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Conservation Issues

Conservation issues are a growing concern for most scientists. As humans continue to consume natural resources, many organisms are headed for extinction. Conservation issues include the protection of trees, animals and wetlands.

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Why is biodiversity important?

Biodiversity means rainforests and reefs teeming with species right? There's more to it than that though. Genetic diversity has a big role to play, too. Just ask that cheetah cub.

How Whaling Works

Men have been hunting and killing whales for centuries. Early whalers hunted for survival, but their motivation may have changed once there was money to be made. Whaling for profit has been banned since 1986, but whaling for scientific research is still allowed in certain areas, causing much debate.

What is the most harmful type of diversity loss?

Flagship species like leopards, whales and wolves grace wildlife calendars, bring in big conservation dollars and help regulate their ecosystems. But what about the tiny guys you won't find on your calendar? How important are they to Earth's biodiversity?

What's the Earth's biggest threat to biodiversity?

Our planet would be a much different place without its richly diverse ecosystems full of plants, animals and microorganisms. What poses the biggest danger to the millions of species that call Earth home?

Do invasive species pollute the gene pools of other species?

Since the Age of Discovery, we've been toting plants and animals to parts of the world where they don't belong. While most transplants die, some become invasive. How can these newcomers lead to breakneck-pace evolution?

Should we breed endangered species?

While some endangered species respond well to breeding programs, others, like pandas, aren't as effective. How do we decide which animals to focus on, and what does it mean to be a flagship species?

What would it take to save every endangered species?

If it takes $1 million a year to save the California condor, how much would it take to save every endangered species? Is it possible, and how can we save species we don't even know exist?

Can seed banks save threatened plants?

A post-apocalypse trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to retrieve the seeds that will save humanity may seem like good fodder for a movie. But seed banks have important work to do right now.

What is civilization's impact on Earth's environment?

A wilderness becomes a grid work of streets, lights and skyscrapers. Every day, we remake the world a little more to our liking. What has that meant for the planet?

How soon will we run out of food?

In 2008, a food crisis left many people worldwide with empty stomachs. Most places have rebounded since then but, according to the U.N.’s World Food Programme, one out of every eight people is undernourished. Are we all eventually headed toward famine?

Is there enough food on Earth to sustain the people on it?

Despite the world's rebound from the 2008 food crisis, high food prices continue to be a problem. What is food security, and why is it so important to our future on Earth?

Will all farms in the future be indoors?

As the world's population booms, we'll need more farmland to grow all the food it takes to feed everyone. Where are those farms going to be? Could it be build up instead of out?

How Desertification Works

Technology has brought us an unprecedented ability to maximize crop yields, even in drier climates. But we can take too much from the land. What's the worst that could happen?

How Watersheds Work

Ever wondered where all that rain goes after a storm? Most of it is absorbed by soil and plants, while watersheds carry the rest into nearby lakes and rivers.

Can we replant the planet's rainforests?

Saving the rainforest used to be about protesting the number of trees that were cut down. But some researchers propose that reforestation could combat habitat loss and animal extinction. Can we really bring a decimated rainforest back to life?

Is what we're recycling actually getting recycled?

The waste collectors threw your recyclables into one big bin on their truck. How do you know your recyclables are being recycled? And what happens to them next?

How the Sierra Club Works

The Sierra Club lobbies for environmental preservation and engages members in fun wilderness excursions.

Will there be farms in New York City's skyscrapers?

Vertical farming is a method of large-scale farming in an urban environment. Learn about the benefits of a vertical farm and vertical farming technology.

What did this year's winners of the Nobel Prize in medicine discover?

The co-winners of the 2006 Nobel Prize in medicine are two U.S. scientists who discovered a process called RNAi.

How the Georgia Aquarium Works

The Georgia Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium. How did they build habitats for all the animals, and what does it take to keep them fed and healthy? Find out about the aquarium and learn about the animals that call it home.

How Barrier Islands Work

You've probably been spending your summers visiting a barrier island or two and you don't even know it! From Atlantic City to Miami Beach barrier islands are popular vacation spots and amazing ecosystems. Go exploring.

How Rainforests Work

This article will take you into the tropical rainforest to see what makes it such a bountiful environment for plants and animals. Plus, find out why the rainforests are in danger and look at some of the ways this affects humans.

How California's Power Crisis Works

Another series of rolling blackouts are hitting California. Learn why this is happening and how it affects you.

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