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Energy
Vehicle charging points at a railway station in France. François GOGLINS via Wikimedia Commons

Electric Vehicle Sales Foretell a Big Oil Crash

By Paul Brown

Oil and gas companies have underestimated probable electric vehicle sales and the effect they will have on their own businesses and profits, a new report says.

If the car manufacturers' projections of future sales of electric cars are correct, then demand for oil will have peaked by 2027 or even earlier, sending the price of oil in a downward spiral as supply exceeds demand, said Carbon Tracker (CT), an independent financial think-tank carrying out in-depth analysis on the impact of the energy transition on capital markets.

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Flooding in the haor of Bangladesh in 2010. Balaram Mahalder / CC BY-SA 3.0

Growing Number of Bangladeshis Flee Rising Waters

By Kieran Cooke

As another monsoon season begins, huge numbers of homeless Bangladeshis are once again bracing themselves against the onslaught of floods and the sight of large chunks of land being devoured by rising water levels.

Bangladesh, on the Bay of Bengal, is low-lying and crisscrossed by a web of rivers: two thirds of the country's land area is less than five meters (approximately 16 feet) above sea level. With 166 million people, it's one of the poorest and most densely populated countries on Earth—and one of the most threatened by climate change.

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Climate
Los Padres National Park on Dec. 23, 2017, when the Thomas Fire was 65% contained. Stuart Palley / U.S. Forest Service

California Wildfire Risk Grows as Cloud Cover Is 'Plummeting'

By Alex Kirby

Southern California's wildfires are posing a growing risk, as the Sunshine State threatens to become too sunny for its own good. In many southern coastal areas, rising summer temperatures caused by spreading urbanization and the warming climate are driving off formerly common low-lying morning clouds and increasing the prospect of worse wildfires, U.S. scientists say.

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Climate
China's Xiangjiang river nears its record level in 2017. Huangdan2060 / Wikimedia Commons

Climate Change Damage in China Could Harm U.S. Economy, Study Finds

By Tim Radford

German scientists have shown once again that climate change remains a global problem, with China's climate impact, for instance, hurting the economy of the U.S. Disastrous flooding—likely to increase as the world warms, and ever more water enters the atmosphere—in one country could reverberate in ways that could harm another nation's economy.

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Climate
Top row hints at global glaciation 700 million years ago. U.S. National Science Foundation / Wikimedia Commons

Earth's Shifting Crust Linked to Climate Change, Scientists Propose

By Tim Radford

Movements of the earth's crust may mean that global warming driven by greenhouse gases from power stations and vehicle exhausts isn't the only threat to life the world faces.

About 700 million years ago, global temperatures fell so low that glaciers may have reached the equator. Snowball Earth may have all but extinguished life on the planet. But the only life at the time was microbial and dispersed in the oceans.

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The Copernicus Sentinel-3A satellite saw the temperature at the top of Hurricane Harvey on August 25, 2017. European Space Agency / CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Record Heat Means Hurricanes Gain Ferocity Faster

By Tim Radford

Hurricanes are becoming more violent, more rapidly, than they did 30 years ago. The cause may be entirely natural, scientists say.

But Hurricane Harvey, which in 2017 assaulted the Gulf of Mexico and dumped unprecedented quantities of rain to cause devastating floods in Texas, happened because the waters of the Gulf were warmer than at any time on record. And they were warmer because of human-driven climate change, according to a second study.

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Climate
Malé, the capital of Maldives. Shahee Ilyas / CC BY-SA 3.0

Flooding, Freshwater Loss Could Make Atoll Islands Uninhabitable by 2050

By Tim Radford

For atoll dwellers across much of the world, the island freshwater on which they depend may be in jeopardy within a couple of decades.

The combination of sea level rise and ever more extreme storm conditions—each a consequence of global warming and climate change—could make many of the world's coral atolls uninhabitable within one human generation.

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Energy
China is enlarging Serbia's coal-fired Kostolac power plant. Mazbin, CC BY-SA 3.0

Confusion Reigns Over China’s Energy Policy

By Kieran Cooke

It's quite easy these days to find yourself muddled over China's energy policy: it often seems to amount to tackling domestic pollution and climate change, but chasing lucrative contracts abroad, despite the environmental impact.

With the U.S. under Donald Trump indicating it wants to withdraw from the Paris agreement, China is increasingly seen as a world leader in the battle to cut carbon emissions and prevent climate catastrophe.

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Climate
Low – or no – water in a drought-stricken Spanish reservoir in 2016. Basotxerri / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

3°C May Double Europe’s Drought Risk

By Tim Radford

If average global temperatures rise by just 3°C, then Europe's drought risk could increase to double the area faced with drying out. Right now, just 13 percent of the continent can be counted as a drought-prone region. As the thermometer soars, this proportion could rise to 26 percent.

And 400 million people could feel the heat as the water content in the European soils begins to evaporate. The worst droughts will last three to four times longer than they did in the last decades of the last century.

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