To See the Fate of the Oceans, Look Back a Half-Billion Years

Too Much Carbon and Not Enough Oxygen Devastated Marine Life in Ancient Times

What can the deep geological history of the oceans tell us about the future?

This question is a difficult one. In fact, it is considerably easier to start with the opposite question: What can the deep history of the oceans not tell us about the future? Understanding what ocean history is unable to tell us—and then what it can reveal—establishes the limits of our current knowledge and provides a window onto what may lie ahead.

The deep history of the oceans definitely cannot tell us about the consequences of human-caused pollution with …

More In: global warming

We’ll Always Have (the) Paris (Accord)

Economic Necessity Gives Hope That the Global Climate Agreement Will Endure

The United States is out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Trump administration says we will burn coal and fossil fuels if we like, and no one …

Why Groundhog Day Now Elevates Science Over Superstition

For a UCLA Biologist, Celebrating the Lowly Marmot Could Shed Light on Global Warming

I am a scientist who loves Groundhog Day, that least scientific of holidays. Every February, as Punxsutawney Phil shakes the dust off his coat, emerges from his burrow, glances …

What Self-Cloning Salamanders Say About Climate Change

An Evolutionary Outlier Could Inherit the Earth (or at Least Rural Maine)

Birds do it, bees do it, and so the song goes, even educated fleas do it. But unisexual salamanders don’t.

These all-female amphibians clone themselves to make eggs—all girls—and they’ve …

Will Environmental Crises Segregate Sports?

Snowless Mountains and Poisoned Beaches Will Drive a Wedge Between Athletes of Different Classes

In Brazil, Olympic rowers and sailors will chase gold through dying rivers and poisoned lagoons. Even amid all the crises piling up on this year’s games—unfinished infrastructure, political drama, financial …

Frankenstein Is a Story About Climate Change’s Horrors

How a Massive Volcanic Eruption Spun the World Into Chaos and Helped Inspire the Famous Novel

Two hundred years ago this June, during a dreadfully cold and wet summer, Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein. Since then Frankenstein has become iconic, spawning a legion of adaptations and …