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air pollution

Asia Vast fires in Indonesia have started earlier in the season than usual and are spreading widely, in part due to a severe drought gripping Southeast Asia, the Guardian reported. The fires, which may have been started illegally to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations, are creating hazardous air pollution in cities like […]

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Political disagreements between Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and Israeli officials have left a new wastewater treatment plant sitting idle, the Guardian reported. The plant is meant to improve water quality in an aquifer that supplies water to Gaza, where most citizens have to buy water from vendors and can pay as much as a third […]

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Did you miss Circle of Blue’s reporting on how cleaning up the power sector – namely coal – and reducing energy demand would clear the air and provide water benefits? Not to worry; Brett Walton gives an update on the current smog situation and how a recent report may provide solutions.

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Drought Zambia and Angola have both lowered their forecasts for economic growth this year due in part to a severe drought, AlertNet reported. The drought has affected the countries’ agricultural industries, which still make up a large share of their gross domestic product (GDP). As drought continues to be a persistent problem in Africa, there […]

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Pollution The Chinese government has released a plan to reduce coal’s share of the country’s energy supply to 65 percent by 2017, AlertNet reported. The plan is meant to curb air pollution, but could also affect water supplies that are used in the mining and burning of coal. Levels of radioactive tritium are once again […]

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Environmental Threats Natural disasters cost the world approximately $US 138 billion last year, the third consecutive year that economic losses from disasters have exceeded $US 100 billion, AlertNet reported. Floods and droughts accounted for almost 80 percent of disaster victims in 2012. Failure to address environmental threats like climate change, deforestation, air pollution, and water […]

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The Washington Post reports that rain, runoff from the season’s first snowfall, and restored flow release levels, have contributed to a rise in the alarmingly low water levels of the Mississippi River. As of yesterday, the St. Louis channel, the river was at 12 feet deep, up from 10.5 feet on Monday. The fear is […]

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is starting to tackle Superfund cleanup projects involving heavily polluted sites hidden beneath urban waterways, The New York Times reported. The sites, often contaminated by years of industrial waste dumped into the water, are among the most difficult and expensive to restore, and come with the risk of […]

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How can the world feed 9.5 billion people, the projected global population in 2050? The Guardian looks at a mix of new, somewhat radical scientific solutions: commercial algae farms, insects, desert greening and meat grown in a lab. Modernising agricultural technology is the key to boosting China’s food output, according to China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, […]

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Lake Erie and some of its biggest tributary rivers have just the right conditions for Asian carp to make themselves at home, according to a study by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Associated Press reported. The invasive species have infested numerous tributaries of the Mississippi River, including the Illinois River, and are threatening to […]

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Wind-generated electricity will cost the same as electricity from fossil fuels by 2016, according to a new study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Air pollution from aerosols like soot and dust can amplify droughts and floods, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported, citing a new study from the University of Maryland. The aerosols affect cloud formation, […]

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Costly weather extremes such as drought and floods are becoming more prevalent as climate change progresses, the Associated Press reported, citing a draft of a new study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The growing populations in vulnerable locations around the world will likely exacerbate the problem. Only 5 percent of the $97 billion […]

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U.S. government support for biofuels and inaction on climate change are creating food price spikes and hunger in other countries, the Guardian reported, citing a new study by the Global Hunger Index. Twenty-six countries, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, are at extreme risk of hunger. Yemen could face a humanitarian crisis on a par with that […]

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Will momentum for runaway development be too powerful to restrain?

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Germany has set a three-month moratorium on plans to extend the lifetimes of its 17 nuclear reactors, and Australia might reconsider its uranium export policy following the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima plant. The European Commission is also holding a meeting of ministers and experts to review its nuclear power plans. Meanwhile, China said it would […]

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SALT LAKE CITY – The Las Vegas leviathan once more has engineers working overtime to slake its insatiable thirst. The city is proceeding with its twenty-year request to build a 285-mile pipeline; but this time, two Utah counties are requesting their share of the project.

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