It may have been only the sixth-warmest year, but extreme events dominated much of the planet in 2021.Updated Jan 15, 2022 - Energy & Environment
A total of 20 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters killed at least 688 people last year.Jan 10, 2022 - Energy & Environment
The urban firestorm could not have happened without a unique combination of climate factors.Updated Dec 31, 2021 - Science
Wind chills as cold as minus-50 degrees are forecast for some areas.Dec 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment
The storm battered the Plains and Midwest and affected millions from New Mexico to Michigan.Updated Dec 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment
Wind gusts above 100 mph have affected millions, knocking out power.Updated Dec 16, 2021 - Science
The Department of Agriculture on Tuesday unveiled a 10-year plan to combat the kind of catastrophic wildfires that have devastated parts of the West in recent years.
Driving the news: Climate change, as well as overgrown forests and an increasing number of homes in areas where nature and urban life meet, have led to a "full-blown wildfire and forest health crisis," the strategy document notes.
A major winter storm lashed much of the East Coast Sunday and Monday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.
The latest: Authorities in North Carolina confirmed that two people died in a car crash and that they responded 600 vehicle accidents during the storm on Sunday, per the Washington Post.
Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.
The big picture: Tsunami advisories have also been issued for the West Coast of the United States — spanning from the Oregon and California border to the California and Mexico border — and Hawaii, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Climate disasters in 2021 affected millions of lives, caused billions of dollars in economic loss across the world and brought into stark reality the perils of higher temperatures and climate change in general.
The big picture: Early data has ranked 2021 as the sixth warmest year on record. Climatologists have warned that increased surface temperatures make floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, wildfires and tropical storms and hurricanes more common and intense.
The past seven years have been the seven hottest on record, according to the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service, which released new global temperature data this morning.
Why it matters: The data shows in vivid detail that, even though 2021 was relatively cool compared to other recent years, it still ranked as the fifth warmest year and continued a trend driven by ever-growing amounts of greenhouse gases in the air.
The Lower 48 states likely had their hottest December on record, new data shows, with numerous locations in the Central States, South and East breaking previous benchmarks by large margins.
Why it matters: Winter is the fastest-warming season in much of the U.S., with widespread impacts for snow sports, drought and fire weather risks.
Texas has added 36 more deaths to the official death toll from the winter storm that swept across the state in February, bringing the total number of lives lost to 246.
Why it matters: The storm left millions without power as people faced single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill.