Dominican's recovery, penguin peril and GOP denial: What to know about extreme weather now

A man floats on a paddle board off Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at sunrise Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. Brazil is facing a heat wave during the southern hemisphere's winter. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

The Dominican Republic was starting to get back on its feet Thursday after Tropical Storm Franklin raked the island nation, with heavy flooding that killed at least two people. The storm knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of people and left more than 1.6 million without water.

Heavy rains elsewhere caused flooding in several parts of the U.S., including an Ohio highway where 10 people were rescued from cars stranded in high water. In Michigan, flooded underground roadways blocked travelers from parts of Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and in Las Vegas, a fast-moving storm flooded parts of the city, including its famed strip.

Here’s what else is happening related to extreme weather and the climate right now:

—Strong winds and hot, dry conditions made going difficult for firefighters battling multiple wildfires in Greece, including one in the northeast that officials say is the largest recorded in the European Union.

A heat wave continued to broil the central and southeast United States, straining power grids and prompting safety warnings for people without access to air conditioning.

The Brazilian Amazon has long been home to small and mid-sized sustainable businesses that use forest nuts, fruits and other products in a “bioeconomy.” Now there's a push to scale these up both to protect the rainforest and to provide a livelihood for tens of millions of people who live in and near it.

—Loss of sea ice in one region of Antarctica has taken a devastating toll on emperor penguins, researchers say.

China moved quickly to ban imports of seafood from Japan after that country began releasing its first batch of treated radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

—Two months after a railroad bridge collapsed, dumping carloads of hazardous oil products into Montana's Yellowstone River, the cleanup workers are gone. But thick mats of tarry petroleum asphalt cover portions of sandbars, oil-speckled rocks and bushes line the shore and the wreckage of a tank car juts from the middle of the river.

—When eight Republican candidates for president were asked in a Wednesday night debate whether they believe humans are causing climate change, only one, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, said climate change is “real.”

—A range of Associated Press photos shows the destructive power of the wildfires that have been a defining feature in a summer of climate extremes worldwide.


“The climate change agenda is a hoax. The reality is more people are dying of climate change policies than they actually are of climate change." — Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.


Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.