California Would Need A Ridiculous Amount Of Rain To End Its Drought​

California has been having a bit of a rainy season lately, so much so that some people are asking if we're finally coming to the end of its three-year long drought. The answer is almost certainly not. Here's the numbers on how much water California would need to see the drought's end — and, fair warning, it's a lot. » 1/15/15 11:30am 1/15/15 11:30am

Today is the ground breaking ceremony for the $50 billion Nicaragua Canal. This despite the fact that no environmental or social assessment has been made available to the public. The 172 mile (278 km) canal will take five years to rebuild, resulting in the displacement of 29,000 people and unknown ecological… » 12/22/14 3:40pm 12/22/14 3:40pm

Why Is Venus So Horrible?

Seriously, Venus is the worst. The global temperature is as hot as an oven, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times Earth, and it rains sulfuric acid. Every part of the surface of Venus would kill you dead in moments. But how did it get that way? » 12/19/14 4:30pm 12/19/14 4:30pm

Absolutely Stunning Examples Of Lakes And Rivers With Unearthly Colors

When you see a bright red river or a lake that glows a vivid green color, you probably think it belongs on another planet. But these incredibly striking bodies of water are right here on Earth. Here are the most beautiful and alien-looking rivers and lakes, sporting bizarre colors. » 12/15/14 3:00pm 12/15/14 3:00pm

The Anthropocebo Effect Explains How Our Minds Can Destroy the World

The placebo effect and the nocebo effect demonstrate that our minds have a special kind of control over our bodies. They also might have control over the world. And that's something to be worried about. » 9/22/14 12:40pm 9/22/14 12:40pm

Should Environmentalist Politicians Focus Less On Climate Change?

Today we debunked the claim that scientists in 1970s commonly believed that the Earth was headed for another ice age and had a number of discussions about global warming and environmentalism—including whether politicians should talk about climate change less and other advantages of sustainable policies more. » 8/08/14 4:20pm 8/08/14 4:20pm

1,600 Papier-Mâché Pandas Are Set To Invade Hong Kong

In 2008, Serge Orru, the head of the French section of the World Wildlife Fund, came up with the idea of displaying 1,600 pandas—the number still alive in the wild—at landmarks across the country. Six years, twenty countries and more than one hundred cities later, the pandas are preparing to visit Hong Kong in June. » 5/06/14 3:49pm 5/06/14 3:49pm

10 Charts That Show How The Climate Has Already Changed

Climate change isn't just coming — it's already here. Just check out these 10 charts that show everything from how much it costs to heat or cool our homes to the amount of rain we've been getting. » 5/06/14 1:01pm 5/06/14 1:01pm

The​ drought in Brazil could cause a global coffee shortage

DON'T PANIC, coffee-drinkers. But Brazil is facing an epic drought, having just wrapped up one of the driest months on record — and the bad news could be making its way right into your (empty) coffee cup. » 2/25/14 4:15pm 2/25/14 4:15pm

'Nature is Ruthless': Kurt Vonnegut's Advice to the People of 2088

In 1988, as part of a print advertising campaign, Volkswagen asked many thinkers, including author Kurt Vonnegut, to write letters to the people of 2088. Vonnegut's words of advice: Nature is out to kill us all and instead of being overly optimistic, we should submit to its terms of surrender. » 2/21/14 5:30pm 2/21/14 5:30pm

The world is losing its large predators -- and that's a big problem

On the same day we learn that lions are all but extinct in West Africa, a new study points to the devastating ecological and environmental impacts of losing large carnivores across the globe. » 1/09/14 4:00pm 1/09/14 4:00pm

Scientist sets out to pen futuristic novel, ends up drowning your town

Scientist Andrew David Thaler decided to write a novel set in the future, in a "post-sea-level-rise world." To make Fleet as scientifically realistic as he could, he needed to model the actual flooding that could result from climate change. And thus, a meme that reached 10 million people was born. » 12/17/13 11:19am 12/17/13 11:19am

Synthetic animals will save the planet

A recent project by designer Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg proposes that bioengineered creatures be released into the wild to save endangered species and clean up pollution. And she's already designed four organisms to do it, including soil-scouring slugs and seed-dispersing porcupines. » 11/13/13 12:40pm 11/13/13 12:40pm

The Secret to Creating Great Environmentalist Art

Alex Rivera blew our minds with his movie Sleep Dealer, and now he's organizing a film festival for environmental films, the Tales From Planet Earth festival in Madison, WI. Talking to the Cap Times, he explains how great art can challenge our ideas about what "the environment" is, and how to save it. » 10/28/13 3:40pm 10/28/13 3:40pm

Canadian Government Raids Gas Plant After It Kills 7,500 Birds

In mid-September, around 7,50o migrating birds were killed when they flew into a gas flare at a natural gas facility in New Brunswick. Yesterday morning, officers from Environment Canada stormed into the facility in search of evidence that could help them in the investigation. » 10/18/13 2:40pm 10/18/13 2:40pm

Scientists find radioactive fracking waste in Pennsylvanian stream

A group of Duke University scientists have found concentrations of radium, a highly radioactive substance, in a stream near a facility that treats wastewater left over from hydraulic fracturing. The concentrations are 200 times higher than background levels — and they're in the water supply. » 10/03/13 2:43pm 10/03/13 2:43pm

No, Extreme Human Longevity Won’t Destroy the Planet

It’s only a matter of time before humanity solves the aging problem. And resistance to radical life extension has already begun, driven by fears of overpopulation and the exhaustion of our planet's resources. Here’s why the critics are wrong. » 10/02/13 11:52am 10/02/13 11:52am

IPCC Report: Humans are the ‘dominant cause’ of global warming

Our climate is changing, no doubt about it. The festering controversy we're in has been about whether humans have anything to do with it. A comprehensive report by a UN-sponsored climate panel may now finally put the issue to rest — and we're most certainly to blame. » 9/27/13 8:00am 9/27/13 8:00am

What's so bad about extinction, anyway?

With all this talk about de-extinction and the apparent desire to bring back no less than 22 defunct species, a number of commentators are starting to ask if extinction is such a bad thing. It's a part of nature, they argue, and one that might even be good for us. » 3/25/13 6:20am 3/25/13 6:20am

Should we preserve the eggs of endangered species?

A recent paper by Caterina Wiedemann describing her success in freezing and thawing the egg cells of several different cat species is raising an interesting question about our efforts to preserve endangered animals. We've got a doomsday seed vault in the Arctic, so why not create egg vaults, too? » 2/28/13 2:00pm 2/28/13 2:00pm