June 19, 2012 U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants to kick-start a big initiative to double the share of renewable energy worldwide, make sure everyone on the planet has power, and cut in half the amount of wasted energy. But critics say the agenda in Rio is so bloated that it's unclear what can be accomplished.
May 30, 2012 The amount of radiation found in Pacific bluefin tuna spawned near Fukushima does not threaten our health, despite today's suggestive headlines. What a new study shows is that scientists can rely on tiny amounts of radiation to track animals across great distances.
May 17, 2012 Back when the dinosaurs ruled the Earth, some hardy bacteria took up residence at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Eighty six million years later, they're still there. And a new study says they're living out the most Spartan lifestyle known on this planet.
May 10, 2012 The massive magnitude 8.6 earthquake in April off the coast of Indonesia was felt from Bangladesh to Australia. But it caused little damage and no major tsunami. Seismologists studying the quake say it revealed some interesting features about how the Earth's tectonic plates move.
May 3, 2012 While the glaciers hold enough water to raise sea level feet by 20 feet, a new study says the runaway meltdown of Greenland's ice isn't happening as some had feared. This means a "worst-case scenario" of 6 feet of sea level rise by the end of this century is unlikely, a polar researcher says.
April 26, 2012 The International Energy Agency warned energy ministers around the world that they are falling behind in their efforts to wean the world from dirty sources of energy. Nations are nowhere near being on track to avert significant climate change in the coming decade, and just about everything is conspiring to make it harder to clean up the world's energy supply.
April 24, 2012 A few years ago, the U.N.'s climate panel warned that the Himalayas' glaciers were quickly disappearing. The claim was dead wrong. The true picture of how the ice in those glaciers is responding to a warming world is far more complex. "There are so many uncertainties that it's really hard to predict the future of the glaciers," says one scientist.
April 2, 2012 Next year, an Australian company plans to start drilling deep underwater off the coast of Papua New Guinea to extract deposits rich with copper, gold, silver and zinc. The firm says the operation is much less messy than mining on land, but some scientists worry about the impact on deep-sea life.
March 20, 2012 As Shell Oil prepares to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer, Native Alaskans are visiting Washington, D.C., to make their case for — or against — drilling. Some Inupiats argue that oil and gas exploration puts their traditional lives at stake, but others say the economy of the North Slope needs new oil and gas revenues.
March 13, 2012 The Nobel Prize-winning chemist made the link between man-made chemicals used in spray cans and the depletion of the Earth-insulating ozone later. His scientific work and advocacy for a ban on these chemicals, called CFCs, led to a public appreciation for humans' impact on the planet. He was 84.
March 9, 2012 Though the immediate nuclear crisis in Japan has passed, the process of securing and stabilizing the radioactive materials from the melted-down reactors will be a long, expensive slog. Recovery workers will also need to decontaminate the area surrounding the plant.