Climate Change & Environment
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WHO: Environment behind Nearly Quarter of Global Deaths

One in four deaths worldwide are due to environmental factors like air, water and soil pollution, as well as unsafe roads and workplace stress, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

An estimated 12.6 million people died in 2012 as a result of living and working in unhealthy environments, 23 percent of all deaths reported globally, according to the new study.

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Canada PM Trudeau to Talk Climate, Peacekeepers at U.N.

Increasing Canada's contribution to international peacekeeping, the fight against climate change and advocacy for women's rights are on the agenda for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to the United Nations, his office said Monday.

His visit to U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday comes one month after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised Ottawa's renewed engagement on the world stage.

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More than Half a Million Could Die as Climate Change Impacts Diet

Climate change could kill more than 500,000 people a year globally by 2050 by making their diets less healthy, according to new research published in the Lancet.

The research is the first to assess how the impacts of global warming could affect the quality of the diets available to people and found fewer fruit and vegetables would be available as a result of climatic changes. These are vital in curbing heart disease, strokes and diet-related cancers, leading the study to conclude that the health risks of climate change are far greater than thought.

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Greenland's Ice Melt Accelerating as Surface Darkens, Raising Sea Levels

Greenland’s vast ice sheet is in the grip of a dramatic “feedback loop” where the surface has been getting darker and less reflective of the sun, helping accelerate the melting of ice and fueling sea level rises, new research has found.

The snowy surface of Greenland started becoming significantly less reflective of solar radiation from around 1996, the analysis found, with the ice absorbing 2% more solar energy per decade from this point. At the same time, summer near-surface temperatures in Greenland have increased at a rate of around 0.74C per decade, causing the ice to melt.

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Fossil Fuel Use Must Fall Twice as Fast as Thought to Contain Global Warming

Climate scientists have bad news for governments, energy companies, motorists, passengers and citizens everywhere in the world: to contain global warming to the limits agreed by 195 nations in Paris last December, they will have to cut fossil fuel combustion at an even faster rate than anybody had predicted.

Joeri Rogelj, research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, and European and Canadian colleagues propose in Nature Climate Change that all previous estimates of the quantities of carbon dioxide that can be released into the atmosphere before the thermometer rises to potentially catastrophic levels are too generous.

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China's Carbon Emissions May Have Peaked already, Says Lord Stern

Carbon emissions may have peaked already in China, years earlier than its leaders pledged, according to a study co-authored by the world-renowned economist Lord Stern.

The country’s emissions have fallen, partly as a result of its globally relevant economic slowdown, and partly owing to government policies to pursue a low-carbon path and reduce the rampant air pollution in its major cities.

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Why Solar and Wind are Thriving Despite Cheap Fossil Fuels

The prolonged plunge in fossil fuel prices is rippling across the globe. Yet it’s barely put a dent in the booming market for clean energy, heralding perhaps a new era for wind and solar.

Oil prices of less than $30 a barrel—the lowest in 12 years—have shaken stock markets and ravaged the budgets of major producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia. Along with falling gas prices, they’ve slashed the profits of fossil fuel companies, which are delaying dozens of billion-dollar projects and laying off thousands of workers.

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Snow Leopards Face New Threat from Climate Change—People

As traditional pastures dry up, Mongolian herders are forced to move livestock into the big cat’s territory. Now conservationists are stepping in.

Just as the last of the blushing light drained from the sky in western Mongolia, the “ghost of the mountain” struck at the foot of sacred Jargalan mountain where the rocky snow line gives way to a dry and treeless expanse of steppe.

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NASA Finds Drought in Eastern Mediterranean Worst of Past 900 Years

A new NASA study finds that the recent drought that began in 1998 in the eastern Mediterranean Levant region, which comprises Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey, is likely the worst drought of the past nine centuries.

Scientists reconstructed the Mediterranean’s drought history by studying tree rings as part of an effort to understand the region’s climate and what shifts water to or from the area. Thin rings indicate dry years while thick rings show years when water was plentiful.

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'Warm Blob' Caused Wild Climate Swings During Last Ice Age

A "warm blob" of surface water played a role in Greenland's wild climate swings during the last ice age, a new study finds.

Greenland's climate flipped quickly and brutally from cold to warm and back again 25 times between about 20,000 and 70,000 years ago, ice cores and ocean sediments show. The abrupt climate swings, called Dansgaard-Oeschger events, involved extreme changes in average temperature. Each time, the cold snaps continued for centuries, while the rapid warming lasted a few decades.

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