As the prospect of catastrophic effects from climate change becomes increasingly likely, a search is on for innovative ways to reduce the risks. One potentially powerful and low-cost strategy is to recognize and protect natural carbon sinks – places and processes that store carbon, keeping it out of Earth’s atmosphere.Continue reading Sea creatures store carbon in the ocean – could protecting them help slow climate change?
The way that we live on Earth is causing an unprecedented acceleration in species extinction. Now, more than half a million species “have insufficient habitat for long-term survival” and are likely to go extinct unless their natural environments are restored. But we are already seeing major problems from this intrusion, not least through an increase in human-animal conflict.Continue reading Tragic tale of a ‘man-eating’ tigress tells us so much about the climate crisis
Despite the often manic nature of our news cycle, we see two constants in it: immediate action is needed to preserve the environment, and the development of artificial intelligence is progressing at an unfathomable rate. While these may not seem related, their compatibility is undeniable. In fact, artificial intelligence is already doing a hefty share to protect our environment.Continue reading How Artificial Intelligence Is Helping to Protect Our Environment
We, humans, are destroying the Earth’s wilderness, very fast. Actually, we are the main (and probably the only) cause of the sixth major extinction event in the history of our planet. Now, a recent UN report says at least one million species (animals, plants, and insects) are at the risk of extinction. There will be serious consequences for life on Earth, and also for human beings.Continue reading UN report warns one million species at risk of extinction
NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) on the International Space Station (ISS) beams laser light down to Earth to reveal the height and density of trees and vegetation.Continue reading GEDI: NASA’s Laser Mission to Measure Trees
Many of us think that rapid environmental change is a quintessentially modern crisis. Today, temperatures are soaring, topsoil is washing away, phosphorous is being diluted, forests are retreating, pesticides are sterilising farmland, fertilisers are choking waterways, and biodiversity is plummeting under the onslaught of overpopulated, industrialised societies. Some of these changes are indeed truly new. But many others have deep roots and distant echoes in the early modern period, the years between around 1400 and 1800 when much of the world began to assume its present form. Recently, scientists, geographers, historians, and archaeologists have combined expertise and evidence to reveal just how profound early modern environmental transformations really were.Continue reading Did European Colonisation precipitate the Little Ice Age?
Smart technology may have started as a way to make modern life more convenient, but it has significant potential to help us conserve resources and address environmental problems, too. Humans are undoubtedly having a huge impact on the planet, and technology is both a cause and a possible solution to the damage we’re doing. From small-scale changes in individual homes to large-scale efforts such as recycling carbon dioxide and carbon capture storage, it is possible to create systems of technology that work with, not against, the environment.Continue reading Smart Technology: Protecting Your Home and Saving the Planet
Around 55.5 million years ago, there was a time period with more than 5°C – 8 °C warmer global average temperature than today, which named “Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum” (PETM). As a result, there were crocodiles and even crocodiles in the Arctic and the region was completely ice-free. Now, a new study suggests that if we keep burning fossil fuels at the current rate, the Earth will be again 8 degrees warmer within the next few hundred years. We’re going to face another PETM-like event soon.Continue reading We are pumping 10 times more carbon into the atmosphere than when there were palm trees in the Arctic
In this episode of NASA Explorers (Season 1 Episode 7), the scientists go back in time – by going underground. In the Arctic, a frozen layer of soil – permafrost, the “permanently” frozen earth – trapped dead plants and animals for thousands of years. As the climate warms, that soil is beginning to thaw, releasing carbon dioxide and methane – two harmful greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming.Continue reading Watch – NASA Explorers: Permafrost
Here is a quick summary of the Earth’s snow cover between March 2000 and December 2018. These snow cover maps are made from observations collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite.Continue reading Snow cover of Earth between Mar. 2000 and Dec. 2018