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[…]

Ground Zero: Climate, Catastrophe, and Faith

Time and again, climate convulsions have been understood in religious terms. By Dr. Philip JenkinsDistinguished Professor of HistoryCo-Director, Program on Historical Studies of ReligionBaylor University In July 1741, Congregational minister Jonathan Edwards delivered one of the most influential sermons in American history. He warned his alarmed listeners of their utterly sinful state, of how that[…]

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[…]

Ground Zero: Massive Solar Power Project Approved in California

Crimson Solar will create 650 construction jobs. The Biden administration on Monday said it has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes. The $550 million Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2,000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California, the Interior[…]

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[…]

A Brief History of Exploration of Antarctica

The timeline of discovering Antarctica and the ‘race’ to the South Pole, from first sighting to Scott, Amundsen, Shackleton and more. January 1773: Captain James Cook becomes the first recorded navigator to cross the Antarctic Circle. Discover more about James Cook’s voyage to the Antarctic Circle January 1820: Antarctica is first sighted. The first person to actually see[…]

To Hold Nature in the Hand in an Early Modern Manuscript

A close look at the flowers, fruits, seedpods, insects, and other small creatures in a 16th-century manuscript. By Nancy Turner and Karen Trentelman Small enough to hold in the hand, the allure of the Mira Calligraphiae Monumenta (Wondrous Monuments of Calligraphy) in the Getty Museum’s collection of manuscripts is undeniable. Hold the book close enough, and the[…]

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,[…]

How Ancient Romans Kept Their Cool

Airflow, water fountains, and shade. Dark green leaves flutter in the breeze; water splashes in a fountain; the shade deepens along a covered colonnade. It might be a hot day, but it feels like the temperature has fallen a few degrees. That’s how a summer afternoon feels at the Getty Villa—and that’s how it might[…]

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[…]

Marine Life in Ancient Mediterranean Art

Throughout the history of the ancient Mediterranean artists were always keen to express their appreciation of the bounty of the sea. Marine life of all kinds, real and imagined, was frequently depicted on frescoes, pottery, mosaics and coins. Here are 24 images with a sea theme from the Bronze Age to the 3rd century CE, encompassing Egyptian, Minoan, Mycenaean,[…]

Nature, Politics, and the Story of Mt. Chimborazo in 1802

How a symbolic climb changed two men. This is the story of one of the tallest volcanoes in the world, Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo, and of two extraordinary characters of the 19th century: the German explorer and scientist Alexander von Humboldt and the Venezuelan liberator Simón Bolívar. Both are said to have climbed Chimborazo, although one[…]

Pollution During the Industrial Revolution

America and Europe introduced advanced manufacturing processes during the Industrial Revolution period. Most of the technological innovations originated in Britain. They included machine tools, chemical manufacturing processes and mechanized factory systems. The textile industry created many employment opportunities. But, many people don’t know the adverse effects the revolution had on the environment. In this post,[…]

How Climate Change and Diseased Helped the Fall of Rome

Understanding history can deepen our sense of what it means to be human and how fragile our societies are. At some time or another, every historian of Rome has been asked to say where we are, today, on Rome’s cycle of decline. Historians might squirm at such attempts to use the past but, even if[…]

Climate Change and the Rise and Demise of the Ancient Neo-Assyrian Empire

What caused the rise and then collapse 2,600 years ago of this vast empire centered on Mesopotamia? Introduction Ancient Mesopotamia, the fabled land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, was the command and control center of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. This ancient superpower was the largest empire of its time, lasting from 912 BC to[…]

An Introduction to Paleoclimatology

The reconstruction of ancient climate is important to understand natural variation in climate and the evolution of the current climate. Introduction Paleoclimatology is the study of climates for which systematic measurements were not taken.[1] As instrumental records only span a tiny part of Earth history, the reconstruction of ancient climate is important to understand natural[…]