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EPA accuses Volkswagen of gaming emissions testing in nearly 500,000 cars

VolkswagenThe EPA has accused Volkswagen of unlawfully using special software to get around emissions regulations.

The company allegedly used a so-called "defeat device" on certain models dating back to 2009. The device works by only turning on emissions control when undergoing emissions testing, but not when the car is actually being driven normally and pollution is at its peak. "This results in cars that meet emissions standards in the laboratory or testing station, but during normal operation, emit nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at up to 40 times the standard," the EPA said in a statement.




Exxon Ignored Its Own Climate Science

Exxon ignored own cliate scienceAt a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientist named James F. Black addressed an audience of powerful oilmen. Speaking without a text as he flipped through detailed slides, Black delivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity.

"In the first place, there is general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing the global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels," Black told Exxon's Management Committee, according to a written version he recorded later.


Feds: Arctic sea ice levels shrink to 4th lowest level

Arctic sea iceFederal scientists said summer Arctic sea ice shrank to its fourth lowest level on record this month, dispelling faint hopes of a recovery.

The National Snow and Ice Data Center announced Tuesday that the Arctic hit its summer minimum last week with 1.7 million square miles of sea ice, down 240,000 square miles from 2014.


Hawaii to experience worst-ever coral bleaching due to high ocean temperatures

Bleached coral in HawaiiWarmer-than-normal ocean temperatures around Hawaii this year will likely lead to the worst coral bleaching the islands have ever seen, scientists said.

Many corals are only just recovering from last year’s bleaching, which occurs when warm waters prompt coral to expel the algae they rely on for food, said Ruth Gates, the director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The phenomenon is called bleaching because coral lose their color when they push out algae.


Study Predicts 200 Feet Of Sea Level Rise If All Fossil Fuels Are Burned

Sea level rise prediction"To be blunt: If we burn it all, we melt it all."

So says Ricarda Winkelmann, the lead author of a new paper that paints a dire picture of our planet should we continue to extract and burn the world's coal, oil and natural gas reserves.

Published Friday in the journal Science Advances, the study forecasts sea levels rising more than 200 feet should all fossil fuels be used by humanity. In such a scenario, the entire ice sheet covering Antarctica, as well as every bit of land ice on Earth, would melt.


Summer 2015 set to be world's hottest ever as US temperatures again soar

2015 hottest summer on recordNew data showing that the US had its 12th-hottest summer on record may not, at first glance, appear particularly significant or alarming.

But in announcing the news, climate scientists have pointed out that, of the 11 American summers that were recorded as warmer than 2015’s, seven have occurred in the last 15 years; the other four were all during the “Dustbowl” 1930s heatwaves that plagued the US during the Great Depression.


Explosive wildfire threatens California mountain towns as blaze intensifies

Explosive wildfires in CaliforniaA mountain town is standing by to evacuate on Saturday and residents across a huge swath of northern California have been warned of “explosive fire conditions” as a fierce wildfire across more than 100 square miles suddenly intensified.

California governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the counties experiencing the inferno, as it approaches the town of San Andreas, about 60 miles south-east of Sacramento in the Sierra Nevada region.


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