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Green Power Floods Japan Grid as Premium Prices Bite

Japan's utilities say they are being swamped by green power because of rules forcing them to buy up every last watt produced from renewable sources, as new generating companies seek to cash in on premium prices.

Power firms say the grid does not have enough capacity to cope with the rocketing levels of electricity that is coming from a growing number of solar power facilities, possibly risking blackouts.

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IEA: Africa Must Reform Energy Sector to Boost Growth

Sub-Saharan Africa's energy sector needs overhauling to help power its economic and social prosperity, the IEA said on Monday.

The International Energy Agency, unveiling its first-ever Africa Energy Outlook at a London press conference, said increasing access to modern forms of energy was critical in a region where two-thirds of the population -- or 620 million people -- currently live without electricity.

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Pentagon: Climate Change 'Immediate' National Security Risk

Rising global temperatures, rapidly melting arctic ice and other effects of climate change are posing immediate risks to U.S. national security and military and humanitarian operations, the Pentagon warned Monday.

In a comprehensive report billed as a roadmap for adapting to climate change, the Defense Department said it has begun to boost its "resilience" and ensure mission readiness is not compromised in the face of rising sea levels, increasing regularity of natural disasters, and food and water shortages in the developing world.

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With their Mark on Earth, Humans May Name Era, Too

People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They're calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans.

Though most non-experts don't realize it, science calls the past 12,000 years the Holocene, Greek for "entirely recent." But the way humans and their industries are altering the planet, especially its climate, has caused an increasing number of scientists to use the word Anthropocene to better describe when and where we are.

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Rare Beaked Whale Washes Up in Australia

A rare beaked whale washed up in Australia Tuesday, exciting researchers who know little about an animal that spends much of its time diving at depth far from shore.

The three-to-four meter (10-13 feet) long whale was found dead at Redhead Beach, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of Sydney, with experts examining it and taking specimens before sending its head to the Australian Museum in Sydney.

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Report: Climate Change Poses Military Challenges

Defense officials say a report slated for release Monday will lay out plans for the Pentagon to get a better handle on how climate change will affect the military, and determine how best to deal with the challenges.

Defense Department leaders have long warned that the evolving change in climate patterns, resulting in rising seas and increased severe weather events, will have a broad and costly impact on the Defense Department's ability to protect the nation and respond to natural and humanitarian disasters in the United States and around the world.

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Study Shows Eastern China Set for Record-Hot Summers

By 2024, more than half of summers in eastern China will be as hot as in 2013, when the region was hit by a record-busting heatwave and devastating drought, a study said Sunday.

Based on current global warming trends, the big heat will happen even if rising greenhouse gas emissions are braked over the next decade, it said.

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Archaeologists Uncover Village in U.S. Park

Archaeologists at the Petrified Forest National Park in the southwestern U.S. have discovered an ancient village that is unique for its size.

Park officials say 50 to 70 pit houses are organized in rings on about 66 acres (26 hectares). One village found last summer spanned about 14 acres (6 hectares).

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Retired Shuttle Paired with Space Lab

The space shuttle Endeavour has been paired once again with a space lab and storage pod it used on some missions, as the countdown to its final exhibit continues at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

A crew on Thursday delicately positioned the 3,000-pound (1,360-kilogram) portable lab and pod inside the orbiter's huge cargo bay, the Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/1BZn1mL ). Workers also installed a replica robotic arm, airlock and docking system.

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EU Struggles to Agree 2030 Climate Targets for October Summit

European Union leaders face difficult negotiations to agree a package of climate change targets for 2030 at an end-of-October summit, with coal-reliant Poland leading objections, sources said Friday.

Plans to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent, make renewables account for 27 percent of energy use and set an energy savings target of 30 percent appear in draft guidelines for the summit conclusions, seen by Agence France Presse.

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