Environment

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It's a long way, metaphorically speaking, from the campus of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., to the Sonic Drive-In burger joints that line America's highways and small towns, particularly in the South.

Climate change could decrease the yield of some crops in California by up to 40 percent by 2050. That's a big deal for farmers in the state, which provides about two-thirds of the nation's produce.

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Western Illinois might be close to the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, but it's the driest part of the state this year.

"We really haven't really had any measurable rain since the middle of October," says Ken Schafer, who farms winter wheat, corn and soybeans in Jerseyville. "I dug some post-holes this winter, and it's just dust."

Norfolk, Va. is among the American cities most threatened by sea-level rise. A new zoning ordinance aims to get in front of that, but some home builders are not happy with the plan. The debate is a preview of the challenges residents of coastal areas may face in years to come, as more communities are threatened by rising seas.

On winter days when the weather is good, a research plane takes off from St. Simons, a barrier island in Georgia. Pilots from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fly straight lines out and back along Georgia's Atlantic coast, covering hundreds of miles of open ocean. Riding in the plane, surveyors are glued to the window scanning the water for North Atlantic right whales.

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The United States is now producing 10 million barrels of crude oil a day. The last time that happened...

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The highest court in the home of Volkswagen and BMW has reached a verdict: And it goes against some diesel cars.

The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled that cities have the right to ban some heavily polluting diesel cars. The decision could drive manufacturers away from combustion engines and force them to improve exhaust systems.

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