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reporting on our changing planet

 

Reusing wastewater in agriculture could reduce water scarcity. Can you stomach it?   Reusing wastewater in agriculture could reduce water scarcity. Can you stomach it? What happens to water after washing your hands or flushing the toilet? Worldwide, over 80% of… Notable
Tiny creatures play a big role in climate change   Tiny creatures play a big role in climate change You can’t see them, but it’s time to start trying. Notable
How the secret language of plants can make agriculture more environmentally friendly   How the secret language of plants can make agriculture more environmentally friendly Freshly cut grass is a quintessential smell of summer. While the smell might conjure memories of… Notable
Most illustrations of the water cycle are missing an important ingredient: People.   Most illustrations of the water cycle are missing an important ingredient: People. Some 80% of wastewater worldwide goes back into ecosystems without getting treated for… Notable
Researchers recommend chemistry educators focus more on environmental impacts   Researchers recommend chemistry educators focus more on environmental impacts Think chemistry classes should be all about balancing chemical equations and memorizing the… Notable
New study identifies the world’s best places for recycling phosphorus   New study identifies the world’s best places for recycling phosphorus In 2007–08, the cost of fertilizer soared — driven in part by a 400% spike in the price of… Notable
Conflict over fish and wildlife management is on the rise. Here’s why.   Conflict over fish and wildlife management is on the rise. Here’s why. A crowd gathered in Hudson, Wisconsin, earlier this month for a public forum on whether the federal… Notable
Life on Earth weighs more than 80 billion school buses — and hardly any of that is animals   Life on Earth weighs more than 80 billion school buses — and hardly any of that is animals Biodiversity, the variety and number of living things, may drive conservation conversations. But… Notable
How 2.4 billion gamers might help save the planet   How 2.4 billion gamers might help save the planet Some 2.4 billion people play video games on computers, consoles and phones. Defying stereotypes… Notable
What does a 1.5-degree lifestyle look like?   What does a 1.5-degree lifestyle look like? The sheer scale of the individual and societal shifts needed to avoid the worst of climate change… Notable
New UN report outlines steps for ensuring that everyone has access to clean drinking water and sanitation   New UN report outlines steps for ensuring that everyone has access to clean drinking water and sanitation Three out of every 10 people on Earth lack access to a reliable supply of clean drinking water. Six… Notable
7 recommendations for incorporating indigenous perspectives into biodiversity conservation   7 recommendations for incorporating indigenous perspectives into biodiversity conservation When it comes to conservation, it’s tempting to think that science is the only guide to good… Notable
How are we doing with the environment-related Sustainable Development Goals?   How are we doing with the environment-related Sustainable Development Goals? In 2015, the United Nations’ 193 member states established an agenda for the future: 17 Sustainable… Notable
This study argues genetic modification could help quinoa, millet and other naturally stress-resistant plants become more productive   This study argues genetic modification could help quinoa, millet and other naturally stress-resistant plants become more productive Drought, extreme temperatures, salt in the soil: Because of conditions like these — which… Notable
From Tibetan weather engineering to Earth insurance, these 15 trends have big implications for biodiversity in 2019   From Tibetan weather engineering to Earth insurance, these 15 trends have big implications for biodiversity in 2019 More than two dozen futurists, environmental scientists and others from around the world recently… Notable
Can we make batteries better for the environment?   Can we make batteries better for the environment? Batteries are ubiquitous yet often ignored, humming in the background while powering appliances… Notable
Retired farmland can become valuable habitat — if we give it a hand   Retired farmland can become valuable habitat — if we give it a hand With Earth in the throes of what many scientists consider our planet’s sixth mass extinction — as… Notable
Minimizing the downsides of the energy transition   Minimizing the downsides of the energy transition Transitions by definition are disruptive. Whether it’s switching jobs, electing new leaders… Notable
The way we power our lives is undergoing a huge transition. How can we minimize the pain and maximize the gain?   The way we power our lives is undergoing a huge transition. How can we minimize the pain and maximize the gain? Whether it’s using plants to power muscles, ancient buried carbon to transport ourselves, or… Notable
Small strips of prairie hold big hope for helping cure a multitude of environmental ills   Small strips of prairie hold big hope for helping cure a multitude of environmental ills Tallgrass prairie, and the rich diversity of plants and animals it supports, covered 150 million… Notable
The biggest problem with e-waste? What we don’t know.   The biggest problem with e-waste? What we don’t know. When your phone stops working or you trade up for a newer model, where does it go? Like any… Notable
Fighting deadly toxins in the developing world   Fighting deadly toxins in the developing world In the Global South, hundreds of millions of people are exposed to mycotoxins — deadly compounds… Notable
Disease from the deep freeze and 14 other emerging conservation issues to watch for in 2018   Disease from the deep freeze and 14 other emerging conservation issues to watch for in 2018 Each year more than a score of futurists, researchers and others from around the world put their… Notable
The leaves on the tree of life are almost all microbes   The leaves on the tree of life are almost all microbes Planet of the insects? Heck no. Planet of the microbes. Notable
Home and away: New report offers tools and strategies for successful climate relocation   Home and away: New report offers tools and strategies for successful climate relocation  Climate change is coming home, and some have no choice but to get out of the way. Notable
Bringing aeroconservation down to Earth   Bringing aeroconservation down to Earth From migrating birds to pollinating bees to seed-dispersing plants, thousands of species depend on… Notable
The best way to restore environments in the face of climate change   The best way to restore environments in the face of climate change Florida’s Kissimmee River once flowed freely. Fish, birds and other wildlife dwelled in the… Notable
Double-duty device aims to generate electricity from sunlight while reducing nitrous oxide pollution   Double-duty device aims to generate electricity from sunlight while reducing nitrous oxide pollution Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas and ozone-layer depleting compound, and each year humans… Notable
What we know — and don’t — about climate change in Africa   What we know — and don’t — about climate change in Africa Climate change’s effects on humankind may prove most severe on the African continent, due to… Notable
Animals and plants evolve faster in cities — with implications for humans   Animals and plants evolve faster in cities — with implications for humans Cities are hubs of commerce, politics, population — and evolution? Yep. Due to human-wrought… Notable
Ecologists pay disproportionately little attention to synthetic chemicals, study finds   Ecologists pay disproportionately little attention to synthetic chemicals, study finds Manmade chemicals may alter ecological processes, yet few scientists are studying the role of these… Notable
A look at what works — and doesn’t — in the world of conservation   A look at what works — and doesn’t — in the world of conservation For public land managers, policy-makers, natural resource specialists, farmers, ranchers and others… Notable
New website showcases seeds of a brighter future   New website showcases seeds of a brighter future Want to solve big problems? Start small. Notable
From electronic noses to invasive bees, 15 surprising trends for 2017   From electronic noses to invasive bees, 15 surprising trends for 2017 What should we be thinking about when we think about the future of biodiversity, conservation and… Notable
Burundi leads the world in renewable energy use — and other fascinating facts about the world today   Burundi leads the world in renewable energy use — and other fascinating facts about the world today Good news: more people across the globe have improved access to safe water and sanitation. Bad… Notable
When it comes to the future of urban transportation, self-driving cars are just the start   When it comes to the future of urban transportation, self-driving cars are just the start Self-driving taxis, parking lots replaced by parks, quiet freeways, clean air, Wi-Fi-enabled… Notable
Study shows online consumers want environmentally friendly options   Study shows online consumers want environmentally friendly options Reducing the carbon footprint of what we buy isn’t easy, but the opportunity for impact is… Notable
The most threatened ecosystem you’ve never heard of   The most threatened ecosystem you’ve never heard of What covers up to 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 square miles) of Earth’s surface, provides… Notable
Sustainability is good business — and here’s proof   Sustainability is good business — and here’s proof For many businesses, sustainability is a nice idea that looks better on paper than in practice… Notable
Wind power is about to get a whole lot cheaper   Wind power is about to get a whole lot cheaper Wind energy is soaring around the world, thanks to technology advances and energy policies that… Notable
Scientists uncover surprising source of carbon storage hidden in plain sight   Scientists uncover surprising source of carbon storage hidden in plain sight Agroforestry — integrating trees into cropland or pastureland — is often discussed as a promising… Notable
The average North American uses 8 elephants’  worth of stuff   The average North American uses 8 elephants’ worth of stuff How much raw material does it take to support you? If you’re an average African, about 3 metric… Notable
23 countries just got energy efficiency report cards – and they’re almost all flunking   23 countries just got energy efficiency report cards – and they’re almost all flunking The most valuable tool we have to meet the world’s growing energy demand while reducing greenhouse… Notable
Tackling cities’ hidden climate footprint   Tackling cities’ hidden climate footprint When it comes to climate change, a city’s significance stretches past its skyline. Notable
Which diet makes best use of farmland? You might be surprised.   Which diet makes best use of farmland? You might be surprised. Editor’s note: This piece was produced in collaboration with the academic journal Elementa. It is… Notable
What does climate change mean for America’s $73 billion angling industry?   What does climate change mean for America’s $73 billion angling industry? Inland fish play critical roles in North American ecosystems and economics: In the U.S. alone in… Notable
A call to conserve crops’ wild cousins   A call to conserve crops’ wild cousins Wild cousins aren’t always appreciated at family gatherings. But when it comes to crops, the… Notable
Northern shipping: Is the anticipated climate boost a bust?   Northern shipping: Is the anticipated climate boost a bust? Editor’s note: This piece was produced in collaboration with the academic journal Elementa. It is… Notable
Imagine a podcast from a federal agency. Then listen to this.   Imagine a podcast from a federal agency. Then listen to this. The U.S. Department of Energy just jumped on the podcast train — and what it’s bringing on… Notable
Is biodiversity the best medicine?   Is biodiversity the best medicine? Forget laughter: Biodiversity could be the best medicine, at least when it comes to keeping plants… Notable
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