Climate Change & Environment
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Plastic ‘Shade Balls' The Hypnotizing Tool California is Using to Save Water

California is experiencing one of its most severe droughts on record, and its local municipalities have an astounding strategy to save water: turn their reservoirs into massive, floating ball pits.

During the past couple years, cities across the state have dumped millions of “shade balls” — black, plastic balls weighted down with water — into their reservoirs.

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Obama to Visit Alaska, But Enviros Cry Foul Over Arctic Drilling

President Barack Obama is traveling to Alaska later this month to visit the front lines of climate change, which he called "one of the greatest challenges we face this century" in a video posted Thursday.

The effects of climate change in Alaska are "our wake up call," the president said.

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Climate Change Is Getting Its Own Museum

“The ambition of the museum is to be a lab and a hub of climate awareness by making things concrete and giving people a shared space,” Massie said. “It’s critical to building people’s confidence that what they do and say and think about climate can matter.”

Massie is a lawyer by trade, but she now runs the Climate Museum Launch Project, an idea that came to her in the wake of Sandy’s floodwaters in 2012. What started as a vision in her head has since been sketched by architects, approved by the New York Board of Regents and is about to see its first round of seed funding this fall.

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Wild Boar Populations Growing across Europe

Over the last three decades, Europe's wild boar population has continued to rise. New research suggests their numbers have been buoyed by mild winters brought on by climate change.

Wild boars can tolerate cold temperatures via thermoregulation, but they must consume more food to conserve energy. This puts a strain on available resources and provides a natural constraint to population sizes.

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Study Links Polluted Air in China to 1.6 Million Deaths a Year

Outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people in China every year, or about 4,400 people a day, according to a newly released scientific paper.

The paper maps the geographic sources of China’s toxic air and concludes that much of the smog that routinely shrouds Beijing comes from emissions in a distant industrial zone, a finding that may complicate the government’s efforts to clean up the capital city’s air in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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Study: Sea Defenses not Enough to Protect Delta Cities from Rising Flood Risk

Rich nations spend huge sums to keep the seas at bay but wealth may not save them indefinitely.

New research suggests that the probability of flooding in cities and megacities built on river deltas is on the increase and over time, the Mississippi and the Rhine may become up to eight times more at hazard from rising tides, storm surges or catastrophic downstream floods.

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From the Mississippi to the Ganges, River Deltas are in Major Trouble

A river delta is, by definition, a place in flux — coastal land naturally sinks, and is naturally rebuilt by the flow of a vast river that carries in new sediment. Across the globe, from the Amazon to the Nile to the Yangtze, we humans rely on such deltas for the many benefits they bring — access to fisheries, good locations for shipping, and much else.

But we don’t just rely on them — we change them. We dam rivers upstream and channelize them downstream – actions that reduce the flow of sediment and, thus, the growth of land. Meanwhile, we cut channels through wetlands and cause land to sink further by pulling lots of oil and gas and water out of it.

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World Bank Rejects Energy Industry Notion that Coal Can Cure Poverty

The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty on Wednesday, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

In a rebuff to coal, oil and gas companies, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank climate change envoy, said continued use of coal was exacting a heavy cost on some of the world’s poorest countries, in local health impacts as well as climate change, which is imposing even graver consequences on the developing world.

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Deadly Floods Leave Trail of Destruction across Southern Asia

Heavy monsoon rains have continued to lash much of southern Asia, threatening further casualties and more destruction after a week of lethal floods and landslides.

More than 100 people have died and up to 1 million fled their homes as land from Pakistan to Burma was deluged.

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Stop Burning Fossil Fuels Now there is No CO2 'Technofix', Scientists Warn

German researchers have demonstrated once again that the best way to limit climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels now.

In a “thought experiment” they tried another option: the future dramatic removal of huge volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This would, they concluded, return the atmosphere to the greenhouse gas concentrations that existed for most of human history – but it wouldn’t save the oceans.

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