The year 2018 wasn’t an easy one for the planet. Throughout the year we worried about how soon we may have to say good-bye to the Mediterranean region, what mysterious blight is killing European trees and whether a freshly calved Manhattan-sized iceberg would flood Manhattan. But there was also good news. We learned that our coastlines are recovering from the Superstorm Sandy, retired oil rigs are attracting fish, and livestock can help mitigate climate change. No doubt 2019 will bring more questions, more dilemmas, and likely more crises, but we hope that science will get us through. Here are our 10 favorite stories of 2018, as always, backed by scholarship and research to which our readers have free access.
Livestock emit greenhouse gases. They also can sequester carbon and boost biodiversity.
Could drone pollinators help secure our future food supply?
As weather heats up and climate change progresses, fieldwork will grow more hazardous.
Hurricanes like Sandy destroy coastlines. Clams and oysters help keep them together.
Scientists pinpoint poaching hotspots, but authorities aren’t always eager to join the fight.
Once polluted and abandoned, back alleys have sprouted into flourishing rain gardens.
Neither banning nor recycling will rid us of Styrofoam. Can we live without it?
The cradle of civilization may not support our civilization anymore.
A citizen scientist bred low-mow, slow-grow grass that needs little water and fertilizer.
Probably. If all Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt, the sea level will rise over 200 feet.
Scientists suggest keeping old offshore oil platforms as productive fish habitats.
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