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Rainfall in the Amazon may drop by 20 percent because of deforestation

Deforestation may cause rainfall in the Amazonian basin to decline disastrously, British scientists said in a study published on Wednesday by the journal Nature. Rainfall across the vast basin could lessen by 12 percent during wet seasons and 21 percent during dry seasons, potentially inflicting astronomical costs on farmers and…

Unusual weather means champagne harvest will be smallest in two decades

First the bad news: there is going to be a lot less champagne to go round this year. The good news: what there is could be outstanding. After one of the worst spring growing seasons on record, producers of the world’s most celebrated bubbly are bracing themselves for one of…

Geologists report a 7.9 quake off Pacific coast of Costa Rica

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica Wednesday, the US Geological Survey reported. A tsunami warning was issued for parts of the Pacidic sides of Central and South America after the major quake, it added. The agency said the center of the quake, which hit at…

Oxfam warns food prices to soar due to climate change

PARIS — Staple food prices may double within the next two decades due to climate change and an increase in extreme weather including droughts and hurricanes, the anti-poverty group Oxfam said Wednesday. Oxfam warned current climate change research isn’t taking into account extreme weather events, which it warned could also…

Study dismisses link between vitamin D, cholesterol

WASHINGTON — Taking vitamin D supplements does nothing to lower cholesterol levels, at least in the short term, according to a study published on Tuesday in an American Heart Association journal. Medical researchers led by Manish Ponda of the Rockefeller University in New York studied 151 people with vitamin D…

Study: Bar and restaurant workers at higher risk of alcoholism

Bar and restaurant workers in Sweden run a higher risk of alcoholism than the rest of the population, with young women at greatest risk, a study published Tuesday showed. The research, which appeared in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health and surveyed 1,000 people aged 18 to 59, concluded that “restaurant workers…

Stanford study: Organic food is not healthier than non-organic

A new large-scale study from Stanford University in the California finds that when it comes to nutrition, organic foods, such as meat, dairy, and produce, may not be worth the extra cash. While organics come at a premium, researchers say they are no healthier and not significantly safer than conventional foods and produce grown with…

Study: Freezing embryos may result in healthier babies

Women who become pregnant with previously frozen IVF embryos tend to have healthier babies and fewer complications than those who have fresh embryos implanted, research suggests. Fertility doctors found that mothers had a lower risk of bleeding in pregnancies with embryos that had been frozen and thawed, and went on…

Forest officials suspended after smuggled tiger cubs from Bangladesh’s Sundarbans forest recovered

Bangladesh said on Monday that nine forest officials had been suspended for “gross negligence” after three Bengal tiger cubs were found in a house in Dhaka where they were being kept by smugglers. Bangladesh’s elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) rescued the two-month-old cubs in June after a tip-off that the…

Rescuers save penguins caught in oil from leaking Turkish tanker

JOHANNESBURG — Fuel leaking from a Turkish freighter wreck that has been smashed up by a storm has contaminated at least five penguins on South Africa’s Robben Island, emergency services said Sunday. One penguin from the island had been rescued for treatment and cleaning and a team would also capture…

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