In climate news, Beijing is suffering its warmest June heat wave on record, with high temperatures in the Chinese capital Thursday climbing above 41 degrees Celsius, or 106 degrees Fahrenheit — its hottest June day since records began. In Mexico, a searing heat wave has driven record demand for electricity, with reports of blackouts in a dozen states this week. The extreme heat extends into the United States, where parts of Texas and other southern states face “excessive heat” warnings into next week. This comes as smoke from massive wildfires continues to trigger air pollution warnings in Canada and parts of the U.S., with “unhealthy” air quality forecast for Chicago and much of Wisconsin today. The Union of Concerned Scientists reports half of the U.S. population has faced an extreme weather alert so far this year.
Meanwhile, a new study published in the journal Nature Sustainability finds Earth’s ecosystems are degrading from global heating even more rapidly than previously thought, with one in five ecosystems — including the Amazon rainforest — at risk of passing a crucial “tipping point” by the end of the century.