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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Sweltering heat in New Delhi, India reached almost 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) on June 25, 2017. Saumya Khandelwal / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

If governments fail to keep global temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels, much of the world's population could live in "lethal" levels of heat and humidity, new research finds.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A brush fire encroaches along Japatul Road as a helicopter drops water during the Valley Fire in Jamul, California on Sept. 6, 2020. SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

On a Labor Day weekend when the temperature hit 121 degrees in Los Angeles County, fire crews around California struggled to contain ongoing and growing blazes that have so far consumed more than 2 million acres this summer. That's equal to the entire state of Delaware going up in flames, according to the BBC.

The record heat coupled with dry and windy conditions is making the 22 fires in the state difficult for crews to contain. In a preventive measure, the state's power authority shut off electricity to 172,000 homes and businesses in 22 counties in Northern California. The power will not be fully restored until Wednesday evening, according to CNN.

The small mountain town of Big Creek in the Sierra Nevada mountain range saw trapped campers airlifted to safety while the fire burned through the town, destroying roughly two dozen homes, according to NBC News.

While a hydroelectric plant owned by Southern California Edison was destroyed, three propane tanks with 11,000 gallons of the flammable gas exploded and an elementary school caught fire.

The school's superintendent, Toby Wait, evacuated with his family, but his home was destroyed after they fled.

"Words cannot even begin to describe the devastation of this community," he said to The Fresno Bee, as NBC News reported.

The fire started on Friday and grew to burn nearly 80,000 acres Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is zero percent contained.

"This one's in a class by itself," said U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Dean Gould during a Monday night press briefing, as CNN reported.

Farther south, Los Angeles and Ventura county are under a red flag warning as the cooling temperatures after the weekend's record heat are expected to usher in high winds, which may fan the flames of ongoing fires.

The state's fire authorities are currently battling 24 fires across the state, according to the BBC.

While the red flag warning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is expected to last through Wednesday, the state will also see wind gusts of up to 50 mph in Northern California. Those high winds are particularly dangerous as they pose the threat of spreading flames over the dry vegetation that is parched after the weekend's heat, according to PG&E senior meteorologist Scott Strenfel, as CNN reported.

"Unfortunately, this wind event is occurring on the heels of the current heat wave and will produce critical fire potential conditions," Strenfel said, as CNN reported.

"Windy conditions, like those being forecast, increase the potential for damage and hazards to the electric infrastructure, which could cause sparks if lines are energized. These conditions also increase the potential for rapid fire spread," PG&E said in a news release on Monday.

All campgrounds across the state have been canceled in a season that has seen a record number of campers. The U.S. Forest Service said the following in a press release: "Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit."

According to the BBC, the Valley Fire in San Diego County has burned more than 10,000 acres near the small town of Alpine. In Angeles National Forest, the Bobcat fire has burned through nearly 5,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of the Mount Wilson Observatory.

Patrick Fraser / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Throughout Texas, there are a number of solar power companies that can install solar panels on your roof to take advantage of the abundant sunlight. But which solar power provider should you choose? In this article, we'll provide a list of the best solar companies in the Lone Star State.

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The thermometer at Calvary Church in Woodland Hills, California registers 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 19, 2020 during a second week of excessive heat and elevated fire danger. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

The traditional end of summer weekend will feel more like mid-July in the West.

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NASA image shows locations of wildfires in red and plumes of smoke across the Western U.S. NASA

By Jeff Berardelli

This story was originally published on CBS News on September 9, 2020. All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication.

Right on the heels of arguably the West Coast's most intense heat wave in modern history comes the most ferocious flare-up of catastrophic wildfires in recent memory. Meanwhile, just a few hundred miles east, a 60-degree temperature drop over just 18 hours in Wyoming and Colorado was accompanied by an extremely rare late-summer dumping of up to 2 feet of snow.

It's not coincidence, it's climate change.

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A U.S. Postal Service truck drives down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC on April 23, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images

The Postal Service is updating its massive fleet of mail carrying vehicles, heralding a significant step toward reducing carbon pollution from its massive fleet while also helping to protect its workforce from climate impacts.

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Official weather station at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center in Death Valley, California. The white box houses the fan-aspirated temperature sensor. Jeff Masters

By Jeff Masters

Death Valley, California hit an astonishing 129.9 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4°C) at 3:41 p.m. PDT Sunday, August 16, 2020, which was rounded to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the final report from NOAA.

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The downtown skyline behind high tension towers from the East 4th Street bridge in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 16, 2020. California ordered rolling power outages for the first time since 2001 as a statewide heat wave strained its electrical system. APU GOMES / AFP via Getty Images

While California has several microclimates that make the temperatures and weather patterns in various parts of the state wildly different from each other, few areas were left unaffected by the extreme heat that has blanketed the state.

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Trending
Residents are rescued amid flood waters following Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 30, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana (not included in the study). JAMES NIELSEN / AFP via Getty Images

Homes in redlined neighborhoods are 25% more likely to be flooded, according to a report from the real estate firm Redfin.

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An aerial picture shows a deforested area close to Sinop, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, taken on August 7, 2020. Florian Plaucheur / AFP / Getty Images

A new study published Wednesday found that the destruction of primary forest increased by 12% in 2020, impacting ecosystems that store vast amounts of carbon and shelter abundant biodiversity.

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A mother walks her children through a fountain on a warm summer day on July 12, 2020 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.

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Water trickles down a hillside among moss next to the entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault during a summer heat wave as mountains behind stand devoid of snow on Svalbard archipelago on July 29 in Longyearbyen, Norway. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

By Johnny Wood

What better place to build a Doomsday Vault than the remote, snow-covered islands of Norway's Arctic Svalbard? Sitting around 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole, the facility is buried in permafrost to protect the precious seed samples housed there. But a freak heatwave is causing the region's ice to melt.

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By Cameron Oglesby

Since 1960, about 21 percent of global agriculture production, including livestock, tree farming, and traditional crops such as corn and soybeans, has been negatively impacted by climate change, according to a new study.

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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Sweltering heat in New Delhi, India reached almost 39 degrees Celsius (102 degrees Fahrenheit) on June 25, 2017. Saumya Khandelwal / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

If governments fail to keep global temperatures within 1.5 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels, much of the world's population could live in "lethal" levels of heat and humidity, new research finds.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A brush fire encroaches along Japatul Road as a helicopter drops water during the Valley Fire in Jamul, California on Sept. 6, 2020. SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

On a Labor Day weekend when the temperature hit 121 degrees in Los Angeles County, fire crews around California struggled to contain ongoing and growing blazes that have so far consumed more than 2 million acres this summer. That's equal to the entire state of Delaware going up in flames, according to the BBC.

The record heat coupled with dry and windy conditions is making the 22 fires in the state difficult for crews to contain. In a preventive measure, the state's power authority shut off electricity to 172,000 homes and businesses in 22 counties in Northern California. The power will not be fully restored until Wednesday evening, according to CNN.

The small mountain town of Big Creek in the Sierra Nevada mountain range saw trapped campers airlifted to safety while the fire burned through the town, destroying roughly two dozen homes, according to NBC News.

While a hydroelectric plant owned by Southern California Edison was destroyed, three propane tanks with 11,000 gallons of the flammable gas exploded and an elementary school caught fire.

The school's superintendent, Toby Wait, evacuated with his family, but his home was destroyed after they fled.

"Words cannot even begin to describe the devastation of this community," he said to The Fresno Bee, as NBC News reported.

The fire started on Friday and grew to burn nearly 80,000 acres Monday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It is zero percent contained.

"This one's in a class by itself," said U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Dean Gould during a Monday night press briefing, as CNN reported.

Farther south, Los Angeles and Ventura county are under a red flag warning as the cooling temperatures after the weekend's record heat are expected to usher in high winds, which may fan the flames of ongoing fires.

The state's fire authorities are currently battling 24 fires across the state, according to the BBC.

While the red flag warning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties is expected to last through Wednesday, the state will also see wind gusts of up to 50 mph in Northern California. Those high winds are particularly dangerous as they pose the threat of spreading flames over the dry vegetation that is parched after the weekend's heat, according to PG&E senior meteorologist Scott Strenfel, as CNN reported.

"Unfortunately, this wind event is occurring on the heels of the current heat wave and will produce critical fire potential conditions," Strenfel said, as CNN reported.

"Windy conditions, like those being forecast, increase the potential for damage and hazards to the electric infrastructure, which could cause sparks if lines are energized. These conditions also increase the potential for rapid fire spread," PG&E said in a news release on Monday.

All campgrounds across the state have been canceled in a season that has seen a record number of campers. The U.S. Forest Service said the following in a press release: "Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit."

According to the BBC, the Valley Fire in San Diego County has burned more than 10,000 acres near the small town of Alpine. In Angeles National Forest, the Bobcat fire has burned through nearly 5,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of the Mount Wilson Observatory.

Patrick Fraser / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Throughout Texas, there are a number of solar power companies that can install solar panels on your roof to take advantage of the abundant sunlight. But which solar power provider should you choose? In this article, we'll provide a list of the best solar companies in the Lone Star State.

Read More Show Less
The thermometer at Calvary Church in Woodland Hills, California registers 117 degrees Fahrenheit on Aug. 19, 2020 during a second week of excessive heat and elevated fire danger. Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

The traditional end of summer weekend will feel more like mid-July in the West.

Read More Show Less
Trending
NASA image shows locations of wildfires in red and plumes of smoke across the Western U.S. NASA

By Jeff Berardelli

This story was originally published on CBS News on September 9, 2020. All data and statistics are based on publicly available data at the time of publication.

Right on the heels of arguably the West Coast's most intense heat wave in modern history comes the most ferocious flare-up of catastrophic wildfires in recent memory. Meanwhile, just a few hundred miles east, a 60-degree temperature drop over just 18 hours in Wyoming and Colorado was accompanied by an extremely rare late-summer dumping of up to 2 feet of snow.

It's not coincidence, it's climate change.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Postal Service truck drives down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC on April 23, 2020. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP via Getty Images

The Postal Service is updating its massive fleet of mail carrying vehicles, heralding a significant step toward reducing carbon pollution from its massive fleet while also helping to protect its workforce from climate impacts.

Read More Show Less
Official weather station at the Furnace Creek Visitor's Center in Death Valley, California. The white box houses the fan-aspirated temperature sensor. Jeff Masters

By Jeff Masters

Death Valley, California hit an astonishing 129.9 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4°C) at 3:41 p.m. PDT Sunday, August 16, 2020, which was rounded to 130 degrees Fahrenheit in the final report from NOAA.

Read More Show Less
The downtown skyline behind high tension towers from the East 4th Street bridge in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 16, 2020. California ordered rolling power outages for the first time since 2001 as a statewide heat wave strained its electrical system. APU GOMES / AFP via Getty Images

While California has several microclimates that make the temperatures and weather patterns in various parts of the state wildly different from each other, few areas were left unaffected by the extreme heat that has blanketed the state.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Residents are rescued amid flood waters following Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 30, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana (not included in the study). JAMES NIELSEN / AFP via Getty Images

Homes in redlined neighborhoods are 25% more likely to be flooded, according to a report from the real estate firm Redfin.

Read More Show Less