United Nations

Flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains and exacerbated by human-caused climate change has killed nearly 1,700 people in Pakistan this year. Countries at COP27 agreed that major emitters of greenhouse gases should create a fund to deal with similar crises.

Five Major Storylines From the COP27 Climate Summit

Delegates agree to a loss and damage fund, but some experts worry the conference didn’t go far enough to address climate change

President Biden speaks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 11. 

New Rules Could Slash 36 Million Tons of Methane by 2030

Biden announced plans for tackling the powerful greenhouse gas, which could go into effect by the end of next year

The U.N. predicts the world population will reach eight billion by November 15.

Global Human Population to Reach Eight Billion by November 15

While U.N. officials warn against “population alarmism,” some experts say this milestone should be a wake-up call

Ugandan youth climate activist Leah Namugerwa speaks during the Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit of the UNFCCC. 

What You Need to Know About the COP27 Climate Summit

World leaders are gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to discuss climate action

Palcaraju glacier inside Huascarán National Park in Peru

One-Third of Iconic World Heritage Glaciers Will Melt by 2050, Study Finds

A new report from Unesco and the International Union for Conservation of Nature provides a bleak outlook for glaciers amid global warming

Climate disasters, like flooding in Pakistan, have led to climate justice advocates pushing for "loss and damage" to be paid to developing countries.

Denmark Will Pay ‘Loss and Damage’ to Developing Countries for Climate Change Impacts

The country has pledged $13 million, which will go to the Sahel region in northwestern Africa and other impacted areas

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An unpublished memoir reveals how the world’s most famous child actress became a star of the environmental movement

Detail of Ronald N. Sherr's General Colin Powell, 2012, oil on canvas

History of Now

Colin Powell, First Black Secretary of State, Dies of Covid-19 at 84

The decorated general broke racial barriers in the U.S. military but attracted criticism for his part in paving the way for the Iraq War

Oluwaseyi at a Movie screening hosted by her organization in commemoration of Global Recycling Day 2021.

Smithsonian Voices

How Nigeria's Oluwaseyi Moejoh's Conservation Activism Is Spreading Across Africa and Beyond

The founder of U-recycle Initiative Africa, current law student, and all-around force for positive change is a powerful advocate for a sustainable planet

A proposed government plan will move the A303 highway, pictured here in the distance behind Stonehenge's iconic structures, underground. But Unesco warned in a report Monday that the efforts might endanger the site's OVU, or outstanding universal value.

Unesco Weighs Changes to Stonehenge's Cultural Heritage Status

A new report also cited Venice and the Great Barrier Reef as sites that might be placed on the World Heritage in Danger list

Firefighters in helicopters battle a 1,300 acre brush fire in Pacific Palisades on May 17. The California fire season started early this year.

United Nations Report Shows That Climate Change Is Accelerating

Scientists say there is a 90 percent chance that one of the next five years will be the hottest on record

The marine sediments that bottom trawlers stir up like underwater rototillers are the largest storehouse of carbon on the planet.

New Research

Seafloor Trawl Fishing May Release as Much Carbon as Air Travel

A new study finds the carbon released when bottom trawlers stir up the seafloor is equal to the emissions of the entire aviation industry

The United Nation's World Food Program claimed this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

World Food Program Wins 2020 Nobel Peace Prize

This year's award seeks to highlight the need for global solidarity in a time of crisis, says prize committee chair Berit Reiss-Andersen

Eleanor Roosevelt talks to a child at the ceremonies inaugurating the slum clearance in Detroit, Michigan.

Women Who Shaped History

Why Eleanor Roosevelt's Example Matters More Than Ever

A new biography shows how decency, determination and generosity of heart can change the world

A fire in the Yakutia region of Siberia in early June seen from the air. A June heat wave saw temperatures in Verkhoyansk, a town in Yakutia, hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Earth Could Hit Critical Climate Threshold in Next Five Years

Report: 20 percent chance that one of the next five years will see annual global temperatures rise to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels

Catastrophic disasters like the pair of cyclones that devastated Mozambique earlier this year, seen here, can over shadow more commonplace, smaller-scale events, including intense heatwaves, storms and flooding.

One Climate Crisis Disaster Occurs Every Week, U.N. Official Warns

Governments should prioritize 'adaptation and resilience' measures designed to curb the effects of ongoing lower-impact climate events, experts say

Trending Today

Archaeologists, Tour Operators, Locals Raise Alarm Over International Airport at Machu Picchu

They are petitioning the government to reconsider the project, which is planned to be completed by 2023

Trending Today

Month-Long Oil Spill in the Solomon Islands Threatens World's Largest Coral Reef Atoll

Australia has stepped in to help contain the 600 tons of heavy fuel oil leaking from the transport that ran aground on Rennell Island early last month

Trending Today

By the End of 2018 More Than Half the World Will Be Online

In the past decade, there's been a huge spike in internet access though that number is beginning to slow down

The great James Chambers aka Jimmy Cliff performing in 2012.

Trending Today

Reggae Officially Declared Global Cultural Treasure

The music, which emerged from Jamaica in the 1960s, was added to Unesco's global Intangible Cultural Heritage list

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