Solar farms are proliferating on undeveloped land, often harming ecosystems. But placing solar canopies on large parking lots offers a host of advantages — making use of land that is already cleared, producing electricity close to those who need it, and even shading cars.
Markets that connect businesses hoping to offset their carbon emissions with climate change mitigation projects have been plagued by problems. But an economist and his co-authors argue that carbon markets can be reformed and play a significant role in slowing global warming
The UN climate agreement reached in Glasgow fell far short of what scientists say is needed, angering activists and many delegates. But the pact achieved progress, agreeing to toughen emissions targets by next year and to compensate developing nations for “loss and damage.”
A global initiative to protect 30 percent of the earth’s land and oceans by 2030 is gaining momentum. But scientists warn that as the world warms, many conservation areas will become less and less suited to the types of species and ecosystems they were intended to protect.
Food & Agriculture
As streams and springs dry up, subsistence farmers in Brazil’s western Bahia are struggling to survive. They blame big agriculture for stealing their water for irrigation. But as climate change accelerates and drought increases, scientists disagree on who or what is to blame.
No country has managed to meet the basic social needs of its population in the past 30 years without putting undue pressure on the Earth’s supply of natural resources, according to a study. More about No country has met welfare goals in past 30 years ‘without putting planet at risk’ →
A decommissioned coal-fired power plant in a Toronto suburb will be developed into a small town with 8,000 housing units, as well as office buildings, shops, parks, and other amenities all within a 15-minute walking distance. More about Former Coal Plant Site Being Transformed Into a '15-Minute City' →
A new study maps out the old growth forests, peatlands, and mangroves that must be preserved to prevent catastrophic climate change. Though these areas cover only around 3 percent of land, they contain vast stores of carbon that, if unleashed, could not easily be recovered. More about New Study Shows Which Places Must Be Protected to Stave Off Catastrophic Climate Change →
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The first-ever report on the world’s coral reefs presents a grim picture, as losses mount due to global warming. But there are signs of hope — some regions are having coral growth, and researchers found that corals can recover if given a decade of reprieve from hot water.
The argument against major hydropower projects — ravaged ecosystems and large-scale displacement of people — is well known. But dam critics now say that climate change, bringing dried-up reservoirs and increased methane releases, should spell the end of big hydropower.
In pollution hotspots like western Pennsylvania — where petrochemical facilities are proliferating — local residents, distrustful of companies and government, are taking advantage of low-cost technologies to do their own monitoring of air, water, and noise pollution.
Food & Agriculture
North Carolina’s industrial-scale hog farms have long been a major source of pollution. Smithfield Foods now plans to turn some hog waste into biogas, but critics say the project does nothing about the larger problem of waste being stored in lagoons and sprayed on fields.