Weather

A third of the world’s people already face deadly heat waves. It could be nearly three-quarters by 2100.

Nearly one-third of the global population suffers deadly levels of heat for at least 20 days during the year, new research suggests. And by the end of the century, thanks to climate change, this number could climb above 70 percent.

Certain parts of the world, the researchers note, will be harder hit than others. Tropical regions, where temperatures are already high for much of the year, will see many more days of deadly heat than other parts of the world. Under a business-as-usual climate scenario, they may face these conditions almost year-round by 2100.

The new study, published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, underscores the growing threat that rising temperatures pose to public health. The research focuses specifically on heat and humidity conditions known to increase the risk of human mortality — generally speaking, that’s when temperatures climb above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (the average human body temperature), but can also include cooler conditions with higher levels of humidity.

“We found this very unique threshold of temperature and humidity that allows us to identify why all these people die in all these cities around the world,” said lead study author Camilo Mora, a geography expert at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “It makes a lot of sense from the human physiology side of things. The way in which the body cools down is by sweating — the evaporation of that sweat cools you down. But when it’s humid, that sweat doesn’t evaporate, so the heat that the body generates, instead of going away, it stays in your body.”

A number of deadly heat waves have made international headlines in the past few decades, the researchers point out. The Chicago heat wave of 1995, for instance, is believed to have caused more than 700 deaths in less than a week after temperatures soared above 100 degrees. A 2010 heat wave in Russia during July and August may have killed more than 10,000 people.

The researchers examined more than 900 published papers documenting cases of extreme heat and excess mortality between 1980 and 2014. Altogether, the papers identified 783 individual events in 164 cities around the world. The researchers used these studies to identify the heat and humidity thresholds that lead to increased mortality rates.

A majority of the reported cases occurred in mid-latitude cities, largely in Europe and North America. According to Elisaveta Petkova, a researcher at Columbia University’s Earth Institute who was not involved with the study, most research on climate-related mortalities has tended to focus on Western nations, and the new study highlights a relative shortage of data from other parts of the globe. However, the researchers were able to find at least some information on the climate conditions that led to heat-related deaths for locations throughout much of the world.

By looking at historical climate data, the researchers determined that about 13 percent of all the world’s land area — home to about 30 percent of the total human population — had faced these deadly conditions for 20 or more days during the year 2000. And this number is only expected to grow.

Using model simulations, the researchers investigated what might happen under several potential future climate scenarios. They found that even with substantial efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 50 percent of the world’s population will experience 20 or more days of deadly heat by the year 2100. Under a business-as-usual scenario, that percentage climbs to nearly 74 percent.

“We’ve run out of good choices for the future,” Mora said. “Right now, when it comes to heat waves, our choices are between bad and terrible.”

It’s difficult to say how many more deaths will occur as a result of the extreme heat; that depends on how human societies deal with the problem. Communities could try to lessen the risks by increasing the use of air conditioning or putting better heat warning systems in place, the researchers note. According to Petkova, successful heat adaptation strategies rely strongly on the public’s awareness of the danger and its access to shelter, cooling devices or other tools they can use to protect themselves.

In fact, Mora said, the literature suggests that the number deaths caused by heat waves may already be decreasing, perhaps because of better adaptation efforts. But adapting to extreme heat doesn’t prevent the heat waves from occurring in the first place, meaning that more vulnerable members of society — the elderly, the frail or those who don’t have access to air conditioning — still face the risk of heat-related death. And changes in the population structure will likely play an important role in future heat-related mortality, Petkova said, as rapidly aging populations in some countries may be particularly susceptible to heat waves.

So while an increase in deadly heat waves may be inevitable, the research underscores the importance of working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimize the future impact of climate change as much as possible, Mora said. And he added that even less vulnerable communities — those with higher incomes and greater access to air conditioning, for instance — shouldn’t get too comfortable. Even in those places, severe heat waves can pose serious risks for the world and its inhabitants.

For one thing, an increase in the use of air conditioning could place a heavy strain on the electrical grid, Mora said. And extreme heat may force people to spend more and more of their time indoors.

“We will become prisoners in our homes,” Mora said.

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Fighting Trump on Climate, California Becomes a Global Force

LOS ANGELES — The environmental ministers of Canada and Mexico went to San Francisco last month to sign a global pact — drafted largely by California — to lower planet-warming greenhouse pollution. Gov. Jerry Brown flies to China next month to meet with climate leaders there on a campaign to curb global warming. And a battery of state lawyers is preparing to battle any attempt by Washington to weaken California’s automobile pollution emission standards.

As President Trump moves to reverse the Obama administration’s policies on climate change, California is emerging as the nation’s de facto negotiator with the world on the environment. The state is pushing back on everything from White House efforts to roll back pollution rules on tailpipes and smokestacks, to plans to withdraw or weaken the United States’ commitments under the Paris climate change accord.

In the process, California is not only fighting to protect its legacy of sweeping environmental protection, but also holding itself out as a model to other states — and to nations — on how to fight climate change.

“I want to do everything we can to keep America on track, keep the world on track, and lead in all the ways California has,” said Mr. Brown, who has embraced this fight as he enters what is likely to be the final stretch of a 40-year career in California government. “We’re looking to do everything we can to advance our program, regardless of whatever happens in Washington.”

Since the election, California has stood as the leading edge of the Democratic resistance to the Trump administration, on a range of issues including immigration and health care. Mr. Trump lost to Hillary Clinton here by nearly four million votes. Every statewide elected official is a Democrat, and the party controls both houses of the Legislature by a two-thirds margin. Soon after Mr. Trump was elected, Democratic legislative leaders hired Eric H. Holder Jr., the former attorney general, to represent California in legal fights with the administration.

But of all the battles it is waging with Washington, none have the global implications of the one over climate change.

The aggressive posture on the environment has set the stage for a confrontation between the Trump administration and the largest state in the nation. California has 39 million people, making it more populous than Canada and many other countries. And with an annual economic output of $2.4 trillion, the state is an economic powerhouse and has the sixth-largest economy in the world.

California’s efforts cross party lines. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who served as governor from 2003 to 2011, and led the state in developing the most aggressive pollution-control programs in the nation, has emerged as one of Mr. Trump’s biggest Republican critics.

Mr. Trump and his advisers appear ready for the fight.

Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency chief, whom Mr. Trump has charged with rolling back Obama-era environmental policies, speaks often of his belief in the importance of federalism and states’ rights, describing Mr. Trump’s proposals as a way to lift the oppressive yoke of federal regulations and return authority to the states. But of Mr. Brown’s push to expand California’s environmental policies to the country and the world, Mr. Pruitt said, “That’s not federalism — that’s a political agenda hiding behind federalism.”

“Is it federalism to impose your policy on other states?” Mr. Pruitt asked in a recent interview in his office. “It seems to me that Mr. Brown is being the aggressor here,” he said. “But we expect the law will show this.”

In one of his earliest strikes, Mr. Trump signed an executive order in March aimed at dismantling the Clean Power Plan, President Barack Obama’s signature climate policy change. Much of the plan, which Mr. Trump denounced as a “job killer,” was drawn from environmental policies pioneered in California.

Mr. Brown has long been an environmental advocate, including when he first served as governor in the 1970s. He has made this a central focus as he enters his final 18 months in office. In an interview, he said the president’s action was “a colossal mistake and defies science.”

“Erasing climate change may take place in Donald Trump’s mind, but nowhere else,” Mr. Brown said.

The leadership role being embraced by California goes to the heart of what has long been a central part of this state’s identity. For more than three decades, California has been at the vanguard of environmental policy, passing ambitious, first-in-the-nation legislation on pollution control and conservation that have often served as models for national and even international environmental law.

Driving on a smog-filled street in Los Angeles in 1958. CreditBettmann/Getty Images

“With Trump indicating that he will withdraw from climate change leadership, the rest of the global community is looking to California, as one of the world’s largest economies, to take the lead,” said Mario Molina, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist from Mexico who advises nations on climate change policy. “California demonstrates to the world that you can have a strong climate policy without hurting your economy.”

The Senate leader, Kevin de Leon, introduced legislation this month that would accelerate, rather than retrench, California’s drive to reduce emissions, requiring that 100 percent of retail electricity in the state come from renewable sources by 2045. Mr. de Leon said it was “important that we send a signal to the rest of the world” at a time of what he described as “blowback” from Washington.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, who tangled with Mr. Trump after the president mocked him for receiving low ratings as his replacement on “The Apprentice,” described Mr. Trump’s environmental policies as a threat to the planet.

“Saying you’ll bring coal plants back is the past,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “It’s like saying you’ll bring Blockbuster back, which is the past. Horses and buggies, which is the past. Pagers back, which is the past.”

He said California had shown it was possible to adopt aggressive environmental policies without hurting the economy. “We’re outdoing the rest of the country on G.D.P.,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said.

Even before Mr. Trump took office, California’s tough regulatory rules had stirred concern among business leaders, who said it had increased their costs. They warned that the situation would become worse if California stood by its regulatory rules while Washington moved in the other direction.

“We’re very concerned about that,” said Robert C. Lapsley, the president of the California Business Roundtable. “If we are 1 percent of the problem, and we have the most far-reaching climate policies on the planet while all the other states are slowing down because Washington is slowing down, that is going to create an absolute imbalance.”

“Washington will create a less competitive environment for California businesses here because businesses in other states will not have to meet the same mandates,” he added. “There is no question that businesses are going to move out.”

The precise contours of this battle will become clear in the months ahead, as Mr. Trump’s environmental policies take shape. For now, the critical questions are whether the United States will withdraw from the Paris agreement, an international compact to reduce greenhouse pollution, and whether the Environmental Protection Agency will revoke a waiver issued by President Richard M. Nixon that permits California to set fuel economy standards exceeding federal requirements.

Revoking the waiver, which was central to a policy that has resulted in noticeably cleaner air in places like Los Angeles, would force the state to lower its tough fuel economy standards, which are also intended to promote the rapid spread of electric cars. As they stand, the rules would force automakers to build fleets of cars that would reach mileage of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

California is preparing for a legal challenge.

“You have to be concerned when anybody talks about going backward,” said Xavier Becerra, the state attorney general. “In this case we think we have a strong case to be made based on the facts and the history.”

Mr. Trump is already moving to weaken federal auto emission standards that were influenced by California’s tougher standards. Automakers, who met with the president in the Oval Office days after he assumed the presidency, have long complained that the standards forced them to build expensive electric vehicles that consumers may not want.

And the companies have lobbied for years to stop the federal government from allowing California to set cleaner tailpipe regulations than the rest of the nation, arguing that the double standard necessitates building two types of cars. In Detroit, those companies see President Trump as their best chance for finally ending onerous California car requirements. But in the meantime, over a dozen other states have adopted California’s auto emissions standards — and Mr. Brown is betting that the sheer size of that market will be enough to make the Trump administration reconsider any effort to roll back the California waiver.

“Because we’re such a big part of the car market, and places like New York and Massachusetts are tied in with the U.S., our standard will prevail,” he said.

Beyond pushing to maintain its state climate laws, California has tried to forge international climate pacts. In particular, Mr. Brown’s government helped draft and gather signatures for a memorandum of understanding whose signers, including heads of state and mayors from around the world, pledged to take actions to lower emissions enough to keep global temperatures from rising over two degrees Celsius. That is the point at which scientists say the planet will tip into a future of irreversible rising seas and melting ice sheets.

That pact is voluntary, but California, Canada and Mexico are starting to carry out a joint climate policy with some teeth.

California’s signature climate change law is the cap-and-trade program. It places a statewide cap on planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, and then allows companies to buy and sell pollution credits. The California measure was the model for a national climate law that Mr. Obama tried unsuccessfully to have passed in 2010.

An oil refinery near homes in Los Angeles. California’s cap-and-trade program restricts carbon dioxide emissions. CreditMelissa Lyttle for The New York Times

Given the setbacks in Washington, California environmental officials are working with Mexico and Canada to create what is informally called the “Nafta” of climate change — a carbon-cutting program that spans the region.

“Canada’s all in when it comes to climate action, and we’ll partner with anyone who wants to move forward,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment minister.

Already, California’s cap-and-trade market is connected to a similar one in Quebec, now valued at about $8 billion, and the Province of Ontario is linking with the joint California-Quebec market this year. Climate policy experts in Sacramento and Mexico City are in the early stages of drafting a plan to link Mexico with that joint market.

In April, a delegation from California traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese counterparts to help them craft a cap-and-trade plan. “We have people working in China, in their regulatory agencies, consulting with them, speaking fluent Mandarin, working with the Chinese government — giving them advice on cap and trade,” Mr. Brown said.

The Clean Power Plan was central to the United States’ pledge under the 2015 Paris agreement, which commits the nation to cut its emissions about 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Now that Mr. Trump has moved to roll back the plan, it will be almost impossible for the United States to meet its Paris commitments.

That has resonated powerfully in China. The heart of the Paris agreement was a 2014 deal forged by Mr. Obama and President Xi Jinping of China in which the world’s two largest economies and largest greenhouse polluters agreed to act jointly to reduce their emissions.

Gov. Jerry Brown of California, attending a climate meeting at the United Nations last year. “We may not represent Washington, but we will represent the wide swath of American people who will keep the faith on this,” he said. CreditMary Altaffer/Associated Press

“China is committed to establishing a cap-and-trade this year, and we are looking for expertise across the world as we design our program — and we are looking closely at the California experience,” said Donquan He, a vice president of Energy Foundation China, an organization that works with the Chinese government on climate change issues.

Mr. Brown recently met with the prime minister of Fiji, who will serve as chairman of this fall’s United Nations climate change meeting in Bonn, Germany, which aims to put the Paris agreement in force, with or without the United States. The governor said he planned to attend as a representative of his state.

“We may not represent Washington, but we will represent the wide swath of American people who will keep the faith on this,” he said.

Strong quake off Philippines damages buildings

MANILA, Philippines — A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the Philippines early Saturday, officials said, damaging several buildings and injuring two people as panicked residents fled the coast following a tsunami warning.

US authorities warned of potential hazardous waves in the southern region of Mindanao and Indonesia after the quake hit at 4:23 a.m. (2023 GMT Friday), but the tsunami alert was lifted less than two hours later.

Residents were jolted from their beds and ran onto the streets as the earthquake shook the area, leaving cracks in a hospital, two government buildings and a port, as well as triggering the collapse of at least one house and causing a brief power outage.

“The floor appeared to rise first before swaying violently from side to side. Then the lights went out,” said Adrian Morallas, who was at work at the civil defense office in General Santos city at the time of the quake.

“I ducked and took cover under my desk in line with our disaster training, though it was very difficult to do that in the dark with the ground shaking.”

Morallas said coastal communities near General Santos were told to evacuate as a precaution, though authorities do not know how many people actually left their homes.

The quake struck at a depth of 41 kilometres (25 miles) off Mindanao island, the US Geological Service said.

The state-run Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology gave a higher magnitude reading of 7.2. The epicentre was about 53 kilometres off Mindanao’s south coast, it added.

People stand next to debris from a collapsed house after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit General Santos City, in southern island of Mindanao on April 29, 2017.( AFP PHOTO / AQUILES ZONIO)

“We do not expect major damage after this event,” the institute’s head Renato Solidum said on ABS-CBN television in Manila.

Morallas said two people were injured during the evacuations in the Mindanao coastal towns of Glan and Malapatan.

One person was hit by a falling rock while a pregnant woman hurt herself when she fell.

The Philippines lies on the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many of Earth’s quakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake damaged dozens of houses on central Mindanao on April 12, while a trio of strong quakes battered buildings and caused panicked tourists to flee a popular resort near Manila on April 8.

A 6.5-magnitude quake killed eight people and left more than 250 injured outside the Mindanao city of Surigao in February, and another 5.9-magnitude tremor killed one person there last month.

Before Surigao, the last lethal earthquake to hit the country was a 7.1-magnitude tremor that left more than 220 people dead and destroyed historic churches when it struck the central islands in October 2013.

Colombia mudslides kill 206, sweep away homes

MOCOA, Colombia (AFP) — Mudslides killed at least 206 people and left hundreds injured or missing after destroying homes in southern Colombia, officials said Saturday.

They were the latest victims of floods that have struck the Pacific side of South America over recent months, also killing scores of people in Peru and Ecuador.

In the southwestern Colombian town of Mocoa, the surge swept away houses, bridges, vehicles and trees, leaving piles of wrecked timber and brown mud, army images from the area showed.

The mudslides struck late Friday after days of torrential rain in the Amazon basin area town of 40,000.

“The latest information we have is that there are 206 people confirmed dead, 202 injured, 220 missing, 17 neighborhoods hit hard,” Colombian Red Cross chief Cesar Uruena told AFP.

President Juan Manuel Santos visited Mocoa, the capital of Putumayo department, on Saturday to supervise rescue efforts in the heavily forested region.

He declared a public health and safety emergency to speed up rescue and aid operations. He also expressed his condolences to victims’ families.

Nation in mourning

Putumayo Governor Sorrel Aroca called the development “an unprecedented tragedy” for the area.

There are “hundreds of families we have not yet found and whole neighborhoods have disappeared,” he told W Radio.

Carlos Ivan Marquez, director of the National Disaster Risk Management Unit, told AFP the mudslides were caused by the rise of the Mocoa River and tributaries.

The rivers flooded causing a “big avalanche,” the army said in a statement.

Some 130 millimeters (5 inches) of rain fell Friday night, Santos said. “That means 30 percent of monthly rainfall fell last night, which precipitated a sudden rise of several rivers,” he said.

He promised earlier on Twitter to “guarantee assistance to the victims of this tragedy, which has Colombians in mourning.”

“Our prayers are with the victims and those affected,” he added.

Rescue efforts

The authorities activated a crisis group including local officials, military personnel, police and rescuers to search for missing people and begin removing mountains of debris, Marquez said.

A thousand emergency personnel were helping the rescue effort. Mocoa was left without power or running water; there were reports of some looting in efforts to get water.

“There are lots of people in the streets, lots of people displaced and many houses have collapsed,” retired Mocoa resident Hernando Rodriguez, 69, said by telephone.

“People do not know what to do… there were no preparations” for such a disaster, he said.

“We are just starting to realize what has hit us.”

Several deadly landslides have struck Colombia in recent months.

A landslide in November killed nine people in the rural southwestern town of El Tambo, officials said at the time.

A landslide the month before killed 10 people in the north of the country.

Climate change can play a big role in the scale of natural disasters, such as this one, a senior UN official said.

“Climate change is generating dynamics and we see the tremendous results in terms of intensity, frequency and magnitude of these natural effects, as we have just seen in Mocoa,” said Martin Santiago, UN chief for Colombia.

Trump Signs Executive Order Unwinding Obama Climate Policies

WASHINGTON — President Trump, flanked by company executives and miners, signed a long-promised executive order on Tuesday to nullify President Barack Obama’s climate change efforts and revive the coal industry, effectively ceding American leadership in the international campaign to curb the dangerous heating of the planet.

Mr. Trump made clear that the United States had no intention of meeting the commitments that his predecessor had made to curb planet-warming carbon dioxide pollution, turning denials of climate change into national policy.

At a ceremony, Mr. Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency to start the complex and lengthy legal process of withdrawing and rewriting the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, which would have closed hundreds of coal-fired power plants, frozen construction of new plants and replaced them with vast new wind and solar farms.

“C’mon, fellas. You know what this is? You know what this says?” Mr. Trump said to the miners. “You’re going back to work.”

With his order to move forward with the rollback, climate diplomats around the world maneuvered to fill the vacuum left by the exit of the globe’s second-biggest climate polluter.

“There are countless countries ready to step up and deliver on their climate promises and take advantages of Mr. Trump’s short-termism to reap the benefits of the transition to the low-carbon economy,” said Laurence Tubiana, the chief French negotiator of the 2015 Paris agreement, the landmark accord that committed nearly every country to take action to reduce planet-warming emissions.

Over all, the goal of the Paris deal is to keep the planet from warming more than 3.6 degrees, the point at which scientists say the earth will be irrevocably locked into a future of severe droughts, floods, rising sea levels and food shortages.

Mr. Obama pledged that the United States would cut its emissions about 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. Carrying out the Clean Power Plan was essential to meeting that target.

“This is not the time for any country to change course on the very serious and very real threat of climate change,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. “The science tells us that we need bolder, more ambitious commitments.”

Mr. Trump has not yet decided whether to formally withdraw from the Paris agreement. But by rolling back the policies needed to meet American commitments, the United States essentially announced that it would not comply, whether the nation remains a signatory or not, experts said.

“One of the greatest concerns is what other key countries, including China, India and Brazil, will do when the U.S. reneges on the Paris agreement,” said Robert Stavins, a professor of environmental economics at Harvard, mentioning some of the world’s other largest carbon dioxide polluters.

“The worst-case scenario is that the Paris agreement will unravel,” Mr. Stavins said. “That would be a great tragedy.”

Diplomats from some of the world’s other major economies say they intend to continue carrying out their climate change agreements, with or without the United States. But the Trump administration’s moves are likely to embolden opponents of climate action around the world.

At the heart of the Paris accord was a breakthrough 2014 agreement between Mr. Obama and China’s president, Xi Jinping, in which the leaders of the world’s two largest polluting countries agreed to enact policies to cut their emissions. At the time, Mr. Obama offered the Clean Power Plan as evidence that the United States would meet its target.

Their hard-won deal was seen as the catalyst to bring other countries to the table to forge the Paris pact. If Mr. Trump reneges on his predecessor’s commitment, it could further fray a relationship that has become more tenuous since his election.

“Getting to that point was not easy,” said Kelly Sims Gallagher, an expert on Chinese environmental policy at Tufts University who helped broker the Obama-Xi climate talks. “This undoes many years of work building up trust that the U.S. will honor the commitments it makes at the presidential level.”

Mr. Trump is tentatively scheduled to meet with Mr. Xi next week at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida estate.

Mr. Xi has signaled that he is prepared to move forward with his Paris pledge that China’s emissions will drop by or before 2030. Speaking at the Davos economic summit meeting in January, Mr. Xi said, “All signatories should stick to it instead of walking away from it, as this is a responsibility we must assume for future generations.”

But experts say that without action from the United States, China’s efforts to curb emissions may slow. “It may empower business and political interests within China that still opposed climate action,” said Alex L. Wang, a legal scholar of Chinese environmental policies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The same dynamic could play out in India, the world’s third-largest carbon dioxide polluter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi worked closely with Mr. Obama on climate change policies, but he did so against internal domestic pressures to prioritize economic development — including the provision of cheap coal-fired electricity to India’s rural poor.

Mr. Trump spoke with Mr. Modi by telephone on Tuesday, but aides declined to say if they discussed climate change.

Harsh V. Pant, a research fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank in New Delhi, said Mr. Trump’s order would give the Indian government political space to delay some of its climate commitments.

“It will slow down a little bit,” he said.

Still, it remains to be seen whether Mr. Trump’s orders will fully vanquish Mr. Obama’s climate change legacy. Legal experts say it could take years for the E.P.A. administrator to carry out the process of withdrawing and revising the climate change regulations, and the process will be hit by legal challenges at every turn. A coalition of states, including New York and California, has already vowed to fight Mr. Trump.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York said he was preparing to challenge any effort to do away with regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Such a move, he argued, violated the Clean Air Act, as well as established case law.

“If they want to go back into the rule-making process, we believe they are compelled under law to come up with something close to the Clean Power Plan,” he said.

“They probably don’t want to hear this again,” he said, “but if they want to repeal, they have to replace.”

Bipartisan bill in House and Senate targets settlement boycotters with fines

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bipartisan slate of US lawmakers introduced a bill that would extend fines on companies that comply with the Arab League boycott of Israel to those complying with a UN-designated boycotts of settlements.

The Israel Anti-Boycott act initiated Thursday in the House of Representatives and the Senate was prompted in part by the call last year of the UN Human Rights Council for the creation of a database of companies that deal with Israel entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. On Thursday, the council approved a resolution calling on countries to cut ties to settlements.

Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, introduced the compliance bill in the Senate. In the House of Representatives, Reps. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., and Juan Vargas, D-Calif., introduced the measure.

“The United States should bring its foreign policy and its economic institutions, its relationships, and its leverage to bear to combat boycott, divestment and sanctions actions against Israel,” Cardin, the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement. “We should not stand idle when foreign countries or international governmental organizations use BDS tactics to isolate one of our key allies.”

Sen. Ben Cardin speaking at a news conference with other leading Democratic senators at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, November 19, 2015. (JTA/Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The bill attaches fines passed in a 1979 law targeting the Arab League boycott of Israel, then in full force. The boycott has since abated in influence, in part because it was criminalized by the United States.

Liberal pro-Israel groups have objected in recent years to similar legislation, arguing that boycotting settlements — an action that some liberal Zionists support — should not be wrapped into broader boycotts of Israel, which most of the Jewish community rejects.

View of the West Bank settlement of Ofra in the West on July 28, 2016. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Cardin has argued that the new legislation is not aimed at protecting settlements, but at keeping the Palestinians from forcing Israel’s hand in determining a final-status agreement absent talks.

“We cannot allow these attempts to bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to go unchecked,” he said in his statement.

His release emphasized that the bill includes language that “does not make any US policy statement about Israeli settlements” and “is only about opposing politically motivated commercial actions aimed at delegitimizing Israel and pressuring Israel into unilateral concessions outside the bounds of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”

The bill comes on the eve of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference. AIPAC has been assisting lawmakers in drafting pro-Israel bills that would attract support from both parties, a rarity in a Washington increasingly polarized by President Donald Trump’s administration. Its activists will lobby for the bills on the last day of the conference, which runs March 26-28.

On Thursday, a bipartisan raft of senators introduced a bill that would target Iran with sanctions on its missile testing and its backing for destabilization in the Middle East, but that avoids sanctions that have been relieved by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. A similar bill was introduced the same day by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the minority whip. Hoyer and Royce are scheduled to speak at the conference.

Democrats back the Iran deal, which trades sanctions relief for a rollback of Iran’s nuclear program, while Republicans oppose it.

Former Nasa Engineer Speaks Out ‘Most People Unaware’ Of Weather Modification

A former NASA aerospace avionics engineer has been working directly with GeoengineeringWatch (with state of the art UV metering equipment supplied by GeoengineeringWatch.org) to measure the dangerously high UV radiation that is now bombarding the surface of our planet. This NASA engineer’s very dire report is below. Those who are most aware of their surroundings have long since taken note of the growing intensity of the sun.

This NASA engineer’s very dire report is below. Those who are most aware of their surroundings have long since taken note of the growing intensity of the sun. This change is not due to increased solar activity, rather, it is a dire symptom of Earth’s rapidly disintegrating ozone layer. Though there are many anthropogenic factors negatively impacting our essential ozone layer, ongoing covert climate engineering programs are by far the most damaging.  Many mainstream and “official sources” falsely claim that the southern hemisphere ozone hole is “recovering” (in order to pacify populations), however,  front-line data does not support the “ozone recovery” official narrative. Since the start of this century UV levels comparable to the surface of Mars have been recorded. The same sources of false “ozone layer recovery” data don’t even mention the massive and growing northern hemisphere ozone hole.

As the 20th century drew to a close, the rapidly increasing scale of northern hemisphere ozone depletion was becoming very apparent.

More recent data has been increasingly difficult to gain from monitoring sources, the firing of scientists involved in ozone depletion research is one major reason why. GeoengineeringWatch.org has long since been measuring and monitoring the rising UV radiation levels.

The expanse of the ozone depleted regions continues to expand.

The impacts of the extreme UV radiation exposure is very evident on the sun exposed side of many tree species and specimens. All life forms that are exposed to the increasingly excessive UV radiation are being affected, including whales and plankton.

Effects of solar UV radiation on biomolecules, cellular components and physiological responses. (Diagram credit: Royal Society of Chemistry)

If the ozone layer completely collapses, all exposed life forms will collapse with it. Climate engineering is decimating the ozone layer, all of Earth’s life support systems are at risk. The very dire report below (addressing extreme UV radiation dangers) was assembled for GeoengineeringWatch.org by a retired NASA aerospace avionics engineer. Out of concern for his safety, we must keep this individual anonymous at this time.

Critical Mass In Human Understanding

Sound simple?  It’s not.

Critical Mass in Human Understanding is defined by this author as:

The percentage of World population required before a new direction is selected and used to correct a situation or program that has become a threat to Earth’s biosphere and/or human habitation.

In further writing, the author will use “Critical Mass” for short.

When dealing with various Critical Mass issues, it is first necessary to separate them into two basic categories – those are:  Military and Civilian.

The reason behind the two categories is simple, the Military will require extensive resources to affect Critical Mass, whereas Civilian – being less of a ‘threat between countries’ category, will not have as severe draconian governmental oversight.

Earth’s Climate is the most critical issue, and affects all populations throughout the planet.  While discussions concerning Weather Modification Programs are taking place to affect a ‘controlled response’ to adverse climate conditions, the subject is being discussed as though GeoEngineering has not yet been implemented.

Quite the opposite is true, and it is the adverse effects from this GeoEngineering that have exacerbated the climatology changes due to industrialized waste, fossil fuel consumption, and out of control consumerism.

At present, it is estimated that a majority percentage of Earth’s population remain unaware of current Global Weather Modification Programs and GeoEngineering.

In order that Humanity, and our biosphere to survive – this must change.

Scientists are unwilling to comment on current weather patterns and the severe increase in global temperatures for various reasons – the 2 biggest reasons:  money and fear.  When a scientist offers an opinion, he is often asked to “back up his opinion with facts” – which would require a ‘course of study’ – and no-one is likely to offer financial support to establish such a program study – the net result; the scientist keeps their opinion silent, and out of print.  The scientist is usually employed by a university or corporation with funding – in the case of universities it is grant money, for corporations it is considered research – and only research in the area designated by that corporation, if there are deviations in the course of study, grant money is withdrawn, and the corporation will discontinue the scientist’s employment’.

Remember the great NASA layoff in the mid 90’s?  Over 15,000 employees were laid off.  Some of those employees actually knew what they were doing – some were ‘dead weight’.  The author was at NASA Ames/Dryden when this was announced by Sam Golden – it truly was a dark day for NASA.  Federal Grant money for several programs were discontinued.

Not knowing where money will come from to pay basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing – this can change your attitude from good to bad – in a heartbeat.  Let’s add on a family to support – the world standard of 2 ½ children, and wife.  Tell me what you are likely to do when your hunger overcomes reason?  Not too hard to consider seeing that your children come first.

The author has personal experience with those engineers and scientists that were laid off, with IQ’s over 180 – their end resolve is that once again employed they will never offer any opinion that may show the slightest deviation from their program structure – period.

Here is the end result from that position of Scientific Non-Involvement:

By the time Critical Mass of Human Understanding to the Negative Effects of Global Weather Modification Programs (GEOENGINEERING) is reached, the Earth’s Upper Ozone Layer will be destroyed.

With no Protective Ozone Radiation Shield, All Life on Earth will die.

Quite a conundrum.  At what point does the scientist and engineer become involved before total anthropogenic global climate destruction occurs?

The answer is simple – they won’t.  Those scientists and engineers will suffer with the rest of us until one day, they look up and finally see the truth – and then it’s all over.

I won’t say this is true of all our science partners, the author is but one of many, who understands the criticality of damage done by GeoEngineering and Global Weather Modification Programs – and for the last 4 years this author has studied the upper Ozone Layer and determined that the final destruction of this layer will be the ‘last straw’ before human extinction.

Given the current exponential rate of decay, 2025 is the year that plants and animals – including humans, will begin to die in massive numbers.  It will be a slow, painful death – for all life and humanity.

This is not to say that irreparable damage has not already occurred.  Destruction of our Biosphere did not occur overnight – it is the direct result of countless anthropogenic activities including 70 years of GeoEngineering and  Weather Modification Programs.

The author is an Aerospace Avionics Engineer who worked at NASA on High Altitude Research Aircraft in the mid 90’s, specifically to study the Ozone Layer.

This aerospace engineer goes on to say:

“The scientists involved with the projects understood how critical the upper Ozone Layer is, especially when it is only about a quarter of an inch thick, and very fragile.  They knew then the Ozone Layer was being destroyed by industrial waste, especially the Chlorofluorocarbons, that was the great R12 refrigerant ordeal, and now by Global Weather Modification Programs.   The top scientists in the world do not understand the Earth’s Atmospheric model, I don’t care how many computer programs there are, it’s too complex, and besides, someone must write the computer program to begin with that does understand the complex atmospheric interactions, and that person doesn’t exist.   Sadly, most of the scientists that did have a clue are no longer alive – which leaves humanity in dire straits.  Personally, I don’t think Humanity has a chance of surviving past 2025, and with what is coming, I’m not looking forward to starvation and disease.”

Immediate attention to our Biosphere is required NOW.  GeoEngineering and Global Weather Modification Programs must STOP.

How about this statement for achieving Critical Mass:

What will you do today, given that tomorrow the Ozone Layer is no more?

Would you stand in front of a government building – demanding resolve?

Would you consume fewer fossil fuel products?

Would you try to bring awareness of this to others?

Would you quit your job in science or engineering and apply your knowledge to a methodology and action that will heal our dying planet?

With the Military – do you understand what an “Unlawful Order” really is?

Investigate, then do the right thing – protect our planet.  The author is a Veteran, “…against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” – this current situation qualifies as both – pay attention to your oath.

To the banking cartels:  Do you want a planet left after your raping of resources?

Think your underground bunkers will keep you safe?

No, they won’t.

Who will maintain the Nuclear Reactors when you do go underground to avoid extreme UV radiation?  There are over 400 active reactors at present – the nuclear radiation from unattended reactor meltdown will prevent mankind from inhabiting the earth surface for more than 10,000 years – and that’s only the ‘half-life’ – so think again about all that money you’re making from already depleted resources, famine, drought, floods, insurance claims – it’s going to effect you, just like everyone else.

The old statement: “a word to the wise is sufficient” – can you remove yourself from GREED long enough to see the truth?

This paper is your “Shot across the Bow”

The first step is easy:  Stop ALL Geoengineering and Global Weather Modification Programs.

If you get to the first step – the second step will be much easier:  work together to understand our planet BEFORE applying measures that will damage it further.

In the meantime, the author will continue with upper Ozone Layer research – and will continue to sound the alarm of human extinction.

The above chart shows UV “C” radiation from 250 to 300 Nanometers. The data in RED, in the center of the chart, is radiation that is highly damaging to Human DNA/RNA, and should not be detected on the Earth surface. With a healthy Ozone Layer this radiation would be stopped at 100,000 feet.

The destruction of our upper Ozone Layer has progressed for many years. When physicians and various publications advise in higher SPF ratings for sun-screen each year, you can be sure our atmosphere is changing in an extremely negative way. Damage to our trees from UV “B” radiation is being becoming rapidly worse all over the world. Now with UV “C” radiation levels reaching 4.5% (of something that should be ZERO percent) – plan on more birth defects, more cancers, more plant and animal extinctions. This level of radiation is extremely damaging, it kills life forms.

Earth’s upper Ozone Layer is under assault, and is being destroyed by GEOENGINEERING, industrial waste products, and emissions from the oil industry. If immediate cessation of these activities does not happen, total collapse of the Ozone Layer will occur by 2025. The UV levels are already exponentially higher than last year – 2017 will be another record.

If and when total collapse occurs, so will all life on planet Earth. STOP GEOENGINEERING!!!! STOP INDUSTRIAL WASTE!!!!
With no further damage to our Ozone Layer, it is estimated that the repair of our Ozone Layer will require a very extended time frame at best. Total ozone layer recovery may be impossible due to Strontium 90 in the upper atmosphere. There is no known method of removing this contamination which is a leftover from atomic bomb testing.

The data presented in this post was gathered on 02/12/2017 using an ILT950UV Spectral Radiometer, at an altitude of 191 feet, in the Central Valley of California. The calibration date of the Radiometer is 12/16/2016 and traceable to NIST.

As data is gathered, and presented, UV readings can and are escalating to even higher levels.  Take note of the center portion of this graph, when it doubles from measurements of 1.2 uWatts/cm^2 – we will have great difficulty growing crops – food shortage will become the predominant global issue, and damage to our DNA/RNA will not be recoverable. All life forms will suffer.

Due to the increase of energy around the 270 nm region in only 1 week’s time, I found it necessary to write the following paper “Critical Mass in Human Understanding” .

Our most sincere gratitude to this courageous former NASA avionics engineer for his efforts on revealing this extremely dire data. GeoengineeringWatch.org will continue to work directly with him and will continue to post updated information as rapidly as we can. All of us are needed on the critical battle to wake the masses, make your voice heard while it can still make a difference.
DW

Chicago Records No Snow in January and February for the First Time in 146 Years

http://www.renegadetribune.com/chicago-records-no-snow-january-february-first-time-146-years/

 

By Lorraine Chow of EcoWatch

Chicago—a city well known for its windy and snowy winters—is experiencing some unusually warm weather. For the first time in 146 years, there was no documented snow on the ground in January and February, according to the local National Weather Service.

Chicago’s about to do something its never done in 146 years of record keeping: go the entire months of Jan & Feb with no snow on the ground.

January and February are usually the coldest months of the year. As NBC News noted, the city usually averages more than 40 inches of snow per winter and prepares for months to handle with the onslaught of snow with its fleet of snow plows and salt trucks that service more than 280 snow routes.

But the last measurable day of snow was on Christmas Day when two inches covered the ground. In fact, from Feb. 17-22, Chicago set new winter records with six consecutive days of temperatures in the high 60s to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Flowers are even emerging in some areas, and that’s not a good thing. Early blossoms could wilt before they can be pollinated or could be vulnerable to frost if the temperatures should drop, which would be devastating for fruit growers.

While many Chicagoans were probably very happy to skip out on shoveling sidewalks for these past two months, some worry that the freak weather is related to climate change.

“This is occurring against a backdrop of a changing climate,” WGN-TV meteorologist Tom Skilling told the Chicago Tribune. “I think the door is open to additional unusual weather events as we go forward.”

Is Climate Change to Blame for February’s Record-Breaking Heat? http://ow.ly/PWnZ309mh4Y  @beyondzeronews @Climate_Rescue

Photo published for Is Climate Change to Blame for February's Record-Breaking Heat?

Is Climate Change to Blame for February’s Record-Breaking Heat?

Great question!

ecowatch.com

Chicago is not alone in seeing bizarre winter weather. Meteorologists have seen dozens of heat records broken across the U.S. in February. In Oklahoma, temperatures hit a record 99 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 40 degrees above the average February high. Texas, Kansas and Colorado also recorded all-time highs.

Other climate scientists also say that warm temperatures and snow-droughts such as these could be due to natural weather variances that have nothing to do with climate change.

That said, the National Weather Service forecasts a slight chance of snow in Chicago this Thursday as severe thunderstorms are expected to move through Illinois this week.


This article (Chicago Records No Snow in January and February for the First Time in 146 Years) was originally created and published by EcoWatch.

Every 200 years California suffers a storm of biblical proportions — this year’s rains are just a precursor

Photo by Brian Baer/ California Department of Water Resources via Getty Images

A series of storms have inundated California over the past few weeks, and the latest deluge is currently swelling rivers and reservoirs that are already spilling over. Vast swathes of California continue to be at risk for flooding as the storm runoff makes its way through river systems, the National Weather Service warns. Across California, residents were evacuatedwhen local rivers flooded, including a small Northern California town that experienced a levee breach Monday night.

The severe flooding may feel like a whiplash development in a state that’s been locked in drought for five years — and in an “exceptional drought” for three of them. Still, California has seen worse: massive floods have swept through the state about every 200 years for the past 2,000 years or more, climate scientists Michael Dettinger and Lynn Ingram recount in a 2013 article.

The most recent was a series of storms that lasted for a near-biblical 43 days between 1861 and 1862, creating a vast lake where California’s Central Valley had been. Floodwaters drowned thousands of people, hundreds of thousands of cattle, and forced the state’s government to move from Sacramento to San Francisco.

More than 150 years have passed since California’s last, great flood — and a team of researchers with the US Geological Survey have predicted what kind of damage a similar flood would cause today. Their simulation, called the ARkStorm, anticipates that a stretch of the Central Valley 300 miles long by 20 miles wide would be underwater. Cities up and down the coast of California would flood. Winds would howl 60 to 125 miles per hour, and landslides would make roads impassable.

Yes, that’s a waterfall behind the house. Anderson dam spillway in full force now. @CBSSF

Although the simulation didn’t include a body count, Dettinger and Ingram predicted that thousands of people would probably die. And it could happen again any time: it’s been 150 years since the 1861–1862 floods, they wrote. “So it appears that California may be due for another episode soon.”

This winter’s heavy precipitation has already caused a slew of problems; California’s governor Jerry Brown called a state of emergency after December and January’s storms to ensure that 50 counties would be able to get funds to repair the damage. Last week, the Oroville Dam’s crumbling emergency spillway triggered the emergency evacuation of more than 180,000 people.

Now, the state’s Department of Water Resources is turning its attention to the Don Pedro Dam in Tuolumne County, California — about two hours due west of Yosemite National Park. The dam operators opened the spillway Monday afternoon, which will mean higher water levels in the river system for a while, says Jon Ericson with the California Department of Water Resources. People who live along the Tuolumne River are being encouraged to move to higher ground, the LA Times reported on Monday.

“We’re really going to be very vigilant,” Ericson told The Verge on Monday. “We always are, but especially the next 24 to 48 hours there’s going to be quite a bit of water that’s going to be coming through the system.”

Don Pedro Controlled Spillway Gate has been opened.

Though the impact has been extensive, Marty Ralph, the director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes at the University of California, San Diego, doesn’t think that this latest storm is this century’s equivalent to the 1861–1862 floods. “They are the same type,” Ralph says. “But I don’t think that they’re the magnitude that that ARkStorm predicted.”

Both storms, Ralph says, are the result of an atmospheric river, first identified in 1998. An atmospheric river is a massive ribbon of water vapor that flows off the Pacific Ocean and combines with strong, low-altitude winds. They stretch about 250 to 375 miles across, but can reach from 1,000 to more than 2,000 miles in length. “It’s about the equivalent of 20 Mississippi Rivers’ worth of water, but it’s in the form of water vapor rather than liquid,” Ralph says. When it hits the coastal mountains, the stream of warm, wet air is forced upward, where it cools and condenses into massive rain clouds.

“It’s definitely a very unusually very wet year for us,” Ralph says, but he doesn’t think that it’s an ARkStorm type year. “Now that’s not to say that couldn’t happen, which would be highly tragic.”

Atmospheric river infographic by NOAAInfographic by NOAA

In a typical year, around nine atmospheric rivers shower California with precipitation. They’re a critical source of about a third to half of the annual water in a state where the summers are usually bone-dry. But they also frequently go hand in hand with devastating wind storms, which can cause billions of dollars of damage, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Geosciences.

“When we get a sequence of them, or we get too many and the soils are real moist and the rivers are high and the reservoirs are full, then they can go from being largely beneficial — because we need water in the West — to hazards,” Ralph says.

That’s the situation we’re in now, Ralph says, with about 30 atmospheric rivers since October 1st — and it’s something we can expect to see more of. As global temperatures continue to climb, the air can hold more water vapor — which means calmer winds, but warmer and wetter atmospheric rivers, more often. And that means more flooding.

“This situation that we’re seeing with the pronounced drought punctuated by wet conditions that are producing a lot of runoff — that is exactly what we are seeing intensify in the historical record,” says Noah Diffenbaugh, a professor of Earth Sciences at Stanford University. “And it’s exactly what climate models project for the future.”

Climate change could exacerbate the dynamic as we struggle with an aging and already failing infrastructure. We can probably expect more, and worse catastrophes than Oroville’s crumbling spillway. That’s why Newsha Ajami, Stanford’s director of Urban Water Policy, says, “Coming up with new more innovative management and operational rules that reflect the 21st century climatic realities — I think that is really an important issue.”

The good news is that the weather seems to be calming down — for now. Over the past 48 hours, two to three inches of rain washed over the Sacramento valley and between five and eight inches fell in the Sierra Nevadas, Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told The Verge. At least a foot of snow fell at higher mountain elevations, and more is expected. The winds have calmed down today, but yesterday they howled at 199mph through California’s mountain peaks. Thursday should bring a brief dry spell, but more typical, cold winter weather will follow.

“The good part, though, is that the more precipitation that we get in the form of snow, the less is running off into streams and rivers and creeks, so it’s definitely much less of a flood issue,” Kurth says. Still, he adds, there could be some ongoing flooding in California’s Central Valley. “The ground is saturated, and creeks and rivers are high, so adding anything additional could always cause some problems.”

6 killed as strong quake strikes southern Philippines, 120 injured

A powerful nighttime earthquake in the southern Philippines killed at least six people and injured more than 120, with officials combing through cracked buildings and nearby towns Saturday to check on the damage and other possible casualties.

The magnitude 6.7 quake roused residents from their sleep late Friday in Surigao del Norte province, forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes. The quake was centered about 16 kilometers (8 miles) northwest of the provincial capital of Surigao at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6 miles), said Renato Solidum of the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology.

Nearly 100 aftershocks have been felt, officials said. Evacuation centers accommodated wary residents overnight, but many returned home Saturday, Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said, adding that officials were continuing to assess the damage in Surigao and outlying towns.

Provincial information officer Mary Jul Escalante was being interviewed by ABS-CBN TV network when another aftershock struck. “Oh sir, there’s an aftershock,” she said. “I’m shaking, we have a phobia now.”

At least six people were killed, mostly after being struck by falling debris and concrete walls, provincial disaster-response official Gilbert Gonzales said. At least 126 others were injured in Surigao, where the quake knocked out power and forced the closure of the domestic airport due to deep cracks in its runway, officials said.

Several buildings, including a state college, a hotel and a shopping mall, were damaged in the city, located about 700 kilometers (430 miles) southeast of Manila. Surigao was placed under a state of calamity to allow faster release of emergency funds, provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Anthony Maghari said by phone.

TV footage showed army troops and other rescuers pulling out the body of a man from the concrete rubble of a damaged house while relatives wept. In Surigao’s downtown area, the facade of a number of buildings were heavily cracked, their glass windows shattered with canopies and debris falling on parked cars on the street below.

Roads had visible cracks in the coastal city and a bridge collapsed in an outlying town, officials said.

“The shaking was so strong I could hardly stand,” coast guard personnel Rayner Neil Elopre said by phone.

Village leaders asked residents to move to a school building on higher ground, Elopre said, pausing briefly during a mild aftershock while talking on the phone.

Police officer Jimmy Sarael said he, his wife and two children embraced each other until the shaking eased. They later moved to the moonlit grounds outside the provincial capitol complex to join more than 1,000 jittery residents, he said.

The last major earthquake that struck Surigao, an impoverished region also dealing with a communist insurgency, was in the 1879, Solidum said. A magnitude 7.7 quake killed nearly 2,000 people on the northern island of Luzon in 1990.

Amid the calamity, the military appealed to New People’s Army guerrillas not to disrupt rescue and rehabilitation work. “We urge you not to attack our soldiers,” military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said.

The Philippines sits in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanoes are common.