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US-ENVIRONMENT Summary

Sep 5, 2011, 8:11 p.m.

Katia ramps up power, but seen missing East Coast

MIAMI (Reuters) - Hurricane Katia powered up to a major Category 4 storm on Monday, but was expected to veer away from the U.S. East Coast later this week, avoiding a direct hit on a seaboard already battered by Hurricane Irene. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned, however, that U.S. East Coast beaches should still watch out in the coming week for large swells generated by Katia that could cause life-threatening coastal surf and rip currents.

In the world's breadbasket, climate change feeds some worry

CHICAGO (Reuters) - It can't happen here, can it? The United States, the breadbasket and supplier of last resort for a hungry world, has been such an amazing food producer in the last half-century that most Americans take for granted annual bounteous harvests of grain, meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables and other crops.

Total Arctic sea ice at record low in 2010: study

500 MILES FROM THE NORTH POLE (Reuters) - The minimum summertime volume of Arctic sea ice fell to a record low last year, researchers said in a study to be published shortly, suggesting that thinning of the ice had outweighed a recovery in area. The study estimated that last year broke the previous, 2007 record for the minimum volume of ice, which is calculated from a combination of sea ice area and thickness.

EU, Australia to discuss linking carbon trading schemes

CANBERRA/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia and the European Union have agreed to start talks to link carbon-emissions trading schemes, as global efforts to combat climate change struggle to make headway. The Australian government unveiled plans two months ago to impose a tax on carbon emissions from July 2012, before moving to a carbon trading system from mid-2015.

Gulf coast braces for more rain, one dead

MOBILE, Ala (Reuters) - Gulf Coast residents from Texas to Florida struggled with a third day of severe weather on Monday with one man dead and a teenager missing in rough waters as remnants of Tropical Storm Lee lashed the region. The tail end of the storm is expected to produce rain accumulations of up to 15 inches across the central Gulf coast, the National Weather Service said on Monday. Flash flood watches were in effect in along the coast until 7 p.m.

Poland to trade AAUs for Japan's energy technology

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will exchange its surplus emission permits under the Kyoto Protocol (AAUs) to Japan for the Asian country's energy storage technologies, according to a preliminary agreement between the two, Poland's environment minister said on Monday. In the past Japan was the largest buyer of Poland's AAUs, but the trade formula was changing, Andrzej Kraszewski said.

Japan storm death toll rises to 25, more missing

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's death toll from tropical depression Talas, earlier downgraded from a tropical storm, has risen to 25 with 52 missing, the government said Monday, as torrential rain pounded the west of the country at the weekend, triggering mudslides and bursting river banks. Talas, which cut through Japan's main island Saturday and Sunday, was off the country's western coast as of 8:00 p.m. EDT, heading northeast, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

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