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250,000 People #RiseForClimate on All 7 Continents

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250,000 People #RiseForClimate on All 7 Continents
Protesters seen marching during the New York Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice march in New York City on Sept. 8. Michael Brochstein / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

More than 250,000 people took to streets and waterways to #RiseForClimate Saturday as part of more than 900 different events on all seven continents to urge global leaders to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, march coordinating site Rise for Climate reported.


The day began with demonstrations in Pacific islands like Fiji and Vanuatu which are disproportionately at risk from sea level rise and closed out with a march in San Francisco that ABC7 News tweeted was the "largest climate march the west coast has ever seen."

The global action day comes as an upsurge in extreme weather events is making the impact of climate change more and more apparent.

"It's been a year of historic wildfires, there's drought in many parts of the world and sea levels are rising," 350.org Executive Director May Boeve told ABC7 News.

Demonstrators around the world found many creative ways to make their voices heard.

In Sydney, Australia activists sailed into Sydney harbor in a tall ship with "Rise for Climate Action" written on the sails.

Artistic activists in Vietnam produced a music video in honor of the day.

In northern India, the Red Tape Movement, which places red tape on trees to raise awareness about the dangers of deforestation, contributed to the day's events by forming a giant peace sign with their bodies.

Activists in County Durham in the UK took direct action by locking themselves to equipment in the Field House opencast mine to stop work for the day, The Independent reported.

In Antarctica, scientists at Concordia Station including astrobiologist Cyprien Verseux suited up to photograph themselves holding signs in the snow.

Some demonstrators even brought their pets along to join the fun.

The march in San Francisco highlighted the indigenous communities that are often on the front lines of fighting fossil fuel extraction.

Leaders of indigenous communities from Hawaii to the Amazon led the march down Market Street, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

President of the Kichwa group from the Ecuadorian Amazon Mirian Cisneros was one of several indigenous activists that Amazon Watch helped fly to San Francisco for the event.

"We must leave fossil fuels underground, both in the Amazon forest and the whole world," she told The San Francisco Chronicle.

The marches come as regional, city and business leaders prepare to gather in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit organized by California Gov. Jerry Brown.

A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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