Environment

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The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) sea currents are vital in transporting heat from the tropics to the Northern Hemisphere, but new research suggests climate change might knock the AMOC out of action much sooner than we anticipated. That could have profound, large-scale impacts on the planet in terms of weather patterns, upending agricultural practices,
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Amid record cold temperatures and skyrocketing energy demand, utilities across the central US have ordered rolling blackouts to ration electricity, leaving millions of people without power. Energy expert Michael E. Webber explains why weather extremes can require such extreme steps. 1. The Plains states have a lot of wild weather. Why is this cold wave
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Cities don’t just have sea level rises to worry about – they’re also slowly sinking under the weight of their own development, according to new research, which emphasises the importance of factoring subsidence into models of climate change risk. Geophysicist Tom Parsons, from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) agency, looked at San Francisco as
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A new satellite image has captured the stunning white peaks of two volcanoes on the Big Island in Hawaii, which have experienced their second-most extensive snow coverage since current records began.  The high-resolution image – snapped on Feb. 6  by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) onboard the Landsat-8 satellite – shows the striking contrast between the snow-covered
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Fossil fuel pollution caused more than eight million premature deaths in 2018, accounting for nearly 20 percent of adult mortality worldwide, researchers reported Tuesday. Half of that grim tally was split across China and India, with another million deaths equally distributed among Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan and the United States, they reported in the journal Environmental
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US cities are significantly undercounting their greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study published this week in Nature Communications. The researchers compared self-reported emissions data from 48 US cities to independent estimates based on federal data about factories, power plants, and roads, among other sources. They found cities are under-reporting by nearly 20 percent.
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A new study suggests a potential change in tropical rain belt patterns could threaten the livelihoods and food security of billions of people. Today, the tropical rain belt brings with it heavy precipitation along the equator, but as different parts of Earth’s atmosphere heat up at different rates, this belt looks likely to become disrupted
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A new technique using diamonds and titanium has the potential to help remove plastic microfibres before they enter the environment, by decomposing them into naturally occurring molecules. It’s a secret the fashion industry would prefer to keep under wraps – most of our synthetic clothes are made of plastic, and they’re contributing to a big problem, shedding microplastic
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Forests and other land ecosystems today absorb 30 percent of humanity’s CO2 pollution, but rapid global warming could transform these natural ‘sinks’ into carbon ‘sources’ within a few decades, opening another daunting front in the fight against climate change, alarmed researchers have said. Climate skeptics often describe CO2 as “plant food”, suggesting that increased greenhouse
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The emergency is not invisible. But that doesn’t mean we can see it. After decades of inaction and ineffective action on biodiversity decline, climate change, and pollution, civilisation stands on the precipice of a “ghastly future” it has gravely underestimated, an international team of scientific experts warns in an unnerving new study published this week.
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Scientists are studying a major, once-in-a-century drought from Medieval Europe to better understand how extreme weather events indicate rapid climate changes. In the years leading up to the Little Ice Age, between 1302 and 1307, many regions on the European continent were facing exceptional heat and drought, according to historical records and data collected from