Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 2, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

A song for all the mill workers, loggers & logging truck drivers

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 2, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

When country and western singer Bobby Garcia heard that 200 logging trucks were Vancouver bound, he said “this song is for everyone in the BC forestry industry.” In related news: Donaldson touts value over volume, the truck loggers send gov’t a message; Conifex’s liquidity challenge; and Northern Ontario is primed for growth. Meanwhile, the latest on lumber and pellet prices, pellet feedstock and the US economy.

In Forestry news: the spruce beetle threat to northern BC; Canadian Women in Timber celebrate 30 years; AFPA launches Love Alberta Forest campaign; an eco-friendly gel could help prevent forest fires; Amazon fires fall sharply; and Russia protects a swath of boreal forest. 

Finally, its Energy Efficiency Day in Canada and the US… a nod to wood buildings!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

“This is for all the mill workers, loggers, logging truck drivers, and everyone in the forestry industry,” said Garcia

By Dara Hill
The Merritt Herald
October 1, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

When Bobby Garcia heard the story of longtime Merritt mill worker Pat Cullen, he knew there was a song waiting to be sung. Cullen dedicated over four decades to pulling, sorting, cutting and counting lumber at the Tolko mill in Merritt — never once taking a sick day. …“I read that article and it inspired me to write a song. So I went and recorded it in Kelowna and then it got sent to and cut in Nashville,” said Garcia. …But when Garcia found out that a group of over 200 logging professionals were driving to Vancouver as part of a protest convoy in September, he decided to share Born to Work with the wider community. …“This is for all the mill workers, loggers, logging truck drivers, and everyone in the forestry industry,” said Garcia

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Business & Politics

Canadian National unveils plan for winter operations

By Joanna Marsh
FreightWaves
October 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

While extremely cold temperatures are usually a factor that Canadian National considers when drafting its operational plan for winters… Canadian National also said it is working with shippers to help reduce congestion woes at pinch points such as the Port of Vancouver. It said it will hold traffic outside of the Lower Midland until space is available for trains to deliver freight, and it is working with wood pulp and destination terminals to address congestion issues. …Despite these plans to combat congestion and cold temperatures, CNI said trade uncertainty has made it more challenging for both the railway and its customers to project anticipated volumes during the winter months. Issues such as the softwood lumber dispute, the lack of a ratified trade agreement that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA… “have all exacerbated the normal challenge,” CNI said. 

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Truck loggers send a message

By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North
Energetic City
October 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Davies

If the NDP government hadn’t considered the current situation in the forest industry a crisis, they certainly may now after more than 200 logging trucks descended on the annual meeting of municipalities in Vancouver last week. …Logging trucks surrounded the UBCM meeting and snarled downtown traffic in order to prove a point. The package announced by Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson two weeks ago is too little, too late. …Unfortunately, the NDP continued to drag its feet and now that the federal election is well underway, negotiations will have to wait at least another two months before a new government takes office and a new cabinet sworn-in. …There is a lot on the line for forest contractors who spent a lot of money to drive all the way down to Vancouver just to make a point.

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Conifex Amends Senior Credit Facility

By Conifex Timber Inc.
Global Newswire
October 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC — Conifex Timber announced that it has amended its lumber segment senior secured credit facility with its senior lenders to, among other things, provide additional short-term liquidity and waive certain covenants and milestones. …Conifex is required to provide an asset divestment and restructuring plan …before November 25, 2019, which could involve asset divestitures in addition to the previously announced sale of its Fort St. James sawmill complex and associated tenure to Hampton Lumber. …If Conifex does not present a plan that is acceptable to its lenders by such date, it will be an event of default under its credit agreement and unless waived, Conifex would commence consensual voluntary proceedings under applicable debtor relief laws.

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Weston Forest receives third consecutive Canadian Business Excellence Award

Weston Forest
October 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Steve Rhone, President of Weston Forest, is pleased to announce the company is one of 32 recipients of the 2019-20 Canadian Business Excellence Awards for Private Businesses. This is the fourth year for these awards, presented in Toronto by Excellence Canada. This is the third consecutive year Weston has received this honour. Rhone states, “We are proud of our team for receiving this prestigious recognition for the third consecutive year. Achieving this kind of award is difficult to do once, and maintaining that standard year after year is truly a testament to the great work of our remarkable people.”

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These Northern Ontario industries are primed for growth

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
October 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Christine Leduc

Revisions to Canadian building codes, allowing wood-framed structures to go skyward, bode well for Northern Ontario’s forest industry. The design possibilities, aesthetic elements and green values behind the mass-timber construction movement have architects, engineers and builders in Canada’s largest housing market increasingly warming up to wood, according to Christine Leduc, public affairs director for EACOM Timber. “Timber is making a comeback, and it’s coming to Toronto.” …The Ontario government’s unveiling of a new provincial building code in 2015, allowing wood-framed buildings to go from four to six storeys, was a formative step for the industry to move beyond single-family home construction. …With talk of more such projects in the works, the Ontario government invested this year in the province’s first cross-laminated timber plant in St. Thomas.

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Finance & Economics

Softwood lumber prices moderate nicely

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
October 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Lumber prices moderated down slightly on some construction framing items, but stayed flat on most solid wood commodities. …After increasing by six dollars the previous week, this week’s benchmark lumber commodity Western Spruce-Pine-Fir KD 2×4 #2&Btr price was U.S. $376 mfbm, down -$6, or -1.5%. …This price is up six dollars from one month ago, when it was U.S. $382 mfbm. Further narrowing the gap from 2018, compared to one year ago this price is down -$20, or -5%.

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North American Wood Fiber Review

By Hakan Ekstrom
Wood Resources International LLC
October 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, United States

Many pellet manufacturers in North America have had to increase the usage of logs for their feedstock in 2019 because of reduced availability of lower-cost sawmill residues. This has resulted in higher total wood fiber costs and increases in the pellet feedstock price indices for both Canada and the US in the 1H/19, according to North American Wood Fiber Review.

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Canadian pellet prices unchanged from summer low-season

By Madison’s Lumber Reporter
Canadian Biomass Magazine
October 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada

For September 2019, Madison’s has determined that Canadian wholesale and retail wood pellet prices are as-yet unchanged from the summer low-season. However, producers in the U.S. northeast have already posted price increases this month. …While cutting significant amounts of lumber production will do well to keep commodity prices up, the reduced manufacturing volumes will result in less availability of the sawmill residuals important for pellet mills.

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US manufacturing sinks to decade-low, stoking economic fear

By Bani Sapra
The Associated Press in CBS News
October 1, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: United States

US factory activity hit a decade low last month in the face of President Donald Trump’s trade conflicts, adding to a weakening picture of the global economy. The Institute for Supply Management… said its manufacturing index shrank for a second straight month to 47.8% in September, down from 49.1% in August. Any reading below 50 signals that the sector is contracting. …Manufacturing makes up only about a tenth of the U.S. economy, but analysts see the survey as a warning sign about the trade conflict.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Jobs and green growth: Canadians celebrate Energy Efficiency Day

By Efficiency Canada
Cision Newswire
October 2, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Canada is celebrating Energy Efficiency Day, an opportunity to salute the workers from coast-to-coast who help homes and businesses cut energy waste, save money, and reduce emissions. Since 2016, the first Wednesday of every October has been celebrated as Energy Efficiency Day in the United States. It is estimated that 436,000 Canadians — roughly one in 50 — are working in the energy efficiency sector, in diverse fields such as construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, professional and business services, utilities or other services. …Corey Diamond, executive director of Efficiency Canada… “When you work in energy efficiency, you’re working to help save families and businesses money, all the while cutting down on our collective carbon footprint.”

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Donaldson touting engineered wood products in Quebec City

By Brendan Pawliw
My Bulkley Lakes Now
October 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Over a thousand participants including BC Forests Minister Doug Donaldson are at the 2019 WoodRise Conference. It’s being held in Quebec City and runs until Friday where the province is touting the value of engineered wood products and how that can help companies in the north dig out of the tough economic stretch the forestry sector is in. Donaldson begged the question to wood producers in BC on how much more profitable these products are compared to a regular piece of dimensional lumber. …He adds if we have more companies producing these products, they will be able to withstand the higher log costs were seeing. …“More workers are able to retain their jobs and then we have more jobs in the engineered wood products as well and in the harvesting sector too, that model is what it’s all about in maximizing the value of volume.”

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Swapping plastic food packaging or cutlery for compostable alternatives and paper is a ‘false solution’ which is just as bad for the environment, Greenpeace warns

By Sam Blanchard
Daily Mail UK
October 1, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Replacing single-use plastics with compostable alternatives or paper or wood is not the answer to environmental problems, Greenpeace has warned. Companies including Marks & Spencer have launched initiatives to try and cut how much plastic they use. But the campaign group branded these ‘false solutions’ and said it was ‘grotesque’ that using wood and paper wastes trees, while compostable materials often end up in general rubbish. Instead, supermarkets and cafes should be trying to use fully reusable items like metal cutlery, refillable bags and unpackaged foods. …Greenpeace’s Fiona Nicholls said, ‘we can’t carry on using up land or chopping down forests to make cutlery, cups or packaging that gets used for a matter of moments, and could pollute our planet for hundreds of years to come. It’s grotesque. 

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Forestry

Kootenay Lake School District students learn about the forestry industry

Nelson Star
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Approximately 250 Grade 5 students from School District 8 gathered last week to celebrate the forestry industry at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. Forestry Day is an annual event to which all Grade 5 students in Nelson and surrounding area are invited to by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Prior to the big day, a volunteer visits each classroom for approximately 20 minutes to provide seedlings to the students, provide general forestry info, and invite students to ask questions about what to expect on the field trip day. …Stations included: safety gear (logging choker race) and timber harvesting hosted by A.F. Timber Co. Ltd., wood products info station hosted by Kalesnikoff, wildlife conservation, wildlife tree walk, tree aging, tree cookie art, forest health storytelling, wildfire crew and a scavenger hunt. Kalesnikoff sponsored a free BBQ lunch, and all the kids had a great day of learning in the forest.

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Spruce beetles a growing concern, government says

BC Local News
October 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Many forest stands in parts of the Bulkley-Nechako region are vulnerable to spruce beetle attacks. …John Pousette, Provincial Park Beetle Coordinator… and Ken White, an Entomologist with the Ministry of Forests… updated the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako with the situation. …Infestations in the Omineca exploded from 7,653 hectares in 2013 to more than 217,251 in 2014, then fluctuated until 2017 when it peaked at 341,000 ha. More than 250,000 hectares of that is in the Prince George Natural Resource District. The infestation for Omineca fell to 242,000 ha last year. …As the officials explained, mountain pine beetles are still in the area but their numbers are much lower than they were years before. Of current concern are spruce beetles and western balsam bark beetles.

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Celebrating Forest Awareness Day for 30 Years!

Canadian Women in Timber
October 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Women in Timber are having a celebration—one that pays homage to BC’s forest sector – Forest Awareness Day. For 30 years we’ve put the first Wednesday of October aside to look to our forests, and recognize them for the bounty they provide for us. Our grassroots organization is closely connected to the natural resource sector, and as such, we know how important forests are to every British Columbian. Our directors and members are volunteers who work at the community level to bring Forest Awareness Through Education to people who may not be as familiar with our forests. This year we ask members of the forest sector and the general public to join us! Although our group was founded by women, we are not exclusive. Men represent a significant component of our membership and serve on our Board of Directors. Join online today https://www.canadianwomenintimber.com/membership

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AFPA Launches Love Alberta Forests Campaign

Alberta Forest Products Association
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta Forest Products Association announced the launch of its Love Alberta Forests campaign. The campaign details the love, thoughtfulness, and commitment that goes into forestry practices. Specifically, the campaign encourages Albertans to talk about sustainability practices including: Planting – Forest companies plant two trees for every one that is harvested. AFPA members have planted 2 billion trees in the last 20 years. Making 200 Year Plans – Forest companies make detailed plans before they harvest that include sustainable harvesting levels, prompt replanting of harvested areas, and considerations for water, wildlife, recreation, and a host of other ecological values. Supporting Research – Forest companies support extensive research into our forests, including wildlife, water, and mitigation of pests like the mountain pine beetle. …The campaign’s website can be found at loveabforests.com. …The AFPA is encouraging Albertans to interact with the campaign and share why you love Alberta’s forests using the #loveabforests hashtag.

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Group wants court to force Nova Scotia to act on endangered species

By Francis Campbell
The Chronicle Herald
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Friends of … at-risk species in Nova Scotia want a court ruling to compel the province to uphold endangered species regulations. “The province has certainly argued that they should have flexibility in how they meet their obligations under the Act,” lawyer Jamie Simpson said … before Justice Christa Brothers wrapped up at Nova Scotia Supreme Court.  “We believe that the legislature was very clear in its intent to set specific deadlines to do certain things to meet the purposes of the Act, which are to recover species at risk and to protect their habitat.” Robert Bancroft, a wildlife biologist and head of the Nova Scotia Naturalist Society, and other naturalist societies filed an application nine months ago for a judicial review of what they say is the minister of the Lands and Forestry Department’s failure to uphold a mandatory duty under the provincial Endangered Species Act to protect at-risk plants and animals.

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Eco-friendly gel could help prevent forest fires

By Ben Coxworth
New Atlas
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

… A newly-developed gel, however, could allow forestry workers to be more proactive, by keeping fires from occurring in the first place. Developed by scientists at California’s Stanford University, the carrier gel is made entirely out of cellulose-based nontoxic materials “used in food, drug, cosmetic and agricultural products.” The idea is that it could be combined with existing fire-retardant chemicals – of the type that are commonly seen being deployed from forest fire-fighting aircraft – then preemptively sprayed or dropped onto areas where fires are likely to occur. Ordinarily, fire-retardant compounds are quickly washed off of trees and other plants by rain, or are blown off by wind. When mixed with the very clingy gel … a single annual application can reportedly provide protection for the entire peak fire season. …Eventually the gel does flake off, harmlessly biodegrading into the environment. 

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Tree thieves started forest fire ravaging 3,300 acres of protected land, feds say

By Allyson Chiu
The Washington Post in the Prince George Citizen
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A quick check beneath the bark of the bigleaf maple confirmed that the campers had finally tracked down what they were looking for. The towering tree …contained highly prized wood worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. But before the maple could be illegally chopped down and hauled out of the protected area, the timber thieves found themselves facing an unexpected complication …a colony of bees had made the valuable tree their home, which meant that felling it was now “difficult or impossible,” the indictment said. Instead of giving up, …poachers attempted to get rid of the bee nest… Their bumbling efforts allegedly sparked a forest fire that burned out of control for several days last fall, scorching 3,300 acres of federal and state land… Known as the Maple Fire, the blaze cost $4.5 million to extinguish, the release said. …The charges carry sentences of up to five or 10 years in prison and fines of $250,000.

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Thinning forest returns investment tenfold

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wanna invest some money? If someone said you could invest $270 now and you would get back $3,000, would you be interested? Well, guess that means you’re in favor of thinning the 64,000-acre watershed of the C.C. Cragin Reservoir — and maybe some other vital reservoirs in grave danger of catastrophic crown fires. It will cost some $27 million to reduce tree densities on that watershed from perhaps 1,000 per acre to more like 100 per acre. The sale of the timber could cover a chunk of that cost. But even if Salt River Project, Payson, the Forest Service and other partners covered the whole cost — they would reap huge financial benefits, according to a study by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). …The researchers worked out costs in the event the Forest Service thinned 80 percent of the watershed or 50 percent of the watershed before disaster strikes. Thinning the whole watershed yields the most net benefit, concluded the researchers.

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Preventing future forest diebacks

By Julius Maximillians, University of Wurzburg
Phys.org
October 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Clear-up and reforestation is not the right strategy, forest ecologists Simon Thorn, Joerg Mueller and Alexandro Leverkus. “This policy is likely to create extensive, even forest stands that remain particularly vulnerable to the impacts of future climate change,” says Simon Thorn. Germany should therefore reconsider its strategic and financial efforts to create forests resilient to future climate change. Here a radical change is necessary: The scientists suggest not to remove dead wood and not to conduct reforestation on large scales. …According to Thorn, large-scale clear-ups following natural disturbances have negative effects on the diversity of insects which are dependent on deadwood. This collides with the goals of the government’s coalition agreement, according to which the dramatic decline of insects should be halted. Instead, public subsidies should be aimed at preserving dead wood created by disturbances.

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Two decades of campaigning win one of Russia’s largest nature reserves

By Greenpeace Russia
WebWire
October 2, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International
Arkhangelsk, Russia – Russia has established one of its largest old-growth nature reserves; a 300,000 hectares area larger than the size of Luxembourg and almost as big as Maryland State in the USA, after two decades of campaigning by Greenpeace Russia and other environmental NGOs. The Dvinsko-Pinezhsky regional nature reserve, a boreal forest wilderness that has survived for centuries, will be one of the largest in Russia. …”Old-growth forests are essential habitat for many threatened species and essential for mitigating climate change because they accumulate much more carbon than secondary forests,” said Tatiana Khakimulina of Greenpeace Russia. …Today, only 700 000 hectares of the Dvinsky Intact Forest Landscape remains.

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Lyreco joins the fight against deforestation

By Andy Braithwaite
OPI
October 1, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Lyrecoa—[a worldwide distributor of office supplies and workplace products]—has announced that is has joined the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts. The reseller’s endorsement comes within the framework of the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit and… will include: the integration of forest management into its Climate Policy; ongoing analysis with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to start an innovative FSC ecosystem services project; and participation in the new multi-stakeholder platform on deforestation, forest degradation and forest generation that was announced recently by the European Commission, thereby encouraging the use of products from deforestation-free supply chains.

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Health & Safety

Floatplane industry crafting new safety protocols

Skies Magazine
October 1, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

So far this year, 34 aviation accidents and incidents are under active investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB). Seven of those accidents involved floatplanes, including six which resulted in fatalities. …In 2016, Dustin Meierhofer, director of Transportation and Northern Safety for the British Columbia Forest Safety Council (BCFSC), voiced his concerns to the FOA about floatplane safety. Several forestry employees had lost their lives when floatplanes crashed during ferry flights to remote locations. These concerns prompted Hartwell to begin creating a set of safety protocols dubbed the North Star Practices (NSPs) – a voluntary initiative involving everyone with a stake in ensuring that the public in general, and workers in the natural resources industry in particular, have the safest flights possible. …One NSPs recommendation Hartwell was willing to share is that floatplane operations should be limited to “official” civil daylight hours…

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Introduction to mechanized logging safety

Vermont Biz
October 2, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: US East, United States

October 8th and 9th 2019, The Logger Education to Advance Professionalism (LEAP) program is offering a modernized logging safety course. The program is one of the requirements for participants to become eligible for the Vermont Logger Safety and Workers’ Insurance program, a certification in high demand by contractors, that can result in a 15% discount on workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The course will cover many safety elements in a mechanized logging environment, as well as expectations set for employers and employees, delivered by safety qualified instructors. …Logging is statistically a high risk occupation and this program has been designed to reduce the risk of injury to those working on logging operations. A credible safety training program, combined with an on-site inspection of logging operations to ensure that safe practices learned in training have been implemented, have been proven to reduce injuries, claims and costs in other states.

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Forest Fires

Amazon fires fall sharply in September, spread elsewhere

By Diane Jeantet
The Associated Press in the Missoulian
October 1, 2019
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

RIO DE JANEIRO — The number of fires has declined sharply in Brazil’s Amazon region an alarming rise in July and August, but state environmental workers say the fight continues as officials still promote economic development in protected natural areas. Fires in the Amazon went down 35.5% in September compared to August, with 19,925 fires, according to data published Tuesday by the National Institute for Space Research. Official data going back to 1998 show that historically, September tends to have more fires than August. Fire is regularly used to clear land by ranchers and farmers as well as illegal loggers and miners. But in July and August, parts of the Amazon burned at a pace unseen since 2010, fueling global worries about climate change.

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