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A great tit family and nest. Bak GiSeok / 500px / Getty Images

By Marlene Cimons

Most Europeans know the great tit as an adorable, likeable yellow-and-black songbird that shows up to their feeders in the winter. But there may be one thing they don't know. That cute, fluffy bird can be a relentless killer.

The great tit's aggression can emerge in gruesome ways when it feels threatened by the pied flycatcher, a bird that spends most of the year in Africa, but migrates to Europe in the spring to breed. When flycatchers arrive at their European breeding grounds, they head for great tit territory, knowing that great tits—being year-round European residents—know the best nesting sites.

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Judita Juknele / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Marlene Cimons

German physician Alfred Buchwald had no clue that the chronic skin inflammation he described in 1883 was the first recorded case of a serious tick-carrying disease, one that would take hold in a small Connecticut town almost a century later and go on to afflict people across the U.S.

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By Marlene Cimons

Much of the deep sea has never been explored close-up by humans. Some submarines have plumbed its depths, but reaching the ocean bottom is a complicated and expensive journey, challenging because the seabed lies under more than three miles of water, which exerts huge amounts of pressure. "We know more about space than about the bottom of the oceans in our own planet, even though more than two-thirds of the surface of the Earth is covered by marine sediments," said Olivier Sulpis, a researcher and doctoral student at McGill University's department of earth and planetary sciences.

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By Owen Agnew

Wildfires, sea level rise, air pollution, asthma—you don't have to go far to find communities living with climate change impacts. But there are also climate solutions everywhere you look. This summer, the Freedom to Breathe Tour visited communities across the country that are working to reduce carbon emissions and make their communities healthier and more resilient.

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GLACIER: A Climate Change Ballet. Rob Cannon

By Jeremy Deaton

Eighteenth century French choreographer Jean-Georges Noverre once wrote, "A fine picture is but the image of nature; a finished ballet is nature herself." Noverre was arguing for the immediacy of dance. Twenty-first century American choreographer Diana Movius took his words literally.

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Pexels

By Marlene Cimons

The advantages of wind power are well-known. Wind is clean, plentiful and renewable. Installing turbines in large numbers could help wean our carbon-intensive civilization from its addiction to fossil fuels. New research suggests that one day there could be another major benefit: massive installations of wind turbines could lessen the deluge when powerful hurricanes bring devastating amounts of rain onto land. During such recent storms as Harvey and Florence—which brought historic levels of rainfall—this could have meant less flooding and destruction, and fewer deaths.

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By Phil Newell

This month, a major UN report on climate change declared that humanity has just a few short years to make the drastic changes needed to stave off an environmental catastrophe. While news outlets reacted with shock and alarm, those who regularly write, research or advocate on climate change were more resigned. For them, the report—which synthesized existing research—merely aggravated the psychic wound formed by continually reckoning with the end of the world.

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The Ross Ice Shelf at the Bay of Whales. Michael Van Woert, NOAA

By Marlene Cimons

Researchers monitoring vibrations from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf were flabbergasted not long ago to hear something unexpected—the ice was "singing" to them. "We were stunned by a rich variety of time-varying tones that make up this newly described sort of signal," said Rick Aster, professor of geosciences at Colorado State University, one of the scientists involved in the study.

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Tetra Images / Getty Images

By Jeremy Deaton

Miami ranks among the most valuable real estate markets in the country. Palatial homes astride warm, teal waters sell for millions. But it's not Miami's ocean-front neighborhoods where property values are rising fastest. Housing costs are climbing more rapidly in neighborhoods that lie a little higher up along a ridge that runs parallel to the shore.

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Pexels

By Marlene Cimons

An individual tree has roots and, of course, it doesn't move. But trees, as a species, do move over time. They migrate in response to environmental challenges, especially climate change. Surprisingly, they don't all go to the Poles, where it is cooler. As it turns out, more of them head west, where it is getting wetter.

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Pexels

By Marlene Cimons

There have been numerous wake-up calls about the effects of climate change on marine life. As ocean waters heat up, they are bleaching corals. Growing levels of carbon dioxide are acidifying seawater, which is degrading the shells and skeletons of sea organisms. The rising temperatures are prompting fish to migrate to colder waters, even causing them to shrink.

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