The Unholy Alliance of Climate Change and Paragliding in the Alps

Vice Sports You can’t land a paraglider on the summit of Mont Blanc (15,781 feet) in July unless the cloudbase reaches about 16,000 feet, and that requires above-average temperatures. Paragliders rely on thermal convection currents to gain and maintain altitude, and July in the Alps is rarely warm enough to get the job done. But […]

Outside: Surfers on Acid(ification)

It maps waves, predicts conditions, turns surfers into citizen scientists, and could be the data-collecting tool climate scientists need to study our rapidly acidifying oceans. As the Internet of Things inches its way into every corner of our lives, no one would blame you for rolling your eyes at the suggestion that even a surfboard should be […]

Waterproof, Breathable, and Toxin-Free

Patagonia is upping its own environmental ante with a $1 million investment in Beyond Surface Technologies, a Swiss company that’s pushing petrochemicals out of the gear closet Outside Online April 21, 2015 Your ski jacket is full of petrochemicals. Ditto a fair amount of the other clothing in your closet that attains that magical, paradoxical state […]

Thanks, everyone, but the koalas have enough mittens now

Everyone loves animals in little outfits. But couple that with an environmental campaign and you’ve created an unstoppable craft monster. The Guardian January 29, 2015 There is little that is likely to stir readers more than photos of adorable animals dressed up in funny clothes. Add the element of a vulnerable species rescued from the […]

Visualizing the Stories Data Can Tell

Scientists and technologists are turning numbers about everything from condors to ocean-floor contours into visual representations of environmental issues. Ensia December 16, 2014 We’re living in an era of Big Data, but too often it’s nothing more than a fire hose of numbers and data sets that most would have difficulty understanding. Increasingly, though, entities […]

What Drones Are Learning from Insects

Large, unmanned aerial vehicles, aka UAVs or drones, look like regular (albeit, menacing) airplanes. But there are also small drones that look like big insects, and they’re being programmed to act like them too. Insectile drones could evolve into useful minions to track, map, and respond to climate change. Climate Confidential October 31, 2014 Since […]

California water witches see big business as the drought drags on

Dowsers, sometimes known as ‘water witches,’ are in high demand in drought-stricken California, where four dry years find farmers and vintners taking desperate measures. The Guardian September 15, 2014 Outside of a farmhouse on a 1,800-acre organic dairy farm near Oroville,California, Sharron Hope bends over a printout of a Google Earth map, holding a small […]

Fall of the Wild: The Trapped Wolves of Isle Royale

Global warming is putting wildlife at risk, leading to hard questions about wilderness ethics Al Jazeera America June 4, 2014 Chapter 1: Death of a Wolf On January 21, Isabelle, a 5-year-old gray wolf, was spotted along the southwest reaches of Isle Royale National Park, which sits on an island in Lake Superior. During a […]