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CHICAGO – Hurricane-force winds tore across the U.S. upper Midwest Thursday evening, sending walls of dust across cities and rural towns, causing widespread property damage and killing at least two people.
Straight-line winds up to 105 miles per hour reached from Kansas to Wisconsin, pushing waves of farmland topsoil across the horizon and plunging communities into darkness, according to meteorologists and soil experts.
The wall of dust evoked images of the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, said farmers, with winds dropping storage buildings onto tractors and flipping cars on highways.
One person was killed by a fallen tree in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, according to the National Weather Service. A second person was reportedly killed in Minnesota, when a grain bin fell onto a car, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“The damage is extensive, but it could have been a lot worse,” said Todd Heitkamp, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The most severe damage hit parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota, he said.
As winds subsided, a gritty layer of black dirt covered wind turbine blades and filled drainage ditches, farmers said, as rich topsoil, crucial for growing crops, blew off some fields.
Dry conditions across the Great Plains and Midwest, combined with traditional farm practices like soil tillage, set the stage for the massive dust storm, according to Joanna Pope, Nebraska state public affairs officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
“The best defense to this type of stuff is installing cover crops and soil-saving practices like no-till,” she said.
“Soil that’s exposed gets dried out really fast, and the high winds just make it blow away. That’s people’s livelihoods, blowing way. It’s terrible.”
The storm could compound struggles as farmers face delayed planting, soaring input costs and pressure to increase production amid record-high food prices and fears of shortages.
In central Nebraska, high winds mangled irrigation systems used to offset dry conditions for recently planted crops. Farmer Kevin Fulton said it could be weeks before the costly systems are repaired.
Farmer Randy Loomis was planting corn near Ayrshire, Iowa, when the storm rolled through, tossing a neighbor’s grain bin across his yard.
His wife and daughter, after dropping off his supper, abandoned their car to huddle against the wind in a nearby ditch, he said.
“That big dust cloud was three football fields wide,” said Loomis, 62. “It was just black. … it had sucked up all that black dirt.”
By: Ny Post
Naomi Campbell supports Kate Moss after Johnny Depp testimony
Naomi Campbell will always have Kate Moss’ back.
The model took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday to praise her pal for taking the witness stand on behalf of Johnny Depp and his ongoing legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard.
“YES WAGON TELL IT !! @ katemossagency,” Campbell, 52, wrote, using the nickname she has used for Moss, 48, for years.
Campbell’s words were accompanied by a screengrab of an article recapping Moss’ statements in court, in which the model denied Heard’s claim that Depp pushed her down a flight of stairs during their ’90s romance.
As previously reported, Moss was called as a rebuttal witness for Depp, 58, in his $50 million defamation lawsuit against Heard, 36. The trial is now in its sixth and final week in Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.
“He never pushed me, kicked me, or threw me down any stairs,” Moss said over video from Gloucester, England.
Moss told jurors that she fell down a flight of stairs and injured herself during a rainy night in Jamaica at the GoldenEye Resort.
“Johnny had left the room before I did, and there had been a rainstorm. And as I left the room, I slid down the stairs and hurt my back,” she testified.
“I screamed because I didn’t know what happened to me and I was in pain. And [Depp] came running back to help me and carried me to my room and got me medical attention.”
Depp’s attorney Ben Chew then asked Moss, “Did Mr. Depp push you in any way down the stairs?”
She asserted, “No.”
Moss was 20 and Depp was 31 when they dated from 1994 until 1997. Following their split, the actor moved on with now-ex Vanessa Paradis. Depp and Paradis, 49, share kids Lily-Rose, 22, and Jack, 20.
Though Moss once described her breakup with Depp as a “nightmare,” she has remained resolutely supportive of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star.
“There’s nobody that’s ever really been able to take care of me,” Moss told Vanity Fair in 2012. “Johnny did for a bit.”
By: Ny Post
Ari Emanuel to marry Sarah Staudinger in St. Tropez this weekend
Hollywood superagent Ari Emanuel will seal his latest deal this weekend.
Sources confirmed to Page Six that Emanuel — the hard-charging inspiration for Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character on the HBO hit “Entourage” — will tie the knot with designer Sarah Staudinger in a star-studded ceremony in St. Tropez, France.
Conveniently, the nuptials will coincide with the end of the nearby Cannes Film Festival.
Insiders told Page Six that guests are already headed to the wedding location for the upcoming festivities.
While the guest list currently remains under wraps, Emanuel is known to rep A-list names including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Christian Bale, Whoopi Goldberg, Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Charlize Theron, Larry David and Joaquin Phoenix. He also previously represented Donald Trump in his “Apprentice” days.
On the family side, his brothers are former mayor of Chicago Rahm Emanuel and bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel.
Meanwhile, Staudinger’s fashion line, Staud, has celebrity fans including Kendall Jenner, Lizzo, Bella and Gigi Hadid, Selena Gomez and Margot Robbie.
Page Six exclusively revealed last May that Emanuel and Staudinger got engaged. They started dating in 2018, after he and his first wife, Sarah Addington, filed for divorce after 20 years of marriage. They reportedly separated in 2014, and have three kids together.
Emanuel, 61, and Staudinger, 33, broke up in 2020, then reconciled around the start of 2021. He popped the question after his company, Endeavor, debuted on the stock market, a source told us at the time.
The Brentwood, Calif., home he shared with Addington went on the market last year for $25.9 million, while he bought a 2-acre Beverly Hills estate for $27.5 million in October 2020.
A rep did not comment.
The Wrap was first to report on the Emanuel wedding.
By: Ny Post
Heat trapped by greenhouse gases reached highest level yet in 2021, scientists say
Greenhouse gases emitted by human activities trapped much more heat in 2021 than they did three decades ago, according to scientists.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released an update to its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index on Monday. The index is used to provide a measurement of the amount of heating greenhouse gases are causing.
In 2021, the index reached a value of 1.49, which is 49% more than 1 value that is assigned to 1990 – the year of the Kyoto Protocol, one of the earliest binding climate change agreements signed by 192 countries. The value of 0 is assigned to the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1750.
Carbon dioxide levels
According to scientists, carbon dioxide is the most abundant of the green greenhouse gases and grew by 2.6 parts per million last year. The level has risen by 61 ppm since 1990, and accounts for 80% of the increased heat shown in the AGGI.
“CO2 is the main player because it stays in the atmosphere and oceans for thousands of years and it is by far the largest contributor to global warming,” said Pieter Tans, senior scientist at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory.
Methane sources still not clear
Methane, or CH4, is another greenhouse gas that drives climate change, but scientists are still trying to understand what is causing its increase.
Scientists said CH4 levels grew by 16.9 parts per billion in 2021 – the fastest observed increase since the early 1980s.
The nature of its increase is important to understand because it warms the earth 30 to 90 times more than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide. However, it stays in the atmosphere a much shorter amount of time than CO2 – decades compared to millennia.
According to scientists, the increased methane may be coming less from fossil fuels and more from wetlands, agriculture and landfills.
“We should absolutely target man-made methane emissions — especially those from fossil fuel — because it is technologically feasible to control them,” said Xin Lan, a scientist from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. “If wetlands are giving off more methane because of warming and changes in global precipitation caused by rising CO2 levels, that’s something we can’t control directly, and that would be very concerning.”
Other gases being monitored
There are a total of 19 greenhouse gases that are monitored by scientists. While carbon dioxide and methane make up the bulk of these gases in the atmosphere, another one called nitrous oxide, or N2O, comes in third.
According to scientists, N2O levels are primarily the result of the use of fertilizer for agriculture.
“We can find alternative energy sources to replace fossil fuels, but cutting emissions associated with producing food is a very difficult task,” said Stephen Montzka, the GML scientist who leads the AGGI report each year.
The remaining 16 greenhouse gases make up about 4% of heat that has been trapped since 1750, according to scientists.
By: Ny Post
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