Heat is likely to break records in the next five years
Temperatures are likely to soar to record levels over the next five years, driven by human warming and the El Niño climate pattern, World Meteorological Organization forecasters said. There is also a two-thirds chance that one of the next five years could be 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, warmer than the 19th-century average, the organization reported.
There is a 98 percent chance that at least one of the next five years will exceed the temperature record set in 2016, forecasters said, while the average from 2023 to ’27 will almost certainly be the warmest five-year period on record. Even small increases in temperature can exacerbate the dangers of heat waves, wildfires, droughts and other disasters.
El Niño conditions can cause additional concern by altering global rainfall patterns. The meteorological organization said it expected increased summer rainfall over the next five years in places such as northern Europe and the Sahel in sub-Saharan Africa, and reduced rainfall in the Amazon and parts of Australia.
Context: A particularly warm year does not mean that the world will have officially breached the ambitious goal of the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. When scientists talk about that temperature target, they generally mean a long-term average over years or even decades.
Ukraine’s successes near Bakhmut
Within days, Ukrainian forces have reclaimed territory north and south of the ruined city of Bakhmut which the Russians needed many weeks to capture. Although Moscow’s troops still hold most of Bakhmut itself, Ukrainian soldiers are on the offensive for the first time in months, and the momentum appears to have shifted their way — at least for now.
Continued Ukrainian advances would put the Russians inside Bakhmut at risk of being surrounded and trapped, and would show that the deep, fortified lines the Russians have built across Ukraine can be breached. Success around Bakhmut would also provide a major morale boost for Ukraine and a serious blow to Russia.
The gains come as Ukraine prepares to launch a wider counter-offensive, aimed at a dramatic breakthrough in a grueling war in which much blood has been spilled but little ground gained. While the dynamics around Bakhmut are somewhat specific to that battle, Ukrainian commanders say they hope to build on lessons learned there as they try to attack elsewhere on the front line.
Inside the city: Once a town of around 70,000 in the Donetsk region, known for its sparkling wine and salt mines, Bakhmut has become a symbol of the savagery of this war. The situation has become so dire that Ukrainian commanders are only sending in volunteers. “If you go into Bakhmut, you must know that you may not make it,” said one soldier.
In other war news:
How the first humans evolved
A new study published this week rejects the long-standing argument that modern humans arose from one place in Africa over a period of time.
Instead, the researchers concluded that modern humans descended from at least two populations — called Stem1 and Stem2 — that coexisted in Africa for a million years before merging in several independent events across the continent.
If Stem1 and Stem2 had been completely separated from each other, they would have accumulated a large number of distinct mutations in their DNA. Instead, by analyzing the genomes of 290 living people, the researchers found that the two populations had remained only moderately different — about as different as living Europeans and West Africans are today. The researchers concluded that humans had moved between Stem1 and Stem2, mating to have children and mixing their DNA.
Unknown: The model does not reveal where the Stem1 and Stem2 people lived in Africa. And it is possible that bands of these two groups moved a lot during the large periods of time that they existed on the continent.
THE LATEST NEWS
Around the world
What is your therapist not telling you? That they don’t love your “therapy speech” or desperately need a bathroom break? That yes, you should break up with him, or no, they are not on board with your emotional support hedgehog?
“Therapy itself, it’s a bit of a dance — you want to see what the other person is coming up with, and you dance with them,” said Peter Chan, a psychologist. “If they’re doing a waltz, you can’t break out hip-hop, and there are times when people just don’t want to dance.”
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETICS
The race to buy the world’s biggest football club: We’ve spoken to sources connected to both bidders to try and find out where we stand the race to buy Manchester United.
Arsenal’s rising star striker chooses USA over England: Folarin Balogun will represent the United States after his switch of allegiance from England was approved by FIFA. Where would he fit?
Canceling the Imola GP was the only choice for F1: Running a grand prix in the middle of a natural disaster is simply not profitable – and F1 has learned the value of that makes an early call.
ART AND IDEAS
Move a sinking city
Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, is sinking in some places by up to a foot a year. Desperate for access to clean water, people have dug thousands of illegal wells that effectively drain the marshes beneath the city. Today, 40 percent of the city is below sea level and floods are increasingly common.
The encroaching sea poses a threat to one of the world’s most densely packed cities, where 10 million people live in an area roughly half the size of New York City. To deal with that threat, Joko Widodo, the popular president, is moving the capital to a new location about 800 miles away and renaming it Nusantara.
“People want Nusantara to succeed because it means that the developing world – despite all the problems that were put in its way by the legacy of imperialism, by the legacy of colonialism – that a country can succeed on its own terms and can become a successful democracy and can create its own vision for itself,” says Hannah Beech, The Times’ senior Asia correspondent. “But it’s a very, very challenging thing to do.”
Read our story and see photographs and videos accompanying it.
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