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

In a development that has important implications for conservation, scientists are increasingly focusing not just on what species are present in an ecosystem, but on the roles that certain key species play in shaping their environment.

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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19 Western species won’t receive federal protections.

The animals range from minuscule Nevada mollusks to dwindling Pacific walruses.

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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High marine extinction risk by 2100.
Rob

High marine extinction risk by 2100.

If marine extinction is not a reality for many species by the end of this century, scientists say, it will certainly be a strong probability.

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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Drowning in grain: How Big Ag sowed seeds of a profit-slashing glut.
UK College of Agriculture/flickr

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

Abundant supplies have helped lower food prices across the world, but the benefit to consumers and impoverished nations is muted by several factors.

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

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Citizens plot bug slaughter to protect Canada's freshwater.

Canadian researchers have created a kind of bar code technology for bugs that could help them understand the impacts of human activity on watersheds.

Citizens plot bug slaughter to protect Canada's freshwater

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