US federal department is censoring use of term ‘climate change’

Staff at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been told to avoid using the term climate change in their work, with the officials instructed to reference “weather extremes” instead. A series of emails obtained by the Guardian between staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, [...]

There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up

Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us. We have had antibiotics for almost a century, ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. In response, bacteria have responded by evolving antibiotic [...]

The Fingerprints of Global Warming on Extreme Weather

When climate scientists examine whether the warming of the Earth has made extreme weather events such as heatwaves or downpours more likely, they generally do it on a case-by-case basis. But a group led by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh has aimed to develop a more global, comprehensive approach to investigating how climate change has [...]

Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the [...]