Global emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane hit an all-time high in 2017, according to a pair of new studies released this week by researchers with the Global Carbon Project. Agriculture, landfill waste and fossil fuel production are driving the sharp increase in methane emissions from human activities, reports Maria Temming of Science News. Continue reading World Methane Emissions Hit New High
This story will provide important context for the headline, and I encourage you to read it—but really, the headline tells you what you need to know: It was 80 degrees Fahrenheit above the Arctic Circle this week. Continue reading It Hit 80 Degrees in the Arctic This Week
The collapse of an unstable mountain slope in Alaska could trigger a catastrophic tsunami in Harriman Fjord. A retreating glacier is producing this precarious situation, highlighting yet another type of hazard caused by climate change. Continue reading Looming Landslide in Alaska Could Trigger Enormous Tsunami at Any Moment, Scientists Warn
The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows. Continue reading The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution
In the scheme of things, a freak lightning storm near the North Pole probably isn’t the biggest concern about the rapidly warming Arctic. But it’s yet another sign that the Arctic continues to have an abnormal one this summer. Continue reading Lightning Struck Near the North Pole as the Arctic Continues to Unravel
The Congo Basin is the second-largest rainforest on Earth, and like most tropical forests, it’s getting chewed up by humans. That’s a problem for the climate, and not just because trees are a natural sponge helping to mop up humanity’s ever-rising carbon emissions. New research suggests that as trees are replaced with fields for agriculture, carbon that’s been locked up in the Congo’s soils for hundreds to thousands of years is starting to seep out. Continue reading The World’s Second-Largest Rainforest Is Losing the Carbon It’s Held for a Thousand Years
Hundreds of millions of years ago, massive ice caps sheathed Earth’s continents from coast to coast. Only the peaks of the planet’s mountains stood above the ice as glaciers ground and crushed their way through the bedrock, meandering slowly toward the snow-covered plains. Where the glaciers met the oceans, huge blocks of ice and rock calved from the glaciers and dropped into the sea. Life, mostly algae, cyanobacteria and other bacteria, somehow persisted in the small ice-free pockets of ocean water. Like an icy planet in a distant solar system, Earth during its formative years, a juvenile phase known as the “Snowball” Earth, was a far different place than the mostly blue planet of today. Continue reading How Does Earth’s Carbon Cycle Work?