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Climate
A.millepora in the Great Barrier Reef. Petra Lundgren, Juan C Vera, Lesa Peplow, Stephanie Manel and Madeleine JH van Oppen

Hope for Great Barrier Reef? New Study Shows Genetic Diversity of Coral Could Extend Our Chance to Save It

A study published Wednesday had some frightening news for the Great Barrier Reef—the iconic marine ecosystem is at "unprecedented" risk of collapse due to climate change after a 2016 heat wave led to the largest mass coral bleaching event in the reef's history.

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Trump Watch
The Q4000 at the Deepwater Horizon accident site. James Davidson / CC BY-NC 2.0

Deepwater Horizon Anniversary: Trump Administration Ignores Advice on Preventing Explosions, Injuries, Blowouts

The Trump administration is ignoring advice from the bipartisan commission that investigated the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster as officials move to repeal offshore drilling safety regulations adopted in its aftermath.

Friday is the eighth anniversary of the explosion that killed 11 oil workers and caused more than 210 million gallons of oil to flow uncontrolled into the Gulf of Mexico for more than three months, killing thousands of marine mammals and birds.

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Popular

Drug Waste Flushed Into World's Freshwater Ecosystems to Rise 65% by 2050

It's no surprise that chemicals can get flushed into our water supply from the pills we take. But as the world's population grows, the rampant consumption of pharmaceuticals has become an emerging threat to the world's freshwater ecosystems, researchers said.

The research, presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly on Tuesday, warns that if no action is taken to mitigate the flow, the amount of drug waste entering waterways such as rivers and lakes could increase by 65 percent by 2050, endangering fish and other species' health.

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Climate
Record-setting bloom of toxic algae in North Pacific in 2015. NOAA

Marine Heatwaves Now Longer, Hotter and More Intense

It's not just land-based heatwaves that have become more intense and frequent. Marine heatwaves are similarly on the rise as a direct result of warming oceans, according to a new international study.

The research, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, shows that from 1925-2016, the frequency of marine heatwaves increased on average by 34 percent and the length of each heatwave increased by 17 percent. In all, the number of marine heatwave days has increased 54 percent per year.

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Animals

Death by Plastic: 64 Pounds of Trash in Whale's Digestive System

A sperm whale found dead in southern Spain was killed after ingesting 64 pounds of mostly plastic garbage, a necropsy of the marine mammal recently revealed.

The 6-ton, 33-foot-long juvenile male beached near a lighthouse in Cabo de Palos in the region of Murcia in February.

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Health

Humans Eat More Than 100 Plastic Fibers With Each Meal

The proliferation of microplastics in the ocean has led to concerns that they might work their way up the food chain to us.

But when researchers at Heriot-Watt University set out to investigate that concern, they found that plastics in our own homes pose a much greater threat to humans.

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Energy

Cracked Undersea Pipeline Caused Deadly Oil Spill in Indonesia

A burst undersea pipeline owned by Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation Pertamina caused a deadly oil spill on Saturday that left Balikpapan Bay in Borneo "like a gas station."

The company initially said the disaster had nothing to do with its nearby refinery or undersea pipelines that run across the bay, noting that its own tests on oil spill samples found marine fuel oil used for ships, not crude oil.

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Animals
Sarah McRae / USFWS

Valuable Mid-Atlantic Mussel Officially Listed as Threatened

In response to a legal victory by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today gave Endangered Species Act protection to a freshwater mussel that lives in Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia.

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Animals

Another 333 Minke Whales Killed by Japanese Fleet

In defiance of international protests, Japanese whaling vessels returned to port with another 333 minke whales on Saturday after its months-long hunt in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in Antarctic waters.

According to the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research, among the whales collected, 152 were male and 181 were female. About 60 percent of the males and 70 percent of the females were matured.

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