Ground Zero: How Do Scientists Predict a Hurricane Season?

Keep an eye on the African monsoon, ocean temperatures, and a possible late-blooming La Niña. By Dr. Kristopher KarnauskasAssociate Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic SciencesFellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental SciencesUniversity of Colorado Boulder Introduction As summer in the Northern Hemisphere approaches, forecasters begin watching every bout of rainy weather between the[…]

The Use of Fire by Stone Age Humans to Permanently Change the Landscape

How ancient humans by Lake Malawi in Africa were the first to substantially modify their environment. By Dr. Jessica ThompsonAssistant Professor of AnthropologyYale University By Dr. David K. WrightProfessor of Archaeology, Conservation and HistoryUniversity of Oslo By Dr. Sarah IvoryAssistant Professor of GeosciencesPenn State Introduction Fields of rust-colored soil, spindly cassava, small farms and villages[…]

Sipping the Feels: Garden Therapy – A Natural Stress Reliever

Even when a person stops and takes a moment to enjoy a plant’s beauty, they feel better. By Siobhan SearleAuthor and Environmentalist Introduction Society’s downward spiral continues, and with it go my spirits. As the chaos of the global pandemic persists, it has become harder to step away from the fear and uncertainty and take[…]

Brewminating: The Social, Ecological, and Cultural Conscience of Coffee

Growing coffee beans with respect for the environment and the workers. By Caleb Brown Social Conscience Overview Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world after oil. Just as consumers of energy need to be conscious of the sources of their energy in the face of increasing climate change, consumers of coffee must also[…]

Common Ground: Sharing the World’s Water

If divided evenly, the 12,500km2 of global renewable fresh water available each year would be more than sufficient to satisfy the world’s population. Introduction The world needs to share its common resources, not compete over them. As long as nations – and the corporations that feed them – perceive resources as something within their ownership,[…]

Ground Zero: Drought-Stricken West Headed for a Water Crisis

Fish hatcheries are trucking their salmon to the ocean and ranchers are worried about having enough water for their livestock. By Dr. Mojtaba SadeghAssistant Professor of Civil EngineeringBoise State University By Dr. Amir AghaKouchakAssociate Professor of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of California, Irvine By Dr. John AbatzoglouAssociate Professor of EngineeringUniversity of California, Merced Introduction Just[…]

A History of Ice Ages and Their Causes

Over the last 800,000 years, Earth has been through 11 major ice ages. Is another on the way? Curated/Reviewed by Matthew A. McIntoshPublic HistorianBrewminate Introduction An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental and polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers. Earth’s climate alternates[…]

Common Ground: How Water Brings People Together

Looking at how the Great Lakes inspire us with grand potential and how their size stretches our capacity for care. By Paul BainesOutreach and Education CoordinatorGreat Lakes Commons Introduction Together they span half the continent, eight U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek Nation and Haudenosauee Confederacy. However, the current[…]

Into the Woods: The First Year of the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933

The tasks of 1933 involved not just greater numbers but radically new concepts and organizational structures. By Dr. Joseph M. SpeakmanProfessor of HistoryMontgomery County Community College They came from all over America—from the big cities, from the small towns, from the farms—tens of thousands of young men, to serve in the vanguard of Franklin D.[…]

Ancient Trees Show When the Earth’s Magnetic Field Last Flipped Out

The Earth is a giant magnet because its core is solid iron, and swirling around it is an ocean of molten metal. An ancient, well-preserved tree that was alive the last time the Earth’s magnetic poles flipped has helped scientists pin down more precise timing of that event, which occurred about 42,000 years ago. This[…]

Logbooks and Journals of Nantucket Whalers in the 19th Century

The 19th-century whale hunt was a brutal business, awash with blubber, blood, and the cruel destruction of life. This article, The Art of Whaling: Illustrations from the Logbooks of Nantucket Whaleships, was originally published in The Public Domain Review under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0. If you wish to reuse it please see: https://publicdomainreview.org/legal/ The first European[…]

What to Know About Asbestos in the Home or Workplace

You’ve probably heard of asbestos before, but maybe you don’t know very much about it. You should probably know at least some of the basics. That’s because asbestos is potentially quite dangerous. Builders commonly used asbestos for many years. At that point, they didn’t know the risks. Now, medical science knows what it can do,[…]

Global Warming 2020. How Bad Is Climate Change Now?

In the middle of a global pandemic, it can be easy to forget the significant danger that global warming presents. The planet is warming at an accelerating rate, from the north pole to the south. The average surface temperature has seen an increase of 0.9 degrees Celsius. The impact of this warming isn’t something way[…]

The Men Who Meddled with Nature in the 19th Century

Jardin d’ Acclimatation inaugurated in February 1861 / Wikimedia Commons In the 19th century, groups of European colonialists attempted to ‘improve’ on nature by introducing non-native species all over the world. These ‘acclimatization societies’ could hardly have envisaged the disastrously expensive environmental havoc they had unleashed. By Allison C. Meier / 08.09.2018 The ubiquity of the boisterously[…]

How Architecture Influences Life and Lifestyle

Buildings affect how we sleep, work, socialise and even breathe. They can isolate and endanger us, but they can also heal us. In this extract from ‘Living with Buildings and Walking with Ghosts’ , Iain Sinclair explores the relationships between social planning and health, taking detours along the way. By Iain Sinclair / 10.24.2018 Moving now,[…]

Elements of Environmental Ethics in Ancient Greek Philosophy

Athens city walls / Photo by GreeceGuy, Wikimedia Commons Critically examining elements of both anthropocentric and non-anthropocentric environmentalism in ancient Greek thinking. By Dr. Munamato Chemhuru Professor of Philosophy University of Johannesburg Abstract In this article, I consider how ancient Greek philosophical thinking might be approached differently if the environmental ethical import that is salient in[…]

Landscape Management around Angkor Wat

Photo by Stephen Bugno, Flickr, Creative Commons Conserving the landscape around Angkor Wat in the face of rapid development. By William Dunbar / 07.22.2016 Senior Communications Director United Nations University Introduction Fishing is one form of livelihood diversification during northern Cambodia’s dry season. Photo: William Dunbar/UNU-IAS It was January and the middle of Cambodia’s dry[…]

Reconstructing Past Climates

Near Oymyakon in Yakutia, Russia / Photo Maarten Takens, Wikimedia Commons To work out how the climate has changed over time, climate scientists need long-term records. By Dr. K. Jan Oosthoek Associate Member, Centre for Environmental History Australian National University Documentary data To get a more convincing assessment of a statement such as a regular occurrence[…]

Humans May Have Transformed the Sahara from Lush Paradise to Barren Desert

The world’s biggest desert used to be green, lush and full of hippos. A new theory suggests humans could have tipped the environment over the edge. By Dr. David K. Wright / 03.16.2017 Associate Professor, Department of Archaeology and Art History Seoul National University Once upon a time, the Sahara was green. There were vast lakes. Hippos and giraffe lived there, and large human populations of fishers foraged for food alongside the lakeshores.[…]

‘The Growroom’: Indoor Growth for Sustainable Urban Living

The Growroom exhibited at Copenhagen Opera House. Photo by Alona Vibe From Space10 / 02.14.2017 Introduction The design for The Growroom, an urban farm pavilion that looks into how cities can feed themselves through food producing architecture, is now open source and available for anyone to use. SPACE10 envision a future, where we grow our own[…]

With Conservation Burials, Death Gives New Life

Photo by Pixabay “We can create a spectacular legacy for our loved ones.” By Marlene Cimons / 11.08.2017 Natural burials — where bodies are buried in the soil to allow for a hasty decomposition — have already caught on. But an Australian scientist has proposed that the concept of “dust-unto-dust” go even further. He suggests that natural burials become “conservation”[…]

The Struggle to Protect a Tree at the Heart of Hopi Culture

To Hopi traditionalists—Hopis who practice traditional culture—the humble one-seed juniper tree has deep cultural meaning. / Photo by Mark Sykes In the American Southwest, the loss of juniper trees at the hands of mining and development could cost the Hopi a crucial part of their heritage.    By Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa (left) and Dr. Chip Colwell[…]

Growing Pains: The Automobile in America, First Hated then Loved

Old auto grill / Pixabay Americans once abhorred the automobile. Today, there is a car in every garage. By Jeremy Deaton / 07.10.2017 Disruptive technologies may face terrific backlash, but eventually low cost and convenience prevail. Computers replaced typewriters. Cassettes replaced records. Cars replaced horses. And none of it happened overnight. At the turn of the[…]