A firefighter runs after trying to save a home in Lakeport, California, suffering its biggest fires ever. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Climate change and wildfires – how do we know if there is a link?

With California suffering another devastating wildfire year, more people are wondering about whether and how global warming is contributing. A climate scientist explains.
In contrast to common perceptions, Antarctic seafloor communities are highly diverse. This image shows a deep East Antarctic reef with plenty of corals, sponges and brittlestars. Can you spot the octopus? Australian Antarctic Division

Antarctic seas host a surprising mix of lifeforms – and now we can map them

Life on the Antarctic seafloor is surprisingly diverse – and half of the species live nowhere else on Earth. Now scientists can accurately map this unique biodiversity.
A research study found that most of the debris in gulls’ stomachs is plastic – exposing the birds to high levels of chemical contaminants and potentially limiting their reproductive success. (Shutterstock)

All-you-can-eat landfill buffet spells trouble for birds

Seagulls have no qualms about sifting through dumps for scraps. But this buffet comes at a cost, filling their stomachs with plastic, glass, metal and even building materials.
Predatory fish are among the most vulnerable species to human pressures. Rich Carey/Shutterstock

New map shows that only 13% of the oceans are still truly wild

The world has some 500 million square kilometres of ocean. But just 55 million square kilometres remain untouched by intensive human activities such as fishing.
Purse seiner fishing in the Indian Ocean. Footprint estimates do not assess how sustainably resources such as fisheries are managed. Jiri Rezac

Yes, humans are depleting Earth’s resources, but ‘footprint’ estimates don’t tell the full story

August 1, 2018 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates actually understate the problem.
Survivors of the dam disaster take refuge at a temporary shelter in Laos’s Attapeu province. ABC Laos News/EPA

The Laos disaster reminds us that local people are too often victims of dam development

Images of the aftermath of the Xepian-Xe Nam Noy dam collapse in Laos went around the world. But many other dam projects harm locals and the environment in less visible ways.

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