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Jennifer A. Smith / Moment / Getty Images

By Brenda Ekwurzel

When temperatures hit the 80s Fahrenheit in May above latitude 40, sun-seekers hit the parks, lakes, and beaches, and thoughts turn to summer. By contrast, when temperatures lurk in the drizzly 40s and 50s well into flower season, northerners get impatient for summer. But when those 80-degree temperatures visit latitude 64 in Russia, as they just did, and when sleet disrupts Mother's Day weekend in May in Massachusetts, as it just did, thoughts turn to: what is going on here?

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U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo participates in the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi, Finland, on May 7. State Department Photo by Ron Przysucha

For the first time since it was founded in 1996, the Arctic Council didn't release a joint declaration outlining its priorities after a summit in Rovaniemi, Finland Monday and Tuesday. The reason? The insistence by the U.S. that the statement not mention climate change or the Paris agreement designed to combat it, The New York Times reported.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A dead gray whale was found beached at San Francisco's Ocean Beach on Tuesday. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

A gray whale washed up dead on a San Francisco beach Monday morning, CNN reported, making the mammal the ninth to be found dead in the Bay Area this year.

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Aerial view of fish farm. gece33 / E+ / Getty Images

By Hallie Templeton

As part of its Blue Economy initiative, the Trump administration has developed a map to provide ocean industries information on areas ripe for oil rigs and floating factory farms.

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Ice-rich permafrost has been exposed due to coastal erosion, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska. Brandt Meixell / USGS


By Jake Johnson

An alarming study released Tuesday found that melting Arctic permafrost could add nearly $70 trillion to the global cost of climate change unless immediate action is taken to slash carbon emissions.

According to the new research, published in the journal Nature Communications, melting permafrost caused by accelerating Arctic warming would add close to $70 trillion to the overall economic impact of climate change if the planet warms by 3°C by 2100.

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NASA scientists flew over the Kuskokwim river in southwest Alaska in 2017 to investigate how water levels in the Arctic landscape change as permafrost thaws. Peter Griffith, NASA

By Tim Radford

Scientists have identified yet another hazard linked to the thawing permafrost: laughing gas. A series of flights over the North Slope of Alaska has detected unexpected levels of emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from the rapidly warming soils.

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A phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Alaska on June 9, 2016. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

By Julia Conley

The equipment was towed across millions of miles of ocean for six decades by marine scientists, meant to collect plankton — but its journeys have also given researchers a treasure trove of data on plastic pollution.

The continuous plankton reporter (CPR) was first deployed in 1931 to analyze the presence of plankton near the surface of the world's oceans. In recent decades, however, its travels have increasingly been disrupted by entanglements with plastic, according to a study published in Nature Communications on Tuesday.

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A televised debate ahead of Finland's general election, which took place Sunday; the leader of the winning Social Democratic party Antti Rinne is second from the right, and the leader of the second-place-winning Finns Party Jussi Halla-aho is first on the left. JUSSI NUKARI / AFP / Getty Images

The center left Social Democrats secured a narrow victory Sunday in a Finnish election dominated by the question of climate change.

In Finland, one-third of which sits above the Arctic Circle, most parties campaigned on taking greater climate action, while the nationalist Finns party argued against climate policy that it said required sacrifices from the populace.

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Pexels

By Jon Queally

A new research paper by American and European climate scientists focused on Arctic warming published Monday reveals that the "smoking gun" when it comes to changes in the world's northern polar region is rapidly warming air temperatures that are having — and will continue to have — massive and negative impacts across the globe.

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A federal judge has restored prohibitions against drilling in the Arctic Ocean designed to protect polar bears and other wildlife. Universal History Archive / UIG via Getty Images

A federal judge in Alaska ruled on Friday that President Donald Trump "exceeded the president's authority" when he signed an executive order to allow offshore oil drilling in around 125 million acres of the Arctic Ocean, CNN reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason's decision restores a ban on drilling in 98 percent of the U.S.-controlled Arctic Ocean, according to Earthjustice, which sued to stop Trump's order on behalf of several environmental groups and Alaska Native communities.

The ruling "shows that the president cannot just trample on the constitution to do the bidding of his cronies in the fossil fuel industry at the expense of our oceans, wildlife and climate," Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.

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Pexels

Arctic temperatures are now "locked in" for increased wintertime warming, with winter temperatures set to rise 3-5 degrees C by 2050 even if the world meets the goals set out in the Paris agreement, a new UN Environment report says.

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