Kicking up a storm. Nature has published a major analysis which concludes that hurricanes are getting fiercer: “It’ll be pretty hard now for anyone to claim that cyclone activity has not increased,” says Judith Curry, an atmospheric researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, who was not involved in the study … “People should now stop saying ‘who cares, storm activity is just a few per cent up’,” says Curry. “It’s the strongest storms that matter most.” — Grist

19-square-mile ice sheet breaks loose in Canada. A chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada’s northern Arctic, another dramatic indication of how warmer temperatures are changing the polar frontier, scientists said Wednesday. — New York Times

World heritage status proposed for Iraqi marshlands. The ancient marshes of southeast Iraq — nearly drained during Saddam Hussein’s rule and partly restored since his fall — should be recognized as an ecologically and culturally significant World Heritage Site, the United Nations said. —  Yale Environment 360

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Artificial meadows and robot spiders reveal secret life of bees. Many animals learn to avoid being eaten by predators. Now ecologists have discovered that bumblebees can even learn to outwit colour-changing crab spiders. Bumblebees learn to avoid camouflaged predators by sacrificing foraging speed for predator detection, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London. — Science Daily

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