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President Obama cancels dangerous testing in the Atlantic

Offshore oil rigThe Obama administration announced that it has denied all permits for seismic testing in the Atlantic, a move that helps solidify the president’s environmental legacy in his final weeks and comes as welcome news to environmentalists bracing for the new administration.

“We know that seismic airgun blasting is dangerous,” Oceana campaign director Claire Douglass said in a statement. “Today, we thank the Obama administration for finishing the job in protecting the Atlantic Ocean from offshore drilling activities.”

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Massive iceberg ready to break from Antarctic ice shelf

Massive iceberg ready to break awayScientists with the British Antarctic Survey believe a massive iceberg is preparing to calve from the Antarctic Peninsula's Larsen C ice shelf. Recent satellite images revealed a growing fracture.

Researchers estimate the likely break will set free as much as 3,100 square miles of ice, or nearly 2 million acres.

"We use regular satellite images provided by the European Sentinel satellites to monitor cracks in the ice shelf," Andrew Fleming, remote sensing manager at the British Antarctic Survey, said in a news release. "These images are perfect for following these changes since they provide detailed information, day or night and regardless of cloud cover."

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U.S. Had Most Floods on Record in 2016

record floods in US in 10162016 really was the year of the flood in the U.S.: In total, 19 separate floods swamped the nation last year, the most in one single year since records began in 1980.

This is according to an analysis by Munich Re, a global reinsurance firm.

The worst flood was in August in Louisiana. At least 13 people were killed and roughly 60,000 buildings were destroyed. The disaster cost $10 billion, Munich Re reported, which noted it was the worst natural catastrophe in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

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Methane's On The Rise, But Regulations To Stop Gas Leaks Still Debated

methane on the riseThere's more methane gas in the atmosphere than there used to be, by every scientific measure. The Obama administration has been trying to stem the increase of this powerful greenhouse gas, but the incoming Trump administration appears bent on keeping the government's hands off methane.

The gas comes from agriculture, especially flooded agricultural lands like rice fields, as well as from the digestive tracts of livestock. But it's also the main component of natural gas; some methane escapes from leaky oil and gas operations.

Whatever the source, scientists have found that, after many years of very little change, concentrations of methane in the atmosphere have increased by 3 percent over the past eight years.

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6.3-magnitude earthquake hits Japan; Tokyo buildings sway

6.3 earthquake hits Japan 12/29A 6.3-magnitude earthquake centered near Takahagi, Japan, caused few injuries but shook structures and caused buildings in nearby Tokyo to sway, officials said.

It struck Ibaraki prefecture on Japan's eastern coast on Wednesday night and likely was an aftershock of a 9-magnitude earthquake in the area in 2011, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The temblor shattered windows at a school and two people sustained minor injuries. The prefecture is the site of two nuclear power plants; neither reported problems, regulators said. No tsunami warning was given, and a tsunami did not occur.

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Blizzard to bury New England under 2 feet of snow

Blizzard to hit NEA powerful winter storm will unleash heavy, wet snow and howling winds across portions of New England from late Thursday through midday Friday, with blizzard conditions possible in some areas.

Much of New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine should see a foot of snow, with nearly two feet expected in some spots, the National Weather Service said. "This looks to be a high-impact storm with power outages and significant drifting issues likely," the weather service warned.

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Kasich vetoes bill to weaken clean energy mandate

Kasich vetoes GOP anti clean energy billGov. John Kasich (R) bucked Ohio's GOP state legislature Tuesday by vetoing a bill that would have weakened the state’s clean energy requirements for power companies.

Kasich, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination this year, rejected the bill that sought to make clean-energy purchase mandates that have been in place since 2008 optional for two years.

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