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El Niño Could Be Among Strongest on Record, Raising Risk of Floods

A TV news crew files a report behind damaged homes after a mud slide overtook at least 18 homes during heavy rains in Camarillo Springs, California December 12, 2014. JONATHAN ALCORN / Reuters

A TV news crew files a report behind damaged homes after a mud slide overtook at least 18 homes during heavy rains in Camarillo Springs, California December 12, 2014. JONATHAN ALCORN / Reuters

The phenomenon known as El Niño is brewing in the Pacific Ocean — and it could be one of the strongest on record, raising the risk of floods and mudslides this winter in Southern California, forecasters said Thursday. It won’t produce enough rain to end the historic drought in California, they said. Still, it could rival the most powerful El Niño since records were first kept in 1950, experts from the government’s Climate Prediction Center said. That was during the winter of 1997-98, when Southern California was drenched with twice its normal rainfall…

 

Chinese Cave Graffiti Contains 500 Years of Climate Data

An international team of researchers have discovered a cave that contains inscriptions detailing the crippling effects of climate change on a region. In a study published today in the journal Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from the UK and China describe finding inscriptions on the walls of the Dayu Cave in the Qinling Mountains of central China that date back to between 1520 and 1920. The inscriptions detail the impact of droughts on the society, politics, and economy of the region, and they correlate with geochemical data gleaned…

 

West Australian bushfire victims launch class action against State Government

In Western Australia, more than 100 people have joined forces to sue the State Government over a bushfire that destroyed dozens of homes in 2014. They say the fire, in the outer Perth suburbs of Parkerville and Stoneville, could have been prevented. The fire started with a fallen power pole on private property. The lawsuit says it wouldn’t have happened if the state-owned utility Western Power had replaced the rotten pole. But Western Power insists that fixing private poles is not its responsibility…

 

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