Ecosystems

  1. image of a giraffe and a rhinoceros in Namibia
    Animals

    Delve into the history of the fight for Earth’s endangered creatures

    The new book ‘Beloved Beasts’ chronicles past conservation efforts as a movement and a science, and explores how to keep striding forward.

    By
  2. pink flower on a cotton plant in the Yucatan Peninsula
    Plants

    Modified genes can distort wild cotton’s interactions with insects

    In a Yucatan nature park, engineered genes influence nectar production, affecting ants’ and maybe pollinators’ attraction to the wild cotton plants.

    By
  3. an illustration of a Brontosaurus
    Animals

    50 years ago, scientists made the case for a landlubbing Brontosaurus

    In 1971, a scientist argued for a landbound Brontosaurus instead of a swampy swimmer. Recent evidence comes from studies of its ancient environment.

    By
  4. sea fireflies
    Climate

    Ocean acidification may make some species glow brighter

    Ocean organisms use bioluminescence for hunting, defense and more. A new analysis shows that declines in water pH might change who glows and how much.

    By
  5. Malawi rice paddies
    Animals

    Clearing land to feed a growing human population will threaten thousands of species

    Changing where, how and what food is grown could largely avoid biodiversity losses, scientists say.

    By
  6. dromedary camels eating trash
    Animals

    Plastic waste forms huge, deadly masses in camel guts

    Eating plastic isn’t just a sea animal problem. Researchers found suitcase-sized masses of plastic in dromedaries’ guts in the United Arab Emirates.

    By
  7. Mount Everest
    Environment

    Plastics are showing up in the world’s most remote places, including Mount Everest

    From the snow on Mount Everest to the guts of critters in the Mariana Trench, tiny fragments called microplastics are almost everywhere.

    By
  8. a photo of clouds
    Microbes

    50 years ago, scientists suspected microbes flourished in clouds

    In 1970, scientists presented early evidence that microbes in clouds may be alive and kicking.

    By
  9. Asian giant hornet
    Life

    A new map shows where Asian giant hornets could thrive in the U.S.

    Suitable habitat along the Pacific West Coast means so-called “murder hornets” could get a foothold in North America if they aren’t eradicated.

    By
  10. Arctic winter under northern lights
    Ecosystems

    Trapped under ice, light-loving algae grow in the dark Arctic winter

    Blocked off from nearly all light beneath a thick layer of ice and snow in the winter, marine phytoplankton in the Arctic still find a way to thrive.

    By
  11. San Francisco Bay bridge smoky skyline
    Environment

    What we know and don’t know about wildfire smoke’s health risks

    As wildfires become more frequent and severe in California, Oregon and throughout the West Coast, concerns rise about harmful air pollution.

    By
  12. map of Earth's protected areas
    Ecosystems

    Protecting half the planet could help solve climate change and save species

    An analysis lays out where new land protections could complement existing protected areas to achieve various conservation and climate goals.

    By