marine life

Hydropower is a green-energy darling. But it comes with tremendous costs.

In FERN’s latest story, published with Truthdig, reporter Christopher Ketcham unpacks the extensive human and environmental costs of hydroelectricity, even as government regulators, environmental journalists, climate academics, and green-grid design wizards celebrate it as a key piece of our sustainable energy strategy.

Climate change means less oxygen in seawater, shifts in marine populations

Thanks to climate change, "marine waters, even far out in the high seas, are losing oxygen ... upending where and how sea creatures live," says National Geographic, citing a study in the journal Science. "The authors conclude that it’s emptying vast regions of the ocean, changing what and where creatures live and eat, threatening to shrink fish populations and individual fish, and making overfishing more likely."

Coca-Cola worries environmentalists with surge in plastic bottle output

Coca-Cola upped its production of plastic drink bottles by more than a billion between 2015 and 2016, bringing the total number of bottles manufactured during that time to 110 billion, according to an analysis by Greenpeace. Coca-Cola, which is responsible for more plastic bottles than any other company, said in July that it intended to increase the amount of recycled plastic in its bottles to 50 percent by 2020, reports The Guardian.

West Coast waters threatened by acidic hot spots

The waters off the U.S. Pacific Coast are suffering from ocean acidification “hot spots,” says a new study of 600 miles of coastline. The study recorded some of the lowest pH levels ever found in surface water.

NOAA reports lower commercial fishing profits

U.S. commercial fishing profits and jobs were down in 2015, due mostly to environmental issues, says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association in its Fisheries Economics of the United States report. Earnings for 2016 have not yet been released.

Bluefin tuna stocks stagger under Japanese onslaught

Already down to 2 percent of their historic high, Pacific Bluefin tuna are struggling to rebuild their population as Japanese fishermen reach their annual quota two months early — with no plans to slow down the catch, reports The Guardian.

Great Barrier Reef in ‘terminal’ stages

Back-to-back coral bleachings in 2016 and 2017 have left only the southern third of the Great Barrier Reef untouched, and experts are predicting the death of the entire ecosystem.