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12/31/2013 11:44 am ET

The 10 Worst Climate Stories Of 2013

There was some good climate news in 2013. President Barack Obama outlined a new plan to address rising emissions in a major address at Georgetown University in June. The EPA rolled out the first-ever standards for emissions from power plants in September. And both the US Department of Treasury and the Export-Import Bank announced that they will no longer fund coal-fired power plants abroad unless they have pollution controls.

But for the most part, the climate news this year was bad. Really bad. Like, "Seriously, come on, THIS IS TERRIBLE you guys." Here are the ten worst climate stories of 2013, in no particular order--from killer hornets to killer jellyfish, and everything in between.

  • Atmospheric CO2 Passed 400 ppm
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
    In May, federal scientists announced that worldwide levels of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas that causes global warming, hit a milestone, reaching an amount never before encountered by humans. Carbon dioxide was measured at 400 parts per million at the oldest monitoring station in Hawaii, which sets the global benchmark. The last time the worldwide carbon level was probably that high was about 2 million years ago, said Pieter Tans of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Giant, Killer Asian Hornets Are Spreading
    Giant Asian hornets in China's Shaanxi province have killed at least 42 people and injured another 1,675, as of October. Scientists say that climate change is fueling a surge in the hornet population.
  • Record-Setting Heat Hits China
    STR/AFP/Getty Images
    People take shelter from a record-setting heatwave in a government meeting center in Shaoxing, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on Aug. 10. The local government opened up the site for migrant workers and citizens as the temperatures topped 104 degrees Fahrenheit for days on end.
  • Arctic Summers Haven't Been This Hot In 44,000 Years
    AP/NOAA
    Average summer temperatures in the Canadian Arctic over the last century are the highest they've been in the last 44,000 years--and perhaps the highest in 120,000 years, according to research released in October. Scientists called the warming "unprecedented."
  • Shrimping Banned In Gulf Of Maine
    AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File
    Due primarily to overfishing and warming oceans, shrimp populations in northern New England have declined so quickly that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission decided in early December to ban all shrimp fishing for the 2014 season in order to allow the population to recover.
  • More Methane Than We Thought
    AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File
    The United States is spewing 50 percent more methane than official federal government estimates, according to research published in November. Methane is a heat-trapping gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In this June 15, 2005 file photo, methane gas from a landfill burns off a stack near the Washington Electric Cooperative power plant in Coventry, Vt.
  • Antarctica Loses 8 Manhattans
    NASA images show a massive iceberg floating away from Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier. The 270-square-mile chunk broke away in July.
  • Jellyfish Are Taking Over
    WikiMedia.
    Researchers say that sewage discharge, plastics pollution, overfishing and climate change are creating ideal conditions for jellyfish. The threat of jellyfish stings is a growing public health concern.
  • THIS JUST IN: Climate Change Still Not Looking Good
    AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini
    The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that it is "extremely likely" that human activity is the dominant cause of global warming. The report also raised the IPCC's projections for sea level rise upward to between 10 and 32 inches by 2100. Indian Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Kumar Pachauri briefs the media during a press conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Tick Tick Tick Boom
    AP Photo/Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
    Minnesota ended its annual moose hunt early this year, due to a rapid decline in the state's moose population. Milder winter temperatures are causing a boom in ticks, which are stressing the moose. Researchers found a single moose carrying as many as 120,000 ticks. This undated photo provided by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department shows a moose with hair loss on its back. Moose often scrape off their fur in an effort to rub off the ticks that torment them.

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