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Natural shields against global warming being weakened: study

PARIS — The soil and the ocean are being weakened as buffers against global warming, in a vicious circle with long-term implications for the climate system, say two new investigations. If the seas and the land are less able to soak up or store greenhouse gases, more of these carbon…

New York state sues feds over fracking study

New York state has filed a lawsuit alleging that regulators did not fully conduct an environmental impact study on the Delaware River Basin before authorizing energy companies to begin drilling for gas using a technique called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water and chemicals deep…

Scientists doubt methane from BP oil spill is ‘nearly all gone’

WASHINGTON – Scientists on Thursday cast doubt on a study that claimed bacteria ate nearly all the methane that leaked after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, saying its methods were flawed. Describing the findings as “ambiguous” and “unconvincing,” marine scientist and lead author Samantha Joye and…

Gas from ‘fracking’ could be twice as bad as coal for climate: study

Shale gas, produced by “hydraulic fracturing” or “fracking,” could create as much as twice the greenhouse gasses as coal, according to a study soon to be published by Cornell University professors. Over the past few years, the Washington D.C. consensus has been that shale gas is better for the environment…

BP executives were aboard rig celebrating safety record when methane triggered blast

The deadly blowout of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was triggered by a bubble of methane gas that escaped from the well and shot up the drill column, expanding quickly as it burst through several seals and barriers before exploding, according to interviews with rig workers conducted…

NASA mulls 28 potential ‘search for life’ missions

US space agency NASA is pondering 28 potential missions focusing on finding life beyond Earth inside our solar system, a US researcher said Wednesday. “Astrobiology and the search for life is really central to what we should be doing next in the exploration of the solar system,” Steve Squyres, a…

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