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A surfer at the 2018 Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o surf competition. Photo: Kelly Cestari/WSL via Getty Images

Climate change is warming the ocean and, in turn, transforming wave conditions. Surfers are on the front lines of these changes, and they're "pretty conflicted about what lies ahead," writes the Washington Post.

The bad news: Oceanographers warn that dying reefs will change how waves break, and that "rising sea levels could mean other swells roll right over reliable breaking points without ever 'tripping,' leaving the swells flat and surfers without waves."

The silver lining, if there is one: Warming oceans have created a "golden age" of big-wave surfing with bigger, more powerful waves. Axios' Andrew Freedman highlights a study published last month in the journal Science which found that globally, the oceans are becoming windier and more turbulent, although this is not occurring equally in each ocean basin. The greatest signal shown in the study, which used 33 years of observations from multiple satellites, buoys and other sources, is in the remote Southern Ocean.

The bottom line, according to big-wave surfing pioneer Laird Hamilton:

The ocean feels a little sick right now. We know it'll create bigger surf than we've ever had, but it could also create longer periods of no surf [and] make waves come from weird directions that don't hit reefs the same way. Overall, I don't think it’s great — not great for mankind and not great for surfers either.

Go deeper: Worried about climate change, college students question lifestyles

Go deeper

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

2 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.

3 hours ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.