A number of biologists have recently made the argument that extinction is part of evolution and that saving species need not be a conservation priority. But this revisionist thinking shows a lack of understanding of evolution and an ignorance of the natural world.
India’s booming population and rapidly expanding urban areas have exacted a huge toll on its rivers, which are badly polluted and choked by development. But in cities across India, activists are heading to court to force municipalities and states to take action.
Food & Agriculture
More and more nitrogen keeps pouring into waterways, unleashing algal blooms and creating dead zones. To prevent the problem from worsening, scientists warn, the world must drastically cut back on synthetic fertilizers and double the efficiency of the nitrogen used on farms.
As part of a new national park system, China is setting aside a vast territory that is home to small numbers of Siberian tigers and Amur leopards along the Russian and North Korean borders. Officials hope it will bolster populations of the endangered big cats.
Maryland’s Dorchester County is ground zero for climate change on Chesapeake Bay, as rising seas claim more and more land. An e360 video explores the quiet beauty of this liquid landscape and how high tides and erosion are putting the bay’s rural communities at risk.
The Japanese wood products company Sumitomo Forestry Co. has announced plans to build a 350-meter (1,150-foot), 70-floor skyscraper out of wood in Tokyo. The project, slated to be completed in 2041 in honor of the company’s 350th anniversary, would be the world’s tallest wooden building, according to The Guardian. More about Tokyo Plans to Build 1,150-Foot Wooden Skyscraper →
A leaked draft copy of a United Nations climate change report says there is a “very high risk” of the planet warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and that the key threshold will likely be crossed in the 2040s, according to reporting by Climate Home and other news outlets. More about Draft UN Report Says World Has Little Chance of Keeping Warming Below 1.5 Degrees →
The melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets is speeding up the pace of sea level rise a little bit every year, according to a new analysis of satellite data published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If the current pace continues, the study estimates, seas could rise more than 2 feet by 2100. More about As Ice Sheets Melt Faster, Sea Level Rise Is Accelerating Every Year →
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Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo of South Florida represents one of the U.S. regions most vulnerable to sea level rise. Now, he’s breaking with GOP orthodoxy to help build a bipartisan coalition in the House to influence climate legislation.
Food & Agriculture
Near-shore fish farms have created a host of environmental problems. Now, U.S. aquaculture advocates – backed by mainstream conservation groups – are saying that locating well-run operations out in the ocean could produce sustainable food and protect wild stocks from overfishing.
In its zeal to roll back protections, the EPA under Scott Pruitt is abandoning long-standing standard methods of evaluating the costs and benefits of regulations. This unprecedented shift could damage the long-term credibility of the EPA and other government agencies.
As the world warms, snow cover has been diminishing from the Alps to the Rockies. The dwindling snowpack is having a profound effect on ecosystems, disrupting the adaptive advantages of such northern species as lynx, wolverines, and snowshoe hares.
After years of delays, the U.S. offshore wind industry is finally gaining momentum, with new projects being planned along the Atlantic coast. So far, the Trump administration seems to be regarding offshore wind as one form of renewable energy it can support.
Cities are increasingly becoming the source of both environmental challenges and solutions.