As forest fires rage, experts worry about the future of the Amazon

As of Thursday, there are more than 165,000 fires burning in the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon spans more than 5.5 million square kilometres, is home to roughly 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species and 2.5 million species of insects. And it is in crisis, experts...

2°C: Beyond the limit

A Washington Post analysis of more than a century of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration temperature data across the Lower 48 states and 3,107 counties has found that major areas are nearing or have already crossed the 2-degree Celsius mark.

A year along the geostationary orbit

For his experimental short A Year along the Geostationary Orbit, the German filmmaker Felix Dierich used Japanese weather satellite Himawari-8 data to craft a timelapse that condenses one year into 16 stunning minutes.

July on course to be hottest month ever

Record temperatures across much of the world over the past two weeks could make July the hottest month ever measured on Earth, according to climate scientists.

Welcome to the fastest-heating place on Earth

Nowhere on the planet is heating faster than Svalbard. This was the message of a report commissioned by the Norwegian Environment Agency, unveiled in February to a stunned audience in Longyearbyen, the archipelago’s de facto capital.

Debunking Trudeau’s claims on the Trans Mountain pipeline

From Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claims that Canada needs the Trans Mountain Pipeline to reach new oil markets in Asia (they’re mythical!) to his statement that there will be “shovels in the ground” this summer (the pipeline route isn’t approved!), here are the...

Climate change: UK government to commit to 2050 target

Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change. Prime Minister Theresa May said there was a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we...

Scottish Power to build vast battery to improve wind energy supply

Scottish Power is to undertake the most ambitious battery power project in Europe in an attempt to unlock the potential of the UK’s wind and solar farms. The company will connect an industrial-scale battery, the size of half a football pitch, to the Whitelee onshore...

Civilisational collapse has a bright past – but a dark future

Is the collapse of a civilisation necessarily calamitous? The failure of the Egyptian Old Kingdom towards the end of the 2nd millennium BCE was accompanied by riots, tomb-raids and even cannibalism. ‘The whole of Upper Egypt died of hunger and each individual had...

Forget the Anthropocene: we’ve entered the synthetic age

Nature itself will be shaped by processes redesigned and ‘improved’ by geneticists and engineers. We should call this transition the beginning of a ‘synthetic age’, a time in which background constants are increasingly replaced by artificial and ‘improved’ versions of...

Kevin Laland: Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul?

When researchers at Emory University in Atlanta trained mice to fear the smell of almonds (by pairing it with electric shocks), they found, to their consternation, that both the children and grandchildren of these mice were spontaneously afraid of the same smell. That...