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Oceans losing oxygen at unprecedented rate, experts warn

Sharks, tuna, marlin and other large fish at risk from spread of ‘dead zones’, say scientists

Oxygen in the oceans is being lost at an unprecedented rate, with “dead zones” proliferating and hundreds more areas showing oxygen dangerously depleted, as a result of the climate emergency and intensive farming, experts have warned.

Sharks, tuna, marlin and other large fish species were at particular risk, scientists said, with many vital ecosystems in danger of collapse. Dead zones – where oxygen is effectively absent – have quadrupled in extent in the last half-century, and there are also at least 700 areas where oxygen is at dangerously low levels, up from 45 when research was undertaken in the 1960s.

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Cutting air pollution ‘can prevent deaths within weeks’

Asthma and heart attacks fall rapidly and babies born healthier, review finds

Cutting air pollution can prevent deaths within weeks, according to scientists. They found the health benefits of clean air were “almost immediate and substantial” and stretched into the long term, saving billions of dollars.

The review examined the evidence for the reduction of illness after levels of toxic air were reduced. It showed dramatic reductions in asthma and children missing school, heart attacks and the number of small and premature babies.

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Measures to arrest nature's decline must be passed into law, say MEPs

Officials call for global targets on protection of land, oceans and wildlife to be subject to Paris-style legal framework

If humanity wants to reverse the widespread destruction of the natural world, biodiversity needs legal protection like the Paris agreement on climate change, members of the European parliament have said.

Action to halt biodiversity decline is based on voluntary commitments but, less than a year before a crucial UN biodiversity conference in China, MEPs pointed to the destruction of precious ecosystems and the more than 1m species facing extinction as evidence that the approach is failing.

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Biodiversity in 2020: the biggest threats and opportunities

Scientists and conservation professionals predict mosquito-killing fungi and a kelp crisis could be among the trends affecting living things next year

What are the biggest emerging opportunities and threats the coming year holds for efforts to conserve biodiversity? Nearly two dozen scientists, conservation professionals and future scanners recently came together to answer that question as part of an annual “horizon scan” led by Cambridge University conservation biologist William Sutherland.

The group narrowed a list of 89 issues to 15 emerging or anticipated trends that have a strong potential to benefit or harm living things but are not yet on the radar for most conservationists. Here are their top picks, published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

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BP boosts stake in solar firm amid clean energy plan for its offices

Oil and gas firm will buy new shares from startup Lighthouse BP for undisclosed price

BP has increased its stake in the British solar venture Lightsource BP as it prepares to strike a deal to power its offices with renewable energy from next year.

The companies announced plans to set up a 50:50 joint venture almost two years after BP made its return to the solar market by snapping up a 43% stake in Lightsource for £200m.

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