And I didn’t know this: No hurricanes have entered the Gulf of Mexico since September 2013, now the longest such streak on record.
In India, the monsoons are heavier than normal, forcing 1 million people to relocate to government-run relief camps. Ninety-six people died in the flooding.
Heat has continued to grip parts of North America. Here in D.C., the temperature did not drop below 80 degrees Fahrenheit for 134 hours straight (five days!), a new record. And a month has passed since the temperature fell below 70 degrees, almost qualifying the region for another new record. Flash floods swept away huge chunks of the main street of nearby Ellicot City, Maryland, during a once-in-a-millennium rain dump. (You can donate here to assist flood victims.)
In the Southern Hemisphere, it is winter, notwithstanding the Summer Olympics being held in Brazil. I hadn’t realized the degree to which Rio, like San Francisco, is prone to microclimates.
The peat fires that raged in Indonesia last October and November ultimately released 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That’s slightly less carbon than Russia, the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, released the entire year.
And from Chile: What does it look like when you’re skiing near a volcano as it erupts?
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On the week beginning July 24, 2016, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded atmospheric CO₂ levels of 403.83 parts per million. A year ago, it observed carbon levels of 400.43 ppm. Ten years ago this week, it measured atmospheric carbon at 381.96 ppm.
As a reminder, a “safe” level is 350 ppm.
In U.S. policy news this week, California, the world’s sixth-largest economy, submitted the details of how it will comply with the Clean Power Plan, even though the plan is still stayed by the Supreme Court. California is the first state to submit a compliance proposal. Simultaneously, a poll found that the vast majority of Californians approve of the state ignoring the federal government and making its own ambitious renewable-energy policy—which is a lucky thing, because that’s what California has done for decades.
Elsewhere in the union, New York announced it will subsidize nuclear-power plants, effectively rewarding them for generating no emissions and letting them compete with cheap natural gas.
And the Pacific Northwest’s increasing skepticism about its oil-hauling trains and pipelines—a skepticism that you sometimes see hyped as the thin green line—merited a good trend story in the Times. I wish the story had included indigenous voices as more than just local color, though.
In U.S. politics, Democrats devoted almost an hour of primetime TV to climate change, on the penultimate night of their national convention. In 2012, by contrast, the billionaire Tom Steyer was the only marquee climate speaker, and he appeared during the 6 p.m. hour.