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Saturday, Jul 26th

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White House turns to weather reporters for climate change news

meteorologistPresident Barack Obama is holding interviews on the White House lawn today with meteorologists from across the country to publicize a new administration report that says the effects of “human-induced” climate change are already being felt across the country -- with rising seas along the coastline and wildfires scarring the West.

Republicans attacked the report -- the third National Climate Assessment -- as a scare tactic, but the administration may not find as many skeptics among the weather reporters.

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U.S. Orders Railroads to Alert States When Oil Is Shipped

Ooil trainsThe U.S. Transportation Department issued an emergency order designed to reduce the risks of transporting crude from North Dakota’s booming Bakken region by rail, a week after an oil train derailed and burned in Virginia.

The order requires railroads to notify state emergency agencies when they haul Bakken crude through communities. A separate advisory discourages carriers from using an older tank car known as the DOT-111 tied to some accidents, though the order doesn’t ban their use.

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New report: Climate change has 'moved firmly into the present' and nation needs to adapt

Cllimate change is hereSaying that climate change has “moved firmly into the present,” a federal scientific panel Tuesday released a report cataloging the impacts of such changes, saying some would actually be beneficial “but many more are detrimental.”

The American Southeast and Caribbean regional is “exceptionally vulnerable” to rising sea levels, extreme heat events, hurricane and decreased water resources, the report said. Seven major ports in the region are vulnerable. And residents can expect a significant increase in the number of hot days – defined as 95 degrees or above – as well as decreases in freezing events.

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Oklahoma earthquakes tied to oil, gas work

Oklahoma earthquakesThe U.S. and Oklahoma Geological Surveys said an increase in earthquakes in the state may be attributed to heightened oil and gas activity.

USGS said it examined the rate of increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma and found they weren't due to random fluctuations in seismic activity in that state.

The joint study found injecting wastewater underground can lead to pressure increases that may contribute to earthquakes.

"Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose," USGS said.

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Antarctic Ice Shelf On Brink Of Unstoppable Melt That Could Raise Sea Levels For 10,000 Years

Antarctic ice shelfPart of East Antarctica is more vulnerable than expected to a thaw that could trigger an unstoppable slide of ice into the ocean and raise world sea levels for thousands of years, a study showed on Sunday.

The Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica, stretching more than 1,000 km (600 miles) inland, has enough ice to raise sea levels by 3 to 4 metres (10-13 feet) if it were to melt as an effect of global warming, the report said.

The Wilkes is vulnerable because it is held in place by a small rim of ice, resting on bedrock below sea level by the coast of the frozen continent. That "ice plug" might melt away in coming centuries if ocean waters warm up.

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U.S. Youths sue U.S. government over climate inaction

Kids vs. global warmingYoung people across the country are suing several government agencies for failing to develop a climate change recovery plan, conduct that amounts to a violation of their constitutional rights, says their lawyer Julia Olson.

Their futures are at stake, say the young plaintiffs.

“Climate change is the biggest issue of our time,” said 13-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez, a member of nonprofit Kids vs. Global Warming, a plaintiff in the suit.

“It’s not every day you see young people getting involved politically but the climate crisis is changing all that. Every generation from here on out is going to be affected by climate change,” added Roske-Martinez, who also founded environmental nonprofit Earth Matters and organized successful actions in his hometown of Boulder, Colo.

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Republicans in Congress Are Trying to Gut Local Fracking Regulations

fracking regulationsCapitol Hill on Tuesday was home to a rare sight: House Republicans preparing a bill they say will strengthen the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency.

But a coalition of public health experts, environmentalists, and state officials argue that the bill, called the Chemicals in Commerce Act, is a Trojan horse that would kneecap state rules on toxic chemicals across the country without giving the Environmental Protection Agency any authority to pick up the slack. Opponents of the Chemicals in Commerce Act warn that the bill would weaken oversight of fracking fluids in particular, as these are almost exclusively regulated by state agencies.

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