Climate Change

Achim Steiner: shale gas rush 'a liability' in efforts slow climate change

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Suzanne Goldenberg in Half Moon Bay, California
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Shale gas could turn out to be "a liability" to global efforts limit climate change, the United Nations' top environmental official has warned.

Supporters of the shale gas boom, which has spread across America and more recently to Europe, claim the fuel could help wean economies off the more carbon-intensive coal,.

But Achim Steiner, who heads the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), said there was a far greater risk that the switch from coal to natural gas would only delay the much more critical energy transition from fossil to renewable fuels. ... Read more about Achim Steiner: shale gas rush 'a liability' in efforts slow climate change

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Ma Jun: China has reached its environmental tipping point

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Tom Levitt
People wearing surgical masks on a smoggy day
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It was almost 20 years ago that Ma Jun sat and watched the rainbow-coloured River Fen, in Shanxi province. As he turned to the skies in this coal and industrial heartland of north China he could see dozens of chimneys bellowing out their fumes.

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Humans have caused an explosion of never-before-seen minerals all over the Earth

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Chelsea Harvey
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The human handprint on the natural world has become evident in all too many ways in recent decades. The changing climate, the decline of wildlife and the loss of forests and other natural landscapes — all of these factors have led many scientists to conclude that we’re living in a new age they’ve dubbed the “Anthropocene,” in which the planet is dominated by human, rather than natural, influences. ... Read more about Humans have caused an explosion of never-before-seen minerals all over the Earth

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2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records

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www.nasa.gov - Patrick Lynch
Each of the first six months of 2016 set a record as the warmest respective month globally in the modern temperature record, which dates to 1880. Meanwhile, five of the first six months set records for the smallest monthly Arctic sea ice extent since consistent satellite records began in 1979.
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Two key climate change indicators -- global surface temperatures and Arctic sea ice extent -- have broken numerous records through the first half of 2016, according to NASA analyses of ground-based observations and satellite data. ... Read more about 2016 Climate Trends Continue to Break Records

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There’s a secret UN climate summit taking place in Mexico

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http://www.climatechangenews.com - Ed King
Australia's Great Barrier Reef seen from space - is under severe stress from warming and acidifying waters linked to fossil fuel emissions (Pic; NASA)
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UN biodiversity chief tells Climate Home protecting and restoring ecosystems is the best way to protect the world from dangerous levels of global warming. ... Read more about There’s a secret UN climate summit taking place in Mexico

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Epic Middle East Heat Wave Is Being Compared to Weapon of Mass Destruction

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http://www.ecowatch.com - Climate Nexus
Temperatures simulated by the GFS model in the Middle East reached 129 F on Friday, July 22. WeatherBell.com
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Recent extreme heat events in the Middle East have climate scientists worried about future climate-related catastrophes. Temperatures have climbed above 115 F across the region this summer and Kuwait and Iraq recently recorded most likely the hottest temperatures ever in the Eastern Hemisphere.
 
Record-breaking extreme heat—estimated to have claimed more lives than wars—has worsened over the years and recent studies have suggested future climate change will make parts of the region uninhabitable.

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Disasters linked to climate can increase risk of armed conflict

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https://www.theguardian.com - Damian Carrington
 Soldiers guard Nigerians fleeing Boko Haram. In recent years northern Nigeria, Chad and Niger have suffered droughts that have fuelled political violence.  Photograph: Sunday Alamba/AP
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Research found that 23% of violent clashes in ethnically divided places were connected to climate disasters.  Climate-related disasters increase the risk of armed conflicts, according to research that shows a quarter of the violent struggles in ethnically divided countries were preceded by extreme weather.
 
The role of severe heatwaves, floods and storms in increasing the risk of wars has been controversial, particularly in relation to the long drought in Syria.

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