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Your Climate Newsletter is Getting Better
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Your Climate Newsletter is Getting Better

Somini Sengupta


If you’re reading this, you know all about the stellar climate coverage done by my colleagues at The Times. Starting next week, you’ll get twice as much of it. Yup. Climate Forward will arrive in your inbox every Tuesday or Friday. And, I’ll be your new Climate Forward guide.

I’m the international climate correspondent for The Times. I’ll start each week’s newsletter with a reported column. Sometimes this could be a fresh perspective on the news of the week. Sometimes, it might be a deeper dive into a climate idea people are talking about. You might also meet someone new, someone who has fresh ideas to tackle the most pressing issues of our time.

That’s not all. You’ll also get a carefully chosen overview of the most important climate news, both those that have been published in The Times and elsewhere.

Climate Forward wants to help you understand a world that is changing due to climate change, and where you fit in it. So please, let us know what you’d like to know. You can reach us at [email protected].

From the Opinion Section

America must secure the raw material needed to create clean energy, write Dennis C. Blair Jr. guest essay.

In recent years, apocalyptic scenes were seen all over the globe: hillsides covered in smoke, animals roasted to a crisp, and city skyscrapers coloured orange by the haze of distant fires.

A new United Nations report has declared it a “global wildfire crisis.” And, As I reported this past weekAccording to the organization, many societies are not thinking in the right way about the problem.

According to the report, government spending is biased toward firefighting and not improving forest management or understanding what fires are likely beyond our control. “Public opinion in many places favors putting out fires at all costs.”

Quotable: “The heating of the planet is turning landscapes into tinderboxes,” said the report, which was published on Wednesday by the United Nations Environment Program.

Numbers:The report estimates that even in a moderate climate, the probability of catastrophic fires could rise by as much as a third by 2050, and by as much 52 percent by 2100.

Californians could be forgiven for thinking a few months ago that the state’s drought might finally be coming to an end. A wet autumn had caused reservoir levels to be higher than usual and deep snowpack was present in the Sierra Nevada.

What a difference six week makes. The outlook has been drastically changed by a dry January and more of the same in February’s first half. According to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), another year of drought seems likely. However, conditions may not be quite as severe as last.

There is little hope for relief from drought elsewhere in the West.

As I wrote last week in an article, forecasters say that La Niña, a cooling of sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific that affects the jet stream and can influence weather around the world, is likely to keep much of the region warm and dry through May. Only part of the Pacific Northwest, where La Niña typically brings wetter conditions, is expected to see much improvement.

Numbers:According to the U.S. Drought Monitoring, 99.6 per cent of California is experiencing some form of drought. But the percentage where drought is rated “extreme” or “exceptional” has fallen drastically since last summer, to a little more than 1 percent from nearly 90 percent.

Here’s an amazing fact: Peatlands, soggy ground like bogs and fens, make up just 3 percent of land on Earth, but they store twice as much planet-warming carbon as all the world’s forests combined.

Peatlands are often considered a nuisance by humans. They’re too soft to build houses, too wet for agricultural crops and they make an excellent home for mosquitoes. In certain climates, this can increase the risk of malaria. As a result, about 15 percent of the world’s peatlands have been drained.

That’s a problem because damaged peatlands, rather than storing carbon, can become major emitters of greenhouse gases. It’s All of this is explained in this articleSabrina Imbler is a reporting fellow at The Times.

How can we protect these unsung heroes of carbon capture? Ruth Maclean is our West Africa bureau chief. She traveled to the Congo Basin in search of answers. This area contains a large tropical peat swamp that is larger than England. Despite the fact that there is very little infrastructure, the peat there is still relatively intact. However, there are threats. Read her article and see the stunning photos taken by Nanna Heitmann. Please follow this link.

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We’d love your feedback on the newsletter. We read every message and reply to all! Send us your thoughts and suggestions! [email protected].


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