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The Earth Was Record-Breakingly Hot This Year

And things aren't looking good for 2016 either

(Newser) - In a few weeks, 2015 will officially go down as the hottest year on record, and 2016 is likely to be even worse, the UN's World Meteorological Organization announced Wednesday. “This is all bad news for the planet," the Wall Street Journal quotes WMO director-general Michel Jarraud.... More »

Study: We're Using Our Groundwater Too Quickly

Only a small fraction is renewable within a lifetime

(Newser) - "We're using our groundwater resources too fast—faster than they're being renewed," Dr. Tom Gleeson says in a University of Victoria press release . Gleeson, along with fellow researchers, published the most accurate map of Earth's groundwater supply to date on Monday in Nature Geoscience. The... More »

The Ozone Hole Is Nearing Record Size

It's now larger than the entirety of North America

(Newser) - Scientists who assumed the infamous ozone hole over Antarctica was steadily shrinking received an unpleasant surprise last month: The hole is approaching a size unseen in nine years, Popular Science reports. According to Live Science , in October researchers at the German Aerospace Center recorded the size of the hole in... More »

Biggest Eco Disaster in Our Time Unfolds as World Shrugs

George Monbiot: What's happening in Indonesia is indescribable

(Newser) - You wouldn't know it from the attention of the world's media, but something akin to an "eco-apocalypse" is unfolding, writes George Monbiot in the Guardian . It takes the form of a forest fire in Indonesia that nearly defies description, one that's burning across the entire 3,... More »

Shipwrecks Are Pollution Threat to US Waters

As vessels sit underwater for decades, oil could start to leak out

(Newser) - An oil barge recently discovered at the bottom of Lake Erie—nearly 80 years after it sank—has brought a renewed focus to the environmental dangers posed by dozens of shipwrecks littering American waters, the Detroit Free Press reports. According to the AP , 87 shipwrecks are included on a federal... More »

Clinton's Slap at Keystone Shows Her Primary Fears

Appealing to liberal Dems now may help her in primary, but not in general: 'WaPo'

(Newser) - Take a step back from the general election, but take two steps forward toward the Democratic primary. That seems to be the strategy behind Hillary Clinton's announcement yesterday that she opposed the Keystone XL pipeline , writes Philip Bump for the Washington Post , asserting that Clinton may have purposely timed... More »

EPA Hugely Underestimated How Much Trash We Dump

Scientists say this also means we're obviously not recycling as much as we thought

(Newser) - Americans are sending more than twice as much trash to landfills as the federal government has estimated, according to a new study. It turns out that, on average, America tosses 5 pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures in a study... More »

Earth Has 3T Trees —and That's Not Good

Study shows Earth has lost nearly half its trees since farming began

(Newser) - Congratulations, environmentalists, tree-huggers, and people who enjoy breathing oxygen: the Earth has seven times more trees—approximately 3 trillion—than previously estimated, according to a new study in Nature . Scientists from around the world created the first "data-driven global tree census" by combining satellite images with tree counts from... More »

Dirty Dancing Lake Now Just a Muddy Pit

Fans disappointed when they visit Virginia lodge

(Newser) - Fans of Frances "Baby" Houseman and Johnny "Patrick Swayze" Castle are being put in the corner—emotionally speaking—by what has become of one of Dirty Dancing's major filming locations. The Guardian reports that nearly 30 years after the film was released, thousands of people still come... More »

We Can't Eat America's No. 1 Crop

We grow three times more grass than even corn

(Newser) - Corn might be the United States' No. 1 food crop, but it doesn't hold a candle to the amount of grass being grown by accidental farmers around the country. In a look at America's "most useless crop," io9 surfaces decade-old research from NASA's Earth Observatory... More »

Today Marks a Grim Day for Planet Earth

We just used up a year's worth of natural resources in 8 months

(Newser) - Happy "overshoot day." Eight months into 2015, the global population has used up a year's supply of natural resources, meaning we're now in "ecological debt," reports the Guardian , via the Global Footprint Network . The GFN measures "humanity's annual demand for the goods... More »

Yellow Sludge From Colorado Mine Spill Reaches New Mexico

And, it's headed for Utah next

(Newser) - A plume of yellow sludge spilling from an old gold mine into the Animas River in Colorado has arrived in New Mexico. Communities affected by the sludge have a 90-day water supply, and water treatment plants are no longer drawing from the river. A cleanup crew supervised by the EPA... More »

SCOTUS Smacks Down Obama Emissions Plan

Says EPA jumped gun on regulations on mercury, other pollutants

(Newser) - In a 2014 ruling , an appeals court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency "properly [put] the horse before the cart" in coming up with mandates to limit power-plant emissions of mercury and other pollutants. The Supreme Court today overturned that ruling, blocking a key White House environmental initiative because... More »

Pope's Deep Green Dive: 'Our Home' Looks Like 'Pile of Filth'

Humans' 'unethical consumerism' has spurred our current environmental 'crisis'

(Newser) - Three days after it was leaked online (amid whispers the leak may have been an inside job ), Pope Francis' long-awaited encyclical on the environment was officially released today, and he doesn't mince words in describing today's environmental issues as "one small sign of the ethical, cultural... More »

Obama Accepts Science, Chooses to Ignore It

His decision on Shell in the Arctic is a joke, writes Bill McKibben

(Newser) - President Obama's decision to give Shell the green light to drill in the Arctic is an environmental abomination, writes Bill McKibben in the New York Times . Shell and the entire fossil fuel industry have been ignoring warnings for years about the Arctic, and yet now that it's clearly... More »

Our Cigarette-Butt Litter Is Staggering

New York state alone gets 1.5M tons of them annually

(Newser) - Cigarette butts aren't just nasty, they're turning up all over the place and damaging the environment, National Geographic reports. Every year, New York state alone is said to create 1.5 million tons of butts, while 2.1 million of them were found in the world's oceans... More »

Scientists Find Planet's Most Polluted Bird

Cooper's hawk found with higher levels of flame retardants than any other

(Newser) - The Vancouver area is home to what is thus far known to be our planet's most polluted wild bird. Researchers studying the livers of local birds of prey found that the Cooper's hawk was tainted with polybrominated diphenyl ethers, chemicals that function as flame retardants. Of the 13... More »

Conservatives: Pope 'Misled' on Climate Change

Koch-funded think tank argues against 'unscientific agenda' Francis is pushing

(Newser) - Pope Francis has taken on procreation , ISIS , and the Vatican's money issues , and now he's about to take on climate change caused by humans. He's still preparing a secret papal encyclical on the environment due in the summer, and today Vatican officials are hosting a summit to... More »

NYC to Stop Dumping Its Garbage in Other States

Mayor de Blasio plan to slash waste 90%, stop most trash exports

(Newser) - The nation's biggest city is marking Earth Day by announcing an ambitious goal of reducing its waste output by 90% by 2030. The plan, set to be unveiled today by Mayor Bill de Blasio, includes an overhaul of the city's recycling program, incentives to reduce waste, and tacit... More »

Scientists Investigate 'the Four Corners Mystery'

Satellite data found methane 'hot spot' in the area last year

(Newser) - Last year, a puzzle emerged in the Four Corners area , where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah come together: The area, scientists found, has had a far higher concentration of methane than anywhere else in the US. Now, teams of federal, university, and other researchers are trying to figure out... More »

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