1 Arctic sea ice reached an all-time minimum of 1.59 million square miles on September 16—a decrease of about one million square miles, or an area the size of Alaska and Texas combined. 2 Climate change may decrease locust plagues because the insects proliferate after cooler periods, when damper conditions create an environment more favorable for their eggs to grow. 

3 Japanese scientists have bred the very first see-through frog. They say the transparent amphibian will allow researchers and students to observe internal structures and organs without resorting to dissection.

4 Junk could hinder the recovery of California condors: Adults have been feeding their young metal springs, glass fragments, and other trash they find while scavenging.  

5 Counter to climate-model predictions, parts of the Amazon forest grew vigorously during a drought in 2005. Scientists are uncertain how the forest will respond to long-term droughts, but say it’s still vulnerable to deforestation and forest fires.

DNA profiling of meat sold in Korean shops between 1999 and 2003 revealed that endangered minke whales may be at increased risk—twice the number reported are sold for consumption.

7 If verified, the recent finding that a molecule in chlorofluorocarbons might not break down as rapidly as thought would mean that 60 percent of ozone depletion is due to an unknown mechanism.

8 Tankers and container ships pump 50 percent more CO2 into the atmosphere than previously thought; the shipping industry emits 1.2 billion tons—nearly twice the emissions of the aviation industry.

Issue 25

Sign up for Plenty's Weekly Newsletter