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Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

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54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

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Monarch butterflies in Mexico's Oyamel forest in Michoacan, Mexico after migrating from Canada. Luis Acosta / AFP / Getty Images

By D. André Green II

One of nature's epic events is underway: Monarch butterflies' fall migration. Departing from all across the United States and Canada, the butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles to cluster at the same locations in Mexico or along the Pacific Coast where their great-grandparents spent the previous winter.

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As a hurricane reaches the coast, it pushes a huge volume of ocean water ashore, known as a storm surge. Jerry Coli / Pixabay

By Anthony C. Didlake Jr.

Of all the hazards that hurricanes bring, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. It can sweep homes off their foundations, flood riverside communities miles inland, and break up dunes and levees that normally protect coastal areas against storms.

But what exactly is storm surge?

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Emitting methane will always be worse than emitting the same quantity of carbon dioxide, no matter the time scale.
Алексей Филатов / Getty Images

By Zebedee Nicholls and Tim Baxter

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

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This first overshoot beyond 1.5℃ would be temporary, however, it casts new doubt on whether Earth's climate can be permanently stabilized at 1.5℃ warming. ronniechua / Getty Images

By Pep Canadell and Rob Jackson

The Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5℃ this century. A new report by the World Meteorological Organization warns this limit may be exceeded by 2024 – and the risk is growing.

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PFAS foam in Van Ettan Lake in Oscoda, Michigan near the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base on Sept. 19, 2017. Michigan Department of Environment , Great Lakes, and Energy

By Kathryn Crawford

Nearly a year before the novel coronavirus emerged, Dr. Leonardo Trasande published "Sicker, Fatter, Poorer," a book about connections between environmental pollutants and many of the most common chronic illnesses. The book describes decades of scientific research showing how endocrine-disrupting chemicals, present in our daily lives and now found in nearly all people, interfere with natural hormones in our bodies. The title sums up the consequences: Chemicals in the environment are making people sicker, fatter and poorer.

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A row of colorful recycle bins line a wall in Machynlleth, Wales in the UK. Dave Goodman / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Regina Frei and Diego Vazquez-Brust

The secretive way in which plastic recycling is handled in the UK carries the potential for the next big scandal. While the government's statutory guidance is supposed to clarify who is responsible, our research suggests that what happens to plastics we believe to be recycled in the UK is in reality quite obscure.

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Sea Turtle Hospital at Whitney / Instagram

By David Duffy and Catherine Eastman

Plastic pollution has been found in practically every environment on the planet, with especially severe effects on ocean life. Plastic waste harms marine life in many ways – most notably, when animals become entangled in it or consume it.

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Thomas Barwick / Stone / Getty Images

By Erika Bocknek

The choice between in-person learning, where available, and remote learning is a fraught one for parents. Children experience joy and connection when they learn alongside other kids, but they risk being exposed to the coronavirus. Remote learning at home can protect kids from COVID-19, but does it set back their social-emotional development?

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Polar bears playing in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Cheryl Strahl / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Scott L. Montgomery

The Trump administration has announced that it is opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development – the latest twist in a decades-long battle over the fate of this remote area. Its timing is truly terrible.

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Surakiet Ampun / EyeEm / Getty Images

By Monica Gandhi

Masks slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 by reducing how much infected people spray the virus into the environment around them when they cough or talk. Evidence from laboratory experiments, hospitals and whole countries show that masks work, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends face coverings for the U.S. public. With all this evidence, mask wearing has become the norm in many places.

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It is reasonable to make a connection between smoke exposure and risk of viral infection. Needpix

By Luke Montrose

If I dare to give the coronavirus credit for anything, I would say it has made people more conscious of the air they breathe.

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