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Study: Change in Farming Could Lower Europe's Temperature

If Europe adopted a style of farming that abstains from plowing after a harvest, local temperatures could drop as much as two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), researchers said Monday.

The reason lies in the color of the soil: untilled land is lighter and reflects sunlight, making the area cooler than it is when dark surfaces are present, according to scientists.

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Study: Pesticides Threaten Birds and Bees Alike

Neurotoxic pesticides blamed for the world's bee collapse are also harming butterflies, worms, fish and birds, said a scientific review that called Tuesday for tighter regulation to curb their use.

Analysing two decades of reports on the topic, an international panel of 29 scientists found there was "clear evidence of harm" from use of two pesticide types, neonicotinoids and fipronil.

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Report: Ocean Rescue Plan has Urgent Five-Year Deadline to Act

The world's oceans need saving from pollution and overfishing, and an independent panel warned Tuesday that urgent action was needed within five years.

The Global Ocean Commission said cutting down on single-use plastics products, restricting fishing on the high seas, and establishing binding regulations for offshore oil and gas exploration are key parts of the rescue plan.

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U.N. Launches First Global Environmental Assembly

The United Nations on Monday launched a week-long global environment conference aimed at tackling challenges from poaching to marine pollution and boosting the "green economy".

The meeting in Nairobi, the first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), comes amid tight security in the Kenyan capital, after a series of warnings of the threat of attack by Somalia's al-Qaida-linked Shebab.

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May Global Temperature Hits All-Time High

Last month was so hot it set a new record for the planet, marking the warmest May over land and water since record-keeping began in 1880, US authorities said Monday.

The combined average temperature across the globe was 59.93°F (15.54°C), or 1.33°F (0.74°C) above the 20th century average, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Fukushima Operator Restarts Water Decontamination System

Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant on Sunday restarted its trouble-plagued water decontamination system for the first time in three months, the utility said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has been forced to repeatedly switch off its Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which purifies radiation-tainted water, due to a series of glitches plaguing the system since trial operations began last year.

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Particle Physics: Experiments Give Shape to Higgs

Physicists on Sunday said they had learned more about the identity of the Higgs Boson, the elusive particle whose ground-breaking discovery was announced nearly two years ago.

Work at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) -- the particle smasher on the French-Swiss border where the breakthrough was made -- has answered long-standing questions about how the Higgs behaves, they said.

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China Animal Protectors at Cross-Porpoises

China's river porpoises are rarer than pandas, but fishermen fighting to save them have been snared by a net of blackmail allegations, highlighting uncertainties faced by the country's emerging environmentalists.

Fewer than 1,000 finless porpoises -- grey dolphin-like animals with a hint of a grin on their bulbous faces -- are thought to remain in and around China's vast Yangtze river which carves through the center of the country.

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Japan Considering New Base on Antarctica

Japan is looking at building a new base on Antarctica so scientists can study air trapped in ice a million years ago, in a bid to better understand climate change, an official said Monday.

Tokyo already has four stations on the frozen continent, two of which are currently in use -- the Syowa Station on the coast and the Dome Fuji Station inland.

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Great White Shark Numbers are Surging, Study Says

A report that scientists are calling one of the most comprehensive studies of great white sharks finds their numbers are surging in the ocean off the Eastern U.S. and Canada after decades of decline.

The study by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists, published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, says the population of the notoriously elusive fish has climbed since about 2000 in the western North Atlantic.

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