Climate Change & Environment
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Orange Sludge from Colorado Mine Spill Heads down River

A plume of orange muck from a large mine waste spill in Colorado has drifted about 55 miles (90 kilometers) downriver and is closing in on New Mexico, prompting communities to take precautions until the sludge passes.

New Mexico Environment Department spokeswoman Susan Majure said Friday that the contaminated water is about (10 kilometers) 6 miles from the state line.

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Climate Change Threatens China’s Booming Coastal Cities, Says Expert

A recent study led by Georgina Mace, ecosystem professor at University College London, indicated that governments across the world have failed to grasp the risk that population booms in coastal cities pose as climate change continues to cause rises in sea levels and extreme weather events. Mace is director of the UCL Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research.

Mace says population growth in coastal areas can lead to big increases in exposure to extreme weather. The biggest direct effect of projected climate change is heat waves. The number of people dying from extreme heat could increase twelvefold by the end of this century, as a result of global warming combined with increasing numbers living in affected areas.

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Unique Pocket of Roos Reveals Climate Survival Tactics

The discovery of a genetically distinct group of eastern grey kangaroos sheds light on how they survived aeons of climate-induced expansion and contraction of their grassland habitat, say researchers.

The population, unique to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, formed as a result of a larger population becoming fragmented due to climate-induced changes in vegetation, they report in a recent issue of PLOS ONE.

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Plankton Threatened by Ocean Acidification. Why that Matters

The balance of various plankton species will radically change as the world’s oceans increase in acidity over the next 85 years, according to a new study released this week.

By 2100, ocean acidification will have grown to such an extent that some species of phytoplankton “will die out, while others will flourish,” according to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where experts teamed up with the University of Alabama to conduct the study.

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Australia Court Blocks Huge India-Backed Coal Mine

An Australian court Wednesday revoked approval for an Indian-backed project to build what could be one of the world's biggest coal mines, which environmentalists say threatens the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

But while environment groups hailed the decision as another important step in the Aus$16.5 billion (U.S.$12.2 billion) project's eventual demise, Indian firm Adani insisted it would go ahead.

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Mysterious Balls of Goo Are Rolling Onto American Beaches

Stranded jellyfish are common sights along beaches around the world. Some places can see up to a billion animals coating the sand. But beachgoers along the U.S. East Coast are running across a surprising sight this summer: thousands of knuckle-size, gelatinous blobs washing up from the surf.

Often called "jellyfish eggs" for their superficial resemblance, these creatures are called salps and they're more closely related to people than they are to jellyfish.

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James Hansen’s Controversial Sea Level Rise Paper Has Now Been Published Online

It has been widely discussed — but not yet peer reviewed. Now, though, you can at least read it for yourself and see what you think.

A lengthy, ambitious, and already contested paper by longtime NASA climate scientist James Hansen and 16 colleagues appeared online Thursday in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, an open-access journal published by the European Geosciences Union. The paper, entitled “Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 ◦C global warming is highly dangerous” is now open for comment — peer review in this journal happens in public.

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Global Warming Deniers are an Endangered Species

At the end of this year there will be a critically important international climate change conference in Paris. At this conference, nations will attempt to reach an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming.

Over the past few months there’s been a flood of big climate-related news, most of which will help build support and pressure for a strong agreement to curb global warming at the Paris conference. The political and social climate is shifting, and those in denial about human-caused climate change are struggling to adapt.

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Global Climate Deal 'Must be Found', Says French President

French President Francois Hollande sought early this week to raise the stakes for a U.N. climate conference his country will host at the end of the year, saying the world faced a global warming crisis.

Addressing international dignitaries at a "Summit of Conscience for the Climate" in the French capital, Hollande called insisted that "an agreement must be found".

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India Approves $8 Billion Plan to Boost Irrigation

India's government approved in July spending nearly US$8 billion over five years to develop infrastructure for rural irrigation to boost crop productivity in a country where farmers rely largely on annual rains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet gave its nod to allocate 500 billion rupees ($7.9 billion) for the project that aims to help India's 120 million-odd farmers, many of whom lack access to irrigation and struggle with deficient monsoon rains.

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