Climate Change & Environment
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Malaysia again Shuts Schools Due to Indonesia Smoke Haze

Malaysia closed schools in several states and the capital Kuala Lumpur on Monday due to choking smoke from Indonesian slash-and-burn farming that has smothered much of Southeast Asia in smog for weeks.

Malaysia has repeatedly ordered students to stay home as a health precaution as the current smog problem -- an annual dry-season occurrence -- has become one of the worst in years, exacerbated by tinder-dry conditions from the El Nino weather phenomenon.

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Almost Two-Thirds of Climate Fund for Developing Nations Already Pledged

Rich countries and businesses have provided close to two-thirds of the financial assistance pledged to poorer nations as part of the global climate change negotiations, ahead of the Paris conference this December.

The finding by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a further clearing of the path to an agreement in Paris, as it helps countries to judge whether pledges made at previous meetings can be trusted.

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V20 Group of 20 Countries Most at Risk from the Effects of Climate Change Call on Wealthy Nations to Meet $100bn Pledge to Help them Tackle Global Warming

Finance ministers from the 20 countries most vulnerable to climate change have formed a group to call for greater access to climate finance for adaptation and mitigation in the face of the most devastating effects of global warming.

With a collective population of nearly 700 million, the vulnerable twenty, or V20, range from small Pacific nations,such as Vanuatu, to Bangladesh and the Philippines.

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Canada Election Winner to Set New Climate Direction

After nearly two decades of foot-dragging on carbon emissions, the winner of Canada's upcoming legislative elections will negotiate new CO2 cuts at year-end talks in Paris.

But it is unclear if Canada -- which under the incumbent government became the first nation to withdraw from the landmark 1997 Kyoto Protocol -- will change tack on climate change.

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Spring to Come to United States 3 Weeks Early

Rising global temperatures due to climate change will bring spring to the United States about three weeks earlier than usual in the decades to come, scientists said Wednesday.

While those who are weary of winter may welcome such news, scientists say the shift will also have long-reaching impacts on the growing season of plants and the animals that depend upon them.

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U.N. Climate Science Panel Elects First New Leader in 13 Years

The United Nations Nobel-winning climate science panel – the ultimate authority tracking the extent of global warming and its consequences for humanity – has a new leader after 13 years.

In a vote in Dubrovnik on Tuesday, governments chose Hoesung Lee, the long-serving vice-chair of the climate panel, to replace Rajendra Pachauri, who was forced to step down after being accused of sexual harassment by a female employee at his research institute in India.

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This Is Humanity's Most Important Year Ever

Deep in Western minds is a fixation with the classic Hollywood storyline that whatever the scale of disaster facing the world, a last-minute heroic act will save us from annihilation.

For those who believe we are nearing the tipping point of runaway climate change, the remainder of 2015 is being seen as perhaps our last chance to save the world as we know it.

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Ocean Sentinels

It’s an early August morning on a nearly deserted beach in southern Brazil, and 23 Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magel­lanicus) are tottering toward the water. These penguins are survivors. About two months ago, birds that should have been swimming and feeding offshore started washing up on the beaches of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, primarily near the city of Florianopolis. More than 120 have come ashore this year, but most were too weak to survive. The birds now heading toward the Atlantic waves lapping Moçambique Beach were rehabilitated by a group of veterinarians and volunteers who stand gathered on the shore, watching their avian charges disappear into the water.

Each year around April, as the Southern Hemisphere winter approaches, the Magellanic penguins, also known as Patagonian penguins, leave their breeding grounds in southern Argentina. They migrate northward to wintering grounds in the coastal waters of northern Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil in search of food. (Some southernmost breeders also head along Chile’s Pacific shores, but that route is less well studied.) It’s a monumental journey: a round-trip of up to 4,000 kilometers that coincides with the seasonal spawning of anchovies, a staple of the penguins’ diets. The birds face many challenges along the way, and some run out of strength, winding up on Brazil’s beaches in serious need of help.

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Climate Change Haunts This Year's Pumpkin Crop

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a bill in August making pumpkin pie the official state pie. But climate change -- which Rauner has not publicly acknowledged is a thing -- may be a big part of the reason that some Thanksgiving tables lack the holiday classic this year.

The canned food industry expects pumpkin yields to be down by as much as half for 2015 due to high rainfall this summer in Illinois, where 85 percent of pumpkins consumed in the U.S. are grown. This year's pumpkins are likely to be gone after Halloween.

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The Divisive Issue of Reaching $100bn in Climate Funds

The movers and shakers of the world economy are trying to close in on the magic number of $100 billion a year to fight climate change as they meet this week in Peru.

But with the world well shy of that target, everyone seems to think the rest of the money should come from somewhere else.

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