Environment

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From sea to land to sky, Earth’s systems are contaminated with synthetic substances, and scientists warn it has already pushed the integrity of our planet over the brink. Today, there are about 350,000 human-made chemicals on the market, including plastics, pesticides, industrial chemicals, cosmetic chemicals, antibiotics, and other drugs. The fact this number continues to
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Planetary-scale engineering schemes designed to cool Earth’s surface and lessen the impact of global heating are potentially dangerous and should be blocked by governments, more than 60 policy experts and scientists said on Monday. Even if injecting billions of sulphur particles into the middle atmosphere – the most hotly debated plan for so-called solar radiation modification
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Thawing Arctic permafrost laden with billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases not only threatens the region’s critical infrastructure but life across the planet, according to a comprehensive scientific review. Nearly 70 percent of the roads, pipelines, cities, and industry – mostly in Russia – built on the region’s softening ground are highly vulnerable to acute
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According to the first global analysis of plant diversity, the world’s flora is growing increasingly uniform, even on isolated islands like Australia. For decades now, scientists have been warning the world we are headed for a new geological epoch, called the ‘Homogecene’, when unique life forms become overshadowed by more adaptable species that can live
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Archaeologists have linked rising and lowering sea levels in the Atlantic Ocean to the ebbs and flows of ancient civilizations in southern Brazil. The findings, which incorporate several lines of past archaeological evidence, suggest even large, resilient, and cooperative coastal communities can easily go out with the tide. When analyzing and dating a series of
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A crucial ice shelf on Antarctica‘s Thwaites Glacier is on track to collapse within five years, accelerating the melting of the notorious ‘doomsday glacier’. Thwaites, which is the size of Florida, is already melting quickly, losing about 50 billion tons of ice per year. The glacier earned its grim nickname because its total collapse would raise global sea
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While southern Australia experienced a wet winter and a soggy spring, northern Australia has seen the opposite. Extreme fire weather in October and November led to bushfires across 120,000 square kilometers of southern savanna regions. Significant fires continue to burn in the Kimberley, the Top End, Cape York, and the northern deserts. And while recent
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The western United States has built their water infrastructure on a melting foundation, and unless we do something about global warming, scientists worry the consequences will be catastrophic. According to new models, the snow season in states like California could be virtually nonexistent by the end of the century, impacting water supply systems as well
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Outbreaks of invasive moth caterpillars, Lymantria dispar dispar, and forest tent caterpillar moths, Malacasoma disstria, occur at least every five years in temperate forests. The insects munch through so many leaves that our research has found the resulting decrease in leaf-fall and increase in caterpillar poop hugely alter the way nutrients, particularly carbon and nitrogen,
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We can’t afford to delay the switch over to renewable energy sources, and while there’s much debate about how to achieve this, more and more research along with growing real-world evidence suggest that it’s absolutely a viable, practical option. Now, a new study from an international team of researchers will hopefully help settle this for good.
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The United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) begins on Sunday 31 October in Glasgow, and the outcome may determine whether the world moves closer to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.  The climate conference will bring together delegates from around the world to discuss their plans for reducing emissions and limiting climate change.
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A talking CGI dinosaur just gave an impassioned speech about climate change to world leaders in a new UN video. Will they take it seriously? The dinosaur, named Frankie according to its Twitter page, bears a strong resemblance to the velociraptors from the film Jurassic World and is voiced by multiple celebrities in different languages, including film star and musician Jack
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The Arctic may no longer be the refuge it once was for migrating animals. Scientists now fear that climate change and environmental degradation have turned the yearly journey of numerous species, including birds, butterflies and ungulates, into an ecological trap. Upon reaching their destination, many animals are likely starving, being hunted or dying of disease
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Even if humanity beats the odds and caps global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, seas will rise for centuries to come and swamp cities currently home to half-a-billion people, researchers warned Tuesday. In a world that heats up another half-degree above that benchmark, an additional 200 million of today’s urban dwellers would