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By Tim Radford

The year is less than four weeks old, but scientists already know that carbon dioxide emissions will continue to head upwards — as they have every year since measurements began leading to a continuation of the Earth's rising heat.

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If temperatures continue to rise, the world is at risk from global sea-level rise, which will flood many coastal cities as seen above in Bangladesh. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

The mounting climate emergency may spur the next global financial crisis and the world's central banks are woefully ill equipped to handle the consequences, according to a new book-length report by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as S&P Global reported. Located in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS is an umbrella organization for the world's central banks.

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People are seen embracing at Numeralla Rural Fire Brigade near the scene of a water tanker plane crash on Jan. 23 in Cooma, Australia. Three American firefighters have have died after their C-130 water tanker plane crashed while battling a bushfire near Cooma in southern NSW this afternoon. Jenny Evans / Getty Images

Three U.S. firefighters gave their lives battling Australia's historic wildfires Thursday when their airborne water tanker crashed.

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Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

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A pillar measures the water level in a lake during a drought in Surin, Thailand. Sutthiwat Srikhrueadam / Moment / Getty Images

By Brett Walton

The world's business elite, apprehensive about turbulent geopolitics after a year of international turmoil, nonetheless sees the biggest risks to society in the next decade coming from changes outside boardrooms and parliaments.

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A kangaroo jumps in a field amidst smoke from a bushfire in Snowy Valley on the outskirts of Cooma on Jan. 4. SAEED KHAN / AFP / Getty Images

The last decade was the hottest since record-keeping began 150 years ago, according to the latest data from U.S. agencies the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Scene from a performance in the 'Science Collaboration' series. Todd Nicewonger / Courtesy of Daniel Bird Tobin


In a theater at Virginia Tech, audience members are invited to stand with their eyes closed and imagine themselves on a beach, wading into the ocean.


But then this relaxing visualization takes a turn. Their guide, performer Daniel Bird Tobin, asks them to imagine they're still standing in water, but not on the beach. They're in floodwater that has inundated the university drill field, bookstore and graduate center –

"all places where, on a hundred-year flood scenario, you could have waist-deep water," Tobin says.

His presentation, called "Flooding the Beach," is based on maps and data by Virginia Tech researcher Peter Sforza.

It's part of a larger effort to help people connect with science in a more visceral way.

"I think people learn, truly learn, on a deep level when they're able to find a personal connection to research," Tobin says. "And poster presentations are fantastic at getting a lot of clear data out there, but sometimes when you are able to use performance or other art forms to communicate science, people can find an emotional hook that brings them into the work."

So Tobin aims to get people's bodies, emotions and minds engaged with climate science.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

A resident walks carrying a child through floodwaters on a road in Antananarivo, Madagascar on Jan. 8, 2020, after heavy rainfall. MAMYRAEL / AFP via Getty Images

By Uwe Hessler

In its 15th Global Risks Report published on Wednesday, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said that for the first time in the report's history, all of the "top long-term risks by likelihood" are environmental. While in the previous decade economic and financial crises were seen as most dangerous, the report has found that risk perceptions have shifted to extreme weather, environmental disasters, biodiversity loss, natural catastrophes and failure to mitigate climate change.

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Knox College students in the course 'Examining the Anthropocene' planting a rain garden to control water runoff. Knox College / Peter Bailley / Yale Climate Connections

Last spring, students at Knox College in Illinois traded their notebooks for shovels and planted a rain garden on campus. The garden is not just a bunch of pretty plants. It's designed to reduce stress on the campus drainage system during heavy rain.

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A helicopter passes smoke from a wildfire on July 3, 2019 south of Talkeetna, Alaska. Alaska experienced its record-high temperatures in 2019. Lance King / Getty Images

Last year's brutal heat waves that swept through Europe, caused wildfires in Alaska and Siberia, and have left Australia as a tinderbox registered as the second hottest year ever — 0.1 degrees Fahrenheit or 0.04 degrees Celsius cooler than 2016, according to scientists at the Copernicus Climate Change Service, an intergovernmental agency supported by the European Union, as The New York Times reported.

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Tourists watch and photograph the floodlit popular destination Three Sisters during a bushfire on an unknown date in Jamison Valley, Blue Mountains National Park, Australia. Andrew Merry / Moment / Getty Images

By Michael Mann

After years studying the climate, my work has brought me to Sydney where I'm studying the linkages between climate change and extreme weather events.

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