Environment

Deadly U.S. Winter Storm Maintains Its Icy Grip, Claims at Least 34 Lives

Millions of Americans might have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but surely nothing like this. The brutal winter storm that has blanketed much of the U.S. in a coating of snow and ice will continue into the week as travelers see cancelled flights and dangerous roads combining to make their holiday travels a misery.

Winter storm snow blankets a neighborhood, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. Millions of people hunkered down against a deep freeze Sunday morning to ride out the frigid storm that has killed at least 24 people across the United States and is expected to claim more lives after trapping …

Japan May Build More Nuclear Reactors Despite 2011 Post-Tsunami Promise

Japan’s federal government said on Wednesday it is mulling over plans to build “next-generation nuclear power plants,” Kyodo News reported, noting that the admission marks a major shift from previous statements by Tokyo that it would not pursue “new nuclear energy” in the wake of the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses statements to the press after his meeting with the Italian prime minister at the Palazzo Chigi in Rome on May 4, 2022. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

China Manufactures ‘Artificial Rain’ to Fight Drought

China’s ruling Communist Party ordered its meteorological bureau to dispatch special rain-making aircraft to drought-afflicted areas of the country’s south on Tuesday as part of a wider effort to protect China’s autumn harvest from ruination by a regional heatwave that began in June, the Global Times reported.

WEINING, CHINA - AUGUST 24, 2022 - Citizens use rocket anti-aircraft guns to make artificial rain in Weining autonomous county, Guizhou Province, China, Aug 24, 2022. Artificial rain enhancement and hail suppression operation is a service organized and carried out by the meteorological department, through which the ecological environment can …

Bushfires Add to Pressure from Drought in China

Bushfires have reportedly engulfed “several mountains” in Chongqing, a municipality within southern China’s Sichuan province, in recent days, the Global Times reported on Monday, noting that the wildfires have merely exacerbated an ongoing heatwave and drought across most of China’s southern region that began in June.

HEJIANG, CHINA - AUGUST 22: A firefighter battles to contain the forest fire on the mountain on August 22, 2022 in Hejiang County, Luzhou City, Sichuan Province of China. A total of 207 people have been evacuated and no casualties have been reported. (Photo by Liu Zhongjun/China News Service via …

China Struggles to Prevent Food Crisis as Drought Hits Heartland Farms

China’s central government on Monday was “ramping up” efforts to prevent an ongoing heatwave and drought from ruining much of the nation’s autumn grain harvest across China’s southern region, the Global Times reported, noting that the autumn grain harvest in jeopardy contributes 75 percent of China’s annual grain production on average.

Gan Bingdong stands in the basin of a community reservoir near his farm that ran nearly empty after its retaining wall started to leak and hot weather and drought conditions accelerated the loss of water, in Longquan village in southwestern China's Chongqing Municipality, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. Drought conditions across …

Watch: Chinese Workers Test Fishermen’s Live Catch for Coronavirus

The local government of Xiamen, China, recently ordered municipal workers to test both fishermen and their catch, including “live fish” and crabs, for the Chinese coronavirus out of alleged concern that international fishing activity in the area may have sparked local outbreaks of the virus, the Chinese government-controlled news outlet Sixth Tone on Thursday.

A fish receives a COVID-19 test at a port in Xiamen, Fujian province, Aug. 16, 2022. From @台海网 on Weibo

Report: China Destroying Myanmar with Rare Earth Mining for ‘Green’ Energy

Chinese-owned companies in Myanmar are allegedly responsible for illegal mining operations that are destroying the natural landscape of Myanmar’s border region with China, local miners of dysprosium and terbium — two heavy rare earth minerals used in clean energy products and smart electronics — told the organization Global Witness for a report published on Tuesday.

A depiction of a rare earth mining operation in Myanmar. (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Lebanon: Sections of Beirut’s Blast-Stricken Grain Silos Collapse

Sections of Beirut’s grain silos collapsed on Sunday after weakening during a weeks-long fire caused by recent high temperatures that fermented the silos’ grain stores, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, noting that the silos were infamous for shielding much of western Beirut from an August 2020 port explosion and sustaining partial damage from the blast themselves.

The grain silos at Beirut's port were severely damaged two years ago in a devastating explosion

India: Lightning Kills Nearly 50 People in One Week

Nearly 50 people have been killed by lightning in northern India’s Uttar Pradesh state within the past week, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Thursday, noting that India has recorded almost 750 deaths from lightning strikes nationwide since April.

NEW DELHI, INDIA - MAY 23: A view of lightning seen from a rooftop at Patel Nagar on May 23, 2022 in New Delhi, India. Several parts of Delhi-NCR received rains with gusty winds in Delhi as the temperatures dropped by ten degrees. The downpour led to several trees being …

Video: Japanese Soccer Players Ignore Nearby Volcanic Eruption

A soccer game in Japan continued uninterrupted last week while an active volcano visibly erupted nearby, Chile’s CHVNoticias website reported on Wednesday, noting that all athletes, officials, and spectators of the event participated in the game as if nothing was amiss despite plumes of volcanic smoke gathering in the sky above the open-air soccer stadium.

southwestern Japan’s Kyushu island at the foot of Sakurajima, an active volcano

Southern China Floods Kill at Least 17, Displace Nearly 300,000

At least 17 people were killed across China’s neighboring provinces of Hunan and Guangxi as of Thursday after severe rainfall caused flooding and landslides that swept away entire villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the southern region, the Associated Press reported.

GANZHOU, CHINA - JUNE 06: Armed police officers evacuate residents from a flood-hit area after torrential rains on June 6, 2022 in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)