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NOAA's GOES-East satellite captured this image of Hurricane Harvey in the western Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 24, 2017. NASA / NOAA

Climate Change May Be Slowing Hurricanes, Leading to More Flood-Heavy Storms Like Harvey

Two studies published within two months of each other show that typhoons and hurricanes are getting slower, and are expected to slow even more as the planet warms, suggesting that climate change is already extending the time storms spend hammering communities, National Geographic reported Wednesday.

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Hurricane Irma passes Cuba and approaches southern Florida on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, with Hurricane Jose at lower right. NASA

Understanding Hurricane Risks: 5 Essential Reads

By Jennifer Weeks

June 1 marks the start of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, with some communities still rebuilding after last year's largest storms.

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Sarah Wasko / Media Matters

Study Finds 5,000 May Have Died From Hurricane Maria, Yet Cable News Covered Roseanne Instead

By Katie Sullivan and Lis Power

On Tuesday, Harvard researchers published a study estimating that approximately 5,000 deaths can be linked to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. The same day, ABC canceled Roseanne Barr's eponymous show Roseanne after Barr sent a racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, an adviser to former President Barack Obama. Cable news covered Barr's tweet and her show's cancellation 16 times as much as the deaths of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico.

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"While roads around our plant are impassable, our ride-out crew has two boats that could be used to carry the crew out of the site," said a spokesperson for Arkema on Aug. 29, 2017 after Hurricane Harvey. EPA

Chemical Industry Lacks Preparation for Extreme Weather, Investigation Finds

A Houston chemical plant company did not properly prepare for hurricane season, resulting in a toxic accident during Hurricane Harvey last year, federal regulators have found.

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board on Thursday released an extensive investigation into the flooding-induced chemical fires at the Arkema plant in Crosby, Texas, finding that while the company's insurers flagged the high potential for flooding a year before Harvey, plant employees were unaware of the risk.

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The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite saw the temperature at the top of Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017. European Space Agency / CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Record Heat Means Hurricanes Gain Ferocity Faster

By Tim Radford

Hurricanes are becoming more violent, more rapidly, than they did 30 years ago. The cause may be entirely natural, scientists say.

But Hurricane Harvey, which in 2017 assaulted the Gulf of Mexico and dumped unprecedented quantities of rain to cause devastating floods in Texas, happened because the waters of the Gulf were warmer than at any time on record. And they were warmer because of human-driven climate change, according to a second study.

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Water floods from Boston Harbor onto Seaport Boulevard in Boston. Greg Cooper / EPA

Fight or Flight: Will Boston Be Prepared for Sea Level Rise?

By Valerie Vande Panne

The city of Boston made news in March for receiving four nor'easters in just three weeks. The storms led to piles of snow and coastal flooding. While hurricanes may famously (and fakely) bring sharks to flooded streets, Boston's floods really do bring swans.

That might be a sweet and peaceful picture. But the reality is that much of Boston was built on fill and subject to massive flooding. The city, known for its forward-thinking attitudes, takes the issue very seriously: Does it really want to surrender valuable real estate to mother nature?

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Three thousand volunteers planted trees in Portugal's famous pine forest. AFP / YouTube

Volunteers Plant 67,500 Trees in Portuguese Forest Devastated by Wildfires

One sapling at a time, thousands of volunteers planted trees in Portugal's oldest forest burned by last year's devastating wildfires.

Around 3,000 volunteers planted roughly 67,500 pine trees in the Leiria forest in central Portugal on Sunday.

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'The Battle for Paradise': Naomi Klein on Disaster Capitalism & the Fight for Puerto Rico’s Future

Six months since Hurricane Maria battered the island of Puerto Rico, the island is the site of a pitched battle between wealthy investors—particularly from the technology industry—and everyday Puerto Ricans fighting for a place in their island's future.

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Climate
Hurricane Harvey's record rains were made at least three times more likely by climate change, scientists calculated. Joseph Cannon

'Climate Change' Removed From FEMA's Strategic Plan

Last year, one of the hottest years in modern history, was also the costliest year ever for weather disasters, setting the U.S. back a record-setting $306 billion in spending aid and relief cost.

But it appears the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency that responds to hurricanes, flooding and wildfires, is ignoring a critical factor that exacerbates these natural disasters: climate change.

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