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 »

Winter woes? No problem! say plants

Winter woes? No problem! say plants
Plants have evolved numerous ways to endure cold, wind and ice formation. How do they do it? How is climate change affecting plants and plant communities? 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 »

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 »

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Vast deposits of a strong greenhouse gas are frozen under the ocean. As the ocean warms, this methane is releasing. How much more methane is on the way, and how will it affect climate? 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 »

Wildfire!

Wildfire!

Constant fire-fighting has made remaining fires more intense, but controlled burns have their own hazards. Is climate change making forest fires stronger, more common, or both? More »

Communication: key to smart resource use

Communication: key to smart resource use
When everybody exploits a common resource without limit, we get the tragedy of the commons: Benefiting the individuals burns through the resource. A new economic strategy game, based on how animals and plants grow, suggests that communication helps players allocate the resource and still take home a bigger harvest. More »

Gulf of Mexico: Dealing with the Dead Zone

When too much fertilizer reaches the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River, a vast area gets robbed of oxygen. What can be done to reduce the dead zone that appears each summer? More »

The Value of Wilderness

Woman is rescued in wilderness after 5-week ordeal. What is so great about wilderness, and why do so many people think they need it to soothe their souls? More »

Winter’s Weird Weather: Blame el Nino?

Some call it Fall. Some call it spring. But nobody in the Midwest, East Coast or Northern Europe is calling it “winter.” What’s up with our weather? More »

National Parks: Space for Snowmobiles and Science?

As the administration allows more snowmobiles to buzz through Yellowstone, scientists cry foul. Are the parks more than playgrounds?m Scientists call for more money for basic research, but the Bush administration favors recreation. More »

Salmon au Flame Retardant

Feeling burned? Farmed salmon have higher levels of a brominated flame retardant than wild salmon. More »

Climate Change: It Can Happen Fast!

Evidence from ice cores in Greenland and Antarctica show how fast the climate has changed in the past. In this era of global warming, you can’t count on a slow, gradual, predictable warming. More »

Mercury Pollution: How to Respond

How should we deal with mercury air pollution in air, fish and water? Why do the studies of mercury consumption not agree? What to do when the studies conflict… More »