Climate Change & Environment
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Study Links Polluted Air in China to 1.6 Million Deaths a Year

Outdoor air pollution contributes to the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people in China every year, or about 4,400 people a day, according to a newly released scientific paper.

The paper maps the geographic sources of China’s toxic air and concludes that much of the smog that routinely shrouds Beijing comes from emissions in a distant industrial zone, a finding that may complicate the government’s efforts to clean up the capital city’s air in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

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Study: Sea Defenses not Enough to Protect Delta Cities from Rising Flood Risk

Rich nations spend huge sums to keep the seas at bay but wealth may not save them indefinitely.

New research suggests that the probability of flooding in cities and megacities built on river deltas is on the increase and over time, the Mississippi and the Rhine may become up to eight times more at hazard from rising tides, storm surges or catastrophic downstream floods.

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From the Mississippi to the Ganges, River Deltas are in Major Trouble

A river delta is, by definition, a place in flux — coastal land naturally sinks, and is naturally rebuilt by the flow of a vast river that carries in new sediment. Across the globe, from the Amazon to the Nile to the Yangtze, we humans rely on such deltas for the many benefits they bring — access to fisheries, good locations for shipping, and much else.

But we don’t just rely on them — we change them. We dam rivers upstream and channelize them downstream – actions that reduce the flow of sediment and, thus, the growth of land. Meanwhile, we cut channels through wetlands and cause land to sink further by pulling lots of oil and gas and water out of it.

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World Bank Rejects Energy Industry Notion that Coal Can Cure Poverty

The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty on Wednesday, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

In a rebuff to coal, oil and gas companies, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank climate change envoy, said continued use of coal was exacting a heavy cost on some of the world’s poorest countries, in local health impacts as well as climate change, which is imposing even graver consequences on the developing world.

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Deadly Floods Leave Trail of Destruction across Southern Asia

Heavy monsoon rains have continued to lash much of southern Asia, threatening further casualties and more destruction after a week of lethal floods and landslides.

More than 100 people have died and up to 1 million fled their homes as land from Pakistan to Burma was deluged.

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Stop Burning Fossil Fuels Now there is No CO2 'Technofix', Scientists Warn

German researchers have demonstrated once again that the best way to limit climate change is to stop burning fossil fuels now.

In a “thought experiment” they tried another option: the future dramatic removal of huge volumes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This would, they concluded, return the atmosphere to the greenhouse gas concentrations that existed for most of human history – but it wouldn’t save the oceans.

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World Bank Rejects Energy Industry Notion that Coal Can Cure Poverty

The World Bank said coal was no cure for global poverty on Wednesday, rejecting a main industry argument for building new fossil fuel projects in developing countries.

In a rebuff to coal, oil and gas companies, Rachel Kyte, the World Bank climate change envoy, said continued use of coal was exacting a heavy cost on some of the world’s poorest countries, in local health impacts as well as climate change, which is imposing even graver consequences on the developing world.

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OMG… Greenland’s Ice Sheets are Melting Fast

An urgent attempt to study the rate at which Greenland’s mighty ice sheets are melting has been launched by Nasa. The aim of the six-year project, called Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG), is to understand how fast the world’s warming seas are now eroding the edges of the island’s vast icecaps. Warming air temperatures are already causing considerable glacier loss there, but the factors involving the sea that laps the bases of its great ice masses, and which is also heating up, are less well understood.

Greenland contains vast reservoirs of ice which, if completely melted, would raise world sea levels by more than six meters. However, some influences on its current dramatic melting are poorly understood. Hence the decision to launch OMG, an acronym that the project leader, Joshua Willis, admits he “barely squeezed past the censors”.

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India Retains Monsoon Rain Forecast in Drought Territory

India has retained its forecast for this year's monsoon rains at 88 percent of the long-period average as a strengthening El Nino weather pattern is likely to trim rainfall in August-September to 84 percent, raising fears of the first drought in six years.

In a country where nearly half of farmland lacks irrigation, poor rainfall in the second half of the June-September monsoon season may stoke food inflation and limit ability of India's central bank to cut lending rates.

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Historic Arctic Fort Threatened by Climate Change May be Preserved Thanks to 3D Technology

A historic fort threatened by melting permafrost in one of the most remote locations on Earth might be preserved thanks to 3D technology.

Fort Conger on Ellesmere Island was established in 1875 by British explorers looking for the North Pole.

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