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Climate

Immersive Docu-Series Lets You 'See' Climate Change in Virtual Reality

In last year's virtual reality (VR) film Melting Ice, viewers traveled with former Vice President and An Inconvenient Truth star Al Gore on a trip to Greenland to "see" and "experience" ice sheets diminishing, glaciers collapsing and melting ice becoming raging rivers.

Now, and just in time for Earth Day 2018, directors Danfung Dennis and Eric Strauss have released three more, 10-minute immersive episodes in their This is Climate Change docu-series. Fire, Feast and Famine shows the powerful reality of global climate change, from California's burning blazes to drought-ridden Somalia—and you don't even need to leave your couch.

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The 100th meridian (solid line) dividing the moister eastern U.S. from the dryer west. Climate change may already be moving the divide eastward (dotted line). Image modified from Seager et al, Earth Interactions 2018

Arid West Invading Fertile Eastern U.S.

Theres an invasion going on down the middle of the U.S., as America's arid West advances eastwards. Imperceptibly, decades of climate change have shifted the natural boundary between the dry west and the fertile farmlands of the eastern states by more than 225 kilometers (approximately 140 miles), according to a new study by U.S. scientists.

In effect, what was once marked by the 100th meridian is now at 98 degrees of longitude.

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"On the Edge." Jessie Moore

A Montana Artist Makes Objects of Beauty Inspired by Natural Disasters

By Ingrid Abramovitch

Last summer, when wildfires burned out of control in Montana and other western states, Richard M. Parrish responded the best way he knows how: by creating artwork to document the devastation. Parrish, an internationally acclaimed glass artist, ascended over the parched landscape near his studio in Bozeman, Montana, in a small propeller plane. He then used these aerial observations to create a series of fused-glass works based on topographical maps—three of which are currently on view in The Tipping Point: Artists Address Climate Change, a group exhibition at the Rockland Center for the Arts in West Nyack, New York.

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View from the summit of Mt. Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range on Dec. 19, 2017. dhruv's world / Flickr

California’s Dwindling Snowpack: Another Year of Drought, Floods, Wildfires and Mudslides?

By Jeremy Deaton

California is likely facing another year of water woes. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which supplies up to a third of California's water, is exceptionally meager this year. Experts found around half as much snow on the mountains as they typically would in early April, when the snowpack is historically most voluminous.

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Alaska's Columbia glacier has melted away, leaving a pool of water in its wake. NASA

Trump Wants to Eliminate NASA’s Climate Research Programs: These Pictures Show What a Loss That Would Be

By Jeremy Deaton

President Trump's proposed 2019 budget would slash funding for NASA's Earth Science Division, and while his budget hasn't gained traction in Congress, it is an important statement of the administration's priorities. In a nod to his allies in the fossil fuel industry, Trump is calling for the elimination of vital programs that monitor carbon pollution and climate change.

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Deforestation from Palm Oil Plantations in Papua. Mighty / Flickr

Places to Watch: 3 Forest Regions at Risk Right Now

By Mikaela Weisse and Katie Fletcher

This edition of Places to Watch examines forest clearing detected between Nov. 9, 2017, and Jan. 31, 2018 in Indonesian Papua, Cameroon and Brazil. Due to occasional cloud cover that can obscure satellite recognition, some loss may have occurred earlier.

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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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Fire Seasons Have Become Longer Globally, Experts Say

Experts say that climate change is lengthening global fire seasons, as the southern hemisphere experiences "freak autumn heat" and major weekend bushfires devastate the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales.

"March is not traditionally seen as a time when the bushfire danger escalates, but as the fires in Tartha NSW, and south west Victoria show, bushfires do not respect summer boundaries," said Richard Thornton, the CEO of the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.

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About 2,700 square miles of Amazonia's forest is destroyed annually. Dallas Krentzel / Flickr

Earth's Intact Forests Are Invaluable, and in Danger

By Tim Radford

The world's unregarded forests are at risk. Intact forest is now being destroyed at an annual rate that threatens to cancel out any attempts to contain global warming by controlling greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study.

A second study finds that trees in the tropical regions are dying twice as fast as they did 35 years ago—and human-induced climate change is a factor.

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