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News and analysis on fundamental and applied environmental science

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Clouds’ climate impact defies simple analysis

The perennial question of how clouds affect the Earth’s climate takes another twist, with one study expecting cooling and another the opposite.

Increase in Antarctic snow later this century could partially offset sea-level rise

Rise in surface mass balance currently masked by natural variability looks set to emerge mid-century

Some climate paths may harm sustainable development

Avoiding delay and reducing energy demand minimizes trade-offs, the first detailed analysis of interaction between climate actions and sustainable development goals reveals

How online sellers could cut their carbon footprint

Survey of Mechanical Turk workers reveals demand for greener purchasing options

Scientists link conflict and climate change

New research demonstrates scientifically that armed conflict in ethnically-divided societies could be connected to climate-related extremes of heat or drought

Environmental research round-up

Highlights from Environmental Research Letters (ERL), including seaweed farms to counteract acidification, lack of buffering for food resources, bush fires in Australia, and more

Are chemtrails a con?

Survey of atmospheric experts finds nearly 99% do not believe in a secret spraying programme that uses contrails from aircraft to distribute chemicals

Was South Atlantic one of first regions to experience manmade climate change?

Major shift in atmospheric circulation in 1940s may have been anthropogenic

Forest restoration gets a cutting edge

Degraded tropical forests throughout the world could be effectively restored by using a simple and inexpensive technique to speed up natural regeneration

Export is causing larger share of tropical-forest loss

Nearly 40% of tropical deforestation from 2000–2011 caused by sale of commodities from seven countries

Can late-imperialist China give climate lessons?

"Consumer" population left itself vulnerable to economic fluctuations

Nitrogen fertilizer risks cellulosic biofuel advantage

Fertilizer surplus to crop requirements cuts climate benefit ‘almost two-fold’

Deforestation in New England is rising thanks to land development

Study reveals that ‘forest transition’ stopped, and deforestation resumed, in 1985

Humans leave greater green fingerprints

Evidence of increased greening of the northern hemisphere over the last half century points to the dominant effect human-induced greenhouse gases have on climate

Environmental research round-up

Highlights from Environmental Research Letters (ERL), including freezing-rain frequency, roads and Arctic-shrub growth, water scarcity, tundra biomass, electric vehicles, and more.

Inland water carbon dioxide emissions ‘underestimated’

US reservoir may emit 40% more carbon than previously thought

City growing season can be 10 days longer

Urban heat island kicks in but may stress out trees and insects

Drought-beater beans mean more food

Scientists have found that some varieties of beans − a vital food crop grown on every continent except Antarctica − have developed ways of coping with the climate-related droughts that threaten them.

Environmental research round-up

Highlights from Environmental Research Letters (ERL), including forest carbon sinks, US agriculture, extreme precipitation, and more.

Why didn’t end of latest El Niño bring extra rain to southern California?

Bucking of trend may have been due to fast weakening in late winter, researchers believe