A giant clam and healthy coral reef on the east side of Palau. The coral reefs of Palau are part of a massive interconnected system that ties together Micronesia and the Western Pacific. Ian Shive/World Resources Institute hide caption

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Hundreds of supporters for and against a bill that would restrict collective bargaining rights of public employees fill the Ohio Statehouse rotunda on Thursday in Columbus. Terry Gilliam/AP hide caption

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Streets and homes close to Wimmera River flooded on Jan. 18, 2011, in Horsham, Australia. Residents and emergency crews sandbagged properties, and evacuations were ordered in the town in preparation for the worst flooding in more than 200 years. Researchers now have data that links global warming to specific weather events. Richard Kendall/Getty Images hide caption

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While a team of Russian scientists were drilling ice core samples from their Vostok base in Antarctica, new satellite imagery revealed the outline of a lake the size of New Jersey buried two miles underneath the ice. Scientists have been drilling through the ice and are now just 100 feet away from breaking into the third largest lake on the planet. Earth Observatory/NASA hide caption

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A study finds that plants in a vast area of northern California are bucking an uphill climate change trend. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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Though precipitation levels do vary region to region, when looked at globally, 2010 was also the wettest year on record. In Pakistan, makeshift camps popped up in areas ravaged by catastrophic flooding. Rizwan Tabassum/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Bill Reilly (left) and former Sen. Bob Graham, co-chairmen of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, announce the findings of the commission's final report Tuesday. The commission concluded that only "urgent reform" could prevent another environmental disaster like the blown-out Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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As the Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned last April, millions of barrels of oil were beginning to make their way out of the blown-out well underneath. U.S. Coast Guard/Getty Images hide caption

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This image, from a video feed from a remote submarine, shows BP's Macondo well leaking natural gas on May 12, 2010. A new study concludes that the vast quantity of methane gas that spewed from the well in the Gulf of Mexico was rapidly eaten by bacteria. BP PLC/AP hide caption

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The hallucinogenic mushroom Amanita muscaria. Harvard biologist Donald Pfister claims that both people and reindeer ate the mushrooms. "Reindeers flying -- are they flying, or are your senses telling you they're flying because you're hallucinating?" he says. John Tann/flickr hide caption

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Solar panels like these in England turn energy from the sun into electricity. But researchers are looking to capture the sun's energy to make liquid fuels for cars and trucks, by combining carbon dioxide, water and the chemical element cerium. Matt Cardy/Getty Images hide caption

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The 46-year-old research submarine, here just before a dive in the Gulf of Mexico in November, has made more than 4,600 ocean trips. Over the next year and a half it will be renovated. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

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A core sample from the seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico contains oily debris and dead organisms, including this worm. Richard Harris/NPR hide caption

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