Environmental Science

The environment is truly a thing of beauty and should be protected whenever possible. What can we do to save the environment, and what new technology is available to help us?

Learn More / Page 20

The Pacific Ocean trash vortex is explained in this article. Learn about the Pacific Ocean trash vortex.

By Brian Merchant

You may have noticed that our planet isn't terribly predictable. Could a German polymath and an unfathomable pile of data change that?

By Robert Lamb

A sculpted mammoth shows visitors to the La Brea Tar Pits what these ancient animals might have looked like, but the pits themselves have looked the same for thousands of years. How did they form, and what discoveries lie beneath the sticky surface?

By Jessika Toothman


About 70 percent of our energy comes from non-renewable sources like oil and natural gas. When they're gone, they're gone for good. Learn some simple ways to conserve energy through these five simple experiments.

By John Kelly

You probably think all parasites are disgusting little critters, but that's not always the case. Several are actually critical to the planet.

By Mark Boyer

Despite the best efforts of disaster prevention crews, oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill affected creatures and plants both on land and in the water. Is it possible to know the entire environmental impact of the spill?

By Jonathan Strickland

As global freshwater sources become scarcer, desalination plants play an increasingly pivotal role, transforming our vast oceans into drinkable reserves. Let's delve deeper into the mechanics of these vital facilities.

By Laurie L. Dove & Desiree Bowie


We all know the cartoons of prehistoric people running from dinosaurs aren't realistic. But many animals living today have ancestors from that time.

By Tracy V. Wilson

Relief wells made the news as a possible method to cut off the Gulf Coast oil leak, but that's not all they're used for. How do these wells prevent and stop dangerous overflows?

By Laurie L. Dove

Did you know that sand dunes can sing? And, their artistic curves certainly make for a gorgeous photograph. In fact, you might call the sand dune the diva of the desert.

By Debra Ronca

From the Hope diamond to the shiny bits in instant coffee, crystals have always held the power to fascinate us humans. Are they more than just a bunch of pretty facets?

By Nicholas Gerbis


Hair trimmings from salons and personal donations can be repurposed as mats that soak up oil spills and help protect the environment.

By Patrick J. Kiger

The element lithium is one of just three created during the Big Bang and has been used for mental health care for decades. But now it's in higher demand than ever before.

By Allison Troutner

Does searching through the mud of a riverbank for treasures of old sound like a fun way to spend a day? If so, you may just be a true mudlarker at heart.

By Jennifer Walker-Journey

Trovants, found only in a small town in Romania, are stones that actually seem to move and grow. But are they alive?

By Jennifer Walker-Journey


The Denmark Strait cataract dwarfs every other waterfall in the world, but you can't see it because it's deep under the Atlantic Ocean.

By Jesslyn Shields

Climate change may be melting glaciers, but it's also reducing the oxygen of the world's oceans. Without oxygen, many marine organisms may no longer be able to survive.

By John Perritano

As the world becomes more urbanized, the demand for sand, a key ingredient of concrete, keeps growing. But there's only so much sand to go around.

By Dave Roos


Talk about a Brexit! Scientists have clues to catastrophic flooding that destroyed a land bridge that once connected England and France.

By Patrick J. Kiger

New findings about ancient, extinct Australasian bandicoot and bilby species underscore how dire things are today when even survivors like these are struggling.

By Jesslyn Shields

Millions of people die every year because of poor air quality, new international research finds. That number is expected to rise in coming years.

By Christopher Hassiotis

Most mammals have a penis bone called a baculum, but humans don't. A new study sheds light on the history of the baculum, and why ours is missing.

By Jesslyn Shields


Now that its sequel is out, where did Al Gore's landmark environmental documentary hit the mark? What did it get wrong?

By Patrick J. Kiger

A new 'atlas' of light pollution finds that one third of people on Earth can't see the night sky's most dramatic feature.

By Christopher Hassiotis