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One-Third Of The World's Largest Groundwater Sources Are In Serious Trouble: Study

groundwater in troubleThe earth's biggest groundwater basins are being depleted far more quickly than previously believed, according to two new studies by the University of California, Irvine (UCI).

The studies used data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites gathered between 2003 and 2013 to examine the 37 largest aquifers on the planet. Twenty-one of those aquifers have exceeded their sustainability "tipping points," meaning they lose more water every year than is being naturally replenished through processes like rainfall or snow melt, said Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and principal investigator in the two studies.

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U.S. House mulls arctic drilling

House considers Arctic drilllingDrilling offshore, particularly in arctic regions offshore Alaska, won't do much to wean the United States off foreign oil, a U.S. House committee heard.

A House subcommittee on energy resources held an oversight hearing on reserves thought to be in arctic waters and how they could potentially impact U.S. leverage overseas. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in early June that moving more domestic oil to the global market could "strengthen the strategic hand of the United States."

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Pope draft encyclical calls for swift action on climate change

Pope FrancisThe world could see the destruction of entire ecosystems this century without urgent action on climate change, Pope Francis says in a draft of his keenly awaited encyclical on the environment.

In the Italian version of the 192-page document, posted on Monday by the weekly magazine l'Espresso, the pope again backs scientists who say global warming is mostly man-made and that developed countries have a particular responsibility to stem a trend that will hurt the poor the most.

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Fast-growing Alaska wildfires force evacuations

Alaskan wildfiresFire crews are battling two serious wildfires in Alaska that are threatening hundreds of residences and have forced numerous evacuations.

The most recent fire erupted Monday and burned six structures and prompted hundreds of residents to flee homes on the Kenai Peninsula, roughly 150 miles south of major wildfire that started a day earlier near Willow in the heart of the state's sled-dog community.

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Study: The greener a state's legislator, the cleaner the air

Clean airStates where the congressional delegation votes greener tend to have air that's cleaner, spewing less heat-trapping gas, a new study finds.

Researchers at Michigan State University studied decades of voting trends and greenhouse gas emissions state by state. They found a correlation between the voting records of a congressional delegation and carbon dioxide emissions, although one that's nowhere near as big as population or a state's economic health, according to a study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Kayak protesters detained after trying to stop Shell oil rig

Kayak protesterThe U.S. Coast Guard detained two dozen protesters who formed a blockade with kayaks and other vessels Monday to try to stop Royal Dutch Shell's drill rig as it left Seattle on its way to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

The protesters were scooped up from the water because they were violating the safety zone around the Polar Pioneer, which departed around 6 a.m., Coast Guard Lt. Dana Warr said. They would be released after receiving violation notices that carry a $500 penalty, he said.

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Investigation ‘Workers Are Paying For Cheap Gas With Their Lives’

workerws paying for cheap gas with their livesThe Bakken oil boom has been a serial killer. Big oil companies have largely written the rules governing their own accountability for accidents, potentially putting workers at risk.

In the early evening of Sept. 14, 2011, at a bend in the Missouri River in North Dakota, Brendan Wegner, 21, was scrambling down a derrick ladder when the oil well he was working on exploded. Rescuers found his body pinned under a heap of melted steel pipes. His charred hands were recovered later, still gripping the derrick ladder. It was his first day on the rig.

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