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  1. World temperatures hit new high in 2016 for third year in a row

    FILE PHOTO: People cool off in fountains as hot summer temperatures hit ParisBy Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - World temperatures hit a record high for the third year in a row in 2016, creeping closer to a ceiling set for global warming with extremes including unprecedented heat in India and ice melt in the Arctic, U.S. government agencies said on Wednesday. The data, supported by findings from other organizations, was issued two days before the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who questions whether climate change has a human cause. Average surface temperatures over land and the oceans in 2016 were 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th-century average of 13.9C (57.0F), according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


  2. Hemp hits new high as building material on Dutch bridge

    By Jim Drury EINDHOVEN, Netherlands (Reuters) - While plenty of cannabis goes up in smoke in coffee shops around the Netherlands, Dutch researchers have found a new use for it - as an environmentally friendly building material to rival cement or steel. "Actually it's the first 'bio-based' bridge in the world, as far as we know," said Rijk Blok, an assistant professor of structural design at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The hemp and flax fibers are combined in a resin that is stuck to a core made of polylactic acid, a polymer also made of plant material, to form the span of the 14-metre (46-foot) bridge over a stream on the university campus.
  3. Antarctic ice floe crack forces UK scientists to leave

    Halley VI Research Station modules at the old site_The decision was taken after a huge crack appeared in the Brunt Ice Shelf, just 10 miles away from the Halley VI research station. "We want to do the right thing for our people,” said Captain Tim Stocking, Director of Operations at the British Antarctic Society (BAS). "Bringing them home for winter is a prudent precaution given the changes that our glaciologists have seen in the ice shelf in recent months." There are currently 88 scientists stationed at the Halley VI research centre, which monitors climate data and played a key role in discovering the ozone hole in 1986.


  4. Europe's oncologists back biosimilar versions of cancer drugs

    (Reuters) - Europe's leading association of oncologists has thrown its weight behind cheaper copycat versions of biotech cancer drugs that have lost patent protection, saying they are effective and affordable. Off-patent chemical medicines have for decades been copied with precision and sold as cheap generic versions, but drug regulators have only over recent years embraced copycat versions of complex biological drugs, known as biosimilars. "Biosimilars are must-have weaponry in financially sustaining healthcare systems on a global scale as well as significantly improving outcomes for an increasing number of patients throughout Europe and the rest of the world," ESMO President Professor Fortunato Ciardiello said in a statement.
  5. Southern African maize munching pest is South American invader: experts

    Small scale farmer Mutale Sikaona and agricultural officials examine maize plants affected by armyworms in Keembe districtBy Chris Mfula LUSAKA (Reuters) - A maize pest that has devastated crops in southern Africa is a South American species which is harder to detect and eradicate than its African counterpart, agriculture officials and experts said on Tuesday. The fall armyworm outbreak has erupted in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi and follows a crippling El Nino-triggered drought which scorched much of the region last year. The pest devours maize and other crops.



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