March 29, 1912: Robert Falcon Scott dies on his return from a bitterly disappointing expedition to the South Pole. Scott, a British Royal Navy officer had led a team of four others on what they thought was the first-ever visit to the pole. But they learned they were beaten by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. All of Scott’s team perished on the return trip.
March 29, 1956: The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet ("Mr. GO") is authorized by Congress. The canal, which leads from New Orleans to the Gulf of Mexico, is intended to provide flood relief and a shipping shortcut. But in 2005, Mr. GO (at right) becomes an expressway for Hurricane Katrina's storm surge waters, and is a prime culprit in the destruction of New Orleans neighborhoods.
March 29, 2007: A study in the journal Science shows what can happen when the largest predators are removed from the ecosystem: The sharp decline in large shark species like hammerheads, tiger and bull sharks along the U.S. east coast has prompted a population explosion in the species they eat. Cownose rays and other prey species exploded in population. And the shellfish eaten by the rays, including oysters and scallops, have sharply declined.
March 29, 2012: Two separate peer-reviewed studies suggest that neonicotinoids, a widely-used family of pesticides, may be at least partly responsible for the dramatic collapse of bee populations. Beekeepers’ groups call for wider investigation of the pesticides, while the chemicals’ manufacturers say the studies are flawed.
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