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Droughts

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OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Each year Lake Oroville helps water a quarter of the nation’s crops, sustain endangered salmon beneath its massive earthen dam and anchor the tourism economy of a Northern California county that must rebuild seemingly every year after unrelenting wildfires.

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OTIS, Ore. (AP) — Wildfire smoke was thick when Tye and Melynda Small went to bed on Labor Day, but they weren't too concerned. After all, they live in a part of Oregon where ferns grow from tree trunks and rainfall averages more than six feet (1.8 meters) a year.

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BOGAN GATE, Australia (AP) — At night, the floors of sheds vanish beneath carpets of scampering mice. Ceilings come alive with the sounds of scratching. One family blamed mice chewing electrical wires for their house burning down.

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The water crisis along the California-Oregon border went from dire to catastrophic this week as federal regulators shut off irrigation water to farmers from a critical reservoir and said they would not send extra water to dying salmon downstream or to a half-dozen wildlife refuges that harbor millions of migrating birds each year.

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Ranchers hope the recent precipitation is a sign of a nice, moist spring ahead. If not, the drought will continue for the foreseeable future and with it the possibility that ranchers will have to make tough decisions.

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One impact of climate change is that the number and severity of climate-related disasters is on the rise. With the warming of the planet, several factors combine to make extreme weather more common.

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