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Friday, Dec 19th

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Chicago shoreline hit by 20ft waves

20 ft. waves hit Chicago shorelineWinds gusting up to 65mph caused waves from Lake Michigan to slam into the Chicago shoreline, slowing traffic and forcing the closure of a Halloween attraction.

Parts of the scenic Lake Shore Drive highway were flooded on Friday, leading to some lane closures. Traffic was backed up for miles.

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Ozone hole remains size of North America, Nasa data shows

ozone hole layerThe Antarctic ozone hole, which was expected to reduce in size swiftly when manmade chlorine emissions were outlawed 27 years ago, is stubbornly remaining the size of North America, new data from Nasa suggests.

The hole in the thin layer of gas, which helps shield life on Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet solar radiation that can cause skin cancers, grows and contracts throughout the year but reached its maximum extent on 9 September when monitors at the south pole showed it to cover 24.1m square km (9.3m sq miles). This is about 9% below the record maximum in 2000 but almost the same as in 2010, 2012 and 2013.

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In South Dakota, a new alliance of ranchers and Native Americans fights the Keystone pipeline

fighting pipeline in SDPipelines break. They don’t break often, but when they do, the result can be catastrophic.

That’s what worries John Harter, a rancher who grew up in this rural, poor and conservative area of southern South Dakota. Harter, 51, still lives here, and owns land that the Keystone XL pipeline would cross if it’s ever approved.

Harter points to the 2010 spill of 860,000 gallons of tar sand oil from a pipeline crossing the Kalamazoo River in Michigan when people ask what he’s fighting against. Enbridge, the company which owned the pipeline, just finished cleaning up that spill this summer. A similar amount of that same kind of oil could be flowing at high pressure past Harter’s ranch each day if TransCanada’s Keystone XL is built.

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The Weather Channel disavows co-founder’s comments on climate change

weather channelAtlanta-based Weather Channel CEO David Kenny told staff in a note today that the network co-founder’s comments to Fox News questioning climate change were not opinions reflected by the Weather Channel itself.

“Not only is the ice not melting, more polar bears are alive and happy today than we’ve had in 100 years,” John Coleman told Fox News host Megyn Kelly earlier this week. The research behind climate change “is bad, bad science.”

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Hawaii residents leave homes as lava flow nears

Lava flow HawaiiCivil defense officials in Hawaii County said late Tuesday the lava was about 370 yards from the main road in Pahoa town, the commercial center of Puna, a sprawling, mostly agricultural and forested part on the Big Island.

The lava entered private property next to the main road and was burning tires and other materials. This prompted authorities to warn downwind residents with respiratory problems to stay indoors. The lava was edging forward at a rate of about 10 to 15 yards per hour.

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Hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil from BP spill may be on the ocean floor

BP spill oil on ocean floorOver 5 million barrels of oil was released into the ocean during the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and up to 620,000 barrels may now be on the ocean floor, a new study finds.

The study, done by geochemists at the University of California, Santa Barbara, looked at sediment samples from the Gulf of Mexico and located evidence of the chemical Hopane, which indicates the presence of crude oil. It was known that 2 million barrels of the 5 million barrels spilled had not been collected, and the researchers determined between 4 and 31 percent of the 2 million barrels has reached the ocean floor.

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NPR Slashes Number Of Environment Reporters

NPR slashes environment reportersNational Public Radio is down to just one environment reporter, and he's only covering the beat part time, InsideClimate News reported Friday.

As of early 2014, NPR had three reporters and an editor on the environment beat. Now they have one person, science reporter Christopher Joyce, holding down coverage of the issue, and his stories span a broad range of issues beyond the environment. The other three environment staffers have left NPR or moved to other beats.

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