Why do leaves change color in the fall?

Plants are green because their cells contain chlorophyll (a green pigment, see notes 1) inside little structures called chloroplasts. Chlorophyll is green because it absorbs other wavelengths of light, but reflects the wavelength that we see as green. That’s why most plants are green, including trees and grass. Those wavelengths that the chlorophyll is absorbing? …

Creating Power Foods with Gene Technology

At least 820 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition globally and human population growth is likely to exacerbate this problem in the future. It is becoming increasingly important to develop sustainable and efficient methods to meet food demands. To address this global issue, Dr. Sanju A. Sanjaya and Bagyalakshmi Muthan from West Virginia State …

Regrowing a tropical forest – is it better to plant trees or leave it to nature?

The destruction of tropical forests is a major contributor to biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. In response, conservationists and scientists like us are debating how to best catalyze the recovery of these forests. How do you take a patch of earth littered with tree stumps, or even a grassy pasture or palm oil plantation, …

Animals are disappearing from forests, with grave consequences for the fight against climate breakdown – new research

It’s tempting to think that our forests would be fine if we could simply stop trees from being felled or burnt. But forests – particularly tropical ones – are more than just trees. They’re also the animals that skulk and swoop among them. Worryingly, these furry and feathered companions are rapidly disappearing – and our …

If we lose the Amazon rainforest, the consequences would be disastrous

There are big wildfires in the Amazon, the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Rainforests are the oldest living ecosystems and without a shadow of a doubt, the most vital habitats on Earth (Amazon rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years). The Amazon represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests, and comprises …

UN report warns one million species at risk of extinction

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 …

Earth without Moon – what would it be like?

The Moon is the Earth’s only natural satellite. It is also the fifth-largest natural satellite in the Solar System and the largest among planetary satellites relative to the size of the planet that it orbits. It formed about 4.51 billion years ago from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a …

What If Earth’s History Compressed Into One Year

What if the Earth’s history (our planet’s age is approximately 4.54 billion years), compressed into just one year? @YearOnEarth just did that. At midnight on the 31st of December, Chris Jennings started a little project for the incoming year: tweeting the entirety of the geological history of the Earth, compressed into one year. The result …