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Tuesday, Jan 19th

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The thaw of the Third Pole: China's glaciers in retreat

Thaw of China glaciers

Glaciers in China's bleak, rugged Qilian mountains are disappearing at a shocking rate as global warming brings unpredictable change and raises the prospect of crippling, long-term water shortages, scientists say.

The largest glacier in the 800-km (500-mile) mountain chain on the arid northeastern edge of the Tibetan plateau has retreated about 450 metres since the 1950s, when researchers set up China's first monitoring station to study it.

The 20-square kilometre glacier, known as Laohugou No. 12, is criss-crossed by rivulets of water down its craggy, grit-blown surface. It has shrunk by about 7% since measurements began, with melting accelerating at a record pace in recent years, scientists say.

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Trump removes head of climate science report

Michael Kuperberg removed from climate office

The White House has removed the head of the program that produces the federal government's most definitive scientific report on climate change, according to three sources with knowledge of the move.

Michael Kuperberg had worked as executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which produces the National Climate Assessment. The move comes just days after the White House tapped Betsy Weatherhead to lead the sweeping climate study. Weatherhead joined the U.S. Geological Survey after working at climate analytics firm Jupiter Intelligence.

TVNL Comment:  Try as you will to erase the truth, Donald.  It will come back to bite your ass.

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U.S. to Remove Wolves From Protected Species List

Wolves to drop from endangered list

Gray wolves, one of the first animals shielded by the Endangered Species Act after Americans all but exterminated them in the lower 48 states, will no longer receive federal protection, officials announced Thursday.

“After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery,” Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.

Environmentalists condemned the decision as dangerously premature and vowed to take the Fish and Wildlife Service back to court, where they have successfully blocked previous attempts to strip wolves of federal protections. “Wolves just occupy a fraction of their former range,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and chief executive of Defenders of Wildlife, an environmental group. “There’s so much work that needs to be done.”

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60,000 in Southern California to evacuate after blaze grows

60,000 evacuated in southern CaliforniaA fast-moving wildfire forced evacuations for 60,000 people in Southern California on Monday as powerful winds across the state prompted power to be cut to hundreds of thousands to prevent utility equipment from sparking new blazes.

The smoky fire exploded in size to 2,000 acres within a few hours of breaking out shortly after dawn in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. Strong gusts pushed flames along brushy ridges in Silverado Canyon toward homes in the city of Irvine, home to about 280,000 people.

Kelsey Brewer and her three roommates decided to leave their townhouse before the evacuation order came in. The question was where to go in the pandemic. They decided on the home of her girlfriend’s mother, who has ample space and lives alone.

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Greenland ice sheet will melt at fastest rate in 12,000 years this century

Greeland ice sheet will met at fastest rate in 12,000 yearsGreenland’s ice sheet will melt at its fastest rate in 12,000 years this century, a new study projects.

The study, published in the journal Nature, said the melt rate of the ice sheet between 2000 and 2018 was about 6,100 gigatons tons per century — a similar rate to that of the pre-industrial Holocene era, when the melt rate was up to 6,000 gigatons tons per century.

But, researchers estimate that the rate over the course of the 21st century will be between 8,000 gigatons and 35,900 gigatons tons per century, nearly six times faster than the early-Holocene era rate. A gigaton is equal to 1 billion tons.

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California’s wildfire smoke plumes are unlike anything previously seen

California wildfire smoke plumesMore than 3.1 million acres have burned in California this year, part of a record fire season that still has four months to go. A suffocating cloud of smoke has veiled the West Coast for days, extending more than a thousand miles above the Pacific. And the extreme fire behavior that’s been witnessed this year hasn’t just been wild — it’s virtually unprecedented in scope and scale.

Fire tornadoes have spun up by the handful in at least three big wildfires in the past three weeks, based on radar data. Giant clouds of ash and smoke have generated lightning. Multiple fires have gone from a few acres to more than 100,000 acres in size in a day, while advancing as many as 25 miles in a single night. And wildfire plumes have soared up to 10 miles high, above the cruising altitude of commercial jets.

Scientists have been scrambling to collect as much data on these wildfires as

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We may have just seen the world's highest recorded temperature ever. Has that sunk in?

Hottest temperature ever at Death Valley

How hot was it at the Furnace Creek visitor center at Death Valley national park on 16 August 2020? It was so hot that the huge electronic temperature display (which serves as a ubiquitous selfie backdrop) went on the fritz. Parts of the blocky digital display malfunctioned, resulting in numbers even higher than the actual mind-melting high on what turned out to be a landmark day.

An automated weather station at the visitor center recorded a preliminary high of 129.9F (54.4C) at 3.41pm PDT on Sunday. Even for heat-favored landscapes such as Death Valley, it is remarkable for temperatures to inch into such territory so late in the summer, when the sun is considerably lower in the sky than at the summer solstice in late June. According to weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera, the previous global record high for August is 127.9F (53.3C), recorded in Mitribah, Kuwait, in 2011.

TVNL Comment:  Let thinks sink in, America.  It's not a hoax.  Really.

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