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Pacific Ocean’s response to greenhouse gases could extend California drought for centuries

Clues from prehistoric droughts and arid periods in California show that today’s increasing greenhouse gas levels could lock the state into drought for centuries, according to a study led by UCLA professor Glen MacDonald. The study, published today in the Nature.com journal Scientific Reports, looked at how natural climatic forces contributed to centuries-long and even millennia-long periods of dryness in California …

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Lisdey Espinoza Pedraza and Markus Heinrich – Water Scarcity: Cooperation or Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa?

More than any other region, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is plagued by instability and conflict. Conflict has traditionally been caused by political, military, ethnic and religious issues, but, in an increasingly complex world, potential causes of insecurity have widened and diversified considerably. Though traditional sources of conflict continue to play a major role, economic, social and environmental …

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Nearly all US forests threatened by drought, climate change

DURHAM, N.C. — Forests nationwide are feeling the heat from increasing drought and climate change, according to a new study by scientists from 14 research institutions. “Over the last two decades, warming temperatures and variable precipitation have increased the severity of forest droughts across much of the continental United States,” said James S. Clark, lead author of the study and …

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Leid Stories – 02.08.16

For the Record: Reporting on Underreported Reports
The din of the presidential election seems to have drowned out several noteworthy reports. Leid Stories starts the week off discussing a few of them—including reports on U.S. employment and the income gap; hunger and food aid; human rights violations; a record number of exonerations due to false convictions; and new tactics cops and city governments are using to avoid paying judgments won against them.

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Decades-Long “Megadrought” Looms For Entire US As Lake Powell Runs Dry, NASA Warns

With the number of people living in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains, and the volume of water they need, having increased rapidly over recent decades – and, with NASA scientists expecting these trends to continue for years to come – the current severe drought combined with the tapping of the Lake Powell’s water at what many consider to be …

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Jean-Marie Matagne – You don’t cure the plague by spreading cholera

In the lead-up to COP21, a hundred French and international personalities are signing an appeal on Mediapart, entitled : “Let’s leave the fossil fuels in the ground. That’s how to put an end to climate crimes”. And we, simple citizens, are invited to sign too. One would like to be able to sign, but alas, the text is not suitable : not …

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Tim Radford – Drought as the New Normal for the US West

One way or another, humans are to blame for the catastrophic drought in California that scientists say may be emerging as a “new normal”. Either humans have mismanaged the state’s water, or human-triggered global warming has begun to help turn America’s landscape of wine and roses into a dustbowl, according to two new studies. And the arguments have relevance extending …

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Claire Bernish – Nestle Pays Only $524 to Extract 27,000,000 Gallons of California Drinking Water

Los Angeles, CA — Nestle has found itself more and more frequently in the glare of the California drought-shame spotlight than it would arguably care to be — though not frequently enough, apparently, for the megacorporation to have spontaneously sprouted a conscience. Drought-shaming worked sufficiently enough for Starbucks to stop bottling water in the now-arid state entirely, uprooting its operations …

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JUSTIN GILLIS – California Drought Is Made Worse by Global Warming, Scientists Say

Global warming caused by human emissions has most likely intensified the drought in California by 15 to 20 percent, scientists said on Thursday, warning that future dry spells in the state are almost certain to be worse than this one as the world continues to heat up. Even though the findings suggest that the drought is primarily a consequence of …

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Matthew Speiser and Christina Sterbenz – Nearly half the people fighting wildfires wreaking havoc across California are prison inmates

Of the 10,000 men and woman fighting the California wildfires right now, roughly 40% of them are convicted criminals, Capital Public Radio reports. They are part of the California Department of Corrections’ Conservation Camp, a program run in conjunction with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) that rehabilitates inmates by training them to fight wildfires. California …