climate

Desalinating seawater sounds easy, but there are cheaper and more sustainable ways to meet people’s water needs

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Coastal urban centers around the world are urgently looking for new, sustainable water sources as their local supplies become less reliable. In the U.S., the issue is especially pressing in California, which is coping with a record-setting, multidecadal drought.

US Senate ratifies treaty to phase down climate-warming HFCs from refrigerators and air conditioners – but what will replace them this time?

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The U.S. Senate voted to ratify an international treaty on Sept. 21, 2022, and join 137 other countries in agreeing to phase out a class of climate-warming chemicals that are widely used as coolants in refrigerators, air conditioners and heat pumps.

Typhoon Merbok, fueled by unusually warm Pacific Ocean, pounded Alaska’s vulnerable coastal communities at a critical time

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The powerful remnants of Typhoon Merbok pounded Alaska's western coast on Sept. 17, 2022, pushing homes off their foundations and tearing apart protective berms as water flooded communities.

Intense heat waves and flooding are battering electricity and water systems, as America’s aging infrastructure sags under the pressure of climate change

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The 1960s and 1970s were a golden age of infrastructure development in the U.S., with the expansion of the interstate system and widespread construction of new water treatment, wastewater and flood control systems reflecting national priorities in public health and national defense. But infrastructure requires maintenance, and, eventually, it has to be replaced.

Extreme heat + air pollution can be deadly, with the health risk together worse than either alone

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In the U.S. West, several states were under heat advisories as September began, facing what the National Weather Service described as a "prolonged and possibly record heat wave" - including in areas contending with wildfire smoke.