Tag: Plants

Lake Poopó: why Bolivia’s second largest lake disappeared – and how to bring it back

A huge lake in Bolivia has almost entirely disappeared. Lake Poopó used to be the country’s second largest, after Lake Titicaca, and just a few decades ago in its wet season peak it would stretch almost 70km end to end…

Pikas are adapting to climate change remarkably well, contrary to many predictions

Climate change is harming many special places and iconic species around our planet, from Glacier National Park’s disappearing glaciers to California redwoods scorched by wildfires. But for the animal I study, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), there’s actually some good…

The Caspian Sea is set to fall by 9 metres or more this century – an ecocide is imminent

Imagine you are on the coast, looking out to sea. In front of you lies 100 metres of barren sand that looks like a beach at low tide with gentle waves beyond. And yet there are no tides. This is…

Biden taps former EPA head Gina McCarthy as climate czar

President-elect Joe Biden will tap Gina McCarthy, who led the Environmental Protection Agency under former President Obama, as White House climate czar, according to a person familiar with the news and multiple reports. Driving the news: McCarthy will manage domestic…

5 years after Paris: How countries’ climate policies match up to their promises, and who’s aiming for net zero emissions

Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate agreement – the commitment by almost every country to try to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. It’s an ambitious goal, and the clock is ticking. The planet has…

After two decades, the national electricity market is on its way out, and that’s alright

It has been more than 20 years in the making, but there is now a new order in Australia’s grandest (and most problematic) example of cooperative federalism: the National Electricity Market. Not completely national (it excludes Western Australia and the…

Peatlands keep a lot of carbon out of Earth’s atmosphere, but that could end with warming and development

Peatlands are a type of wetland where dead plant material doesn’t fully decompose because it’s too soggy. In these ecosystems, peat builds up as spongy dark soil that’s sometimes referred to as sod or turf. Over thousands of years, yards-thick…

Not just hot air: turning Sydney’s wastewater into green gas could be a climate boon

Biomethane technology is no longer on the backburner in Australia after an announcement this week that gas from Sydney’s Malabar wastewater plant will be used to power up to 24,000 homes. Biomethane, also known as renewable natural gas, is produced…

Humans are changing fire patterns, and it’s threatening 4,403 species with extinction

Last summer, many Australians were shocked to see fires sweep through the wet tropical rainforests of Queensland, where large and severe fires are almost unheard of. This is just one example of how human activities are changing fire patterns around…

24 Astounding Art Facts From the Guinness Book of World Records, From the Tallest Statue to the Most Prolific Painter

To set a Guinness World Record is no easy accomplishment—there are currently some 47,000 record titles, with more than 1,000 incoming applications to set new records each week. (Wait times can be up to four months.) Tucked inside these tomes…

In praise of glaciers, those dragons of ice viewed with concern and fascination

As global temperature records are set one after the other, we are becoming increasingly concerned about the fate of our glaciers, these emblematic victims of climate change. We are worried by the sudden change in the colour of the ice,…