A warmer atmosphere can hold more water – and that makes floods harder to predict. To help, we improved one common tool used to predict floods.
Co-author Chloe Gustafson and mountaineer Meghan Seifert install measuring equipment on an ice stream.
Kerry Key/Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Liquid water below the ice determines how fast an ice stream flows. As the ice sheet gets thinner, more of that salty groundwater could rise.
Manufacturing a 300-ton nuclear reactor pressure vessel at a factory in Volgodonsk, Russia.
Pallava Bagla/Corbis via Getty Images
Russia isn’t a major producer of uranium, but it handles a large share of the steps that turn it into nuclear fuel. That makes it a major player in this globalized industry.
The energy transition is already underway.
Volker Hartmann/Getty Images
Clean energy innovation, giving up coal, cutting methane and getting China and India on board for net-zero can deliver progress at COP26.
Less than half the population of sub-Saharan Africa had access to electricity in 2019.
Major international donors, including the US and UK, are pledging to stop funding fossil fuel projects overseas, but they aren’t making the equivalent cuts at home.
Reducing fossil use and increasing renewable energy worldwide are crucial to both sustainable development and fighting climate change.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Energy and climate policies aren’t always headed in the same direction, but if they work together they can tackle two of the biggest challenges of our time.
U.S. President Joe Biden, with presidential climate envoy John Kerry, opened the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22, 2021, by announcing new U.S. targets.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Two energy and climate policy experts take a closer look at the Leaders Summit on Climate, the US pledge and today’s industrial reality.
Wind turbines and fighter jets both rely on imported critical minerals.
U.S. Air Force; Dennis Schroeder/NREL
Right now, the nation is almost entirely dependent on other countries for minerals that are used in everything from wind turbines to strike fighters and satellites.
Through the Paris Agreement, the world’s countries agreed to work to keep global warming well under 2 degrees Celsius.
Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images
The US is formally back in the Paris climate agreement as of today. As one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, it has a lot of work to do, with food security, health and safety at stake.
Even if every country meets its commitments, the world will still be on track to warm by more than 3 degrees Celsius this century, a new UNEP report shows.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images
Bold visions for slowing global warming have emerged from all over the world. What’s not clear is how countries will meet them.
President-elect Joe Biden picked former Secretary of State John Kerry, shown with him in 2015, to be U.S. climate envoy in the next administration.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
Choosing former Secretary of State John Kerry as climate envoy is the first step. To regain trust, the U.S. will also have to take concrete actions to cut its own greenhouse gas emissions.
A surface coal mine in Gillette, Wyoming, photographed in 2008.
The pandemic recession has reduced US energy demand, roiling budgets in states that are major fossil fuel producers. But politics and culture can impede efforts to look beyond oil, gas and coal.
Refugees in the city of Qab Illyas in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley dig their own water wells.
Hussein A. Amery
Both drought and violence drove many Syrians out of their homes; even if the war ends, the continuing difficulty of farming will make it hard for them to return.
Aeration tanks at the Oaks wastewater treatment plant in New Providence, Penn.
Montgomery County Planning Commission
The ‘used water’ that flows from our showers, dishwashers and toilets isn’t a waste to engineers – it contains valuable materials. The challenge is recovering them and turning them into products.
Trees burn in the High Park wildfire near Fort Collins, Colorado, June 17, 2012.
Much disaster reporting simply chronicles events, but good journalism digs deeper and examines causes. Stories about Colorado wildfires have raised questions about risk, especially on fire anniversaries.
Lots of these: settling ponds precipitate iron oxide and other suspended materials from the Red and Bonita mines near the Gold King Mine.
Newly released data show how the hundreds of abandoned mines in the western US discharge the same volume as the Gold King Mine spill every two days.
Not pretty: the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado on August 9.
The dramatic wastewater spill in the Animas River is past its critical phase but given the long history of untreated mine waste, there will surely be more like it.
In a hotter, drier West, who, besides fish, will be most harmed?
James Marvin Phelps/flickr
Hydrologists, climate scientists and policymakers are beginning to grapple with a difficult question: who will be affected most by longer and more frequent droughts?