Planet-Hacking Became More Urgent and Terrifying Than Ever This Year

Somewhere between a viral fake story about Harvard researchers suggesting we ‘dim the sun’, and a major, government-funded report laying out how we might re-engineer the oceans to save coral reefs, it hit me last month: this whole geoengineering idea has become suddenly, frighteningly mainstream. Read More >>

Kilauea’s Recent Eruption Was Its Biggest in Two Centuries, Scientists Confirm

It’s been over three months since fresh lava oozed out of Kilauea volcano, and the eruption that turned southeastern Hawaii into a fiery hellscape has receded from the headlines. But for scientists with the US Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO), the story is far from over. Read More >>

New Study Shows Just How Frighteningly Fast Greenland Is Melting

In July 2012, a spate of warm weather caused nearly the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet to begin melting, an event with no precedent in the satellite record. A new study shows this massive melt-out wasn’t just an anomaly compared with the last 40 years, but the last 350. Unfortunately, the study also suggests 2012 could be a harbinger of our new normal. Read More >>

Inside the Quest to Discover Super-Corals at the Bottom of the Sea

In the inky depths of the Gulf of Mexico, pearly white corals crisscross the seafloor, their translucent tentacles swaying to the current like flower petals on a midnight breeze. Lophelia pertusa brings life to what is often considered a cold, dead wasteland – and now, scientists are now bringing it back to the surface in the hopes that it help can restore dying coral reefs worldwide. Read More >>

Scientists Have Just Named 17 New Sea Slug Species, and They’re All Fabulous

Nudibranchs, colloquially known as sea slugs, are some of the more eye-popping critters to grace the world’s oceans. Now scientists are welcoming 17 newly-named species to the carnival-coloured lineage. Read More >>

Apple’s New Macs Use ‘100 Per Cent Recycled Aluminium,’ But What Does That Mean?

Apple’s second press blitz of the autumn delivered details on a bunch of new devices. But the company also made some announcements on the environmental front that are generating buzz and raising questions, particularly regarding the recycled materials some of its 2018 product line will use. Read More >>

climate change
The Monsters of Climate Change

Death lurks around every corner in Alex Garland’s Annihilation, but its most terrifying harbinger is a ghoulish bear with saber-tooth fangs, reams of rotting flesh, and a half-exposed skull that looks part-human. The creature is a microcosm of phenomena from which it emerged, a mysterious air-ooze called the Shimmer where time is warped and life is mutated in impossible ways. Read More >>

climate change
Alarming Study Links ‘Collapse’ of Rainforest Food Web to Rising Temperatures

One of the most well-studied tropical forests on Earth has seen its insect populations crash since the 1970s with effects rippling up the food chain, an alarming new study has found. Read More >>

The All-Women Team of Scientists That Trekked to the Heart of Kilauea Volcano’s Eruption 

As the eruption at Kilauea volcano turned the southeastern corner of Hawaii’s Big Island into a river of lava this summer, residents and tourists were instructed to stay the hell away. An all-women team of scientists from Britain, however, was asked to do the exact opposite. Read More >>

Why More Hungry Polar Bears Could Start Devouring Dead Whales

Just over a year ago, more than 150 polar bears amassed on a remote island off the north coast Siberia to devour a dead bowhead whale that had washed ashore. It was the largest swarm of polar bears ever recorded feasting on a stranded whale—but events like this could become more common in a warmer world. Read More >>

Geyser Eruption at Yellowstone Unleashes ‘Clearly Historic’ Collection of Human Garbage

Geyser eruptions at America's Yellowstone National Park are moments of rarefied beauty; spectacular reminders that we live on a geologically-dynamic planet. A recent eruption was also a reminder that we’ve turned said planet into a dumpster. Read More >>

Mass Die-Off of Orcas Feared Due to Chemicals Banned in the ’70s

A group of industrial chemicals humans started banning decades ago could cause many of the world’s orca whale populations to collapse over the next century, an alarming new study has found. Read More >>

Clean Energy Boom Could Fuel One of the World’s Dirtiest Industries

The irony of transitioning to clean energy is we’re going to have to mine the shit out of the Earth to do it. Much like our computers and smartphones, wind turbines and solar panels are high-tech devices whose production demands a smattering of metals and minerals from across the periodic table and the planet. Read More >>

Watch a Russian Ice Cap Experience An ‘Unprecedented’ Melt Down

It’s no secret that ice around the world is receding as global temperatures rise. Even so, the sudden destabilisation of a remote ice cap in the Russian High Arctic has scientists throwing around words like “extraordinary” and “unprecedented.” Read More >>

Glacier Named After Prominent Geologist Renamed Following Sexual Harassment Scandal

The Me Too movement has toppled Hollywood executives, pundits, and bureaucrats since it burst onto the scene last year. Prompting a government agency to rename a geologic landform, however, may be a first. Read More >>