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Eastern gorilla now critically endangered due to illegal hunting

Eastern gorillasHumanity has moved a step closer to wiping out our closest evolutionary relatives, with four of the six great ape species now listed internationally as critically endangered.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the eastern gorilla, the largest living primate, as critically endangered in its latest “red list” of threatened species. The eastern gorilla has suffered a 70% population collapse over the past 20 years, primarily due to illegal hunting.

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Oklahoma Quake Triggers Closing of Fracking Waste-Disposal Wells

Oklahoma earthquake damageOne of the strongest earthquakes among many in Oklahoma since the introduction of hydraulic fracturing struck early Saturday near a complex of oil-storage facilities, leading state regulators to order the suspension of about 37 wastewater-disposal wells.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s oil industry, is contacting the operators of the wells in a 500-square-mile area around the town of Pawnee, Governor Mary Fallin said in a Twitter post. Oil storage and pipeline facilities at Cushing, Oklahoma, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Pawnee, were undamaged, according to the commission and four of the companies that operate there.

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US and China ratify Paris climate deal

US and China sign climate dealThe two largest contributors to global carbon emissions, China and the United States, have ratified the hallmark Paris agreement to battle climate change.

The countries' ratification could help put the pact into force before the end of the year.

President Xi Jinping of China an US President Barack Obama called Saturday's announcement a milestone. Obama said the climate deal is "the moment we finally decided to save our planet".

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NASA: Earth Warming at a Pace ‘Unprecedented in 1,000 Years’

NASA; earth warming The planet is warming at a pace not experienced within the past 1,000 years, at least, making it “very unlikely” that the world will stay within a crucial temperature limit agreed by nations just last year, according to Nasa’s top climate scientist.

This year has already seen scorching heat around the world, with the average global temperature peaking at 1.38C above levels experienced in the 19th century, perilously close to the 1.5C limit agreed in the landmark Paris climate accord. July was the warmest month since modern record keeping began in 1880, with each month since October 2015 setting a new high mark for heat.

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EPA links oil and gas drilling to Texas quakes

Texasa quakes linked to frackingFederal regulators have tied a string of earthquakes in north Texas to oil and gas drilling operations in the state.

An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report filed with the Texas Railroad Commission this month concluded that the frequency of earthquakes in the state correlates to the number and location of injection or disposal wells for hydraulic fracturing wastewater there.

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Fracking Update: 3 tremors in 24 hours near Oklahoma shale country

Oklahoma tremorsThree minor seismic events were recorded near the shale reserve areas in Oklahoma in the past 24 hours, data for the U.S. Geological Survey show.

USGS data show the strongest of the three seismic events was a magnitude-2.9 tremor recorded shortly after midnight in southern Kansas, a few miles from the state border with Oklahoma. A magnitude-2.5 event was recorded in Fairview, Okla., early Sunday afternoon.

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Fracking wells may increase asthma attacks, study says

Fracking increases asthmaEver wondered if your asthma attacks can be tied to the fracking wells near your house? You are probably right.

Asthma patients are 1.5 to four times more likely to have asthma attacks if they live near bigger or a larger number of unconventional natural gas development wells, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.

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