Climate Change & Environment
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Avocados are Mexico's 'green gold' but growing them harms forests and waters

Consumers' love for avocados in the United States seems to know no bounds. From 2001 through 2020, consumption of this fruit laden with healthy fats tripled nationwide, rising to over 8 pounds per person yearly.

On average, 90% of those avocados are grown in the southwest Mexican state of Michoacán. As with other foods that have become trendy, such as acai berries, or widely used, such as palm oil, intensive avocado production is causing significant environmental damage.

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Papua New Guinea landslide survivors slow to move to safer ground after hundreds buried

Traumatized survivors of the massive landslide estimated to have buried hundreds in Papua New Guinea have been slow to move to safer ground as the South Pacific island nation's authorities prepare to use heavy machinery to clear debris and risk triggering another landslide, officials said Thursday.

Government and army geotechnical experts on Thursday were examining the stability of the massive swath of rubble that crushed Yambali village when a mountainside collapsed last week, Enga provincial administrator Sandis Tsaka said. Australian and New Zealand experts were expected to arrive on Friday.

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Nearly 3 out of 10 children in Afghanistan face crisis or emergency level of hunger

About 6.5 million children in Afghanistan were forecast to experience crisis levels of hunger in 2024, nongovernmental organization Save the Children said.

Nearly 3 of 10 Afghan children will face crisis or emergency levels of hunger this year as the country feels the immediate impacts of floods, the long-term effects of drought, and the return of Afghans from neighboring Pakistan and Iran, according to a report released late Tuesday by Save The Children.

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Texas battered again as powerful storm, strong winds kill 1, cause widespread damage

Power outages remained widespread Wednesday in storm-weary Texas a day after another burst of severe weather flooded streets, uprooted trees and ripped off roofs. Authorities said a teenager was killed at a construction site while working on a home that collapsed.

The severe weather Tuesday, which at one point left more than 1 million customers without electricity, was a continuation of deadly storms, some spawning tornadoes, across the U.S. over the long Memorial Day weekend that killed 24 people in seven states.

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Rio de Janeiro bay reforestation shows mangroves' power to mitigate climate disasters

At the rear of Rio de Janeiro's polluted Guanabara Bay, thousands of mangroves rise as tall as 13 feet (about 4 meters) from a previously deforested area.

The 30,000 trees, planted by non-profit organization Instituto Mar Urbano over four years in the Guapimirim environmental protection area, stand as an example for cities seeking natural means to improve climate resilience.

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Recovery of Brazil's Spix's macaw threatened by climate change

All Spix's macaws are majestically blue in the blazing sun of Brazil's Northeast, but each bird is distinct to Candice and Cromwell Purchase. As the parrots soar squawking past their home, the couple can readily identify bird No. 17 by its smooth feathers and can tell No. 16 from No. 22, which has two beads attached to its radio collar.

This familiarity offers a glimpse of the South African couple's commitment to saving one of the world's most critically endangered species. The parrot — endemic to a small fraction of the Sao Francisco River basin and already rare in the 19th century — was declared extinct in the wild in 2000, when a lonely surviving male disappeared following decades of poaching and habitat destruction from livestock overgrazing. The few remaining birds were scattered in private collections around the world.

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Hollywood movies rarely reflect climate change crisis, researchers want to change that

Aquaman might not mind if the oceans rise, but moviegoers might.

That's one of the takeaways from a new study conducted by researchers who set out to determine if today's Hollywood blockbusters are reflective of the current climate crisis. The vast majority of movies failed the "climate reality check" proposed by the authors, who surveyed 250 movies from 2013 to 2022.

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Fears rise of second landslide and disease outbreak at Papua New Guinea

Authorities fear a second landslide and a disease outbreak are looming at the scene of Papua New Guinea's mass-casualty disaster because of water streams and bodies trapped beneath the tons of debris that swept over a village. Thousands are being told to prepare to evacuate, officials said Tuesday.

A mass of boulders, earth and splintered trees devastated Yambali in the South Pacific nation's remote highlands when a limestone mountainside sheared away Friday. The blanket of debris has become more unstable with recent rain and streams trapped between the ground and rubble, said Serhan Aktoprak, chief of the International Organization for Migration's mission in Papua New Guinea.

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Typhoon leaves at least 7 people dead and thousands displaced in Philippines

A typhoon has finally moved away from the Philippines, leaving at least seven people dead, mostly due to floods or toppled trees, and forcing the closures of several seaports, stranding thousands of passengers, officials said Tuesday.

Typhoon Ewiniar crept by the country's eastern coast late Friday night and lingered over the Philippine islands for several days, before shifting northeastward away from the archipelago. All storm warnings were lifted Tuesday.

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22 dead across the US after weekend tornadoes

A possible tornado damaged a school and homes in Pennsylvania, the latest in a series of powerful storms that swept much of the U.S. during the Memorial Day holiday weekend and killed at least 22 people.

No injuries were reported, but there was roof damage Monday night to the high school and about six homes in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, said David Truskowsky, spokesperson for the city's fire department. School was canceled in the district Tuesday.

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