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2 Florida Counties Added to Algae Bloom Emergency

Florida coast toxic algaeFlorida Gov. Rick Scott Thursday added two counties to the state of emergency declared over bright blue-green algae blooms that are taking over waterways and beaches on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Scott issued Executive Order 16-155 declaring an emergency in Martin and St. Lucie counties Wednesday, according to a statement, but added Lee and Plam Beach counties a day later. The executive order allows state and local governments to take action against the spread of the algal blooms by redirecting the water flow in and out of Lake Okeechobee, which many believe are to blame for the foul-smelling algae that one resident described to the Associated Press as "guacamole-thick."

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Wildfires engulfing the west coast are fueled by climate change, experts warn

Wildfires in CA fueled by climate changeScorching wildfires that are raging throughout the American south-west are being fueled by climate change and require new strategies from states to prevent ever-greater destruction of people’s lives and property, a group of experts have warned.

High temperatures, drought and wind have combined to create a number of fires that have caused at least two deaths in California. The first large wildfire of the summer has this week broken out in northern California, burning through more than 1,200 acres and threatening thousands of homes in an area around 50 miles north-east of Sacramento.

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U.S., Canada, Mexico pledge to generate 50 percent of energy from clean sources

Energy pact - US, Canada and MexicoThe United States, Canada and Mexico have agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry by increasing clean energy generation to 50 percent by 2025.

The North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership will impose new restrictions on some industries to reduce emissions following last year's United Nations climate change agreement in Paris that sought a global reduction in emissions.

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U.S. charity loophole enabled trading of 1,300 endangered animals

US charity loopholes endanger animalsLast year, after a Minnesota dentist sparked an uproar by killing a popular lion named Cecil while on safari in Zimbabwe, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service placed similar African lions on the endangered species list, making it illegal to import them as trophies to the United States.

But for African lions and other threatened and endangered species, there’s an exception to this rule: Hunters, circuses, zoos, breeders and theme parks can get permits to import, export or sell endangered animals if they can demonstrate that the transactions will “enhance the survival” of the species.

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Study Links 6.5 Million Deaths Each Year to Air Pollution

6.5 million die from air pollutionA sobering report released on Monday by the International Energy Agency says air pollution has become a major public health crisis leading to around 6.5 million deaths each year, with “many of its root causes and cures” found in the energy industry.

The air pollution study is the first for the agency, an energy security group based in Paris, which is expanding its mission under its executive director, Fatih Birol.

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In West Virginia, a flood that will go down in history

W Virginia historic floodWest Virginia communities have been devastated by floods that killed at least 24 people and rendered many more homeless. The deluge tore through roads and bridges and knocked out utilities that still haven’t been restored in some communities.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin called the flooding "among the worst in a century" for some parts of West Virginia.

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Pink Snow Looks Awesome, But Is Another Climate Change Indicator

Pink snow sign of climate changeSome call it pink snow, some call it watermelon snow — and now, a new study is calling it yet another symbol of the drastic melting in the Arctic.

The appearance of the so-called pink snow, which Arctic explorers have observed for centuries, is the result of a red algae that likes to bloom in the frozen water. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, researchers found that those algal blooms are causing the ice to melt faster, and the algae is likely to grow more rapidly as climate change melts even more of the Arctic into the liquid water that feeds them.

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