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Study: Gulf Stream slower than ever before

Gulf stream slower than ever beforeThe Gulf Stream is the weakest it's been in the last 1,000 years. And as glacier melt in the Arctic continues to accelerate, the foot of the Atlantic's most powerful ocean current keeps pressing harder and harder on the brake pedal.

A team of researchers recently analyzed an exhaustive catalog of geologic samples -- including ice cores, tree rings and coral, as well as ocean and lake sediments -- dating back to the year 900. Using sea-surface and atmospheric temperature data derived from the samples, scientists were able to plot a history of ocean current behavior.

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Climate change: China official warns of 'huge impact'

China climate changeClimate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission.

Zheng Guogang told Xinhua news agency that climate change could be a "serious threat" to big infrastructure projects.  He said temperature rises in China were already higher than global averages.

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New Fracking Rules on Public Lands ‘A Giveaway to Oil and Gas Industry,’

new fracking rules a giveaway“Current federal well-drilling regulations are more than 30 years old and they simply have not kept pace with the technical complexities of today’s hydraulic fracturing operations,” said Jewell. “This updated and strengthened rule provides a framework of safeguards and disclosure protocols that will allow for the continued responsible development of our federal oil and gas resources.

As we continue to offer millions of acres of public lands for conventional and renewable energy production, it is absolutely critical the public have confidence that transparent and effective safety and environmental protections are in place.”

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Senior scientists call on health charities to shift money out of fossil fuels

fossil fuelsSenior scientists including former chief advisers to the UK government and European commission have called on the world’s two largest health charities to sell their investments in leading fossil fuel companies.

They argue that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust should offload their holdings in major coal, oil and gas corporations because the investments are undermining the charities’ aims.

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U.S. to set fracking standards on federal land

Fracking on federal landThe Obama administration on Friday is due to unveil rules for oil companies that frack on federal land, included beefed-up safety measures, but won't likely require strict oversight as environmental groups want, according to sources.

The standards have been in the works for more than three years and gone through several drafts with environmentalists and the energy industry fighting over its scope.

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Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks to Smallest Winter Size in 35-Year Record

Arctic Sea Ice ShrinksArctic sea ice covered the smallest extent of ocean on record this winter, losing an area of ice bigger than Mississippi.

At its maximum, sea ice covered 14.54 million square kilometers (5.61 million square miles) of the northern oceans on Feb. 25, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado in Boulder said Thursday in a statement. That’s 130,000 kilometers less than the previous smallest winter maximum in 2011.

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Revealed: Gates Foundation's $1.4bn in fossil fuel investments

Gates investments in fossil vfelsThe charity run by Bill and Melinda Gates, who say the threat of climate change is so serious that immediate action is needed, held at least $1.4bn (£1bn) of investments in the world’s biggest fossil fuel companies, according to a Guardian analysis of the charity’s most recent tax filing in 2013.

The companies include BP, responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, Anadarko Petroleum, which was recently forced to pay a $5bn environmental clean-up charge and Brazilian mining company Vale, voted the corporation with most “contempt for the environment and human rights” in the world clocking over 25,000 votes in the Public Eye annual awards.

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