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Climate Change

Extreme conditions fuelling historic blaze in New Mexico

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Strong winds are causing havoc for authorities battling wildfires in New Mexico, as they attempt to contain one of the largest blazes in the state’s history

High temperatures coupled with what authorities are calling ‘erratic wind gusts’ have created the perfect conditions for the fires to spread in New Mexico.

Meteorologists are predicting winds in the state will reach up to 96 kilometers per hour this week.

Elsewhere in Amarillo, in the state’s north west, temperatures have reached a record high for May.

This breaks the previous record set in 1916.

The Hermits Peak fire started over a month ago and has already spread across more than 200,000 acres, and is one of a dozen separate blazes.

Thousands of New Mexico residents remain displaced, ordered to evacuate before it’s too late.

The fire has already destroyed hundreds of homes.

Alex Ferguson a meteorologist at the national weather service says conditions in the state are dire.

“You know, it’s just not good. It’s not good out here,”

Alex ferguson, national weather service

Wildfires are increasing in both size and intensity throughout the Western United States, and communities are suffering through longer fire seasons.

Last year California was hit by a series of wildfires, killing three people and causing billions of dollars in damage.

Research suggests the ever increasing effects of global warming are behind the increase in bigger and stronger fires.

Climate Change

COP26 President gives stern climate warning amid war in Ukraine

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The president of Glasgow’s COP26 climate summit has issued a warning to fellow world leaders six months after the key event.

Alok Sharma will return to Glasgow to say world leaders must show that ‘though the world has changed, our resolve has not’. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Alok Sharma says it would be “an act of monstrous self-harm” if nations break the environmental pledges they made at the conference.

The conference was an agreement between countries to limit global heating to 1.5 degrees.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine causing a spike in energy and food prices, Sharma admits the global outlook has changed drastically.

He says cutting back on climate pledges to compensate for this would be a grave mistake.

Almost 200 countries have agreed to new climate commitments agreeing to cut greenhouse gas emissions and meet the 1.5-degree goal.

Amanda Gunn contributed to this post.

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Climate Change

India swelters through its hottest day on record

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Temperatures throughout northern India are soaring, with the nation’s capital of Delhi hitting a record of 49.2 degrees Celsius

It’s the city’s fifth heatwave since March, as warnings are issued for vulnerable members of the community.

Photo: Air coolers for sale in New Delhi, India. Credit: Anindito Mukherjee

India’s weather authority says temperatures will likely fall by 2-4 degrees in some areas, but there won’t be any substantial reprieve for quite some time.

March was recorded as the hottest month in history since 1901.

Severe heat waves are continuing to throw millions of lives and livelihoods into disarray, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks his state chief ministers to draw up plans around the impact of extreme heat on their regions.

Photo: A farmer pours water on himself while working at a wheat farm in the Ludhiana district of Punjab, India, on Sunday, May 1, 2022. Credit: T. Narayan 

Amanda Gunn contributed to this report.

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Climate Change

Tonga eruption sets world record for biggest explosion

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Tonga’s January volcano eruption has been declared the largest in the world

Tonga’s most recent volcanic eruption in January was the biggest explosion ever recorded in modern history.

New data suggests the natural disaster was far bigger than any previous volcanic events and even any atom bomb test after World War II. 

It’s believed only the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 rivalled the Tonga volcano, the Indonesian explosion that claimed more than 30,000 lives. 

Scientists are now able to access a huge array of ground-based and space-borne instruments, allowing them to monitor the Earth across the entire light spectrum.

The Tonga explosion produced a number of atmospheric pressure waves felt in many parts of the world, even as far as Alaska. 

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