Great Barrier Reef: a natural treasure born in Australia

Australia's Great Barrier Reef has lost half of its coral richness in the last 27 years.

Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science believe that the world's largest coral reef has accelerated the pace of damage, since 2006.

Coal and gas shipments, destructive starfish and climate change are the main threats to this natural treasure. Coal is one of Australia's top export earners and the state of Queensland is the country's largest coal-producer.

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Mars: water means surfing

Surfing in Mars might have been a possibility. NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving.

There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence - images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels - is the first of its kind. Imagery shows an alluvial fan of material washed down from the rim, streaked by many apparent channels, sitting uphill of the new finds.

The rounded shape of some stones in the conglomerate indicates long-distance transport from above the rim, where a channel named Peace Vallis feeds into the alluvial fan.

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Plastic bags: a threaten to the natural world

Plastic bags are losing the battle against Nature, with the precious help of world citizens and non-governmental organizations.

The plastic ban hype is spreading quickly, for the sake of Planet Earth and future generations. In San Francisco, Judge Teri L. Jackson confirmed the extension of the city ban on plastic checkout bags to all retail stores and restaurants.

The "Save the Plastic Bag Coalition", an association of plastic bag manufacturers and distributors brought suit to invalidate the law, arguing that the City had not properly complied with provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act and that the California Retail Food Code preempts the law because prohibitions on plastic bags for retail food facilities amount to a "health and sanitation standard."

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