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2022 brought all kinds of troubling news for nature

The Las Vegas Boat Harbor & Lake Mead Marina on the Arizona/Nevada border. A high-water mark or bathtub ring is visible on the shoreline; Lake Mead is down 161 vertical feet.

The planet’s condition was akilter on numerous natural fronts in 2022. Come and see:

The Northern Hemisphere summer was the second-warmest on record. July nights on average were the warmest on record in the United States. Heatwaves broiled China, India, Europe and parts of South America. Spain recorded its hottest year.

Droughts, a UN report said, have increased 29% in frequency and duration since 2000. Drought in the Horn of Africa pushed at least 23 million people into acute food insecurity, killed millions of livestock and cost the lives of hundreds of elephants and zebras.

Persistent drought lowered Lake Mead, which provides electricity and drinking water for Las Vegas, closer to dead pool status. Parts of the West readied tighter water-use rules. Great Salt Lake in Utah was shrinking.

Firefighters and volunteers combat a fire in the Amazonia rainforest in Apui, southern Amazonas State, Brazil.

Two-thirds of the planet’s tropical rainforests have been either destroyed or degraded, reported The Rainforest Foundation Norway. The Amazon rainforest is adding more warming gases to the atmosphere than it’s capturing, reported the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.

Earth has about a 50% chance of reaching by 2026 the 1.5-degree Celsius heating threshold for triggering catastrophic weather worldwide, the World Meteorological Organization said. Fossil fuels worth $30 trillion would have to stay in the ground to allow for a 50% chance of meeting the 1.5-degree threshold by 2030, Nature reported.

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