THE WORLD’S BIGGEST WORRIES ARE ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTERS, NOT ECONOMIC COLLAPSE...

Warning signs. (Reuters/Richard Carson)

 

For the second year running, business and political leaders think the world’s biggest threat is extreme weather, according to the latest Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) published today...

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WANT TO SURVIVE CLIMATE CHANGE? YOU’LL NEED A GOOD COMMUNITY...

A winning plan to buttress New York against climate change essentially swathes lower Manhattan in a fortress of storm protection disguised as a smorgasbord of public space. Courtesy of BIG–Bjarke Ingels Group

 

In the summer of 1995, a blistering heat wave settled over Chicago for three days. It killed 739 people, making it one of the most unexpectedly lethal disasters in modern American history. No statistical models of the heat wave predicted such a high death toll. Researchers in the American Journal of Public Health reported that their analysis “failed to detect relationships between the weather and mortality that would explain what happened...”

 

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HUMAN EXISTENCE THREATENED MORE BY EXTREME WEATHER, NOT WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, GLOBAL EXPERTS WARN...

A house destroyed by hurricane winds is seen in Barranquitas, southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on October 20, 2017, a month after the passage of Hurricane Maria. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP/Getty Images

 

The risk of extreme weather ending human existence is topped only by the risk posed by weapons of mass destruction. A global survey released by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday showed that for the second year in a row, the dangers of extreme weather are only second to that of nuclear missiles and other such weaponry. And in terms of both likelihood and impact, extreme world weather events are the number one concern, according to the survey...

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GLOBAL WARMING PREDICTIONS MAY NOW BE A LOT LESS UNCERTAIN...

Video: How Climate Change Is Already Affecting Earth...Though the planet has only warmed by one-degree Celsius since the Industrial Revolution, climate change's effect on earth has been anything but subtle. Here are some of the most astonishing developments over the past few years.

 

The new numbers paint a not altogether terrifying picture of humanity’s response to a climate crisis. Hell, you might even call it vaguely optimistic. NASA Earth Observatory/Getty Images

If one is the loneliest number, two is the most terrifying. Humanity must not pass a rise of 2 degrees Celsius in global temperature from pre-industrial levels, so says the Paris climate agreement. Cross that line and the global effects of climate change start looking less like a grave situation and more like a catastrophe...

 

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GROWING POPULATIONS, CLIMATE CHANGE LEAVE CITIES ON A FAST TRACK TO WATER DEFICITS...

Rueters

 

By 2050 many of the world's major cities will face surface water shortages, spurring regional conflict and competition for scarce resources...

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EUROPE'S MICROWAVE OVENS EMIT NEARLY AS MUCH CO2 AS 7M CARS...

Using your microwave more efficiently and turning it off when not in use can help cut energy consumption. Photograph: Huw Jones/Getty Images

 

The biggest impact comes from electricity used to power the microwaves, but study also highlights rising environmental cost of our throwaway culture...

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A FOREBODING SIMILARITY IN TODAY’S OCEANS AND A 94-MILLION-YEAR-OLD CATASTROPHE...

Algae blooms off the coast of New York and New Jersey in August 2015. NASA / AP

 

The ocean is suffocating—but not for the first time...

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SCOTT PRUITT INSINCERELY ASKED WHAT'S EARTH'S IDEAL TEMPERATURE. SCIENTISTS ANSWER...

Donald Trump listens to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt after announcing his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 1, 2017. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

 

In short, from a practical standpoint, as little additional warming as possible...

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WITHOUT RAIN, SOUTH AFRICA'S CAPE TOWN MAY RUN OUT OF WATER BY APRIL...

This photo shows bare sand and dried tree trunks standing out at Theewaterskloof Dam. Rueters.

 

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s Cape Town, one of the world’s iconic tourist destinations, could run out of water by April as the city’s worst drought in a century risks forcing residents to join queues for emergency rations...

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LOS ANGELES CONTEMPLATES ITS OWN CLIMATE SUIT, TOO...

A Los Angeles County search and rescue team walks through a neighborhood that was destroyed by a mudslide on Jan. 11 in Montecito, Calif. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Los Angeles County search and rescue team walks through a neighborhood that was destroyed by a mudslide on Jan. 11 in Montecito, Calif. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

Last week, the nation’s most populous city sued the five biggest oil companies operating in the United States...

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COULD BIODIVERSITY DESTRUCTION LEAD TO A GLOBAL TIPPING POINT?

Summers Place Auctions sells first Dodo skeleton in a century for £346,300 Summers Place Auctions announces the sale of a 95% complete composite skeleton of a Dodo the first to come up for sale since the early 20th century. It was part of the fourth Evolution sale at Summers Place Auctions on Tuesday, 22nd November 2016 and the hammer went down at £280,000. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

 

We are destroying the world’s biodiversity. Yet debate has erupted over just what this means for the planet – and us...

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HUMAN EMISSIONS MADE OCEAN HEAT WAVE 53 TIMES MORE LIKELY...

Video: Climate 101: Oceans

 

A series of ocean heat waves have melted ice and killed marine life over the past few years. Scientists are studying their causes. Photograph by PAUL NICKLEN, National Geographic Creative

 

Three 2016 marine heat waves that killed whales, birds, corals, and shellfish from Australia to Alaska were many times more likely thanks to climate change...

 

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SNOWPACK NEAR RECORD LOWS SPELLS TROUBLE FOR WESTERN WATER SUPPLIES...

Ski resorts in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and parts of Colorado and California have been facing a winter drought. Fewer than half of the trails at Northstar at Lake Tahoe were open over the weekend. Credit: Steve Jurvetson/CC-BY-2.0

 

Scientists say snow seasons like the U.S. West is experiencing now will become more common as global temperatures rise, and economic costs will go up, as well...

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STUDY FINDS THAT GLOBAL WARMING EXACERBATES REFUGEE CRISES...

Farmers ride in their tractor in the drought-hit region of Hasaka in northeastern Syria on June 17, 2010. Photograph: Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

 

Higher temperatures increase the number of people seeking asylum in the EU...

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PHILIPPINES RAISES MAYON VOLCANO THREAT LEVEL TO 'CRITICAL'...

Children play in a river before a backdrop of the Mayon volcano. Three steam-explosions since Saturday have spewed ash into nearby villages and may have caused lava to start to flow out. Photograph: Charism Sayat/AFP/Getty Images

 

Thousands of villagers evacuated after authorities warn ‘hazardous eruption’ is possible within weeks or even days...

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David Pike, Editor