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Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America’s forests

PETERSHAM, Mass. — The scourge of insect pests is expected to put almost two-thirds of America’s forests at risk over the next decade.

The problem is projected to cost several billion dollars every year for dead tree removal and jeopardize longstanding U.S. industries that rely on timber.

2016 set to break heat record despite slowdown in emissions

MARRAKECH, Morocco — Global temperatures are soaring toward a record high this year, the U.N. weather agency said Monday, while another report showed emissions of a key global warming gas have flattened out in the past three years.

The reports injected a mix of gloom and hope at U.N. climate talks in Marrakech this week.

Arctic farming: Town turns to hydroponics for fresh greens

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The landscape is virtually treeless around a coastal hub town above Alaska’s Arctic Circle, where even summer temperatures are too cold for northern-growing forests to take root.

Amid these unforgiving conditions, a creative kind of farming is sprouting up in the largely Inupiat community of Kotzebue.

Cool: Earth’s 16-month record heat streak finally ends

WASHINGTON — Federal meteorologists say Earth’s 16-month streak of record high temperatures is finally over.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says last month’s 60.6 degrees (15.9 Celsius) was merely the second hottest September on record for the globe. That’s slightly cooler than the September record set last year. But it was warmer than the 20th century average.