Climate change Oceans running out of oxygen as temperatures rise

Climate change and nutrient pollution are driving the oxygen from our oceans, and threatening many species of fish. That’s the conclusion of the biggest study of its kind, undertaken by conservation group IUCN. While nutrient run-off has been known for decades, researchers say that climate change is making the lack of oxygen worse.  Around 700 […]

Forests facing climate balancing act

Forests can cope with a warming world if – and only if – temperature rises increase in line with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Increased CO2 allows trees to develop physiological characteristics, such as greater foliage, that can cope with higher temperatures. But researchers warn that a break in the temperature-CO2 increase ratio could trigger […]

Climate change ‘Bleak’ outlook as carbon emissions gap grows

Countries will have to increase their carbon-cutting ambitions five fold if the world is to avoid warming by more than 1.5C, the UN says. The annual emissions gap report shows that even if all current promises are met, the world will warm by more than double that amount by 2100. Richer countries have failed to […]

Climate change: Greenhouse gas concentrations again break records

Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases once again reached new highs in 2018. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the increase in CO2 was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade.  Levels of other warming gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, have also surged by above average amounts.  Since 1990 […]

Coal the beginning of the end

The fuel that powered the industrial revolution may be in decline at last. This year looks set to see the largest fall in electricity production from coal on record, according to a new report. The reduction is estimated to be more than the power generated from coal in Germany, Spain and the UK combined.  It […]

Third of tropical African plants face extinction

A third of tropical African plants are on the path to extinction, according to a new assessment. Much of western Africa, Ethiopia, and parts of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the hardest hit regions, standing to lose more than 40% of their richness of plants. Species at risk include trees, shrubs, […]

Malaysia’s last known Sumatran rhino dies

The Sumatran rhino is now officially extinct in Malaysia, with the death of the last known specimen. The 25-year-old female named Iman died on Saturday on the island of Borneo, officials say. She had cancer. Malaysia’s last male Sumatran rhino died in May this year. The Sumatran rhino once roamed across Asia, but has now […]

Seeking the ‘plastic score’ of the food on our plates

Microplastics are found everywhere on Earth, yet we know surprisingly little about what risks they pose to living things. Scientists are now racing to investigate some of the big unanswered questions. Daniella Hodgson is digging a hole in the sand on a windswept beach as seabirds wheel overhead. “Found one,” she cries, flinging down her […]