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Mon05282018

Last update07:37:49 AM GMT

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Climate Change

2012 second wettest year on record for UK

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alt2012 was the second wettest year on record in the UK and the wettest ever in England, the Met Office announced on Thursday.

The downpours that caused more than 8,000 homes and businesses to suffer flooding led to a total of 1,330.7mm of rain for the year, just 6.6mm short of the wettest UK year recorded in 2000 (1337.3mm).

Analysis by the Met Office also suggests that the UK may be getting increasingly wetter as climate change causes warmer air to carry more water. Days of extreme rainfall – downpours expected once every 100 days – occurred every 70 days in 2012.

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Lisa Jackson's legacy at the Environmental Protection Agency

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altAs Lisa Jackson gets ready to step down as head of the EPA shortly after the president's inauguration later this month, she is being hailed by environmentalists for pushing through the toughest new air and water pollution rules in over two decades, and speaking out on climate change in an administration that has largely avoided confronting the issue head-on.

Jackson is admired even by some of her critics. Republican James M Inhofe of Oklahoma, a leading Senate opponent of environmental legislation, referred to the charming Jackson as "my favorite bureaucrat".

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How will climate change impact on fresh water security?

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altFresh water is crucial to human society – not just for drinking, but also for farming, washing and many other activities. It is expected to become increasingly scarce in the future, and this is partly due to climate change.

Understanding the problem of fresh water scarcity begins by considering the distribution of water on the planet. Approximately 98% of our water is salty and only 2% is fresh. Of that 2%, almost 70% is snow and ice, 30% is groundwater, less than 0.5% is surface water (lakes, rivers, etc) and less than 0.05% is in the atmosphere. Climate change has several effects on these proportions on a global scale. The main one is that warming causes polar ice to melt into the sea, which turns fresh water into sea water, although this has little direct effect on water supply.

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China and US hold the key to a new global climate deal

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altChina and the US are to be the clear focus of the next year of climate change negotiations, following a hard-fought climate conference that ended in Doha on Saturday night.

The world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases hold the key to forging a new global agreement on climate change, that for the first time would bind both developed and developing countries to cut their emissions. But both face severe political problems that will make the talks for the next few years extremely difficult.

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Young people doing their bit to improve the environment

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altYoung people from all over Europe are working with broadcasters to create films about improving their environment.

What are the small things they can do to make a big change? How can they all do something to make their planet more sustainable? Simple. They each need to do a little bit. That's the idea of Energy Bits.

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