environmental news

5 popular reads from our newsroom in 2021

Check out what sparked readers' interest over the past year.

Try as we may, it sure is hard to know what story is going to resonate with readers. From forests to fertility to fish farming, here are five of our most popular reads from 2021.

1. WATCH: Fertility crisis leaves little time for solutions

Worldwide, sperm counts in men have declined 50 percent in 50 years, with no sign of easing soon.

2. The push for standing forest protections in US climate policy

forests climate change

Researchers say "proforestation" policies are the fastest and most effective way to draw excess CO2 out of the atmosphere.

3. Use of disinfectants has soared, sparking new examination of ingredients


Regulators are considering whether disinfectant ingredients called quats are safe and effective in light of increased use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Fish farming has a plastic problem

plastic pollution

Microplastics in fishmeal are contaminating farmed fish—impacting their health, the nutrition they provide, and leaving consumers potentially exposed.

5. A disability should not be a death sentence during a natural disaster

wildfires climate change

"I have the privilege of studying wildfires—but I often don't have the privilege of escaping them when it matters most."

Banner photo credit: Keith Seiffert/flickr

One Maine climate activist’s bold plan to take back the grid

After getting arrested for trespassing at the Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, New Hampshire — the last coal-fired power plant in the region that doesn’t already have a shutdown date — a group of climate activists from across New England decided that they wanted to up the ante.

Sunrise in the woods

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3 reasons local climate activism is more powerful than people realize

Why do so few adults participate in actions to encourage governments to do more about climate change? The answer may have to do with "response skepticism"

How climate change impacts hibernation

When winter descends on Indiana, furry, scaly and slimy creatures alike hunker down for hibernation. However, warmer and shorter winters are causing some species to sleep later – or not at all.

Mathematical alarms could help predict and avoid climate tipping points

A new study finds that mathematical tools can find early warning signals that can accurately predict climate tipping points.

Climate change cases set for another ‘exciting year’ in court

With Supreme Court petitions and a youth climate trial on the horizon, 2023 could be a blockbuster year for climate issues in the courtroom.

A hospital ward for starving children in Kenya has seen a surge in cases this year

Aid workers blame a climate change-induced drought that’s turned the Horn of Africa into a parched, barren wasteland. Many of the children nursed back to health will never fully recover.

Parenting in a time of climate crisis
Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Parenting in a time of climate crisis

It hits unexpectedly. Some days it strikes while buying groceries or when I spot how high the water in the river is. Often, the thought lingers underneath my delight at watching my child play outside.

From our Newsroom
Pittsburgh environmental

What I learned reporting on environmental health in Pittsburgh in 2022

For a lot of people, 2022 felt like the first “normal” year since 2020. It didn’t for me.

renewable energy at schools

Western Pennsylvania can meet its climate goals — if the region stops subsidizing natural gas

A new proposed plan would lead to a 97% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions and create 15,353 new jobs by 2050.

fracking pennsylvania

Revealed: Nearly 100 potential PFAS-polluted sites in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia from fracking waste

A new map reveals at least 97 new locations that could have been contaminated by the industry’s use of “forever chemicals”

young scientists

Op-ed: Why academic journals need to embrace youth

We’re tired of hearing leaders say we need creative solutions to climate issues, and then ignoring the creative solutions youth present.

Europe forest

EU’s new climate change plan will cause biodiversity loss and deforestation: Analysis

In a plan full of sustainable efforts, the incentivizing of biomass burning has climate experts concerned.

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