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Since about the middle of March, the world’s average sea surface temperature has been warmer than ever in modern history—rising faster than climate forecasts and alarming scientists. The finding is not a good sign for marine life and human health.
Daily sea surface temperature
As sea ice shrinks in the Arctic Ocean, shipping routes have opened, making it possible for non-icebreaking vessels to make cheaper and faster journeys instead of going through the Panama or Suez Canals.
Map of the Arctic region showing shipping routes Northeast Passage, Northern Sea Route, and Northwest Passage, and bathymetry | Credit: Arctic Council
A deadly conflict in Sudan that started in mid-April as a power struggle between two generals shows no signs of slowing down. Fierce clashes in the capital Khartoum have created a humanitarian crisis, where residents trapped in their homes rely on tenuous cease-fires to access food, water, and medicine. Those who can flee, do.
Pirates of yore were imagined to be one-eyed, peg-legged ruffians with parrots on their shoulders who plundered defenseless ships for loot. But modern pirates—and they do exist—aren’t swashbucklers with a cutlass and sextant. They’re armed with AK-47s and GPS devices.
Royal Navy troops intercept two suspicious skiffs during anti-piracy operation in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia. A UMD study shows that rising ocean temperatures and falling fish populations in the area causes more crime at sea. | Credit: Alex Cave/Royal Navy Archive
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