Population rising with no end in sight!

Population rising with no end in sight!
World population will reach 9.6 to 12.3 billion by 2100, says a new projection. Instead of relying on expert opinions, the study extrapolates from historic trends. But is unceasing growth even possible? More »

China’s horrific haze: New sources need control

China's horrific haze: New sources need control
Power plants, vehicles, farms and industry release a wide range of substances, and a surprising range of them form dangerous particulate pollution after entering the atmosphere. A new study points fingers. More »

Seeds of dilemma: Who owns the genes that fill the stomach?

Seeds of dilemma: Who owns the genes that fill the stomach?
Some seed corn is covered by 30 patents. Three firms dominate corn and soybean seed producers, and patents are moving faster into smaller crops. Can the open-source software movement guide us toward an alternative way to breed and sell seed? More »

You don’t miss your water — till it turns toxic

You don’t miss your water -- till it turns toxic
Excess phosphorus fuels growth of dangerous cyanobacteria that make a range of toxins. Control efforts have focused on sewage treatment plants, but the growing impact of agriculture cannot be ignored much longer. More »

Global warming crisis: One expert’s view

Global warming crisis: One expert's view
For an overview on warming, we interview the scientist who introduced the “hockey stick” graph showing rapid global warming. Is the stick still relevant? Dive into the science and politics of climate change: the ultimate environmental problem. More »

Menace to monarchs

Menace to monarchs
20 years ago, up to 1 billion monarch butterflies wintered in Mexico’s mountains. This January, a few tens of millions are roosting there after their long migration across North America. What menaces the marvelous monarch migration? More »

Brewing biofuel

Brewing biofuel
The struggle to make fuel from wastes from farm, factory and forest continues. What’s keeping cellulosic biofuel out of the market? Will biofuel from algae beat cellulose to the gas pump? More »

As snow goes, where go the animals?

As snow goes, where go the animals?
Animals like the wolverine evolved to live in the snow, and they excel in conditions that defeat most animals. How will they fare if (when?) snow continues to decline in their homes? And whassup with the balmy but hidden ecosystem under the snow? More »

Phosphorus + nitrogen: Let no good deed go unpunished

Phosphorus + nitrogen: Let no good deed go unpunished
First we focused on cutting nitrogen pollution. Then we switched to phosphorus. Now we hear that cutting the second raises the first. What does the law of unintended consequences say about dealing with surface water pollution? More »

Stopping the slaughter of the bats

Stopping the slaughter of the bats
In 7 years, white-nose syndrome has spread to 24 states and 5 provinces. Why is the fungus so deadly? Why don’t bats die in Europe? And where are the chinks in its armor? More »

Arctic warming: Greenhouse gas nightmare?

Arctic warming: Greenhouse gas nightmare?
Large amounts of methane and carbon dioxide could be produced as warming changes Arctic lands and ocean. Could this start a frightening feedback, where warming makes more gas that makes more warming? More »

Bugs for dinner!

Bugs for dinner!
What about farming insects? 2 billion people eat insects, and more should be, according to the UN. As the planet searches for protein sources that are easy on the environment, are you ready for a 6-legged solution? More »

Wildfire goes wild in Arizona

Wildfire goes wild in Arizona
As wildfires torch Western states, what is the role of global warming? Does hotter weather contribute to fires? Does the resulting carbon dioxide accelerate global warming? Could we see a vicious cycle of warming, fires and more warming? More »

Poaching problem

Poaching problem
As elephant poaching soars, carbon dating, a mainstay of archeology, could be used to date ivory, based on heavy isotopes left over from the atom-bomb era. More »

Roads: helpful here, harmful there

Roads: helpful here, harmful there

Roads are the first insult to pristine natural areas — and a key to agricultural productivity in places where farming makes sense. Here’s a proposal to decide where roads make sense, and where they make mayhem. More »