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The ocean currents and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

EarthTalk: Ocean Debris

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: Recent news coverage of the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 reminded us all again of how much debris, including plastic, is in our oceans. To what extent is this a real problem that threatens ocean or human health?       …

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First UN Environment Assembly Marks Environmental Coming of Age

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is taking on a higher profile in multilateral efforts to spur ecosystems-based approaches to governance and development. This includes broad-based, far reaching efforts to craft and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation plans.

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$11.9 Trillion: Price Tag on Climate Change Coral Reef Impacts

Small island developing states (SIDS) are being affected disproportionately by sea level rise and the effects of climate change. They’re calling for change, releasing two research studies and urging drastic changes to reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Garbage, especially plastic waste, chokes our oceans and alters marine habitats

Plastic Waste in Our Oceans: Problems and Solutions

One of the unexpected corollaries of the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has been the increase in public awareness about the tons of garbage that litter our oceans. In the first few weeks after the March 8 disappearance of the passenger jet, searchers scoured huge swaths of the Indian Ocean, and found nothing but garbage. In the process of looking for wreckage from the…

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Latest IPCC Installment Highlights Climate Risks, Potential for Adaptation

The threats, risks and costs associated with a rapidly changing climate continue to mount, making the benefits and rewards to be gained by enacting global adaptation and mitigation policies and initiatives yet more valuable and urgent, according to the latest installment of the UN IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report.

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2013′s Weather: Yet More Good Reasons To Curtail Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The sixth warmest year on record, 2013′s weather was wild, woolly, and very costly for people, economies, and ecosystems around the world, providing additional evidence of the inter-linkages between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, a warming world and the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.

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Seeing Over the Horizon: Sharp Rise in Ocean Temperatures in 2013

What the recently stalled polar vortex over much of the eastern half of the United States makes clear is that we humans are, by nature, not well equipped to think globally. At least not when it comes to their physical surroundings. After all, cold is cold. So, for instance, if there is two inches of snow outside my Atlanta home…

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