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Three Arch Bay, Laguna Beach. Don Ramey Logan / CC BY

Coastal Protection on the Edge: The Challenge of Preserving California’s Legacy

By Gary Griggs and Charles Lester

The California coast is an edge. It's the place where 1,100 miles of shoreline meets the largest ocean on the planet. Many different forces collide there, and a lot of exciting things happen. The coast is a geological edge, zippered to North America by 800 miles of the San Andreas Fault and battered by the Pacific Ocean.

It's also a social, political, cultural, spiritual, economic and technological edge. It is where the most populous state and sixth-largest economy in the world is exposed to wind, waves, tides, El Niños, earthquakes and tsunamis. These forces made California's coastline rugged, beautiful and beckoning.

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The Little Missouri River at the Little Missouri National Grasslands, North Dakota. Zero_MSN / Flickr

For Native Americans, a River Is Sacred

By Rosalyn R. LaPier

The environmental group Deep Green Resistance recently filed a first-of-its-kind legal suit against the state of Colorado asking for personhood rights for the Colorado River.

If successful, it would mean lawsuits can brought on behalf of the river for any harm done to it, as if it were a person.

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Research station staff return to Cayo Santiago after Hurricane Maria to start assessing conditions on the island. Angelina Ruiz

Scientists Join Forces to Save Puerto Rico’s ‘Monkey Island’

By Alexandra Rosati

"00O made it!" There was some news to celebrate on Sept. 28 in the email chain of scientists who work at the Cayo Santiago Field Station. Cayo Santiago is a 38-acre tropical island off the coast of Puerto Rico and home to approximately 1,500 rhesus monkeys, earning it the local nickname "Monkey Island."

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Dear Elon Musk: Your Dazzling Mars Plan Overlooks Some Big Nontechnical Hurdles

By Andrew Maynard

Elon Musk has a plan, and it's about as audacious as they come. Not content with living on our pale blue dot, Musk and his company SpaceX want to colonize Mars, fast. They say they'll send a duo of supply ships to the red planet within five years. By 2024, they're aiming to send the first humans. From there they have visions of building a space port, a city and, ultimately, a planet they'd like to "geoengineer" to be as welcoming as a second Earth.

If he succeeds, Musk could thoroughly transform our relationship with our solar system, inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers along the way. But between here and success, Musk and SpaceX will need to traverse an unbelievably complex risk landscape.

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How Trump Could Undermine the U.S. Solar Boom

By Llewelyn Hughes and Jonas Meckling

Tumbling prices for solar energy have helped stoke demand among U.S. homeowners, businesses and utilities for electricity powered by the sun. But that could soon change.

President Donald Trump—whose proposed 2018 budget would slash support for alternative energy—may get a new opportunity to undermine the solar power market by imposing duties that could increase the cost of solar power high enough to choke off the industry's growth.

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Hurricane Irma damage in northeast Florida. St. Johns County Fire Rescue

Why Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Won’t Lead to Action on Climate Change

By Scott Gabriel Knowles

It's not easy to hold the nation's attention for long, but three solid weeks of record-smashing hurricanes directly affecting multiple states and at least 20 million people will do it.

Clustered disasters hold our attention in ways that singular events cannot—they open our minds to the possibility that these aren't just accidents or natural phenomena to be painfully endured. As such, they can provoke debates over the larger "disaster lessons" we should be learning. And I would argue the combination of Harvey and Irma has triggered such a moment.

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A flooded building in Fenton, Missouri. Jocelyn Augustino / FEMA

Trump's Rejection of National Climate Report Would Do More Harm Than Paris Exit

A scientific report done every four years has been thrust into the spotlight because its findings directly contradict statements from the president and various cabinet officials.

If the Trump administration chooses to reject the pending national Climate Science Special Report, it would be more damaging than pulling the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Full stop. This is a bold claim, but as an economist and scientist who was a vice chair of the committee that shepherded the last national climate assessment report to its completion, I can explain why this is the case.

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5 Questions Answered About the Safety of Chicken Imported from China

By Maurice Pitesky

Editor's note: Under a trade deal concluded in May, China has begun exporting chicken to the U.S. Critics have pointed to China's record of food safety issues and argued the deal prioritizes commerce over public health. Here Maurice Pitesky, a poultry extension specialist at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine with a focus on poultry health and food safety epidemiology, answers five questions about importing Chinese chicken.

1. Why is the U.S. importing chicken from China? Do we have a shortage?

Hardly. The U.S. is the largest poultry producer in the world, and the second-largest poultry exporter after Brazil. However, as part of a recent bilateral trade deal, China has agreed to accept imports of beef and liquefied natural gas from the U.S. In exchange, the U.S. is allowing China to export cooked poultry meat to the U.S.

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The eclipse at annularity. The Moon is too small to cover the entire Sun's disk so a ring or "annulus" of bright sunlight surrounds the Moon. Dale Cruikshank / NASA

Why Eclipses Were Seen as Omens in the Ancient World

On Monday, Aug. 21, people living in the continental U.S. will be able to see a total solar eclipse.

Humans have been alternatively amused, puzzled, bewildered and sometimes even terrified at the sight of this celestial phenomenon. A range of social and cultural reactions accompanies the observation of an eclipse. In ancient Mesopotamia (roughly modern Iraq), eclipses were in fact regarded as omens, as signs of things to come.

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