One year ago, the international scientific community could hardly have expected that Greta Thunberg, a teenager from Sweden, would become one of its greatest allies.
For more than 3.5 billion years, living organisms have thrived, multiplied and diversified to occupy every ecosystem on Earth.
The concept of a canary in a coal mine – a sensitive species that provides an alert to danger – originated with British miners, who carried actual canaries underground through the mid-1980s to detect the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas.
We live in an era — the Anthropocene — where humans and societies are reshaping and changing ecosystems.
The grasslands of the Canadian Prairies are a hidden gem for bird watchers, with millions of migratory birds passing through the area each year.
Exactly 40 years ago, a small group of scientists met at the world’s first climate conference in Geneva. They raised the alarm about unnerving climate trends.
The Golden State is on fire, which means that an idea of American utopia is on fire, too.
Climate change may cause a dramatic drop in rice production in major growing regions, a decline that could jeopardize critical food supplies, researchers report.
In a shocking report the US Army's assessment of its future under the unfolding climate crisis, every American should pause and so should other countries' military.
At the beginning of October 2019, my kids’ preschool informed me that it might be closed the next day because of rolling blackouts — a radical new effort by our local power utility in Northern California to avoid sparking wildfires.
Butterflies are rather like Goldilocks, preferring conditions to be neither too hot nor too cold, but “just right”.
As a climate scientist of more than 25 years, I’m proud of the work my profession has done in recent decades to alert humanity to the unfolding climate crisis
Shoreline recreational fishing will likely be another casualty of climate change, according to new research.
The relationship between a heating planet and violent clashes is complex — and critical. “This is where I keep my weapon,” said Lolem, a young Karamojong cattle herder.
Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts Point To The Power Of Local Generosity After Overlooked Disasters
When Hurricane Michael made landfall on Florida’s Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018, as a Category 5 storm it was only the fourth on record to have ever hit the U.S. mainland.
As I write this, much of inland eastern Australia is enduring what is likely to be the worst drought ever recorded.
Just like us, the natural world dances to the rhythms of its seasonal cycles. We all enjoy the first suggestions of spring as trees come into leaf, migrant birds arrive, bees and butterflies emerge, and men in cities start wearing shorts.
Thousands of school students across Australia joined in the global protest calling for action on climate change.
I'm A Psychotherapist – Here's What I've Learned From Listening To Children Talk About Climate Change
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilises. Already, studies have found that 45% of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters.
Canadians across the country say their allergies are getting worse.
Is climate change making spiders more aggressive? A recent scientific study suggests so, as the researchers link aggressiveness to tropical cyclones, events that are expected to become more frequent and powerful with climate change
Fire emissions from wildfires can contribute to cardiovascular disease hundreds of miles from the flames, according to new r
It’s Not Just Brazil's Amazon Rainforest That’s Ablaze – Bolivian Fires Are Threatening People And Wildlife
Up to 800,000 hectares of the unique Chiquitano forest were burned to the ground in Bolivia between August 18 and August 23.
Today, dry areas represent more than 41% of land on the globe and they are home to more than two billion people.
In addition to the ecological impact, the devastation invasive pests wreak on trees reduces carbon storage equivalent to the amount of carbon emitted by 5 million vehicles each year.
Poor on-the-ground monitoring makes it impossible to know which city is the world’s most polluted, according to new research.
Every year, without fail, summer brings changes to our surroundings: more sunlight, heat, greenness and flowers, among many others.
In its latest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describes how agriculture, deforestation, and other human activities have altered 70% of the land on Earth’s surface.
Governments at all levels invest a lot in greening Australian suburbs. Yet, in a recent report, we show that the greening efforts of most of our metropolitan local governments are actually going backwards.
Our earth is very old. Based on the estimation of the oldest rock, it’s around 4.5 billion years of age. Scientists from all over the world use astronomy, geology, chemistry, biology, archaeology and other sciences to investigate the Earth’s formation as well as the emergence and extinction of life on Earth.
Climate change has fundamentally changed the nature of the risk for homeowners and insurance companies alike.
While in many countries new cars, domestic appliances, and even houses now have mandatory energy efficiency disclosures, air travel’s carbon footprint is largely invisible, despite it being relatively much bigger.
Media coverage of mass coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef may have been a major tipping point for public concerns around climate change, according to research published today.
Citing $69 Trillion Price Tag by 2100, Moody's Warns Central Banks of Far-Reaching Economic Damage of Climate Crisis
"There is no denying it: The longer we wait to take bold action to curb emissions, the higher the costs will be for all of us."
Urban Canadians are feeling the impact of climate change. Flooding in Quebec this spring damaged nearly 1,900 homes in 126 municipalities, causing widespread psychological distress.
Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states.
Doctors and economists may seem like strange partners. We spend our days working on very different problems in very different settings.
President Donald Trump has long made blocking the thousands of Central Americans who head to the southern U.S. border, most of them seeking asylum, from entering and staying in the country a top priority.
As concern grows over human-induced climate change, many scientists are looking back through Earth’s history to events that can shed light on changes occurring today.
The 2018 summer heatwave in the UK broke records – and it won’t be the last spell of such severe heat. In fact, climate change means that hot summers which would once occur twice a century may soon occur twice a decade.
Antarctica is further from civilisation than any other place on Earth. The Greenland ice sheet is closer to home but around one tenth the size of its southern sibling.
The world has witnessed a shocking series of disastrous events in 2017. Devastating hurricanes and Mexico’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake were just some of the catastrophes to captivate our collective attention.
The claim that humanity only has just over a decade left due to climate change is based on a misunderstanding.
In a post-apocalyptic future, what might happen to life if humans left the scene? After all, humans are very likely to disappear long before the sun expands into a red giant and exterminates all living things from the Earth.
Around the world, the health care debate often revolves around access. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, recently announced: “All roads lead to universal health coverage.”
Managed retreat in the face of sea level rise will be a mixed bag, researchers predict.
The Sierra Nevada mountain streams that naturalist John Muir extolled are now in peril, research finds.
Nearly half a billion more people could be at risk for contracting mosquito-borne diseases in the next 30 years as a result of climate change.
Flooding in the Midwest, triggered by an intense “bomb cyclone,” has devastated parts of the region, which has been plagued by flood events in recent decades.
The dire climate change situation continues to make headlines and inspire actions like the Sunrise Movement.
Many parts of Queensland have been declared disaster zones and thousands of residents evacuated due to a 1-in-100-year flood.
Many parts of Australia have suffered a run of severe and, in some cases, unprecedented weather events this summer.
Due to food shortages related to climate change, the Earth may experience a net increase of 529,000 adult deaths by 2050, according to a new review article published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A record-breaking cold wave is sending literal shivers down the spines of millions of Americans. Temperatures across the upper Midwest are forecast to fall an astonishing 50 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) below normal this week – as low as 35 degrees below zero.
Rising temperatures are weakening the jet stream, allowing frigid Arctic air to reach further south.
Scientists say the answer is in the ice. Scientists know that sea levels have risen more in some places during the past century than in others.
Is your morning coffee an espresso or a skinny latte? Is it from a darkly roasted French or Italian blend?
The kind of hot, dry conditions that can shrink crop yields, destabilize food prices, and lay the groundwork for devastating wildfires are increasingly striking multiple regions simultaneously as a result of a warming climate, according to a new study.
Hopes for fewer large wildfires in 2018, after last year’s disastrous fire season, are rapidly disappearing across the West.
Drought, crop failure, storms, and land disputes pit the rich against the poor, and Central America is ground zero for climate change. Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador lie in the trajectory of the so-called “dry corridor” of Central America that stretches from Southern Mexico to Panama. This epithet is a recently adopted description of the region, to describe the droughts that have risen in intensity and frequency over the last 10 years.
Once again, the summer and fall of 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere has brought us an epidemic of major wildfires. These burn forests, houses and other structures, displace thousands of people and animals, and cause major disruptions in people’s lives.
New research digs into how links between economic development, technology, politics, and decision-making affect actions people are willing to take against climate change.
The burning of unwanted gas associated with oil production—called “flaring”—remains the most carbon-intensive part of producing oil, according to a new analysis.
The price of beer could double under unchecked climate change, as droughts and extreme temperatures cause barley yields to drop. That’s one conclusion of research we recently published in Nature Plants.
Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing global climate in more detail.
Cyclone Winston struck Fiji on February 20, 2016, leaving a trail of destruction. Winston was a Category 5 cyclone (the strongest rating) with reported wind speeds of almost 300 km per hour. This made it among the strongest cyclones ever to make landfall globally, and the and the strongest recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.
As part of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the international community committed in 2015 to limit rising global temperatures to “well below” 2C by the end of the 21st century and to “pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C”.
Persistent weather conditions, including dry and wet spells, that have increased in the United States may be a result of rapid Arctic warming, according to a new study.
Exposure to air pollution has a staggering effect on human health. It is thought to cause around 7m premature deaths each year worldwide, with around 40,000 occurring in Britain.
Two generations of Australians, Generations X and Y, say climate change is their number one cause for concern, according to a new report. Contrary to stereotypes of young generations being narcissistic or complacent, researchers say both groups are united in concerns about the future of the environment.
Hurricane Harvey, with its historical amount of rainfall over Texas, followed by a string of Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Katia in the North Atlantic basin in 2017, has triggered longstanding questions about any linkage between hurricanes and climate. Can we really blame these recent hurricanes on climate changes? Or are they simply a coincidence of nature happening once every few decades, similar to the triple of Hurricanes Beulah, Chloe and Doria back in 1967?
In Colombia’s coffee-producing region of Risaralda, small trees run along the sharp incline of the Andes Mountains, carefully tended in tidy rows. Thousands of green coffee berries turn brilliant red as they ripen, ready to be harvested by hand. The steep hills here prevent mechanized techniques.
Global warming isn’t the cause of slowdown in a huge circulation pattern in the Atlantic Ocean, which is, in fact, part of regular, decades-long cycle that will affect temperatures in coming decades, according to a new study.
New research asks a big question: Is there such a thing as a sustainable civilization, perhaps one that lies far beyond our own galaxy? Or are all civilizations doomed to destroy themselves?
I am afraid my message is going to be controversial. You see, I think there are deep problems with the standard climate change narrative, which has equated "green" with carbon reduction.
Australia is a continent defined by extremes, and recent decades have seen some extraordinary climate events. But droughts, floods, heatwaves, and fires have battered Australia for millennia. Are recent extreme events really worse than those in the past?
The targets set in the Paris Agreement on climate change are ambitious but necessary. Failure to meet them will lead to widespread drought, disease and desperation in some of the world’s poorest regions.
Almost every climate scientist agrees human-caused climate change is a major global threat. Yet, despite efforts over the past 30 years to do something about it, emissions keep increasing.
Scientists have known for a long time that as climate change started to heat up the Earth, its effects would be most pronounced in the Arctic.
Many projections suggest that burning fossil fuels and the resulting climate change will make it harder to grow enough food for everyone in the coming decades.
The ocean currents that help warm the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America have significantly slowed since the 1800s and are at their weakest in 1600 years, according to new research my colleagues and I have conducted.
Science fiction writers can’t seem to agree on the rules of time travel. Sometimes, as in Doctor Who, characters can travel in time and affect small events without appearing to alter the grand course of history.
Land degradation can take many forms, but always entails a serious disruption of a healthy balance between five key ecosystem functions.
On Campbell Island in the Southern Ocean, some 400 miles south of New Zealand, is a single Sitka spruce. More than 170 miles from any other tree, it is often credited as the “world’s loneliest tree”.
For every 10 degrees north from the equator you move, spring arrives about four days earlier than it did a decade ago, a new study suggests.
Much of the public discussion about climate science consists of a stream of assertions. The climate is changing or it isn’t; carbon dioxide causes global warming or it doesn’t; humans are partly responsible or they are not; scientists have a rigorous process of peer review or they don’t, and so on.
Over the last 30 years, floods have killed more than 500,000 people globally, and displaced about 650m more. In a paper published by the Centre for Economic Performance, we examined why so many people are hit by devastating floods.
If you read or listen to almost any article about climate change, it’s likely the story refers in some way to the “2 degrees Celsius limit.” The story often mentions greatly increased risks if the climate exceeds 2°C and even “catastrophic” impacts to our world if we warm more than the target.
When fires, floods and other major disruptions alter natural areas, our first instinct is to restore what’s lost. But moving forward may mean leaving some treasured things behind.
The Trump administration, and its allies in Congress, are fighting a losing war. They continue to press forward for the development of oil, gas, and coal when the rest of the world understands the implication of that folly. Global warming is the most pressing issue for our time.
Damage from extreme weather events during 2017 racked up the biggest-ever bills for the U.S. Most of these events involved conditions that align intuitively with global warming: heat records, drought, wildfires, coastal flooding, hurricane damage and heavy rainfall.
Many scientists have found evidence that climate change is amplifying the impacts of hurricanes. For example, several studies just published in December 2017 conclude that human-induced climate change made rainfall during Hurricane Harvey more intense. But climate change is not the only factor making hurricanes more damaging.
Many observers of China’s escalating global program of foreign investment and infrastructure development are crossing their fingers and hoping for the best.
Even before this year’s devastating hurricane season, the team of demographers I work with at Penn State and the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics had predicted that the population of Puerto Rico would decline over the next few decades.
In August 2016, a third of the residents of the North Island township Havelock North fell acutely ill with gastroenteritis after their water was contaminated with campylobacter.
Humans are probably contributing more methane to the atmosphere through fossil fuel use and extraction than scientists previously believed, report researchers.
More than 95% of people still eat meat and don’t like being told that it is wrong and bad for the planet to do so. But it is now well established that meat production is responsible for a substantial proportion of human greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention issues around animal welfare.
Around the globe, about 815 million people – 11 percent of the world’s population – went hungry in 2016, according to the latest data from the United Nations. This was the first increase in more than 15 years.
Melting of Antarctica’s ice can trigger rapid warming on the other side of the planet, according to our new research which details how just such an abrupt climate event happened 30,000 years ago, in which the North Atlantic region warmed dramatically.
Some aspects of climate change could benefit certain forms of agriculture in the Northeastern United States, new research suggests—though the researchers caution that there are many variables in the future scenario they envision.