Earth news stories
The country is poised to cash in on one of its most valuable assets. But at what cost?
Related: Expert Warning: Current Conservation Efforts Won’t Save Tropical Forests
Forty of the world’s biggest companies assembled in Davos agreed on Monday to come up with cleaner ways to make and consume plastic as waste threatens the global eco-system, especially in oceans.
One of the most commonly used arguments against human-caused climate change is that Earth has experienced severe fluctuations in temperature over its 4.5-billion-year lifespan, so it doesn’t make sense to start freaking out about it now.
Alt: Earth Temperature Timeline, XKCD
It’s a new low point. The area of the world’s oceans covered by floating sea ice is the smallest recorded since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s. That means it is also probably the lowest it has been for thousands of years.
The latest observations from the US National Snow & Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, show how the ice extent has fallen to a new low this year (bright red trace in the graph below).
One of the major questions facing us today is how the present ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica will react to climate change. Simply put, the more we understand of the mechanisms that drove ice sheets to collapse in the past, the better we will be able to predict what will happen in the future.
Alt: Inception of the last ice age
In a world struggling to kick its addiction to fossil fuels and feed its growing appetite for energy, there’s one technology in development that almost sounds too good to be true: nuclear fusion.
Fracking creates noise at levels high enough to harm the health of people living nearby, according to the first peer-reviewed study to analyze the potential public health impacts of ambient noise related to fracking.
Washington State University researchers have developed a soy-based air filter that can capture toxic chemicals, such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde, which current air filters can’t.
The research could lead to better air purifiers, particularly in regions of the world that suffer from very poor air quality.
Bioengineers at The University of Nottingham are trialling how to use shrimp shells to make biodegradable shopping bags as a ‘green’ alternative to oil-based plastics, and as a new food packaging material to extend product shelf life.
Forget about oil or gas – you should be worrying about the less discussed but far more concerning fact that the world is running out of clean, drinkable water.
As a new year dawns, it is hard not to be dazzled by the current pace of technological change in food and agriculture. Only last month, news emerged of a crop spray with the potential to increase the starch content in wheat grains, allowing for yield gains of up to 20%. This development comes hot on the heels of major breakthroughs in gene-editing technologies – using a powerful tool known as Crispr – over the course of 2016.
Every year, the U.S. Army uses hundreds of thousands of rounds of bullets for training purposes. That means plenty of metallic waste—refuse that can take centuries to break down. But one day, that training trash could turn into environmental treasure.
Six years ago, Don Cameron, the general manager of Terranova Ranch, southwest of Fresno, Calif., did something that seemed kind of crazy.
In the distant future, America and Asia will collide – forming a new ‘mega continent’ called Amasia.
Computer simulations from Yale University researchers suggest that the continent will form in the far future, around 250 million years from now.
Extraordinary images captured in Canada have shown rare light pillars beaming up to the sky above the houses after a combination of sunshine and snow.
The pillars are caused when temperatures plummet so low that water molecules in the air freeze but remain stationary in vertical shafts.
Japanese scientists believe they have established the identity of a “missing element” within the Earth’s core.
They have been searching for the element for decades, believing it makes up a significant proportion of our planet’s centre, after iron and nickel.
From Nuna to Amasia, researchers are finding new clues to supercontinent comings and goings
Reconstructing supercontinents is like trying to assemble a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle after you’ve lost a bunch of the pieces and your dog has chewed up others.