Polar Vortex Drives a Cold Snap in Asia

polar vortex drives a cold snap in asia

Mohe, China’s northernmost city, recorded a temperature of minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit this week. That was the coldest in its recorded history, and cold enough to cause hypothermia within minutes in anyone who wasn’t dressed properly. “It has never been this cold,” Zhang Hong, 53, who runs a pancake shop in Mohe and has lived in the city for 30 years, said by phone on Friday. “It was so frosty outside,” she added. “The wind was so brisk that it felt as though it was shaving your nose and face.”…

The War in Ukraine Upended Energy Markets. What Does That Mean for the Climate?

the war in ukraine upended energy markets what does that mean for the climate

This article is part of our special report on the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. As world leaders, chief executives and nonprofit leaders descend on Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum next week, war will be raging about 1,000 miles away. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine almost one year ago has reordered the geopolitical landscape, sent ripples through the global economy and brought trench warfare back to Europe. Yet beyond the enormous human suffering and catastrophic damage inflicted on Ukraine, its people and…

Restoration of the Ozone Layer Is Back on Track, Scientists Say

restoration of the ozone layer is back on track scientists say

Under the protocol, assessments like the one issued Monday are required at least every four years. In addition to NOAA scientists, contributors included researchers with NASA, the World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations Environment Program and the European Commission. The new assessment also considered, for the first time, the effects on ozone of a potential type of climate intervention, or geoengineering. The method,known as stratospheric aerosol injection, is meant to cool the atmosphere by using airplanes or other means to distribute sulfur aerosols to reflect some of the sun’s rays…

Europe Reaches Deal for Carbon Tax Law on Imports

europe reaches deal for carbon tax law on imports

The European Union has taken a step closer to adopting a groundbreaking carbon tax law that would impose a tariff on imports from countries that fail to take strict steps to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. E.U. member states and the European Parliament reached a preliminary agreement on the proposed law on Monday night, and while the bill has yet to undergo legal checks and get final approval, E.U. officials said they expected it to easily clear the final hurdles. “A historic agreement,” said Pascal Canfin, the chair of the…

John Kerry Plans to Meet With Biden to Discuss His Future as Climate Envoy

john kerry plans to meet with biden to discuss his future as climate envoy

John Kerry, President Biden’s climate envoy, was evasive when discussing his future on Wednesday, saying he had “no plans” to step down, but he would not say if he hoped to continue to represent the country in future global climate talks. Speaking from his Massachusetts home in his first interview since the United Nations climate summit last month in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, Mr. Kerry said he intended to talk with Mr. Biden next week “about the road ahead.” The midpoint in any administration is frequently a time of churn.…

Biden and Xi Break the Ice

biden and xi break the ice

The leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies are meeting this week in Indonesia. What they decide will go a long way toward shaping the global climate of the near future — and with it, the destiny of us all. The Group of 20 represents 80 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions warming the planet. The main headline: China and the U.S. are back on speaking terms. The White House announced that the United States and China would resume their climate talks. The news came after a three-and-a-half hour meeting…

China Is Burning More Coal, a Growing Climate Challenge

china is burning more coal a growing climate challenge

China is poised to take advantage of the global urgency to tackle climate change. It is the world’s dominant manufacturer and user of solar panels and wind turbines. It leads the world in producing energy from hydroelectric dams and is building more nuclear power plants than any other country. But China also burns more coal than the rest of the world combined and has accelerated mining and the construction of coal-fired power plants, driving up the country’s emissions of energy-related greenhouse gases nearly 6 percent last year, the fastest pace…

Can China’s leader deliver?

can chinas leader deliver

The world’s most important non-change in leadership is happening right now in China. At a Communist Party congress this week, Xi Jinping, the country’s top leader for the last 10 years, is all but certain to secure another five years in the job. Xi’s recent predecessors each left office after about a decade to protect China from abuses of power like those during the chaotic Mao era. Xi is expected to cast this precedent aside, taking the country down a more authoritarian path as economic growth teeters and tensions flare…

U.S. Population Growth Has Nearly Flatlined. Is That So Bad?

u s population growth has nearly flatlined is that so bad

This article is part of the Debatable newsletter. You can sign up here to receive it on Wednesdays. “A Demographic Crisis.” “A Blinking Light Ahead.” “The Death of Hope.” Those are some of the dire headlines that have been written in recent years about the sluggish pace of U.S. population growth, which in 2021 fell to its lowest rate ever — just 0.1 percent. While the pandemic played a major role in driving last year’s decline, the country’s population growth has been slowing for much of the last decade, depressed…

China’s Record Drought is Drying Rivers and Feeding Its Coal Habit

chinas record drought is drying rivers and feeding its coal habit

HONG KONG — Car assembly plants and electronics factories in southwestern China have closed for lack of power. Owners of electric cars are waiting overnight at charging stations to recharge their vehicles. Rivers are so low there that ships can no longer carry supplies. A record-setting drought and an 11-week heat wave are causing broad disruption in a region that depends on dams for more than three-quarters of its electricity generation. The factory shutdowns and logistical delays are hindering China’s efforts to revive its economy as the country’s leader, Xi…