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The Great Thaw of America's North is Coming

Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

Image: Vladimir Romanovsky crouches as he collects temperature recordings beneath the forest floor (Credit: Anthony Rhoades)

bbc.com - Sara Goudarzi - October 17th 2017

Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost.

It’s a warm day in July, and the scientist is looking for a box that he and his team have installed on the ground.

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Wildfires Sweep Across Northern California; 15 Are Dead

Map of active north California wildfires as of Monday October 9th 2017. By The New York Times | Sources: NASA MODIS, Santa Rosa Fire Department.

Image: Map of active north California wildfires as of Monday October 9th 2017. By The New York Times | Sources: NASA MODIS, Santa Rosa Fire Department.

nytimes.com - Thomas Fuller, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Julie Turkewitz - October 10th 2017

Wine country was shrouded in a thick layer of smoky haze here on Tuesday as firefighters continued to battle wildfires that have left at least 15 people dead and have damaged or destroyed more than 1,500 structures, including wineries, homes and resorts.

State fire officials estimated that 17 separate fires, the first group of which began Sunday night, had burned about 115,000 acres over eight counties. More than 100 people had been taken to hospitals by Tuesday morning, and officials said that the tallies of the dead and injured were likely to rise.

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Puerto Rico’s Slow-Motion Medical Disaster

Marry Ann Aldea hands her mother medicine at her home in Juncos, Puerto Rico.DENNIS M. RIVERA PICHARDO/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

Image: Marry Ann Aldea hands her mother medicine at her home in Juncos, Puerto Rico.DENNIS M. RIVERA PICHARDO/THE WASHINGTON POST/GETTY IMAGES

wired.com - Eric Niiler - September 29th 2017

Hurricane Maria left a ruined island and 16 Puerto Rico residents dead. But public health experts worry that figure could climb higher in the coming weeks, as many on the island fail to get medicines or treatment they need for chronic diseases. Roads are blocked, supplies are stuck at the ports, and only 11 of Puerto Rico’s 69 hospitals are open. 

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‘Flesh-Eating Bacteria’ From Harvey’s Floodwaters Kill a Woman

The Meyerland neighborhood of Houston on Aug. 27. Some of the worst flooding from Hurricane Harvey occurred in Meyerland, and the floodwaters teemed with bacteria. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Image: The Meyerland neighborhood of Houston on Aug. 27. Some of the worst flooding from Hurricane Harvey occurred in Meyerland, and the floodwaters teemed with bacteria. Credit Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

nytimes.com - Maggie Astor - September 28th 2017

From the moment the waters began rising in Texas last month, disease was on health officials’ minds. Floodwaters, after all, are filthy.

When Hurricane Harvey finally moved north and the feet of flooding drained, hospitals saw a spike in skin and gastrointestinal infections, but Texans were spared some of the most serious illnesses that contaminated water can spread: cholera, for instance, and typhoid.

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Puerto Rico power grid 'devastated' by Maria, PREPA CEO says

Radar image of Hurricane Maria.

Image: Radar image of Hurricane Maria.

utilitydive.com - Gavin Bade - September 25th 2017

Dive Brief:

  • Puerto Rico could be without power for four to six months after a double hit from Category 4 hurricanes in recent weeks, territory officials said this weekend. 
  • The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority said it would begin restoration efforts on Monday, having waited to avoid safety hazards to employees. Significant flooding and debris have limited the ability to conduct damage assessments, federal officials said Friday.

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Hurricane Maria: Whole of Puerto Rico without power

bbc.com - September 20th 2017

Hurricane Maria has knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico, home to 3.5m people, emergency officials have said.

Abner Gómez, head of the disaster management agency, said the hurricane had damaged "everything in its path".

None of the customers of Puerto Rico's Electric Power Authority had any electricity, he said.

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FEMA chief: 'Millions' could be without power from Irma

cnn.com - Miranda Green and Rene Marsh - September 9th 2017

As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida's southern coast, the nation's emergency management chief is warning that 'millions' of residents could be without power, in some instances for weeks.

"We could see millions of people without power in Florida for multiple days in some areas, maybe weeks, and so I think it's very important to set the expectations of citizens," Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long told CNN's Rene Marsh at his agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C., Saturday. "This is why we ask and plead with people to be ready for multiple days, and unfortunately this is coming into reality,"

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This is how your world could end

The 2014 El Portal fire burning near Yosemite National Park, California. Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures will lead to more wildfires in Yosemite and elsewhere. Photograph: Stuart Palley/EPA  theguardian.com - Peter Brannen - September 9th 2017

Image:  The 2014 El Portal fire burning near Yosemite National Park, California. Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures will lead to more wildfires in Yosemite and elsewhere. Photograph: Stuart Palley/EPA

theguardian.com - Peter Brannen - September 9th 2017

Many of us share some dim apprehension that the world is flying out of control, that the centre cannot hold. Raging wildfires, once-in-1,000-years storms and lethal heatwaves have become fixtures of the evening news – and all this after the planet has warmed by less than 1C above preindustrial temperatures. But here’s where it gets really scary.

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Desperation Mounts in Caribbean Islands: ‘All the Food Is Gone’

A street in St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. Residents spoke of a disintegration in law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages. Credit Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Image: A street in St. Martin after Hurricane Irma. Residents spoke of a disintegration in law and order as survivors struggled in the face of severe food and water shortages. Credit Martin Bureau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

nytimes.com - Azam Ahmed and Kirk Semple - September 10th 2017

At dawn, people began to gather, quietly planning for survival after Hurricane Irma.

They started with the grocery stores, scavenging what they needed for sustenance: water, crackers, fruit.

But by nightfall on Thursday, what had been a search for food took a more menacing turn, as groups of people, some of them armed, swooped in and took whatever of value was left: electronics, appliances and vehicles.

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More Than 40 Sites Released Hazardous Pollutants Because of Hurricane Harvey

Map of Houston area and potential leak sites. Estimated data from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 2017

Image: Map of Houston area and potential leak sites. Estimated data from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 2017

nytimes.com - Troy Griggs, Andrew W. Lehren, Nadja Popovich, Anjali Singhvi, Hiroko Tabuchi - September 8th 2017

Houston’s sprawling network of petrochemical plants and refineries released millions of pounds of pollutants in the days after Hurricane Harvey began barreling toward Texas.

Even under normal operations, the hundreds of industrial facilities in the area can emit harmful chemicals. But from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 46 facilities in 13 counties reported an estimated 4.6 million pounds of airborne emissions that exceeded state limits, an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund, Air Alliance Houston and Public Citizen shows.

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