Puerto Rico's January earthquakes came after many foreshocks and have been followed by numerous aftershocks. Scientists are studying these sequences to improve earthquake forecasting.
Like many plants, onions have defenses to ward off creatures that may want to eat them. Their secret weapon is a kind of natural tear gas.
To manage plastic wastes, nations first need to know what they have and where it's coming from. A case study from Trinidad and Tobago shows how this approach can help identify solutions.
As well as a stark warning about climate change, the disaster underlines the importance of wildlife monitoring.
The EPA is considering a rule that would limit what kinds of science regulators can use in setting rules. A scholar explains how this shift would bar his work mapping child lead poisoning.
Do public lands in the West belong to Westerners, or all Americans? Moving a federal agency's headquarters from Washington, DC to Colorado is the latest skirmish in a longtime struggle.
Cities and states are considering limits on single-family zoning, which experts say promotes sprawl and separation. But Americans aren't all headed for duplexes yet.
A report calls for banning the use of emotion recognition technology. An AI and computer vision researcher explains the potential and why there's growing concern.
What does it mean to call a nonfood product like lipstick organic? Federal regulators allow such claims, but have set few standards defining them.
2019 was a big year for dire warnings about the state of the planet, but crises can spur solutions.
About 24,000 square miles of Amazon rainforest have been deforested over the last decade.
Sand may seem abundant when your toes are buried in it, but it's becoming scarce along many coastlines around the world.
Activists wanted nations to make bigger climate commitments at the Madrid COP-25 meeting, but the meeting's real goal was agreeing on rules for pricing carbon pollution.
Countries are not on track to meet Paris Agreement goals. A climate researcher argues that a range of technologies that take CO2 out of the air are needed.
A manufacturing engineer describes the concept for a technology that could lead to more efficient production – and perhaps a tool to revive US manufacturing.
Love it or hate it, winter means snow and ice for much of the US. In many places, though, snow is becoming a scarce resource.
Due to inefficiencies in global energy systems, energy falls short of even making it to the consumer, often lost in the form of waste heat.
Government agencies have detailed plans for responding to disasters, but one piece doesn't get enough attention: cleaning up the mess that's left behind.
It's now officially the end of hurricane season, but the rebuilding of the Bahamas continues, slowed by the risks imposed by a history of colonialism and class division.
If you're craving that freshly-cut tree smell, shop early and don't be too choosy.
Along with climate change and drought, invasive grasses are promoting wildfires across the US, even in areas that don't normally burn.
An animal's poop may seem like something to avoid, but it's full of information about the creature that left it there.
Democratic candidates are keen to burnish their climate credentials by calling for grand electric vehicle plans. But there are both economic and political reasons for going slowly.
As the effects of climate change become clearer and more ominous, fossil fuel companies face a choice: Defy warnings of catastrophic climate change, or envision their roles in a post-carbon world.
Americans recycle only about one-third of the solid waste we generate. A behavioral scientist argues that with the right motivators, we could do more.
President Trump has confirmed that the US will leave the Paris Agreement on climate change on the earliest allowable date: Nov. 4, 2020. Will this hobble efforts to slow global warming?
Emperor Penguins thrive in harsh conditions, but a new study shows that their fate depends on human action to slow global warming and associated loss of sea ice.
The Trump administration has moved to allow electric bikes on all federally owned trails where normal bikes are allowed. A public lands scholar weighs in on the issues this could cause.
Scientists have tracked endangered species for years. Now they're figuring out how to highlight animals and plants that have recovered – but what does that mean?
Economic and political trends are driving a shift away from coal. What kind of assistance do coal workers and communities need?
Brazilian evangelicals are politically conservative, but they still believe in climate change. Turning them into climate activists, however, will be a challenge for the environmentalist movement.
Long before Apple vs. Microsoft or Facebook vs. Google, there was Edison vs. Westinghouse.
Farmers worldwide say Monsanto's policy of charging for every use of its genetically modified seeds violates their planting rights. But judges in these patent law cases aren't so sure.
Scientists who were appointed to advise the EPA on air pollution kept meeting independently after the agency dissolved their panel. They say current regulations aren't strict enough.
Instead of suppressing wildfire, the Karuk Tribe in the Pacific Northwest is using it as an integral part of its climate change management plan. Federal, state and local agencies are taking note.
What can we do as individuals to help save the planet? Acting locally is satisfying because we can see the results, but a geographer argues that large-scale solutions often make the most difference.
How are oil companies positioning themselves for a post-carbon world? So far, cautiously.
Electric cars gets lots of attention, but in the developing world, electric two-wheelers have the potential to spread quickly – if batteries continue to improve on performance and cost.
To save what’s left of nature on this increasingly human planet, conservation needs to become a top priority around the world, from the wildest of wildlands to the densest of cities.
Yerba mate is a wildly popular South American tea with a growing global market. Can this 'superfood' save Paraguay's tropical forests, too?
Take a look at the first high-resolution map of the US food supply chain.
Americans eat more meat on average than citizens of any other nation, but new survey findings show that plant-based meat products are winning fans across the US.
Investing in farming methods that improve lands and water, and in rural infrastructure and markets, could bring new prosperity to agricultural communities.
Hundreds of bishops, priests, missionaries and tribal leaders are at the Vatican for the Synod of the Amazon, a three-week meeting focused on the environmental crisis threatening Amazonian peoples.
As climate change intensifies the risk of wildfires in California, insurers are dropping coverage for many homeowners.
China is betting that a massive set of investments around the world will bring it economic prosperity and international political power.
All the Great Lakes are at, or close to, record highs. But it is us, not the water, that needs to move out of the way.
Two fire researchers argue that recent fires in Northern and Southern California show why health and social equity need to be part of fire preparedness.
Two scholars report on how conservation policies designed to protect reindeer are harming the nomadic Tsaatan people who rely on them.
The gravity and force of this Category 5 hurricane that lashed the Florida Panhandle and other Southern states may never have fully registered on the public’s radar.
Meat producers are lobbying in many states to keep the word 'meat' off labels of plant-based products like the Impossible Burger. But this may not clarify shoppers' choices.
In some places, the ocean is almost 7 miles deep. Scientists exploring the ocean floor have found strange sea creatures, bizarre geologic formations and records of Earth's history.
The Trump administration is supporting new mines in Alaska and Minnesota that many opponents say could devastate sensitive areas around them.
Wild things thrive in transmission pathways that crisscross states.
As climate change speeds up tropical storm cycles, rivers and bays have less time to process nutrients and pollutants that wash into them after each event.
Decarbonizing the global economy would help the climate change problem – but also many others. Would putting all those additional co-benefits center stage help drum up support for climate action?
Small-scale fisheries buffer poverty and hunger in coastal countries.
In just five Florida Panhandle counties, sea level rise could swamp more than 500 archaeological sites that tell the story of when and how Native Americans lived along the Gulf Coast.
California's new plan to fight global climate change is innovative. But it raises tricky ethical questions with no easy answers.
A new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report makes clear human-induced climate change threatens the health and function of the ocean and cryosphere - the frozen regions of the Earth.
A 2006 Supreme Court ruling created widespread confusion about which wetlands and other waters are federally protected. The Trump administration's latest action isn't likely to clear things up.
Reversing the damage from fires in Brazil's rainforest is not as simple as allowing trees to grow back. Decades of research shows how fires degrade their long-term health and utility.
Big storms with lots of flooding, like hurricanes Dorian and Maria, actually restore the Caribbean's delicate balance between native and nonnative fish species, new research finds.
Energy-wise, the fallout from the attack on Saudi oil facilities has so far been very muted. The surge in oil production in the US over the past decade helps explain why.
Shifting the capital of Indonesia and other countries may actually send the wrong message that cities too can be discarded.
Carbon dioxide makes up less than one-twentieth of 1% of Earth's atmosphere. How does this relatively scarce gas control Earth's thermostat?
The typical American's annual household carbon footprint is over five times the world per capita average.
Should lakes, rivers and other resources have legal rights? New Zealand, Ecuador and other countries have taken this step. Now Toledo, Ohio is a US test case.
Conservatives worldwide favor carbon pricing, cap-and-trade systems and other innovative environmental plans – just not in the United States.
As deforestation rates in Brazil rise, it's worth asking whether the country can repeat the successes of the last decade. Current trends don't bode well.
Poverty and violence are often cited as the reasons people emigrate from Central America, but factors such as drought, exacerbated by climate change, are driving people to leave too.
Social media make it easier to push information out quickly during disasters, but also create challenges for public information officers, who have to judge which reports are credible enough to share.
Newark is the latest US city to struggle with high lead levels in drinking water. Ending this public health crisis will require more money and enforcement, plus stricter water testing standards.
As Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida, we share three articles on predicting hurricanes' paths and evacuating from harm's way.
Two energy scholars who have studied the extent of methane leaks in the oil and gas industry explain what rescinding methane emissions regulations will mean to the climate and industry.
Don't blame climate change for the 39,000 forest fires now incinerating huge tracts of the Brazilian Amazon. This environmental catastrophe is human-made and highly political.
If the Amazon rainforest functions as our planet's lungs, what do raging wildfires threaten? An atmospheric scientist explains why the fires, though devastating, won't suffocate life on Earth.
InterContinental Hotels Group plans to switch miniature toiletries for bulk products, but it isn't likely to do as much for the environment as activists might think.
Some climate scientists have spoken out about the dangers of climate change. But a new study shows those voices may not be very influential.
More than one-fifth of global warming emissions come from land use. Sustainable farming can make soil healthier and better able to soak up carbon, while saving energy and boosting food production.
A new report calls land key to solving climate change. The good news is that there are strategies for reducing carbon emissions from land use that can also produce economic and social benefits.
The Trump administration is changing implementation of the Endangered Species Act in ways that conservationists say would reduce protection for some of America's most threatened wildlife.
New research forecasts that climate change will make multiyear stretches with low snow levels more common across western North America – bad news for water managers, farmers, foresters and skiers.
A tick expert explains his work trying to understand why the abundance of the parasites vary so much from location to location and year to year.
Many practicing U.S. Christians do not believe that human activities are warming the Earth, but they hold diverse views about the environment. Effective climate conversations recognize those nuances.
Climate change isn't just a technical challenge – it also involves ethics, social justice and cultural values. Insights from literature, philosophy and other humanities can produce better solutions.
Media coverage of sharks often exaggerates risks to people, but more than 500 shark species have never been known to attack humans, and there's lots to learn about them.
July 29, 2019 is 'Earth Overshoot Day,' a date coined by the nonprofit Global Footprint Network to publicize overuse of Earth's resources. But their estimates may actually understate the problem.
Iran's leaders are threatening to breach a 2015 agreement that froze their country's nuclear program. What is uranium enrichment, and what would it mean for Iran's ability to build nuclear weapons?
Hagfish have been called the most disgusting creatures in the ocean. But what are they?
Hot weather kills more Americans yearly on average than floods, tornadoes or hurricanes. Three scholars explain how cities can prepare and help residents stay cool.
Birds spend a lot of time and energy singing, but they don't do it the same way in every season of the year. And some can't sing at all. What's the purpose of birdsong?
At a time when storms are becoming more frequent and severe, relying on levees for flood control can create as many problems as it solves.
Western states adopted a 7-year plan in May 2019 to manage low water levels in the Colorado River. Now they need to look farther ahead and accept that there will be less water far into the future.
Scientists are predicting major algae blooms in Lake Erie and large dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay and Gulf of Mexico this summer. Nutrient pollution from industrial corn farming is a major driver.
Flint's highest recorded lead levels were typical for water systems that report problems. What's more, a number of cities haven't reported their lead issues.
Three scholars argue that agriculture is failing to sustain either the land or American farmers. They propose a modern version of the New Deal that centers on ecology and economic fairness.
Getting everyone whose lives were thrown off-track back takes a lot of personal effort, paired with work done by a constantly shifting mix of nonprofits and governmental agencies over many years.
In a study that cultivated coral 'gardens' with varying numbers of species, plots with more species were healthier. This finding could inform strategies to help coral reefs survive climate change.
Every year the US burns more than 34 million tons of garbage in incinerators. These plants are major pollution sources, and most are clustered in disadvantaged communities.
The 6-3 ruling challenges some common political assumptions about conservatives and liberals.