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Magnitude-5.3 earthquake rattles Los Angeles, southern California

5.3 earthquake of coast of LA

A magnitude-5.3 earthquake rattled southern California on Thursday, shaking buildings in the Los Angeles area.

The quake was centered in the Pacific Ocean, some 35 miles southeast of Channel Islands Beach, Calif., the U.S. Geological Survey said. There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

At the USA TODAY bureau in west Los Angeles, the earthquake started slowly as a rolling motion. The quake wasn’t strong enough, however, to cause items to fall off desks.

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Another season, another historic low for Arctic wintertime sea ice

Arctic sea ice at another historic lowThe maximum extent of the Arctic's wintertime sea ice, reached last week, marked another historic low. According to the latest analysis, it was the second lowest since satellites began tracking the phenomenon 39 years ago.

Every year, the Arctic's sea ice grows in the winter and shrinks in the summer, reaching two extents, a maximum and a minimum. In recent years, both extents have been increasingly small.

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World's largest collection of ocean garbage is now twice the size of Texas

Ocen garbage

The world's largest collection of ocean garbage is growing.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of plastic, floating trash located halfway between Hawaii and California, has grown to more than 600,000 square miles, a study published Thursday finds. That's twice the size of Texas.

Winds and converging ocean currents funnel the garbage into a central location, said study lead author Laurent Lebreton of the Ocean Cleanup Foundation, a non-profit organization that spearheaded the research.

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UN chief: Global water crisis has widespread impact

Water crisis effects worldSecretary-General Antonio Guterres says on World Water Day that 40 percent of the world's population faces water scarcity.

The U.N. chief told diplomats and activists at Thursday's launch of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development that "water is a matter of life and death," stressing that humans, cities, industries and agriculture depend on it.

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'The Harms of Fracking': New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer

Fracking a clear health hazard"Our examination…uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health," states a blistering 266-page report released today by Concerned Health Professionals of New York and the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group, Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Drawing on news investigations, government assessments and more than 1,200 peer-reviewed research articles, the study finds that fracking – shooting chemical-laden fluid into deep rock layers to release oil and gas – is poisoning the air, contaminating the water and imperiling the health of Americans across the country.

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World’s great forests could lose half of all wildlife as planet warms – report

Wildlife to disappear at a catastrophic rate in Amazon because of earth's warming

The world’s greatest forests could lose more than half of their plant species by the end of the century unless nations ramp up efforts to tackle climate change, according to a new report on the impacts of global warming on biodiversity hotspots.

Mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds are also likely to disappear on a catastrophic scale in the Amazon and other naturally rich ecosysterms in Africa, Asia, North America and Australia if temperatures rise by more than 1.5C, concludes the study by WWF, the University of East Anglia and the James Cook University.

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Source of the Tainted Water Crisis In Upstate NY: The US Military

Lake Washington reservoir contaminated by US Military

The contamination started back in 1990 when the nearby Stewart Air National Guard Base, home to the 105th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard, spilled 4,000 gallons of fire-fighting foam into a stream that flows directly into Lake Washington.

That foam contained perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOS, an invisible, flavorless industrial chemical that clings to water molecules. PFOS has been linked to cancer, thyroid problems and chronic kidney disease, and can accelerate puberty, delay mammary gland development, lower sperm count and raise cholesterol.

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