Latest Environmental science News

This 2009 photo provided by Sebastian Pfautsch shows a eucalyptus forest that burned during a 2009 wildfire in Victoria, Australia. As of early 2020, fires have consumed some 40,000 square miles of Australia this fire season and scientists say the effects on the nation’s forests could be long-lasting. (Sebastian Pfautsch via AP)

Fires set stage for irreversible forest losses in Australia

Jan. 20, 2020 12:35 AM EST

Australia’s forests are burning at a rate unmatched in modern times and scientists say the landscape is being permanently altered as a warming climate brings profound changes to the island continent. Heat waves and drought have fueled bigger and more frequent fires in parts of Australia, so far this...

This 2009 photo provided by Sebastian Pfautsch shows a eucalyptus forest that burned during a 2009 wildfire in Victoria, Australia. As of early 2020, fires have consumed some 40,000 square miles of Australia this fire season and scientists say the effects on the nation’s forests could be long-lasting. (Sebastian Pfautsch via AP)

Fires set stage for irreversible forest losses in Australia

Jan. 18, 2020 10:02 PM EST

Australia’s forests are burning at a rate unmatched in modern times and scientists say the landscape is being permanently altered as a warming climate brings profound changes to the island continent. Heat waves and drought have fueled bigger and more frequent fires in parts of Australia, so far this...

This December 2019 photo provided by Guy Ballard shows a male brush-tailed rock wallaby eating supplementary food researchers provided in the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park in New South Wales, Australia. Before this fire season, scientists estimated there were as few as 15,000 left in the wild. Now recent fires in a region already stricken by drought have burned through some of their last habitat, and the species is in jeopardy of disappearing, Ballard said. (Guy Ballard/NSW DPI - UNE via AP)

Scientists seek rare species survivors amid Australia flames

Jan. 18, 2020 7:35 AM EST

Australia’s unprecedented wildfires season has so far charred 40,000 square miles (104,000 square kilometers) of brushland, rainforests, and national parks — killing by one estimate more than a billion wild animals. Scientists fear some of the island continent’s unique and colorful species...

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2015 file photo, an army zodiac secures the entrance of the new section of the Suez Canal in Ismailia, Egypt. The Suez Canal, which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, revolutionized maritime travel by creating a direct shipping route between the East and the West. But as Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of its opening, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway's lesser known legacies, the invasion of hundreds of non-native species that have driven the native marine life toward extinction and altered the delicate Mediterranean ecosystem with potentially devastating consequences. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Experts say Med Sea altered by Suez Canal's invasive species

Jan. 16, 2020 2:28 AM EST

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — As Egypt marks the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal, marine biologists are bemoaning one of the famed waterway’s lesser known legacies — the invasion of hundreds of non-native species, including toxic jellyfish and aggressive lionfish. The canal,...

FILE - In this Nov. 1, 2019, file photo, flames from a backfire consume a hillside as firefighters battle the Maria Fire in Santa Paula, Calif. The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Fever chart: Earth had its hottest decade on record in 2010s

Jan. 15, 2020 5:09 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The decade that just ended was by far the hottest ever measured on Earth, capped off by the second-warmest year on record, two U.S. agencies reported Wednesday. And scientists said they see no end to the way man-made climate change keeps shattering records. “If you think you've...

FILE - In this Jan. 2, 2020, file photo, a commuter wears a mask as smoke shrouds the Australian capital of Canberra, Australia. It's an unprecedented dilemma for Australians accustomed to blue skies and sunny days that has raised fears for the long-term health consequences if prolonged exposure to choking smoke becomes the new summer norm. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

Australian wildfire smoke stokes health fears in cities

Jan. 15, 2020 1:00 AM EST

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Fire alarms have been sounding in high-rise buildings across downtown Sydney and Melbourne as dense smoke from distant wildfires confuse electronic sensors. Modern government office blocks in the Australian capital Canberra have been closed because the air inside is too dangerous...

Properties at Nerrigundah, Australia, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, are damaged and destroyed after a wildfire ripped through the town on New Year's Eve. The tiny village of Nerrigundah in New South Wales has been among the hardest hit by Australia's devastating wildfires, with about two thirds the homes destroyed and a 71-year-old man killed. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

Australian Open qualifying begins despite poor air quality

Jan. 14, 2020 5:56 AM EST

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Smoke haze and poor air quality caused by wildfires temporarily suspended practice sessions for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, but qualifying began later in the morning in “very poor” conditions and amid complaints by at least one player who was...

A spectator wears a mask as smoke haze shrouds Melbourne during an Australian Open practice session at Melbourne Park in Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. Smoke haze and poor air quality caused by wildfires temporarily suspended practice sessions for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Tuesday, but qualifying began later in the morning in

Bad air doesn't stop qualifying for Australian Open

Jan. 14, 2020 5:38 AM EST

The air was considered hazardous for outdoor workers, and described as among the worst in the world. For professional tennis players, though, it was deemed to be OK for business. A thick haze enveloped Melbourne as smoke from devastating wildfires drifted over Australia’s southeast. Fine particles in the...

In this Nov. 11, 2016, photo provided by the Museum of Hydrobiological Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a Chinese paddlefish specimen made in 1990 is seen on display at the Museum of Hydrobiological Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Wuhan, China. The Chinese paddlefish's sharp, protruding snout made it one of the largest freshwater species in the world. Since scientists declared it extinct in a research paper published last week, Chinese internet users media outlets have been paying tribute to the hefty creature. (Museum of Hydrobiological Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences via AP)

China mourns native paddlefish scientists say is now extinct

Jan. 10, 2020 10:11 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese paddlefish's sharp, protruding snout made it one of the largest freshwater species in the world. Since scientists declared it extinct in a research paper published last week, Chinese internet users and media outlets have been paying tribute to the hefty creature. “It's...

In this Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, aerial photo, wildfires rage under plumes of smoke in Bairnsdale, Australia. Thousands of tourists fled Australia's wildfire-ravaged eastern coast Thursday ahead of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south. (Glen Morey via AP)

Q&A: How climate change, other factors stoke Australia fires

Jan. 3, 2020 8:07 PM EST

Australia’s unprecedented wildfires are supercharged thanks to climate change, the type of trees catching fire and weather, experts say. And these fires are so extreme that they are triggering their own thunderstorms. Here are a few questions and answers about the science behind the Australian wildfires...