Extreme weather

The big picture

2020 was an extraordinary year for fires. Expect more like it.

But the "explosion in fire catastrophes that we’ve seen in recent years is not inevitable," top climate scientist says.

Dec 29, 2020 - Science
The "war on nature"

The UN is urging U.S. citizens to do “everything you can” to curb emissions faster.

Dec 2, 2020 - Science
Mapped: Global temperatures since 1880

There is virtually no such thing as a cooler than average year on Earth anymore.

Updated Jun 7, 2018 - Energy & Environment

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In photos: Monsoon floods hit Indonesian capital, force 1,300 to evacuate

An Indonesian man helps a woman navigate a heavy current in a flooded neighborhood of Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Ed Wray/Getty Images

Severe monsoon flooding across several areas of Indonesia's capital forced more than 1,300 people to evacuate on Saturday, Reuters reported.

The big picture: The country's meteorology agency warned that conditions are expected to worsen as the heaviest rain of the season could fall in and around Jakarta over the next week, per Reuters.

Feb 20, 2021 - Science

Biden declares major disaster in Texas after winter storms

Long-haul trucks waiting in traffic caused by historic cold weather in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 15. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

President Biden declared a major disaster in Texas after severe winter storms struck the state, causing millions of residents to lose power and water.

Why it matters: The declaration clears the way for more federal funds to be spent on relief efforts across the state.

Feb 19, 2021 - Health

Texas hospitals evacuate patients, conserve resources amid outages

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The deadly winter storm in Texas has bombarded hospitals throughout the state.

Why it matters: Doctors have been working to conserve resources, pause non-emergency surgeries, evacuate patients and push back coronavirus vaccine shots.

In photos: Winter emergency in Texas

A line outside a Fiesta Mart grocery store in Houston, Texas, Feb. 17. Texans have been running out of food and other supplies, and the cold weather has "wiped out" the state's citrus and vegetable crops, the Texas Tribune reports. Photo: Thomas Shea/AFP via Getty Images

Millions of Americans are still without power during the winter weather emergency that's sweeping the U.S. — including nearly 1.8 million Texans, per utility tracker poweroutage.us. Some have also lost water services.

The big picture: Texas has been particularly badly hit by the deadly storm, with infrastructure damaged and pipes frozen. Officials told some 7 million Texans Wednesday to boil tap water before drinking it.

Biden administration sending generators to Texas amid power outages

Austin, Texas, on Monday. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a briefing on Wednesday that the Biden administration is sending emergency generators to Texas amid ongoing power outages and freezing weather.

Why it matters: Huge swaths of Texas have been without electricity for days due to critical failures in the state's power grid. The outages come while a winter storm continues to pummel the state, causing unsafe conditions and a desperate need for heat.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The status and politics of the Texas power crisis

Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

More than 4.3 million Texas homes and businesses are without power as of Tuesday morning, per the tracking service poweroutage.us.

Why it matters: Bitter cold temperatures and winter storms are wreaking havoc on the power system in Texas and its refineries, and affecting other states too.

Updated Feb 16, 2021 - Science

In photos: Snow and ice blanket much of the U.S.

Vehicles and people traverse through snow and ice in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Over 150 million Americans are under winter storm warnings, as a subfreezing cold snap sweeps across the U.S., bringing with it heavy snow and dangerous, icy conditions.

The big picture: Hundreds of flights have been canceled and millions were without power across the U.S. Monday. Controlled outages were scheduled to take place in 14 central states to prevent uncontrolled cuts amid record freezing conditions. At least two people have died in Texas during the storm.

Updated Feb 2, 2021 - Science

In photos: Major winter storm dumps heavy snow across Northeast

The scene in New York City's Times Square on Feb. 1. After lashing the Midwest and parts of California earlier, the storm system moved into the Northeast overnight, affecting some 70 million people. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

The first major winter storm of 2021 was lashing much of the Eastern U.S. over Monday night, with up to 30 inches of snow falling in some places.

The big picture: COVID-19 vaccination sites and schools closed across the Northeast, including in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York City, where the outdoor subway service was suspended. New Jersey's Transit also paused its bus and rail operations. Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed in NYC, Philadelphia and Boston. At least three deaths have been attributed to the storm in Pennsylvania, per AP.

Dec 26, 2020 - Science

More than 57,000 U.S. wildfires scorched 10.3 million acres in 2020

A firefighter hosing flames during the Creek fire in Madera County, California, in September 2020. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

More than 57,ooo wildfires have torched roughly 10,357,000 acres — around 16,000 square miles — in the United States to date this year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

Why it matters: 2020 was one of the most active fire seasons on record in terms of total number of fires and acres burned, coinciding with drought conditions driven increasingly by climate change across much of the Western U.S., and one of the hottest years on record.

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