Environment Archives - State of the Planet

COVID-19’s Long-Term Effects on Climate Change—For Better or Worse

Changes in carbon emissions, individual behaviors, and government responses will have a big impact on the environment and our ability to combat climate change.

by |June 25, 2020

Huge Land Buys Are Driving Tropical Forest Destruction

A new study finds that investments to establish new oil palm or tree plantations seem to consistently have higher rates of forest loss than other types of activities, such as mining and logging.

by |June 22, 2020

Potentially Fatal Combinations of Humidity and Heat Are Emerging Across the Globe

A new study has identified thousands of incidents of previously rare or unprecedented extreme heat/humidity combinations in parts of Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and North America, including in the U.S. Gulf Coast region.

by |May 8, 2020

Shrinking Snowcaps Fuel Harmful Algal Blooms in Arabian Sea

Driven by changing climate, a uniquely resilient organism is taking over the Arabian Sea, disrupting food chains, fisheries, oil refineries and water desalination plants.

by |May 4, 2020

We Were So Young and Naive. And We Got Things Done.

A journalist looks back on his efforts to cover the first Earth Day.

by |April 21, 2020

The Shutdown Is Clearing New York’s Air. Don’t Cheer Too Hard.

Researchers are measuring severe drops in pollutants at the ground level, but warn that the benefits will be short-lived unless we take away some longer-term lessons.

by |March 25, 2020

Increasingly Mobile Sea Ice Means Arctic Neighbors May Pollute Each Others’ Waters

The movement of sea ice between Arctic countries is expected to significantly increase this century, raising the risk of more widely transporting pollutants like microplastics and oil, according to new research.

by |March 18, 2020

Rain, More Than Wind, Led to Massive Toppling of Trees in Hurricane Maria, Says Study

The surprising finding suggests that future hurricanes stoked by warming climate may be even more destructive to forests than scientists have already projected.

by |March 9, 2020

Upcoming Scientific Fieldwork: 2020 and Beyond

Earth Institute researchers are in the field studying the dynamics of the planet on every continent and every ocean. Here is a list of projects.

by |February 4, 2020

A Guide to the Good, Low-Carbon Life

For about 10 years, environmental law professor Karl Coplan has been trying to winnow down his direct footprint of CO2 emissions. He has been successful, and has just published a book chronicling his efforts.

by |January 13, 2020