Environment

In closing remarks at the 1969 U.N. General Assembly in New York, Black recalled an Apollo 12 astronaut who, while in orbit, remarked on the Earth’s beauty. “Some of us down here are not so sure,” she said.

Women Who Shaped History

Shirley Temple Black's Remarkable Second Act as a Diplomat

An unpublished memoir reveals how the world’s most famous child actress became a star of the environmental movement

School children protest climate change outside the Scottish Parliament in 2019 as part of a worldwide demonstration.

The Future of Mental Health

Your Crushing Anxiety About the Climate Crisis Is Normal

A Stanford researcher shares what she’s learned about the ways climate change affects mental health and offers practical advice

Researchers keep finding dolls and doll body parts off the coast of Texas, where ocean currents push debris and garbage onto the beach.

Why Do Creepy Dolls Keep Washing Up on Texas Beaches?

Ocean currents push the unsettling toys—and tons of other trash—onto state shores

Worker at a plastic recycling plant in Japan.

At Least 85 Percent of U.S. Plastic Waste Went to Landfills in 2021

Only five percent of the material was in the correct condition to be recycled

Some seagrasses are linked to lower levels of gastroenteritis-causing pathogens in the water. 

Seagrass Can Work as a Sanitation Service

Millions of cases of potentially deadly gastroenteritis are prevented each year because of the pathogen-reducing powers of the plant

Aseel Rawashdeh's innovation won sixth place in this year's Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country's most prestigious and oldest science and math competition for promising young scientists in their senior year.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Found a Way to Control Mosquitoes Using Essential Oils and Baker's Yeast

Aseel Rawashdeh's inexpensive larvicide kills disease-spreading species and spares beneficial ones

Greta Thunberg addresses climate strikers at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado.

Greta Thunberg Is Publishing the 'Ultimate Guide' to Climate Change

The book will feature contributions from over 100 novelists, scientists and activists

When corals are stressed, they will expel their algal partner in a process called coral bleaching.

Mass Coral Bleaching Hits Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Unusually warm waters are stressing sensitive corals, causing the fourth major bleaching event in the last seven years

Each sensor is unique in size and ranges between 10 to 50 milliliters in diameter and weighs about 30 milligrams.

Innovation for Good

Tiny, Solar-Powered Sensors Fly Through the Air Like Dandelion Seeds

The battery-free devices could be used to gather environmental data over long distances and provide insights into an ecosystem's health

Colorado's first laying out ceremony of human remains that were composted.

Colorado Composts Its First Human Remains

The state legalized biological decomposition of human remains, also known as 'natural reduction,' last year

A typical Making the Road trip to South Africa includes a visit to Soweto, a township outside of Johannesburg that was the site of anti-apartheid organizing and violence for years.

Tourism Gets a Refresh in the Hands of Activists Seeking to Decolonize the Industry

Operators practicing 'solidarity tourism' push back against travel that can be environmentally and socially destructive

A view of Teotihuacan, San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico

Here Are the World's 25 Most Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites

The World Monument Fund's list includes sites in the Maldives, Pakistan, the United States and elsewhere, but was finalized before the war in Ukraine

One of the species Stewart captured on audio is the Panamanian Golden Frog, a once-common species now rarely seen in the wild.

Listen to These Amazing Sounds of Lost Places and Animals Within Them

Prolific audio naturalist Martyn Stewart has released a free collection of his remarkable recordings before his passing

This is the first chick fostered by same-sex penguin parents at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York.

Meet Elmer and Lima, a Same-Sex Penguin Couple Fostering a Chick at a Syracuse Zoo

The two male birds are 'exemplary' parents, says the zoo’s director

Some chemical compounds used in sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, are facing scrutiny from legislators and environmental advocates. Scientists are looking to the ultraviolet light-blocking compounds produced by marine organisms as potential replacements.

Designing a More Environmentally Friendly Sunscreen

Scientists are sourcing new ultraviolet ray-blocking compounds from algae, seaweed, cyanobacteria and other marine creatures

A popular tourist site, Turkmenistan's Darvasa crater pit has been burning gas for over 50 years. The country's attempts to put out its flames have been unsuccessful. 

The Quest to Extinguish the Flames of Turkmenistan's Terrifying 'Gates of Hell' Firepit

The country's president says it’s time to quash the ongoing 50-year blaze at the 230-foot-wide Darvaza gas crater

Danish scientist Kristine Bohmann collects air samples in the Copenhagen Zoo’s tropical rainforest house.

Planet Positive

Scientists Pull Animal DNA Out of Thin Air

The new method, tested at two zoos, could revolutionize the study of biodiversity in the wild

Though pikes (picture above) had the highest concentration of methylmercury in their bodies, they recovered faster than other species. 

Fish Can Recover Surprisingly Quickly From Mercury Pollution

If the chemical stops leaking into freshwater ecosystems, its concentration in some fish species can drop by more than 75 percent

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The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best Science Books of 2021

From captivating memoirs by researchers to illuminating narratives by veteran science journalists, these works affected us the most this year

Plastic makes up 80 percent of all marine debris found, from surface waters to deep-sea sediments 

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Hosts Life in the Open Ocean

Coastal plants and animals are thriving on the plastic debris, posing potential ecological risks

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