Earth news stories

New technology will cut plug-in hybrid fuel consumption by one third
13th January 2017 | Earth, Tech

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have taken inspiration from biological evolution and the energy savings garnered by birds flying in formation to improve the efficiency of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) by more than 30 percent.

All Dutch Trains Now Run on 100% Wind Power
13th January 2017 | Earth, Tech

Initially, trains in the Netherlands were set to run entirely on renewable energy by 2018. However, it seems officials have been able to beat that goal by an entire year. As of the first of January this year, all public transport trains are being powered by renewable energy, namely from wind power.

Zero-emission boat prepares for round-the-world odyssey
13th January 2017 | Earth, Tech

The first self-sufficient boat powered only by emission-free energy will start a six-year trip around the world in the spring.

Energy Observer, a former multi-hull race boat converted into a green vessel equipped with solar panels, wind turbines and a hydrogen fuel cell system, will be powered by wind, the sun and self-generated hydrogen.

China to launch ‘environmental police’ force
11th January 2017 | | Earth

China has announced plans to set up an “environmental police” force tasked with enforcing pollution restrictions across the capital Beijing in a bid to improve the city’s notorious air quality.

The Arctic Is Getting Crazy
10th January 2017 | | Earth

Feedback loops between record Arctic temperatures and the jet stream may be altering our weather

Related: Scientists watch growing Antarctic crack but aren’t alarmed
Related: Waterworld—can we learn to live with flooding?

China Is Pumping Hundreds of Billions of Dollars Into New Renewable Energy Projects by 2020
8th January 2017 | | Earth

President-elect Donald Trump has called climate change a hoax created by the Chinese. The Chinese disagree—and are pumping billions of dollars’ worth of investments into green energy over the next three years.

Related: India’s double first in climate battle

Will 2017 be the year we get serious about sustainable food?
8th January 2017 | | Earth

The next few years could be pivotal for sustainable food in the realms of organic farming, sustainable fishing and plant based meat alternatives

Huge Antarctic iceberg poised to break away
8th January 2017 | | Earth

An iceberg expected to be one of the 10 largest ever recorded is ready to break away from Antarctica, scientists say.

A long-running rift in the Larson C ice shelf grew suddenly in December and now just 20km of ice is keeping the 5,000 sq km piece from floating away.

New Research Confirms That The “Global Warming Hiatus” Is a Myth
8th January 2017 | Earth

While the evidence supporting global warming is plentiful, those looking to deny it have had very few fact-based arguments in their arsenal. One of those arguments has been an apparent slowdown in the increase of ocean temperatures during a period around the turn of the century, from 1998 to 2012, which has become known as the “global warming hiatus.”

2016 Edges 1998 as Warmest Year on Record
8th January 2017 | | Earth

Globally, 2016 edged out 1998 by +0.02 C to become the warmest year in the 38-year satellite temperature record, according to scientists. Because the margin of error is about 0.10 C, this would technically be a statistical tie, with a higher probability that 2016 was warmer than 1998. The main difference was the extra warmth in the Northern Hemisphere in 2016 compared to 1998.

Study confirms steady warming of oceans for past 75 years
8th January 2017 | | Earth

Scientists have solved a puzzling break in continuity of ocean warming records that sparked much controversy after climate data was published in the journal Science in 2015.

Climate Model Suggests Collapse of Atlantic Circulation Is Possible
8th January 2017 | | Earth

The primary circulation pattern in the Atlantic is assumed to be stable by most scientists, but new simulation suggests collapse could happen if atmospheric greenhouse gases continue to increase

Alt: ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ could become a reality: Ocean currents may collapse in the ‘near future’ plunging the Northern hemisphere into an ice age, warn scientists

The Lost Ancestral Peanut Of The South Is Revived
5th January 2017 | | Earth

A tiny pink peanut is not a white rhinoceros. Nor is it a green turtle or a Bengal tiger. But until a few years ago the Carolina African runner peanut — at one time, the South’s most praised peanut, packed with flavor and rich with oil — was much like the rhinoceros and turtle and tiger. That is, it was nearly extinct.

Veggies with Vision: Do Plants See the World around Them?
5th January 2017 | | Earth

Don’t look now, but that tree may be watching you. Several lines of recent research suggest that plants are capable of vision—and may even possess something akin to an eye, albeit a very simple one.

Sustainable tuna fishing is bad for climate – here’s why
5th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth

What’s good for the ocean might be bad for the planet. Fishing boats that target specific species, leaving others free to swim away, use more fuel than vessels intent on simply scooping up all the fish in their vicinity.

Holy mackerel! Mystery as thousands of fish wash up on the Cornish coast for the second time in a month
4th January 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth

On December 4 locals came across stacks of dead mackerel and herring on Pentwean Beach and now more have been discovered by a dog walker on Marazion Beach which is 40 miles from the first location.

Researchers find roads shatter the Earth’s surface into 600,000 fragments
4th January 2017 | Earth

A new global map of roadless areas shows that the Earth’s surface is shattered by roads into more than 600,000 fragments. More than half of them are smaller than 1 km2. Roads have made it possible for humans to access almost every region but this comes at a very high cost ecologically to the planet’s natural world. Roads severely reduce the ability of ecosystems to function effectively and to provide us with vital services for our survival.

Related: Smart road planning could boost food production while protecting tropical forests

News stories covering the environment, plant life, and the Earth itself.