The Beacon

Ocean News: June 2014 Marked the Hottest on Record, Microplastics Worse for Crabs than Thought, and More

A shore crab (Carcinus maenas) captured during an Oceana expedition to the Baltic Sea. (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Minguell)

- In 1997, nearly 4.8 million pieces of Legos spilled into the Atlantic when a container ship was hit by a massive wave. These Lego pieces—many of them sea-themed like octopus—are still washing up on beaches in the United Kingdom nearly 20 years after the spill. BBC News

- If last month felt extra hot and humid to you, you’re not alone: NOAA scientists say June 2014 was hottest on record since they started taking measurements 130 years ago. It surpassed the previous record set in June 1998. The Weather Channel

- Microplastics may be even worse for crabs and other marine life than previously thought. A new study found that crabs ingest microplastics in their respiratory systems, and that any crustacean, fish, or mollusk with gills is at risk for lodging microplastics in their respiratory systems, too. Science News

- New research shows that oceans are vital for the possibility of alien life on other planets. Because oceans play a significant role in climate control, the presence of an ocean would be needed to control temperatures so that they’re hospitable for life. Live Science


- Since the Obama Administration gave the green light to oil and gas exploration off the Atlantic Coast on Friday, many conservation groups, lawmakers, and environmentalists have responded in outrage. Grist called the move “an illustration of one of Obama’s biggest failures on climate change,” and broke down the decision into four easy steps of understanding why it’s the wrong move. Grist

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