Black sea clams 'giving off as much gas as 20,000 cows.'

Scientists have found clams and worms in the Baltic Sea are giving off as much gas as 20,000 dairy cows.

Scientists have found clams and worms in the Baltic Sea are giving off as much gas as 20,000 dairy cows.

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Water

Big decision looms over little oily fish that feeds so many others.

If you were to round up all of the menhaden swimming along the Atlantic coast and somehow put them on a scale, they’d weigh in at about 1.2 million metric tons.

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Climate

Beyond biodiversity: A new way of looking at how species interconnect.

In 1966, an ecologist at the University of Washington named Robert Paine removed all the ochre starfish from a short stretch of Pacific shoreline on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The absence of the predator had a dramatic effect on its ecosystem. In less than a year, a diverse tidal environment collapsed into a monoculture of mussels because the starfish was no longer around to eat them.

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Food

School food hero Betti Wiggins takes on Houston’s public schools.

Betti Wiggins has been working to feed urban children—consistently, systematically, and healthfully—for going on 30 years. She’s credited most recently with turning around Detroit’s inefficient public school food program as director of the district’s office of school nutrition. About four month before Hurricane Harvey wrought unprecedented destruction on the Gulf Coast, Wiggins started a position as the Houston school district’s officer of nutrition services, where she planned to continue her decades-long mission.

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Climate

19 Western species won’t receive federal protections.

On Oct. 4, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that 25 animals were not warranted for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Nineteen of those species — ranging from a sooty-colored woodpecker that hunts beetles in burned forests, to tiny snails found only in a few isolated springs in the Great Basin desert — live in the West. In no case did the Service find the species’ numbers to be increasing at this time; still, the Service concluded that none were in danger of disappearing altogether in the future. Here are the Western species that didn’t make the cut:

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Rob
Toxics

High marine extinction risk by 2100.

Mass marine extinction may be inevitable. If humans go on burning fossil fuels under the notorious “business as usual” scenario, then by 2100 they will have added so much carbon to the world’s oceans that a sixth mass extinction of marine species will follow, inexorably.

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Amid legal uncertainty, Interior drops listings from ESA.

The shrimp-like Kenk's amphipod is easy to miss and hard to love. From now on, it's also unprotected by federal law.

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Toxics

After the Tsunami, Japan’s sea creatures crossed an ocean.

TOKYO — The towering tsunami that devastated Japan six years ago also unleashed a very different sort of threat onto the distant coastline of North America: a massive invasion of marine life from across the Pacific Ocean.

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UK College of Agriculture/flickr
Toxics

Drowning in grain: How Big Ag sowed seeds of a profit-slashing glut.

SPECIAL REPORT-Drowning in grain: How Big Ag sowed seeds of a profit-slashing glut

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Toxics

Citizens plot bug slaughter to protect Canada's freshwater.

Citizens plot bug slaughter to protect Canada's freshwater

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Chad Horwedel
Climate

Why the last snow on earth may be red.

Every spring, in alpine regions around the world, one of Earth’s tiniest migrations takes place. The migrants are single-celled green algae; they are kin to seaweed, but instead of living in the sea they live in snow. (Snow weed, maybe?) They spend the winter deep in the snowpack, atop last summer’s snow, as dormant cysts. In the spring, they wake and swim up through the trickle of snowmelt to the surface, dividing and photosynthesizing as they go. Then, at the top, they turn red. This creates what scientists call pink snow or watermelon snow—drifts and glaciers that look like Slush Puppies and eventually reduce to rivulets of crimson.

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Climate

San Francisco chefs serve up a message about climate change.

Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint opened the Perennial in San Francisco last year with a clear mission in mind: Run an environmentally friendly restaurant with a minimal carbon footprint, and inspire other restaurateurs to do the same.

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From our Newsroom

Dust from your old furniture likely contains harmful chemicals—but there’s a solution

Researchers find people's exposure to PFAS and certain flame retardants could be significantly reduced by opting for healthier building materials and furniture.

Hormone-mimicking chemicals harm fish now—and their unexposed offspring later

Fish exposed to harmful contaminants can pass on health issues such as reproductive problems to future generations that had no direct exposure.

America re-discovers anti-science in its midst

Fauci, Birx, Redfield & Co. are in the middle of a political food fight. They could learn a lot from environmental scientists.

Roadmap points Europe toward safer, sustainable chemicals

EU Commission releases ambitious strategy for getting hormone-disrupting chemicals out of food, products, and packaging.

How Europe’s wood pellet appetite worsens environmental racism in the US South

An expanding wood pellet market in the Southeast has fallen short of climate and job goals—instead bringing air pollution, noise and reduced biodiversity in majority Black communities.

Exempt from inspection: States ignore lead-contaminated meat in food banks

Hunter-donated meat provides crucial protein to US food banks. But an EHN investigation found a lack of oversight that could result in potentially hundreds of thousands of lead-contaminated meals this year.

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