Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is home to 200 endangered mountain gorillas, about a quarter of the world's total. In recent months, a new insurgent group has taken over gorilla habitat. Despite it all, the gorilla population has been rising.
Ice covering the Arctic Ocean is at its lowest levels in decades, or quite possibly centuries. The new low has smashed the previous record, set in 2007. Scientists blame a long-term warming trend in the Arctic, and say that the change could alter weather patterns throughout North America and Europe.
Though summer melting is a yearly occurrence in the Arctic sea, this year set a new benchmark: Three-fourths of the ice melted away. Scientists say the effects of this unprecedented melting are likely to result in extreme weather changes throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Melissa Block talks to Jack Crayon, an environmental scientist at California's Department of Fish and Game, about odd smells that have invaded a large area in Southern California. He says it smells like the gases from the Salton Sea.
More sea ice in the Arctic Ocean melted in the summer of 2012 than at any time since scientists began tracking the phenomenon. NPR science correspondent Richard Harris discusses how the historic loss of ice cover could affect weather conditions around the world.
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