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Pope Francis sends out strong climate change warning, urges environmental policy

Pope FrancisPope Francis has released his encyclical on climate change, urging for worldwide environmental policy and warning that humans threaten the planet.

Climate change "represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades," the Pope wrote.

Francis has called for renewable fuel subsidies and "maximum energy efficiency." He urges the use of public transportation, carpooling and recycling.

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Why shale producers are happy with this EPA fracking study

EPA Fracking studyThe energy industry agrees with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — at least when it comes to the findings of an EPA study on hydraulic fracturing.

Michael Krancer, partner and chair of the energy industry team at law firm Blank Rome LLP, said a draft report on the EPA study shows that fracking is “safe,” with “no widespread issues.”

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Cuomo administration keeping fracking ban in New York

CuomoThe Cuomo administration is sticking by its decision to ban hydrofracking in New York despite a federal report Thursday that found it caused no “widespread” water contamination.

A spokesman for the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation said New York’s decision not to allow the controversial natural gas drilling process was based on factors beyond possible water contamination.

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Fracking could contaminate drinking water: U.S. EPA

fracking

Fracking for shale oil and gas has not led to widespread pollution of drinking water, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency draft report said on Thursday, although it warned some drilling activities could potentially cause health risks.

The study, requested by Congress and five years in the making, said fracking could contaminate drinking water under certain conditions, such as when fluids used in the process leaked into the water table.

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Mount Everest's Glaciers Could Lose Up To 99 Percent Of Ice By 2100 Due To Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Glaciers meltingResearchers estimated that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rate, the glaciers in the Everest mountain region could lose over 70 percent of their volume by the year 2100.

The study warns the famous mountains are extremely sensitive to climate warming, and major ice loss should be anticipated throughout the 21st century, the European Geosciences Union reported.

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‘Disaster after disaster’ hits Marshall Islands as climate change kicks in

Marshall Islands climate changeThe atolls of the Marshall Islands are narrow and practically level with the sea, leaving their 68,000 residents nowhere to move to as a rising sea and increasingly frequent floods threatens to swamp the country. Unlike in many parts of the world where climate change often seems a distant threat, for the Marshallese it is already a daily reality.

Keslynna’s grandmother, Rusina Rusin, said the land has been in her family for too many generations to count, passed down from mother to daughter in the country’s matrilineal social system. She said she has noticed the increasing unpredictability of the weather.

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Antarctic Ice Shelf Is A Few Years From Disintegration: NASA

Antarctic ice shelf near disappearingThe last intact section of one of Antarctica's mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years, contributing further to rising sea levels, according to a NASA study released on Thursday.

The research focused on a remnant of the so-called Larsen B Ice Shelf, which has existed for at least 10,000 years but partially collapsed in 2002. What is left covers about 625 square miles (1,600 square km), about half the size of Rhode Island.

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