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Australia PM Warns Global Climate Deal Must not Hit Economy

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday backed an "effective" climate pact being struck at global talks in France next year, but warned it could not come at the expense of the economy or jobs.

French President Francois Hollande, on a state visit to Australia, also laid out his aim of seeking the worldwide, binding agreement in Paris after world leaders failed to agree new curbs in Copenhagen in 2009.

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Small Volcanoes could Slow Global Warming

Small volcanic eruptions could be slowing global warming by spewing sulfur aerosols that reach the upper atmosphere and reflect sunlight away from the Earth, U.S. scientists said Tuesday.

Researchers have long known that volcanoes can protect against global warming, but they did not think that minor eruptions did much to the atmosphere.

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Greenpeace Accuses Canada Pipeline firm of 'Dirty Tricks'

Environmental pressure group Greenpeace accused pipeline firm TransCanada of "dirty tricks" Tuesday, publishing leaked documents it said showed it plans to smear opponents of one of its projects.

TransCanada, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to take oil to the United States, also plans to connect Alberta's oil sands to refineries and ports in eastern Canada.

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World Parks Congress Ends, Urges more Ocean Protection

A once-in-a-decade global forum on parks closed in Sydney on Wednesday calling for an urgent increase in ocean protection and stressing the economic benefits of natural sanctuaries.

The World Parks Congress, with representatives from 160 nations, outlined a pathway for achieving a global target to protect at least 17 percent of land and 10 percent of oceans by 2020.

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State Media: China Researchers Plan Mars Mission 'around 2020'

Chinese scientists are planning to launch a Mars rover "around 2020", state media reported Tuesday, as the country pours billions into its space program and works to catch up with the U.S. and Europe.

Although the government has not officially announced plans for a Mars mission, officials from the China National Space Administration are currently lobbying to have it put on the agenda and have begun "preliminary research", the state-run China Daily reported.

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Japan Cuts Antarctic Whale Quota after U.N. Court Ruling

Japan said Tuesday it has cut its Antarctic whale-catch quota by two-thirds in a move it hopes will convince international opponents it is conducting real science, not hiding a commercial hunt behind a veneer of research.

The International Court of Justice -- the highest court of the United Nations -- ruled in March that Japan was abusing a scientific exemption set out in the 1986 moratorium on whaling.

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World's First Oil Well Still Bubbling up Black Gold in Poland

The smell of money hangs thick in the air as black crude oil bubbles up from what is billed as the world's oldest oil well, but this is not Texas or Saudi Arabia.

The sleepy village of Bobrka in southern Poland lays claim to the planet's first oil well and rig, one that is still pumping up enough black gold to be profitable.

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Images Show Philae's Historic Comet Bounce

The European Space Agency (ESA)on Sunday unveiled images of the probe Philae after it bounced while making its historic landing on a comet last Wednesday.

The discovery came thanks to painstaking follow-up analysis of a series of pictures ESA had released on Friday, the agency said.

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Sashimi Trend Helps Edge Pacific Bluefin Tuna Towards Extinction

The Pacific bluefin tuna, a fish used in sushi and sashimi dishes, is at risk of extinction as the global food market places "unsustainable pressure" on the species and others, a conservation body warned Monday.

The bluefin tuna joined the Chinese pufferfish, American eel, Chinese cobra and Australian black grass-dart butterfly on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) "red list" of threatened species.

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G20 Backs 'Strong and Effective Action' on Climate Change

Leaders of the world's most powerful economies on Sunday backed "strong and effective action" on climate change while throwing their support behind the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund, aimed at helping poorer countries deal with the problem.

"We support strong and effective action to address climate change," G20 leaders said in a communique after weekend talks in Brisbane.

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