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World Will 'Change Course' on Climate at U.N. Summit

A UN summit on climate change will see the world "change course" and begin to seriously tackle global warming, UN climate envoy Mary Robinson said Wednesday.

More than 120 leaders are to attend the summit on Tuesday called to inject new momentum in efforts to address climate change ahead of a crucial conference in Paris next year.

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Far More Displaced by Disasters than Conflict

Disasters last year displaced three times more people than violent conflicts, showing the urgent need to improve resilience for vulnerable people when fighting climate change, according to a study issued Wednesday.

The Norwegian Refugee Council, an independent group that focuses on emergency aid, released the findings ahead of a United Nations summit on Tuesday aimed at building momentum for a global agreement on climate change.

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Red Tide off Northwest Florida Could Hit Economy

It's like Florida's version of The Blob. Slow moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region's economy.

Known as "red tide," this particular strain called Karenia brevis is present nearly every year off Florida, but large blooms can be particularly devastating. Right now, the algae is collecting in an area about 60 miles wide and 100 miles long, about 5 to 15 miles off St. Petersburg in the south and stretching north to Florida's Big Bend, where the peninsula ends and the Panhandle begins.

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Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

NASA awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts to Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft for carrying astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017.

The US space agency hailed the decision as another step toward ending America's reliance on Russian vehicles for access to low-Earth orbit.

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Study: Rising Sea Levels to Cost Australia Billions

Rising sea levels could threaten infrastructure worth more than Aus$226 billion (U.S.$205 billion) in Australia if climate change is left unchecked, a study warned Wednesday.

The Climate Council report said the most serious consequences of rising seas would be an increase in the frequency of coastal flooding and the retreat of shorelines.

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NASA Inspector Blasts Asteroid Protection Program

NASA's effort to identify potentially dangerous space rocks has taken a hit.

On Monday, the space agency's inspector general released a report blasting NASA's Near Earth Objects program, which is meant to hunt and catalog comets, asteroids and relatively large fragments of these objects that pass within 28 million miles of Earth. The purpose is to protect the planet against their potential dangers.

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Indonesia to Ratify ASEAN Haze Agreement

Indonesia's parliament on Tuesday voted to ratify a regional agreement on cross-border haze as fires ripped through forests in the west of the country, choking neighboring Singapore with hazardous smog.

Officials in Singapore and Malaysia have responded furiously to Indonesian forest fires, which have intensified and become more frequent in recent years.

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Season's First Dolphins Killed in Japan, Say Activists

The first dolphins of the season were slaughtered on Tuesday in the small Japanese town of Taiji, campaigners said, commencing an annual cull repeatedly condemned by animal rights groups.

Activists from the environmentalist group Sea Shepherd have been monitoring a bay in Taiji, southwestern Japan, since the six-month dolphin hunting season began earlier this month.

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Study Urges 15-Year Plan for Low-Carbon Growth

The world can save both financial and environmental costs by shifting toward a low-carbon economy over the next 15 years, a high-level panel said Tuesday ahead of a UN summit.

The commission co-chaired by former Mexican president Felipe Calderon called for greater global action on renewable power, deforestation and clean technologies as part of the fight against climate change.

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Brazil Builds Giant Tower in Amazon to Monitor Climate

Brazil is building a giant observation tower in the heart of the Amazon to monitor climate change and its impact on the region's sensitive ecosystem, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The Amazon Tall Tower Observatory (ATTO) is a project of Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research and Germany's Max Planck Institute, O Estado de Sao Paulo said.

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