NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Photos show Ida’s devastating impact on coastal Louisiana from above

Wildfires prompt Greece to create climate crisis ministry

Greece on Monday established a government ministry to respond to the effects of climate change after wildfires burned hundreds of square miles of land in the country this summer, according to AP.

Firefighters battling a fire near Vilia, Greece, in August 2021. Photo: Maria Chourdari/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Why it matters: The ministry will be responsible for combating wildfires, distributing disaster relief and creating policies to help the country adapt to the effects of climate change.

Christos Stylianides, the former European Union commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, was named the head of the new ministry.

The big picture: Heat waves across Europe in July and August contributed to massive wildfires that torched more than 385 square miles of land on the Greece island of Evia, according to AP…READ ON

Photos show Ida’s devastating impact on coastal Louisiana from above

Some of the places hardest hit by Hurricane Ida’s Category 4 winds lie just south of New Orleans—a region of fishing villages, wildlife refuges, and oil and gas facilities. Once a site of healthy, expansive coastal wetlands, the region is now slowly eroding into the sea. It includes the Isle de Jean Charles, home to the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe, a community billed as the nation’s first climate refugees.

As Louisiana loses these wetlands at the rate of a football field per hour, it loses not only critical fisheries but also a buffer that protects New Orleans and other towns to the north from deadly storm surges coming off the Gulf of Mexico. Major hurricanes like Ida, in turn, hasten the demise of the wetlands.

National Geographic photographer Ben Depp, who lives in New Orleans, rode out the storm at home. After Ida passed and it was safe to fly once again, he took these photographs of the storm’s extensive damage from an airplane…READ ON

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