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.


A cow in a field

Can Cows Help Mitigate Climate Change? Yes, They Can!

Livestock emit greenhouse gases. They also can sequester carbon and boost biodiversity.
Bee on Lilly

The Race to Build a Better Bee

Could drone pollinators help secure our future food supply?

Do We Really Need Robot Farmers?

As weather heats up and climate change progresses, fieldwork will grow more hazardous.

Can Re-Clamming Our Harbors Keep Superstorms at Bay?

Hurricanes like Sandy destroy coastlines. Clams and oysters help keep them together.

DNA Forensics Can End Ivory Trafficking. Will Countries Play Along?

Scientists pinpoint poaching hotspots, but authorities aren’t always eager to join the fight.

To Battle Floods, Cities Revive Their Long-Forgotten Alleyways

Once polluted and abandoned, back alleys have sprouted into flourishing rain gardens.
used styrofoam food containers

Is the 30-Year-Long Styrofoam War Nearing Its End?

Neither banning nor recycling will rid us of Styrofoam. Can we live without it?
Venice, Italy with flooding and tourists walking in high water

Is It Time to Say Good-Bye to the Mediterranean?

The cradle of civilization may not support our civilization anymore.

Fixing the Grassroots of the American Lawn

A citizen scientist bred low mow slow grow grass that needs little water and fertilizer.
Manhattan glacier

Should Manhattanites Worry About the New Manhattanish-Size Iceberg?

Probably. If all Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt, the sea level will rise over 200 feet.
Oil Rigs Fish

Can Oil Rigs Grow into Ocean Reefs?

Scientists suggest keeping old offshore oil platforms as productive fish habitats.

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