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Richard Branson's Necker Island was hit by two hurricanes in two weeks. @richardbranson / Instagram

Branson's Virgin Group Buys Hurricane-Wrecked Solar Farm to Help Rebuild Caribbean

Virgin Group's BMR Energy announced Tuesday that it bought a 4-megawatt solar plant from NRG Energy, Inc. in St. Croix that was badly damaged during Hurricane Maria.

BMR Energy will take over the power purchase agreement and restoration efforts of the solar farm, the company said in a press release.

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Health
A sign of resilience posted on a tree in a fire-destroyed neighborhood of Santa Rosa, California. Getty Images

What Wildfires Do to Our Minds

By Dani Burlison

It's late spring, and I'm hiking Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma County with therapist, ecopsychologist, and California naturalist Mary Good. A mist is drifting down, and we have the park mostly to ourselves. In October 2017, 80 percent of Sugarloaf's 3,900 acres of oak woodlands were scorched by the firestorms in California's North Bay. But today, most of what stretches out before us is green and vibrant, brushed with the last signs of a wildflower superbloom that erupted from the ash earlier this spring.

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Health
View of displayed shoes in memory of those killed by Hurricane Maria in front of the Puerto Rican Capitol, in San Juan, on June 1. RICARDO ARDUENGO / AFP / Getty Images

Another Study Finds Maria Death Toll Much Higher Than Official Numbers

As the 2018 hurricane season nears its height, another study has concluded that the official death toll from last year's devastating Hurricane Maria falls vastly short of reality.

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Energy

A Coder and a YouTuber Provide DIY Power for Puerto Rico

By Tom Cassauwers

Before the hurricane came, I was a software engineer. I'd graduated with a bachelor's degree in graphic design and animation, but here in Puerto Rico there weren't many jobs in that field, so I taught myself how to code. When I began, I didn't even know how to make "hello world" appear. After a while, I was building full-blown apps.

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Aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest, near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Neil Palmer, CIAT / CC BY 2.0

Tropical Forests Lost 40 Football Fields of Tree Cover Per Minute in 2017

New University of Maryland data published by Global Forest Watch (GFW) Wednesday revealed 2017 as the second-worst year on record for tropical tree cover loss, a GFW blog announced.

Tropical tree cover decreased by an area the size of Bangladesh—a total of 39 million acres. That amounts to 40 football fields worth of trees cut every minute of last year in a devastating blow to biodiversity and the global climate.

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Climate
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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Climate
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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Climate
"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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