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Climate Change

The hornet has landed: Scientists combat new honeybee killer in US

An invasive yellow-legged wasp has been decimating beehives in Europe — and bedeviling Georgia since last summer. Researchers are working nest by nest to limit the threat while developing better eradication methods.

Geothermal power heats up

Long confined to regions with volcanic activity, geothermal promises to become a much more versatile energy source thanks to new technologies

Why are there so many beetle species?

Diet played a key role in the evolution of the vast beetle family tree

Nuclear’s role in a net-zero world

Is nuclear power a necessary part of the energy transition away from fossil fuels? As the debate rages on, new technologies and smaller reactors may be shifting the balance.

How to overcome political polarization on climate change

Conversations — in real life — can help bridge the partisan divide, but the trick is to have some structure to the discussion, says a human ecologist

Hunting sky islands for genetic clues to climate resilience

OPINION: Isolated mountaintops are hotbeds of evolutionary adaptation and great places to study how climate change affects ecosystems

Moving trees north to save the forests

As the world warms, trees in forests such as those in Minnesota will no longer be adapted to their local climates. That’s where assisted migration comes in.

A big boost to Europe’s climate change goals

The bloc aims to become the first carbon-neutral continent. A new policy called CBAM will assist its ambitions — and may persuade other countries to follow in its footsteps.

Losing the connection between the Andes and the Amazon: A price of peace in Colombia

The South American country, where the biodiversity of the Andes meets that of the Amazon, is losing the great natural wealth of some 1,500 square kilometers of forest each year, mainly in areas formerly under guerrilla control

The hidden threat from rising coastal groundwater

OPINION: Sea level rise won’t hit just homes on shorefronts, but also the infrastructure beneath our feet

Indigenous languages are founts of environmental knowledge

Peoples who live close to nature have a rich lore of plants, animals and landscapes embedded in their mother tongues — which may hold vital clues to protecting biodiversity

Forests are under attack from invasive species

OPINION: International commerce and travel bring ecological destruction to the world’s most cherished natural places. We need to do more to stop the assault.

Green shipping picks up speed

An international treaty aims to bring the shipping industry to net-zero emissions by around 2050. Can novel fuels, wind power and coordination on a global scale get it there?

The race to understand polar ice sheets

As glacial cliffs break off and destabilize frozen landscapes, glaciologist Richard Alley focuses on the fractures. The work could improve predictions about future sea-level rise.

How wind turbines could coexist peacefully with bats and birds

As wind power grows around the world, so does the threat the turbines pose to wildlife. From simple fixes to high-tech solutions, new approaches can help.

Pursuing fusion power

Scientists have been chasing the dream of harnessing the reactions that power the Sun since the dawn of the atomic era. Interest, and investment, in the carbon-free energy source is heating up.

As the climate changes, plants must shift their ranges. But can they?

Lots of them depend on fruit-eating birds and mammals to spread their seeds. But it’s debatable whether the animals — many in trouble themselves — can disperse seeds far and fast enough to keep pace with a warming world.

The quest to understand tornadoes

Scientists are still grappling with how and why violent twisters form. Will new technology and computing power help?

Leaning into Indigenous knowledge on climate change

Native peoples attuned to the natural world have long collected detailed environmental information. Now scientists are cataloging these observations and learning how they’re affecting Indigenous communities globally.

Does it work to pay people not to cut the forest?

Evidence that the approach helps to save trees, preserve ecosystems and reduce carbon emissions is often hard to come by. But it can succeed if it’s done right, says an economist.

How climate change could make fungal diseases worse

Disease-causing fungi are likely to thrive in a warmer, stormier world — and more of them might be poised to make the leap to infecting people

Dead trees around the world are shocking scientists

Forests once deemed resilient are suffering surprising die-offs. To predict the fate of the world’s woods in the face of climate change, researchers need to understand how trees die.

Abandon the idea of ‘great green walls’

OPINION: The notion of planting miles of trees to hold back encroaching deserts is misguided and damaging; we should promote programs that secure livelihoods and respect dryland ecologies instead

Conservation paleobiology: Eyeing the past to restore today’s ecosystems

Researchers use historic remnants like antlers, shells, teeth and pollen to learn how natural communities once worked. The clues serve as guides for restoration.

Can probiotics protect corals from problems like bleaching?

Lab experiments suggest that a dose of carefully selected microbes may boost the health of these reef-building creatures and their symbiotic algae

Why one deforestation solution has yet to stop massive tree loss

OPINION: Zero-deforestation supply-chain commitments aren’t protecting tropical forests as much as hoped. But they might, if the same standards were applied to domestic and export markets.

Is this ‘age of the delta’ coming to an end?

The wet landmasses, though inherently impermanent, have been essential to both people and wildlife for thousands of years. But recent shifts have brought on some rapid losses that worry scientists.

Our oceans’ future: Hot and troubled

OPINION: Ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation due to climate change — as well as pollution and development — threaten our global waters, but disaster is far from inevitable

Scientists warned about climate change in 1965. Nothing was done.

PODCAST: A report to the US president sounded an alarm — humankind was ‘conducting a vast geophysical experiment’ by burning fossil fuels and filling the atmosphere with an ‘invisible pollutant.’ But a slick campaign by Big Oil led to confusion, politicization and dire consequences for the planet. (Season 3, Episode 1)

The challenges and promises of climate lawsuits

Lawsuits against emissions-spewing governments and fossil fuel companies have established themselves as a key tool in the battle against climate change, but they aren’t always successful

A warmer planet, less nutritious plants and … fewer grasshoppers?

Higher levels of carbon dioxide are changing micronutrients in grasses, trees and even kelp. What does that mean for animals higher up the food chain?

As glaciers retreat, new streams for salmon

Ecologist Sandy Milner has traveled to Alaska for decades to study the development of streams flowing from melting glaciers. He’s seen insects move in, alders and willows spring up, and spawning fish arrive in thousands.

Not enough fish in the sea

The scientist who found a way to tally up global catches is an ocean advocate and a vocal critic of industrial fisheries. Now we have a treaty for the high seas — but does it go far enough?

Controlled burns won’t save all of California from wildfire

There are two types of wildfire in the state, and they’re on the rise for different reasons. Each needs a distinct management approach, a researcher says.

The rise of green hydrogen in Latin America

In anticipation of future demand, several projects are underway in the region to produce this clean energy source

AI for better crops

The technology could transform how growers protect their harvests, by detecting plant diseases very early on. But the challenge is to develop tools that are as affordable as they are effective.

How heat pumps of the 1800s are becoming the technology of the future

Innovative thinking has done away with problems that long dogged the electric devices — and both scientists and environmentalists are excited about the possibilities

Mistletoes in a warming world

Can the famous parasitic plants help animals to survive climate change, or will they be killed off by extreme weather?

Edith’s checkerspot butterfly: Checkered past, uncertain future

How do animal populations respond to climate change? After studying the same butterfly and its habitats for decades, two biologists explain that it’s complicated — but endlessly intriguing.

The obscure calculation transforming climate policy

After long debate, economists and philosophers are reaching consensus on how to value future generations

As the Arctic warms, beavers move in

Scientists are just beginning to study the impacts of beaver dams on the tundra

A new history for the tropical forests of the Americas

Fossilized leaves and pollen are revealing the evolutionary past of New World tropical forests. The findings are helping to reshape predictions of what might happen to these ecosystems as the climate changes.

Beyond COP27: Who will pay for climate solutions?

VIDEO: Economic issues were front and center at the most recent global climate summit. Join Tobias Adrian of the International Monetary Fund and Shuang Liu of the World Resources Institute to take stock of the investments needed to prevent future climate disasters.

The road to low-carbon concrete

For thousands of years, humanity has had a love affair with cement and concrete. But now, industry groups and researchers are seeking solutions to the huge amounts of carbon dioxide that cement-making generates.

How to make corn more like cactus

It’s an agricultural moonshot: Scientists hope to increase plant yields by hacking photosynthesis, the process that powers life on Earth

Europe should shape the clean fuel market now

OPINION: For the world to hit its climate goals, the European Union needs to take the lead, ditch coal and write the rule book for green hydrogen

What can cities do to survive extreme heat?

Urban heat waves are getting worse, but better data and timely government action could make them less deadly

Rethinking cities in the face of extreme heat

VIDEO: Cities have recently experienced extreme heat waves, causing preventable illness and death. How can we protect people from dangerous heat while also reducing carbon emissions?

How green are biofuels? Scientists are at loggerheads

Replacing gasoline with ethanol has changed landscapes across the globe as grasslands and forests give way to cornfields. Researchers are deeply divided over what this means for the planet. Here’s the science behind the conflict.

Rethinking insurance for floods, wildfires and other catastrophes

The industry is in crisis just when disaster coverage is most needed

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