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Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Mountain Forest Changes Threaten Calif. Water Supplies

Hike high enough up California’s Sierra Nevada and the forest morphs around you. At around 6,000 feet, the dazzling diversity of the lower montane forest, replete with California black oak, ponderosa pine, and incense cedars gives way to more monotonous landscapes of red fir and lodgepole pine. Hike further still and trees eventually disappear alto… Read More

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Pests Pose Increasing Risk to Food Security

Coming soon to a farm near you: just about every possible type of pest that could take advantage of the ripening harvest in the nearby fields. By 2050, according to new research in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, those opportunistic viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpi… Read More

Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier, Live Longer

Cut Carbon, Breathe Easier, Live Longer

What if I offered you an investment that would make us all healthier, save thousands of lives, and pay for itself? It would be hard to turn down a deal like that. According to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, there is such an investment, and it’s called cap and trade—the market-based plan to reduce carbon pollution that i… Read More

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Battle Wages for California’s Groundwater Rights

Grapevines march across wires strung along rolling hills, their little trunks improbably supporting heavy black fruit. Cindy Steinbeck’s family has been farming this land since 1920. They grow Zinfandel, Viognier, Cabernet, Merlot, and Petite Syrah grapes but are best known in this area of Central California for a blend called The Crash, named afte… Read More

Steady Increase in Flights Will Outweigh Carbon Cuts

Steady Increase in Flights Will Outweigh Carbon Cuts

percent of global carbon dioxide emissions coming from its aircraft. The problem is the speed at which aviation itself is growing. One aircraft builder believes the number of planes in service in 2011 will have doubled by 2031. Whatever the industry’s efforts to reduce its carbon emissions, they will be outweighed by the growth in air traffic, even… Read More

What Climate Change Means for Your Coffee

What Climate Change Means for Your Coffee

Coffee — the black liquid that kick-starts the day for billions of people each morning — is one of our most precious global commodities. But as this video from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew explains, it’s also under threat from a changing climate. “Although there are now 125 species of coffee, we only actually use two species to produce the beverage c… Read More

Win-Win Way Pinpointed to Aid Food Security & Climate

Win-Win Way Pinpointed to Aid Food Security & Climate

Imagine being able to contain greenhouse gas emissions, make fertilizer use more efficient, keep water waste to a minimum, and put food on the table for the 10 billion people crowded into the planet’s cities, towns and villages by the end of the century. An impossible dream? Not according to Paul West, co-director and lead scientists of the Global … Read More

U.S. and China Lead the Way on Carbon Capture & Storage

U.S. and China Lead the Way on Carbon Capture & Storage

For years, the energy companies have been telling us not to worry. Yes, mounting carbon emissions threaten to heat up the world – but technology, particularly carbon capture and storage (CCS), will come to the rescue. The trouble is that there’s been plenty of talk about CCS and little action, with few projects being implemented on a large scale.… Read More