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Lack of snow forces Alaska to move Iditarod dog race

Ididerot moved due to lack of snowThe Alaskan Iditarod dogsled race has had to be moved for only the second time in 43 years because of a shortage of snow.
While a huge swathe of the US from New England to Alabama has recorded unprecedented snowfall, the same cannot be said of Alaska.

Snow has been so scarce that drastic measures have been taken to ensure the 1000-mile sledding marathon can take place at all. The starting point for this week’s event has been shifted 289 miles north from Willow to Fairbanks.


Third oil train in less than a month derails in Ontario and starts fire

Ontario oil train derailsSeveral cars have caught fire after a Canadian National Railway train carrying crude oil derailed in northern Ontario, prompting officials to advise nearby residents to stay indoors and avoid consuming water from local sources.

Ontario Provincial Police were called to the scene at approximately 2:45 a.m. ET. The Transportation Safety Board said 30 to 40 cars derailed four kilometres southwest of Gogama, Ont., and there were no initial reports of injuries


Oklahoma scientists pressured to downplay link between earthquakes and fracking

Oklahoma scientists pressuredOklahoma has been experiencing an earthquake boom in recent years. In 2014, the state had 585 quakes of at least magnitude 3. Up through 2008, it averaged only three quakes of that strength each year. Something odd is happening.

But scientists at the Oklahoma Geological Survey have downplayed a possible connection between increasing fracking in the state and the increasing number of tremors. Even as other states (Ohio, for example) quickly put two and two together and shut down some drilling operations that were to blame, OGS scientists said that more research was needed before their state took similar steps.


Five cars still on fire in Illinois following oil train derailment carrying ND crude

train fireThe rail cars that split open and burst into flames during a western Illinois oil train derailment this week had been retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard than federal law requires, according to railroad officials.

The fire continued to burn Friday, a day after the derailment in a rural area south of the city of Galena. No injuries were reported, but the accident was the latest in a series of failures for the safer tank-car model that has led some people calling for even tougher requirements.


California drought caused by climate change, according to a new study

California droughtAccording to a new study, California's historic drought was caused primarily by climate change.

Researchers at Stanford looked at temperature, precipitation and drought data for California dating as far back as 1895. They found droughts are more common in warm and dry years, and those kinds of years have been more common the past few decades. They looked at the effect of greenhouse gases on weather patterns and found it was indeed increasing the likelihood of droughts occurring.


Phenomenal success for new film that criticises China's environmental policy

China pollution videoIt has been compared to Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s seminal work that shaped US environmental policy. Chai Jing, a former Chinese state television reporter, has produced a widely seen video documentary weaving her personal concerns for her daughter with a damning indictment of China’s toothless environmental policy.

Since its release online on Saturday, Under the Dome has notched up some 100m views on major Chinese video portals such as Tencent and Youku. It has also prompted 280 million posts on Sina Weibo, a microblogging site.


Glacial Melting In Antarctica Makes Continent The 'Ground Zero Of Global Climate Change'

AntarcticaFrom the ground in this extreme northern part of Antarctica, spectacularly white and blinding ice seems to extend forever. What can't be seen is the battle raging thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) below to re-shape Earth.

Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That's the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings, enough ice melt to fill more than 1.3 million Olympic swimming pools. And the melting is accelerating.


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