Category: The Planet

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is so intense, it just ran out of storm names

Here’s how active this year’s Atlantic hurricane season has been: When Tropical Storm Wilfred formed on Sept. 18, the National Hurricane Center ran out of names for only the second time since naming began in 1950. Even more surprising is…

What It’s Like Living in the Arctic During a Pandemic

For 26-year-old Singaporean Weisi Low, the spirit of exploring and adventure led to a life on the ends of the earth — 78° North of the equatorial plane in the Arctic circle. In her new life in Svalbard, ice-covered fjords,…
blank

The study of tiny fossils reminds us that museums are key to advancing science

To some people, museums are a place to view curiosities or to learn more about our world. For others, museums are buildings that conserve history and heritage. Few will describe museums as places of active research. But this is a…
blank

Climate change and forest management have both fueled today’s epic Western wildfires

What is driving the wildfires that are ravaging California, Oregon and Washington? President Trump and state officials have offered sharply different views. Trump asserts that Western states haven’t done enough logging and brush clearance, allowing fuels to build up in…
blank

Super funds are feeling the financial heat from climate change

The wild fires that have ravaged the US west coast, turning skies orange, are a lurid reminder that climate change looms ever larger as an economic threat. This week has seen a flurry of announcements reflecting that reality. Read more:…
blank

One of Earth’s most biodiverse habitats lies off the Scottish west coast – but climate change could wipe it out

Maerl beds stud the ocean floor like underwater brambles. They’re pastel pink and, despite their knobbly appearance, made up of a red seaweed. This algae has a limestone skeleton which gives it a complex three-dimensional structure that is quite unlike…
blank

What is a hurricane storm surge, and why is it so dangerous?

Of all the hazards that hurricanes bring, storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. It can sweep homes off their foundations, flood riverside communities miles inland, and break up dunes and levees that normally…
blank

Why clouds are the missing piece in the climate change puzzle

How much our world will warm this century depends on the actions we take in coming decades. In order to keep global temperature rise below 1.5°C and avoid dangerous levels of warming, governments need to know how much carbon they…
blank

The West Coast Is on Fire: ‘It Just Took Off as If There Was Jet Fuel’

Massive wildfires on the West Coast have killed at least seven people in the past three days, engulfed already-devastated parts of California in flames, and turned skies in San Francisco a bright shade of orange. A 1-year-old died in Washington…
blank

In the Amazon, forest degradation is outpacing full deforestation

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased abruptly in the past two years, after having been on a downward trajectory for more than a decade. With the country’s president Jair Bolsonaro notoriously enthusiastic about expanding into the rainforest, new deforestation…
blank

Coping with Western wildfires: 5 essential reads

Intense wildfires are raging in California, Oregon and Washington state, spurring mass evacuations and leaving charred towns in their wake. A regional heat wave is keeping temperatures high and humidity low, creating difficult conditions for firefighters. These five articles from…
blank

These Aussie teens have launched a landmark climate case against the government. Win or lose, it’ll make a difference

On Tuesday, eight young Australians aged 13-17 filed a class action seeking an injunction to prevent federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley approving a new coal project expansion. They are bringing their case to the Federal Court. They argue if Whitehaven’s…
blank

7 lessons Canada should use from WW2 to fight the climate emergency

Canada’s approach to climate change for the past 30 years is simply not working. Greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2018 (the last year for which we have statistics) were almost exactly where they were in the year 2000. We…
blank

The throne speech must blaze a bold new path — including imposing a wealth tax

The speech from the throne is only weeks away. Moments like these — pandemics, depressions, wars — are historical turning points, often marking a time period when fundamental change toward social and economic equality become possible. Unlike the apparently failed…
blank

Climate explained: methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage

CC BY-ND Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to…
blank

The new UK Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is exactly what we need – here’s why

While there is debate about whether or not a second wave of the COVID-19 crisis is rolling in, the far bigger waves of the climate and ecological crisis are looming large on the horizon. For too long, governments have largely…
blank

Extreme precipitation events have always occurred, but are they changing?

Extreme weather and climate events causing extensive damage are a fact of the Canadian climate, and this year is no exception. On June 13, a mammoth hailstorm pounded Calgary with damage in excess of $1 billion dollars, the most expensive…
blank

Video: How ancient ice cores show ‘black swan’ events in history – even pandemics

Lonnie Thompson and Ellen Mosley-Thompson at The Ohio State University have been studying ice cores from around the world for over 30 years. They collect, store and study ice cores to understand the history of the Earth’s climate and preserve…
blank

Why more Ugandan farmers aren’t adopting drought tolerant maize

Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in Uganda. In particular, smallholder farmers rely on it for food and as a cash crop. They also grow it as an important export crop. Over the years, total maize production…
blank

Exxon’s Massive Offshore Oil Project Is a ‘Carbon Bomb’: Environmental Group

The global heating caused by burning Guyana’s oil reserves would result in rising seas and threaten the country’s citizens, 90 percent of whom live in low-lying coastal areas. Photo by Luis Acosta/AFP via Getty Images In the face of the…
blank