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The Associated Press
AP Top Science News at 6:39 p.m. EST

Earth sets hottest year record for third-straight time,
AP Photo
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Earth sizzled to a third-straight record hot year in 2016, with scientists mostly blaming man-made global warming with help from a natural El Nino that's now gone....

Finally, an explanation of strange African 'fairy circles'?
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The forces behind the mysterious "fairy circles" that dot a desert in southern Africa do not appear to be supernatural, but they are intricate and complex....

Study finds global warming could steal postcard-perfect days
AP Photo
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Global warming is going to steal away some of those postcard-perfect weather days in the future, according to a first-of-its-kind projection of nice weather....





World's primates facing extinction crisis, new report says
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Gorillas, monkeys, lemurs and other primates are in danger of becoming extinct, and scientists say it's our fault that our closest living relatives are in trouble, a new international study warns....

In break with Trump, EPA pick says climate change isn't hoax
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that climate change is real, breaking with both the president-elect and his own past statements....

Deadly waves sweep father, son out to ocean, show dangers
SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- One moment, Jayson Thomas was on the Oregon beach with his 3-year-old son. The next, they were gone, swept away by a "sneaker wave" as his wife looked on....

GOP targets landmark Endangered Species Act for big changes
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- In control of Congress and soon the White House, Republicans are readying plans to roll back the influence of the Endangered Species Act, one of the government's most powerful conservation tools, after decades of complaints that it hinders drilling, logging and other activities....

Australia defends end of MH370 hunt; investigation continues
SYDNEY (AP) -- Australian officials defended their suspension of the fruitless deep-sea sonar search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, insisting on Wednesday that the enormous costs involved played no role in their decision to halt the nearly three-year hunt....

Gene Cernan, last astronaut to walk on the moon, dies at 82
HOUSTON (AP) -- Astronaut Gene Cernan traced his only child's initials in the dust of the lunar surface. Then he climbed into the lunar module for the ride home, becoming the last person to walk on the moon....

States argue in court for more say over endangered species
DENVER (AP) -- The federal government asked an appeals court Wednesday to overturn an order that bars the release of endangered wolves in New Mexico without the state's permission, a skirmish in a broader battle over states' rights and the Endangered Species Act....