Top Stories

New World Atlas of Desertification Shows Unprecedented Pressure on the Planet's Natural Resources

On 21 June 2018, the JRC published a new edition of the World Atlas of Desertification, offering a tool for decision makers to improve local responses to soil loss and land degradation.

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Envisioning a Future Where All the Trees in Europe Disappear

Vegetation plays an important role in shaping local climate: just think of the cool shade provided by a forest or the grinding heat of the open desert.

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Heated Dilemmas

As hurricane season commences on the East Coast and the West Coast heads into fire season, there’s no time like the present to consider the short- and long-term effects of responses to disasters being shaped by the climate of a warming Earth. Are we doing enough to ensure our future well-being in the face of climate change, or are we too distracted by intense but relatively infrequent disasters such as fire and flood to contemplate the big-picture changes we need to make?

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Researchers Find 15- to 16-Million-Year-Old Squirrel Fossil in Idaho

Crack open a rock in the Clarkia Lagerstätte fossil site near Clarkia, Idaho, and you’re likely to find a well-preserved leaf from the middle of the Miocene Epoch 15 to 16 million years ago, preserved so well that you may even briefly see some of the original colors before they oxidize to black.

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Toxic leftovers from Giant Mine found in snowshoe hares

Even though it was closed decades ago, the Giant Mine on the outskirts of Yellowknife has left a long environmental legacy.

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Scientists discover new species of ancient marine lizard

University of Alberta paleontologists discovered a new species of marine lizard that lived 70 to 75 million years ago, with its muscle and skin remarkably well preserved.

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Climate Change to Overtake Land Use as Major Threat to Global Biodiversity

Climate change will have a rapidly increasing effect on the structure of global ecological communities over the next few decades, with amphibians and reptiles being significantly more affected than birds and mammals, a new report by UCL finds.

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Study Confirms Beetles Exploit Warm Winters to Expand Range

A new study by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and colleagues confirms that increasing minimum winter temperatures allow beetles to expand their range but reveals that overcrowding can put the brakes on population growth.

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Spacefood for Cows: Industrial Microbes Could Feed Cattle, Pigs and Chicken with Less Damage to the Environment

Deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, nitrogen pollution – today’s agricultural feed cultivation for cattle, pigs and chicken comes with tremendous impacts for the environment and climate. Cultivating feed in industrial facilities instead of on croplands might help to alleviate the critical implications in the agricultural food supply chain. Protein-rich microbes, produced in large-scale industrial facilities, are likely to increasingly replace traditional crop-based feed. A new study now published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology for the first time estimates the economic and environmental potential of feeding microbial protein to pigs, cattle and chicken on a global scale. The researchers find that by replacing only 2 percent of livestock feed by protein-rich microbes, more than 5 percent of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, global cropland area and global nitrogen losses could each be decreased.

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American Swamp Sparrows Have Sung the Same Songs for More Than 1,000 Years

American swamp sparrows may have sung the same songs for more than 1,000 years and passed them on through generations by learning, according to researchers at Queen Mary University of London, Imperial College London and Duke University.

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