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Scientists puzzled, worried by rapid draining of Greenland lakes

greenland lakesTwo subglacial Greenland lakes thought to be stable -- pockets of icy water accumulated over many years -- are now gone, drained in a matter of weeks. And scientists aren't exactly sure why or what it means.

In one spot along Greenland's massive ice sheet, what was once a holding cell for more than 7 billion gallons of water (supplied by melting ice caps), is now a cold, empty crater, stretching some 1.2 miles wide and 230 feet deep.

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North Dakota cleanup underway after 3 million-gallon toxic spill

ND spillCleanup was underway Thursday after nearly 3 million gallons of brine — a toxic byproduct of oil and natural gas production — leaked from a pipeline in western North Dakota in the state’s largest spill of its kind since the current energy boom began.

The brine is an unwanted byproduct of oil and natural gas production. It is much saltier than seawater, and may contain petroleum and residue from hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” operations.

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Second Montana pipeline breach wreaks havoc on Yellowstone River

Montana oil spillWhen an oil pipeline burst in July 2011 and poured 63,000 gallons of crude into the Yellowstone River 200 miles upstream from Dena Hoff’s farm of wheat, beans and corn on the Great Plains in Glendive, she felt disgusted.

When it happened again Saturday, she felt terror. This pipeline breach was underneath the Yellowstone River, just a few feet from her sheep pasture. The new spill poured out some 50,000 gallons of crude oil. Leaders of this small riverside farming and ranching community in northeastern Montana warned residents not to drink their tap water, because benzene, a carcinogen, was found in the municipal water system. Oil slicked the river for dozens of miles, almost to the border with North Dakota. Hoff’s property smelled sickeningly like diesel.

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Cancer-causing agent detected in water after pipeline spill

Cancer causing ingredients in pipe spillEastern Montana residents rushed to stock up on bottled water Tuesday after authorities detected a cancer-causing component of oil in public water supplies downstream of a Yellowstone River pipeline spill.

Elevated levels of benzene were found in water samples from a treatment plant that serves about 6,000 people in the agricultural community of Glendive, near North Dakota.

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How concerned are CEOs about climate change? Not at all

Corporate ocncern about climate changeIn a critical year for action to prevent runaway climate change, one would hope the issue would rank high on chief executives’ list of business risks to worry about.

So it comes as a shock to discover that climate change appears so low on their list of concerns that professional services group PricewaterhouseCoopers did not even bother to include it in its global survey of business leaders.

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Drinking water trucked into Montana city after oil spill

montana oil spillOfficials said Monday that they were bringing truckloads of drinking water to the eastern Montana city of Glendive after traces of 50,000 gallons of oil that spilled into the Yellowstone River were found in the city's water supply.

State and federal officials said preliminary tests Monday indicated that at least some oil entered the supply for the city of 5,300 people. They stressed they are shipping drinking water as a precaution and do not know yet whether there is any public health threat to residents. They will perform further tests to determine that.

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Pope's climate-change stand deepens conservatives' distrust

pope francisConservative distrust of Pope Francis, which has been building in the U.S. throughout his pontificate, is reaching a boiling point over his plan to urge action on climate change — and to do so through a document traditionally used for the most important papal teachings.

For months, Francis has been drafting an encyclical on the environment and global warming which he hopes to release by June or July. Encyclicals are written with the help of a small group of advisers working under strict secrecy. But in a news conference as he traveled last week to the Philippines, Francis gave his strongest signal yet of the direction he'll take.

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