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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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The Kapitan Khlebnikov ice breaker in the Chukchi Sea in the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve, Chukotka, Russia on July 13, 2019. Shrinking levels of ice are expected to foster increased access to navigation in the Arctic Ocean. Yuri Smityuk / TASS via Getty Images

By Michaela Cavanagh (with AFP)

The Russian government has unveiled a plan to adapt the country's economy and population to climate change.

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Pump Train in Cranberry Street Tunnel after Hurricane Sandy. MTA New York City Transit / Leonard Wiggins / Wikimedia

In 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on New York City's transportation system. Storm surge pushed a flood of seawater into vehicle tunnels, railyards, ferry terminals, and subway lines.

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An Indonesian man pumps water up to the second floor of a house to wash away the mud in a flooded neighborhood on Jan. 3 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ed Wray / Getty Images

After nearly 15 inches of rain fell in one day and caused flash floods and landslides in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, that destroyed 60,000 homes and killed at least 43 people, the Indonesian Air Force sent two planes to drop salt on approaching rain clouds to break them up before they reached the city, according to Reuters.

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A kangaroo tries to move away from nearby bushfires at a residential property near the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales. SAEED KHAN / AFP via Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Ecologists at the University of Sydney are estimating that nearly half a billion animals have been killed in Australia's unprecedented and catastrophic wildfires, which have sparked a continent-wide crisis and forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes in desperation.

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