Coal miner Scott Tiller works next to a drill in an underground coal mine roughly 40 inches high in Welch, West Virginia.
AP Photo/David Goldman
A recent study found the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever recorded among coal miners in central Appalachia. Two doctors who treat black lung patients explain how miners contract it.
The Agriculture Department provides nearly $6 billion annually for land, water and wildlife conservation on farms. President Trump's 2019 budget drastically reduces funds for these programs.
An analysis of air pollutants from Texas shows how significant – and largely underregulated – the category of 'excess' emissions is across the US.
Natural gas is widely viewed as a clean fuel, but methane, its main component, is a powerful greenhouse gas. Two experts propose a plan for detecting and cutting methane leaks across North America.
No new oil drilling has been approved since 1984 off the California coast, where a major spill in 1969 helped launch the environmental movement. Sixty-nine percent of Californians oppose offshore drilling today.
As Earth's climate warms, mangroves are expanding north and south from tropical zones. Mangroves reinforce shorelines and store huge quantities of carbon, so protecting them is an effective climate strategy.
Many Puerto Ricans are happy to see their broke power utility sold off to whoever can get the lights turned back on. But privatizing the island's energy grid may bring more problems than relief.
New York soon may charge a fee to drive into central Manhattan as a way of reducing traffic and raising funds for public transit. An urban scholar says this step is overdue in the United States.
A climate scientist explains how New Hampshire managed to overcome the political divide to make real progress on climate change.
Energy storage, such as big batteries, on the power grid is generally seen as 'green' technology but the reality is more complicated, an analysis finds.
The Mariana snailfish lives nearly 27,000 feet underwater, but has features that help it adapt to intense water pressure and cold. Physiological limits may prevent fish from surviving in deeper water.
New research shows that computers, streaming video and other digital technologies are helping Americans spend more time at home and less out shopping and commuting, yielding measurable energy savings.
According to current forecasts, California has a 93 percent chance of an earthquake with magnitude 7 or greater occurring by 2045. Early warning systems, now in development, could limit casualties and damage.
Raising the cost of solar panels coming to the US could rekindle interest in a simple but potentially significant technology: solar reflectors.
Slapping duties on imported panels is unwise.
What's at stake as the Trump administration imposes trade sanctions on imported solar panels? A look at the US solar energy industry, which generates more than twice as many jobs as coal energy.
Big data open-access publishing and other advances offer ecologists the ability to forecast events like pest outbreaks over days and seasons rather than decades. But scholars need to seize this opportunity.
California produces 90 percent of the US strawberry crop, but growers face curbs on toxic chemicals that have helped their industry expand. Can a system centered on mass production become more sustainable?
A watershed scientist explains why post-wildfire landscapes are so susceptible to landslides – and why those risks are poised to rise.
While the Montecito, California mudslides took 20 lives, landslides kill far more people in developing countries. Tighter construction standards and early warning systems could help reduce their toll.
Congress is drafting the 2018 farm bill, which will guide agriculture, nutrition, trade and rural development policy. A former agriculture secretary explains how this bill reaches far beyond farms.
Its plan to stop lending money for oil and gas projects embraces the spirit of the Paris agreement at a time when the U.S. is going in a different direction.
Winemakers call the ecological factors that define their product terroir. By redefining that idea to include history and social ties, New England craft brewers have grown an industry with local roots.
Congress is moving to cut back the Endangered Species Act and give more power to states. But a recent study shows that state laws are weaker and states have few resources to protect species at risk.
A scientist who served on a national commission to review the 2010 BP oil spill explains why Trump administration efforts to loosen offshore drilling regulation pose major risks for minor payoffs.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has rejected a Trump administration proposal to reward coal and nuclear power plants for storing fuel on-site, as a way to make the power system more reliable.
A recent study shows plankton that have adapted to road salt have disrupted circadian rhythms. This finding suggests that environmental pollutants could also affect human circadian clocks.
Scientists have engineered sugarcane to increase its oil content and are developing renewable jet aircraft fuel from the oil. The engineered sugarcane could become a valuable energy crop.
Is trophy hunting wholesome sport or pointless violence? The Trump administration moved last week to allow imports of trophy parts from African elephants, but met heavy protest and is reconsidering.
Trump administration rollbacks dominated news about the environment in 2017 – but beyond Washington D.C., many researchers are developing innovative visions for a greener future.
At many popular destinations, residents are protesting against crowding, rowdy visitors and low wages. With some research, travelers can use their visits to enrich host areas instead of harming them.
How do mercury emissions from industrialized countries reach the remote Arctic? Recent research shows that plants on the tundra absorb mercury vapor through their leaves, then pass it into soil.
The global mushroom industry is worth $35 billion yearly and growing. But mushrooms and other fungi play important ecological roles that scientists are still learning about – and some may be endangered.
There are well-understood ways to minimize the risk of fire spreading through housing – if only developers, homeowners and officials took heed.
Intense wildfires in southern California are triggering air quality alerts. Health experts know surprisingly little about how inhaling smoke affects human health, especially over the long term.
With wildfires continuing to rage across southern California, a fire researcher says lowering fire risk means reconsidering where and how we build our communities.
President Trump signed an order on Dec. 4 to drastically reduce the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. Four legal experts explain why this action is likely to be reversed.
How do foods break into new niches and global markets? US cranberry growers, saddled with large surpluses and working to boost demand for their product, could take a lesson from soybeans.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission normally works in obscurity, but is in the spotlight as it considers a proposal to support coal and nuclear power plants that are having trouble competing.
A meteorologist and a music technologist team up to turn the data from tropical storms into musical graphs.
Over half the calories humans eat today come from corn, wheat and rice. Raising a greater diversity of types of crops and animals (agrobiodiversity) makes diets healthier and farming more resilient.
Scientists and government agencies have been studying biofuel production from algae for years. Research points toward a more affordable and efficient production process that recycles water.
Scientists call large marine protected areas effective tools for conserving sea life. But do they benefit countries that create them? Scholars explain how Palau's huge marine protected area seeks to protect resources for Palauans.
Five years after Superstorm Sandy, we see how disadvantaged social groups suffered more from the storm before and after – much as we're seeing in Hurricanes Harvey and Maria.
What if the world really got serious about meeting global climate goals? Doing the math on current emissions and the pace of energy transitions shows how quickly fossil fuels need to be phased out.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry says the US needs to subsidize nuclear and coal power plants to keep the grid stable. But this policy would raise energy costs and could drive consumers off-grid instead.
The fate of turkey tails shows how Americans have shifted from eating whole animals to focusing on choice cuts – and the surprising places where unwanted parts end up.
It's not just about rebuilding infrastructure after storms: Cities need to systematically rethink their knowledge systems which are at the heart of urban resilience.
Yes, Puerto Rico and any other storm-vulnerable location could benefit from on-site solar and battery backup, but it's unrealistic to say these microgrids are enough to power the island.
For 50 years California has used laws and policies to manage development along its 1,100-mile coastline and preserve public access to the shore. Climate change will make that task harder.
With better access to energy, women in developing nations could spend more time working or in school. But Energy Secretary Rick Perry's claim that fossil fuels improve women's lives misses the mark.
When lawyers represent the interests of abused animals in the courtroom, they help human victims too.
Advocates say daylight saving time saves energy and wins wars. But studies show that injuries and illnesses rise when the clocks change. Some states may end the practice; others could make it permanent.
Millions of Americans rely on public transit to get to school, work or stores, but many can't get the service they need. 'Uberizing' transit by offering more options on demand could fill the gaps.
The fracking boom has led to a large increase of hydrocarbon emissions in rural areas, reversing some regional air toxics trends.
Brazil has been throwing money at Amazonian cattle farmers, hoping they'll adopt 'greener' crops like fruit or corn. A new study shows why loans won't fix the environmental issue presented by ranches.
Marine microalgae are full of nutrients and can be raised indoors using much less land and water than meat or even plants. Could algae-based foods replace meat, eggs and milk on our tables?
Epidemiologists study disease outbreaks in populations to determine who gets sick and why. In the wake of this year's hurricanes, they are assessing impacts from mold, toxic leaks and other threats.
Using ride-hailing services full-time would mean avoiding the hassles of owning a car. But it could cost less, too – depending on how you value your time otherwise spent behind the wheel.