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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket with the Solar Orbiter payload arrives at pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Feb. 8, 2020. Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images

A joint U.S.-European team successfully launched the Space Orbiter space probe on Sunday night from Florida on a mission to "address big questions" about the solar system, including taking the first-ever high-resolution pictures of the sun's poles.

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By Diana Madson

On 87 acres of land owned by the city of Fayetteville, Arkansas, solar panels absorb the sun's rays.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tests on an MIT building rooftop showed that a simple proof-of-concept desalination device could produce clean, drinkable water at a rate equivalent to more than 1.5 gallons per hour for each square meter of solar collecting area. Images courtesy of the researchers

By Paul Brown

An international team of scientists has developed a cheap way to provide fresh water to thirsty communities by making seawater drinkable without using electricity.

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Photovoltaic cells that work at night could generate renewable energy from the heat difference between Earth and space. vencavolrab / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Solar panels that work at night? The idea isn't as far-fetched as it might seem.

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Wind turbines in Zhoushan, China. Jia Yu / Getty Images

By Ajit Niranjan

It's a question that preys on our readers' minds: Can we invent our way out of climate breakdown?

For many, dismayed by the pace of political progress but loathe to give up carbon-heavy lifestyles, solving climate change through technology alone is a tantalizing idea.

But experts say there is no silver bullet to protect the climate — and that keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the surest known way to prevent further warming.

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"This singular scientific achievement was accomplished at Heliogen's commercial facility in Lancaster, California." Heliogen

A startup backed by Bill Gates unveiled a breakthrough solar technology Tuesday that could free heavy industry from fossil fuels.

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Dutch Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Boyan Slat, presents in Rotterdam the new barge system called "The Interceptor" which will be used for the expansion of their river and ocean cleaning campaign on Oct. 26. ROBIN UTRECHT / ANP / AFP / Getty Images

The Dutch inventor behind the Ocean Cleanup is now looking to stop plastic pollution at the source.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act on July 18, 2019 in New York City. Scott Heins / Getty Images

By Cullen Howe

When Governor Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) into law in July 2019, it cemented New York State as a national leader in ramping up clean energy and the broader fight against climate change. In addition to reducing statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050, the law requires that the state obtain 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 (and that it be emissions-free by 2040). No state has a more aggressive emissions reduction target.

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Graphic image of a thin film of protein nanowires generating electricity from atmospheric humidity. UMass Amherst / Yao and Lovley labs

Imagine painting your home with a special paint that also powers your lights using renewable energy drawn from the air.

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Nuclear Power Plant in Cattenom, Northeastern France. © Allard Schager / Moment / Getty Images

By Paul Brown

Nuclear power is in terminal decline worldwide and will never make a serious contribution to tackling climate change, a group of energy experts argues.

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Power to heat, to cool, to drive the world's industries. Renewables can supply it all. Jason Blackeye / Unsplash

By Paul Brown

Virtually all the world's demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century.

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By Gero Rueter

Heating with coal, oil and natural gas accounts for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. But that's something we can change, says Wolfgang Feist, founder of the Passive House Institute in the western German city of Darmstadt.

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Solar workers tend to photovoltaic panels in Xuanhua District on Nov. 13, 2018 in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province of China. Chen Xiaodong / VCG via Getty Images

By Josh Gabbatiss

Solar power has become cheaper than grid electricity across China, a development that could boost the prospects of industrial and commercial solar, according to a new study.

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Photon-Photos / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The desert of Australia's Northern Territory has the iconic Ayers Rock, but not much else. Soon, it may be known as home to the world's largest solar farm, according to the Guardian.

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We've installed 6,000 solar panels across the roofs and carparks of the University. Youtube screenshot

A giant water battery that stands three-stories high will help The University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia reach its goal to be carbon neutral by 2025.

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Artist's conception of solar islands in the open ocean. PNAS

Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks, according to new research from Norway and Switzerland and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, PNAS, as NBC News reported. The floating islands could drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

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Sometimes gratitude feels like a stretch. Foxys_forest_manufacture / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Karen Perry Stillerman

Sometimes gratitude feels like a stretch, and this fall has been one of those times. We're in the home stretch of a difficult year. Bad news abounds, and even the holiday that many of us will celebrate this week is complicated — a day of thanks that also evokes loss and grief for many Native people, along with expressions of resilience. With Thanksgiving approaching, I went looking for hopeful stories, scanning the news of food and agriculture for signs of progress and promise.

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A solar plant above a pond at the mining subsidence area in Liuqiao Town in Huaibei, Anhui Province of China on Dec. 11, 2017. VCG / VCG via Getty Images

China is leading the way on renewable energy, having installed half the world's solar panels in 2017. But its transformative economic growth fueled by coal and other fossil fuels and its outsized manufacturing sector have coughed up so much air pollution that it has blocked adequate sunlight from reaching its solar panels, according to a new study published this week in Nature Energy.

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Members of Fossil Free Tompkins march at a parade in Ithaca. Fossil Free Tompkins

By Molly Taft

Lisa Marshall isn't your typical activist. For one thing, she's not into crowds. "I don't really like rallies," Marshall, a mom of three from upstate New York, said. "They're a little stressful — not my favorite thing."

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