spikes of white coral under water
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.
ABOVE: © Commonwealth of Australia (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) 2016, photographer: C. Jones.
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades
Great Barrier Reef Suffers Sixth Mass Bleaching in Two Decades

A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.

A survey showed that 91 percent of the reef experienced bleaching despite this year’s cooler, wetter conditions associated with the La Niña weather pattern.

ABOVE: © Commonwealth of Australia (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) 2016, photographer: C. Jones.

climate change

sunlit coral reef
Corals and Sea Anemones Turn Sunscreen into Toxins—Understanding How Could Help Save Coral Reefs
Djordje Vuckovic, Bill Mitch | May 6, 2022
Researchers have long suspected that an ingredient in sunscreen called oxybenzone was harming corals, but no one knew how. A new study shows how corals turn oxybenzone into a sunlight-activated toxin.
A building at the Stanford University campus at sunrise
Stanford to Launch New Climate Change School This Fall
Amanda Heidt | May 5, 2022
The launch of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability—the first new school at the university in 70 years—comes thanks to a $1.1 billion gift from a venture capitalist and his wife.
A landscape showing a forest that’s been cleared to make room for a farm.
Climate Change and Agriculture Together Halve Insect Populations
Dan Robitzski | Apr 21, 2022
Insect populations and species diversity are drastically reduced in areas affected by both climate change and agriculture-related habitat destruction, according to a new study.
close-up photo of mosquito on green background
Wet Weather Brings Japanese Encephalitis to Australia
Shawna Williams | Apr 14, 2022
Southern Australia has recorded its first-ever cases of the disease in an outbreak that has so far killed three people.
White academic building with blue dome on top surrounded by trees
China-US Climate Collaboration Ended Due to Security Concerns
Natalia Mesa | Apr 12, 2022
Texas A&M cited potential foreign interference when explaining why it shut down a jointly run modeling laboratory.
Brown bird in nest surrounded by pink flowers
Earlier Nesting in Chicago-Area Birds Linked to Warming
Natalia Mesa | Apr 4, 2022
A study finds that dozens of bird species are nesting up to 25 days sooner each year than they were a century ago, likely due to climate change.
Illustration of the Earth heating up
Opinion: Climate Change Is Dangerous to Your Health
Mark Kessel, Rick Elbaum | Apr 4, 2022
In addition to causing more frequent natural disasters, global warming can have long-term health effects, which range from heat stress to mosquito-borne disease.
A young arctic fox on green grass
Arctic Greening Won’t Save the Climate—Here’s Why
Donatella Zona | Mar 30, 2022
The growing season on the tundra is starting earlier as the planet warms, but the plants aren’t sequestering more carbon, a new study finds.
Steam rises from a blue-gray hot spring, visible beyond a patch of reddish, rocky soil.
Soil Microbes Sacrifice Ribosomes in Response to Warming
Sophie Fessl | Mar 29, 2022
When soil heats up, microbes scale back protein synthesis machinery by making use of higher reaction rates that occur at higher temperatures, a study finds.
edge of the amazon showing deforestation
Amazon Rainforest Nearing Savannah “Tipping Point”
Christie Wilcox | Mar 8, 2022
Half or more of the world’s largest forest is in danger of transitioning into grassland, researchers say.
outside view of flooded research greenhouses
Flooding and Storms Wreak Havoc for Australian Scientists
Bianca Nogrady | Mar 4, 2022
Record-breaking rainfall has caused widespread flooding and devastation in Queensland and New South Wales, forcing the closure of some university campuses.
close-up of a salmon's head swimming among underwater plants
Sudden Decline in Salmon Growth May Signal Ecological Shift
Natalia Mesa | Mar 4, 2022
The decrease in growth appears to be associated with increasing water temperatures, affecting animals throughout the marine food web.
Seagrass underwater on a sandy seabed.
Seagrasses Continue to Emit Methane Decades After Death
Alejandra Manjarrez | Feb 22, 2022
Methane production, likely achieved by a diverse group of methanogenic archaea, occurs at similar rates in both alive and dead seagrasses, a study reports. The findings highlight the potential environmental impact of seagrasses declining globally.
Conceptual illustration of coral
Environmental Memory: How Corals Are Adjusting to Warmer Waters
Amanda Heidt | Feb 14, 2022
Corals that previously experienced heat stress respond better the next time around. Researchers are trying to figure out how, and hope to one day take advantage of the phenomenon to improve coral restoration efforts. 
Sunflowers, in visible spectrum on left half (yellow colors) and UV spectrum on right half (purple and white colors).
Sunflowers’ Bee-Attracting Ultraviolet Also Helps Retain Moisture
Natalia Mesa | Feb 8, 2022
The dual purposes of the plants’ hidden colors may conflict as the climate warms, authors of a new study suggest.
Single white snowdrop flower
Plants in UK Bloom a Month Earlier Than in 1980s: Study
Natalia Mesa | Feb 2, 2022
Scientists warn that climate change–induced early flowering could have negative effects on wildlife, agriculture, and gardening.
A ship off the coast of Antarctica approaches a beach
Q&A: How to Keep Antarctica Safe from Invasive Species
Dan Robitzski | Nov 23, 2021
The Scientist spoke with University of Wollongong ecologist Dana Bergstrom about protecting the continent’s native plants and animals in the face of climate change and a growing human presence.
Fossils of African Fauna
African, Arabian Mammals Didn’t Escape Grande Coupure Extinction
Chloe Tenn | Nov 8, 2021
More than two-thirds of mammals in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula went extinct during the Eocene-Oligocene transition some 30 million years ago, a study finds.
dead fish piled in boxes along a pier, with a boat and snowy mountains in the background
Fish Poop a Big Player in Ocean Carbon Sequestration
Katarina Zimmer | Oct 8, 2021
A modeling study estimates that by drastically reducing fish biomass over the past century, industrial fishing may be affecting ocean chemistry, nutrient fluxes, and carbon cycling as much as climate change.