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    Page Updated:
    August 30, 2023


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    The Orkney
    Island Project

    -the Guardian
    Sept. 14, 2023
    The Orkney islands are to test two electric ferries for commuting between its outlying islands as part of efforts to cut carbon emissions from shipping.
    The battery-powered hydrofoil ferries, whose hulls are raised above the water, are part of a three-year, £15.5m demonstration project funded by the UK government, due to start in March 2024.
    The smaller of the two ferries will carry up to 12 passengers between Kirkwall, Orkney’s main town, and the islands of Shapinsay, Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre on a year-round daily service.
    The larger vessel will take up to 50 passengers and light cargo between Kirkwall and the outer islands of Westray, Eday, Sanday and Stronsay in a circuit up to five times a day. It is expected to start service in 2025.
    Councillors and MSPs in Orkney and Shetland, the archipelago north of Orkney, have been pressing the UK and Scottish governments for help in replacing their ageing and highly polluting inter-island ferries.

    Louisiana's‘Unprecedented' Wildfires and Record Heat, Drought

    -Washington Post
    August 29, 2023
    More than 450 fires have scorched parts of Louisiana amid weeks of record-breaking heat and severe drought conditions. The Tiger Island Fire, the largest wildfire in the state’s history, tore through Beauregard Parish in the southwestern part of the state and grew from an estimated 15,000 acres to over 33,000 acres between Friday and Sunday, according to local news reports. The fire is currently only 50 percent contained.
    The Louisiana blazes have been blamed for two deaths.
    The area burned in Beauregard Parish, both from the Tiger Island Fire and the Longville Fire, has now surpassed 50,000 acres. As the Tiger Island Fire raged Thursday, all 1,200 residents of Merryville in Beauregard Parish were forced to evacuate their homes. The fires ravaged an estimated 20 structures.
    “Wildfires this many and of this intensity are unprecedented,” Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Department, told The Washington Post. Louisiana, one of the wettest states in the country, averages 771 wildfires a year, according to 10-year average data from the department. The state has averaged 21 wildfires per day over the past several weeks, Strain said.

    California Heat:
    Too Hot to Bear

    --the Guardian
    July 31, 2023
    With temperatures soaring across the US, people and animals alike are looking for a place to find relief. In southern California, one bear sought to beat the heat by taking a dip in a hot tub.
    On Friday, police in Burbank responded to a report of a bear sighting in a residential neighborhood. The bear was filmed calmly lounging in the hot tub. After a short dip, the bear climbed over a wall and headed to a tree behind the home, police said in a statement.
    While seeing a bear kicking back in a jacuzzi is novel, it’s not completely uncommon. In June last year, a bear was seen walking on sidewalks and ducking in and out of backyards in a neighborhood in Fairfield, in northern California. Two months later, a bear was spotted splashing around in a pool at a home in Monrovia, east of Los Angeles. Days after that a bear was spotted swimming in a backyard pool in Simi valley, 40 miles north-west of Los Angeles.
    A black bear known as BB-12 strolled along beaches in Malibu several times before he was fatally struck on a highway earlier this month.

    Heat Index at Iran Airport
    Hits 66degrees Celcius

    --NDTV News
    July 17, 2023
    Climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing global challenges, with rising temperature being a prominent consequence. The Earth's climate is undergoing unprecedented shifts primarily caused by human activities, particularly the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
    The burning of fossil fuels, deforestation, industrial processes, and agricultural practices have all contributed to the accumulation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, creating a greenhouse effect that traps heat within the Earth's atmosphere. As a result, the planet's average temperature has been steadily climbing over the past century.
    Iran's Persian Gulf International Airport experienced record-breaking heat on Sunday due to a rare combination of extremely high temperature and abundant atmospheric moisture that created a heat index.
    According to Colin McCarthy from US Stormwatch, the Iran airport reported a heat index of 152 degrees Fahrenheit (66.7 degrees Celsius).
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