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Extreme Droughts Weaken Trees' Ability to Soak Up Carbon

There’s a mystery inside trees upon which the fate of coastal cities, threatened by rising sea levels from climate change, may depend. Each year, the Earth’s forests take up about one-quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted by humans, effectively slowing the speed and severity of global warming. They lock up most of… » 7/31/15 7:00am Yesterday 7:00am

Remember When 2014 Was the Hottest Year On Record? Now 2015 Is.

Doesn’t it seem like only last week scientists confirmed that 2014 was indeed the hottest year on record? Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore because scientists have now determined that the first half of 2015 has managed to break all those records—and 2015 will now likely be the hottest year recorded on… » 7/20/15 7:00pm 7/20/15 7:00pm

Central European Forests Are Regrowing After the Breakup of the USSR

The collapse of the Soviet Union didn’t just affect humans—forests across Europe and Asia were impacted, too. Some 533 million acres of forest in Eastern Europe have regrown since 1985, largely due to the disintegration of timber industries and abandonment of agricultural lands in countries such as Hungary, Croatia,… » 7/15/15 7:30pm 7/15/15 7:30pm

The Global Warming "Pause" Never Actually Happened

There’s been much debate these past few years over the cause of the so-called global warming “hiatus”—a pause in the overall uptick up of Earth’s temperature due to cooling at the surface of the Pacific Ocean since the early 2000s. Did climate warming stop? Nope, we just weren’t looking deep enough. » 7/09/15 11:35pm 7/09/15 11:35pm

It's So Dry Even America's Old Growth Rainforests Are on Fire

The season of terrible drought and fire keeps getting worse. In the past few weeks, hundreds of patches of forest in the Canadian and Alaskan boreal have gone up in flames. Now, one of America’s last remaining old growth forests—the Queets rainforest in Olympic National Park, Washington—is also burning. » 7/09/15 8:20pm 7/09/15 8:20pm

The Biggest Danger From This Year's Historic Wildfire Season

Wildfires are tearing across Alaska and western Canada at a record-breaking rate this summer. But stands of blackened trees and cross-continental plumes of smoke are only the most visible signs of damage from the 300 or more fires currently raging. The biggest concern may be what’s happening below ground. » 7/07/15 8:30pm 7/07/15 8:30pm

Does the Climate Science in Game of Thrones Make Sense?

The climate has been a persistent theme of Game of Thrones ever since Ned Stark (remember him?) told us “winter is coming” back at the start of season one. The Warden of the North was referring, of course, to the anticipated shift in Westerosi weather from a long summer to a brutal winter that can last for many years. » 6/16/15 3:30am 6/16/15 3:30am

What's the Difference Between 'Party Cloudy' and 'Mostly Sunny'?

If you ever thought it was difficult to tell the difference between “partly cloudy” and “mostly sunny,” you’re not alone. Established by the National Weather Service (NWS) according to a loose set of rules, the criteria used to describe different elements of your forecast can be pretty vague. » 6/05/15 6:30am 6/05/15 6:30am

The US Is Cutting Down Its Forests to Feed Europe's Biomass Fuel Craze 

Since 2012, the US has held the title of world’s number one wood pellet exporter. What’s the big deal with wood pellets? Well, Europe has very keen on replacing coal with more environmentally friendly wood pellets—except, well, depending on who you ask, wood may not be that great either. » 6/04/15 6:50pm 6/04/15 6:50pm