3 To Know: CVS to reduce pharmacy hours, climate change news, more

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What is the strongest evidence of global warming? According to NASA's Global Climate Change: "Earth's surface continues to significantly warm, with recent global temperatures being the hottest in the past 2,000-plus years." Nineteen of the 20 hottest years over that period were posted since the year 2000. Temperatures have moved at an upward pace most […]

1. Study: Climate change is worse than we thought

The world faces a significant risk of passing a crucial global warming threshold earlier than scientists had suggested, possibly as soon as 2050, a paper published Monday found.

The threshold is the point at which Earth’s overall temperature has increased by 2.0 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

If greenhouse gas emissions remain at high levels, there’s a 50 percent probability the world could reach that catastrophic milestone before 2050, said co-author Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University.

Earlier estimates had put it closer to the end of the century.

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used artificial intelligence and machine learning to model how much the climate has warmed in the past and how much it’s likely to warm in the future, given current levels of greenhouse gas releases.

In line with multiple previous studies, it estimates Earth probably will cross the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold between 2033 and 2035. The planet already has warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius over preindustrial times.

This latest study finds a high probability of reaching 2.0 degrees Celsius before 2065, even if the world substantially lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

That would mean today’s kindergartners would be dealing with climate change by the time they’re in their 30s. – Elizabeth Weise/USA Today

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2. Amazon boosts price for grocery deliveries

Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than $150.

Customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh will be charged between $3.95 and $9.95, depending on the order size, the company said in an email to Prime members.

The Amazon logo is displayed at a news conference in New York on Sept. 28, 2011.

The new policy starts Feb. 28. Under the new policy, the company said delivery charges will be: $3.95 for orders between $100-$150; $6.95 for orders of $50 to $100; $9.95 for orders under $50.

Amazon Fresh deliveries over $150 will remain free.

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3. CVS to reduce pharmacy hours; changes coming amid staffing shortages

In the midst of a pharmacist shortage, CVS said it plans to cut pharmacy hours this spring.

Roughly two-thirds of CVS’ retail pharmacies at its nearly 9,000 U.S. locations will adjust hours beginning in March, Amy Thibault, CVS Pharmacy’s lead director of external communications, told USA TODAY.

The new hours of operation at those pharmacies will vary, Thibault said.

In a notice to field leaders first reported by Wall Street Journal, CVS said its reduced hours will be during times when there is low patient demand or when stores have only one pharmacist at the store.

CVS pharmacy logo

Thibault told USA Today that CVS periodically reviews pharmacy operating hours as part of the normal course of business to ensure stores are open

during high-demand times.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported Walmart plans to reduce pharmacy hours by closing at 7 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. at most of its roughly 4,600 stores by March.

Shorter hours at Walmart offer pharmacy workers a better work-life balance and best serve customers in the hours they are most likely to visit the pharmacy, a company spokesperson told the outlet. – Natalie Neysa Alund/USA Today

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