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With the passing of October, Planet Experts looks back on the stories we ran this month and decides which were the most important to the environment, and to the planet as a whole. We’ve shared the five best environmental stories of October 2015, the five stupidest, the four coolest and our two favorite, but now it’s time to get into the spirit of the month and talk about spooky things.

These are the four scariest stories we reported in October. Except these aren’t your garden-variety “ooh, goblins and ghosts” scares, these are looming, existential threats to the human race, in which the goblins are us and the ghosts are what we may be.

Yeah, let that one ferment in your skull for a while.

4) Krill Are Being Overfished

A Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica). (Photo Credit: Øystein Paulsen - MAR-ECO)

A Northern krill (Meganyctiphanes norvegica). (Photo Credit: Øystein Paulsen – MAR-ECO)

We know, we know, this one sounds silly. Krill are one of the most abundant life forms on this planet, and they feed multitudes of ocean creatures. But that’s exactly why we should leave them alone. See, krill were already being served up as a main ingredient in pet food, but now they’ve become a popular form of omega-3 in human supplements. Now, ocean warming and overfishing are reducing the ocean’s supply of krill, and that will send major ripples up the food chain. No more krill is bad for the planet, and at this rate they’ll be gone by the end of this century. Read More

3) California Solar Is in Trouble

saverooftopsolarThe Golden State is supposed to be a bastion of progressive policies: Green energy, pollution regulation, coastal awareness, etc. It’s also one of the top places in the US for rooftop solar. At least it is now. Very soon, California’s top utilities may end net metering as Californians know it, which would seriously wreck a major reason to install solar panels in the first place. Read this article to learn the facts of California’s upcoming anti-solar policies and what you can do to stop it. Read More

2) We’ve Entered a New Era of Hurricanes

Hurricane Patricia as it approached Mexico's west coast on Friday morning. (Image Credit: NOAA/NASA)

Hurricane Patricia as it approached Mexico’s west coast. (Image Credit: NOAA/NASA)

Mercifully, the casualties for Hurricane Patricia were few. Mexico’s mountains downgraded the monster to a Category 2 storm, and it dissipated almost as quickly as it formed. The real terror of Patricia is what it bodes for the future. In less than a week, it grew into the strongest hurricane ever measured in the Western Hemisphere, and it was able to do so because the ocean is a different place than it was even a few years ago. It’s much warmer, and the amount of warm water goes deeper than it ever has before. Yes, we escaped from Hurricane Patricia relatively unscathed, but we’ve entered a new era of hurricanes, ones that scientists predict will grow more intense by the year. Read More

1) Bacon Causes Cancer, and So Does Ham and Sausage and…

An Arby’s Brown Sugar Bacon & Roast Beef Sandwich. (Photo Credit: Flickr)

An Arby’s Brown Sugar Bacon & Roast Beef Sandwich. (Photo Credit: Flickr)

If you eat meat, this was undoubtedly the scariest story we’ve ever reported. On Monday, the World Health Organization announced their findings on the health effects of eating processed meat. In a word, it was bad. After poring over 800 studies that examined the associations between cancer and diet, the WHO concluded that processed meat is “carcinogenic to humans,” ranking it in the same category as cigarettes and plutonium. Processed meat includes hot dogs, ham, bacon, salami and several more foods, and if you eat them regularly, you have a much higher chance of contracting colon cancer. Also (in case you thought this news couldn’t get any worse), red meat is only slightly less bad for you. Read More

For more of the top stories of October 2015, check out these lists:

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