Clouds of aggressive nickel-sized mosquitoes called gallinippers have descended on 27 counties in North Carolina, the result of untold numbers of the insect’s eggs being activated by the catastrophic flooding caused by hurricane Florence. Unlike most mosquitoes, Gallinippers can lay their eggs in dry conditions, of which can lay dormant for months or years, and hatch when wet conditions develop. The females can be particularly aggressive, mobbing large mammals such as humans or even cattle in order to feed.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a dire warning that our current efforts at addressing the problem of climate change are not keeping pace with the increase of the rate of global warming, and that we need to act quickly if we are to avoid evoking the more immediate catastrophes that come with allowing the planet’s climate to rise past 1.5ºC (2.7ºF) above the pre-industrial average. This warning comes with the admission that we can indeed meet this seemingly impossible goal, but it comes at a cost: the human community needs to cut its carbon emissions by nearly half in the next 12 years.

Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle earlier today, but it did so as a category-4 hurricane with wind speeds of up to 150 mph (240 kph), rather than the category-3 that it was originally forecast to be. This is the strongest storm to hit the Panhandle on record, fueled by unusually warm 84ºF (29ºC) water temperatures. The storm is projected to track northeast over Georgia and the Carolinas, a circumstance that might exacerbate an already disastrous situation if Michael adds rain to the areas already affected by flooding from Hurricane Florence. More than 370,000 people along the Gulf coast have been ordered to evacuate, but authorities are concerned that many did not heed the warning.