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Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

Ocean life faces extinctionThe loss of animal species in the planet's oceans is expected to "rapidly intensify" due to human-caused activities, but swift intervention could still prevent "disaster of the magnitude observed on land," according to a study published Friday in the journal Science.

Humans have "profoundly decreased" the number marine animals, large and small, though there have been few outright extinctions, the study notes. That’s because animal loss attributed to human activity "began in earnest tens of thousands of years later in the oceans that it did on land."

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NASA, NOAA proclaim 2014 hottest year on record

Hottest year on record- 2014The official numbers are in, and they confirm what most already suspected: 2014 was the hottest year on record. Temperature records were shattered in places across the globe, including in much of Europe, parts of South America, as well as in China and portions of Russia and the Far East.

As NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday, average global temperatures on land and sea surfaces collected across the planet were 1.24 degrees Fahrenheit above the 20th century average.

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9th Earthquake Rattles Eastern Connecticut

Connecticut earthquakesPlainfield police have received more phone calls reporting an earthquake this morning, the ninth to rattle the area since last Thursday.

The Weston Observatory at Boston College is recording a magnitude 2.1 earthquake and they are calling it an aftershock. Police said they heard a boom and felt the ground shake a little.

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Department of Energy challenges $54M in fines over nuke dump

waste isolation fineThe U.S. Department of Energy is contesting more than $54 million in fines, the largest penalty levied by New Mexico for numerous violations that resulted in the indefinite closure of the nation's only underground nuclear waste repository.

The Energy Department and the contractors paid to operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Los Alamos National Laboratory said Friday that they want a hearing on the matter, according to a statement.

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Nebraska court clears path of Keystone XL

Keystone pipelineIn a mixed decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday the legal premise used to sanction the route for Keystone XL was permissible.

In a long awaited case on the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, the Nebraska Supreme Court cleared one of the remaining hurdles in a battle that began when TransCanada first applied to build the project more than six years ago.

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2014: a warm year for the US and the warmest yet worldwide

2014 warmest yearOn a day when much of the US struggled with bone-chilling cold, federal meteorologists said America’s weather in 2014 wasn’t really that bad.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Thursday that the US average temperature in 2014 was half a degree warmer than normal and that weather was less disastrous and drought-struck than in previous years. While 2014 was warmer than 2013 in the lower 48 states, it was still only the 34th warmest on record.

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26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas

fracking earthquakes in TexasThere’s a monster lurking under Texas, beneath the sand and oil and cowboy bones, and it’s getting a little restless after a 15 million year nap. Shaking things up in the city of Irving, just slightly west of Dallas, where no less than ten earthquakes yesterday and today bring the total tremors to 26 since October in that town alone. Over 100 quakes have been registered in the North Texas region since 2008, a staggering uptick from just a single one prior that year.

The Balcones Fault Zone divides the Lone Star State in half, loosely following the route of Interstate 35 and passing under Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio. And it’s not just a huge amount of human populations that sit on top of it. There are also thousands of fracking wells boring down in to the earth’s crust, pumping millions of gallons of water down with the direct intent of breaking apart what lay beneath.

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