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Climate
Two centuries of eruptions by Mt Takahe altered the ancient Antarctic climate considerably. NASA ICE / Flickr

How the Ancient Antarctic Explains Today’s Warming World

By Tim Radford

Deep in the last Ice Age, 17,700 years ago, the ancient Antarctic suddenly began to warm. Climate change, unexpectedly, made itself felt in the Southern Hemisphere.

Glaciers in Patagonia and in New Zealand began to retreat. Lakes in the Bolivian Andes began to swell with meltwater. Rain fell in the desert of Australia, and the gusts of dust that normally leave a trace in polar snows began to diminish.

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U.S. Forest Service

Halloween Horror Story: 5 Scariest Aspects of Climate Change

By Casey Ivanovich

Halloween has arrived, and it's time once again for goblins, gremlins and ghost stories.

But there's another threat brewing that's much more frightening—because it's real.

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Climate
Shutterstock

September 2017: Earth's 4th Warmest September on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters

September 2017 was the planet's fourth warmest September since record keeping began in 1880, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) and NASA this week. The only warmer Septembers came during 2015, 2016 and 2014. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

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Animals
One of the dead penguin chicks found in Terre Adélie. Y. Ropert-Couder / CNRS / IPEV

Only Two Penguin Chicks Survive in Catastrophic Antarctic Breeding Season

Thousands of Adélie penguin chicks in Terre Adélie, Antarctica died of starvation at the start of 2017 due to unusually thick sea ice that forced their parents to travel an extra 100 kilometers (62 miles) to find food, according to French scientists.

The colony of over 18,000 pairs of Adélie penguins suffered a "catastrophic breeding failure" that left with only two chicks surviving at the beginning of the year.

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United States Geological Survey

Trump Administration Signs 'Death Sentence' For Pacific Walrus

The Trump administration announced Wednesday it would decline to list the Pacific walrus on the endangered species list, reversing an Obama-era finding that the walruses should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended in 2011 that the walrus be considered for endangered species status in the near future due to increased habitat loss from disappearing Arctic sea ice. While its Wednesday announcement acknowledged the species faced "stressors" due to habitat loss, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it could not determine if the walrus will become endangered "in the foreseeable future"—a date the agency defines as 2060.

"This disgraceful decision is a death sentence for the walrus," Shaye Wolf, climate science director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. "Walruses face extinction from climate change, and denying them critical protections will push them closer to the edge."

For a deeper dive:

AP, The Guardian, CBS, USA Today, Washington Examiner

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

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Arctic Mission vessel ventures into a "new, unexplored and vulnerable ocean region on the planet, the Central Arctic Ocean."

Plastic Debris Found on One of World's Most Inaccessible Sites

It's becoming clear that plastic pollution is everywhere, even at the northernmost tip of the planet.

Scientists have recently found chunks of polystyrene on ice floes in the Central Arctic Ocean, about 1,000 miles from the north pole—an area that could not be accessed before due to sea ice, the Guardian reports.

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Climate
Ice-breaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie. Sovcomflot

Tanker Crosses Arctic Without Icebreaker for First Time Due to Rapid Melting of Sea Ice

In the Arctic, where warming is happening twice as fast as the rest of the planet, a Russian tanker sailed across the Northern Sea Route in record speed and without the aid of an icebreaker for the first time.

On its maiden journey, the 984-foot Christophe de Margerie tanker transported liquefied natural gas from Norway to South Korea in 19 days, about 30 percent faster than the regular route through the Suez Canal, the ship's owner Sovcomflot boasted.

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Animals
U.S. Geological Survey

Loss of Arctic Sea Ice Causes Earliest Pacific Walrus Haul Out Ever

Hundreds of Pacific walruses have hauled out of Arctic waters near Alaska's Point Lay due to declining sea ice levels, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Wednesday. It's the earliest haul out the agency has ever seen, and scientists fear a repeat of stampedes that have killed hundreds of walruses in recent years.

Loss of sea ice from climate change is a major reason why the Center for Biological Diversity has petitioned the federal government to protect Pacific walruses under the Endangered Species Act. A final listing decision from Fish and Wildlife is expected within the next month.

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NOAA: Earth Had its Third Warmest June on Record

By Dr. Jeff Masters

June 2017 was the planet's third warmest June since record keeping began in 1880, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information on Monday. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rated June 2017 as the fourth warmest June on record. The only warmer Junes came in El Niño years: 1998, 2015 and 2016. Minor differences can occur between the NASA and NOAA rankings because of their different techniques for analyzing data-sparse regions such as the Arctic.

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