Wildfires In The Hotter West Are Bigger, More Frequent And Longer

Wildfires In The Hotter West Are Bigger, More Frequent And LongerDramatic images of out-of-control wildfires in western North American forests have appeared on our television and computer screens with increasing regularity in recent decades, while costs of fire suppression have soared.

Middle East Searing Heat May Spark Climate Refugees

The rising sun is partially obscured by a dawn dust storm in Iraq. Image: Elliott Plack via FlickrTemperatures in the Middle East and North Africa could reach unbearably high levels that would make some regions uninhabitable and increase the pressures of climate refugees.

Here's Why 2016 Is Likely To Be The World's Hottest Year

Here's Why 2016 Is Likely To Be The World's Hottest YearWe’re not even halfway through the year but already you may have heard talk of 2016 being the hottest on record. But how can scientists be so sure we’re going to beat the previous record, set just last year?

Sea-level Rise Has Claimed Five Whole Islands In The Pacific

Sea-level Rise Has Claimed Five Whole Islands In The PacificSea-level rise, erosion and coastal flooding are some of the greatest challenges facing humanity from climate change.

Climate Change Solutions At The Other End

An estimated 12% of the gross energy cows get from feed is lost in gusts of methane gas. Image: US Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Scientists have found a way to increase the energy cows take in from feed, while reducing the vast amounts of the greenhouse gas methane they pump out of the other end.

Saving the Planet is More Than Just Switching to Renewables

Photo credit: Bush Philosopher - Dave Clarke via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND. Among climate change activists, solutions usually center on a transition to renewable energy. There may be differences over whether this would be best accomplished by a carbon tax, bigger subsidies for wind and solar power, divestment from fossil fuel companies

How We Can Get Even More Energy From The Sun

Solar panels on a Walmart roof, Mountain View, California. Walmart/Flickr, CC BYGlobal demand for energy is increasing by the hour as developing countries move toward industrialization. Experts estimate that by the year 2050, worldwide demand for electricity may reach 30 terawatts (TW). For perspective, one terawatt is roughly equal to the power of 1.3 billion horses.

El Niño's Heat Has Made These Coral Reefs Into Ghost Towns

The Coming Summer Swelters Will Be No Joy For The US

Temperatures in the US could become too hot to handle. Image: Marcos Vasconcelos via FlickrScientists warn that the current pleasures of warmer weather will pall for US citizens as climate change brings extreme temperature rises and unhealthy levels of atmospheric ozone.

Will North Americans Care About Climate As The Weather Gets Nicer?

Will We Care About Climate As The Weather Gets Nicer?"Weather patterns in recent decades have been a poor source of motivation for Americans to demand policies to combat the climate change problem," says Megan Mullin. "But without serious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, year-round climates ultimately will become much less pleasant."

Three Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Helping To Save The World

Image by NASA’s EarthOne of the places machine learning is turning out to be the most beneficial is in the environmental sciences, which have generated huge amounts of information from monitoring Earth’s various systems — underground aquifers, the warming climate or animal migration, for example.

Scientists See The Future In Our Natural Resources

Research chemists in Sweden have found a way of making windows from wood. Image: Brett Jordan via Flickr

From creating transparent wood for solar panels or windows to turning carbon dioxide and plant waste into plastic bottles, scientists are finding ingenious ways to sidestep fossil fuels.

How Emissions Cuts Boost Health and Wealth

How Emissions Cuts Boost Health and WealthIt’s not just the planet that benefits from reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that intensify global warming.

Shrimps Are Sounding The Ocean Acidity Alarm

The snapping shrimp is the noisiest marine creature in coastal ecosystems. Image: Tullio Ross/University of AdelaideThe effect of the sea absorbing increased carbon dioxide in the air has damaging consequences for the noisy snapping shrimp and marine life in coastal rock pools.

Investors Are Warned To Forget Fossil Fuels

 Hope for the future at a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, against fossil fuel subsidies. Image: theverb.org via FlickrHistoric change heralded as investors are told they face losing their money if they continue to back the fossil fuel industry that is causing disastrous global warming.

Wasted Food Is A Heavy Burden On Our Climate

About one-third of all food produced never reaches a plate. Image: Taz via FlickrAs obesity levels soar, cutting the vast amount of food we waste could have a major impact on reducing the effects of climate change, as well as alleviating world hunger.

There Are Efficient Answers To Climate Concerns

Energy savings and power from wind and solar sources could be greater than from all imported fossil fuels. Image:Gerry Machen via FlickrNew research by the European Commission suggests that energy efficiency can become a “niche” market that will attract investors away from fossil fuels.

Will The Tesla Model 3 Recharge The U.S. Electric Vehicle Market?

Will The Tesla Model 3 Recharge The U.S. Electric Vehicle Market?Few product launches in recent memory have captured as much attention as last week’s unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle (EV), Tesla’s first vehicle pitched at the mass market.

Burning Fossil Fuels Is Responsible For Most Sea-level Rise Since 1970

sea level rise 4 12Global average sea level has risen by about 17 cm between 1900 and 2005. This is a much faster rate than in the previous 3,000 years. The sea level changes for several reasons, including rising temperatures as fossil fuel

We Keep Flushing Valuable Thermal Energy Down The Drain

We Keep Flushing Valuable Thermal Energy Down The DrainEvery time you flush your toilet or drain the bath, you’re losing something surprisingly valuable: heat. It takes a lot of energy to warm up the water in the first place, and vast amounts of this energy simply disappear down and is lost in the environment.

Graywater Recycling Is An Excellent Strategy For Drought

Garden irrigated with graywater and rainwater, Los Angeles. Jeremy Levine/Flickr, CC BYMany regions of the United States are struggling with water shortages. Large areas of the West are contending with moderate to severe drought, while California is now in the fifth year of one of the most extreme droughts in its history. Even non-arid regions, such as the Southeast, are not exempt from water shortages.

Science Grapples With The Climate Conundrums

Rolling grasslands in the Continental Divide wilderness study area of New Mexico. Image: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

New research illustrates that reactions of people, plants and animals to the changing climate are a key factor in unravelling the complexities of global warming.

How We Predict When Antarctica's Melting Ice Sheets Will Flood The Seas

The Totten Glacier calving front. Esmee van Wijk/CSIROAntarctica is already feeling the heat of climate change, with rapid melting and retreat of glaciers over recent decades. Ice mass loss from Antarctica and Greenland contributes about 20% to the current rate of global sea level rise.

Asia Is Losing Its Appetite For Coal

Coal mining in India, the world’s second biggest consumer of the fuel. Image: TripodStories-AB via Wikimedia CommonsMany hundreds of planned coal-fired power plants in Asia will probably be shelved as economies slow and climate change and air pollution worsen.

The US Faces A Future Of Floods And Climate Refugees

Thousands of people lost their homes in floods that devastated New Orleans in 2005. Image: Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA via Wikimedia CommonsNew research warns that more than 13 million American citizens could be at risk of being forced to move away from vulnerable coastal zones because of sea level rise.

February's Global Temperature Spike Is A Wake-up Call

miami beach floodingGlobal temperatures for February showed a disturbing and unprecedented upward spike. It was 1.35℃ warmer than the average February during the usual baseline period of 1951-1980, according to NASA data.

The Farm That Grows Climate Solutions

The Farm That Grows Climate SolutionsHigh in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico, a small cooperative is “farming carbon” — practicing agriculture in a way that fights climate change while simultaneously meeting human needs.

Drought Now Threatens Virtually All U.S. Forests

Drought Now Threatens Virtually All U.S. Forests"While the effects have been most pronounced in the West, our analysis shows virtually all US forests are now experiencing change and are vulnerable to future declines," says James Clark.

What California Can Learn From Australia’s 15-year Drought

What California Can Learn From Australia’s 15-year DroughtCalifornia has experienced, over the past few years, its most severe drought on record. In response to worsening conditions, Governor Jerry Brown announced the first ever statewide mandatory reduction in urban water use in April 2015. This calls on Californians

Six Burning Questions For Climate Science To Answer

Six Burning Questions For Climate Science To AnswerMuch has been written about the challenge of achieving the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement, which calls for global warming to be held well below 2℃ and ideally within 1.5℃ of pre-industrial temperatures.

Is Nuclear Power Our Energy Future Or A Dinosaur In A Death Spiral?

Construction of a new reactor at Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant in Eurajoki, Finland, is nine years behind schedule and more than $US5 billion over budget. Photo courtesy of Teollisuuden Voima OyNuclear power is dead. Long live nuclear power. Nuclear power is the only way forward. Nuclear power is a red herring. Nuclear power is too dangerous. Nuclear power is the safest power source around. Nuclear is nothing. Nuclear is everything.

Why Coral Island Hotspots Exist In An Oceanic Desert

Productivity hotspots in an otherwise nutrient-poor ocean. High abundances of plankton-eating fish on an Indo-Pacific coral reef. Zafer Kizilkaya, CC BY-SAIt was Charles Darwin, almost 200 years ago, who first asked how it could be that coral reefs could flourish in relatively barren parts of the Pacific Ocean. This conundrum subsequently became known as Darwin’s Paradox.

Better Water Use Can Cut The Global Food Gap

An irrigation system on a pumpkin patch in a semi-arid area of New Mexico in southwestern US. Image: Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia CommonsScientists say that forecasts of a world food shortage need not prove as disastrous as previously thought if humans learn to use water more effectively.

Why We Need to Keep 80 Percent of Fossil Fuels in the Ground

Why We Need to Keep 80 Percent of Fossil Fuels in the GroundPhysics can impose a bracing clarity on the normally murky world of politics. It can make things simple. Not easy, but simple. We have to attack this problem from both ends, going after supply as well as demand.

Why Some Animals And Plants Will Thrive Under Climate Change

 Stick to grasslands, ground squirrel. Vince Smith, CC BYIt’s mid-February and along Britain’s south coast gilt-head bream are drifting from the open sea into the estuaries. Meanwhile, thousands of little egrets are preparing to fly to continental Europe for breeding season, though a few hundred

The Past Provides A Lesson Of How Ice Sheets Collapse

The Past Provides A Lesson Of How Ice Sheets CollapseAntarctica and Greenland may be two of the most remote places on Earth but what happens in both these vast landscapes can significantly impact on human activity further afield.

A Small Island In The Indian Ocean Offers Big Lessons On Clean Power

A Small Island In The Indian Ocean Offers Big Lessons On Clean PowerAs the sun sets on the small Indonesian island of Sumba, Danga Beru Haba begins weaving under the glow of a single incandescent lightbulb, the only one in her home. Although she is tired from working dawn to dusk in the fields surrounding her village of Kampung Kalihi, the sarong she is weaving to sell locally will provide extra...

What Is The Best Way To Protect Us From Climate Change?

What Is The Best Way To Protect Us From Climate Change? When we think about adapting humanity to the challenges of climate change, it’s tempting to reach for technological solutions. We talk about seeding our oceans and clouds with compounds designed to trigger rain or increasing carbon uptake. We talk about 

Utilities, Solar Energy and The Fight For Your Roof

Utilities, Solar Energy And The Fight For Your RoofBy many accounts, the spread of solar power is unstoppable. Costs continue to fall at a blistering pace, solutions to give consumers a solar-powered home without needing to connect to the grid for back-up power are emerging, and even the

And Now For Some Good News About Climate Change

 Dr. Letcher in a 15-year-old secondary forest in Costa Rica. Susan G. LetcherWhen you cut and burn a tropical forest, you’re left with a barren plain of cracked red mud, incapable of supporting life – the opposite of the teeming, hyperdiverse array of life that was destroyed. Once the trees are gone, the nutrients wash away and the soil degrades into a dense, brick-like layer so hardened that plant roots can’t get through it.

Politicians Hand The Climate Baton Off To Green Industries

Politicians Hand The Climate Baton Off To Green IndustriesThe international community has been negotiating on climate change since 1989, but the Paris Agreement marks a real step forward. It aims to accelerate a move away from fossil fuels to mitigate global warming and to help vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change, and reflects a clear recognition of the urgency of the task.

How South Africa Can Spread Renewable Energy To Low Income Areas

How South Africa Can Spread Renewable Energy To Low Income AreasThere has been a rapid decline in the costs of solar and wind power, to such an extent that both technologies are now cheaper than nuclear or coal. This development will radically transform global electricity generation networks.

We Must Balance Our Food Farming Impacts

We Must Balance Our Food Farming ImpactsThe UK could reduce its emissions by converting farmland to absorb more carbon dioxide − but risks increasing climate change effects abroad.

How You Can Play A Part In Tackling Climate Change

How You Can Play A Part In Tackling Climate ChangeThere’s a curious paradox at the heart of climate change. Despite scientists asserting the need for urgent action and the widespread acceptance of the reality of climate change by people worldwide, it is a subject that we tend not to talk about with friends, family or colleagues.

China Gets Serious As It Clamps Down On Coal

China Gets Serious As It Clamps Down On CoalA slowing economy and falling energy demand, plus concerns over air pollution, spur Beijing to halt new coal mines and close hundreds of existing operations.

Markets Alone Can Not Solve The Climate Crisis

Markets Alone Cannot Solve The Climate CrisisHow did we get to where we are now? “Free range” capitalism could be the explanation for climate change, and needs taming, says one writer.

Why We Need To Get Serious About Negative Emissions Technology

Why We Need To Get Serious About Negative Emissions TechnologyThe Paris agreement was a diplomatic triumph. The nations of the world spoke with one voice of their desire to limit the damage of climate change. But there is a distinct disconnect between the ambition and the action required to achieve that goal.

What Are Climate Tipping Points And How They Could Suddenly Change Our Planet

What Are Climate Tipping Points And How They Could Suddenly Change Our PlanetAs recently as 6,000 years ago the Sahara was green and fertile. We’ve found evidence of large rivers crossing the region, lined by flourishing settlements. Then suddenly things changed. Trees died and the land dried up. Soil blew away or turned into sand and those rivers were no more. In just a few centuries, the Sahara was transformed from a region similar to modern South Africa into the desert we know today.

This Is What Will Happen To The Climate In The Next 100 Years

This Is What Will Happen To The Climate In The Next 100 YearsAt the Paris climate summit, delegates have struck an agreement that calls for the world to “hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5℃”.

How Do Scientists Know Climate Change Is Happening?

How Do Scientists Know Climate Change Is Happening?The Paris climate conference will set nations against each other, and kick off huge arguments over economic policies, green regulations and even personal lifestyle choices. But one thing isn’t up for debate: the evidence for climate change is unequivocal.

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Key To Tackling Climate Change

Why Emotional Intelligence Is Key To Tackling Climate ChangeClimate science has been instrumental in developing the ambitious carbon emission reduction targets negotiated at the recent climate talks in Paris. At the same time, the kinds of actions needed to avert the worst effects of climate change demand new ways of engaging that go far beyond science and formal diplomacy.

How Setting Our Sights On Soil Could Help Save The Climate

How Setting Our Sights On Soil Could Help Save The ClimateThe world’s soils could be a key ally in the fight to limit global warming to 2℃, thanks to their ability to store carbon and keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

How A Perfect Storm Is Heading For Fossil Fuel Assets

How A Perfect Storm Is Heading For Fossil Fuel Assets

Coal, oil and gas sectors warned that trillions of dollars of assets could be stranded if a global agreement on limiting climate change is reached at the UN summit in Paris.

Why The Global Warming Pause Was A Myth All Along

Why The Global Warming Pause Was A Myth All AlongThe idea that global warming has “stopped” is a contrarian talking point that dates back to at least 2006. This framing was first created on blogs, then picked up by segments of the media – and it ultimately found entry into the scientific literature itself.

Dragon Water Could Power The Planet

Dragon Water Could Power The PlanetThe quest is on to develop new technology that can tap the intense heat deep below the Earth’s surface and supply the whole world with electricity.

Solar Power Can Cut Consumer Bills And Still Be Good For Utilities

Solar Power Can Cut Consumer Bills And Still Be Good For UtilitiesThe cost of solar energy continues to fall, so it is no surprise that more people are adopting solar. This rapid growth of rooftop solar, however, has led many electric utilities to try to apply the brakes.

We Are Entering A New Era Of Migration And Not Just For People

We Are Entering A New Era Of Migration And Not Just For PeopleThe world is watching as refugees flood into a Europe unprepared for the new arrivals. Conflict and social unrest due in part to climate stress – including induced food shortages and social conflict – have prompted migrants to search for new homes and new opportunities. To ecologists, however, this comes as no surprise.

Why The Shrinking Of Antarctic Ice Shelves Has Been Accelerating

Why The Shrinking Of Antarctic Ice Shelves Is AcceleratingAsk people what they know about Antarctica and they usually mention cold, snow and ice. In fact, there’s so much ice on Antarctica that if it all melted into the ocean, average sea level around the entire world would rise about 200 feet, roughly the height of a 20-story building.

The Oceans Are Becoming Too Hot For Coral, And Sooner Than We Expected

The Oceans Are Becoming Too Hot For Coral, And Sooner Than We ExpectedThis week, scientists registered their concern that super-warm conditions are building to a point where corals are severely threatened across the tropical Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. They did so after seeing corals lose colour across the three major ocean basins – a sign of a truly momentous global change.

Southern Ocean Starts To Soak Up Carbon Again

Southern Ocean Starts To Soak Up Carbon AgainScientists report that the great oceanic “lung” is again breathing in vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – but can’t say why or whether it will last.

Why Capitalism Must Evolve To Solve The Climate Crisis

It Is Capitalism That Must Evolve To Solve The Climate CrisisThere are two extremes in the debate over capitalism’s role in our present climate change problem. On the one hand, some people see climate change as the outcome of a consumerist market system run rampant. In the end, the result will be a call to replace capitalism with a new system that will correct our present ills with regulations to curb market excesses.

Solar Power Makes Giant Strides As Prices Fall

Solar Power Makes Giant Strides As Prices FallMassive solar power stations are being built in the world’s “sun belts” − with the US and India competing to have the largest in the world.

Even If There Had Been A Global Warming Hiatus It's Over Now?

Even If There Had Been A Global Warming Hiatus It's Over Now?There are many ongoing signs that the planet is heating up, even “on fire.” In the western region of North America, the prolonged drought has led to high temperatures and many wildfires, from Canada and the Northwest earlier this summer to California more recently.

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