Climate Change & Environment
Latest stories
Unique Pocket of Roos Reveals Climate Survival Tactics

The discovery of a genetically distinct group of eastern grey kangaroos sheds light on how they survived aeons of climate-induced expansion and contraction of their grassland habitat, say researchers.

The population, unique to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, formed as a result of a larger population becoming fragmented due to climate-induced changes in vegetation, they report in a recent issue of PLOS ONE.

W140 Full Story
Plankton Threatened by Ocean Acidification. Why that Matters

The balance of various plankton species will radically change as the world’s oceans increase in acidity over the next 85 years, according to a new study released this week.

By 2100, ocean acidification will have grown to such an extent that some species of phytoplankton “will die out, while others will flourish,” according to a report by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where experts teamed up with the University of Alabama to conduct the study.

W140 Full Story
Australia Court Blocks Huge India-Backed Coal Mine

An Australian court Wednesday revoked approval for an Indian-backed project to build what could be one of the world's biggest coal mines, which environmentalists say threatens the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.

But while environment groups hailed the decision as another important step in the Aus$16.5 billion (U.S.$12.2 billion) project's eventual demise, Indian firm Adani insisted it would go ahead.

W140 Full Story
Mysterious Balls of Goo Are Rolling Onto American Beaches

Stranded jellyfish are common sights along beaches around the world. Some places can see up to a billion animals coating the sand. But beachgoers along the U.S. East Coast are running across a surprising sight this summer: thousands of knuckle-size, gelatinous blobs washing up from the surf.

Often called "jellyfish eggs" for their superficial resemblance, these creatures are called salps and they're more closely related to people than they are to jellyfish.

W140 Full Story
James Hansen’s Controversial Sea Level Rise Paper Has Now Been Published Online

It has been widely discussed — but not yet peer reviewed. Now, though, you can at least read it for yourself and see what you think.

A lengthy, ambitious, and already contested paper by longtime NASA climate scientist James Hansen and 16 colleagues appeared online Thursday in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion, an open-access journal published by the European Geosciences Union. The paper, entitled “Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2 ◦C global warming is highly dangerous” is now open for comment — peer review in this journal happens in public.

W140 Full Story
Global Warming Deniers are an Endangered Species

At the end of this year there will be a critically important international climate change conference in Paris. At this conference, nations will attempt to reach an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming.

Over the past few months there’s been a flood of big climate-related news, most of which will help build support and pressure for a strong agreement to curb global warming at the Paris conference. The political and social climate is shifting, and those in denial about human-caused climate change are struggling to adapt.

W140 Full Story
Global Climate Deal 'Must be Found', Says French President

French President Francois Hollande sought early this week to raise the stakes for a U.N. climate conference his country will host at the end of the year, saying the world faced a global warming crisis.

Addressing international dignitaries at a "Summit of Conscience for the Climate" in the French capital, Hollande called insisted that "an agreement must be found".

W140 Full Story
India Approves $8 Billion Plan to Boost Irrigation

India's government approved in July spending nearly US$8 billion over five years to develop infrastructure for rural irrigation to boost crop productivity in a country where farmers rely largely on annual rains.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet gave its nod to allocate 500 billion rupees ($7.9 billion) for the project that aims to help India's 120 million-odd farmers, many of whom lack access to irrigation and struggle with deficient monsoon rains.

W140 Full Story
Light Trim for Rough Draft of Climate Pact

Senior diplomats charged with condensing an unwieldy draft for a global climate rescue pact, due to be inked in December, handed in their much-anticipated homework on Friday.

A near 90-page draft accord that has emerged from the 195-nation talks so far was a laundry list of unresolved issues and a myriad of options, often clashing, for averting climate disaster.

W140 Full Story
Climate Change could Drain Global Seafood Supplies

Seafood lovers are set to see less shellfish, salmon and other fish on their dinner plates as climate change warms the oceans and makes them more acidic.

The findings from a series of studies out this week suggest rising greenhouse emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are adding stress to oceans that are already suffering from overfishing, pollution and destruction of coastal ecosystems like mangroves.

W140 Full Story