Can these giant dams keep Europe from drowning?

Why a 400-mile enclosure around the North Sea is not as crazy as it sounds

Image: Groeskamp & Kjellsson
  • The Northern European Enclosure Dam (NEED) would cut off the North and Baltic Seas from the Atlantic Ocean.
  • It would save 15 countries, and up to 55 million people, from sea level rise—but at a cost.
  • The idea is a warning more than a plan: NEED will be necessary if we don't stop global warming now.
Keep reading Show less

20 inspiring nature words you didn't know you needed

Hundreds more are documented in Robert Macfarlane's Landmarks.

Photo: Ahmed Saeed / Unsplash
  • In Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane revives hundreds of nearly-forgotten words to remind us of our relationship with nature.
  • New dictionaries are deleting nature words while adding technology terms, which Macfarlane states further separates us from the environment.
  • The words we speak shape the reality we understand, making it essential to aptly describe what is happening on the planet.
Keep reading Show less

Fashion contributes to 10 percent of humanity's carbon emissions

Fast fashion has a devastating impact on the environment. Here's what you need to know before heading to Zara this holiday season.

Photo Credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • The fashion industry is responsible for an alarming 10 percent of all of humanity's carbon emissions.
  • Eighty-five percent of all textiles are trashed each year, ending up in a landfill or incinerated.
  • By wearing one item of clothing for 9 months longer a person can actually reduce his or her carbon footprint by 30 percent.
Keep reading Show less

Focus on renewable energy, not carbon capture, say researchers

Rather than scrubbing the emissions from fossil fuel plants, a new analysis suggests we should simply replace those power plants with renewable alternatives.

Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • Retrofitting carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to fossil fuel-based power plants makes sense; our main problem, after all, is the CO2 these plants emit, right?
  • Early studies have suggested that these CCS solutions could be 85 to 95 percent efficient. A new study that is among the first to study actual field data suggests this wildly underestimates the impact of upstream and downstream sources of emissions, as well as the energy needs of CCS solutions themselves.
  • Instead, the researchers say, our best bet is to just replace fossil fuel-based power plants with ones that use renewable energy.
Keep reading Show less

Has Jurassic Park fostered misunderstanding about extinction?

While the blockbuster franchise might have given us a distorted view of science's capabilities to address species extinction, new research might come close to "resurrecting" lost species' DNA.

Image source: Universal / Getty Images
  • Jurassic Park has fueled public misconceptions about science's abilities to bring extinct species back to life.
  • De-extinction technology can resurrect genetic material from extinct species into their living relatives in a way that can assist conservation efforts.
  • Fostering empathy for other-than-human lives through stories might be the key to addressing the current ecological catastrophe.
Keep reading Show less