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A controversial comeback for a highly prized tuna

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — On a drizzling summer afternoon in South Portland, marine biologist Walt Golet is helping attach a quarter-ton Atlantic bluefin tuna to a heavy crane so it can be weighed as part of New England’s premier tournament for the giant fish. And this year’s derby is different than many in the past and there are far more tuna.

Cold, dry climate shifts linked to Neanderthal disappearance

NEW YORK — Ancient periods of cold and dry climate helped our species replace Neanderthals in Europe, a study suggests.

Researchers found that such cold periods coincided with an apparent disappearance of our evolutionary cousins in different parts of the continent, followed by the appearance of our species, Homo sapiens.

New satellite will bounce light off air to measure winds

BERLIN — Whichever way the wind blows, a new satellite launched Wednesday will be watching it.

The Aeolus satellite will be the first to directly measure wind speeds and directions all over the globe, allowing scientists to improve worldwide weather forecasts.

“This has not been done before from space,” said project scientist Anne Grete Straume of the European Space Agency.

Bat signal: Fireflies’ glow alerts bats they taste awful

WASHINGTON — A new study finds that fireflies flash not just for survival, not just sex.

Scientists already know that lightning bugs used their signature blinking glow to find a mate, but they suspected something else was going on. Boise State University researchers found it also keeps them from being eaten by bats.

They published a study in Wednesday’s Science Advances.

Climate change possible cause of bird species decline

LAS VEGAS — Climate change could be to blame for the collapse of bird populations in the desert along the Nevada-California border, scientists said.

The number of bird species has fallen by an average of 43 per cent over the past century at survey sites across an area larger than New York state, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

Science Says: Hotter weather turbocharges US West wildfires

As temperatures rise in the U.S. West, so do the flames.

The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hottest temperatures, an Associated Press analysis of fire and weather data found. As human-caused climate change has warmed the world over the past 35 years, the land consumed by flames has more than doubled.

Endangered Green, Loggerhead turtles make comeback in Cyprus

LARA BEACH, Cyprus — For these ancient reptiles, a stretch of beach on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been their home for thousands of years.

Against the setting sun, the tiny turtles that have just hatched on Lara Beach strain against the surf to reach the Mediterranean Sea and embark on their life’s journey.