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Fri, 13 Dec 2019
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Clinton: Climate change is the world's biggest worry

DAVOS, Switzerland -- Former U.S. President Bill Clinton told corporate chieftains and political bigwigs Saturday that climate change was the world's biggest problem - followed by global inequality and the "apparently irreconcilable" religious and cultural differences behind terrorism. [...]

"First, I worry about climate change," Clinton said in an onstage conversation with the founder of the World Economic Forum. "It's the only thing that I believe has the power to fundamentally end the march of civilization as we know it, and make a lot of the other efforts that we're making irrelevant and impossible."

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Climate Expert Says NASA Tried to Silence Him

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The scientist, James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in an interview that officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.

Dr. Hansen said he would ignore the restrictions. "They feel their job is to be this censor of information going out to the public," he said.

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Phoenix ties record of 101 days without rain

PHOENIX - Today marks the day that we've had 101 days straight without a drop of rain in Phoenix. That ties the current record, which was set back in 1999-2000.

The last time it rained here was Oct. 18, 2005. Tomorrow, we will set a new record of 102 days without rain. And the next day, and the next day, we'll keep adding to that unenviable record until we get some rain.

Better Earth

Scientists Find Frozen Methane Gas Deposit

Scientists have discovered an undersea deposit of frozen methane just off the Southern California coast, but whether it can be harnessed as a potential energy source is unknown.

Comment: The frozen methane is sitting only 15 miles off the coast of California on top of a mud volcano, which is itself perched upon an active fault zone. Let's just hope the methane remains frozen...


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Arctic Ocean Ice Surges Onto Alaskan Shore

BARROW, Alaska - Ridges of sea ice packing car-sized chunks of the cold stuff slammed onto a road in this northern Alaskan town in quantities not seen in nearly three decades.

Two ice surges, known to Alaska Natives as ivus, stunned residents who had never seen such large blocks of ice rammed ashore.

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Cold snap triggers 'orange' weather alert across France

NANTES – In anticipation of heavy snow and frost, the French national weather-forecasting service has declared a 'level orange' alert through Sunday for 36 departments.

The temperature has dropped precipitously across France this week as a cold front has swept in from eastern Europe.

The weather service, Météo France, expects especially heavy snow Friday night and Saturday along the length of the Rhine valley.

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Major quake triggers panic in Indonesia

A major earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale has rocked eastern Indonesia, cracking walls and triggering panic, the US Geological Survey and local residents said.

The quake struck at 1:58 am (1658 GMT Friday) in the Banda Sea, around 195 kilometers (120 miles) south of Ambon city at a depth of 340 kilometres (220 miles), the US Geological Survey said in on its website.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or casualties.

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Germany's oaks 'could die out'

Germany's once magnificent forests are feeling the effects of climate change, with one in every two oak trees officially sick, researchers said yesterday. A report says the state of the nation's forests has improved marginally since last year but that oaks are dying off at an alarming rate.

One in two of all Germany's oak trees is thinning. In Baden-Württemberg three-quarters of the oaks are showing damage. The phenomenon of Waldsterben, or forest death, is nothing new, but the latest annual report by Germany's agriculture ministry is likely to raise fears that pollution and climate change are taking a heavy toll. "The forest has recovered a bit [since 2004]. But there is still no clear recognisable trend," said Peter Paziorek, the junior agriculture minister.

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11 of 12 Miners Reported Alive Are Dead

TALLMANSVILLE, W.Va. - Jubilant family members celebrated news early Wednesday that 12 miners were pulled alive from the scene of an underground explosion, only to learn nearly three hours later that they had been misled and just one miner actually survived.

The chief executive of the mine blamed the stunning error on a misunderstood conversation overheard between rescuers and the command center overseeing rescue efforts.

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Big Island shaken by 4.7 earthquake

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake that jolted the Big Island during afternoon rush hour yesterday was felt from Ka'u to South Kohala and Hilo, but there were no reports of damage.

The quake at 4:04 p.m. was the largest since a magnitude 4.7 temblor beneath the undersea volcano Lo'ihi on Dec. 7.