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The Mystery of Alaska’s Disappearing Whales

This story originally appeared in Undark and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When Roswell Schaeffer Sr. was 8 years old, his father decided it was about time he…

Pliocene-Like Monsoons Are Returning to the American Southwest

Leaf waxes also predate climate records from Antarctic ice cores, which go back only about a million years and require a climate that can support ice. One study used leaf waxes to…

The Planet Desperately Needs That UN Plastics Treaty

This week in Uruguay, scientists, environmentalists, and government representatives—and, of course, lobbyists—are gathering to begin negotiations on a United Nations treaty on plastics. It’s only the start of talks, so we…

The Geological Fluke That’s Protecting Sea Life in the Galapagos

This story originally appeared in Hakai Magazine and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. Pushed by climate change, almost every part of the ocean is heating up. But off…

America’s Billion-Dollar Tree Problem Is Spreading

Fast-growing, drought-tolerant trees are slowly spreading across grasslands on every continent except Antarctica. Given how desperate we are to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, millions of new saplings sprouting each…

5 Good Ideas From COP27—and How Likely They Are to Happen

Things didn’t look particularly good at the start of COP27. The word on everyone’s lips was “trust”—specifically, the lack of it. Since the last UN climate meeting, many rich nations…

Tiny Aerosols Pose a Big Predicament in a Warming World

Fossil fuels are rapidly warming the planet, and the aerosols from their combustion kill millions of people each year. So we need to rapidly decarbonize. But in an ironic twist,…

Bureaucracy Is Blocking the Green Energy Revolution

The technology that will carry humanity toward a sustainable future is already here, says Greg Jackson, CEO of Octopus Energy, but heavy-handed regulators and outdated infrastructure are standing in the…

The Infinite Cloud Is a Fantasy

Since the turn of the millennium, the tech industry has spent billions to conjure a seductive narrative that the cloud—a term most nontechnical people use to mean everything the internet…

New York Voted to Protect the Planet. California Did Not

But in a move that puzzled many of the state’s progressives, Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, joined the California Republican Party to oppose the measure because of Lyft’s involvement. He called…

Truffles Are Becoming Even More Expensive. Blame Climate Change

“The biggest finding that we had was that truffles were responding to these hot and dry summers,” says Steidinger. He and colleagues found that a temperature anomaly of just 3…

Protest Is Risky at Egypt’s COP27. That Won’t Stop Activists

But an altercation that followed the event exemplified the resistance human rights activists face: According to a Washington Post report, Egyptian lawmaker Amr Darwish stood up and yelled at Seif.…

Scientists Are Uncovering Ominous Waters Under Antarctic Ice

It’s not a tremendous amount of melt per square foot. But over an area that’s the size of two large European countries, that scales up. “What we concluded is the…

Europeans Are Burning Trees to Keep Warm

In the past few decades, the European Union has transformed its energy system. In 2005 about 10 percent of all energy consumed in the EU came from renewable sources. Last…

New Mexico’s Beloved Pinyon Jay Is Losing Its Pine Habitat

The petition contains the first estimate of total acreage of piñon-juniper habitat currently treated by the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service in states with pinyon jay…

The UN Climate Talks Are About to Face Maddening Uncertainties

For years, the world has known what it has to do about climate change: hold the line at 1.5 degrees Celsius to stave off the worst effects of warming. To…

A Caustic Shift Is Coming for the Arctic Ocean

Imagine, for a moment, that you are standing on a pier by the sea, grasping, somewhat inexplicably, a bowling ball. Suddenly you lose your grip and it tumbles down into…

This Platform Makes Sure Companies Stick to Their Climate Pledges

After mapping comes planning. Sustainability professionals, warehouse managers, CFOs, or whoever uses the platform are given a to-do list for decarbonization. “It explains specifically what kind of materials you need…

This Ancient Grain-Sowing Method Could Be Farming’s Future

Today, Ethiopian farmers are feeling the pressure to grow modern monoculture crops, thanks in part to a national push to become an agricultural powerhouse. “If you export grains, you want…

Microplastics Are Everywhere. Here’s What You Can Do About It

So what, you might ask—it’s just plastic! After all, if you accidentally swallow a shirt button, it’ll pass straight through you, right? But when it’s broken down into microscopic fibers,…

The World Needs More Gigantic Sci-Fi Sea Dams

The figures might not add up now, but the amount of untapped energy available ought to be hard to ignore. Coles and his colleagues found that tidal stream power has…

After Hurricane Ian’s Floods, the Flesh-Eating Bacteria

In September, Hurricane Ian smashed into the southwest coast of Florida, bringing with it a storm surge that reached 13 feet in the coastal town of Fort Myers. Warm, brackish…

Goats and Sheep Are Brawling in the Rockies. Blame Glacial Melt

This story originally appeared on The Guardian and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. In one corner, there is the agile climber with steak-knife-like horns. In the other is…

What the Soup-Throwing Climate Activists Got Right

Some people have argued that the stunt discredited the wider climate movement. I don’t buy that for a second. Instead, I suspect it is far more likely to produce a…

If You Don’t Already Live in a Sponge City, You Will Soon

Like anything else, water is great in moderation—urbanites need it to survive, but downpours can flood streets and homes. And as you might have noticed, climate change isn’t good at…