Quantcast
EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.
A humpback whale, one of the species affected by the Pacific marine heat wave, breaches in Kenai Fjords National Park in the Gulf of Alaska. Kaitlin Thoreson / National Park Service

By Hannah Thomasy

From 2014 to 2016, the Gulf of Alaska experienced the worst marine heat wave of the decade. From single-celled organisms to top predators, practically no level of the ecosystem was left unscathed. During the Pacific marine heat wave, tens of thousands of dead seabirds washed up on beaches, unusually low numbers of humpback whales arrived in their summer habitats, and toxic algal blooms spread along the West Coast of North America.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
A massive methane reservoir beneath the submarine permafrost of the Laptev Sea is leaking. NASA Earth Observatory / Lauren Dauphin

Methane bubbles regularly reach the surface of the Laptev Sea in the East Siberian Arctic Ocean (ESAO), each of them a small blow to our efforts to mitigate climate change. The source of the methane used to be a mystery, but a joint Swedish-Russian-U.S. investigation recently discovered that an ancient gas reservoir is responsible for the bubbly leaks.

Read More Show Less
white bed with throw pillows

The contents of our mattresses are often an afterthought. That's a mistake, as research shows that the quality of your sleeping surface can significantly impact your health.

As consumers gain awareness about the health effects of sleeping on potentially toxic compounds, mattress companies are responding with new beds made from better materials. Today, you can choose from a broad range of mattresses made from all-natural components, including organic wool, cotton, and latex. Here's a summary of the best non-toxic, eco-friendly mattresses available today and how to decide between them.

Read More Show Less
A general view shows the remains of a dam along a river in Tapovan, India, on February 10, 2021, following a flash flood caused by a glacier break on February 7. Sajjad Hussain / AFP / Getty Images

By Rishika Pardikar

Search operations are still underway to find those declared missing following the Uttarakhand disaster on 7 February 2021.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Researchers are studying jellyfish beach strandings, like this one in Denmark, along the West Coast. SilverSnapper / Getty Images

By Jenessa Duncombe

During some years in the spring, so many jellyfish wash ashore on the beaches of Washington, Oregon, and California that they carpet the sand in thick, gooey mats. The jellyfish Velella velella can pile so high that taken together, they likely equal six and half blue whales' worth of stuff.

Read More Show Less
The Chinle Formation at Petrified Forest National Park provides a "living laboratory" for studying the Triassic period. National Park Service

By Ria Mazumdar

Reddish rock formations pervade the American Southwest. Their coloration is associated with the mineral hematite, through which a recent Rutgers University–led study uncovered a powerful link to climate.

Read More Show Less
Drone surveillance reveals just how big a contribution sea cucumbers make to reef habitats. treetstreet / iStock / Getty Images

By Hannah Thomasy

On its own, a single sea cucumber may not be very impressive. But get enough of these floppy, faceless creatures together, and they—or, more specifically, their poop—can physically and biochemically reshape a coral reef habitat.

Read More Show Less
From this overlook 1,400 feet above the the river, one can understand why the New River Gorge is known by many as the Grand Canyon of the East. Sky Noir Photography / Moment / Getty Images

By Mary Caperton Morton

The only thing "new" about West Virginia's New River Gorge is its national park status: In 2021, the New River Gorge became our latest national park, but in geologic terms, the New River is anything but new. Dating back to the days of the supercontinent Pangaea, it is one of the oldest rivers in the world and one of the few waterways in North America that runs north.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Botanicals used to flavor spirits, such as absinthe, shown here, grow in alpine regions near glacial ice. Climate warming is now causing this ice to retreat. Moussa81 / Getty Images

By Stacy Kish

Many of the botanicals used in traditional medicines and to flavor spirits, from absinthe to eau de vie, grow in alpine regions near the toes of glacial ice. As the planet warms and glacial ice retreats, this unique environment is changing and altering the diversity of the plant community.

Read More Show Less
Houses and wooden debris are shown in flood waters from Hurricane Katrina Sept. 11, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Jerry Grayson / Helifilms Australia PTY Ltd / Getty Images

By Eric Tate and Christopher Emrich

Disasters stemming from hazards like floods, wildfires, and disease often garner attention because of their extreme conditions and heavy societal impacts. Although the nature of the damage may vary, major disasters are alike in that socially vulnerable populations often experience the worst repercussions. For example, we saw this following Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey, each of which generated widespread physical damage and outsized impacts to low-income and minority survivors.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Ganga river pollution in Kolkata, India on October 2019. Indranil Aditya / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By T. V. Padma

Studies increasingly point to the presence of pharmaceutical and personal care products in urban stretches along the Ganges River, which originates pristine in the Himalayas but is heavily polluted with industrial effluents and domestic sewage when it empties into the Bay of Bengal.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Katherine Kornei

Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.

Read More Show Less
A firefighter stands watch over his crew for flareups as they work a wildfire on June 25, 2017 outside Panguitch, Utah. George Frey / Getty Images

By Alison Gold

Wildfire activity has increasingly threatened life in the western United States over the past several decades. Many of this year's record-setting wildfires raged over hundreds of thousands of acres. However, one of their most dangerous and understudied effects is too small to perceive with the naked eye: the tiny particles that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs.

Read More Show Less