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Smoke from the Carr Fire in northern California, July 2018. Eric Coulter, Bureau of Land Management / Public Domain

U.S. Air Pollution Is 'Completely Outrageous'

By Juanita Constible

How do you think the U.S. stacks up against other countries for protecting its citizens from the health threats of air pollution?

That's the question Christiana Figueres, one of the world's leading climate warriors, posed at last week's Global Climate and Health Forum, an official side event of the Global Climate Action Summit. The answer, said Ms. Figueres, is "completely outrageous."

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Food
Climate extremes such as drought are a 'key driver' of global malnutrition. Pixabay

Climate Change a 'Key Driver' Behind Rising Global Hunger

The number of hungry people in the world has reverted to levels last seen a decade ago, the United Nations warned Tuesday in its annual report on food security and nutrition.

Nearly 821 million global citizens—or one out of every nine people—were undernourished in 2017, the third consecutive rise since 2015. Hunger affected 804 million people in 2016 and 784 million people in 2015.

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Popular
Divestment rally at Harvard University on April 17, 2015. 350.org, CC BY-NC-SA

Fossil Fuel Divestment Debates on Campus Spotlight Societal Role of Colleges and Universities

By Jennie C. Stephens

As a new academic year begins after a summer of deadly heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods, many college students and faculty are debating whether and how to get involved in climate politics.

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Climate
An abandoned smoldering truck on Interstate 5 south of Pollard Flat, CA on Sept. 5. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

New California Wildfire Closes Miles of Major Freeway

Another explosive wildfire ignited in California Wednesday, shutting down about 45 miles of the major highway Interstate 5 near the Oregon border, The Associated Press reported.

The so-called Delta Fire grew to 15,294 acres, or 23.9 square miles, and suspended the Wednesday night Amtrak service between California and Oregon, USA Today reported.

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Climate
The Shasta Dam is one of California's two largest, with a storage capacity of 4.55 million acre feet. The fourth Climate Change Assessment considers climate change impacts to the state's water infrastructure. Apaliwal / CC BY 3.0

Wildfires, Heat Waves, Sea Level Rise to Be Increasingly Destructive to California, State Climate Change Report Warns

Climate change will create a devastating new normal in California of intense heatwaves and destructive fires if nothing is done to curb emissions, a new state report finds.

California's fourth-annual Climate Change Assessment finds that large fires like this summer's record-breaking Mendocino Complex and Carr fires will increase 50 percent by 2100 and burn 77 percent more land under a business-as-usual emissions scenario.

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Politics

Australian Prime Minister Ousted Over Climate Policy

Conservative lawmaker Scott Morrison has forced out Malcolm Turnbull as Australian prime minister, the third time the country's leader has sunk over climate policy in the past decade, and the seventh since 1997, according to Australia's ABC News.

An internal Liberal party row started when Turnbull proposed modest emissions targets for the country's energy sector. He dropped the plans Monday after pressure from the party's right-wing faction, but that led to a narrowly defeated leadership challenge from Peter Dutton on Tuesday, then a final ousting from Morrison on Friday.

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Politics
A Redding, California, Hot Shot firefighter, monitors the burning of lower vegetation to contain the oncoming fire in Mendocino National Forest, California. Cecilio Ricardo / Forest Service, USDA

Fire Chief: Verizon Throttled Data Speed, Endangering Firefighting Efforts

A Northern California fire chief said in a court filing (pdf) Monday that during its efforts in battling the Mendocino Complex Firethe largest in state history—that one of the department's trucks, equipped with Verizon wireless service, had its connection speeds significantly slowed and made communication effectively impossible.

"This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services. Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling was actively impeding County Fire's ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services," Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden wrote in a declaration, first reported by Ars Technica on Tuesday.

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Climate
Cars drive down a hill in a mandatory evacuation area as the Holy Fire burns in Cleveland National Forest on Aug. 8 in Lake Elsinore, California. The fire has burned at least 6,200 acres and destroyed twelve structures. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Summer Rainfall Declines ‘Primary Driver’ of Surge in U.S. Wildfires

By Daisy Dunne

Sharp declines in summer rainfall could be a "primary driver" of the record-breaking wildfires ripping across the western U.S., research shows.

Using satellite data, the study finds that there have been "previously unnoted" declines in summer rainfall across close to a third of forests in the western U.S. over the past four decades. These declines are "strongly correlated" with wildfire increases, the study finds.

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Climate
The Seattle skyline hazy with smoke from wildfires that have impacted air quality throughout Washington state during the past week. Peter Stevens / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Wildfires Choke Washington State's Air, Delaying Flights and Trash Collection

Unhealthy levels of air pollution caused by smoke from wildfires delayed flights and trash collection in parts of Washington state Sunday and Monday.

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