Greenhouse gas

A long wooden dock is shown with blue barrels on both sides on the dry bed where a lake used to be.

5 things to know about the new UN report on climate change

Climate Change

Earth is getting so hot that temperatures in about a decade will probably blow past a level of warming that world leaders have sought to prevent, according to a report released Monday that the United Nations called a “code red for humanity.” Here are five important takeaways.

A smokestack burns in the distance of a rugged area with dried leaves and grass.

China launches world’s largest carbon market

The Big Fix
children on a beach on earth day

Earth Day has come and gone, but the work continues

A sun sets behind a cloud over a grey body of water

Arctic permafrost is starting to thaw. Here’s why we should all care.

The Big Melt
Under a new carbon offset program that is gaining popularity in Congress, oil and gas companies — and other manufacturers of products involving — fossil fuel would have to pay $40 for every ton of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

New carbon offset program may have the bipartisan support it needs on Capitol Hill

On Dec. 19, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan for the state’s common retirement fund to completely decarbonize its entire portfolio.

Big money is backing out of fossil fuel industry, moving into greener alternatives


“The fossil fuel industry, which has been an awful good business for the last 200 years, isn’t a good business going forward. And the smart money is heading for the exits now,” says environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Tropical forest Indonesia

Tropical forests are becoming net carbon producers, instead of carbon sinks


Tropical forests have historically absorbed excess carbon dioxide, but new research indicates that these areas have become a net source of CO2.

A Polish coal power plant

Obama administration re-prioritizes climate change and makes a ‘serious offer’ for climate talks


With the next round of climate change negotiations set to take place in December, the Obama administration says it has put a “robust plan” on the table, but it may not go far enough.

An illustration from an 18th century history of the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards.

How disease and genocide marked the start of the ‘human age’


A new study gives us a new date for the start of the human, or Anthropocene age: 1610. That’s when the movement of crops, animals and diseases around the world shows up clearly in the geological record — but it still has some competition.

The Alberta Tar Sands in Canada. The Keystone Pipeline, which is designed to carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast has become a huge political issue. President Obama has said he will veto recent Congressional legislation approving the pipeline

Even with a GOP Congress, here’s how a lame-duck Obama can help the environment


A new year, a new Congress — with both chambers now controlled by Republicans. But that doesn’t seem to have cowed President Barack Obama. Despite limited support on Capitol Hill, he seems eager to fight for a legacy that includes taking action on climate change.