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Much of world's fossil fuel reserve must stay buried to prevent climate change, study says

Fossil fuelsVast amounts of oil in the Middle East, coal in the US, Australia and China and many other fossil fuel reserves will have to be left in the ground to prevent dangerous climate change, according to the first analysis to identify which existing reserves cannot be burned.

The new work reveals the profound geopolitical and economic implications of tackling global warming for both countries and major companies that are reliant on fossil fuel wealth. It shows trillions of dollars of known and extractable coal, oil and gas, including most Canadian tar sands, all Arctic oil and gas and much potential shale gas, cannot be exploited if the global temperature rise is to be kept under the 2C safety limit agreed by the world’s nations.

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Shell to pay $83.5M for Nigeria oil spill

Shell to pay for Nigeria spillOil giant Shell has agreed to pay a Nigerian fishing community about $83.5 million for the worst oil spill ever suffered in Nigeria.

Wednesday's agreement ends a three-year legal battle in Britain over two spills in 2008 that destroyed thousands of acres of mangroves and the fish and shellfish that sustained villagers of the Bodo community in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta.

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Methane plume over western US illustrates climate cost of gas leaks

methane gas cloudThe methane that leaks from 40,000 gas wells near the desert trading post of Cuba, New Mexico, may be colourless and odourless, but it’s not invisible. It can be seen from space.


Satellites that sweep over the north of the energy-rich state can spot the gas as it escapes from drilling rigs, compressors and a pipeline snaking across the badlands. In the air it forms a giant plume: a permanent methane cloud, so vast that scientists questioned their own data when they first studied it three years ago. “We couldn’t be sure that the signal was real,” said Nasa researcher Christian Frankenberg.

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A Nuclear Plant Leaked Oil Into Lake Michigan For Two Months Straight

nuclear plant leaked oilA cooling system attached to a nuclear power plant in southwest Michigan was steadily spilling oil into Lake Michigan for about two months, the Detroit Free Press reported Saturday.

Approximately 2,000 gallons of oil from a cooling system at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant leaked into the lake last year, according to an event notification posted on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission website. The leak started on October 25, and was isolated on December 20, the report said. Plant officials reportedly notified the State of Michigan of the leak on December 13.

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Idaho earthquake damages property, causes power outages

earthquakes in Idahon earthquake with magnitude 4.9 occurred near Challis, ID at 17:44:03.00 UTC on Jan 3, 2015. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

Recommended actions:  Expect aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.

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Winter storm brings snow to California's New Year's celebration

winter snow storm in CAA blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the American west on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year’s.

Giddy residents in Southern California foothills snapped photos of snow-covered lawns as kids tossed snowballs. In suburban Phoenix, swimming pools and cactus-lined backyards were dusted with the white stuff.

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Trains plus crude oil equals trouble down the track

crude on the tracksEvery day, strings of black tank cars filled with crude oil roll slowly across a long wooden railroad bridge over the Black Warrior River.

The 116-year-old span is a landmark in this city of 95,000 people, home to the University of Alabama. Residents have proposed and gotten married next to the bridge. Children play under it. During Alabama football season, die-hard Crimson Tide fans set up camp in its shadow.

But with some timber pilings so badly rotted that you can stick your hand right through them, and a “MacGyver”-esque combination of plywood, concrete and plastic pipe employed to patch up others, the bridge demonstrates the limited ability of government and industry to manage the hidden risks of a sudden shift in energy production.

And it shows why communities nationwide are in danger.

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