The evolution of modern rainforests began with the dinosaur-killing asteroid

The lush biodiversity of South America's rainforests is rooted in one of the most cataclysmic events that ever struck Earth.

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  • One especially mysterious thing about the asteroid impact, which killed the dinosaurs, is how it transformed Earth's tropical rainforests.
  • A recent study analyzed ancient fossils collected in modern-day Colombia to determine how tropical rainforests changed after the bolide impact.
  • The results highlight how nature is able to recover from cataclysmic events, though it may take millions of years.
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Study measures marijuana's carbon footprint—and it's high

Growing marijuana in large, climate controlled warehouses is good for production but has a massive carbon footprint.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels
  • A new study finds that the kilo of marijuana can come with a carbon footprint of up to five tonnes.
  • The exact value differs by state, with climate and the availability of clean energy being important factors.
  • Alternatives to growing the plant in warehouses can drastically reduce emissions.
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Nature-based Solutions (NbS) won't save the planet

Their success is based on us adopting a plant-based diet, too.

Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Natural ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands and oceans, do a pretty good job of storing carbon and supporting biodiversity.

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Plastic pollution from face masks could devastate the environment

Masks are great, but what happens when we try to throw out a billion masks at once?

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  • A new study suggests that the huge numbers of disposable masks we're using may end up polluting the environment.
  • The materials used to make some of these masks may be especially disposed to break down into microplastic bits.
  • Once those plastic bits get into the environment they end up everywhere, including inside people.
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42,000 years ago Earth experienced "end of days" with mass extinctions

A reversal in Earth's magnetic field 42,000 years ago triggered climate catastrophes and mass extinctions. Can the field flip again?

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  • The Earth's magnetic field flipped about 42,000 years ago.
  • This reversal caused major climate changes, electrical storms, and mass extinction of life.
  • The so-called "Adams Event" also may have led to the demise of the Neanderthals and remarkable cave art.
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