Utility-scale Solar Installations Can Avoid Using Farmland, Study Says

Across the U.S., the energy and agricultural industries are battling it out over whether to place solar panels or crops on large stretches of flat, sunny land. Now, a new study finds that developing solar energy arrays on alternative sites like buildings, lakes, and contaminated land would allow California to meet its 2025 electricity demands without sacrificing farmland.

In Mussels Across the Globe, Evidence of the Spread of Plastic Pollution

Scientists have discovered tiny bits of plastic in mussels in oceans across the globe, from supposedly pristine Arctic waters near Norway to the coasts of China, Chile, Canada, Britain, and Belgium, Reuters reported. The findings from several recent surveys are the latest evidence that plastic pollution isn’t just ending up in marine environments, but also in the food we eat. 

Climate Change Has Doubled Snowfall Around North America's Highest Peak

The amount of snow falling in Alaska’s Denali National Park, home to North America’s tallest mountain, has more than doubled over the past 150 years, according to a new study.

China Announces Details of New Carbon Trading Market

China has released plans to create the world’s largest carbon emissions trading scheme, several news outlets reported. The market will initially be focused on the power sector, which produced almost half of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions last year, and will encompass 1,700 energy suppliers producing more than 3 billion tons of CO2 annually, according to Reuters.

Carbon Loophole: Why Is Wood Burning Counted as Green Energy?

It was once one of Europe’s largest coal-burning power stations. Now, after replacing coal in its boilers with wood pellets shipped from the U.S. South, the Drax Power Station in Britain claims to be the largest carbon-saving project in Europe. About 23 million tons of carbon dioxide goes up its stacks each year. But because new trees will be planted in the cut forests, the company says the Drax plant is carbon-neutral.

Reclaiming Appalachia: A Push to Bring Back Native Forests to Coal Country

Near the top of Cheat Mountain in West Virginia, bulldozer operator Bill Moore gazes down a steep slope littered with toppled conifers. Tangled roots and angled boulders protrude from the slate-colored soil, and the earth is crisscrossed with deep gouges.

California's 2017 Wildfire Season Continues to Break Records

The Thomas Fire burning north of Los Angeles in Ventura County, California is now the state’s fifth-largest wildfire on record. Less than 15 percent contained and moving west quickly, the fire is being fueled by dry conditions and strong winds. It is one of five wildfirescurrently burning in southern California.

How a Wayward Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

For millennia, the Beaufort Gyre — a massive wind-driven current in the Arctic Ocean — has been regulating climate and sea ice formation at the top of the world. Like a giant spinning top, the gyre corrals vast amounts of sea ice. Trapped in this clockwise swirl, the ice has historically had more time to thicken than it generally does in other parts of the Arctic Ocean, where currents such as the Trans Polar Drift transport the ice into the warmer north Atlantic more rapidly. In this way, the Beaufort Gyre — located north of Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory — has helped create the abundant layers of sea ice that, until recently, covered large parts of the Arctic Ocean year-round.

Already on Brink, Right Whales Are Pushed Closer to the Edge

North Atlantic right whales are one of the world’s most critically endangered large whales, but if you’re lucky, you can still see them: a mother nursing her newborn in the warm waters off the Georgia or Florida coast, their only known calving grounds; right whales socializing and feeding in the fertile waters of Cape Cod Bay, sometimes within sight of shore; whales — black, 50 feet long, and weighing some 100,000 pounds — rising through the water in the Bay of Fundy or the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the northern end of their thousand-mile-plus migration route.

Transportation Replaces Power in U.S. as Top Source of CO2 Emissions

Power plants have been the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States for more than 40 years. But according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, transportation has now claimed the top spot.