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Tourists wade through a flooded Piazza San Marco in Venice Monday. MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP / Getty Images

70% of Venice Flooded by Highest Tide in at Least a Decade

The worst flooding in at least a decade swamped Venice Monday as an exceptionally high tide covered around 70 percent of the iconic island city, the Huffington Post reported.

Venice is the Mediterranean World Heritage Site currently most at risk from flooding due to sea level rise, according to a recent study, and the city even has elevated sidewalks ready in case of high tides, but Monday's waters rose higher than the emergency sidewalks.

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Climate
Smoke billows from one of many petrochemical plants in Louisiana's "Cancer Alley" on Oct. 12, 2013. Giles Clarke / Getty Images

Why Plans to Turn America’s Rust Belt Into a New Plastics Belt Are Bad News for the Climate

By Sharon Kelly

The petrochemical industry anticipates spending a total of over $200 billion on factories, pipelines, and other infrastructure in the U.S. that will rely on shale gas, the American Chemistry Council announced in September. Construction is already underway at many sites.

This building spree would dramatically expand the Gulf Coast's petrochemical corridor (known locally as "Cancer Alley")—and establish a new plastics and petrochemical belt across states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Energy
Three years after a massive leak at the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility in Southern California, residents of nearby Porter Ranch, shown here, continue to experience severe health conditions. Edward Clynes / Earthjustice

The Lessons We Didn’t Learn From the Largest Gas Leak in U.S. History

By Byron Chan

Almost 15,000 residents of Los Angeles' Porter Ranch neighborhood evacuated their homes in the fall of 2015, many of them suffering from headaches, breathing problems and nosebleeds. The culprit: a massive leak of carcinogenic chemicals at SoCalGas's nearby Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility. From October 2015 until February 2016, the facility expelled more than 100,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere.

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Animals
Meat cultured in laboratory conditions from stem cells. Alex011973 / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Lab-Grown Meat Debate Overlooks Cows' Range of Use Worldwide

By Alison Van Eenennaam

A battle royale is brewing over what to call animal cells grown in cell culture for food. Should it be in-vitro meat, cellular meat, cultured meat or fermented meat? What about animal-free meat, slaughter-free meat, artificial meat, synthetic meat, zombie meat, lab-grown meat, non-meat or artificial muscle proteins?

Then there is the polarizing "fake" versus "clean" meat framing that boils this complex topic down to a simple good versus bad dichotomy. The opposite of fake is of course the ambiguous but desirous "natural." And modeled after "clean" energy, "clean" meat is by inference superior to its alternative, which must logically be "dirty" meat.

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Politics
A natural gas drill rig near homes and the Colorado Rocky Mountains. milehightraveler / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Conservation and Tribal Citizen Groups Sue Trump Administration for Gutting BLM Waste Prevention Rule

A coalition of 17 conservation and tribal citizen groups filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the Trump administration's decision to gut the Bureau of Land Management's Waste Prevention Rule, stating that the rule violates a number of existing federal policies. The states of New Mexico and California have already filed a lawsuit challenging BLM's action.

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Climate
ilya_ktsn / CC BY 2.0

Taller Arctic Plants Could Speed Dangerous Warming Feedback Loop

Climate change is giving Arctic plants a growth spurt.

A study published in Nature Wednesday examined seven key plant characteristics over 30 years of warming at 117 locations in the Arctic or alpine tundra and found that plants were growing taller at all locations studied.

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Politics
Oil and gas companies flare natural gas that cannot be processed or sold. Varodrig / Wikimedia Commons

Trump Lets Fracking Companies Release More Climate-Warming Methane

As expected, the U.S. Department of the Interior on Tuesday released a final rule that reverses Obama-era restrictions on methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

President Obama's 2016 methane waste rule, which never went into effect, required fossil fuel companies on tribal and public lands to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that's about 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. It called on drilling operators to capture leaking and vented methane and to update their leak-detection equipment.

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Politics
Yerbolat Shadrakhov / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Trump to Roll Back Obama-Era Methane Rules

The Trump administration is planning to roll back Obama-era rules on methane emissions from oil and gas production, the New York Times reported Monday.

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Climate
Frozen methane bubbles in a thermokarst lake in Alaska. Miriam Jones / USGS

Fast-Melting Lakes Could Increase Permafrost Emissions 118 Percent

Scientists may need to more than double their assessment of how much carbon dioxide and methane thawing Arctic permafrost will release into the atmosphere this century, according to a study published this month.

The paper, published in Nature Communications Aug. 15, said that previous estimates for how greenhouse gasses released by thawing permafrost would contribute to global climate change focused on the slow thawing of permafrost near the surface.

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