The dazzling history of solar power

PODCAST: Once fringe and futuristic, this renewable energy shines brightly today as a cheap and efficient source of energy. Still, it remains controversial — for much different reasons.

Adam Levy • knowable
Jan. 13, 2021 ~16 min

How to rebuild California forests, with climate in mind

After the catastrophic fires of the past decade, land managers may need to reseed vast acreages. Can they buffer against climate change in the process?

Ula Chrobak • knowable
Dec. 16, 2020 ~20 min

Are wildlife trade bans backfiring?

Trafficking in wild animal and plant products is driving species to extinction, but some researchers think restrictions only spur demand and make things worse

Natasha Gilbert • knowable
Nov. 13, 2020 ~19 min

Rising to meet the tide

As the threat of coastal flooding grows, scientists are responding with an inundation of data. Faster and more accurate forecasts can save lives and property.

Carrie Arnold • knowable
Nov. 11, 2020 ~12 min

Solving the growing plastics waste puzzle

When polymers prove resistant to recycling, new chemical techniques can do the job of breaking them down for reuse

M. Mitchell Waldrop • knowable
Oct. 1, 2020 ~7 min

Recycling meets reality

Modern industry has made great strides in turning trash into tomorrow’s new products, but the process is still a long way from perfect. New technologies can help. Plus, updates on chemical recycling, design for recycling and dirty recycling.

M. Mitchell Waldrop • knowable
Oct. 1, 2020 ~27 min

The accidental tree killers

Epidemics of forest-felling diseases are on the rise thanks to globetrotting pathogens that slip through even the best defenses. To prevent further losses, scientists are turning to high-tech surveillance and detection, even canine noses.

Stephanie Pain • knowable
Sept. 21, 2020 ~23 min

Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

Betsy Mason • knowable
Sept. 16, 2020 ~15 min

Quest to secure the world’s vanishing ice

Glaciologists dream of a cold-storage vault in Antarctica to preserve key samples of the paleoclimate

David Adam • knowable
May 28, 2020 ~14 min

Pollution evolution: The little fish that could

Where other species succumbed, the killifish survived contaminated habitats. It’s a finding that could help researchers understand environmental risk factors for humans.

Wudan Yan • knowable
April 23, 2020 ~13 min

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