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Why a federal court ruled against the US Navy, in favor of whales

Whales protected by federal courtA new court ruling has been issued in the ongoing conflict between the US Navy and marine wildlife advocates. This time, the ruling has come down in favor of whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals that are adversely affected by naval use of sonar.

Sonar, which involves navigation or detection of underwater objects using sound waves, is a natural phenomenon used by whales and dolphins to locate prey or members of their pod. Yet the human-developed version of sonar can be harmful to marine mammals and their feeding and mating patterns.

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Obama toughens Arctic drilling rules

Arctic drilllingThe Obama administration rolled out a suite of new regulatory standards Thursday to strengthen offshore oil and natural gas safety in the unique, unforgiving Arctic Ocean.

It’s the first time that the federal government has put forth specific safety rules for the Arctic, which is vastly different in numerous ways from more developed offshore drilling areas like the Gulf of Mexico.

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Climate change: the missing issue of the 2016 campaign

climate change missing in 2016 electionThe race for the White House is failing to grapple with the key issues of the day, especially the urgent need to combat climate change before atmospheric changes become irreversible, a slice of the American electorate believes.

As the primary election season turns toward a head-to-head between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, there is increasing anger and frustration over the nature of the contest. A Guardian call-out to online readers in the US asking them to reflect on the race so far was met by a barrage of criticism on the tone and substance of the world’s most important election – with the two main parties, individual candidates and the media all coming under heavy fire.

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High Levels of Toxins Found in Bodies of People Living Near Fracking Sites

Toxins found in bodies near fracking sitesMany of the toxic chemicals escaping from fracking and natural gas processing sites and storage facilities may be present in much higher concentrations in the bodies of people living or working near such sites, new research has shown.

In a first-of-its-kind study combining air-monitoring methods with new biomonitoring techniques, researchers detected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from natural gas operations in Pavillion, Wyoming in the bodies of nearby residents at levels that were as much as 10 times that of the national averages.

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Flood hits mosque in Pakistan, dozens feared dead

pakistan floodsDozens are feared dead after floods struck northern Pakistan, washing away a mosque during Ramadan prayers, authorities told CNN Sunday.

Authorities fear more monsoon rains will bring further disaster this week.

The death toll hit 41 in the Chitral district in far northeast Pakistan by the Afghanistan border, where 23 people are reported missing, said Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) provincial disaster management authority spokesman Latif Ur Rehman. The region is susceptible to flash floods.

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2 Florida Counties Added to Algae Bloom Emergency

Florida coast toxic algaeFlorida Gov. Rick Scott Thursday added two counties to the state of emergency declared over bright blue-green algae blooms that are taking over waterways and beaches on Florida's Treasure Coast.

Scott issued Executive Order 16-155 declaring an emergency in Martin and St. Lucie counties Wednesday, according to a statement, but added Lee and Plam Beach counties a day later. The executive order allows state and local governments to take action against the spread of the algal blooms by redirecting the water flow in and out of Lake Okeechobee, which many believe are to blame for the foul-smelling algae that one resident described to the Associated Press as "guacamole-thick."

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Pink Snow Looks Awesome, But Is Another Climate Change Indicator

Pink snow sign of climate changeSome call it pink snow, some call it watermelon snow — and now, a new study is calling it yet another symbol of the drastic melting in the Arctic.

The appearance of the so-called pink snow, which Arctic explorers have observed for centuries, is the result of a red algae that likes to bloom in the frozen water. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, researchers found that those algal blooms are causing the ice to melt faster, and the algae is likely to grow more rapidly as climate change melts even more of the Arctic into the liquid water that feeds them.

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