Food & Agriculture
Farmers in hot, arid regions are turning to low-cost solar pumps to irrigate their fields, eliminating the need for expensive fossil fuels and boosting crop production. But by allowing them to pump throughout the day, the new technology is drying up aquifers around the globe.
The Smackover Formation in southern Arkansas was once a major oil producer. Now, companies hope to extract lithium — a key metal for electric vehicle batteries — from its underground brines using technologies they say could reduce mining’s carbon emissions and water use.
The U.N. named Eleni Myrivili its first-ever global chief heat officer based on her record as a city official in Athens. In an e360 interview, she talks about why extreme heat is a health crisis and what cities must do to protect the most vulnerable from rising temperatures.
Rain used to be rare in the Arctic, but as the region warms, so-called rain-on-snow events are becoming more common. The rains accelerate ice loss, trigger flooding, landslides, and avalanches, and create problems for wildlife and the Indigenous people who depend on them.
Generative artificial intelligence uses massive amounts of energy for computation and data storage and millions of gallons of water to cool the equipment at data centers. Now, legislators and regulators — in the U.S. and the EU — are starting to demand accountability.
On the North American Great Lakes, ice cover usually peaks in late February or early March. But currently, the lakes are nearly ice-free. More about Great Lakes Ice Cover Hits New Lows →
Indigenous people in southern Cambodia faced forced evictions and criminal charges after their ancestral lands were marked out for a carbon offset project, a new report alleges. More about Cambodian Offset Project Led to Arrests, Evictions of Indigenous People, Report Alleges →
A new study finds that boiling and then filtering tap water can remove up to 90 percent of microplastics. More about Boiling, Filtering Water Can Get Rid of Microplastics, Study Finds →
Never miss an article. Subscribe to the E360 Newsletter for weekly updates delivered to your inbox. Sign Up.
To eliminate global aviation’s sizable carbon footprint, researchers are working on a range of alternatives to fossil jet fuel. Recent test flights powered only by hydrogen or biofuels have been successful, but steep challenges remain before aviation can become carbon-free.
Used in everything from water pipes to vinyl records, PVC has long attracted criticism: a key ingredient is carcinogenic, and its additives include known endocrine disruptors. Now, the EPA is evaluating PVC’s safety, and an emerging global plastics treaty may limit its use.
In cities across the U.S., planners are pushing to eliminate mandates requiring parking spaces in new buildings. The reforms — along with banning street parking or adding meters — help to reduce car dependency, create public and green spaces, and lower housing costs.
The Eastern monarch butterfly has long been thought to be in peril, but new studies indicate that its U.S. populations are not in decline. Scientists say the biggest threat the species faces is from well-meaning people who rear the butterflies at home and release them.