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Sustainability

The accidental tree killers

Epidemics of forest-felling diseases are on the rise thanks to globetrotting pathogens that slip through even the best defenses. To prevent further losses, scientists are turning to high-tech surveillance and detection, even canine noses.

Quest to secure the world’s vanishing ice

Glaciologists dream of a cold-storage vault in Antarctica to preserve key samples of the paleoclimate

Pollution evolution: The little fish that could

Where other species succumbed, the killifish survived contaminated habitats. It’s a finding that could help researchers understand environmental risk factors for humans.

The tides they are a-changin’ — and it’s not just from climate change

Dredging rivers, filling in wetlands and other human acts of engineering have shifted coastal ebbs and flows worldwide. Add rising sea levels, and the threat of storm surges and floods will worsen in some places.

Fighting fire with fire ... and fauna

Climate change is aggravating the seasonal burns that Australia has always known. They won’t be snuffed out, but new ecological strategies may help.

How humans shift fish evolution | Things to Know

VIDEO: By targeting larger individuals, intense fishing may lead to a fishery dominated by the small

What makes food ‘local’?

More people are choosing what to eat based on where it was grown, made or created. An anthropologist looks at the myriad ways we link food to place — and whether it really could make a difference.

Out of Antarctica, churnings of climate change

The interplay of carbon dioxide, winds and Southern Ocean waters could be reaching an environmental tipping point

Why green energy finally makes economic sense

Solar and wind generators have suddenly become just as cheap as other ways to produce electric power

The iron ocean

Through dust, not rust, the metal plays a complex, controversial role in Earth’s climate

As coral die, protected areas aren’t enough

COMIC: The reef-builders face larger threats, scientists say. Chief among these is warming seas.

The tricky task of tallying carbon

To slow or stop global warming, the world agrees it must cut carbon dioxide emissions. But monitoring each nation’s output of greenhouse gases is not always straightforward.

An amphibious rescue mission

On the edge of extinction, rare frogs and toads need more than a little love to reproduce. High-tech help, from IVF to hormone therapy, may save them.

The next omics? Tracking a lifetime of exposures to better understand disease

Of the millions of substances people encounter daily, health researchers have focused on only a few hundred. Those in the emerging field of exposomics want to change that.

From tiger scat to DNA to — hopefully — survival

Researchers dig out the elusive cats’ genetic material where they can, to guide efforts at conservation and diversity

On whose green Earth?

Are we supposed to take care of the planet or should it take care of us? Willis Jenkins explains how religion shapes the conflicting views over climate change and other environmental issues.

Predicting biological invaders

Complex mathematical tools are aiding the battle to identify invasive species before they get a foothold in the environment. But bureaucracy can blunt the techniques.

A world in a bottle of water

Revolutionary techniques using traces of environmental DNA are analyzing entire ecosystems “from microbes to whales”