Rising temperatures and changing rainfall may benefit the Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, a carrier of West Nile virus. Credit: CDC/Jim Gathany
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney tussled over energy production during last night’s presidential debate, but both candidates were disappointingly silent on an inextricably linked issue: climate change.!--/end tags-->
Photograph courtesy of Ove Topfer
When explaining why I don’t eat beef, pork, or chicken, despite the tempting aroma of a barbequed burger or bacon sizzling on the stove, I say that it’s better for the environment to abstain. But what, exactly, does that mean?!--/end tags-->
Photograph courtesy of Alexander Khodarev/SXC.hu
Power plants that burn one of our most polluting fuel sources, coal, are shutting down because of natural gas prices, market conditions, and decrease in demand— and more of them may be closed in the next decade than originally predicted.
It’s official. We’re going to be seeing a lot more wildfires in the coming years, and they’re going to be a lot hotter. A study released last Wednesday concluded that the over-the-top fire season that we’ve seen this year may soon be the new normal.!--/end tags-->
Martin Hamel from the University of Nebraska Lincoln received a text from his airboat mechanic on a Monday morning—there had been a large fish kill on the Platte River, a waterway that winds its way through Nebraska and past towns such as Louisville and Ashland. The next day, Hamel’s fears were confirmed. He and a team of others found the bodies of sturgeon and other fish spread across the muddy bottom of what had once been a flowing river.
The drought that has spread across most of the United States has not only affected crops; it’s also affected wildlife. Fish and other river-dwelling species, some of them listed as endangered, have suffered the most with higher temperatures and lower flow rates.!--/end tags-->
As temperatures bake much of the United States and the nationwide drought continues, crops wither and fish die. But they aren’t the only ones suffering from the blazing summer. Birds are also trying to keep their cool. But they don’t sweat like humans, or even pant like dogs; instead, they have a variety of unique adaptations to help beat the heat.
Coral reefs are home to millions of species, including octopi, parrotfish, eels, worms, and even parasitic crustaceans named after Bob Marley. But the bizarre and beautiful species that call coral home are at risk from bleaching—the creeping whitening of a reef usually caused by increased water temperatures. Thankfully, most reefs will escape bleaching this summer, according to a new update from NOAA.!--/end tags-->
Keystone XL isn’t the only pipeline conservationists are worried about. Pipelines that transport water—not oil or gas—are also a concern. These conduits could actually make water resources less reliable in the future, eventually taking a toll on the communities that both fund and depend on the projects, a new NRDC report finds.