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Is agriculture moving indoors?

On a sunny day last August, Daniel Malechuk opened the door to a 77,000-square-foot warehouse just outside Atlanta. Inside, under the soft magenta glow of LED lights, grew five varieties of hydroponic lettuce stacked nine levels high. A handful of employees were busy harvesting the greens. Their pace matched Malechuk’s ambition: to grow 10 million headsREAD MORE

coral reefs hawaii imaging climate change

This New Imaging System Could Be a Game Changer in the Fight to Save Coral Reefs

Not that long ago, Brian Neilson, program manager at Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources-Division of Aquatic Resources, had only two ways of mapping coral reefs: send out divers or gather satellite images. Neither was perfect. Divers could produce detailed maps, showing which corals were healthy and which were ailing, but they could only coverREAD MORE

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Source: U.S. Department of the Interior

Trump’s Last-Ditch Effort to Drill the Alaskan Wilderness

The Trump administration is making a last-minute push to sell oil rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Firms can now select which swaths of pristine Alaskan wilderness they would like to drill, and they could bid on leases before President Trump leaves office in January. ANWR is the largest wildlife refuge in the country,READ MORE

lake charles hurricanes climate change

Back-to-Back Hurricanes—A New Climate Peril?

When Hurricane Laura slammed into Lake Charles, Louisiana at the end of August, it downed power lines, felled trees and stripped roofs off houses in its path. After the storm passed and the skies cleared, it was time to rebuild. But in 2020, that would be no easy task.  This year has seen so many namedREAD MORE

california blackouts renewables

No, Renewables Did Not Cause California’s Blackouts

Record heat across California last weekend spurred Golden Staters to blast their air conditioners. The strain on the power grid was so great that California’s grid operator started rationing electricity. For the first time since the 2001 electricity crisis, it imposed rolling blackouts, shutting down power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses up and down theREAD MORE

gas pipeline explosions

The Growing Danger From Gas Pipelines

Pipelines exploded with the force of bombs, setting homes ablaze in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, on the evening of September 13, 2018. Columbia Gas, the local gas utility, had allowed too much pressure to build up in its aging cast-iron pipes until finally, they erupted in a series of blasts that injured more than 20 people and killedREAD MORE

methane regulation epa

EPA Weakens Methane Rule as Pollution Soars

This year, levels of methane, a powerful heat-trapping gas, hit an all-time high, driven in large part by pollution leaking from gas pipelines and drilling sites. Plugging these leaks is cheap, has enormous upsides for the climate, and is widely supported by major players in the industry, which is why it’s striking that the EPA has decided to weaken anREAD MORE

bill nye science literacy

Bill Nye: We Are Failing a National Test of Science Literacy

The United States is facing two massive threats — climate change and the coronavirus — that we cannot solve without science. One is playing out slowly, over decades, growing inexorably worse as we continue to burn fossil fuels. The other is advancing rapidly, exacting a grim toll in human lives, as we fail to contain theREAD MORE

coronavirus climate change

Climate Change Could Frustrate Efforts to Stop the Coronavirus

While there is some preliminary evidence that sunlight, heat and humidity could slow the spread of the coronavirus, the summer months also promise a host of new risks, The Washington Post reports. Soaring temperatures will either compel people wanting relief to go outside, where they could catch the coronavirus, or the coronavirus will force people toREAD MORE

Climate Change Cartoonist

Are We Screwed On Climate Change?

If you are a climate scientist, you are likely to hear the same question, again and again, from inquiring minds at weddings, bar mitzvahs, birthday parties and cocktail hours — are we screwed? It’s a fair query. Experts have put forward a litany of bleak scientific reports outlining what climate change means for the future of life onREAD MORE

During a crisis, such as the coronavirus, disinformation can take hold. Source: Pexels

When Disaster Strikes, Disinformation Spreads

Rumors take hold after every crisis, whether it’s a global pandemic or a climate-driven disaster. Social media makes it easy. Anyone can post any story, true or not, and count on others to share it, particularly if it inspires anxiety, fear or anger. While rumors can fuel stress, however, they are not meant to hurt otherREAD MORE

Architects have proposed remodeling walkways around Quebec’s rivers to better manage floodwaters, and they have suggested installing a bike path, shown above, to encourage people to exercise. Source: White Arkitekter Oslo

Cool Designs to Guard Against Flooding (PHOTOS)

Architect Ruurd Gietema lives in The Netherlands, a country perennially trying to hold back the sea. He said his homeland has paid a price for the high dikes and tall dunes it built to thwart rising waters and prevent flooding. “Protection was a high priority, but landscapes were erased,” Gietema said. This fact is not lostREAD MORE

Apocalypse myths climate change

These Apocalyptic Myths Are Coming True Thanks to Climate Change

The last year or so has seen a spate of landmark climate change reports that lay out an apocalyptic vision of the future, a vision that is already starting to take shape as rising temperatures fuel hellish wildfires in Australia, punishing floods in the Midwest, and ferocious hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. But it’s not justREAD MORE

climate change California birds

As California Forests Heat Up, Birds Are Flocking to Higher Ground

Forests are critical to slowing climate change because they soak up huge amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Birds help keep forests healthy by eating insects that spread tree-killing diseases. Birds also scatter seeds that give rise to new trees. If birds leave, the forests could be in trouble. “Without birds, forests would be more vulnerable toREAD MORE

coral reefs technology

Scientists Use Underwater Speakers to Lure Fish to Dead Reefs

A healthy coral reef sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies in milk. Snap. Crackle. Pop. “Thousands of invertebrates make this constant crackling, sizzling, static-like sound as … shrimp snap their claws and sea urchins scrape over rocks,” said scientist Tim Gordon. “Punctuated throughout that, you can hear the grunts, whoops, and chatter of many different fishes.”READ MORE

An excerpt from the 1955 logbook of the cutter Northwind. Source: National Archives

Century-Old Ship Logs Show How Much Ice the Arctic Has Lost

When retired Canadian meteorologist Michael Purves transcribes the handwritten notes from an ancient ship’s log, he finds himself transported back in time a century, imagining he is on board an old cutter, a fast-moving patrol boat, as it sails through the Bering Sea. In August 1919, for example, the cutter Bear, one of the forerunners ofREAD MORE

A forest. Source: Pexels

Powerful Storms Create an Opening for Invading Plants

Powerful winds can topple trees and tear up shrubs in the forest. And this can create an opening for invaders, plants that don’t belong there. To learn more about this post-storm phenomenon, scientists decided to take a look — up close and personal. But this can be grueling, as Eric Larson and Melissa Daniels discovered. For Daniels, whoREAD MORE

Desert sky at Joshua Tree National Park. Source: Pixabay

The Iconic Joshua Tree Is in Trouble

Botanist Lynn Sweet regularly treks through California’s Joshua Tree National Park, nearly 800,000 acres that lie at the intersection of the Mojave and Colorado deserts. She likes to photograph the gnarly, spikey-limbed trees, which look — as some have observed — like a picture from a Dr. Seuss children’s book. Much as many of the park’s million or more yearlyREAD MORE

Maui, Hawaii. Source: Pixabay

Island Trees Have Nowhere to Run From Climate Change

Kyle Rosenblad was hiking a steep mountain on the island of Maui in the summer of 2015 when he noticed a ruggedly beautiful tree species scattered around the landscape. Curious, and wondering what they were, he took some photographs and showed them to a friend. They were Bermuda cedars, a species native to the island ofREAD MORE

Farming with Artificial Intelligence

Farming with Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Our Food Supply

Wine growers have a neat, if unusual, trick for making more flavorful wine — don’t water the vines. Let the vines go dry right before harvest, and they will yield smaller grapes with more skin and less juice. Smaller grapes produce wine with a deeper color and more complex flavor. What if artificial intelligence could discover other tricksREAD MORE

carbon farming

A Radical Approach to Farming From a New Generation of Growers

Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the soil. It’s a relationship that people passionate about farming have with the earth, especially this time of year. It infuses their lives, leaving everything else as just background. “It immerses us into natural cycles that inextricably link us all,” said Logan Davis, who has a small farm inREAD MORE

A cricket. Source: Pexels

Steak Made From Insect-Inspired Lab-Grown Meat? Yum!

Edible insects are a great source of protein. But it’s probably folly to think that more than a few people want to swap crickets for steak on the dinner plate. Chomping on a sautéed cricket or savoring a spoonful of caterpillar stew just wouldn’t be the same. Natalie Rubio, a doctoral student and researcher at TuftsREAD MORE

Summer Heat Climate Change

How Humans Fueled Last Summer’s Extreme Heat

The summer of 2018 in Europe, North America and Asia was blistering. People died from the scorching heat. Roads and train tracks cracked. Power fizzled. Wildfires erupted. In Switzerland, climate researcher Martha Vogel found relief by swimming in Lake Zurich. But trying to work in her south-facing office without air conditioning became a real challenge. SheREAD MORE

snow energy nexus media news

Could Snow Be the Next Source of Clean Energy?

When the conversation turns to clean, renewable energy, the talk almost always is about sun and wind. No one ever brings up another natural power source, as yet untapped — snow. Incredible as it may sound, falling snow carries an electrical charge. Scientists have known this for decades, but until recently they couldn’t figure out how to turnREAD MORE


Invisible Heroes of the Sea (PHOTOS)

For nearly two centuries, scientists have pondered “Darwin’s Paradox,” the enduring mystery of why coral reefs thrive in tropical waters, which are woefully short on nutrients. Reefs are teeming oases in aquatic wastelands, and researchers have puzzled endlessly over how they flourish. One answer may come from the thousands of species of tiny colorful fish, rarelyREAD MORE