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Over 120 Nations to Sign Climate Deal in April

More than 120 countries will sign the UN's accord to fight global warming, French ecology ministerl said Wednesday. Continue reading →

More than 120 countries are ready to sign the UN's accord to fight global warming, French ecology minister Segolene Royal said Wednesday.

Royal said the strength of support meant the climate deal clinched in Paris last year would likely be ratified in New York on April 22.

Almost 200 governments reached an agreement in December which set a target of limiting global warming to "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared to pre-industrial levels.

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"I fixed an objective ... of a hundred signatures and we are now at over 120 signatures," Royal, who took over as head of the COP21 this year, told a press conference in Paris.

Garnering a "record number of signatures with such a brief delay... will allow us to begin the ratifications."

COP21 is the acronym for the 21st conference of parties to the UN climate arena.

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The 32-page deal also calls on rich nations to muster at least 100 billion dollars (90 billion euros) a year in climate aid from 2020. Just how that will happen has yet to be worked out.

The deal only comes into force, however, if at least 55 countries responsible for at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify the accord.

Top emitters the United States and China will be among the nations signing the Paris climate agreement in New York, the White House announced last week.

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The European Union also agreed to sign last month, and Royal said another key developing country, India, had also agreed.

"We have also received commitments from practically all the African countries," she added.

Royal, heads the UN's COP21 climate forum and thus plays a key role in brokering agreements, said that 60 countries would send their head of state to the signing ceremony in New York.

You've heard a lot about how human-driven climate change will lead to hotter temperatures, cause sea levels to rise and make storms more intense. But it's projected to have plenty of other unpleasant and even disastrous effects as well. Here are 10 of them. Scientists believe that rising temperatures will lead to increased evaporation of the Great Lakes' water, and precipitation won't make up the difference. That means we're likely to see declines in water levels over the next century, and one study predicts they may drop as much as 8 feet.

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Thanks to climate change, jumbo-sized ragweed plants will spew out more pollen for a longer, more miserable allergy season.

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By altering the wild environment, climate change makes it easier for newly mutated microbes to jump between species, and it's likely that as a result, diseases will emerge and spread across the globe even more rapidly.

A recent Nature article reported that male Australian central bearded dragons have been growing female genitalia because of rising temperatures, a phenomenon that had not previously been observed in that species.

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Rising sea levels are wiping out beaches all over the world already. Importing fresh sand and building them up again is only a temporary solution. To make matters worse, there's currently a sand shortage, due to demand from fracking, glass and cement making.

Bark beetles are eating old growth forests, because the winters aren't cold enough to kill them off. So more trees like this American Elm will die.

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Warmer temperatures mean there will be more water vapor trapped in the atmosphere, leading to more lightning. A University of California-Berkeley study predicts that lightning strikes will increase by about 12 percent for every degree Celsius gained.

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Wine grape harvests are being hurt. Regions that have historically supplied the world’s best wine will no longer be hospitable climates to grow wine grapes, according to research by the Environmental Defense Fund and others.

Coffee flavor depends upon really narrow conditions of temperature and moisture, and climate change is going to wreak havoc with that. Worse yet, as coffee growing regions become warmer, pests that couldn't survive in the past will ravage the crops. This is already being seen in Costa Rica, India and Ethiopia, which have experienced sharp declines in crop yields.

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Scientists say that as ice sheets and glaciers melt, the weight that's removed from the Earth's crust changes the stresses upon volcanoes. That unloading effect can trigger eruptions.

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