Climate change

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Gamba Grass is altering fire regimes in the Top End, threatening human life and property, natural assets including Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, and compromising savanna burning programs. Samantha Setterfield

Setting priorities for environmental research is daunting when the questions are so huge

One of the Australian government's new research priorities is "environmental change". But can be hard to know how to tackle such huge and interlinked issues as climate change and species extinctions.
The lawsuit accuses the US government of knowing about the harmful effects of greenhouse emissions for 50 years, but failing to stop them rising. EPA/Justin Lane/AAP

Teens sue Obama over climate, asking why future generations' rights are not respected

The US government is being sued by teenagers who say it hasn't done enough to protect future generations from climate change. The case raises the crucial question of how we weigh up society's future rights.
Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015. Kud Sitango

As Papua New Guinea faces worsening drought, a past disaster could save lives

Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
Carbon capture and storage would help the coal industry survive, but it remains elusive. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Decades on, the promise of ‘clean coal’ remains elusive

For more than a decade the coal industry's favoured response to climate change was carbon capture and storage, or CCS. CCS is still the main defence, but the absence of functioning projects is making it ever more threadbare.
The Earth seen from Apollo, a photo now known as the “Blue Marble”. NASA

No escaping the Blue Marble

It is often said that the first full image of the Earth, “Blue Marble”, taken by the Apollo 17 space mission in December 1972, revealed Earth to be precious, fragile and protected only by a wafer-thin…
People in the Philippines have been warned to brace for wet and wild weather, as this year’s El Nino shapes up to be the strongest since 1998. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO/AAP

2015-16 is shaping up to deliver a rollercoaster from strong El Niño to La Niña

The seesaw between El Niño and La Niña is set to get stronger with global warming. Signs are that this year and next will deliver a big swing from one to the other, prompting fires and floods across the world.
Look to the Pacific for reasons behind the hiatus. diversey/flickr

Is the global warming ‘hiatus’ over?

Study of natural variability explains slowdowns in the rate of warming in recent decades – and is key to improving climate models.

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