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World's former second-largest hypersaline lake is almost dry

Saline lake dryingIran's Lake Urmia was once the world's second-largest hypersaline lake. Today, it is nearly gone. Over the last several decades, the lake's volume has declined by 80 percent.

A new study, published this week in the Journal of Great Lakes Research, is the first to examine the causes of Urmia's decline. The conclusion: both human impact and climate change are to blame.

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Substantial damage after earthquake rattles major Oklahoma oil hub

Oklahoma earthquakeDozens of buildings sustained "substantial damage" after a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck an Oklahoma town that's home to one of the world's key oil hubs, but officials said Monday that no damage has been reported at the oil terminal.

Cushing City Manager Steve Spears said 40 to 50 buildings were damaged in Sunday's earthquake, which was the third in Oklahoma this year with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater. No major injuries have been reported, and Spears said the damage included cracks to buildings and fallen bricks and facades.

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Paris climate agreement now international law

Paris climate pact now international lawThe landmark climate agreement became international law Friday as just over two third of the world's polluting nations join a plan aiming to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Under the arrangement, some nations would help others with addressing climate change, though the World Meteorological Organization said that, in the 15 years since 1990, there was a 37 percent increase in the warming impact on the climate because of the atmospheric influence of greenhouse gases like CO2, methane and nitrous oxide.

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UN: Paris Deal Won’t Be ‘Enough’ To Stave Off Worst Effects Of Climate Change

Paris deal won't stop climate changeThe Paris Agreement was the most significant climate change accord in history. More than 190 countries vowed to slash greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to curb global warming.

But that commitment won’t be enough, a new United Nations report warns.

To have any chance of staving off the worst effects of climate change, the world must “urgently and dramatically increase its ambition” to cut emissions, the U.N. Environment Program said on Thursday, as it released its annual Emissions Gap Report.

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Two billion children worldwide affected by air pollution, UNICEF study says

World pollution affecting 2 billion children...One in seven children in the world lives in an area with air pollution levels six or more times higher than international guidelines, the United Nations reported Monday.

UNICEF, the U.N.'s children's agency, used satellite imagery in a report released Monday to demonstrate children's' exposure to outdoor pollution levels as established by the World Health organization. The report, "Clear the Air for Children," said the satellite photographs confirm that around two billion children live in areas where outdoor air pollution, caused by factors such as vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste, exceeds minimum WHO air quality guidelines.

South Asia has 620 million children in these areas, Africa has 520 million and the East Asia and Pacific region has 450 million, the report said.

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Days of Record Warmth Close Out October, Open November in Central and Southern U.S.

Record heat at end of October, 2016Summer will continue to lag into early November, with numerous daily record highs, and also some monthly record highs expected in parts of the heat-weary South and Plains states.

Numerous daily record highs were broken Sunday. Atlanta's record high of 86 degrees was the latest 86-degree day on record there, surpassing the previous date of Oct. 28, 1940. Macon, Georgia, set a new record high by reaching 89 degrees Sunday afternoon. Greenville, North Carolina, also set a new daily record high by topping out at 86 degrees.

Some southern cities could set a new daily record high each day through midweek.

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Massive marine park declared in Antarctic Ocean

marine park in AntarcticThe world's biggest marine park is to be be created in the Antarctic Ocean, covering a massive 1.55 million sq km, after a "momentous" agreement was finally reached by 24 countries and the EU.

The deal, sealed on Friday in Hobart, Australia, after years of negotiations and with Russia dropping its long-held opposition, will see a massive US and New Zealand-backed marine protected area established in the Ross Sea.

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