Confronting the biodiversity crisis

In 2002, the world’s governments agreed to significantly slow the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. Time is almost up, and by most accounts they’ve failed. Now that climate change is emerging as one of biodiversity’s greatest threats, scientists are proposing new ways to tackle the crisis. Hannah Hoag reports.

Barcoding life

In July 2009, for the fourth year in a row, a swarm of biologists fanned out across the … Read the rest

The missing greenhouse gas

Growth of the electronics industry will boost emissions of a ‘hidden’ — but extremely potent — greenhouse gas.

Our insatiable appetite for gadgets — mobile phones, MP3 players and flat-screen TVs — may be adding a hidden greenhouse gas to the Earth’s atmosphere. Countries that ratified the Kyoto Protocol committed to reducing their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases: methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. … Read the rest

Rapid Ice Retreat Threatens Arctic Interior

Nature Reports: Climate Change

The rapid decline of sea ice could accelerate inland warming over the Arctic region, radically transforming the landscape.

One of the Northern Hemisphere’s natural cycles is the expansion and contraction of the floating Arctic ice cap. Typically, sea ice decreases during the Arctic summer, reaching a low in September, before recovering as temperatures drop in winter. From as far back as satellite measurements began in 1978 … Read the rest