Climate Change & Environment
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Climate Change will Lead to Deformed and Virus-Hit Coral Reefs

Coral will become deformed and increasingly fall victim to outbreaks of herpes-like viruses as humans continue to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to two new studies.

Combined, the two effects suggest coral reefs will have trouble recovering from bleaching events, like the world is currently experiencing.

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Sea Level Rising at Fastest Pace in 2,800 Years

The world's oceans are rising at a faster rate than any time in the past 2,800 years, and might even have fallen without the influence of human-driven climate change, researchers say.

Sea levels rose globally by about 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) from 1900 to 2000, said the study led by Rutgers University, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Climate Change Politics is Blinding Us to the Devastating Effects of Dirty Air

It is the greatest environmental hazard of the age. Nothing focuses our concern for the future more, divides rich and poor, exercises science, business, politicians, old and young. It is an existential threat, a generational battle. All political and financial resources must be concentrated on stopping climate change.

But now that governments have signed up to the unambitious Paris climate agreement and pledged to try to limit greenhouse gas emissions, we must ask whether we have lost sight of everything else. Is the environment just about carbon and parts per million of gases in the atmosphere? What about the environment that we can smell, see and touch today?

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Australian Wine under Threat from Climate Change, as Grapes Ripen Early

Wine grapes in Australia are ripening between one and two days earlier each year due to climate change in a trend viticultural experts say could see some traditional varieties abandoned in warmer areas.

The Victorian wine industry is partway through what could shape up to be its earliest vintage on record, thanks to an exceptionally warm spring and warm summer.

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Study: Eating Less Beef key to Meeting EU Climate Targets

EU climate targets won't be met unless greenhouse gas emissions linked to beef and dairy consumption are dramatically reduced, a Swedish study published on Monday said.

"Reductions, by 50 percent or more, in ruminant meat (beef and mutton) consumption are, most likely, unavoidable if the EU targets are to be met," according to the findings published in the Food Policy journal.

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2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say

Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in the historical record by far, breaking a mark set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.

In the contiguous United States, the year was the second-warmest on record, punctuated by a December that was both the hottest and the wettest since record-keeping began. One result has been a wave of unusual winter floods coursing down the Mississippi River watershed.

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What Scalia’s Death Means For Climate Change

Just days after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling clouded the future of a new United Nations climate pact, the passing of one of its justices has boosted the pact's chances of succeeding.

Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia died at a resort in Texas on Saturday. Scalia, 79, was the court’s conservative leader and his death means it is now more likely that key EPA rules that aim to curb climate pollution from the power industry will be upheld.

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Thirsty Continents are Slowing Down Expected Sea Level Rise, Scientists Say

Despite the accelerated melting of glaciers and ice sheets, sea levels aren’t rising quite as quickly as scientists anticipated. The reason: Continents are absorbing more of the water before it flows into the seas, according to a new study.

Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory figured this out by measuring changes in Earth’s gravity with twin satellites orbiting the Earth in tandem. Over the past decade, thirsty continents have slowed the rate of sea level rise by about 20%, or about 1 millimeter per year, according to the study published in Science.

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L.A. Gas Leak Plugged, but California Pipelines Regularly Leak

The three-month natural gas leak that chased thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes has been a major ecological disaster, sickening neighbors and pumping a potent greenhouse gas into the sky.

But every day, pipelines across California leak tons of the same gas — methane — into the air. And the total amount collectively leaked each year likely exceeds the vast volume of methane spewed from the Aliso Canyon blowout near Porter Ranch, according to one state estimate.

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Massive California Gas Leak Permanently Capped

A leaking gas well that spewed tons of methane into the air and forced thousands of Los Angeles residents from their homes has been permanently sealed, state officials said Thursday.

The announcement confirmed earlier reports by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) that the well at its facility in Porter Ranch had been plugged.

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