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Photos show dramatic shrinking of Mount Everest glaciers

Photos show dramatic shrinking of Mount Everest glaciersThe two pictures show an "alarming" retreat in ice over more than 80 years. The first was taken in 1921 by British mountaineer George Mallory, who later died trying to conquer Everest.

The Asia Society commissioned the same picture to be taken of the main Rongbuk glacier on the northern slope of Mount Everest in Tibet in 2007. The new picture by mountaineer David Breashears show that the glacier is shrunk and withered.

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How Obama wants to protect oceans: White House unveils new plan

Obama wants to protect oceansThe White House Monday unveiled the nation's first national oceans policy, which intends to cut through a growing mish-mash of competing interests – from offshore drilling to fishing to shipping – and create a comprehensive, integrated stewardship approach toward oceans, coastal areas, and the Great Lakes.

To accomplish that, the new policy mandates no new federal rules but instead sets up a new National Ocean Council (NOC) made up of federal agencies, state, and regional groups. The goal is to have them work together to create a degree of unity in what has been a highly fragmented area of governance.

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Lessons from Exxon Valdez spill have gone unheeded

Lessons from Exxon Valdez spill have gone unheededThe story of the last cataclysmic American oil spill has evolved over time into a straightforward tale of cause and effect: In 1989, a hard-drinking skipper ran his tanker aground in Alaska, and Exxon was unable to prevent crude from spreading along hundreds of miles of pristine shoreline.

But the full story of the Exxon Valdez wreck is far more complex, and it offers striking parallels to today's events in the Gulf of Mexico -- including a central role played by a consortium led by British Petroleum, now known as BP.

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Buried plutonium levels triple previous estimate

Plutonium levels triple previous estimateThe amount of plutonium buried at a U.S. nuclear reservation in Washington state is almost triple what the government had previously reported, officials say. The New York Times Sunday reported the discovery of the higher plutonium levels at the 560-square-mile Hanford Nuclear Reservation will likely make long-term cleanup a greater challenge than previously thought.

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India moves to clean up site of deadly 1984 Union Carbide gas leak

India moves to clean up site of deadly 1984 Union Carbide gas leakA month after seven former Union Carbide employees were given two-year jail terms for their role in the deadly gas leak in Bhopal a quarter-century ago, a senior Indian official met with survivors' groups Friday with a new plan to clean up the abandoned factory site.

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told survivors in the central Indian city that he will head a panel set up to monitor the government's effort to decontaminate the site, which activists say has polluted the groundwater in the neighborhood and led to chronic ailments.

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Scientists urge U.S. to move quickly to study Gulf oil spill

Scientists urge U.S. to move quickly to study Gulf oil spillFrustrated with limited data on the BP oil gusher, a group of independent scientists has proposed a large experiment that would give a clearer understanding of where the oil and gas are going and where they'll do the most damage.

The scientists say their mission must be undertaken immediately, before BP kills the runaway well. They propose using what's probably the world's worst oil accident to learn how crude oil and natural gas move through water when they're released at high volumes from the deep sea.

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Under the sand, BP oil hidden from easy cleanup

Under the sand, BP oil hidden from easy cleanup There's a dirty secret buried under Gulf of Mexico beaches after cleanup workers scrape away the oil washing ashore. Walk to a seemingly pristine patch of sand, plop down in a chair and start digging with your bare feet, like everyone does at the beach. Chances are you'll walk away with gooey tar between your toes.

So far, cleanup workers hired by BP have skimmed only the surface, using shovels or sifting machines to remove oil. The company is planning a deeper cleaning program that could include washing or incinerating sand once the leak is stopped off the coast of Louisiana.

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