The electric vehicle boom is driving a surge in demand for prized metals needed for batteries and other components. Some companies say the solution lies in mining the deep oceans, but scientists say that could irreversibly damage a vast, largely pristine ecosystem.
With the era of building big dams over in the U.S., a growing number of existing dams are being modified to produce hydropower. These projects, advocates say, avoid the damaging impacts of new dams and could generate enough renewable electricity for several million homes.
Under President Jair Bolsonaro, illegal miners, loggers and ranchers are invading and occupying ever-larger amounts of Indigenous territory. Brazil’s original inhabitants are increasingly opposing these incursions, leading to conflicts and a surge in killings of local activists.
New research indicating Russia’s vast forests store more carbon than previously estimated would seem like good news. But scientists are concerned Russia will count this carbon uptake as an offset in its climate commitments, which would allow its emissions to continue unchecked.
Cities have long been considered species deserts, devoid of wildlife beyond pigeons and squirrels. But with animals such as snowy owls, otters and bobcats now appearing in urban areas, scientists are recognizing that cities can play a significant role in fostering biodiversity.
A county in Washington state has become the first such jurisdiction in the United States to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, following a lengthy battle over the impact of oil refineries on the local community. More about County in Washington State First in U.S. To Ban New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure →
Just 5 percent of all power plants globally — all of them coal-fired — are responsible for 73 percent of electricity-sector carbon emissions, according to a new study that calls for cutting emissions from "hyper-polluting" power plants. More about Just 5 Percent of Electric Plants Responsible for 73 percent of Power Sector Emissions →
Rhino and elephant poaching is significantly down in Namibia, according to data from the country's Ministry of Environment and Tourism. So far in 2021, hunters have illegally killed nine rhinos, an eight-year low, and four elephants, a five-year low, Reuters reported. More about In Namibia, Rhino and Elephant Poaching Continues to Decline →
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The Gila was once a vibrant desert river, providing a lifeline for the riparian habitat and wildlife that depended on it in the U.S. Southwest. But population growth, agricultural withdrawals, and, increasingly, climate change have badly diminished the river and threaten its future.
Only a few years ago, Samburu women in northern Kenya were cutting down firewood in Kirisia forest and burning it to make charcoal. Now, those same women are directly involved in managing the forest, using it sustainably and reporting any illegal activity to authorities.
For years, analysts have predicted that rising world oil consumption would peak and start declining in the coming decades. But with a recent string of setbacks for big oil companies and the rapid advance of electric vehicles, some now say that “peak oil” is already here.
Previous periods of rapid warming millions of years ago drastically altered plants and forests on Earth. Now, scientists see the beginnings of a more sudden, disruptive rearrangement of the world’s flora — a trend that will intensify if greenhouse gas emissions are not reined in.