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Australia’s Adelaide Records New National High Temperature

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rob Sharpe said he would not be surprised if January becomes Australia's hottest on record with heatwave conditions likely to persist.

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Australia, Temperature
A beachgoer sits in the sun on Glenelg Beach in Adelaide, Australia, Jan. 24, 2019. VOA

Adelaide sweltered through the highest temperature ever recorded by a major Australian city on Thursday, peaking at a searing 46.6 degrees Celsius (115.9 degrees Fahrenheit) as the drought-parched nation heads toward potentially the hottest January on record.

The South Australia state capital city of 1.3 million people beat its previous 80-year-old record of 46.1 C (115 F) set on Jan. 12, 1939, and records tumbled in smaller towns across the state.

Adelaide’s Red Lion Hotel promised free beer if the mercury topped 45 C (113 F) but only while it exceeded that benchmark. Bar manager Stephen Firth said the pub ran dry after giving away more than 700 liters (185 gallons) of beer over more than two hours.

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change, economic
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

“We probably thought it would come around one day, but we didn’t think it would be for such a prolonged period,” Firth said.

Adelaide beat the heat record set by Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, of 46.4 C (115.5 F) set in 2009.

Also Read: Australia Serious About Tackling Climate Change: Prime Minister Morrison

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Rob Sharpe said he would not be surprised if January becomes Australia’s hottest on record with heatwave conditions likely to persist.

Last year was Australia’s third-warmest on record.

Heatwave conditions combined with a prolonged drought across much of Australia’s southeast have led to scores of major wildfires during the southern hemisphere summer. (VOA)

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US to Work with Australia, Canada to Cut Reliance on Chinese Minerals

Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements is controlled by one country

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US, Australia, Canada
FILE - Samples of rare earth minerals (L-R): Cerium oxide, Bastnasite, Neodymium oxide and Lanthanum carbonate are on display during a tour of Molycorp's Mountain Pass Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass, California. VOA

The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world develop their reserves of minerals like lithium, copper and cobalt, the State Department said on Tuesday, part of a multi-pronged strategy to reduce global reliance on China for materials crucial to high-tech industries.

Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports after Beijing suggested using them as leverage in the trade war between the world’s largest economic powers.

This would interrupt the manufacture of a wide range of consumer, industrial and military goods, including mobile phones, electric vehicles, batteries, and fighter jets.

“Over 80 percent of the global supply chain of rare earth elements — is controlled by one country,” the State Department said in a fact sheet outlining the effort, which it has dubbed the Energy Resource Governance Initiative. “Reliance on any one source increases the risk of supply disruptions.”

US, Australia, Canada
The United States will team up with Canada and Australia to help countries around the world. VOA

Under the plan, the United States will share mining expertise with other countries to help them discover and develop their resources, and advise on management and governance frameworks to help ensure their industries are attractive to international investors.

Doing so will help to ensure global supply for the minerals can meet world demand, which is projected to surge alongside the growing take-up in high-technology goods. “Demand for critical energy minerals could increase almost 1,000% by 2050,” according to the fact sheet.

Frank Fannon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for energy resources, said in an interview that tensions with China show the United States should be producing more rare earth minerals and help others ensure a secure supply. “We need to do more and we are not alone in this,” Fannon said.

Canada and Australia, two major mining countries, were partnering in the effort and other allies could join later, a U.S. official said.

Also Read- In Hot Water? Warming Oceans may Reduce Sea Life by 17%,Says Study

Canada’s Ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, said Canadian officials have met with the State Department several times to discuss critical minerals and environmental issues around global mining and he looks forward to advancing the initiative.

Representatives of Australia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The plan was first reported on Tuesday morning by the Financial Times.

The plan comes a week after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended urgent steps to boost U.S. domestic production of “critical minerals,” including by providing low-interest loans to mining companies and requiring defense companies to “buy American.”

US, Australia, Canada
Washington grew more concerned recently about its dependence on mineral imports. Pixabay

The Commerce report also recommended that U.S. agencies review areas that are currently protected from development and assess whether those restrictions should be lifted or reduced to allow for critical minerals development. (VOA)