At the edge of southern Louisiana sits Port Fourchon—the hub through which 20 percent of our nation’s oil and gas supplies are distributed to the rest of the country. The only road leading to and from this major port is the Louisana-1 Highway. A drive down the LA-1 through a vulnerable but vibrant coastal landscape shows what is at stake if ‘America’s longest main street’ fails to stay above water.
Since the mid-1950s, easy-to-serve, portion-controlled fish sticks have regularly found their way onto U.S. dinner tables and into school lunches. The past decade, however, has given fishermen and scientists a preview of the challenges they may face in keeping fish sticks on the menu as the planet gets warmer.
In 2011, annual snow cover extent over Northern Hemisphere continents (including the Greenland ice sheet) averaged 24.7 million square kilometers, which is 0.3 million square kilometers less than the long-term average.
Kristin Laidre, a marine mammal biologist, has taken more than thirty trips to the Arctic, many of them to study the mysterious narwhal. Although the narwhal has appeared in stories throughout history, scientists are just beginning to understand this quirky creature with a fierce survival instinct. But in recent years, a series of unusual events led Laidre to wonder if narwhals are being caught off guard by changes in their unforgiving environment…
In the Great Lakes region, conservation and resource managers are already fending off attacks by multiple invasive species. In the future, climate change will present new challenges, such as anticipating the invaders’ next move and dealing with new, emerging threats — some of which could be swimming around in your aquarium right now.
Humans currently release about 70 million tons of carbon dioxide every day into the atmosphere and about 20 million tons is being absorbed regularly by the oceans, causing the pH to drop. Chris Sabine describes current and projected future impacts of this acidification on marine ecology.
Climate scientist Anthony Janetos makes it clear that climate change isn't some future abstraction: real and substantial impacts on people's lives, the economy, the environment, and our valuable natural resources are already happening here in the United States.
Climate scientist Michael MacCracken explores some of the scientific, legal, and ethical implications of "geo-engineering" options that have been proposed by some people to address global climate change.