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Thursday, Feb 29th

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Texas wildfire: fifth-largest blaze in state prompts mandatory evacuations

Texas wildfiresMandatory evacuations were issued in Texas on Tuesday afternoon as wind-swept wildfires continued to burn uncontrollably across the panhandle.

With unseasonably warm temperatures and strong gusts helping to fuel the flames through dry grasses, the largest blaze, known as the Smokehouse Creek fire, consumed more than 250,000 acres since it ignited Monday, and remains 0% contained. Two others had collectively scorched more than 38,000 acres and were each 20% contained.

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Canada wildfires never stopped, they just went underground as "zombie fires" smolder on through the winter

Canada wildfiresCanada's 2023 wildfire season was the most destructive ever recorded, with 6,551 fires scorching nearly 71,000 square miles of land from the West Coast to the Atlantic provinces, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center. It wasn't just remarkable for its destruction, however, but also for the fact that it never really seemed to end.

It's the middle of the winter, and there are still 149 active wildfires burning across Canada, including 92 in British Columbia, 56 in the western province of Alberta, and one in New Brunswick, according to the CIFFC, which classifies two of the blazes as out of control.

"Zombie fires," also called overwintering fires, burn slowly below the surface during the cold months. Experts say zombie fires have become more common as climate change warms the atmosphere, and they are currently smoldering at an alarming rate in both British Columbia and Alberta.

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Another atmospheric river threatens California with extreme weather

Long Beach, California

A heavy rainstorm system dubbed an “atmospheric river” is set to hit Southern California on Monday, the third such extreme weather event this month.

Almost the entirety of the Southern California coast, from the Mexican border to Oxnard, is under a flash flood warning Sunday in preparation for the storm, with another band of heavy rain that could also cause flash flooding near Monterey and the Central Valley, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast.

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Texas earthquake of 4.7 magnitude largest of 30 in area in past three weeks

Texas quake - 4.7An earthquake of 4.7 magnitude that struck early Saturday morning near a small Texas city – one of several earthquakes that have occurred in the area in recent days – could be felt dozens of miles away, including in San Antonio.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries from the earthquake, which struck at 12.32am and was centered about 2 miles (3km) south-east of Falls City, according to the United States Geological Survey. Falls City, which has a population of about 500 people, is about 45 miles (72km) south-east of San Antonio.

About 10 minutes earlier, the area had a 4.4 magnitude earthquake, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

There have been about 30 earthquakes in the area over the past three weeks. All the others have been lower in magnitude.

TVNL Comment: Keep fracking, Texans.

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They lied’: plastics producers deceived public about recycling, report reveals

Plastic producers deceived us

Plastic producers have known for more than 30 years that recycling is not an economically or technically feasible plastic waste management solution. That has not stopped them from promoting it, according to a new report.

“The companies lied,” said Richard Wiles, president of fossil-fuel accountability advocacy group the Center for Climate Integrity (CCI), which published the report. “It’s time to hold them accountable for the damage they’ve caused.”

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Climate scientist Michael Mann wins defamation case against conservative writers

Michael Mann

Michael Mann, among the world's most renowned climate scientists, won a defamation case in D.C. Superior Court against two conservative writers.

Mann, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, had sued Rand Simberg, a policy analyst, and Mark Steyn, a right-wing author, for online posts published over a decade ago, respectively, by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Review.

Mann is partly responsible for one of the most consequential graphs in climate science, one that helped make the steep rise in global average temperatures from fossil fuel use understandable to a wide audience.

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Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing ‘devastating’ tipping point, study finds

Atlantic Ocean circulation nearing tipping point

The circulation of the Atlantic Ocean is heading towards a tipping point that is “bad news for the climate system and humanity”, a study has found.

The scientists behind the research said they were shocked at the forecast speed of collapse once the point is reached, although they said it was not yet possible to predict how soon that would happen.

Using computer models and past data, the researchers developed an early warning indicator for the breakdown of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (Amoc), a vast system of ocean currents that is a key component in global climate regulation.

They found Amoc is already on track towards an abrupt shift, which has not happened for more than 10,000 years and would have dire implications for large parts of the world.

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