Nurdles: the worst toxic waste you’ve probably never heard of – the Guardian

Nurdles - plastic "gravel" (by Barbara Agnew CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr)

Excerpts:

Billions of these tiny plastic pellets are floating in the ocean, causing as much damage as oil spills, yet they are still not classified as hazardous…

When the X-Press Pearl container ship caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean in May, Sri Lanka was terrified that the vessel’s 350 tonnes of heavy fuel oil would spill into the ocean, causing an environmental disaster for the country’s pristine coral reefs and fishing industry.

Classified by the UN as Sri Lanka’s “worst maritime disaster”, the biggest impact was not caused by the heavy fuel oil. Nor was it the hazardous chemicals on board, which included nitric acid, caustic soda and methanol. The most “significant” harm, according to the UN, came from the spillage of 87 containers full of lentil-sized plastic pellets: nurdles…

Endangered sea turtles found on Louisiana islands for first time in 75 years – the Guardian

Kemp's Ridley sea turtle (by Andy Wraithmell, Florida Fish and Wildlife CC BY-ND 2.0)

Excerpt:
For the first time in 75 years, hatchlings of the world’s smallest sea turtle species have been discovered on the Chandeleur Islands, a chain of barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of New Orleans.

The news was particularly uplifting for environmentalists because the hatchlings were Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, an endangered species that also happens to be the world’s smallest sea turtle. The turtles are predominantly found in the Gulf, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A Drop in the Ocean – CNN Interactive

Sauðárkrókur, Iceland © 2014 D. Shrestha Ross

Excerpts:

As the world experiences sea level rise, Iceland’s waters are falling — and flowing to the other side of the planet…

Where Iceland gets its name from is no mystery — around a tenth of the country is covered by glaciers. But the Arctic is experiencing the most dramatic temperature rise in the world, and as a result, Iceland is now losing around 10 billion tons of ice each year, according to NASA. At this rate, Iceland could be iceless by 2200….