Pollution in all its forms killed 9 million people in 2015 and, by one measure, led to economic damage of $4.6 trillion, according to a new estimate by researchers who hope to put the health costs of toxic air, water and soil higher on the global agenda.
The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.
Brent Stirton won the award for his image Memorial to a Species, taken at a game reserve in South Africa.
A colony of about 40,000 Adélie penguins in Antarctica has suffered a “catastrophic breeding event” – all but two chicks have died of starvation this year. It is the second time in just four years that such devastation – not previously seen in more than 50 years of observation – has been wrought on the population.
Yellowstone’s last supereruption occurred 631,000 years ago. And it’s not the planet’s only buried supervolcano. Scientists suspect that a supereruption scars the planet every 100,000 years, causing many to ask when we can next expect such an explosive planet-changing event.
Investments necessary to reduce climate change risks may be less than what’s needed to rebuild after related disasters, U.N. leaders said from Tehran.
The poorest countries risk a greater dependence on food imports unless more is invested in their rural agriculture industries as people move toward cities, according to the United Nations.
The atmosphere gets all the attention in climate change, mostly because that’s where the warming happens. Even the oceans draw more concern than soil, especially when their warming temperatures help fuel massive storms and floods that kill humans and destroy communities. The seas hold 60 times more carbon than the atmosphere and absorb more than 90 percent of the heat that industrial pollution generates.
The soil, meanwhile, has been mostly ignored until lately. It’s both hugely influential on global warming and something humanity has a good deal of control over. The top 3 meters or so of earth store more carbon than the entire atmosphere and all plants combined. Taking care of the planet’s soil is “critical for stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations,” according to a synthesis by Stanford University’s Robert Jackson and five colleagues, published Thursday in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution & Systematics.
Europe must prevent using trees and crops as a way to meet renewable-energy requirements or it will risk further increases in food prices, deforestation and land grabs, environmental groups said.