Why the ocean you know and love won’t exist in 50 years

Can sensitive coral reefs survive another human generation?

  • Coral reefs may not be able to survive another human decade because of the environmental stress we have placed on them, says author David Wallace-Wells. He posits that without meaningful changes to policies, the trend of them dying out, even in light of recent advances, will continue.
  • The World Wildlife Fund says that 60 percent of all vertebrate mammals have died since just 1970. On top of this, recent studies suggest that insect populations may have fallen by as much as 75 percent over the last few decades.
  • If it were not for our oceans, the planet would probably be already several degrees warmer than it is today due to the emissions we've expelled into the atmosphere.
Keep reading Show less
Videos

Earth at 2°C hotter will be horrific. Now here’s what 4°C will look like.

This is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.

  • The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
  • Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
  • David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
Keep reading Show less
Videos

NASA and ESA team up for historic planetary defense test

Two space agencies plan missions to deflect an asteroid.

ESA's Hera mission above asteroid 65803 Didymos. Credit: ESA/ScienceOffice.org
  • NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are working together on missions to a binary asteroid system.
  • The DART and Hera missions will attempt to deflect and study the asteroid Didymoon.
  • A planetary defense system is important in preventing large-scale catastrophes.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

2018 was the fourth hottest year on record, say both NASA and NOAA

Experts say global warming is no longer some future worry. It's already here.

(Photo: Oli Scarff / Getty Images)
  • President Trump and other politicians have routinely dismissed climate change as a hoax.
  • Data from NASA and NOAA show 2018 was the fourth hottest year on record.
  • Collectively, the last five years have represented the hottest in the 139-year record.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science

As the climate warms, there may be a slight increase in male newborns

"Slight," applied to large populations, could still mean thousands of more boys.

Pixabay
  • Scientists have long theorized that temperature has some effect on the sex ratios of populations.
  • Recent research shows links between rising temperatures and increases in the ratio of male newborns.
  • Nobody can say exactly whether temperature causes changes in sex ratio, however it's likely that climate change will force humans to adapt in ways we can't yet anticipate.
Keep reading Show less
Surprising Science