Human frontiers: How much heat can the body and mind take?

"We tend to think we're stronger than nature - but we're not," explorer says. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Hurricane Maria has dealt a heavy blow to Puerto Rico’s bankrupt utility and fragile electric grid.

The company has huge debts and outdated heavily polluting power plants. Washington Post

Harvey - and storms to come - raise worries about dam safety.

The state climatologist is warning that Texas dams will become less able to withstand extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, which are expected to occur more frequently as the earth's atmosphere and oceans warm in coming years. Houston Chronicle, Texas

Hurricanes release energy of 10,000 nuclear bombs.

The Atlantic hurricane season is at its midway point but has already seen some mega-storms. Even average hurricanes release huge amounts of energy. Where does it all come from? Deutsche Welle, Germany

Can the United States afford another hurricane?

Repeated storms are stretching the public and private sectors thin. Hakai Magazine

Hurricane Maria passed, but for two women in Puerto Rico, the terror was only just beginning.

Neighborhoods have become disaster zones, the 100-mile island covered in detritus, destruction and despair. Washington Post

Illinois' vanishing bugs and why it matters to Earth.

Endangered insects, a little-known part of the Endangered Species Act, prepare for life under Trump. Chicago Tribune, Illinois

Move over malaria: Mosquitoes carrying Zika, dengue may thrive in warmer Africa.

Hotter weather and migration to cities may make different diseases the scourge of the future in Africa, scientists say. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Reports of livestock deaths, other ag losses trickle in after Harvey.

The Texas Animal Health Commission and USDA, however, are mum on an estimated death toll. Texas Observer, Texas

The West’s wildfires are taking a toll on reservoirs.

New research predicts that an increase in the frequency and magnitude of wildfires will double the rates of sedimentation in one-third of the West’s large watersheds, reducing reservoir storage and affecting water supplies. Water Deeply

Climate report says Montana must adapt to warmer, drier seasons.

Montana's average temperatures are increasing, mountain snowpacks are declining, large wildfires are more frequent, and all that is expected to continue in the coming decades. Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Montana

This year’s extreme weather will have a serious effect on global wine.

A Napa heat wave hit 117 degrees, seriously damaging grapes. Plus, forest fires, frost, and hail around the northern hemisphere will mean smaller production this year and varying quality of the wines you love. Bloomberg News

Climate change is already making people sicker.

Climate change is a central issue at this year’s United Nations General Assembly, with multiple high-level meetings on the issue happening amid several devastating natural disasters. Time Magazine

Hurricane Maria brings destruction, heavy floods to Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Maria, the strongest storm to strike Puerto Rico in nearly 90 years, carved a path of destruction through the U.S. territory on Wednesday, causing widespread flooding and knocking power out across the island after killing at least nine people elsewhere in the Caribbean. Reuters

Homeowners join lawsuit against Crosby chemical plant that burned after Hurricane Harvey.

Eleven additional plaintiffs and a new defendant have been added to a lawsuit against the company whose manufacturing plant experienced a series of chemical fires as a result of floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey. Texas Tribune, Texas

Hurricane Maria churns through Caribbean as ravaged Puerto Rico takes stock of an 'island destroyed.'

Maria — now a Category 3 hurricane — was expected to gather some fresh strength over open water before taking aim at the Turks and Caicos Islands, which were battered earlier this month by Hurricane Irma. Washington Post

Coastal states can restore wetlands to fight floods, scientists say.

Coastal communities built atop drained salt marshes and leveled mangrove forests had little natural flood protection from hurricanes Irma and Harvey, exposing the need for better planning against future storms and sea-level rise, marine scientists and environmental engineers told Bloomberg BNA. Bloomberg BNA

Harvey, Irma, Maria: This is the hurricane season scientists expected … and feared.

Category 5 hurricanes, like Irma and Maria, are the pinnacle of nature’s fury. There is simply no weather event on Earth that can cause so much destruction so quickly. They are worst-case scenarios. Grist

Hurricane Irma may speed the end of orange juice, America’s biggest source of ‘fruit.’

OJ shortages are possible in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and prices are expected to climb. Washington Post

Heat and drought drive south India's farmers from fields to cities.

"We used to easily be able to harvest three crops a year. Now we can barely harvest a single crop," says one farmer. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Islands seek international funding for hurricane recovery.

In a special United Nations session, leaders of islands battered by hurricanes made worse by climate change appealed to wealthy countries for aid. New York Times

Richard Branson setting up green energy fund to rebuild Caribbean.

British billionaire Richard Branson said on Tuesday he is in talks to set up a fund to help Caribbean nations recently ravaged by Hurricane Irma replace wrecked fossil fuel-dependent utilities with low-carbon renewable energy sources. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Puerto Rico braces for a potential direct hit from Hurricane Maria.

Another super-powerful storm could bring catastrophic winds and rain to U.S. territories in the Caribbean. Washington Post

I’m a TV weatherman. Here's what happened when I discussed climate change on air.

Broadcast meteorologists are starting to talk more about the issue during their forecasts. Vox

Editor comments: Peter Dkystra wrote two pieces recently about the lack of TV coverage on the climate-hurricanes link. -LP

It takes just 4 years to detect human warming of the oceans.

New paper illustrates the rapid, consistent warming of Earth’s oceans. The Guardian


Building a better coral reef.

As reefs die off, researchers want to breed the world's hardiest corals in labs and return them to the sea to multiply. The effort raises scientific and ethical questions. New York Times

Could CO2 make the Amazon more resilient?

Forests play an ever-more vital role in regulating the climate. But what if rising carbon emissions actually helped them to grow and weather the impacts of global warming? Deutsche Welle, Germany

Silent killer: Sweltering planet braces for deadly heat shocks.

As hurricanes and floods grab headlines, heatwaves associated with climate change are claiming lives around the world. Thomson Reuters Foundation

Extreme Weather

Puerto Rico is already an environmental tragedy. Hurricane Maria will make it even worse.

Last week, Puerto Rico was lucky. This week, it’s not. New Republic

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico.

At landfall, Maria had sustained winds of 155 mph, just 2 mph short of Category 5 status. It was the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico since 1932. CNN

The scariest thing about this year’s hurricanes: They keep getting really strong, really fast.

That inward contraction of a hurricane’s eye can be one telltale indicator of what hurricane gurus technically call "rapid intensification." Washington Post


World hunger haunts the UN festivities.

After a decade of decline, global malnutrition rose last year, as global warming and civil conflicts posed a greater threat. more…

Hurricanes, planes and regional security.

Global warming and climate change pose an existential threat to the small island developing and coastal states of the Caribbean, which brings with it potential for social and political instability and threats to national security. more…

Continued denial leaves Florida in climate change crosshairs.

People today increasingly feel free to believe whatever suits them and there are still some who believe the world is flat, the moon landings were faked and smoking doesn't cause cancer. more…

Save our bats, belugas and bobolinks.

According to the World Wildlife Fund Canada, 451 of 903 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species across the country have declined in number by a shocking average of 83 per cent. Governments must act immediately to save them from extinction. more…


Why the last snow on earth may be red.

Watermelon snow is a perfectly natural phenomenon, but in an age of disappearing glaciers it is also problematic. more…

Florida must invest in infrastructure.

As the mayor of a coastal city, I have seen what good government can do to identify and invest in innovative solutions to address environmental and infrastructural deficiencies. more…

Is climate change driving you to despair?

To maintain our capacity to address climate change, we need to recognize and address the trauma it creates. more…

Why it’s time to stop calling these hurricane disasters 'natural.'

We must first recognize the phrase "natural disaster" for what it is: a sham we hide behind to avoid our own culpability. more…