How an effort to reduce fossil fuel use led to another environmental problem: Light pollution

Credit: Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain In 2014, Los Angeles cut its annual carbon emissions by 43% and saved $9 million in energy costs by replacing the bulbs in more than half of the city’s street lamps with light-emitting diodes. That year, the Nobel Prize in physics went to three scientists whose work made those LEDs possible. … Read more

Three-dimensional fossil algae more than 541 million years old reveal a modern-looking ancestry of the plant kingdom

Reconstruction of a cross-section through Protocodium sinense, showing likeness to modern Codium. Credit: Shu Chai Paleontologists have identified a new genus and species of algae called Protocodium sinense that predates the origin of land plants and modern animals and provides new insight into the early diversification of the plant kingdom. Discovered at a site in … Read more

First public global database of fossil fuels launches

A smokestack stands at a coal plant on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Delta, Utah. On Monday, Sept. 19, the world’s first public database of fossil fuel production, reserves and emissions launches. It shows that the United States and Russia have enough fossil fuel reserves to exhaust the world’s remaining carbon budget to stay under … Read more

Oldest vertebrate fossil heart ever found tells a 380 million-year-old story of evolution

The Gogo fish fossils used in this study were discovered within rocks found in the Kimberley. Credit: Curtin Universty In the limestone ranges of Western Australia’s Kimberley region, near the town of Fitzroy Crossing, you’ll find one of the world’s best-preserved ancient reef complexes. Here lie the remnants of myriad prehistoric marine animals, including placoderms, … Read more

A baby fossil helped scientists explain how mammals thrived after the dinosaur extinction

An artist’s impression of the Pantolambda bathmodon. Credit: H Sharpe, Author provided Sixty-two million years ago, a mother gave birth to a baby. Overcoming the shock of birth in a matter of minutes, the baby began to explore the world around it. The baby started to suckle from its mother, a natural instinct shared by … Read more

Investigation examines fossil fuel industry influence at elite American universities

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain An investigation published by The BMJ Today takes an in-depth look at how fossil fuel companies pour money into prestigious American universities. Investigative journalist Paul Thacker examines how oil and gas companies have funded research to try to weaken messages on climate change, capture academia, and protect their interests, much like … Read more

Three ways the fossil fuel industry failed women, and how clean energy can learn from their mistakes

A crucial outcome of Australia’s jobs summit last week was the commitment to review programs aimed at boosting the number of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. Energy is a particularly male-dominated STEM industry, with clean energy on the brink of massive expansion. However, to ensure the clean energy industry is truly … Read more

Our first steps? Fossil may boost case for earliest ancestor

This photo provided by the University of Poitiers in August 2022 shows from left, the femur, in posterior and medial view, and the right and left ulnae, in anterior and lateral view of Sahelanthropus tchadensis. These remains were discovered in 2001 by the Franco-Chadian Paleoanthropological Mission (MPFT). Based on arm and leg fossils, scientists concluded … Read more

Fossil provides earliest evidence of fruit-eating by any animal

The Cretaceous bird Jeholornis pooping out seeds from fruit, helping fruit-bearing plants take over the world. Credit: Zhixin Han and Yifan Wang. Hundreds of animals eat fruit, from toucans to fruit bats to maned wolves to humans. But most fruit-bearing plants evolved relatively recently in Earth’s history, showing up for the first time in the … Read more

Fossil fuel companies’ projections won’t meet Paris Agreement climate goals

Credit: CC0 Public Domain Decarbonization scenarios produced by BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Equinor are incompatible with Paris Agreement goals for a safe and habitable planet. This is the finding of new research underscoring how global decarbonization scenarios outlined by these energy companies show delayed reductions in fossil fuel consumption and run the risk of … Read more