Environment

The world’s existing power plants, industrial plants, buildings and cars are already numerous enough – and young enough – to commit the Earth to an unacceptable level of warming, according to new research published Monday. This fossil fuel infrastructure merely needs to continue operating over the course of its expected lifetime, and the world will emit over
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Etched across the sky, long white lines reveal the high-altitude paths airplanes take to their destinations. But that’s not all these vapour trails signify. Most of the concern about air travel’s environmental impact focuses on aviation’s gigantic carbon footprint, but new research serves as an alarming reminder of how harmful airplane contrails themselves are. Not
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This April, renewables were put to the test like never before. For the first time in United States history, clean energy sources shouldered more of the nation’s electricity needs than coal. A monthly report from the Energy Information Administration shows that renewables such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric dams provided 23 percent of the month’s
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You can now visualise our climate crisis for almost anywhere on Earth, thanks to a stunning interactive tool that will make you see red in every possible way. Last year, climate scientist Ed Hawkins unveiled a powerful schematic for visualising global temperature changes: coloured ‘warming stripes’ communicating how the world has been getting hotter since
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Late last month scientists undertook a pretty amazing feat, successfully installing five automated weather stations across the Himalayan region, including the highest weather station in the world, near the very top of Mount Everest. In a long-form feature by National Geographic writer Freddie Wilkinson, the international team explain how they battled extreme weather, record crowds
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Simultaneous heat waves scorched land areas all over the Northern Hemisphere last summer, killing hundreds and hospitalizing thousands while intensifying destructive and deadly wildfires. A study published this week in the journal Earth’s Future concludes that this heat wave epidemic “would not have occurred without human-induced climate change.” The alarming part? There are signs record-setting
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Deep below the frozen wastelands of Antarctica, scientists have discovered ancient tectonic plate structures that are having a huge impact on melting patterns around the continent’s largest ice shelf. The hidden rock, in place for hundreds of millions of years, is controlling water flow around the gigantic Ross Ice Shelf. This shelf currently acts as
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Scientists have discovered a ‘unique archive’ of ocean water that still exists virtually undisturbed from the last Ice Age some 20,000 years ago. Palaeoceanography – which investigates the makeup of ancient oceans lost to history – invariably relies on proxy methods, since such bodies of water have inevitably long since disappeared. But if you have
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It’s been almost exactly one year since US scientists reported a mysterious surge in ozone-destroying chemicals, known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Banned in 1987 under the globally signed Montreal Protocol, there was only one explanation: somewhere out there, in an unknown location, someone must have gone rogue, setting back progress on the ozone hole by a
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