Hari Ram uses a solar-powered pump to supply water to his farm in Solawata, India.

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.

By Fred Pearce

TECHNOLOGY

As Use of A.I. Soars, So Does the Energy and Water It Requires

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.

By David Berreby

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Pilots celebrate after a successful flight in an aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen at Maribor Airport in Slovenia on September 7, 2023.

Solutions

Flying Green: The Pursuit of Carbon-Neutral Aviation Revs 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.

By Christian Schwägerl

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