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Friday, Jul 29th

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Canada evacuates oil workers as wildfire spreads

Canada wildfireOil workers in Canada's western province of Alberta have been ordered to evacuate camps as a resurgent wildfire heads towards them.

The emergency on Monday north of the oil town of Fort McMurray has forced firefighters to shift their focus to protect major oil facilities.
The blaze, which continues to burn uncontrolled, now covers 285,000 hectares (704,000 acres), officials said.

By Monday evening, it was moving at 30 to 40 metres a minute north of Fort McMurray and had jumped a critical firebreak to push into the oil sand camp areas.

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Last Month Was The Warmest April Ever Recorded, Continuing 7-Month Hot Streak

global warmingSound like something you’ve heard before? It’s probably because you have.

Based on NASA data, April was the seventh month in a row that global temperatures set a new record high. It was also the third consecutive month that the record was broken by the largest margin ever.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has yet to reveal its analysis of April temperatures, but if their findings line up with NASA’s, that’ll mean one full year of record-hot months. (The two agencies use slightly different dates to determine the long-term temperature average.)

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We Just Had Our Fourth Record-Breaking Hottest Month In A Row

hottest four months in a row (2015)A record fire-storm in Canada fueled by record warmth. Record ice-melt in Greenland and the Arctic sea, driven by off-the-charts warmth in the far north. And, NASA reported Friday, we’ve just been through the hottest April and the hottest January-April on record — by far.

How big a jump was April 2016 compared to the historical record? In an email, Stefan Rahmstorf, Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, notes that “The margin by which April beats the previous record April is three times larger (0.24 °C) than the margin of any previous record April (biggest was 0.08 °C).”

Also, this has easily been the hottest January-April on record, which isn’t a surprise given that last month’s record was hot on the heels of the hottest March on record by far, which followed the hottest February on record by far, and hottest January on record by far.

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Australia's "biggest ever environmental disaster"

Great Barrier Reef bleachingThe massive bleaching hitting the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is likely that country's "biggest ever environmental disaster," says Dr. Justin Marshall, who has studied the reef for three decades.

Only 7 percent of the reef has escaped bleaching, according to researchers at the ARC Center of Excellence. Marshall, a professor at the University of Queensland, says the destructive phenomenon is happening in an area the size of Scotland.

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Demonstrators in Dade demand nuclear plant shut down after leaks

Protesters want Dade nuclear plant shut after leaksDozens of protesters demonstrated outside of a Florida Power & Light facility concerning leaks at the nuclear power plant at Turkey Point.

It took place Saturday morning at 4200 W. Flagler Street and comes after the company announced that customers will shell out an estimated $50 million this year alone for the cleanup of hypersaline water coming from the plant.

Environmental advocates are worried that theleaking wastewater containing radioactive isotopes is a threat to drinking water from the Biscayne aquifer.

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Yet Another Oil Spill Wreaks Havoc On The Gulf Of Mexico And Nearby Coastal Communities

another oil spill in gulfA Shell oil facility has leaked nearly 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, according to federal authorities. The spill has left a two-mile by thirteen-mile sheen in the Gulf, approximately 165 miles southwest of New Orleans.

A helicopter first noticed the spill near Shell’s Brutus platform on Thursday morning, according to Shell spokeswoman Kimberly Windon.

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Obama Administration Cracking Down On Potent Planet-Warming Gas

Obama goes after methane gasThe Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday final rules that will crack down on methane emissions from the booming natural gas industry.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that has much greater planet-warming potential in the short term than carbon dioxide. It is also a primary component of natural gas, and its release during the oil and gas extraction and transportation process has emerged as a major concern as the U.S. has vastly increased its gas production. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — a process that uses a high-pressure blast of water, sand and chemicals to tap into gas contained in shale rock — has allowed the U.S. to unlock a lot more gas in recent years.

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