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Mystery Freshwater Mussel Die-off 
Across North America, freshwater mussels are dying in hordes. The reasons are unclear, despite investigations and testing. The services mussels perform in freshwater ecosystems are vital, their loss could wreak destruction on water quality and biodiversity. The Smithsonian elaborates: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scientists-dont-know-why-freshwater-mussels-are-dying-across-north-america-180973802/

Forest Fragmentation Endangers Wildlife 
As development sprawls across the landscape, once-large, contiguous forests are getting carved into smaller and more disconnected fragments. This can be a death sentence for sensitive species. The New York Times examines the situation: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/science/forests-fragmentation-wildlife.html

Wildfire Feedback Loop Modeling 
Researchers are developing powerful new software tools to predict the behavior of wildfires. This stands to have substantial benefits for fire fighting safety and effectiveness. Ars Technica explains the developments: https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/scientists-model-dynamic-feedback-loop-that-fuels-the-spread-of-wildfires/

National Parks Face Invasive Species Crisis 
Invasive animal species are creating big problems in many of our national parks. From pythons, to feral pigs, to lake trout, the invaders are decimating native populations and devastating ecosystems. The BBC has a report: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50633580

West Coast Ocean Acidifying Twice as Fast 
The marine environment on the West Coast of the U.S. is experiencing much more rapid acidification than the world at large. This could have dramatic impacts on sea life and commercial fisheries. The Oregonian looks at the story: https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2019/12/ocean-waters-off-west-coast-acidifying-at-twice-the-rate-of-global-average-noaa-researcher-finds.html