Ecology and environmental sciences


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A ranger strokes a young Rhino orphaned by poachers at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, in May 2015. He was named ‘Hope’. Photo Tom Pilston/Panos

Essay/
Animals and humans
All we owe to animals

It is not enough to conserve species and ecosystems. We have an ethical duty to care for each individual animal on earth

Jeff Sebo

A firefighter battling the King Fire in Fresh Pond, California, on 17 September 2014. Photo by Noah Berger/Reuters

Essay/
Deep time
The planet is burning

Wild, feral and fossil-fuelled, fire lights up the globe. Is it time to declare that humans have created a Pyrocene?

Stephen J Pyne

Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images

Essay/
Food and drink
Homo gluttonous

Humans have evolved with little resistance to abundant, easy food. Will we gorge ourselves and our planet to death?

Louise Fabiani

A coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a threadworm, a parasitic nematode of the small intestines of numerous animals. Photo by Steve Geschmeissner/Science Photo Library

Essay/
Medicine
We need worms

You might think they are disgusting. But our war against intestinal worms has damaged our immune systems and mental health

William Parker

A lightning storm over the Taravo Valley on the French island of Corsica, 15 August 2018. Photo by Pascal Pochard Casabianca/Afp/Getty

Essay/
Earth science and climate
Flash!

It ignited life on Earth, propelled evolution, and now signals climate change. Yet what sparks lightning remains a mystery

Sidney Perkowitz

‘Ground zero for PFAS pollution.’ The DuPont Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Photographed on 28 October 2015. Photo by Maddie McGarvey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Time-bombing the future

Synthetics created in the 20th century have become an evolutionary force, altering human biology and the web of life

Rebecca Altman

A deer tick picked up during a conservation walk through Wylde Woods in Dover, Massachusetts, 25 October 2010. Photo by Bill Greene/The Boston Globe/Getty
Essay/
Illness and disease
Ticks rising

In a warming world, ticks thrive in more places than ever before, making Lyme disease the first epidemic of climate change

Mary Beth Pfeiffer

Deer roadkill on the highway in Texas. Photo by Bob Anderson/Getty
Essay/
The environment
Snarge

Our insatiable desire for acceleration exacts a mortal toll on the animal world. It’s time for humans to slow right down

Gary Kroll

A drone offers a unique bird’s eye view as part of a forest fire surveillance system in the Landes region, France. Photo by Pierre Andrieu/AFP/Getty
Essay/
Future of technology
Algorithmic wilderness

Robo-bees and drone-seeded forests: can technology mend our broken relationship with the natural world?

Henry Mance