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Each weekday morning, OurAmazingPlanet takes the pulse of the Earth, reporting on natural phenomena and exploration news from around the globe.

Cold, Cold January: The United States could see its coldest January since the 1980s, according to AccuWeather.com

China is Freezing: Bitter cold temperatures, ice and sleet in southern China have forced mass evacuations and caused $200 million in economic losses.

Flight to Extinction: Six bird species in Australia, including the west Victorian pied currawong, haven't been seen for decades and will soon be listed as presumed extinct.

Desertification Fight: Despite recent gains, China says it will take 300 years to reverse the country's desertification.

California Salmon Runs: Federal regulators ordered major reductions in the amount of pollution dumped into the Klamath River in California. The order should help restore the once-thriving salmon runs to Northern California.

Previously on Our Daily Planet: Bumblebee Decline and Alaska's Petroleum Battle

Reach OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel at bisrael@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @btisrael.