climate change

Charles Trainor JR. /Miami Herald

A new United Nations climate report released in Monaco this week paints another grim picture for the planet and Florida.

Seas are not only rising, but accelerating and worsening flood threats.

Warren Leamard / Special to WLRN

Keys residents were surprised to find saltwater on the streets Tuesday morning, well before the weekend's king tides.

As the world's climate changes, ocean warming is accelerating and sea levels are rising more quickly, warns a new report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The report is a synthesis of the most up-to-date climate science on oceans and ice, and it lays out a stark reality: Ocean surface temperatures have been warming steadily since 1970, and for the past 25 years or so, they've been warming twice as fast.

In March, when Cyclone Idai made landfall in central Mozambique and became one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the country's history, Jose Mucote was ready.

He runs a local humanitarian aid nonprofit and had been working since 2008 to set up a cyclone response system in the town of Estaquinha that included solar-powered radios, a warehouse stocked with emergency supplies and an evacuation boat.

Greta Thunberg has a message for world leaders at the United Nations this week: "We'll be watching you." Speaking at the Climate Action Summit in New York, Thunberg added, "This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school, on the other side of the ocean."

But instead, Thunberg, 16, is trying to convince politicians to take climate change seriously, and to do something to stop a global warming trend that will affect the world's children more than it affects anyone who's currently in power.

Leaders from nearly 200 countries are attending a special United Nations Summit on climate change today as they face increasing pressure from citizens around the world to cut global greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming.

Currently, global emissions are on track to cause potentially catastrophic climate change in the coming decades.

Gabriela Camacho WLRN

Miami youths frustrated with the pace of efforts to address climate change have a message for adults: We're starting a revolution.

At a rally outside Miami Beach City Hall on Friday — one of dozens around the state and hundreds across the nation — protesters waved signs, chanted and expressed outrage at the lack of action. The rally was organized by local students and adults and part of the strikewithus.org effort sponsored by about 300 organizations.

Caroline Lewis/Cleo Foundation

Thousands of Florida students are demanding lawmakers and politicians act on climate issues. Across the state, students from Miami to Melbourne, and Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville, skipped school as part of the Global Climate Strike. Protestors hope to put pressure on lawmaker to act faster on climate issues.

16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg inspired the climate strikes. The action comes ahead of a planned UN Climate Action Summit that takes place next week in New York.

youth climate strike
Courtesy of Elijah Ruby / WLRN

Editor's note: This story was updated at 5:00 p.m. with comments from Broward County Public Schools, including the district's policy for students missing class to participate in protests.

South Broward High School senior Elijah Ruby had been handing out flyers advertising a climate change protest when a school administrator told him he would be suspended from campus for a day and barred from attending prom and other special class events.

WLRN Lily Oppenheimer

Students across South Florida and the state will be skipping school Friday to join a nationwide youth climate strike

Six volunteer firefighters use machetes to cut a path through the vines and underbrush of the Chiquitano forest in Bolivia's eastern lowlands. They're approaching the leading edge of a fire that's been burning for hours.

They attempt to smother it with shovelfuls of dirt and water they carry on their backs in tanks normally used to fumigate crops. But the smoke is getting thicker, the heat stronger and swirling winds push the flames forward. Realizing they are overmatched, José Zapata, the only trained firefighter among the group, orders his men to pull out.

Victor R. Caivano / AP

Last week Brazilian soldiers were working to put out this year’s record number of fires in the Amazon rainforest. The irony is that they were there on the orders of their commander-in-chief, President Jair Bolsonaro – because he’s trying to put out another kind of fire.

WLRN archives

Miami-Dade County’s morgue sits on a gritty corner opposite the Ryder Trauma Center, in the shadow of a boxy parking garage.

It’s not an unsurprising setting for cataloguing the worst of South Florida. What’s unexpected is inside: a skylight bathes the lobby in sunshine and makes the green carpet look like a forest floor. Loveseats and chairs are arranged for hushed conversations and hugs. A painting of a heron perched in a cypress swamp hangs on a wall outside the records room.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

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