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Strong earthquake strikes off Vanuatu; tsunami unlikely

VanuatuA strong earthquake hit off of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu on Sunday, but authorities said any threat of a tsunami had mostly passed, and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The magnitude-6.9 quake struck 81 kilometers (50 miles) north of the town of Port Olry and 407 kilometers (253 miles) north of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It had a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles).


Paris Climate Treaty: 'Significant step' as US and China agree to sign

US and Chine closer to Paris Climate agreementThe US and China have issued a joint statement confirming that both countries will sign the Paris Climate Agreement next month.

Both say they will take all the "domestic steps" necessary to join the agreement as soon as possible. They are encouraging other countries to sign the document at UN headquarters in April.


Thailand hit by its worst drought in decades

Thailand hit by its worst droughtThailand is in the grip of its worst drought for more than 20 years, with water levels in the country's biggest dams lower than 10 percent.

The current drought has hit the north hardest, with 22 of Thailand's 76 provinces affected.

Agriculture has been severely affected, and there are genuine fears that taps could run dry within a matter of weeks. Several major reservoirs in the country are below 50 percent of their water capacity.


Millions at risk from man-made earthquakes; fracking primary cause

Millions at risk from man made earthquakesCalifornia isn't the USA's only earthquake hot-zone anymore.

7 million people in the central and eastern U.S. live where damaging man-made earthquakes are likely to occur, according to a first-of-its-kind report released Monday by federal scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas are the most at-risk states from man-made quakes, according to the report.


Alaskan volcano spews ash 20,000 feet in the air

Alaskan volcano eruptsA volcano has erupted on the Alaskan Aleutian Islands, spewing hot ash 20,000 feet in the air and prompting aviation warnings, authorities said Sunday.

Pavlof Volcano, about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted at 4:18 p.m., the U.S. Geological Survey said. Tremors also occurred.

The volcano "is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc," the agency said. Pavlof, about 4.4 miles in diameter, has had 40 known eruptions.


World-Renowned Climate Scientist Makes Dire Warning About Sea Level Rise, Storms

Dr. James HansenIf global temperatures on our planet continue to go up, ferocious super-storms could become more frequent and sea levels could rise several meters over the next century, drowning coastal cities along the way.

That’s the ominous warning put forth in a new, peer-reviewed paper penned by former top NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen and 18 co-authors, which was published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics on Tuesday.


Dreaded 'stealth' supply becomes reality as U.S. frackers turn on 'ducks'

Fracking stealth ducks to resumeA dreaded scenario for U.S. oil bulls might just be becoming a reality.

Some U.S. shale oil producers, including Oasis Petroleum (OAS.N) and Pioneer Natural Resources Co (PXD.N), are activating drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) in a reversal in strategy that threatens to bring more crude to a saturated market and dampen any sustained rebound in prices.

When oil prices started their long slide in mid-2014, many producers kept drilling wells, but halted expensive fracking work that brings them online, waiting for prices to bounce back.


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