Climate Change & Environment
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Malaysia again Shuts Schools as Indonesian Smoke Thickens

Thick white smoke from Indonesian slash-and-burn farming enveloped Malaysia's capital and other areas Sunday, triggering school closures for the following day as weeks of choking haze showed no sign of abating.

Pollution readings in Kuala Lumpur soared into the "very unhealthy" territory in the Malaysian government's hourly air-quality index.

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Obama, Xi Unveil U.S.-China Climate Change Vision

U.S. President Barack Obama met China's Xi Jinping at the White House on Friday and emerged with a climate change plan, despite tough talk on cyberspying and human rights.

Xi and his wife Peng Liyuan arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to a 21-gun salute and full ceremonial military honors, underlining the huge symbolic importance of the state visit.

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India to 'Hike Green Energy Targets' to Combat Climate Change

India promises to hike renewable energy targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, in long-awaited pledges to be announced next week for upcoming UN climate change talks, a newspaper report said Thursday.

India, a major CO2 polluter, will increase solar and wind energy capacity but it's unclear whether it will commit to a timeline for reducing its overall carbon emissions blamed for climate change, the report said. 

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Carbon Markets Likely off Paris Summit Agenda – World Bank Envoy

A crunch UN summit probably isn’t the time to flesh out plans to expand carbon markets worldwide, the World Bank’s special climate envoy Rachel Kyte told reporters last Friday.

The global lender is driving efforts to put a price on a pollution as a key tool to slash CO2 emissions and tackle climate change.

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U.S. Science Agency Says 2015 is 97% Likely to be the Hottest Year on Record

The world has experienced record-breaking warmth every month so far in 2015, making this year virtually guaranteed to be the hottest on record, according to a U.S. science agency.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) said that 2015 was 97% likely to be the hottest year so far, eclipsing 2014, the current warmest year.

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Pacific Island Leaders Fail to Shift Australia and NZ on Climate Target

Pacific islands nations failed to convince Australia and New Zealand to back stronger targets on limiting global warming as the showdown at the Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday ended in a stalemate.

The 16 leaders at the forum agreed to disagree on whether to take a two degree or 1.5 degree warming limit stance to UN talks in Paris in December.

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New Studies Deepen Concerns about a Climate-Change ‘Wild Card’

Two new studies are adding to concerns about one of the most troubling scenarios for future climate change: the possibility that global warming could slow or shut down the Atlantic’s great ocean circulation systems, with dramatic implications for North America and Europe.

The research, by separate teams of scientists, bolsters predictions of disruptions to global ocean currents — such as the Gulf Stream — that transfer tropical warmth from the equator to northern latitudes, as well as a larger conveyor system that cycles colder water into the ocean’s depths. Both systems help ensure relatively mild conditions in parts of Northern Europe that would otherwise be much colder.

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Southern Ocean Showing 'Remarkable' Revival in Carbon Absorption Ability

The Southern Ocean, which acts as one of the natural world’s most effective sponges for absorbing carbon dioxide, is showing signs of an unexpected revival in its ability to do so, according to scientists.

The oceans absorb around a quarter of emissions caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels, reducing the speed of climate change. About 40% of this occurs in the Southern Ocean, which surrounds the Antarctic, making it the planet’s strongest ocean carbon sink.

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Developing Countries Set an Example on Emissions Cuts

LONDON, 12 September, 2015 – A review of four governments’ plans for cutting their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use praises two developing countries for their ambition.

The review, by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), says Ethiopia and Morocco have plans that leave the strategies of the other two countries, China and Canada, far behind.

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The Simple Statistic that Perfectly Captures what Climate Change Means

There are many ways to measure the world’s changing climate. You can chart rising global temperatures, rising sea levels and melting ice. What’s tougher, though, is to find a measurement that easily relates all of that to what people experience in their daily lives.

In a new study in Geophysical Research Letters, however, two Australian researchers do just this by examining a simple but telling meteorological metric — the ratio of new hot temperature records set in the country to new cold temperature records.

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