Environment

Plastic pollution risks 'near permanent contamination of natural environment'

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Guardian - Humans have produced 8.3bn tonnes of plastic since the 1950s with the majority ending up in landfill or polluting the world’s continents and oceans, according to a new report.
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In Chile, many regard climate change as the greatest external threat

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NPR.org - Fernando Rojas is holding up a photograph of a pocket of countryside, between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, that has been his home, his livelihood, and his passion for all of his 74 years.
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Giant iceberg breaks off Antarctica

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Reuters - One of the biggest icebergs on record has broken away from Antarctica, scientists said on Wednesday, creating an extra hazard for ships around the continent as it breaks up.
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NASA: South Patagonian Icefield

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NASA - Patagonia is one of the windiest and wettest regions on Earth. Westerlies gain moisture and momentum as they cross the Pacific Ocean. When they reach South America, they ride up and over the Andes, through fjords, and across two icefields.
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Hydroelectric dams emit a billion tonnes of greenhouse gases a year, study finds

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Guardian - Hydroelectric dams contribute more to global warming than previously estimated, according to a study published in BioScience.
 
It appears that the current and planned boom of hydroelectric projects would double the current cover of dams in the world and will aggravate the problem.
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Why the world’s rivers are losing sediment and why it matters

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YaleEnvironment360 - In September 2011, after 20 years of planning, workers began dismantling the Elwha and Glines dams on the Elwha River in northwestern Washington state. At the time, it was the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, and it took nearly three years for both barriers to be dismantled and for the river to once again flow freely. 
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When It comes to fracking, Argentina dreams big

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IPS - Since a US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report announced in 2011 that Argentina had some of the world’s biggest shale oil and gas reserves, the dream of prosperity has been on the minds of many people in this South American nation where nearly a third of the population lives in poverty.
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Fish farm noise pollution threatens whales and dolphins

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TheFerret.scotWhales, dolphins and porpoises off the west coast of Scotland are being put at risk by noise alarms used by fish farms to scare off seals, scientists are warning.
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We just breached the 410 parts per million threshold

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Climate Central - The world just passed another round-numbered climate milestone. Scientists predicted it would happen this year and lo and behold, it has.
 
On Tuesday, the Mauna Loa Observatory recorded its first-ever carbon dioxide reading in excess of 410 parts per million (it was 410.28 ppm in case you want the full deal). Carbon dioxide hasn’t reached that height in millions of years. It’s a new atmosphere that humanity will have to contend with, one that’s trapping more heat and causing the climate to change at a quickening rate.
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Solving climate change with beer from Patagonia’s food startup

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Bloomberg Businessweek - Yvon Chouinard, the short, bluff, fatalistic founder of Patagonia, the company renowned for its pricey parkas, fuzzy fleeces, and exhortations to buy fewer of them, sits in a cafeteria-style Chinese restaurant in Jackson, Wyo. He scratches a clam from its shell, forks it into his mouth, chews, checks the time. “Oh, we’re fine,” he says, and Birgit Cameron, seated on his right, does her best to look reassured. A fairly recent addition to the Patagonia family, Cameron seems as eager to make a good impression this evening as Chouinard is indifferent to how he’s perceived. The two are expected in 10 minutes at the Center for the Arts in Jackson, where they’ll appear on stage together and introduce Unbroken Ground, a 26-minute film produced by Patagonia that highlights the suppliers of Patagonia Provisions, the three-year-old sister food company that Cameron heads. Depending on your level of cynicism, Unbroken Ground may strike you as a well-turned documentary about the ecologically enlightened suppliers behind the foods she sells, or perhaps as a slick marketing piece. Naturally, it’s both.
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