Environment

Melting ice poses fleeting ecological advantage but sustained global threat

As glaciers melt, nutrients they contain run into the ocean and fertilize local algal blooms. Although these food oases feed local animals, they don’t...

How your contact lenses could hurt the environment

Many people rely on contact lenses to improve their vision. But these sight-correcting devices don't last forever -- some are intended for a single day's...

Improving soil quality could slow down global warming, according to UC Berkeley study

Low-tech ways of improving soil quality on farms and rangelands worldwide could pull significant amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and slow the...

Air pollution can put a dent in solar power

Air pollution, especially in urban areas, can significantly reduce the power output from solar panels, and needs to be considered when design solar installations...

Hothouse Earth: here’s what the science actually does – and doesn’t – say

A new scientific paper proposing a scenario of unstoppable climate change has gone viral, thanks to its evocative description of a “Hothouse Earth”. Much of...

California land sinking at alarming rate

The San Joaquin Valley in central California, like many other regions in the western United States, faces drought and ongoing groundwater extraction, happening faster...

7.5 billion and counting: How many humans can the Earth support?

Humans are the most populous large mammal on Earth today, and probably in all of geological history. This World Population Day, humans number in the...

Air pollution reduces global life expectancy by more than one year

How air pollution shortens human life expectancy around the world Air pollution shortens human lives by more than a year, according to a new study...

Soil hasn’t fully recovered from ancient Maya cutting down trees

The Maya civilization’s deforestation decimated carbon reservoirs in the tropical soils of the Yucatán peninsula region long after people abandoned ancient cities and the...

Metal in the air really messes with ocean life

Trace metals in the atmosphere have a hefty impact on marine life, according to a new paper. The sources of these aerosol particles include volcanoes,...