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 »

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 »

Typhoon flogs Philippines

Typhoon flogs Philippines
As scientists try to understand the biggest storms in a warming earth, we try to make sense of what’s known, and what’s not. Does adding energy to the Earth system cause more titanic storms – or does it blow them apart before the real destruction begins? 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 »

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 »

Warming: A bad climate for endangered species?

newborn sea turtle on sand

How will rising temperatures affect endangered species? Are there ways to abate the consequences, and are they being tested? Can we even be certain that climate change is the cause of specific declines? More »

Energy report: Plentiful supplies, warning signs

Energy report: Plentiful supplies, warning signs

Conservation and fracking will help United States reach energy independence by 2030. How will cheap natural gas affect renewable energy? How will a one-third increase in fossil fuel use affect greenhouse warming? Are we about to be locked into a 3.6ºC of global warming? More »

Himalayan glaciers

Himalayan glaciers

A long debate about these giant ice streams has gyrated wildly. Now, satellite data show a moderate loss of mass for a recent six-year period. For inaccessible glaciers, satellites may be the best thing since the ice axe! More »

Light at night: Mixed blessing!

Light at night: Mixed blessing!

Researchers are finding more links to obesity, cancer, and sleep disturbances. Light blocks the release of melatonin, a hormone involved in the body clock. Wildlife scientists are finding effects on competition, predation and reproduction. Could light pollution from streets, cars and buildings drive animal evolution? More »

Nature reserves: Part of the local environment

Nature reserves: Part of the local environment

Deforestation, fires, mining and agriculture outside a nature reserve can have as much impact as the same activities inside the reserve, says a new study. If a line on a map cannot protect nature, what can? More »

Amphibian anxiety

Amphibian anxiety

Amphibians are disappearing faster than any other animals. A new study looks at the effects of changes in climate, land use and disease. The picture isn’t pretty, but looking at three threats at once shows the true danger facing frogs, toads, salamanders and their relatives. More »

Feeding 7+ billion

Feeding 7+ billion

The green revolution fed billions, but population keeps rising, water is short and the climate is changing. How will Africans feed themselves despite poor soil and widespread poverty? Could small projects that fit the environment and culture make farmers an engine of prosperity and a big source of food? More »

Cattle, wildlife: No real conflict?

zebra in foreground, cattle in background

In African savannas, cattle graze the same grass as zebras, elephants and gazelles. Obviously, wildlife are stealing food from the mouths of cattle, and from the people who depend on cattle. But new data show that in the wet season, grazing wildlife actually benefit cattle! More »

Life in the oceans

Life in the oceans

Most of our planet is ocean, and now we have a better idea of what lives there. Marine creatures are much weirder than those on land. The Census of Marine Life looked at salmon migration, Arctic animals, and the uncountable variety of bacteria in the sea. Want to take a look? More »