Great Barrier Reef: the worst bleaching event ever hits the northern region | Photo: Arc

Marine scientists have concluded that the worst bleaching event ever recorded on Australia's Great Barrier Reef killed 67 percent of its shallow-water corals in the past nine months.

The extreme underwater heatwave of 2015/2016 affected a 435-mile (700 kilometers) swath of corals in the northern third of the Reef, especially around Lizard Island. The researchers believe that if climate change continues, the affected area will increase.

"Most of the losses in 2016 have occurred in the northern, most pristine part of the Reef. This region escaped with minor damage in two earlier bleaching events in 1998 and 2002, but this time around it has been badly affected," notes Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

Bathymetry: it allows us to understand why the North Shore of Oahu has so many great surf breaks | Illustration: University of Hawaii

The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) launched the Undersea Feature Names Gazetteer, an online index/dictionary for the bathymetric world.

Everyone is invited to propose names for new features. After being submitted to GEBCO, the names are analyzed, compared, and selected in an annual meeting.

A new name should have two terms: a specific expression/word and a generic expression/word. The specific term should relate to nearby onshore or offshore features, a maritime researcher or explore, or a historic ship.

Plastic bags: banned from California's supermarkets

The citizens of California have decided to keep the ban on single-use plastic shopping bags in the state.

The results of the referendum vote held on the 8th November reveal that the majority of Californians - 52 percent - want to move towards a future without plastics in their daily lives. Californians throw away 14 billion plastic bags every year.

Despite the attempts from the plastic bag industry to overturn the ban, Proposition 67 was approved, and the 2014 law that puts an end to thin plastic bags in large grocery stores and supermarkets will continue valid.