Alaska judge blocks Trump on Arctic and Atlantic drilling

Green groups celebrate, justice department declines comment over reversal of April 2017 executive order against Obama protections Donald Trump exceeded his authority when he reversed bans on 2017 executive order reversing the drilling bans. At issue in the case was the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Acting assistant US attorney general Jeffrey Wood said in a hearing before Gleason in November environmental groups were misinterpreting the intent of the law written in 1953. He said it is meant to be flexible and sensible and not intended to bind one president with decisions made by another when determining offshore stewardship as needs and realities change over time. In 2015, Obama halted exploration in coastal areas of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas …

Deadly skin-eating fungal disease wipes out 90 amphibian species in 50 years

Study reveals extent of chytrid fungus and how devastating it has been for frog, toad and salamander species worldwide A deadly disease that wiped out global populations of amphibians led to the decline of 500 species in the past 50 years, including 90 extinctions, scientists say. A global research effort, led by the Australian National University, has for the first time quantified the worldwide impact of chytridiomycosis, or chytrid fungus, a fungal disease that eats away at the skin of amphibians. The disease was first discovered in 1998 by researchers at James Cook University in Queensland investigating the cause of mysterious, mass amphibian deaths. Chytridiomycosis is caused by two fungal species, both of which are likely to have originated in …