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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life
A building damaged by Cyclone Harold in Vanuatu on April 7, 2020. It has since moved on to Fiji. PHILIPPE CARILLO / AFP via Getty Images

After flattening buildings and cutting communications on the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu Monday and Tuesday, Cyclone Harold moved on to batter Fiji Wednesday.

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Locals board up their shops in Vanuatu's capital of Port Vila on April 6, 2020 ahead of Tropical Cyclone Harold. PHILIPPE CARILLO / AFP via Getty Images

The most powerful extreme weather event of 2020 lashed the Pacific nation of Vanuatu Monday as it tries to protect itself from the new coronavirus.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A bushfire burns outside the Perth Cricket Stadium in Perth, Australia on Dec. 13, 2019. PETER PARKS / AFP via Getty Images

By Albert Van Dijk, Luigi Renzullo, Marta Yebra and Shoshana Rapley

2019 was the year Australians confronted the fact that a healthy environment is more than just a pretty waterfall in a national park; a nice extra we can do without. We do not survive without air to breathe, water to drink, soil to grow food and weather we can cope with.

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Women carrying fresh water pots walk on cracked land at a village near the Sundarban in Khulna, Bangladesh on Feb. 12, 2020. Rehman Asad / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

By Tharanga Gunawardena

Extreme climate events are increasingly threatening countries and livelihoods. Devastating natural disasters and unpredictable weather have made communities more vulnerable and impoverished, especially women. According to the United Nations, 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. But what makes them more susceptible to the effects of climate catastrophe?

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Floodwater covers a street in Burlington, North Dakota on June 26, 2011. NOAA has forecast more flooding for the state this spring. Scott Olson / Getty Images

Another wet spring and floods are on the way, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Fortunately, the agency predicted Thursday that this year's flooding would not be nearly as bad as last year's, which inundated the Midwest and devastated crops.

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A girl makes a water run with empty buckets on May 17, 2017 in New Delhi, India. Shams Qari / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Ever more of the world's population is living with water insecurity and is unable to consistently access safe, clean drinking water.

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Firefighters and search dogs look for victims of a landslide triggered by torrential rains in Barreira do Joao Guarda, a favela in Guaruja outside of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on March 4, 2020. NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP via Getty Images

Brazil has faced a series of extreme weather events since the calendar flipped to 2020, with different states inundated with floods, torrential downpours, and mudslides that have killed 150 people in just a few months. Scientists say that the climate crisis is responsible, according to The Guardian.

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A sign posted at the Dixie Oil Processors Superfund site on September 4, 2017 in Friendswood, Texas after Hurricane Harvey. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

On Thursday, a federal district court required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue long-overdue protections against worst-case scenario spills of hazardous materials, like in the case of extreme storms, fires, or flooding. The decision approved a negotiated consent decree between the EPA and a coalition of community and environmental organizations, including NRDC, the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA), and Clean Water Action.

"This is a victory for the millions of people who live in fear of experiencing catastrophic chemical spills in their own backyards," says Kaitlin Morrison, an NRDC attorney.

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Orlando Wetlands Park in central Florida. Bkamprath / iStock/ Getty Images Plus

By Kimberly M.S. Cartier

Mangrove forests, marshes and seagrass beds protect inland areas from storm surges and strong winds. Over long periods, coastal wetlands like these build up sediment that mitigates sea level rise and local land subsidence.

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An iceberg melts off of Greenland. Danita Delimont / Getty Images

The polar ice caps are melting six times faster than they were in the 1990s, the most comprehensive look at the data to date has found.

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Scientists involved in the World Meteorological Organization's report urged world leaders not to lose focus on the climate emergency. Cindy Mariela Lorenzo / World Meteorological Association

The United Nations released a sobering report Tuesday showing that the climate crisis is accelerating global hunger and wreaking havoc on land, sea and in the atmosphere, according to the UN's State of the Climate report.

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