Climate Change Environment

“A Never-Ending Commitment”: The High Cost of Preserving Vulnerable Beaches

By Lisa Song and Al Shaw, ProPublica  As lawmakers consider disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Florence, projects to rebuild North Carolina’s shrunken shorelines are likely to get a healthy chunk of government money. To their advocates, these so-called beach nourishment initiatives are crucial steps in buffering valuable oceanfront properties from storm damage and boosting […]

Biodiversity Land Conservation Wildlife Conservation

Scientists urge world leaders to scale up ambitions to protect global biodiversity

Research has shown that a sixth mass extinction event is underway and largely driven by human activities. With the global population set to balloon to 10 billion people by 2050, which will more than double the current demand for food and water, scientists are increasingly calling for mankind to set aside sufficient amounts of ecosystems […]

Climate Change Indigenous Communities Land Conservation

Climate mitigation has an ally in need of recognition and land rights: indigenous peoples in tropical countries

Article by Justin Catanoso  All graphics by Rights and Resources Initiative (CC BY 4.0) Researchers have released what they called “the most comprehensive assessment to date of carbon storage” on forested lands occupied by indigenous peoples and local communities in 64 tropical countries. One of the main findings of the research is that indigenous peoples are […]

Agriculture Climate Change Coffee Production

Coffee farmers struggle to adapt to Colombia’s changing climate

Top photo: The fertile, mountainous terrain of Colombia’s coffee-producing central region is vulnerable to climate change impacts such as stronger storms and hotter temperatures. (Image by Eddy Milfort/flickr, CC BY-SA) Authors: Jessica Eise, Purdue University and Natalie White, Purdue University Leer en español. In Colombia’s coffee-producing region of Risaralda, small trees run along the sharp […]

Amphibians and Reptiles Invasive Species Pet Trade

Cheap prices lead to more exotic pets in the wild, research finds

This article originally published by John Cannon at Mongabay.com, republished under Creative Commons licensing (CC BY-ND 4.0). New research shows that exotic amphibians and reptiles sold inexpensively as pets are more likely to end up in the wild, where they can pose problems for native wildlife. The authors of the study believe that many pet owners may not […]

Agriculture Environment Food Production Groundwater

Farmers are drawing groundwater from the giant Ogallala Aquifer faster than nature replaces it

Top photo: Water from an irrigation system sprays flowering cotton plants on the farm of Allen Entz in Hydro, Okla, Aug. 16, 2012. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki Author: Char Miller, W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History, Pomona College Every summer the U.S. Central Plains go dry, leading farmers to tap into groundwater to […]

Air Pollution City Planning Climate Change Urban Landscape

Designing greener streets starts with finding room for bicycles and trees

Top Photo: Street in Hangzhou, China, with trees separating a cycle track from road traffic and from the sidewalk. (Xu Wen, CC BY-ND) Author: Anne Lusk, Harvard University City streets and sidewalks in the United States have been engineered for decades to keep vehicle occupants and pedestrians safe. If streets include trees at all, they […]

Avian Conservation Biodiversity Species Loss

8 species of birds have possibly gone extinct over past few decades

Top photo: A Spix’s Macaw. Image © Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation. Author: Shreya Dasgupta  A new study has found that eight species of birds are likely to have completely disappeared in the past couple of decades. Researchers recommend that three species currently listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List be reclassified as extinct, while one […]

Agriculture Food Production Land Conservation

How to conserve half the planet without going hungry

Top photo: Terraced rice fields in northwest Vietnam. (Shutterstock) Authors: Zia Mehrabi, University of British Columbia; Erle C. Ellis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and Navin Ramankutty, University of British Columbia Every day there are roughly 386,000 new mouths to feed, and in that same 24 hours, scientists estimate between one and 100 species will […]

Animal Behavior Animal Cognition Neurobiology

What elephants’ unique brain structures suggest about their mental abilities

Top photo: African elephant bull. Michelle Gadd/USFWS, CC BY Author: Bob Jacobs, Colorado College Conservationists have designated August 12 as World Elephant Day to raise awareness about conserving these majestic animals. Elephants have many engaging features, from their incredibly dexterous trunks to their memory abilities and complex social lives. But there is much less discussion […]