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Scientists Have Solved a Decades-Old Mystery About Polar Bears

Scientists have long wondered whether polar bears are able to enter a physiological state resembling hibernation in response to food shortages, an adaptation some researchers have speculated could protect the species even as their hunting grounds melt away. Today, we have an answer—though it’s not the one we’ve been… » 7/16/15 11:58am 7/16/15 11:58am

Why Airplane Flights Are Taking Slightly Longer Every Year

In the future, hopping on a plane from LA to Honolulu might take a minute longer than it does today. You probably won’t miss that lost moment, but the airline industry will: The tiny additional flight time could amount to thousands of extra hours and millions of dollars of additional jet fuel each year. » 7/15/15 1:02pm 7/15/15 1:02pm

Meanwhile in the Future: What Happens When All Airplanes Are Grounded

Need to get from New York to Paris? Or San Diego? Chances are, you’re hopping on a plane. But commercial flights aren’t just annoying and expensive they also input a ton of carbon into the environment, contributing to climate change. So what if we stopped flights to save the planet? What would happen next? » 7/14/15 4:46pm 7/14/15 4:46pm

The Global Warming "Pause" Never Actually Happened

There’s been much debate these past few years over the cause of the so-called global warming “hiatus”—a pause in the overall uptick up of Earth’s temperature due to cooling at the surface of the Pacific Ocean since the early 2000s. Did climate warming stop? Nope, we just weren’t looking deep enough. » 7/09/15 5:11pm 7/09/15 5:11pm

These Maps Show Just How Screwed China Will Be After Sea Levels Rise

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s sea levels are poised to rise dramatically in the future — as much as 200 feet (60 meters) in some parts. China’s coastlines are considered to be among the most vulnerable areas, as conveyed by these rather disturbing maps.
» 6/02/15 6:30am 6/02/15 6:30am

Cat Eyes and Other Radical Ideas to Re-Engineer Humans for the Future

If we don’t do something about climate change, humanity is screwed. But do what? Carbon emissions keep creeping up, geoengineering is potentially dangerous, and we continue to stew in endless political debates. One bioethicist has a radical idea: Re-engineer humans for a better planet. » 5/16/15 3:30pm 5/16/15 3:30pm

Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf Will Likely Disintegrate By Decade's End

Antarctica’s Larsen B Ice Shelf, which has existed for at least 10,000 years, will likely crumble completely away before the end of this decade, according to a new NASA study. “Although it’s fascinating scientifically,” says JPL researcher Khazendar, who led the investigation, “it’s bad news for our planet.” » 5/15/15 11:20am 5/15/15 11:20am

This Warm Ocean "Blob" May Be One Cause Of North America's Wacky Weather

For the past two years, climate scientists have tracked a large and circular patch of unusually warm water off the Northeast U.S. Pacific Coast that doesn't seem to want to go away. Dubbed "the blob", it has now been linked to the strange weather recently experienced across North America.
» 4/10/15 12:20pm 4/10/15 12:20pm

Our Planet Just Experienced The Warmest Start To The Year On Record

The climate figures for February are out, and it doesn't look good. According to a new NOAA report, global average temperature over both land and ocean surfaces for February was the second highest for the month since recordkeeping began. What's more, we just experienced the warmest year-to-date (Jan-Feb) on record. » 3/18/15 11:30am 3/18/15 11:30am

Here's What Could Happen If Antarctica's Ice Is Melting From Below

File this under, "Welp, this is worse than we thought." A study published in Nature Geoscience finds that warm seawater is likely getting under an East Antarctica glacier and melting it from below. If the glacier's ice shelf melts, runway melting could cause another 11 feet of sea-level rise—that's on top of… » 3/17/15 8:36pm 3/17/15 8:36pm