Contact with plastic dramatically increases corals’ risk of disease.

Plastic wraps around a spawning coral. Credit: Lalita Putchim

Coral reefs around the world face an existential threat from overfishing, climate change, nutrient runoff, and ocean acidification. Now researchers have added another hazard to the list: plastic waste. In a survey of reefs in the Asia-Pacific region, marine biologists found that contact with plastic garbage increased corals’ risk of disease from 4 to 89% (Science 2018, DOI: 10.1126/science.aar3320).

Read more: Plastic waste threatens coral reefs


The sun peeks through a canopy of trees Oct. 18, 2008, on Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Park, Va. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

Widespread use of a futuristic energy technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere would create severe environmental problems, scientists argue in a new critique, casting doubt on one potential method of helping humanity escape the worst effects of climate change.

Read more: It’s the big new idea for stopping climate change — but it has huge environmental problems of its...


Palm oil is the most commonly used vegetable oil in the world and is found in many products we use or eat on a daily basis.

Read more: Palm oil: These 'green deserts' aren't so 'green'


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