environment
Government Climate Committee Says Let’s Go Back to Being a Nice Forest

Maybe we should stop trying to compete with the world and go back to eating things that hang low down on trees is the sort-of conclusion reached by the UK's official governmental Committee on Climate Change, which actually says we should put the brakes on agriculture and double our efforts to reforest the land. Read More >>

ice on thin ice
Scientists Discover a Weird Noise Coming From Antarctic Ice Shelf

The Antarctic is no stranger to weird sounds, from ancient trapped air bubbles popping to entire ice sheets disintegrating. Now we can add another freaky track to the ouevre of icy masterpieces. Read More >>

science
Bacteria Floating 30,000 Feet Overhead Could Be Influencing the Weather

We humans tend to pride ourselves on our ability to adapt, but bacteria have been beating us at this game for billions of years. Our microbial brethren have carved out a niche in some of Earth’s most hostile environments, from deep sea vents to Antarctic lakes. Some hardy bugs can even survive in an upper layer of our atmosphere called the stratosphere—where a recent paper suggests they may have the ability to impact our weather, our crops, and even our health. Read More >>

science
The Earth’s Memory Is Locked in Ancient Seafloor Muck

The Earth does not forget. Meteor impacts, nuclear detonations, Ice Ages, earthquakes: The memories of them all are imprinted in the muck at the bottom of the ocean. Read More >>

science
Diseased Ocean Microbes Could Be Messing With the Weather

Our oceans are brimming with microscopic phytoplankton—plant-like organisms that contribute significantly to marine diversity. Tiny though they are, these sea critters, when infected with a particular virus, may influence atmospheric processes such as cloud formation, according to new research. Read More >>

uncategorized
Scientists Just Measured the Drought that May Have Brought Down the Ancient Maya

The ancient Maya were an innovative people. They constructed intricate cities throughout the tropical lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, communicated using one of the world’s first written languages, and created two calendar systems by studying the stars. But despite their achievements, the thriving Mayan civilisation mysteriously collapsed sometime between the eighth and ninth centuries. We still don’t know exactly why. Read More >>

science
How a Dust Plume Turned the Sun Red 

On 16 October last year, the Sun turned red over London and other southern parts of the UK. People across the country documented the strange phenomenon on social media. Read More >>

science
A Recent Hurricane Shot a Bolt of Antimatter Toward Earth

When you think of an alien world, you might think of a strange, stormy place with an inhospitable environment, frequent lightning strikes, and extreme radiation. But who needs an imagination when the storms here on Earth already beam radiation, including antimatter, down toward the ground? 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 >>

australia
Australia Hits Worst Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Record

Australia’s finally done it! A new NDEVR Environmental analysis shows Australia has never been emitting more greenhouse gas when unreliable estimates for land use-related emissions are excluded, the Guardian reported on Sunday. Over the past year, Australia released an estimated 138.78 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gases. The last quarter measured was the second highest since 2011, even though Australia has invested heavily in wind power plants in the intermediary years. Read More >>

money
Weather Forecasters Share £1m for Being More Right Than Usual

Staff at the Met Office are all a bit richer today, on average, thanks to a bonus shared among staff for being quite accurate with their weather forecasts and hitting in-house accuracy goals. Read More >>

hurricane harvey
How a Team of Meteorologists With a Few Trucks Collected Some Unprecedented Data From the Heart of Hurricane Harvey

Last month, a team of intrepid storm chasers converged near Corpus Christi, Texas to witness the landfall of Hurricane Harvey, the storm that’s brought over 50 inches of rain to the Texas Gulf Coast and major flooding to the city of Houston. But these researchers collecting data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) didn’t just get the usual storm readings. They obtained weather balloon data they say have never before been collected from a hurricane in the history of the agency. Eventually, they hope the information acquired will help us improve forecast models and prevent future disasters like the flooding in Houston. Read More >>

environment
The Radical Plan to Cool Down LA as the World Heats Up

It’s barely 10 a.m. on an August day in Hollywood, and the heat is already becoming oppressive. The temperature’s only 30℃, but in the direct sun it feels hotter—and it’s getting worse by the minute. Part of the reason is the ground. The black asphalt of this side street off Sunset Boulevard is sucking up the sun and radiating its heat back out. An infrared thermometer shows the surface temperature to be 44℃. By mid-day, it’ll rise above 65℃. Read More >>

science
Saving the Earth’s Ozone Layer Went Even Better Than Expected

In 1989, amidst mounting scientific evidence, dozens of nations joined forces to sign a treaty aimed at halting the expansion of a massive hole in Earth’s ozone layer. Nearly thirty years later, the Montreal Protocol has done just that. But it has also done something its architects never intended. It has become one of America’s most effective tools in the fight against climate change. Read More >>

climate change
Aardvarks Might be Doomed Because of Climate Change

Aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) are probably the most endearingly doofy-looking animals ever to grace the African continent. These Seussian snufflers look like someone threw an anteater, a rabbit, a pig, and an armadillo into a smelter. Aardvarks have entered the consciousness of millions of children as both the first animal in any alphabetic listing, and the species ID of the titular character of the animated series Arthur. This all makes findings in a new paper published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters particularly hard to hear: Climate change may kill off large numbers of aardvarks, to the point of regional extinction (or ‘extirpation’) in many areas. Read More >>