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Sustainability

Happy hens, happy world

Farmers are recommitting themselves to animal welfare, and that might help the planet, too

Marine wildlife is starting to suffocate

Global warming and agricultural runoff have driven the loss of oxygen in oceans around the world, with looming ecological consequences.

The marks of extinction

The mass die-offs of Earth’s past may hold clues to our future

Centuries of pondering — and squabbling about — trees

Do forests warm or cool the Earth? What’s their effect on global climate change? A comic narrated by polymath Benjamin Franklin describes the evolution of thought on this issue and what we still don’t know.

The photosynthesis fix

As world food needs rise, so does the need for faster, more efficient plant growth. Bypassing an error-prone enzyme is one way to do it.

The pileup of plastic debris is more than ugly ocean litter

A solid-waste specialist offers ways to halt the plague of pollutants choking the seas

The whole food diet for bees

A balanced menu makes for healthy, productive bees — but the loss of wildflowers means that many fail to find the kind of nutrition they need

Climate change can set the stage for violence

Worsened by global warming, drought and other environmental stressors play a role in fanning the flames of civil conflicts

Bumpy air boosts wind power

Turbulence regenerates gust strength between turbines, influencing design of arrays that can pull energy from the sky

Plant, reap, repeat — and now rethink

Replacing the annual farming cycle with perennial crops could be better for soil, water and wildlife