July 2, 2013 Nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s and '60s pumped a lot of radiocarbon into the atmosphere. It went everywhere, including into plants that elephants eat. By measuring the levels of this carbon in elephant tusks, scientists can tell when an elephant died — and whether the ivory is being traded illegally.
May 31, 2013 As humans have cut into Brazil's forests, the toucan population has taken a dive. The trees, in turn, have changed, too: Without large-billed birds to eat fruit with big seeds, only trees with small seeds thrive. Eventually, one scientist says, "the impacts on the forest could be quite dramatic."
May 14, 2013 By the end of the century, ocean levels could rise by 2 or 3 feet. That's enough to flood the colonists' first settlement at Jamestown, Va. And it's putting pressure on archaeologists to get as many artifacts out of the ground as quickly as possible — before it's too late.
May 1, 2013 The winter of 1609-1610 has been called the "starving time" for the hundreds of men and women who settled the English colony of Jamestown, Va. They ate their horses, their pets — and, apparently, at least one person. Scientists say human bones recovered from the site provide the first hard evidence that the colonists may have resorted to cannibalism.
March 28, 2013 Fly from Angola down to South Africa and you'll see thousands of circles of bare dirt covering the land. They're up to 30 feet across and ringed by tufts of grass. The origin of the shapes has long been a mystery, but researchers now say hordes of termites may be acting as engineers.
March 27, 2013 Building huge turbine farms too close together might significantly reduce their power, some atmospheric scientists say. The problem is "wind shadow" — the turbulence created by one big cluster of turbines that steals wind from another cluster down the road.
March 15, 2013 A giant reservoir of natural gas lies under the ocean floor, and no one had successfully extracted it until this week. Japanese engineers pulled it up through a well from under the Pacific. But there are still lots of unanswered questions about the viability of this new gas supply.
March 6, 2013 Forest elephants in central Africa are being slaughtered in record numbers for their ivory tusks, a decade-long study finds. The U.S. government and wildlife advocacy groups are struggling to slow the killings as poaching is overcoming laws and treaties intended to protect the species.