Stuff To Read

Climate-friendly burgers: fact or fiction?


Here’s a crazy idea: What if your love of steak wasn’t a massive environmental problem but part of a solution instead? What if we could suck carbon out of the air and save the world simply by eating beef?

A new study suggests that all this is possible, but … Read the rest

Orangutan Who Spent 5 Years In Box Wouldn’t Let Go Of Rescuer

When the baby orangutan was pulled out from the cage, he scrambled into the arms of one of the female rescuers — and he didn’t let go.

Last week, a team from International Animal Rescue (IAR) found Utu, a 5-year-old Bornean orangutan, on a property in West Borneo in … Read the rest

Only 12 Of These Rare Porpoises Are Left In The World

The vaquita — a tiny, rare porpoise who lives in the Sea of Cortez in the Upper Gulf of California, near Mexico — is the most endangered cetacean in the world. Last year, experts determined there were only 30 vaquitas left. Now, they say, there are only about a … Read the rest

Trees, our best defense against climate change, are going up in flames


Each year, the Earth’s trees suck more than a hundred billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That’s an impossibly huge number to consider, about 60 times the weight of all the humans currently on the planet.

Our forests perform a cornucopia of services: Serving as a Read the rest

Devil’s Bargain


A trope of sci-fi movies these days, from Snowpiercer to Geostorm, is that our failure to tackle climate change will eventually force us to deploy an arsenal of unproven technologies to save the planet. Think sun-deflecting space mirrors or chemically altered clouds. And because these are sci-fi movies, … Read the rest

Where it all began…well for us anyway!

It started with a conversation around the dinner table at my parents house. A conversation about an article that my mum had read about an Island made of plastic… “A what now?” ” An Island made entirely of plastic rubbish that has ended up in the sea, it’s all caught

Read the rest

Video Shows Everything That’s Wrong With Keeping Dolphins In Tanks

In a new video, a Risso’s dolphin stands upright in an ocean pool as a man siphons water into her stomach with a long plastic tube. The dolphin doesn’t fight it — she remains still for as long as the tube remains in her throat, only dipping below the … Read the rest

Sheep Are Packed Into These Crates For The Worst Reason

The sheep were packed into crates like lifeless cargo. They had no food. No water. And they had a terrifying plane journey ahead of them.

Earlier this month, photographers in Australia got access to an undisclosed airport runway, and took photos of crated sheep as they were being loaded onto … Read the rest

Get used to saying ‘bomb cyclone.’ This is our climate now.


Now that one of the strongest nor’easters on record has swirled off to Canada, it’s time to talk about what everyone was thinking during the storm: Is this just what happens now?

Short answer: yes. Get used to it. Wild storms like this week’s massive coastal cyclone will be … Read the rest

People Just Realized There May Be Only 30 Of These Animals Left On Earth

No one knows exactly how many rare Sumatran rhinos are left in the wild, but new estimates suggest the population is as low as 30. The best-case scenario? Just under 100. And there are just nine Sumatran rhinos in captivity.

These are bleak estimates, especially since if the Sumatran rhino … Read the rest

Over half of Greenland’s ice sheet is in danger of melting.

New research in the journal Geophysical Research Letters confirms that 139 glaciers are exposed to the melting influence of ocean water, many of those reaching deep below sea level where the water is warmer.

Using a combination of satellite radar, aerial imagery, and sonar data, researchers carefully mapped the topography … Read the rest

The Halloween of the future is coming, and you’re not going to like it.

Climate change is ruining our spookiest holiday. Here are some scary ways the 31st of October might look different going forward:

  • No more bats. That’s right, the little critters could be on their way to extinction thanks to disease and habitat loss. At least one bat species in the United
Read the rest

Renewables now provide a quarter of the world’s power.


A new report from the International Energy Agency surveys the growth of hydropower, wind, and other forms of renewable energy and finds they’re catching up to coal (still the world’s largest source of electricity). At this rate, renewables are expected to provide 30 percent of power generation by 2022.… Read the rest

Hurricanes keep bringing blackouts. Clean energy could keep the lights on.


When Hurricane Irma scraped its way up the Florida peninsula, it left the state’s electrical grid in pieces. Between 7 million and 10 million people lost power during the storm — as much as half of the state — and some vulnerable residents lost their lives in the sweltering … Read the rest

Of course we should discuss climate change in the wake of Harvey and Irma


Back when Hurricane Irma was a Category-5 storm pounding Caribbean islands like Barbuda, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt hopped on the phone with CNN. The country was anticipating Irma’s landfall in Florida — which would follow less than two weeks after Hurricane Harvey inundated Houston — and … Read the rest

Man Finds Hundreds Of Shark Fins Piled In Middle Of Street

Mike Staley was walking to his office in Hong Kong when something stopped him in his tracks. Out on the street, a man poured hundreds of shark fins out of a large white sack so the fins could dry out in the sun.

“This is one particular trader who I … Read the rest

Companies are turning ocean trash into running shoes and sunglasses


This story was originally published by Oceans Deeply. For important news about plastic pollution, you can sign up to the Oceans Deeply email list.

When oil prices drop, as they have in recent years, recycling profits plummet. In most countries, it’s cheaper to simply make new … Read the rest

Meet July, the hottest month yet


Our planet has never been warmer than it was last month, according to data released by NASA on Tuesday.

Yes, you’ve heard some version of that story before, and you’re sure to hear it again and again in the coming years, but this time, it’s a bit freaky.

The … Read the rest

Death Valley had the hottest month ever measured on Earth


This story was originally published by High Country News and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Weather historian Christopher Burt had been closely tracking the blazing temperatures in Death Valley, California, this summer. The days were hot, but what was especially notable to him was … Read the rest

Climate change is a top security threat, and most of the world knows it


This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

People around the world consider climate change to be a top security threat — and in some cases the biggest threat, according to a survey published Tuesday by Pew Research Read the rest

The first half of 2017 was the second hottest to date

At the halfway point of the year, 2017 remains the second-hottest year to date — a surprise given the demise of the El Niño that helped boost temperatures to record levels last year.

The continued near-record warmth is a marker of just how much global temperatures have risen thanks to … Read the rest

A trillion-ton iceberg just broke off Antarctica


One of the largest icebergs ever recorded broke off Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf earlier this week, according to satellite pictures and scientists who monitor such things, permanently altering the coastline of our planet’s frozen continent.

Twice the size of Long Island and packing a trillion tons of ice … Read the rest

Stop scaring people about climate change. It doesn’t work.


Heat death. The end of food. Unbreathable air. Perpetual war.

Yep, like much of the internet, I’ve been reading New York Magazine’s harrowing cover story on climate change. I do this for a living, and my stomach is still twisted in knots.

In a nine-part, 7,300-word fatalistic essay, … Read the rest

They’re being told it’s a rare herb.

Hatha jodi. The people selling this strange, cactus-shaped product say it’s the rare root of a plant that can be used as a lucky charm. But in reality, it’s made from the body parts of monitor lizards. And the lizards used to make hatha jodi go through absolute hell.

First, … Read the rest

The unsustainable whiteness of green


Aaron Mair’s story starts out all too familiar to people of color who have encountered any of the big green groups: He asked one for help dealing with an issue of critical importance to the health of his family and community — and was turned away.

This was back … Read the rest

Here’s how no-slaughter meat goes mainstream.

In a new report, Grist 50-er Liz Specht identifies the obstacles that prevent earth-friendly meat from taking over the world. If meat stopped coming from cows and was instead grown in the lab, she argues, it would slash meat production’s environmental footprint.

So, Specht and her colleagues at the Good … Read the rest

This has to stop.

Throngs of visitors regularly gather at a zoo in Germany to see a dozen captive elephants, including babies, performing tricks, like standing up on their hind legs and running around a ring in a line, or holding each other’s tails with their little trunks — but secret footage shows … Read the rest

The sea is rising three times faster than we thought.

Global sea-level rise before 1990 was smaller than previously thought — which means all the sea-level rise we’ve observed since 1990 has been happening much faster than we knew, according to new research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The backstory: Before satellites, sea-level measurements were … Read the rest

Plastic Bags That Degrade In 18 Months

Plastic bags are everywhere, stuck in the hedgerows, blowing about the streets, floating about in streams and rivers. And the ones that end up in landfill sites take 400 odd years to degrade.

As a deterrent, retailers do now charge for carrier bags, but is only a deterrent when more … Read the rest

Glacier National Park used to have 150 glaciers. Now it has 26.


Glacier National Park is losing its namesake glaciers and new research shows just how quickly: Over the past 50 years, 39 of the park’s glaciers have shrunk dramatically, some by as much as 85 percent.

Of the 150 glaciers that existed it the park in the late 19th century, … Read the rest

Zoo Where Almost 500 Animals Died Remains Open


The U.K. zoo where nearly 500 animals have died will remain open, much to the disappointment and frustration of animal welfare advocates who campaigned to shut the facility down.

Cumbria Zoo, formerly known as South Lakes Safari Zoo, made the news earlier this year when a myriad of animal … Read the rest

Veggies grown with toilet water could be headed to your table


Second in a series on lessons from California’s water crisis.

“It’s going to be kind of noisy — and very smelly,” Laura Anhalt warns, laughing, as we enter our first building at the primary wastewater treatment plant in Modesto, California. She’s right: The funk of processed sewage hits quickly.… Read the rest

Do you really need that? No, you don’t.


Every dumb thing you own required some ghastly combination of fossil fuels, water, and marketing misanthropy to find its way into your home. Sure, you’re not about to fashion an iPhone out of foraged twigs, but you can put an end to impulse shopping.

Impulse purchases rarely have to … Read the rest

Arctic sea ice could be a thing of the past by the 2030s


Evidence continues to mount that climate change has pushed the Arctic into a new state. Skyrocketing temperatures are altering the essence of the region, melting ice on land and sea, driving more intense wildfires, altering ocean circulation, and dissolving permafrost.

A new report chronicles all these changes and warns … Read the rest

Britain just went a whole day without burning any coal for electricity.


It hit the milestone on Friday, going a full 24 hours without relying on the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel.

That’s a first since the Industrial Revolution — and an indication of big changes in the country that brought us the original steam engine.

Britain is on track to completely … Read the rest

We just hit 410 ppm of CO2. Welcome to a whole new world.

This is not normal: We’re on track to witness a climate unseen in 50 million years by mid-century.

In pre-industrial times, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere stood at 280 parts per million. And that number has been rising ever since, warming the planet by 1.8 degrees F … Read the rest

Hunters Are About To Kill Thousands Of Baby Seals

A lone baby harp seal cried on a ice floe off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The seal was only about 14 days old, and she had already witnessed a lifetime of horror.

Hunters had come there. They hadn’t killed her, but they’d shot and beaten all of her friends, … Read the rest

Millions Of Animals Just Lost Their Home In The Ocean

While diving in Thailand in 2010, Mark Eakin, a scientist with the NOAA, saw some clownfish behaving in strange way — and for a very concerning reason.

Clown fish live in sea anemones — jellyfish-like polyps with toxic tentacles — mainly for safety reasons. But the clown fish he … Read the rest

Oceans are about to turn into a frothing cauldron of death.


Under the influence of climate change, huge patches of ocean will grow hot, acidic, and barren in coming decades according to new projections published in Nature Communications. If life goes on as usual, climate change will disrupt more than half of the world’s ocean habitat in the next … Read the rest

Almost 500 Animals Have Died At This Zoo In Just Four Years

When inspectors from the Captive Animals’ Protection Society (CAPS) visited South Lakes Safari Zoo (also known as Cumbria Zoo) they were shocked at what they saw.

“Things like a kangaroo who was emaciated,” Madeline Taylor, campaigns officer for CAPS, told The Dodo. “A lemur that had a sore on its … Read the rest

Here are 4 ways climate change is messing with our brains — for the worse.

We might think of climate change as purely physical: wildfires blazing through forests, rising seas lapping at the doors of coastal homes.

But those brutal conditions also affect our mental health, changing how we think and act. Mental health professionals are paying attention to the link between climate change and … Read the rest

The unsolved mystery of an ocean protector’s disappearance


This story was originally published by Reveal and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Day after day, Keith Davis stood at the rail of the cargo ship, watching a fleet of rusty long-liners off-load tuna, marlin, and other fish.

His work as an observer for … Read the rest

Rising seas aren’t the only threat to coastlines


Scientists have warned that sea-level rise will make coastal areas around the world vulnerable to flooding. But the creeping ocean isn’t the only force threatening waterfronts like in Grays Harbor. A study published this week by the United States Geological Survey shows that erosion will make the West Coast … Read the rest

About 700 species are already being hurt by climate change.


We’re not talking about a future threat, but harm that is very much happening right now, a new paper in Nature Climate Change has found.

The authors reviewed 136 studies published between 1990 and 2015, and looked at modeling from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. They found … Read the rest

The terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Arctic winter is about to get worse


Weird. Strange. Extreme. Unprecedented.

These are some of the words that describe what’s been happening in the Arctic over the past year as surge after surge of warm air has stalled, and at times reversed, sea ice pack growth. And the unfortunate string of superlatives is set … Read the rest

1.5 degrees C may be closer than we thought


Most scientists studying global warming compare today’s temperatures to those of the late 19th century because that is as far back as quality temperature observations go. But a new study makes the case for a better comparison period, one that includes the warming that had already resulted by the … Read the rest

Hundreds Of Dolphins Are Waiting To Die Right Now In Infamous Cove

Right now, more than 200 dolphins are packed into a tiny sea pen off the coast of Taiji, Japan, waiting for the worst.

The dolphins on Friday afternoon.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Every year, Taiji’s dolphin hunters hold a months-long hunt to round up dolphin families and drive them into … Read the rest

The science is in: 2016 was officially the hottest year ever


This story was originally published by the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

2016 was the hottest year on record, setting a new high for the third year in a row, with scientists firmly putting the blame on human activities that drive … Read the rest

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