Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
Cyclone Gati on Sunday had sustained winds of 115 miles per hour. NASA - EOSDIS Worldview

Cyclone Gati made landfall in Somalia Sunday as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, the first time that a hurricane-strength storm has made landfall in the East African country, NPR reported.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A dog is seen amongst rubble left behind from Hurricane Eta, in Bilwi, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, on November 15, 2020, before the arrival of Hurricane Iota. STR / AFP / Getty Images

Hurricane Iota made landfall along the coast of northeastern Nicaragua at 10:40 p.m. Monday night as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm.

Read More Show Less

Like many other plant-based foods and products, CBD oil is one dietary supplement where "organic" labels are very important to consumers. However, there are little to no regulations within the hemp industry when it comes to deeming a product as organic, which makes it increasingly difficult for shoppers to find the best CBD oil products available on the market.

Read More Show Less
A boy plays in the rubble of his Nicaragua home, destroyed by Hurricane Eta, as Hurricane Iota approaches on Nov. 15, 2020. Maynor Valenzuela / Getty Images

Hurricane Iota, the 30th named storm and 13th hurricane of a record-breaking season, is now bearing down upon Central America less than two weeks after Hurricane Eta devastated the region.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site vulnerable to sea level rise. Ian.CuiYi / Moment / Getty Images

By Erin Seekamp

With global travel curtailed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are finding comfort in planning future trips. But imagine that you finally arrive in Venice and the "floating city" is flooded. Would you stay anyway, walking through St. Mark's Square on makeshift catwalks or elevated wooden passages – even if you couldn't enter the Basilica or the Doge's Palace? Or would you leave and hope to visit sometime in the future?

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of a flooded area in the village of Queja, in San Cristobal Verapaz, Guatemala on Nov. 7, 2020 where it is estimated that dozens of people died after a mudslide caused by the passage of Hurricane Eta. ESTEBAN BIBA / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

A large landslide caused by torrential rains during Hurricane Eta buried half a small village's residents, leaving the other half searching for family members and neighbors in Guatemala on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported.

Officials deemed Queja, a farming community of a few hundred residents, "uninhabitable," and ended rescue operations, calling for the survivors to abandon the area now mostly covered in tons of rock and mud. 99 people were reported missing, with 44 confirmed deaths.

Mayor Ovidio Choc, representing the San Cristobal Verapaz region, including Queja, said the evacuated village would be declared a cemetery.

The former director of Guatemala's national disaster management agency said the country is ranked among the highest risk countries for natural disasters, based on data by the World Risk Index.

"It is a structural problem that is linked not only the threat or the probability of producing elements like Eta, but rather other factors that make us vulnerable and are directly tied to the development of the country," Alejandro Maldonado said, The Washington Post reported.

The inability to invest in mitigation plans, and deforestation were likely to be circumstances that caused the landslide, noted Maldonado.

The residents of Queja are the latest addition of what is being called the "great climate migration." Climate change is causing sea level rise and extreme weather conditions, such as intense heat, drought, wildfires and enlarged hurricanes and typhoons, which induce mudslides, landslides and flooding, forcing many to flee their homes, never to return.

And climate refugees are predicted to increase in number in the coming years as more natural disasters occur. According to Ecological Threat Register, a September 2020 report by the non-profit think tank Institute for Economics & Peace, one billion people live in areas were there is not enough infrastructure in place to combat ecological changes.

2020 already claims the largest number of hurricanes and wildfires ever recorded.

Eta first made landfall just south of Puerto Cabezas, a city on Nicaragua's Caribbean coast on Nov. 3, as a Category 4 hurricane, causing 140 mph winds, massive downpours and destructive flooding to several countries in Central America, including Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras.

Hurricane Eta is expected to hit Florida's Gulf Coast in its fourth landfall on Wednesday, as a Category 1 hurricane, bumped up from a subtropical storm with rains hitting southern Florida on Sunday and Monday. While diminished in intensity from its peak in Central America, landslides and flooding are expected.

A boy and a man save chairs from a flooded house due to the heavy rains caused by Hurricane Eta, now degraded to a tropical storm, in Puerto Barrios, Izabal, north of Guatemala City on Nov. 5, 2020. JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP via Getty Images

The storm formerly known as Hurricane Eta slowly dragged across Honduras Wednesday, dumping heavy rains across the region and prompting emergency flood and landslide warnings.

Read More Show Less
A flooded corn field along the Yazoo River during the Mississippi River near Redwood, Mississippi in May of 2011.
T. C. Knight / Getty Images

By Chaoqun Lu

Some effects of extreme weather are visible – like half a million acres of flattened corn in Iowa left behind after a derecho that hit the Midwestern United States on Aug. 10.

Read More Show Less

Trending

CIRA / NOAA

Hurricane Eta, the record-tying 28th named storm in an extremely active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, is now menacing Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm.

Read More Show Less
A man looks out at a home submerged in flood waters following Typhoon Goni's tour of destruction through the Philippines. Xinhua / STRINGER via Getty Images

Typhoon Goni, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into the Philippines Sunday, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and killing at least 16.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A ghost forest in Nags Head Woods, North Carolina on Oct. 16, 2017. NC Wetlands / CC BY 2.0


Along the Atlantic coast, ghost forests provide haunting signs of sea-level rise. These stands of bleached and broken tree trunks are all that remain after salty water inundates a forest.


Matt Kirwan is with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He says ghost forests are not a new phenomenon, but they're moving inland faster as seas rise.

"Eventually they'll fall apart and become stumps surrounded by marshland," he says. "And so when you see a ghost forest now, you're seeing where the marsh will be in the future."

Marshes are valuable ecosystems, so in some ways, that's positive.

"Ghost forests are a surprising indicator of ecological resilience in coastal systems," Kirwan says. "They mark how marshes naturally migrate in response to sea-level rise."

But that migration comes at a cost.

"Places that people have lived for hundreds of years are becoming too wet and too salty to grow crops on, in some cases," Kirwan says. "And of course, the forest resources are being lost. And in some cases, people are forced to move from their homes as the land becomes too flooded."

So ghost forests have become eerie symbols of rapid change.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Residents get in a car after leaving their homes to move to evacuation centers in central Vietnam's Quang Nam province on Oct. 27, 2020, ahead of Typhoon Molave's expected landfall. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP via Getty Images

Typhoon Molave is expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Wednesday with 90 mph winds and heavy rainfall that could lead to flooding and landslides, according to the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. To prepare for the powerful storm that already tore through the Philippines, Vietnam is making plans to evacuate nearly 1.3 million people along the central coast, as Reuters reported.

Read More Show Less
A flooded shop is seen next to Rodanthe Sound as Hurricane Dorian hits Cape Hatteras in North Carolina on September 6, 2019. Jose Luis Magana / AFP / Getty Images

North Carolina's Outer Banks are dotted with vacation beaches and historic communities. But the sweeping water views do not only draw tourists. They give locals a front row seat to sea-level rise.

Read More Show Less