climate change
Let’s All Take a Breath and Read That ‘Hothouse Earth’ Paper

If the past year of floods, fires, heat waves, and droughts are any indicator, climate change is going to be rough. But in case you weren’t already alarmed, a team of prominent climate scientists has penned a paper warning that just two degrees Celsius of human-caused warming could send us spiralling toward a “hothouse Earth”—one that’s up to five degrees Celsius warmer with sea levels tens of metres higher than present-day. Read More >>

science
Yet Another Reason Geoengineering Won’t Save Us

Geoengineering our planet to solve climate change is one of the riskiest propositions humanity has ever considered. That’s largely because there’s no way to know all the consequences that come with reflecting sunlight back into space, particularly when it comes to the agricultural system that has allowed humanity to flourish for millennia. Read More >>

news
The Mendocino Complex Fire Is Now the Largest In California’s History

An enormous wildfire in northern California has become the largest on record for the state, less than a year after the Thomas Fire in southern California earned that dubious distinction. It’s the latest reminder that we now live in an era of fast-growing, hard-to-contain megafires. Read More >>

climate change
California’s Death Valley Has the Hottest Month Ever Recorded on Earth

Last month was one for extreme heat around the world, but every locale pales in comparison to what’s going on at Death Valley in the US state of California. Already one of the hottest places on Earth, the heat has gone into overdrive this July. Death Valley is in line to set a record for the hottest month ever recorded on Earth. Read More >>

animals
The World’s Largest King Penguin Colony Is Catastrophically Shrinking—and We Don’t Know Why

The last time scientists visited Ile aux Cochons in 1982, an island that is part of an archipelago in the southern Indian Ocean, the king penguin population was booming. Over 500,000 breeding pairs (around 2 million penguins total) huddled together there, making the island the largest king penguin colony in the world. But new research shows their numbers have been on a stiff decline since then—by as much as 88 per cent. And scientists don’t really know why. Read More >>

mental health
Will Climate Change Actually Increase Suicide Rates?

Climate change is a public health crisis from its impacts on air quality to wiping out the healthcare systems we need to stave off sickness. Even the air conditioning we’ll need to beat the heat is likely to make things worse. Read More >>

climate change
Former Irish President on Elon Musk: “If You’re Going to Colonise Mars, Why Not Help Kiribati to Have a Future Against Rising Sea Water?”

What’s the next logical career move after being President of Ireland, and then United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights? It turns out that it might be to start a podcast. Read More >>

science
Antarctic Exploration Vessel Which Should Be Named Boaty McBoatface But Tragically Isn’t Launches

The RSS Sir David Attenborough—the polar exploration vessel that, in April 2016, participants in an internet poll overwhelmingly voted to christen Boaty McBoatface—launched on Saturday, with defensive research officials still defending their decision to override the results of the vote. Read More >>

science
How a Superheroic Breed of Coral Could Help Save the Reefs

Ravaged by the effects of climate change, the world’s corals are on the brink of catastrophic decline, and time is running out. At the Gates Coral Lab in Hawaii, however, scientists are searching for the magic recipe to breed a more resilient “super coral” with a better chance of surviving. Read More >>

science
The Earth Is Farthest From the Sun Today, so Why Is It so Hot?

All-time heat records have been set around the world this week. As Britain bakes in its longest-ever heatwave in history, cities in continental Europe and Russia are sweltering too, as well as North American cities including Denver, Colorado; Burlington, Vermont; and Montreal, Quebec. But here’s something that might confuse you: Today is also aphelion day—the day in Earth’s orbit that it is farthest from the Sun. What gives? Read More >>

science
Earth Has Many More Rivers and Streams Than We Thought, New Satellite Study Finds

Rivers and streams cover much more of the planet than geologists previously estimated, according to a new study published in Science. In total, this new estimate shows that, excluding land with glaciers, Earth is covered by just under 300,000 square miles (773,000 square kilometres) of rivers and streams. That’s more square footage than the state of Texas, and it’s as much as 44 percent higher than previous counts. Read More >>

science
What Happens When a Ghost Town Turns Into a Lab

Gothic, Colorado is a surreal place. Once populated with thousands of silver-seeking miners, the tiny outpost is now home to the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, where dozens of scientists are coming to grips with the consequences of climate change (among other things). Some of them have been doing research there for decades. Read More >>

science
Antarctica Is Losing An Unfathomable Amount of Ice

Three trillion tonnes of ice is an near impossible thing to wrap your head around. Even the standard comparisons—it’s 1.2 billion Olympic swimming pools—don’t really make it compute any better. Read More >>

hurricanes
Hurricanes Aren’t Moving as Fast as They Used to, and That’s Bad

The pace at which hurricanes move across the planet is slowing, according to new research. This suggests Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas last summer, may not have been an anomaly, and that highly destructive, slow-moving tropical storms are becoming more common. Read More >>

science
Are Jupiter and Venus Messing With Earth’s Climate?

Our planet is in a remarkably circular orbit around the Sun, but as new research points out, Earth’s orbit sometimes experiences a slight jolt, thanks to the combined gravitational influence of Jupiter and Venus. Incredibly, this cycle has been going on for at least 215 million years — and one scientist suggests it could possibly have influenced the trajectory of life on this planet, according to the new study published yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read More >>