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Silent Extinctions

Many Newly Discovered Species Are Already Gone

Scientists are uncovering previously unknown species preserved in museum and botanical garden collections, only to find that they no longer exist in the wild.
Code Red

The Age of Flames Reaches the US East Coast

Regulations and Solutions

How to Check the Air Quality Near You

Here’s what to know about wildfire smoke and invisible pollutants, and how you can use your phone to decide whether it’s safe to spend time outside.

The Kakhovka Dam Collapse Is an Ecological Disaster

Water surging from the broken Ukrainian dam is killing animals, destroying habitats, and unleashing pollution. The effects may be irreversible.

The Upper Atmosphere Is Cooling, Prompting New Climate Concerns

Scientists are worried about the effect this change could have on orbiting satellites, the ozone layer, and Earth’s weather.

The Explosive Legacy of the Pandemic Hand Sanitizer Boom

Three years ago, the FDA declared a manufacturing free-for-all. Now a noxious brew of leftover product is catching fire and making people sick.

Oceans and Waterways

Antarctic Sea Ice Is at Record Lows. Is It an Alarming Shift?

Scientists are “watching with bated breath” to see if ice will return to normal levels. The planetary consequences could be huge.

The Trillion-Dollar Auction to Save the World

Ocean creatures soak up huge amounts of humanity’s carbon mess. Should we value them like financial assets?

Primitive Asgard Cells Show Life on the Brink of Complexity

As researchers race to cultivate these intriguing cells from the deep seafloor, the few growing in labs are our best glimpses of the forerunners of complex life.

The Mystery of Fish Deaths in a Foul Chartreuse Sea

Researchers in Kotzebue, Alaska, are investigating why their town is increasingly playing host to harmful cyanobacteria.

Extreme Heat

The Weird Way Australia’s Bushfires Influenced a Weirder La Niña

In 2019 and 2020, the out-of-control blazes sent clouds of smoke across the Pacific, where they brightened clouds and cooled the ocean.

The Far North Is Burning—and Turning Up the Heat on the Planet

Wildfires and human meddling are transforming the Arctic and its surroundings from a carbon sink into a carbon emitter, exacerbating the climate crisis.

Deadly Heat Threatens the Well-Being of 1 Billion People in India

Increasingly severe heat waves will imperil the country’s development goals, slow economic growth, and heighten health risks, new research shows.

Europe Is Drying Up

After unusually low amounts of rain and snow this winter, the continent faces a severe water shortage.