When one thinks of Greenland, images of an icebound, harsh and forbidding landscape probably come to mind, not a landscape of ice pocked with melt ponds and streams transformed into raging rivers. And almost certainly not one that features wildfires. Yet the latter description is exactly what Greenland looks like today, according to imagery shared
Spare a thought for the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate, not long for this world (in tectonic plate terms) as it slowly slides under the continent of North America. Geologists are hoping it can help solve one of the biggest mysteries in their field – how tectonic plates die. The Juan de Fuca plate is
The probable culprit behind a mysterious cloud of radioactive particles detected floating above much of Europe in 2017 appears to have been identified. The radiation spike – in the form of an extremely high airborne concentration of the radioactive isotope ruthenium–106 – was detected by scientists in October 2017, but the source of the dramatic
Over 200 Svalbard reindeer have been found dead on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. That’s one of the highest recorded death tolls since population monitoring commenced in 1978, and scientists believe climate change played a key role. According to a report on the Norwegian Polar Institute’s website, the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) suffered a lean
If this headline looks familiar to you, that’s because we wrote an almost identical one in 2016. Except back then, we were freaking out because we’d used a year’s worth of Earth’s resources by August 8. Now, three years later, we’ve accomplished this worrying milestone more than a week earlier. This year, July 29th marks Earth
If you think climate change is only gradually affecting our natural systems, think again. Our research, published in Frontiers in Marine Science, looked at the large-scale impacts of a series of extreme climate events on coastal marine habitats around Australia. We found more than 45 percent of the coastline was already affected by extreme weather
The warmer it gets, the more people crank up the air conditioning (AC). In fact, AC is booming in nations across the world: it’s predicted that around two thirds of the world’s households could have an air conditioner by 2050, and the demand for energy to cool buildings will triple. But unless the energy comes
I am a scientist who researches climate hazards. This week I have published research on the potential for a catastrophic cyclone-heatwave combo in the global south. Yet over the past few days I have been approached by various media outlets to talk not about that hazard, but about the unfolding UK heatwave and climate change.
The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, and after the hottest June ever recorded on Earth, the region is literally on fire. From Greenland to Siberia to Alaska, huge swathes of flame and smoke are wrapping themselves around the upper Northern Hemisphere of our planet, like a suffocating scarf.
A historic heat wave is bringing unprecedented temperatures to Western Europe, and is poised to expand northeastward to Scandinavia and into the Arctic by late this weekend. Once above the Arctic Circle, the weather system responsible for this heat wave could accelerate the loss of sea ice, which is already running at a record low
Over the past two millennia, the world’s climate has gone through its fair share of ups and downs, but what is happening right now stands out in stark contrast. Two new papers have demonstrated that peak warming and cooling events before the Industrial era – such as the so-called Little Ice Age and the Medieval
In 1901, a geological map of Iceland’s Central Highlands depicted the Okjökull glacier as a large swathe of ice spanning 38 square kilometres. By 1945 it had shrunk to just 5 square kilometres. Not long after 2005, it was all but gone. In 2014, Okjökull lost its glacier status; now, it’s just a shield volcano with no glacial
This month the world has been celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon. But this week sees another scientific anniversary, perhaps just as important for the future of civilisation. Forty years ago, a group of climate scientists sat down at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for the first meeting
Cigarette butts left in grass and soil can harm nearby plant growth, according to a new study. The study led by Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England found that a cigarette butt can cut down the germination, or development, of plants, adding to concerns about discarded cigarette remnants as an under-acknowledged, but widespread, pollutant. Cigarette
A massive 19th century storm in the pacific United States opened up a 300-mile-long (480-km-long) sea that stretched through much of the central part of California. And it looks like the state is due for another megaflood. For 43 days, from late 1861 to early 1862, it rained almost nonstop in central California. Rivers running down
The giant West Antarctic Ice Sheet is at a tipping point, scientists have warned, and it’s going to take something dramatic to save it from complete collapse – something like blowing 7.4 trillion tons of artificial snow on top of it. That’s the conclusion of a new study into how the destabilisation of the ice
Seeing countless renewable energy records broken and milestones passed has been a constant source of encouraging news for our planet. Now, we have yet another impressive stat to celebrate: in the first half of 2019, Scotland generated enough energy from wind power to supply its homes twice over. Specifically, turbines generated 9.8 million megawatt-hours of electricity between January
Coral reefs are one of the most threatened ecosystems on our planet, and in the past two decades alone, half of the coral in Florida has died off completely. Global warming is known to be a deadly factor, but rising ocean temperatures are only part of the story. Thirty years of research in the Looe
Those who persist in denying the reality of human-caused climate change have resorted to scraping the very bottom of the barrel. Last week, climate deniers at several blogs and news outlets jumped on a new “paper” that supposedly “proves” the vast majority of climate scientists are wrong. Except, according to a scientific review from the
A team of Russian and Norwegian scientists just made a grim, timely discovery. Just one week after a nuclear-powered Russian submarine caught fire, killing 14 sailors, researchers sent a remote submarine to collect samples around the sunken wreckage of another nuclear sub, which caught fire in 1989 leading to the deaths of 42 crew members.