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Koalas Use the Power of Hugs to Survive Extreme Heat

Hey, science? Call them "cool"alas. You're welcome.

A study published today is giving away all of koalas' secrets for staying cool in warmer climes: according to new findings in Biology Letters, the little cutie pies hug trees to beat the heat. Phew, good thing their mode of self-preservation isn't endangered by human activity! I was worried for a second!

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Google’s Impossibly Cool Global Forest Watch Gives You A Front Seat To Tree Murders

This will do for environmentalism what Google Earth did for spying.

If a tree falls in the forest, thanks to Google, everyone will hear it now--or at least watch it happen in near real-time from their computer screens. Global Forest Watch is an anxiety inducing new website that allows you to monitor logging and burning of the world's forests using images from NASA satellites. The Lorax would be proud.

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The Littlest Extinction: Amazon Deforestation Wipes Out Microbial Communities, Too

Deforestation can wipe out trees and cause habitat loss that leads to the extinction of animals like birds and mammals. Some of the impacts of massive, sudden tree loss in places like the Amazon, though, may have been too small to notice until now. Reporting this week in the journalĀ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an international team of researchers found that deforestation can profoundly change the makeup of bacteria in soil, wiping out microbial communities that help to make ecosystems unique.

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This Summer’s Drought Could Be the New Normal. I Hope You Didn’t Like Trees!

Remember how we had all those droughts all over the country last summer, and all over the world the summers before that? Well, it turns out rather than "economically crippling worldwide drought," you may just want to start referring to that situation by its new name: "Summer." According to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change, the droughts of the last several years could just be the new normal if climate change predictions pan out. If that's the case, say researchers, forests could become a thing of the past. So, y'know, if those are your thing, I guess take a picture now?

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