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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

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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...

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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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