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Earth Has Lost a Third of Arable Land in Past 40 Years

Earth Has Lost a Third of Arable Land in Past 40 Years

The world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years, with potentially disastrous consequences as global demand for food soars, scientists have warned. New research has calculated that nearly 33 percent of the world’s adequate or high-quality food-producing land has been lost at a rate that far outstrips… Read More

Decline of Tropical Animals Could Hasten Climate Change

Decline of Tropical Animals Could Hasten Climate Change

As go toucans, spider monkeys and tapirs, so goes the climate. Put another way, the hunting and poaching of tropical animals could change the face of rainforests such as the Amazon, diminishing their ability to store global carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20 percent. Those are the findings of research published Friday by a team of scientists… Read More

The Planet Keeps Breaking Heat Records

The Planet Keeps Breaking Heat Records

In news that will surprise almost no one, the third gatekeeper of global temperatures agrees that 2015 is on track to set a heat record after a toasty November. On the heels of NASA and the Japan Meteorological Agency’s data release earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published its November temperature… Read More

Historic Photos Paint Picture of Greenland Ice Loss

Historic Photos Paint Picture of Greenland Ice Loss

A picture is worth a thousand words, or, in the case of the Greenland Ice Sheet, maybe a thousand scientific measurements. A group of scientists has used a trove of historic aerial photos of the periphery of the ice sheet to estimate how much ice it lost over the course of the 20th century, before detailed satellite observations… Read More

Arctic Gets Check-Up: Temperature Highest on Record

Arctic Gets Check-Up: Temperature Highest on Record

The Arctic has just received its yearly checkup from a group of international scientists, and the patient isn’t looking well. The region continues to be one of the fastest warming on the planet — from October 2014 to September 2015 it had the warmest average temperature on record going back to 1900 as the planet heads toward its… Read More

El Niño Impacts Could Spark Amazon Fires Next Fall

El Niño Impacts Could Spark Amazon Fires Next Fall

In the coming weeks, this year’s super El Niño impacts should kick into high gear and last through the winter. However, one of the biggest impacts might not make headlines until well after the “Godzilla” El Niño returns to the depths of the ocean. On Tuesday at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting, scientists indicated that this winter’s … Read More

Heat, Humidity Combine to Threaten Millions in Future

Heat, Humidity Combine to Threaten Millions in Future

By later this century, parts of the world where the population is expected to rise the most will experience an increase in the worst heat events — those where sky-high temperatures combine with oppressive humidity to hit the limits of the human capacity to cope, scientists announced here Monday at the annual conference of the American Geophysical … Read More

The Globe’s Hottest Year Just Keeps Getting Hotter

The Globe’s Hottest Year Just Keeps Getting Hotter

Another month, another record. On Monday, NASA released its latest monthly temperature data for the globe. And it’s perhaps no surprise that this November was the warmest on record for the planet. The Japan Meteorological Agency’s dataset also shows the same record warmth for the month. (These stories seem to write themselves, don’t they?) … Read More