1/ The U.S. and China need more time to “break new ground” to reach new climate agreements despite “productive” conversations. U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry said the two countries “had a very extensive set of frank conversations” and committed to “work intensively in the weeks ahead” to better address greenhouse gas emissions, boosting renewable power, and developing national climate plans ahead of a critical United Nations climate summit starting this November in Dubai. China is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, followed by the U.S. Although China has vowed to peak its carbon pollution by 2030 and hit carbon neutrality by 2060, Chinese leader Xi Jinping reiterated that the country would resist efforts from other nations to push it to move faster, saying the approach for achieving those targets “must be determined by ourselves, and will never be influenced by others.” (Politico / Washington Post / Bloomberg)

  • Al Gore on Extreme Heat and the Fight Against Fossil Fuels. “We know how to fix this,” Gore said. “We can stop the temperatures going up worldwide with as little as a three-year time lag by reaching net zero […] And if we stay at true net zero, we’ll see half of the human-caused CO2 coming out of the atmosphere in as little as 30 years.” (New York Times)

2/ Phoenix broke a 49-year-old record with its 19th consecutive day of high temperatures at or above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Overnight temperatures in Phoenix haven’t dropped below 90 degrees for a record 9 days in a row. More than 85 million people in the U.S. are currently under heat alerts, and since early June more than 2,300 heat records have been broken. Two weeks ago Earth recorded its hottest days in modern history. Since then, China set an all-time high of nearly 126 degrees Fahrenheit – the country’s highest temperature ever observed and the highest recorded north of 40 degrees latitude globally – Death Valley hit 128 degrees, and the Persian Gulf International Airport in Iran reached 152 degrees on the heat index. The heat index measures how hot it feels outside, using both air temperature and humidity. (Associated Press / New York Times / NBC News / Washington Post / ABC News / CNN)

3/ More than 44 million people in 28 states have been affected by wildfire smoke this week and air quality alerts remain in effect for parts of 16 states. Air quality in the U.S., however, is expected to improve over the next few days. There are more than 800 active fires are burning throughout Canada. (New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News / NBC News / CNN)

  • 💡 How to build a DIY air filter for wildfire smoke. The Corsi-Rosenthal Box is an affordable homemade air cleaning system that can reduce indoor exposure to wildfire smoke (and other airborne particles, like Covid-19). You’ll need a 20” box fan, four 20x20 MERV 13 furnace filters, some duct tape, and a piece of cardboard. Here’s your assembly guide.

4/ Kevin McCarthy suggested that the U.S. could plant a trillion trees to combat climate change instead of phasing out fossil fuels. McCarthy made the comment last month during a visit to a natural gas drilling site in Ohio. The idea comes from a 2019 study, which initially proposed planting a trillion trees as an effective climate solution. However, the authors of the study have since made three corrections, including that they were incorrect to state “tree restoration is the most effective solution to climate change to date,” and that new forests could absorb about half as much carbon as they initially suggested. The authors have also clarified that planting trees does not eliminate “the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Planting one trillion trees would require a space roughly the size of the continental U.S. (Associated Press)

poll/ 55% of Americans are expecting a “significant negative effect” from climate change during their lifetime, while 41% are not. 67% say they’re either very concerned or somewhat concerned about climate change, while 32% say they’re either not so concerned or not concerned at all. (Quinnipiac)