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Beyond net-zero: we should, if we can, cool the planet back to pre-industrial levels

Our ability to cool the planet takes humanity into unchartered territory. In a new paper published today, researchers discuss the big unknowns in a post net-zero world.
A stray polar bear is seen outside Oktyabrsky mine on the outskirts of the Russian industrial city of Norilsk in 2019. Irina Yarinskaya/AFP

Other casualties of Putin’s war in Ukraine: Russia’s climate goals and science

The war in Ukraine threatens to turn back the clock on Russia’s climate progress, with some calling on the country to leave the Paris Agreement and roll back environmental regulations.
In India, air conditioning system vendors waiting for customers during an episode of high heat. Raveendran/AFP

How we can keep our planet cool even as A/C use rises

As our planet warms, the number of air-conditioning units worldwide is expected to triple by 2050 – yet their use drives climate change. So how can we break the cycle?
On June 5-6, 2012, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory collected images of one of the rarest predictable solar events: the transit of Venus across the face of the Sun. NASA/SDO, AIA

Why we need to get back to Venus

This hot, acidic neighbor with its surface veiled in thick clouds hasn’t benefited from the attention showered on Mars and the Moon. But Venus may offer insights into the fate of the Earth.
The air up high is just really bad at ‘holding’ onto the radiation coming from the Sun, and the warmth passes straight through it on its journey toward the ground. Kevin Spencer/flicr

Curious Kids: why is air colder the higher up you go?

It helps if you imagine the ground here on Earth as a big heater. It keeps us warm, and if you move away from the heater you feel cold.
Corals near Lizard Island on the northern Great Barrier Reef experienced some of the worst bleaching in 2016. XL Catlin Seaview Survey/AAP Photo

It’s official: 2016’s Great Barrier Reef bleaching was unlike anything that went before

The 2016 bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef was the worst on record. Now a new analysis points the finger squarely at human-induced warming, and warns that the entire reef’s future is at stake.

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