Climate Change & Environment
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El Nino a Taste of New Reality

The current El Nino is the strongest on record and is likely to continue until around May, but with its fallout - especially in South-east Asia - expected to be felt until the end of the year.

Dozens have died and millions of dollars have been lost due to El Nino-related weather, from storms and floods in the Americas to drought in South-east Asia. El Nino causes warm waters that normally pile up in the Western Pacific to flow east, triggering heavier rain along the west coast of the Americas and drier conditions in Australasia and South-east Asia.

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Green Cars in Norway Win World's Biggest Market Share

Zero emission cars accounted for 17.1 percent of new car registrations last year in Norway, the industry said on Wednesday, the highest market share for clean vehicles anywhere in the world.

"Never has the market share of electric cars been as high as in 2015," Christina Bu of the Norwegian Association for Electric Cars said.

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Never Rains but It Pours for Guano-hit Rome

Weekend rain washed away the dangerous pollution that has afflicted Rome in recent weeks but left city authorities with a new headache: roads and pavements made treacherous by bird droppings.

The downpours that cleaned up the air and brought levels of fine particles back down below a World Health Organization-recommended threshold also cleansed the city's trees of several weeks worth of guano deposited by millions of migratory starlings.

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India's Smog-Shrouded Capital Pulls Cars Off Roads

More than a million private cars were banned from New Delhi's roads on Friday, as authorities began trialing drastic new measures to cut smog in the world's most polluted capital.

From January 1 only cars with odd-numbered license plates will be allowed on the roads on odd-numbered dates and those with even-numbered plates on the other days to try to reduce pollutant levels which regularly hit 10 times the World Health Organization safe limits.

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Freak Heatwave Pushes Winter North Pole above Freezing

Temperatures at the North Pole rose above freezing point Wednesday, 20 degrees Celsius above the mid-winter norm and the latest abnormality in a season of extreme weather events.

Canadian weather authorities blamed the temperature spike on the freak depression which has already brought record Christmas temperatures to North America and lashed Britain with winds and floods. 

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Floating Anti-Plastic Waste Dam to be Tested in North Sea

A revolutionary floating dam that traps plastic bags, bottles and other waste choking the world's oceans will be tested at sea for the first time in 2016, the Ocean Cleanup foundation said.

"It will be the first time our barrier design will be put to the test in open waters," the foundation said of the 100 meter-long (62 miles)  barrier segment that will be deployed 23 kilometers off the coast of The Netherlands in the second quarter of the year.

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Emergency Measures as Tehran Records 18th Day of Bad Air

More than two weeks of heavy pollution led Iranian officials to ban all outdoor sport and impose new traffic restrictions Wednesday as persistent cold weather exacerbated Tehran's air quality problems.

In the worst concerted period of pollution for three years, primary schools and nurseries were closed and new car exclusion zones imposed in the capital.

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Smog-Choked Delhi Gears Up for Car Ban

Millions of Delhi residents will have to find alternative ways to work from Friday, when authorities launch a trial of draconian traffic restrictions to try to clean up the world's most polluted capital.

Private cars will be banned from the roads on alternate days from January 1 as part of a slew of measures aimed at reducing smog levels that include shutting some coal-fired power plants and vacuuming roads to reduce dust.

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Tens of Millions of California Trees Threatened by Drought

As many as 58 million large trees in California are threatened by record drought afflicting the state since 2011, says a study published Monday.

Even if the weather phenomenon called El Nino produces more precipitation, California's forests could suffer irreversible change, the report said.

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Germany Gives Green Light to Bicycle Highways

It's every cyclist's dream: no red lights, no trucks, just a clear, smooth lane to zoom down with the wind in your face. Welcome to Germany's first bicycle Autobahn.

Fans hail the smooth new velo routes as the answer to urban traffic jams and air pollution, and a way to safely get nine-to-fivers outdoors.

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