Federal officials warn that unless we reduce carbon emissions, the beloved species could be doomed. “The future for polar bears is pretty bleak.”
There was no shortage of grim news for the environment in 2016. But the year saw some clear signs of environmental progress, too. These five environmental stories were true bright spots.
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: A new study published yesterday describes a climate system “feedback” loop that could make planetary warming considerably worse in the coming decades.
SHIFT HAPPENS: New discovery points to troubling signs for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, the collapse of which could prove catastrophic. It's no longer a question of if it will melt, but when.
UNFRIENDLY SKIES: It's not your imagination, the inflight "fasten your seatbelt" signs are staying illuminated longer. Scientists think that climate change is affecting the earth’s atmosphere and making flights bumpier.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Agriculture holds the double distinction of being highly vulnerable to climate change but also offering a solution to the problem.
LEAFY CLEAN: A new Berkeley Lab study shows that plants around the globe are keeping atmospheric carbon levels steady, despite the increase in emissions in recent decades. While this is a good thing and you should go thank a tree right now, it won't last forever.