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Saturday, Feb 25th

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'Catastrophic' fire danger looms over parts of Australia

Australia firesFirefighters in parts of Australia warned of "potentially catastrophic" fire conditions as a heatwave sweeps across the country's east coast.

New South Wales Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said typical fire-danger ratings go as high as 100, indicating the highest fire danger conditions. The danger Sunday is more than 150, he said. Authorities are likening the conditions to those leading up to blazes in 2009 that left 173 people dead.

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Persepolis: Iran tourism gateway faces climate threats

PerspolisIt has been more than a year since international sanctions against Iran were lifted, symbolically reopening the country to the rest of the world.

While political tensions between the West and Tehran continue, one of the industries that has benefited most from the thawing of relations is tourism, with the country reporting 18 percent growth in international arrivals last year. Visitors from North America, Europe and the Middle East represented more than a quarter of the total number of arrivals from January to December 2016, according to a ForwardKeys study published in January.

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Trump brings big change to climate policies

Trump climate policy changesPresident Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress are working to undo President Obama’s actions on climate change, underlining what could be a major shift on a policy that affects the world.

While it’s been just three weeks since Trump’s inauguration, the president has already issued memos to approve the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which were both blocked by Obama partly due to concerns about how they would contribute to climate change.

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Six Red Cross aid workers killed in Afghanistan

Red Cross workers killed in AfghanistanSuspected ISIL fighters have killed at least six Afghan employees of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who were carrying supplies in the north of the country to areas hit by deadly snow storms, according to government officials.

Another two employees were unaccounted for after Wednesday's attack in Jowzjan province, said Thomas Glass, ICRC spokesperson, adding that the group  did not know who was responsible for the attack.

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A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles in the Last Two Months

Crack growing in Antarctic ice shelfThe crack in Larsen C now reaches over 100 miles in length, and some parts of it are as wide as two miles. The tip of the rift is currently only about 20 miles from reaching the other end of the ice shelf.

Once the crack reaches all the way across the ice shelf, the break will create one of the largest icebergs ever recorded, according to Project Midas, a research team that has been monitoring the rift since 2014. Because of the amount of stress the crack is placing on the remaining 20 miles of the shelf, the team expects the break soon.

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"The facts around climate change are undeniable. It’s happening."

It's happening now.There's a glacier in Antarctica so immense that, if it melted, would raise sea levels globally by 3.5 metres.

It's melting. Right now.

"The facts around climate change are undeniable. It's happening," Australian glaciologist Ben Galton-Fenzi told The Huffington Post Australia. "The research we do now isn't about trying to convince ourselves it's real, because it's irrefutable. What we're trying to do is understand what the response time of the system is going to be into the future, so we can adapt to it."

The Totten glacier is the biggest in east Antarctica. The glacier itself is around 120 kilometres long, 30 kilometres wide and drains some 538,000 square kilometres of the continent. That's an area bigger than California. The ice is kilometres thick, but it's melting at 70 metres a year in some spots. A study released in December reported warmer water was melting the Totten ice from below.

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At least 14 killed by avalanche in Pakistan

Avalanche in PakistanAt least 14 people were killed in an avalanche that buried several houses in the village of Sher Shall, part of the town of Chintral, located in the Hindu Kush mountains in northwestern Pakistan.

According to CNN, six women, six children and two men were among the dead. Officials fear more people are trapped beneath the thick wall of snow.

The Pakistani state media said rescue personnel are doing their best to search for bodies and deliver recovery supplies, like blankets, stoves and food. Inclement winter weather has made search and rescue efforts difficult. Many of the local roads are blocked by snow and ice.

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