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The Guardian Climate Change

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Latest Climate crisis news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Updated: 3 hours 24 min ago

Millions face extreme temperatures as heat dome covers US midwest and east

July 15, 2024 - 11:02

Heat advisories are in place from Texas to New York as major east coast cities under air quality alerts

Millions of Americans are bracing themselves for dangerous temperatures at the start of the working week as a heat dome blankets the midwest and eastern United States.

Heat advisories are in place in Kansas and Texas all the way to New York and South Carolina, as the area of high pressure that caused misery in the west last week slowly makes its way across the country.

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Categories: Climate

Australia’s big banks lent $3.6bn to fossil fuel expansion projects in 2023, report shows

July 15, 2024 - 11:00

Lending puts banks in ‘complete violation’ of commitments to Paris agreement, climate group says, even as overall funding to sector ebbs

Australia’s big four banks are in “complete violation” of commitments to the Paris climate accord by funding fossil fuel expansion even as their overall lending to the sector continues to ebb, according to a new report.

The climate activist group Market Forces said in the report that the banks lent the industry $3.6bn in 2023, bringing their total loans to more than $61bn since 2015. Last year, though, was first year in the past eight that banks avoided explicitly backing a new or expanded fossil fuel project.

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Categories: Climate

‘I couldn’t get him to move’: dog owners struggle through US heatwave

July 15, 2024 - 10:00

Blazing temperatures force people to find new ways to keep their pets safe, cool and occupied: ‘They sit, pee and go home’

Heat-resistant bootees, frozen bananas and pet sunscreen – it takes a lot to keep dogs safe during a nationwide heatwave. As pet owners across the US try to keep cool themselves, they’re changing dog-walking habits to accommodate boiling sidewalks or scorching parks, relying on indoor pet games to relish air conditioning, and embracing what has become a new normal for the dog days of summer, as extreme heat becomes an increasingly common reality.

Julie Nashawaty, a professional dog walker who lives in Boston, says her various trips to take pups out around the city have become shorter, as the temperatures reached 90 to 100 degrees this week. “These are really quick breaks, quick walks,” she said. “They sit in the shade under the tree, pee, and then it’s straight back home, where sometimes I’ll even put a cooling blanket on them.” She also puts little boots on dogs’ paws, so their bare feet don’t have to touch blazing concrete.

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Categories: Climate

Ed Miliband to lead UK negotiations at Cop29 climate summit

July 15, 2024 - 01:00

Senior climate figures welcome move after Conservative government largely left the role to junior ministers

Ed Miliband is to take personal control of the UK’s negotiations at vital international climate talks, in stark contrast to his Tory predecessors.

The energy security and net zero secretary will attend Cop29, this year’s UN climate summit, in Azerbaijan this November to head the UK’s delegation and meet political leaders from around the world.

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Categories: Climate

Climate plans of Australian companies would be exempt from private litigation for three years under proposal

July 14, 2024 - 20:30

Bill praised for targeting corporate climate responsibility but lawyers say it could allow polluters to avoid public scrutiny for longer

The climate plans of Australian companies would be immune to private litigation for three years under an Albanese government proposal before parliament.

The grace period is included in legislation before the Senate that would expand the information companies must provide about the risk the climate crisis poses to their business and what they will do about it.

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Categories: Climate

Record-breaking heatwave shifts east as millions of Americans under heat alert

July 14, 2024 - 09:53

Over 245 million Americans are expected to experience 90F temperatures early this week, with some as high as 105F

A heatwave that impacted the US west coast over the past week is now moving east into the midwest and south-east, as millions of Americans have been under a heat alert at some point in the past week.

“Numerous near record-tying/breaking high temperatures are possible over the central High Plains and Southeast Sunday, and along much of the East Coast by Monday,” reported the National Weather Service.

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Categories: Climate

‘Beat the heat’: Madrid looks to cool off with culture amid climate crisis

July 14, 2024 - 07:27

Initiative aims to coax visitors and local people into air-conditioned venues during sweltering summer afternoons

A little after 3pm on a weekday afternoon, the footsteps and voices that echoed along the hallowed halls of the Prado were silenced by a series of percussive detonations that could have been mistaken for an indoor fireworks display.

The source of the disruption, however, was not a vandal or a protester. Watched over by the eight muses for whom the Madrid museum’s Sala de las Musas is named, a tall, famous and angular flamenco dancer called El Yiyo was clicking, clapping, stomping and pirouetting before a rapt, grateful and slightly bemused audience. A few feet away sat the renowned guitarist Rafael Andújar, who had ambled into the sala a few moments earlier, taken his seat and begun to fill the air with notes.

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Categories: Climate

‘Goldmine’ collection of wheat from 100 years ago may help feed the world, scientists say

July 14, 2024 - 02:00

A British geneticist scoured the globe for diverse grains in the 1920s. His research could be vital as the climate changes

A hundred years ago, the plant scientist Arthur Watkins launched a remarkable project. He began collecting samples of wheat from all over the globe, nagging consuls and business agents across the British empire and beyond to supply him with grain from local markets.

His persistence was exceptional and, a century later, it is about to reap dramatic results. A UK-Chinese collaboration has sequenced the DNA of all the 827 kinds of wheat, assembled by Watkins, that have been nurtured at the John Innes Centre near Norwich for most of the past century.

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Categories: Climate

David Lammy must lead the way on access to clean water

July 14, 2024 - 01:00

The new foreign secretary has promised to put the UK back on the world stage. Water should be at the top of his agenda

David Lammy made clear in his first weekend as foreign secretary that he would “begin with three resets – with Europe, on climate and with the global south” – to put Britain “back” on the world stage (“David Lammy faces a world in turmoil”). But this is impossible without a reset on water.

Lammy is coming into post at a critical moment. The escalating climate crisis, the threat of future health pandemics and global instability threaten Labour’s vision of a world free from poverty on a livable planet. No one can adapt to a world without water, and progress on tackling the climate crisis and rebuilding global relationships will forever be limited without a reset on water.

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Categories: Climate

Climate activists have received months-long sentences. Are tougher laws eroding Australians’ right to protest?

July 13, 2024 - 16:00

NSW enacts highest number of new laws among states, with climate protesters disproportionately affected, report finds

Brad Homewood describes his first steps into a maximum security facility, where he spent the first three weeks of a two-month jail sentence, as intimidating.

“You’re in there with the worst of the worst,” he says. “There’s a lot of violence in there. I didn’t experience any personally, but you hear it, especially after lockdown.”

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Categories: Climate

Labour’s ‘rooftop revolution’ to deliver solar power to millions of UK homes

July 13, 2024 - 14:14

Ed Miliband sets new rules on solar panels and approves three giant solar farms as Labour seeks to end years of Tory inaction

Keir Starmer’s new Labour government today unveils plans for a “rooftop revolution” that will see millions more homes fitted with solar panels in order to bring down domestic energy bills and tackle the climate crisis.

The energy secretary, Ed Miliband, also took the hugely controversial decision this weekend to approve three massive solar farms in the east of England that had been blocked by Tory ministers.

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Categories: Climate

Artist punches holes in UN climate report six hours a day for Dutch installation

July 13, 2024 - 11:02

Johannes-Harm Hovinga has to take painkillers to complete 20-day artistic protest at Museum Arnhem

Every day for the last two weeks, Johannes-Harm Hovinga has sat at a raised table in Museum Arnhem, using a two-hole page puncher to systematically perforate the 7,705-page sixth assessment report produced by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

He has printed it out on coloured paper and the result is a vibrant heap piling up at the artist’s feet.

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Categories: Climate

After Hurricane Beryl’s destruction, climate scientists fear for what’s next

July 13, 2024 - 10:00

Experts say devastating hurricane so early in season is ‘big wake-up call’ – and predict even more powerful storms

The poignancy was unmistakable: prognosticators at Colorado State University amended their already miserable seasonal tropical cyclone forecast on Monday precisely as Hurricane Beryl was filling Houston’s streets with floodwater and knocking out power to more than 2m homes and businesses.

“A likely harbinger of a hyperactive season” was how CSU researchers characterized Beryl, which set numerous records on the way to its Texas landfall, including the earliest category 5 hurricane, strongest ever June storm, and most powerful to strike the southern Windward Islands.

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Categories: Climate

London’s Science Museum forced to cut ties with oil giant – and faces pressure over other sponsors

July 13, 2024 - 08:28

Campaigners welcome ‘seismic shift’ and urge museum bosses to review links with other fossil fuel sponsors

The Science Museum has been forced to cut ties with oil giant Equinor over its sponsor’s environmental record, the Observer can reveal.

Equinor has sponsored the museum’s interactive “WonderLab” since 2016, but the relationship is now coming to close, a move that will be seen as a major victory for climate change campaigners.

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Categories: Climate

Where are all the butterflies this summer? Their absence is telling us something important | Tony Juniper

July 13, 2024 - 06:00

This isn’t down to one wet, cold British spring but a disturbing longer-term decline in insects. Thankfully, we can help

Anyone with even a passing interest in the natural world will have noticed a dramatic phenomenon this year: a lack of insects. Perhaps most noticeable is the near-absence of butterflies. Species that are usually common, such as large and small whites, small tortoiseshells, gatekeepers, ringlets, peacocks and meadow browns, are in many places down to the point of having almost disappeared. This is certainly the case where I live, in Cambridge.

Bee populations seem to be down here, too, with flowery margins that would at this time of year normally be alive with pollinators now eerily quiet. Hoverflies are depleted, moths scarce and aphids have either appeared very late or not at all. Buddleia bushes, with their fragrant mauve flowers that are usually festooned with butterflies, moths and many other insects, sit naked of their normal visitors.

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Categories: Climate

Climate crisis has impact on insects’ colours and sex lives, study finds

July 13, 2024 - 03:00

Scientists fear adaptations to global heating may leave some species struggling to mate successfully

An ambush bug with a darker-coloured body is better at snagging a sexual partner than its brighter counterpart when it is chilly. Darker males can warm up more easily in the early mornings, and therefore get busy while everybody else is still warming up.

This is one of the many examples of how temperature affects colouring in insects, and in turn can affect their ability to mate, according to a new review article published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

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Categories: Climate

The story of a heat death: David went to work in his new job on a French building site. By the end of the day he was dead

July 13, 2024 - 02:00

He was keen to impress in his new job just as a heatwave was gripping the country. What can David Azevedo’s story tell us about the threat increasingly extreme weather poses to human health?

For Anne-Marie Azevedo, 13 July 2022 started off like a normal day. Her brother David was staying with her while he got his life back on track after a period of unemployment. He was on the third day of a new job in construction and had been asked to work extra hours. Eager to make a good impression, David was up and out of the door first thing.

As she got ready for work later in the morning, Anne‑Marie thought David had mistakenly picked up her house keys, so she called him. She was reassured to hear that he sounded fine, despite the fact that the previous evening he had been exhausted and visibly unwell from the heat. France was in the grip of an intense heatwave, and he was working outside all day. David hadn’t taken the keys, so after a quick chat Anne-Marie got on with her day.

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Categories: Climate

The week around the world in 20 pictures

July 12, 2024 - 11:44

Russian airstrikes in Kyiv, the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl in Texas and Spain’s Lamine Yamal at Euro 2024: the last seven days as captured by the world’s leading photojournalists

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Categories: Climate

Contempt, gagging and UN intervention: inside the UK’s wildest climate trial

July 12, 2024 - 10:00

Prosecution of five Just Stop Oil activists over M25 protest led to chaotic scenes in court and concerns about ‘judicial persecution’

As part of his role as UN rapporteur for environmental defenders, Michel Forst has been watching proceedings against climate activists at courts across Europe.

But he may not have seen anything like what unfolded at Southwark crown court in London over the past two and a half weeks, where five Just Stop Oil activists were convicted for conspiring to cause gridlock on the M25 in November 2022.

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Categories: Climate

Floods fuelled 19% drop in income from farming in England in 2023

July 12, 2024 - 08:49

Low yields combined with low prices for some crops also led to a 13% drop in farm output compared with 2022

Income from farming in England plummeted by 19% last year after floods meant harvesting many crops was impossible.

Farmers have called for more support from the government as the climate breaks down, meaning agricultural businesses are no longer able to count on mild UK weather and increasingly face drought and floods.

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Categories: Climate