Arctic Wildfires Break Records
A record number of forest fires have been burning in the Arctic this summer. Much of the burning is taking place in Siberia, which is part of Russia. The amount of forest on fire in Russia is larger than the European country of Belgium.
There are always some summer forest fires in the Arctic, but this year it is especially heavy. Scientists are noting about five times as many “hot spots” as in a normal year.
The temperature in Siberia this summer has been 18º Fahrenheit (10º Celsius) hotter than average. Strong winds and long periods without rain have made things worse.
The fires are releasing incredible amounts of smoke, which is causing health problems in nearby cities. Scientists worry that the pollution from the wildfires will increase the speed of global heating, making future wildfires more likely.
US and Russia End 32-Year-Old Nuclear Treaty
On Friday, the US formally pulled out of an important agreement with Russia that limited certain kinds of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are some of the most dangerous weapons ever.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) was signed in 1987. The INF helped slow down a buildup of nuclear weapons by both countries. The INF prevented either country from setting up nuclear weapons that could travel distances from 310 to 3,400 miles (500 to 5,500 kilometers). These kinds of weapons can cause a lot of damage very quickly.
The US accused Russia of making a new weapon which broke the INF agreement. The US said that unless Russia followed the rules of the treaty, the US would pull out on August 2.
Now both sides have ended the treaty. Many people worry that the countries will now begin to build up these kinds of weapons again.
Woman Who Voiced Minnie Mouse Dies
Russi Taylor, who was the voice of Minnie Mouse in many movies and TV shows, has died at the age of 75. In 1986, Ms. Taylor was chosen out of 200 actresses to become the voice of Minnie Mouse. She also did voices for many other cartoon characters, including some on the TV show “The Simpsons”.
In 1991, Ms. Taylor married Wayne Allwine. Mr. Allwine was well-known for creating another famous cartoon voice – Mickey Mouse.
Moon Landing Remembered in Butter
On July 20, much of the world looked back 50 years to remember the first moon landing. Visitors to the Ohio State Fair got to see an unusual way of honoring the event – a large sculpture celebrating the landing…made out of butter.
Every year the American Dairy Association Mideast puts on a complicated butter display at the Ohio State Fair. This year, artists used over 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of butter to create life-size statues of the astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on the surface of the moon.
The project took the artists about 500 hours. Most of that time was spent in a chilly cooler. “The space suits were a real challenge, to be honest,” one of the artists told a CNN reporter.
The sculpture uses butter that’s too old to be sold. The butter is turned into a fuel called biodiesel afterwards.