Scientists Are Sticking Cameras on Whales to Explore the Changing Antarctic

The waters surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula are warming rapidly, yet we know very little about how this is impacting some of the region’s most charismatic denizens: the filter-feeding baleen whales that call this icy realm home. But a team of scientists is hoping to change that with the help of their flippered subjects. They’re flying drones above whales and sticking cameras on their backs to capture a cetacean-eye-view of the world. Read More >>

Beneath the Arctic’s Sea Ice, Robots Are Illuminating a Mysterious World

Less than 200 miles from the North Pole in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, the German icebreaker Polarstern sits frozen into the ice and shrouded in darkness. Several times a week, a handful of crew members venture forth from the relative safety and warmth of their vessel into a realm of bone-chilling temperatures, ice, and marauding polar bears where the sun hasn’t risen in over two months. Read More >>

A Recycling Renegade Is Out of Prison – and Ready to Tackle the Electric Vehicle Battery Crisis

In a warehouse in Chatsworth, in the US state of California, rows upon rows of giant wooden crates are stacked forty feet high, in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the secret US military installation shown at the end of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Instead of Biblical artefacts, though, these boxes contain a more modern form of treasure: batteries scavenged from dead electric cars. Read More >>

Carve Up Some Science With a Physics-Themed Pumpkin Creation

Let’s face it once and for all this Halloween: toothy grins and pointy eyes are passé. If you really want your pumpkin lantern to stand out, we recommend spicing things up with a healthy dose of physics. Read More >>

Does My Smartwatch’s Sleep Tracker Actually Do Anything?

For most of my adult life, I didn’t really think about sleep: It was just an activity that my body required, for about six to eight hours a night, in order to not feel like garbage the next day. Rarely did I pause to consider the quality of my rest or whether my sleep patterns were “normal.” That is, until I was gifted a Fitbit Charge 3. Read More >>

The Planet Needs a New Internet

When climate change comes for our coffee and our wine, we’ll moan about it on Twitter, read about it on our favourite websites, and watch diverting videos on YouTube to fill the icy hole in our hearts. We’ll do all this until the websites go dark and the networks go down because eventually, climate change will come for our internet, too. Read More >>

How Elephants May Help Africa’s Rainforests Fight Climate Change

Although we’re wiping them out with little consideration of it, big herbivores matter. Hippo poo helps Africa’s largest lake flourish; bison wallowing can enhance insect diversity in the prairie. And Africa’s imperilled forest elephants might just have a role to play in the fight against climate change. Read More >>

The World’s Second-Largest Rainforest is Losing the Carbon It’s Held for a Thousand Years

The Congo Basin is the second-largest rainforest on Earth, and like most tropical forests, it’s getting chewed up by humans. That’s a problem for the climate, and not just because trees are a natural sponge helping to mop up humanity’s ever-rising carbon emissions. New research suggests that as trees are replaced with fields for agriculture, carbon that’s been locked up in the Congo’s soils for hundreds to thousands of years is starting to seep out. Read More >>

Meet the People Risking Their Lives to Study Our Dying Mountain Glaciers

When geoscientist and mountaineer John All started studying the impacts of climate change on the world’s highest mountain glaciers over a decade ago, he said it was like monitoring a sick patient. Now, it’s more like doing an autopsy. Read More >>

Scientists Find Dozens of Lakes Buried Far Below Greenland’s Ice

For decades, scientists working in Antarctica have been documenting subglacial lakes, bodies of water buried miles beneath the ice. They’ve spotted more than 400 of them, and even drilled into a few and found evidence for both living and long-dead lifeforms. But despite their ubiquity at the bottom of the world, no one had really looked to see if subglacial lakes were widespread beneath the Greenland ice sheet as well. Until now. Read More >>

Wildfire Explodes in Spain as Europe Reels From Record Heat

Fanned by fierce winds and searing temperatures, a wildfire is exploding in size in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. According to the Catalan interior minister, it could be the worst blaze the region has seen in 20 years. Read More >>

Aeroplane Contrails Have Surprising Effect on the Atmosphere

The climate impact of flying isn’t just about carbon emissions. The contrails that aeroplanes create also influence the temperature of our atmosphere – and a new study finds that impact is set to grow in a big way. Read More >>

climate change
The Gateway Protecting the Arctic’s Oldest Sea Ice Has Collapsed Months Ahead of Schedule

Every summer as the Arctic warms up, seasonal highways open on the ocean, allowing sea ice to migrate southward and melt. Now, satellite data is revealing that the gateway to one critical highway—the Nares Strait dividing northwest Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island—has broken up months ahead of schedule. And that could spell even more trouble for the Arctic’s oldest and most critically-endangered sea ice. Read More >>

Researchers Discover Giant Freshwater Aquifer off US East Coast

In a welcome bit of news as water shortages hit major cities worldwide, scientists have discovered an enormous low-salinity aquifer off the US East Coast. The researchers say it could indicate other such aquifers trapped beneath the salty seas in ocean sediments across the planet. Read More >>

Study Warns We Could Melt the Entire Greenland Ice Sheet if We Don’t Change Course

If you thought the heat wave-induced melting of half of Greenland’s surface was alarming, wait until you hear the long-term projections for its ice sheet. Read More >>