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Climate

It’s Not Just Florida That’s Flooded Right Now

On severe rainfall across the globe, Musk’s payday, and La Niña

It’s Not Just Florida That’s Flooded Right Now
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: Mexico recorded its hottest June day ever, with temperatures reaching 125.4 degrees Fahrenheit • Southern China is bracing for heavy rain that could last through next week • It is warm and sunny in Italy’s Puglia region, where the 50th G7 summit will wrap up tomorrow.

THE TOP FIVE

1. An update on extreme flooding in Florida – and across the globe

Much of south Florida remains under water as a tropical storm system dumps buckets of rain on the region. The deluge began Tuesday and will continue today with “considerable to locally catastrophic urban flooding,” but should diminish over the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. In Hallandale Beach, near Fort Lauderdale, about 20 inches of rain had fallen by Thursday with more on the way. Seven million people in the state were under flood watches or warnings.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Flooding in Hallandale Beach and Hollywood, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Spain, Indonesia, Chile, and Moscow are also experiencing extreme flooding due to excessive rainfall.

2. Tesla shareholders re-approve Musk’s pay package

In case you missed it: Tesla shareholders voted yesterday to re-approve CEO Elon Musk’s enormous pay package. “The vote puts to bed a variety of rumors and threats surrounding the electric car company,” wrote Andrew Moseman at Heatmap, “including, most seriously, that Musk would neglect Tesla in favor of his other companies if he didn’t get his way and might consider leaving for good, taking his talents for artificial intelligence and autonomous driving elsewhere. With his colossal payday back in place, he appears likely to stay and to push Tesla toward those fields.” The shareholders also voted to reincorporate the company in Texas.

3. Oil trade group sues EPA over tailpipe rules

The American Petroleum Institute yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against the EPA to block the agency’s new tailpipe emissions rules. The standards “strengthen greenhouse gas emission limits, in terms of grams of CO2 per mile, that automakers will have to adhere to, on average, across their product lines,” Heatmap’s Emily Pontecorvo explained when the rules were announced in March. The regulations will encourage manufacturers to make more electric vehicles. API is the largest oil trade group in the U.S. and includes industry giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Attorneys general from 25 states are also suing the EPA over the same emissions rules. As Reutersreported, “the U.S. auto industry has largely endorsed the new tailpipe standards.”

4. El Niño is officially over

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration yesterday declared the El Niño weather pattern officially over and said La Niña will likely be upon us sometime between July and September:

NOAA

El Niño, combined with human-caused climate change, has brought record warm temperatures and drought conditions across the world, but weather experts worry the shift toward La Niña could make matters worse. Right now we’re in a sort of in-between zone – neither El Niño or La Niña – and “summers between the phases have higher-than-average temperatures,” reportedGrist. And La Niña is expected to supercharge storms in the Atlantic, making for a severe hurricane season.

5. Insurance industry keeps underestimating natural disaster costs

The insurance industry apparently keeps underestimating the severity of natural disasters. According to the Financial Times, reinsurer Swiss Re is warning the industry that its annual models have been “off by factors as opposed to 10 or 20%,” as insured losses topped $100 billion last year for the fourth year in a row and may very well do so again this year. The inaccuracy comes down to a lack of data, Swiss Re said, adding that it is investing heavily in improving its own disaster prediction models.

THE KICKER

Officials in Montgomery County, Maryland, will break ground today on a transit microgrid that will eventually power 200 zero-emission buses and be the largest renewable energy-powered bus depot in the U.S.

Alphastruxure

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a freelance writer and editor who likes to think deeply about climate science and sustainability. She previously served as Global Deputy Editor for The Week, and her writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, Popular Science, and Fortune. Jessica is originally from Indiana but lives in London.

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THE TOP FIVE

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