Climate Change & Environment
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Poland Approves Large-Scale Logging in Europe's Last Primeval Forest

Poland has approved large-scale logging in Europe’s last primeval woodland in a bid to combat a beetle infestation despite protests from scientists, ecologists and the European Union.

The action in the Białowieża forest is intended to fight the spread of the spruce bark beetle.

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If the Rains Fail, so Could the Cocoa Beans

Yesterday many of us overindulged in chocolate, but Easter is not the only time we munch our way through mounds of cocoa-based treats. Globally, chocolate consumption is on the rise and the majority of this demand is met by cocoa farmers in southern West Africa. Now there are concerns that pollution in the region could interfere with the West African monsoon, potentially drying up the world’s main supply of cocoa beans.

Like many other cities in southern West Africa, Abidjan on the Côte d’Ivoire, is growing fast, and with the expansion comes increasing air pollution. So will these extra particulates and gases change the weather?

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How Prone is India to Disaster?

India has the largest number of people exposed to natural hazards including severe storms and flooding, a new report says.

The country’s vulnerability to severe weather during monsoon season, its large agricultural sector and its enormous population put it at the top of the list compiled by U.K.-based risk-analysis and research company Verisk Maplecroft.

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A Vegetarian World Would be Healthier, Cooler, Richer

By eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, the world could avoid several million deaths per year by 2050, cut planet-warming emissions substantially, and save billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage, researchers said.

A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US, is the first to estimate both the health and climate change impacts of a global move towards a more plant-based diet, they said.

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Why is Nobody Talking about Africa's Drought?

Since late 2015, Southern and Eastern Africa have been hit hard, and scientists warn that human-aided climate change is likely to make such events more frequent. The good news: While Africa needs help, it’s now more able to help itself. 

Q: How did this drought come about? 

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Healthy Diet May Reduce Gas; Greenhouse Gas, That Is

The less meat people consume and the healthier their diet becomes, the more the climate benefits, Oxford University scientists said in a study published Monday.

If people in developed countries such as the U.S. were to eat less red meat and move steadily toward a vegetarian or vegan diet, they could live longer while helping to slash greenhouse gas emissions from food production by between 29 and 70 percent by 2050, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Dung, Offal Make Clean Gas at Costa Rica Slaughterhouse

Imagine tons of stinking dung, blood and offal, tipped into a giant tub for germs to feed on.

It sounds vomit-worthy, but experts say this project at a Costa Rican slaughterhouse will help the environment -- and spare neighbors from the awful smell.

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Australia's Emissions Rising and Vastly Underestimated, Says Report

The latest federal government carbon emissions inventory shows Australia has increased its emissions and has come under fire for allegedly vastly underestimating the amount of land clearing that has occurred, and its associated emissions.

The Quarterly Update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, which counts emissions in Australia up to September 2015, says greenhouse gas emissions from land clearing have fallen to record lows.

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An Upside To Climate Change? Better French Wine

While climate change threatens coastal cities and generates extreme weather, the effects of global warming could bring good news to some of France's most esteemed vineyards.

Here, the conditions needed to produce early-ripening fruit, which is historically associated with highly rated wines, have become more frequent, according to research published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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Worst Mediterranean Drought in 900 Years has Human Fingerprints all Over it

In a warming world, we expect to see increases in some extreme weather events. The science is pretty clear that in some parts of the world, drought and heat waves have and will continue to increase. In other areas, more severe storms along with precipitation and flooding have increased. Drought, heat waves, and floods are examples of changes to weather and climate patterns that will have costs for human society.

It’s tricky to discern not only whether past extreme weather have changed, but also whether human-caused global warming is a factor. Scientists need high-quality records that go back many decades to see if there is any trend towards increasing or decreasing extreme weather. But weather is quite variable. We can see a rise or fall in extreme weather events with no apparent cause, human or natural.

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