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Swans at Fowlmere RSPB reserve in Cambridgeshire, where a chalk stream is one of the UK's rarest habitats. Airwolfhound / Flickr

Brexit Likely to Weaken UK Eco Rules, Study Finds

The UK's vote to leave the EU in June of 2016 is often compared to the U.S. election of Donald Trump as part of a populist, xenophobic reaction against increasing globalization and business-as-usual politics. But is Brexit as much of a danger to the environment as Trump's presidency has turned out to be?

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A 4.3 magnitude earthquake near Perry, Oklahoma on April 9. USGS

Four Earthquakes Rattle‬ Northern ‪Oklahoma in 24 Hours

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake that rattled Northern Oklahoma early Monday morning was the fourth temblor to strike the region in the past 24 hours.

In fact, a dozen-plus earthquakes, ranging from magnitudes of 2.5 to 4.6, have been recorded in the Sooner State since Friday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Climate
Initial estimates say air pollution sources in China have increased by more than half since 2010. High Contrast / Wikimedia Commons

Pollution Sources in China Increased More Than 50 Percent in Eight Years

The number of pollution sources in China has gone up by more than 50 percent since 2010, Reuters reported Thursday, indicating that the country still has a lot of work to do in its efforts to clean up its environment.

The announcement was made Thursday in the first regular press briefing given by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), the newly-enhanced environment ministry which was renamed and given added jurisdiction over marine ecology, agricultural pollution and climate change this month as part of what Chemical & Engineering News reported was the biggest shake-up in the Chinese government in 20 years.

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Health
Evgeny Savchenko / Shutterstock.com

Dye Your Hair With ‘Nontoxic’ Graphene Nanoparticles? Not So Fast!

By Andrew Maynard

Graphene is something of a celebrity in the world of nanoscale materials. Isolated in 2004 by Nobel Prize winners Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, these ultrathin sheets of carbon atoms are already finding novel uses in areas like electronics, high-efficiency heating systems, water purification technologies and even golf balls. According to recent research published in the journal Chem, hair dyes can now be added to this list.

But how safe and responsible is this new use of the carbon-based wonder-material?

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Trump Watch

Trump Administration Offers 77 Million Acres in Gulf of Mexico to Oil Industry

The Trump administration is holding the biggest offshore oil and gas lease auction in U.S. history Wednesday, offering all 77 million acres of unleased, available federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale comes as administration officials seek to rescind drilling safety rules approved after the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster, reduce royalties paid by oil companies, and expand offshore drilling into every ocean in the country.

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Health

Silver Nanoparticles in Clothing Wash Out, May Be Toxic

By Sukalyan Sengupta and Tabish Nawaz

Humans have known since ancient times that silver kills or stops the growth of many microorganisms. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have used silver preparations for treating ulcers and healing wounds. Until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, colloidal silver (tiny particles suspended in a liquid) was a mainstay for treating burns, infected wounds and ulcers. Silver is still used today in wound dressings, in creams and as a coating on medical devices.

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Climate
Modern Event Preparedness / Flickr

5 Billion People Could Have Poor Access to Water by 2050, UN Warns

As the world's population grows and the planet warms, demand for water will rise but the quality and reliability of the supply is expected to deteriorate, the United Nations said Monday in this year's World Water Development Report.

"We need new solutions in managing water resources so as to meet emerging challenges to water security caused by population growth and climate change," said Audrey Azoulay, director-general of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in a statement. "If we do nothing, some five billion people will be living in areas with poor access to water by 2050."

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A Palestinian man prays at Gaza's port, where the enclave's crucial fishing industry now struggles. Kaamil Ahmed / Mongabay

Gaza City Residents’ Water Problems Worsen

By Kaamil Ahmed

Red-faced and with his hair still wet, Hani Abu Amirah's grandson sobbed as he shuffled over to where she sat, looking out on the Mediterranean Sea from Gaza's Shati refugee camp.

The boy's distress stemmed from his decision to go swimming a little earlier that morning, one that incurred his father's wrath when he was yanked out of the water and beaten for disobeying orders to stay away from the sea. A year ago, that childlike act of enjoyment would have gone unnoticed but today 80 percent of Gaza's Mediterranean Sea coastline is thought to be polluted and families who used to rely on it for livelihoods and leisure now fear its waters.

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Popular
Flooding in Nezahualcóyotl. Quadratín Estado de México

While Mexico Plays Politics With Water, Some Cities Flood and Others Go Dry

By Veronica Herrera

When Cape Town acknowledged in February that it would run out of water within months, South Africa suddenly became the global poster child for bad water management. Newspapers revealed that the federal government had been slow to respond to the city's three-year drought because the mayor belongs to an opposition party.

Cape Town is not alone. While both rich and poor countries are drying out, the fast-growing cities of the developing world are projected to suffer the most acute shortages in coming years.

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