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Monday, Jul 25th

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Earthquakes and a looming budget crisis are shaking up Oklahoma.

Oklahoma earthquakesA few days after Thanksgiving, Oklahoma City residents huddled in their homes watching a thick layer of ice snap power lines and split stubby trees. Only a few days later, as the ice started to thaw and power was restored in most neighborhoods, a 4.7-magnitude earthquake shook the state a couple hours before dawn.

The epicenter was 100 miles north, in a region where oil and gas have for decades driven the state economy. Scientists suspect the practice of injecting deep into the earth the salty wastewater from the drilling process may be causing the earthquakes, or at least increasing the frequency.

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Study: Planet's lakes warming faster than ocean, atmosphere

lakes shrinking- The world's lakes are heating up at an average rate of 0.61 degrees Fahrenheit per decade, outpacing the rise in ocean and atmosphere temperatures.

The new findings are the result of a first-of-its-kind international survey, combining satellite and ground-based temperature data on 235 lakes, comprising more than half the planet's freshwater supply.

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James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud'

James HansenMere mention of the Paris climate talks is enough to make James Hansen grumpy. The former Nasa scientist, considered the father of global awareness of climate change, is a soft-spoken, almost diffident Iowan. But when he talks about the gathering of nearly 200 nations, his demeanor changes.

“It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he says, rubbing his head. “It’s just bullshit for them to say: ‘We’ll have a 2C warming target and then try to do a little better every five years.’ It’s just worthless words. There is no action, just promises. As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will be continued to be burned.”

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Climate change means days are getting longer, scientists find

days getting longerThe impact of climate change may appear to be overwhelmingly negative but there is a bright spot for those who struggle to find enough time in the day: melting glaciers are causing the rotation of the Earth to slow thereby lengthening our days, new research has found.

Harvard University researchers have provided an answer to a long-held conundrum over how shrinking glaciers are affecting the rotation and axis of the Earth, calculating that the duration of a day has lengthened by a millisecond over the past 100 years.

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Advocacy groups not satisfied with climate negotiations thus far

Paris talksA draft climate agreement unveiled from U.N.-backed talks in Paris kicks many of the critical issues down the road, environmental activists said.

A 27-page draft text, as it stands, lays out an agenda to keep warming trends below a threshold considered acceptable to island and coastal nations. The draft does little, however, to address secondary concerns like migration.

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Greenland's glaciers retreating at record speeds

Greenland glaciers recedingGreenland's glaciers are on retreat, shrinking at strikingly fast rates -- at least twice as fast as any time over the last 9,500 years.

Researchers with Columbia University's Earth Institute compared modern satellite data with records of glacier growth and decline gleaned from ice cores. Their findings were published last week in the journal Climate of the Past.

"If we compare the rate that these glaciers have retreated in the last hundred years to the rate that they retreated when they disappeared between 8,000 and 7,000 years ago, we see the rate of retreat in the last 100 years was about twice what it was under this naturally forced disappearance," study co-author William D'Andrea, a paleoclimatologist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, explained in a press release.

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NYers fear gas pipeline near nuclear reactor could spell disaster

NYers fear gas pipeline near nuclear reactor could spell disaster.The school is just 400 feet from the path of a massive new pipeline expansion project that’s being carried out by Spectra Energy, an oil and gas infrastructure company based in Houston. The Algonquin pipeline expansion is one of at least 22 pipeline projects designed in recent years to transport natural gas from shale fields across the U.S. to distribution points in the Northeast.

But the noise isn’t the only thing troubling local residents like Williams. The pipeline will run within several dozen feet of electrical infrastructure necessary to operate Indian Point, an aging nuclear plant on the Hudson River. Residents worry that if the pipeline were to rupture, it could trigger a chain of events that might end in a nuclear meltdown, devastating their communities and turning New York City into a radioactive evacuation zone.

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