Dust Storm!

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when you’re on a magazine deadline and time for blogging is short.

What you’re looking at is a massive dust storm—known in Arabic as a haboob—that enveloped much of Phoenix last night. Sand kicked up by strong downdrafts covered parts of the city, producing pictures …

How Airplanes Can Make It Rain

If you’ve ever looked up at the sky when you hear the hum of an airplane, chances are you’ve seen the channels, streaks, and halos that sometimes pattern the sky in the aircraft’s wake. These cloud constellations can happen because of temperature changes as airplanes pass through certain clouds, as we learned in 2010. But this …

What Eric the Red and Modern Greens Have in Common

Environmentalists can be a gloomy bunch, but they’re also realistic. In the past several years, most have given up on the idea of stopping climate change altogether; there’s just too much greenhouse gas already in the system for that. Instead, the refrain has essentially been: adapt or die. Even as we try to curb future greenhouse-gas …

After Levee Blast, More Rough Water Ahead

In the middle of the night on Tuesday, in a hotly contested move, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted open a two-mile long hole in a levee along the Mississippi River, sending the rain-swollen waterway gushing over 100,000 acres of Missouri farmland. The flooded area – sparsely populated but fertile farmland – has long been …

Why Nukes are the Most Urgent Environmental Threat

Environmentalists: Wake up! There is a greater and more urgent threat to the climate than even global warming: the threat posed by nuclear weapons.

Why are nuclear bombs an environmental problem? We have long known that a large-scale nuclear war would lead to a sudden change in climate—called a nuclear winter—that could …

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