A world in a bottle of water

Revolutionary techniques using traces of environmental DNA are analyzing entire ecosystems “from microbes to whales”

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega • knowable
Aug. 2, 2019 ~14 min

genetics climate-change living-world food-environment

Tiny, living stones of the sea

How limestone-covered algae sway global climate — and how their fate may shift as the oceans acidify

Laura Poppick • knowable
June 25, 2019 ~9 min

climate-change story-behind-a-picture living-world

Toward greener plastics

Researchers and companies are working on new kinds of biodegradable packaging, bottles and other products that break down like compost.

Marcus Woo • knowable
May 24, 2019 ~9 min

climate-change food-environment

As climate changes, so does life in the planet’s soils

To understand what might be lost, ecologist Janet K. Jansson taps molecular methods to explore Earth’s underground microbes, from the permafrost to the grasslands

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega • knowable
May 17, 2019 ~13 min

climate-change qa living-world food-environment physical-world

Will the food of the future be genetically engineered or organic? How about both?

Feeding the planet — now and tomorrow — is no small task. Plant biologist Pamela Ronald says sustainability means using every tool in the toolbox.

Rachel Ehrenberg • knowable
May 9, 2019 ~15 min

climate-change qa living-world food-environment

Firenadoes and drifting embers: The secrets of extreme wildfires

Researchers probe the weather-like physics of deadly infernos

Alexandra Witze • knowable
March 14, 2019 ~21 min

climate-change wildfire food-environment physical-world

Looking for economic prosperity without growth

The only way for humanity to solve its environmental problems may be to abandon our quest for continual economic expansion. It’s time to study what a future of degrowth might look like, some researchers say.

Bob Holmes • knowable
March 5, 2019 ~12 min

climate-change politics society qa food-environment

A deeper understanding of the Grand Canyon

After 100 years as a national park and eons as a geological wonder, the American icon continues to reveal layers of its past and of the landscape ahead

Alexandra Witze • knowable
Feb. 26, 2019 ~11 min

geology climate-change society food-environment physical-world

Nuclear goes retro — with a much greener outlook

Returning to designs abandoned in the 1970s, start-ups are developing a new kind of reactor that promises to be much safer and cleaner than current ones.

M. Mitchell Waldrop • knowable
Feb. 22, 2019 ~34 min

climate-change technology food-environment physical-world