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Watching the World

Watching the World


“The volume of ice in the summer is only a quarter of what it was 30 years ago,” says Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge, Britain. In 2012, some 50 ships made use of the Northern Sea Route that has opened up as a result of global warming.


Breast milk produced by mothers in the days following childbirth has been found to contain over 700 varieties of bacteria​—more than experts expected. Researchers are still working to determine the beneficial biological function of these bacteria in the newborn’s digestive and immune systems.


In a simulated-driving study conducted by British scientists, drivers suffering from the common cold had slower reaction times than alcohol-impaired drivers.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Africa is undergoing what some call an “unprecedented” slaughter of tens of thousands of elephants every year for their ivory. In one incident, several elephants were shot in the top of the head, apparently from a helicopter.


The Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its live coral over the past 27 years. Scientists blame most of the damage on tropical cyclones, infestation of crown-of-thorns starfish [Acanthaster planci], and coral bleaching triggered by higher ocean temperatures.