nine out of more than 2,000 homes in her town were left standing.
    The coast guard has deployed vessels to help in relief work and in trying to reach areas still cut-off, while the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) planned to ferry people to safety, including foreign tourists stranded on the holiday island of Siargao.
    “We’re fighting a tremendous disaster.    It’s Haiyan all over again,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon told Reuters, referring to one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, which killed 6,300 people in the Philippines in 2013.
    In the province of Southern Leyte, evacuation centres were also destroyed, said Roger Mercado, acting chief of the public works agency, as he appealed for tents and construction material.
    Damage to infrastructure in Southern Leyte, where residents were also in desperate need of food and water, could reach 3 billion pesos ($60.14 million), Mercado told DZMM radio.
    At least 375 people were killed and 56 are missing. More than 500 were injured, police said on Tuesday.
    “The government prepositioned food and non-food items but they are not enough because many are in need,” Danilo Atienza, Southern Leyte’s disaster chief, told Reuters.
    President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday ordered state agencies to restore power and communications as he promised 10 billion pesos ($200 million) for recovery efforts.
    Foreign aid has also started to arrive including from Japan and China, while the United Nations said it was working with partners to help in the areas of shelter, health, food, protection and other life-saving responses.
($1 = 49.8700 Philippine pesos)
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen LemaEditing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel)

12/23/2021 Muted Christmas Joy In La Palma Evacuees’ Caravan As Volcano Falls Silent by Marco Trujillo
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view of a group of houses surrounded by the lava of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in an exclusion zone in Las Manchas,
on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain, December 17, 2021. REUTERS/Borja Suarez/
    LA PALMA, Spain (Reuters) – Dacil Batista felt little Christmas cheer while trimming a plastic fir tree by the caravan where she, her family and pets have been living since the volcanic eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma forced them from their home.
    “No matter how low you feel, at this time of the year you must be strong for the children because they are excited about Christmas,” said the 22-year-old mother of two.
    The Cumbre Vieja volcano fell silent last week, raising hopes that the eruption that began on Sept. 19, which has forced the evacuation of thousands of residents, destroyed about 3,000 buildings and devastated crops, may be finally over.
    Batista says the children have been missing their house and garden with swings, a slide and a playhouse.
    “But we will go back home and they will have it all again,” she told Reuters after being shown a video of their property largely intact, but covered with tonnes of dark ash.
    “A lot of people are much worse off than we are.    We still have the house,” said Batista’s partner Adam Gonzalez, 27, who has mostly adjusted to caravan life after spending many sleepless nights there during the eruption.
    He recalled how frequent tremors would rattle the vehicle, spooking the family and their many pets – a dog, a dozen birds, two turtles and a ball python.
    “It’s been three months and now it’s difficult not to see it or hear it (the volcano), to know it happened but as if nothing ever happened,” he added.
    Some residents have been allowed to return to their homes, but the parking lot where the family has their caravan is still full of mobile homes.    The town hall of Los Llanos de Aridane has put a big Christmas tree above the car park to cheer up those who remain.
    People have been quick to help each other out.    A German neighbour gave the family another caravan, where Batista’s mother-in-law and her son are staying now, after learning that all six of them had been sharing one vehicle.
    Barring any resumption of volcanic activity, the authorities could declare the end of the eruption this week.
(Writing by Andrei Khalip, editing by Nathan Allen and Jane Merriman)

12/25/2021 NASA Launches Revolutionary Space Telescope To Give Glimpse Of Early Universe by Steve Gorman
Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket, with NASA's James Webb Space Telescope onboard, is rolled
out to the launch pad at Europe’s Spaceport, the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana
December 23, 2021. Picture taken December 23, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS
    (Reuters) - NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, built to give the world a glimpse of the universe as it existed when the first galaxies formed, was launched by rocket early Saturday from South America’s northeastern coast, opening a new era of astronomy.
    The revolutionary $9 billion infrared telescope, described by NASA as the premiere space-science observatory of the next decade, was carried aloft inside the cargo bay of an Ariane 5 rocket that blasted off at about 7:20 a.m. EST (1220 GMT) from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) launch base in French Guiana.
    The flawless Christmas Day launch, with a countdown conducted in French, was carried live on a joint NASA-ESA webcast.
    “From a tropical rain forest to the edge of time itself, James Webb begins a voyage back to the birth of the universe,” a NASA commentator said as the two-stage launch vehicle, fitted with double solid-rocket boosters, roared off its launch pad into cloudy skies.
    After a 27-minute, hypersonic ride into space, the 14,000-pound instrument was released from the upper stage of the French-built rocket about 865 miles above the Earth, and should gradually unfurl to nearly the size of a tennis court over the next 13 days as it sails onward on its own.
    Live video captured by a camera mounted on the rocket’s upper stage showed the Webb gliding gently away after it was jettisoned, drawing cheers and applause from jubilant flight engineers in the mission control center.
    Flight controllers confirmed moments later, as the Webb’s solar-energy array was deployed, that its power supply was working.
    Coasting through space for two more weeks, the Webb telescope will reach its destination in solar orbit 1 million miles from Earth – about four times farther away than the moon. And Webb’s special orbital path will keep it in constant alignment with the Earth as the planet and telescope circle the sun in tandem.
    By comparison, Webb’s 30-year-old predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope, orbits the Earth from 340 miles away, passing in and out of the planet’s shadow every 90 minutes.
    Named after the man who oversaw NASA through most of its formative decade of the 1960s, Webb is about 100 times more sensitive than Hubble and is expected to transform scientists’ understanding of the universe and our place in it.
COSMOLOGICAL HISTORY LESSON
    Webb mainly will view the cosmos in the infrared spectrum, allowing it to gaze through clouds of gas and dust where stars are being born, while Hubble has operated primarily at optical and ultraviolet wavelengths.
    The new telescope’s primary mirror – consisting of 18 hexagonal segments of gold-coated beryllium metal – also has a much bigger light-collecting area, enabling it to observe objects at greater distances, thus farther back into time, than Hubble or any other telescope.
    That, astronomers say, will bring into view a glimpse of the cosmos never previously seen – dating to just 100 million years after the Big Bang, the theoretical flashpoint that set in motion the expansion of the observable universe an estimated 13.8 billion years ago.
    Hubble’s view reached back to roughly 400 million years following the Big Bang, a period just after the very first galaxies – sprawling clusters of stars, gases and other interstellar matter – are believed to have taken shape.
    NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, speaking during the launch webcast by video link, hailed the new telescope as a “time machine” that will “take us back to the very beginnings of the universe.”
    Aside from examining the formation of the earliest stars and galaxies, astronomers are eager to study super-massive black holes believed to occupy the centers of distant galaxies.
    Webb’s instruments also make it ideal to search for evidence of potentially life-supporting atmospheres around scores of newly documented exoplanets – celestial bodies orbiting distant stars – and to observe worlds much closer to home, such as Mars and Saturn’s icy moon Titan.
    The telescope is an international collaboration led by NASA in partnership with the European and Canadian space agencies.    Northrop Grumman Corp was the primary contractor.    The Arianespace launch vehicle is part of the European contribution.
    Webb was developed at a cost of $8.8 billion, with operational expenses projected to bring its total price tag https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-nasa-telescope/northrop-ceo-grilled-by-u-s-lawmakers-over-space-telescope-idUSKBN1KG2US to about $9.66 billion, far higher than planned when NASA was previously aiming for a 2011 launch.
    Astronomical operation of the telescope, to be managed from the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, is expected to begin in the summer of 2022, following about six months of alignment and calibration of Webb’s mirrors and instruments.
    It is then that NASA expects to release the initial batch of images captured by Webb. Webb is designed to last up to 10 years.
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, Barbara Lewis and Hugh Lawson)

12/26/2021 Fossil of giant millipede discovered - Fossil of giant millipede discovered by Jordan Mendoza USA TODAY
    In recent weeks, researchers in Australia discovered 'the first true millipede' – a 3-inch-long creature with 1,306 legs.    But that bug doesn’t come close to a recently discovered ancestor from over 300 million years ago, one that scientists in England say was a giant millipede 'as big as a car' at nearly 9 feet long.
    The discovery of the ancient millipede, published in a recent article for the peer-reviewed Journal of the Geological Society, was made on a beach in the city of Northumberland in northern England.
    Neil Davies, lead author of the study from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, said the discovery 'was a complete fluke' because it was found in a block of sandstone that fell off a cliff onto the beach in January 2018.
    'The way the boulder had fallen, it had cracked open and perfectly exposed the fossil, which one of our former PhD students happened to spot when walking by,' Davies said in a statement.
    Now nearly four years later, scientists say this is not only the third millipede fossil ever found, but it is the oldest and biggest to ever exist.    The millipede, a species named Arthropleura, lived around 326 million years ago, way before dinosaurs were around, and it was 8.6 feet long and weighed about 110 pounds.
    The discovery suggests it was bigger than previously discovered ancient sea scorpions, which were long thought to be the biggest invertebrate animal of all time.
    'It was an incredibly exciting find, but the fossil is so large it took four of us to carry it up the cliff face,' Davies said.
    The Arthropleura was alive for around 45 million years during the Carboniferous Period when Pangea was mostly still intact.    During that time period, present-day England was located near the equator, so the area was more of a tropical environment.    The climate allowed invertebrates and early amphibian species to thrive in vegetation surrounded by creeks and rivers.
    There are no clear answers as to why the species went extinct, but theories suggest warmer climates and the eventual evolution of reptiles and dinosaurs were probable factors.
    Davies said the creature’s diet may have played a significant role in getting to such a large size.
    There were numerous high-nutrient nuts and seeds around, but they may have been predators, eating other invertebrates and amphibians in the area.
    As huge as the fossil is, it’s possible it could have actually been bigger.    Davies said when these millipedes die, their body parts would break apart, and it’s mainly the reason why there have been only two other fossils found, both in Germany.    Instead, the fossil could actually be its body that it shed.
    'We have not yet found a fossilized head, so it’s difficult to know everything about them,' he said.
    The rare fossil will be displayed at the University of Cambridge’s Sedgwick Museum in 2022.
A fossil of the giant millipede Arthropleura was found in England and is
the largest of the species to be discovered. Neil Davies via USA TODAY

12/27/2021 Malaysia Seeks U.N. Climate Adaptation Funds Amid Deadly Floods by Rozanna Latiff
FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Aerial view shows vehicles and buildings inundated by floods
in Shah Alam's Taman Sri Muda, one of the worst hit neighbourhoods in Selangor state, Malaysia,
December 21, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Ebrahim Harris/File Photo
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia is seeking $3 million from the U.N. Green Climate Fund (GCF) to develop a national plan to adapt to climate change, the environment ministry said last week, amid deadly floods that have displaced nearly 70,000 people this month.
    The funds requested are paltry relative to the amount the country has pledged to spend on flood mitigation efforts, though experts say the plan’s implementation would likely cost much more.
    Since Dec. 18, torrential rain has caused severe flooding that killed at least 48 people in eight Malaysian states, prompting calls for the government to improve its preparedness to extreme weather events.
    In response to questions sent to the Environment and Water Ministry on Dec. 20 on Malaysia’s approach to climate adaptation, Secretary-General Zaini Ujang replied that the ministry will request the GCF funds to help develop a National Adaptation Plan by the end of next year.
    The plan will focus on areas such as water, agricultural, and food security, public health, forestry, and infrastructure, Zaini said in a written response.
    “The ministry also has long-term plans to request for climate funds that can assist in implementing programs addressing the impact of climate change,” he said.
    Zaini did not give specific details on the adaptation plan, or how much the government would need to implement it.
    The GCF funds are the first time the Malaysian government has sought any money for climate adaptation, which are policies that a country puts in place to deal with climate change effects.
    The funds pale in comparison to the 9.8 billion ringgit ($2.33 billion) for flood mitigation projects such as building water barriers, catchment areas, and deepening rivers that Zaini said Malaysia has set aside already.
    “Adaptation will take much more funds compared to mitigation because we need to overhaul our urban planning, all these costly infrastructure projects,” said Ili Nadiah Dzulfakar, a co-founder of climate activist group Klima Action Malaysia.
    A draft adaptation plan should examine the interaction of flooding or droughts on food security and crop yields and the need for energy efficient healthcare services with strong communication systems, she said.
    In 2018, Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s then-environment minister, proposed a so-called Climate Change Act along with an adaptation strategy but a formal plan was never submitted to the parliament and progress faltered amid political turmoil in 2020.
    Malaysia typically has flooding on its eastern coasts that are exposed to the northeast monsoon between October and March.
    But authorities were caught off-guard by unusually heavy rainfall and flooding this month in highly-populated urban areas in its western and central regions, which some experts say were worsened by poor drainage and overdevelopment.
($1 = 4.1990 ringgit)
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

12/27/2021 Death Toll From Brazil Flooding Rises In Bahia’s ‘Worst Disaster’ Ever by Leonardo Benassatto and Sergio Queiroz
An aerial view shows flooded streets, caused due to heavy rains, in Itajuipe, Bahia state
Brazil December 27, 2021. Picture taken with a drone. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
    ITABUNA, Brazil (Reuters) – The death toll from floods hammering northeast Brazil rose to 20 on Monday, as the governor of Bahia state declared it the worst disaster in the state’s history and rescuers braced for more rain in the coming days.
    Much of Bahia, home to about 15 million people, has suffered from intermittent flooding for weeks, after a long drought gave way to record rains. Flooding in some areas intensified late on Christmas Eve and early on Christmas Day after a pair of dams gave way, sending residents scrambling for higher ground.
    Rescue workers patrolled in small dinghies around the city of Itabuna, in southern Bahia, plucking residents from their homes, including some who escaped through second-floor windows.
    Bahia Governor Rui Costa said on Twitter that 72 municipalities were in a state of emergency.
    “Unfortunately, we’re living through the worst disaster that has ever occurred in the history of Bahia,” he wrote.
    Manfredo Santana, a lieutenant-colonel in Bahia’s firefighting corps, told Reuters that emergency workers had rescued 200 people in just three nearby towns.    The heavy currents of the swollen Cachoeira River complicated rescue efforts.
    “It’s difficult to maneuver even with jet skis,” he said.    “Rescue teams had to retreat in certain moments.”
    Bahia’s civil defense agency said on Monday afternoon that 20 people had died in 11 separate municipalities.
    Newspaper O Globo, citing a state firefighting official, said that authorities are monitoring an additional 10 dams for any signs they may collapse.
    The scrutiny of public infrastructure and urban planning comes just a couple years after the collapse of a mining dam in neighboring Minas Gerais state killed some 270 people.
    In televised remarks, Costa, the Bahia governor, attributed the chaotic scenes in part to “errors that have been committed over the course of years.”
(Reporting by Leonardo Benassatto; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Alistair Bell)

12/29/2021 ‘Christmas Of Our Dreams’ Turns To Nightmare As Brazil Floods Level Homes by Leonardo Benassatto
Vitoria Rocha, 81, poses with the picture of her parents after she found it in the rubble of her home where she lived for
almost 40 years which was destroyed by floods, in Itambe, Bahia state, Brazil December 28, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
    ITAMBE, Brazil (Reuters) – Juliana Reis, a 37-year-old from the isolated Brazilian town of Itambe, was finally reuniting for Christmas with her parents after months apart due to the pandemic.
    “We really hoped it would be the Christmas of our dreams,” she told Reuters on
    Soon their reunion turned to nightmare, however, as dramatic floods ripped through this portion of Bahia state in northeast Brazil.
    Late on Dec. 25 a dam collapsed some 27 km (17 miles) away, turning the nearby Verruga River into a violent torrent.
    Reis and her parents survived only by swimming out of her house as it filled with water.
    “When midnight arrived, this catastrophe happened,” she recalled of their panicked Christmas, while picking through the ruins of her now-flattened home.
    “I just wanted everyone to stay alive.”
    Her home was one of some 5,000 destroyed in this state of 15 million.    The flooding has displaced nearly 50,000 people and killed at least 20.
    The state of Bahia has been suffering from flooding for weeks, as record rains followed a severe, months-long dry spell.    The situation has deteriorated significantly in recent days, and more rain is forecast for some regions.
    Rui Costa, Bahia’s governor, has called the floods the “worst disaster” in the state’s history and said vast swathes of the state looked as if they had been “bombarded.”
    The federal government on Tuesday released 200 million reais ($35.5 million) in disaster relief funds and said more was on the way.
    In Itambe alone, a town of roughly 22,000 people, 60 houses have collapsed so far, according to the mayor’s office.
    Vitoria Rocha, 81, another Itambe resident whose house was destroyed, said it was hard to believe what she experienced was real.
    “I can’t accept this.    I can’t, because all this seems like a lie to me.    My house completely destroyed, all my things destroyed,” she said in tears.
    “Here is everything to me,” she said, gesturing to what was left of her house.    “Because the only thing I have is my house, and it’s over.”
(Reporting by Leonardo Benassatto; Additional reporting by Patrícia Vilas Boas in Sao Paulo; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Sandra Maler)

12/29/2021 Malaysia To Spend $335 Million For Flood Relief
FILE PHOTO: Aerial view shows the flooded neighbourhood Taman Sri Muda in Shah Alam, which is one
of the worst hit areas in Selangor state, Malaysia, December 21, 2021. REUTERS/Ebrahim Harris
    KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia will provide 1.4 billion ringgit ($334.93 million) in cash aid and other forms of relief for those devastated by severe floods this month, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Wednesday.
    Since Dec. 17, nearly 70,000 people have been displaced while at least 48 were killed, after unusually high rainfall caused severe flooding in eight Malaysian states.
    Ismail Sabri said in a statement that government relief measures would include direct cash aid for at least 30,000 affected households, death benefits, relief on utility bills and vehicle repairs.
    It will also include funds for post-flood cleaning and reconstruction, particularly in the worst-hit states of Selangor and Pahang.
    Malaysia typically has flooding on its eastern coasts that are exposed to the northeast monsoon between October and March.
    But authorities were caught off-guard https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/least-eight-dead-malaysia-floods-rescue-effort-stumbles-2021-12-20 by the floods in highly-populated urban areas in its western and central regions this month, prompting criticism of the government’s slow response.
    Malaysia’s national disaster management agency on Wednesday warned of more floods in coming days, issuing a continuous rainfall alert for five eastern states.
($1 = 4.1800 ringgit)
(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by James Pearson)

12/30/2021 ‘Christmas Of Our Dreams’ Turns To Nightmare As Brazil Floods Level Homes by Leonardo Benassatto
Avanaldo Rosa Capistrano, 40, sits as his daughters lay down near him on a mattress at their house during floods
caused by heavy rain at Sambaituba in Ilheus, Bahia state, Brazil December 29, 2021. REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli
    ITAMBE, Brazil (Reuters) – Juliana Reis, a 37-year-old from the isolated Brazilian town of Itambe, was finally reuniting for Christmas with her parents after months apart due to the pandemic.
    “We really hoped it would be the Christmas of our dreams,” she told Reuters on Tuesday.
    Soon their reunion turned to nightmare, however, as dramatic floods ripped through this portion of Bahia state in northeast Brazil.
    Late on Dec. 25 a dam collapsed some 27 km (17 miles) away, turning the nearby Verruga River into a violent torrent.
    Reis and her parents survived only by swimming out of her house as it filled with water.
    “When midnight arrived, this catastrophe happened,” she recalled of their panicked Christmas, while picking through the ruins of her now-flattened home.
    “I just wanted everyone to stay alive.”
    Her home was one of some 5,000 destroyed in this state of 15 million.    The flooding has displaced nearly 50,000 people and killed at least 20.
    The state of Bahia has been suffering from flooding for weeks, as record rains followed a severe, months-long dry spell.    The situation has deteriorated significantly in recent days, and more rain is forecast for some regions.
    Rui Costa, Bahia’s governor, has called the floods the “worst disaster” in the state’s history and said vast swathes of the state looked as if they had been “bombarded.”
    The federal government on Tuesday released 200 million reais ($35.5 million) in disaster relief funds and said more was on the way.
    In Itambe alone, a town of roughly 22,000 people, 60 houses have collapsed so far, according to the mayor’s office.
    Vitoria Rocha, 81, another Itambe resident whose house was destroyed, said it was hard to believe what she experienced was real.
    “I can’t accept this.    I can’t, because all this seems like a lie to me.    My house completely destroyed, all my things destroyed,” she said in tears.
    “Here is everything to me,” she said, gesturing to what was left of her house.
    “Because the only thing I have is my house, and it’s over.”
(Reporting by Leonardo Benassatto; Additional reporting by Patrícia Vilas Boas in Sao Paulo; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Sandra Maler)

12/31/2021 Philippine Death Toll From Its Strongest Typhoon Of Year Tops 400
FILE PHOTO: Residents build makeshift shelters following the destruction of their houses due to by typhoon Rai, in Surigao City,
Surigao del Norte, Philippines, December 21, 2021. Jilson Tiu/Greenpeace/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine death toll from Typhoon Rai has crossed the 400 mark, the disaster agency said on Friday, as officials in some hard-hit provinces appealed for more supplies of food, water and shelter materials about two weeks after the storm struck.
    Rai was the 15th and deadliest typhoon to hit the Southeast Asian nation this year.
Graphic: Typhoon Rai the deadliest storm to hit the Philippines this year https://graphics.reuters.com/ASIA-STORM/zjpqkyrqmpx/all-typhoons-single.jpg
    Reported deaths had reached 405, mostly due to drowning, fallen trees and landslides, Ricardo Jalad, chief of the national disaster agency, told a news conference.    He said 82 were missing and 1,147 injured.
    More than 530,000 houses were damaged, a third of which were totally wrecked, while damage to infrastructure and agriculture was estimated at 23.4 billion pesos ($459 million), Jalad said.
    The typhoon affected nearly 4.5 million people, including about 500,000 sheltering in evacuation centres, government data showed.    It made landfall as a category 5 typhoon on Dec. 16, and left a trail of destruction in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Surigao del Norte, including the holiday island of Siargao, and the Dinagat Islands.
Graphic: Typhoon Rai https://graphics.reuters.com/ASIA-STORM/znvnexaxqpl/ASIA-STORM.jpg
    In central Philippine provinces, disaster and government officials have been grappling with inadequate relief supplies for thousands of residents still without power and water.
    “It caused massive destruction and it was like a bomb was dropped in northern Bohol,” Anthony Damalerio, chief of     Bohol province’s disaster agency, told Reuters.
    A popular dive spot, Bohol reported 109 deaths and is seeking shelter kits, food and water, Damalerio said.
    “Our problem is shelter, those who lost roofs, especially now that this is rainy season in the province,” Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas told ANC news channel.
    Rai’s swath of destruction revived memories of typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, which killed 6,300 people in the Philippines in 2013.
($1 = 50.9850 Philippine pesos)
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales and Karen Lema; Editing by Ed Davies)

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