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Other Viruses Cause Zika-Like Damage to Fetuses, Study Finds

           

Zika's blood-sucking predator

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Zika virus–related neurotropic flaviviruses infect human placental explants and cause fetal demise in mice

cnn.com - by Susan Scutti - February 18, 2018

In 2016, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the Zika virus caused birth defects in babies born to women who had been infected while pregnant. This was the first mosquito-borne disease known to cause birth defects . . . 

 . . . Now, a study suggests that two viruses that are related to Zika can cause similar birth defects.

West Nile and Powassan viruses caused fetal death in infected pregnant mice, the researchers say.

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CLICK HERE - NEJM - Zika Virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality

 

 

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Seas to Rise About a Meter Even if Climate Goals Are Met - Study

           

FILE PHOTO: Uninhabitable apartments, in danger of collapsing into the Pacific Ocean, line Esplanade Ave. in Pacifica, California January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Noah Berger/File Photo

CLICK HERE - STUDY - Committed sea-level rise under the Paris Agreement and the legacy of delayed mitigation action

reuters.com - Alister Doyle - February 20, 2018

Sea levels will rise between 0.7 and 1.2 meters (27-47 inches) in the next two centuries even if governments end the fossil fuel era as promised under the Paris climate agreement, scientists said on Tuesday.

Early action to cut greenhouse gas emissions would limit the long-term rise, driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica that will re-draw global coastlines, a German-led team wrote in the journal Nature Communications . . .

 . . . By 2300, the report projected that sea levels would gain by 0.7-1.2 meters, even if almost 200 nations fully meet goals under the 2015 Paris Agreement, which include cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero in the second half of this century . . . 

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Risk of Extreme Weather Events Higher if Paris Agreement Goals Aren't Met

                                                

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - STUDY - Unprecedented climate events: Historical changes, aspirational targets, and national commitments

sciencedaily.com - by Stanford University - Taylor Kubota - February 14, 2018

The individual commitments made by parties of the United Nations Paris Agreement are not enough to fulfill the agreement's overall goal of limiting global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The difference between the U.N. goal and the actual country commitments is a mere 1 C, which may seem negligible. But a study from Stanford University, published Feb. 14 in Science Advances, finds that even that 1-degree difference could increase the likelihood of extreme weather.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Scientists Just Issued a Grim New Warning on Climate Change: 'We Are Not Prepared'

 

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Explosion, Fire at Power Plant Cause Blackout in Northern Puerto Rico

           

cbsnews.com - February 11, 2018

An explosion and fire at an electric substation threw much of northern Puerto Rico into darkness late Sunday in a setback for the U.S. territory's efforts to fully restore power more than five months after Hurricane Maria started the longest blackout in U.S. history. The island's Electric Power Authority said several municipalities were without power, including parts of the capital, San Juan, but they were optimistic it could be restored within a day as they worked to repair a substation that controls voltage.

The blast illustrated the challenges of restoring a power grid that was already crumbling before it was devastated by the Category 4 hurricane.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - Explosion cuts power in Puerto Rico

 

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Sabine Pass LNG Ordered to Shut Down Leaking Gas Storage Tanks

           

Federal safety officials have ordered two of the five liquefied natural gas storage tanks seen here to be shut down because of leaks. (Cheniere Energy)

CLICK HERE - PHMSA Corrective Action Order to Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC (9 page .PDF document)

nola.com - by Mark Schleifstein - February 10, 2018

Supercold liquefied natural gas leaked into a space between inner and outer walls of a major storage tank at the Sabine Pass LNG export facility in Cameron Parish on Jan. 22, and its minus 260-degree temperature created numerous 1-foot to 6-foot cracks in the carbon steel outer tank wall, allowing some of the gas to escape, according to an order issued Thursday (Feb. 8) by the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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FEMA Contract Called for 30 Million Meals for Puerto Ricans. 50,000 Were Delivered.

           

Residents of San Isidro, P.R., waited for food and water in October. Credit Erika P. Rodriguez for The New York Times

nytimes.com - by PATRICIA MAZZEI and AGUSTIN ARMENDARIZ - February 6, 2018

The mission for the Federal Emergency Management Agency was clear: Hurricane Maria had torn through Puerto Rico, and hungry people needed food. Thirty million meals needed to be delivered as soon as possible.

For this huge task, FEMA tapped Tiffany Brown, an Atlanta entrepreneur with no experience in large-scale disaster relief and at least five canceled government contracts in her past. FEMA awarded her $156 million for the job, and Ms. Brown, who is the sole owner and employee of her company, Tribute Contracting LLC, set out to find some help.

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Zika Linked to a Spike in Birth Defects in the U.S.

CLICK HERE - CDC - MMWR - Population-Based Surveillance of Birth Defects Potentially Related to Zika Virus Infection — 15 States and U.S. Territories, 2016

time.com - by Alexandra Sifferlin - January 25, 2018

Areas in the United States where Zika spread locally, like Florida and Texas, experienced a spike in birth defects.

According to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), areas in South Florida, parts of Texas and Puerto Rico saw a 21% increase in birth defects strongly linked with Zika in the last half of 2016, compared to the first part of the year.

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CLICK HERE - CDC - NEWSROOM RELEASE - More birth defects seen in parts of U.S. with local Zika spread

 

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Drought Returns to Texas Just Months After Hurricane Harvey Floods State

           

Note: Maps depict drought conditions during the final week of every month. January's map is current as of Jan. 16. - Source: United States Drought Monitor - Credit: Annie Daniel

Just five months after the monster storm gave Texas its wettest month in history, much of the state is now in a drought — including areas that saw historic flooding.

texastribune.org - by Paul Cobler - January 24, 2018

 . . . More than 40 percent of Texas is now in a moderate to severe drought, according to the latest data from the U.S. Drought Monitor. That's compared to 4 percent on Aug. 29, a few days after Harvey slammed into the South Texas coast.

And dry conditions are expected to worsen over the coming months.

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CLICK HERE - United States Drought Monitor

 

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Hurricane Center: Harvey’s ‘Overwhelming’ Rains Were Likely Nation’s Most Extreme ‘Ever’

CLICK HERE - NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER - TROPICAL CYCLONE REPORT - HURRICANE HARVEY - 17 AUGUST - 1 SEPTEMBER 2017 (76 page .PDF report)

washingtonpost.com - by Jason Samenow - January 25, 2017

Hurricane Harvey unleashed a tropical deluge probably unsurpassed in U.S. history. The National Hurricane Center released its in-depth meteorological review of the storm Thursday and said it was unable to identify any past storm that unloaded so much rain over such a large area.

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ALSO SEE RELATED ARTICLE HERE - NHC: Harvey caused $125 billion in damage; 68 deaths in Texas

ALSO SEE: NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - Major Hurricane Harvey - August 25-29, 2017

 

 

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Climate Change 'Will Create World's Biggest Refugee Crisis'

CLICK HERE - Beyond Borders: Our changing climate – its role in conflict and displacement

Experts warn refugees could number tens of millions in the next decade, and call for a new legal framework to protect the most vulnerable

theguardian.com - by Matthew Taylor - November 2, 2017

Tens of millions of people will be forced from their homes by climate change in the next decade, creating the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen, according to a new report.

Senior US military and security experts have told the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) study that the number of climate refugees will dwarf those that have fled the Syrian conflict, bringing huge challenges to Europe.

(CLICK HERE - READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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