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Saturday, Feb 06th

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Feds allow Shell to drill for oil in Arctic Ocean off Alaska

Shell Allowed to Drill off AlaskaThe federal government on Monday gave Royal Dutch Shell the final permit it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s northwest coast for the first time in more than two decades.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement announced that it approved the permit to drill below the ocean floor after the oil giant brought in a required piece of equipment to stop a possible well blowout.

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Air pollution increases allergenicity of ragweed pollen

Pollution increases allergensExposure to nitrous oxide exhaust gases in the environment makes the common ragweed pollen more allergenic, according to new research.

Pollen allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States, and are the main cause of hay fever and other allergies.

"After studies have already shown that Ambrosia growing along highways is clearly more allergenic than Ambrosia plants growing away from road traffic, we could provide a reason for this," said Dr. Ulrike Frank, a researcher at the German Research Center for Environmental Health at Helmholtz Zentrum München, in a press release. "Since in nature and along roads hundreds of parameters could play a role, until now the situation was not entirely clear."

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Climate fight shifts to courts

Climate changeStates, energy companies and business groups are preparing to sue the Obama administration over its new climate rule, viewing it as their bet shot at stopping the regulations while President Obama is still in office.

With Congress largely powerless to stop the rule, opponents of Obama’s push say the court system is their only hope at beating back the carbon limits until a new president takes over the Oval Office in 2017.

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World's Glaciers Melting At Fastest Rate Since Record-Keeping Began

melting glaciersThe world's glaciers have melted to the lowest levels since record-keeping began more than 120 years ago, according to a study conducted by the World Glacier Monitoring Service that was released on Monday.

The research, published in the Journal of Glaciology, provides new evidence that climate change has spurred the rapid decline of thousands of the world's ice shelves over the past century. The first decade of the 21st century saw the fastest loss of ice since scientists began tracking it in 1894 -- and perhaps in recorded history, WGMS reported.

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‘I drank the water and ate the fish. We all did. The acid has damaged me permanently’

I drank the water, ate the fish....You can’t see the old Chingola copper mine, with its smelter and refinery, from the village of Shimulala. It’s miles away, beyond 300ft-high hills of waste tailings, the leach plant, the main pollution control dam and the 1,600ft-deep open pit that is one of Africa’s largest holes.

But you can smell and taste the pollution from the biggest copper mine in Africa. If you pump a glass of water from the borehole outside the little church in Shimulala, you will see it is bright yellow, smells of sulphur and tastes vile.

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Wildfires prompt Brown to declare state of emergency in California

California firesGov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for all of California in the wake of at least 18 wildfires that killed one firefighter and drove hundreds of people from their homes.

California's record drought, now in its fourth year, has "turned much of the state into a tinderbox," he said.

The emergency declaration, which included the activation of the California National Guard, will speed up help for thousands of firefighters, Brown said Friday.

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Pair of earthquakes rattle parts of northern Oklahoma

Oklahoma earthquakesA pair of earthquakes has rattled parts of northern Oklahoma previously shaken by a swarm of earthquakes.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the temblors were recorded Friday in Logan County, the first at 5:38 a.m. about 14 miles northeast of Crescent, located about 35 miles north of Oklahoma City. The magnitude 2.6 quake occurred at a depth of less than two miles

TVNL Comment:  This is after two stronger earthquakes earlier last week, and dozens all year.  Keep on fracking, Oklahoma.  This is the payoff.

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