(This is an updated version of a blog originally published in 2020)
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
On April 22, we’ll celebrate Earth Day 2021 and its theme “Restore Our Earth.” According to EarthDay.org, the theme “focuses on natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems.”
The world has been battling the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year. And during that time, the environment has been greatly impacted.
Despite initial drops in pollution and carbon emissions at the beginning of the pandemic, data now shows that global CO2 emissions are climbing back above pre-pandemic levels.
But there have also been positive impacts on the environment.
Talking about his upcoming Earth Day documentary for Apple TV+, David Attenborough said, “During this most difficult year, many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it.” He continued, “But the lockdown also created a unique experiment that has thrown light on the impact we have on the natural world. The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference.”
Check out these seven environmental news sites to educate and inspire your inner environmental scientist on Earth Day.
1. Living on Earth
Living on Earth is tailored for people who prefer listening to radio shows and podcasts over reading news articles. As “public radio’s environmental news magazine,” Living on Earth broadcasts every week, providing listeners with environmental news on a range of environmental issues from climate change to pandemic disruption.
If you still prefer to read an article over listening, a transcript is included with every news post.
Stories to listen to (or read) right now: Biden Boosts Offshore Wind and Restoring Life in the Oceans.
42,000 years ago, the Earth's magnetic poles reversed in an event named after the author of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy@CarolynGramling of @ScienceNews on the prehistoric magnetic flip that shook up life on Earth: https://t.co/4zdylynguI pic.twitter.com/7tKigCayYk— Living On Earth (@livingonearth) April 2, 2021
2. National Geographic
National Geographic, or NatGeo, is a longstanding leader in the field of environmental science journalism.
NatGeo always includes professional photos with its news stories, which is why readers find it to be engaging for people of all ages. NatGeo regularly posts content on climate change, global warming, and environmental threats.
Stories to read right now: Gas heat and stoves are warming the climate. Should cities start banning them? and ‘A forest on caffeine’? How coffee can help forests grow faster.
The paved waterway is best known for movie car chases, but a new project aims to make it a haven for wildlife once again https://t.co/ZZjiP4bf8L— National Geographic (@NatGeo) April 6, 2021
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) covers topical research on categories like land, air, climate, hazards, water, oceans, and ice. It also has a news category dedicated to showing you exactly how NASA’s space explorations and Earth data benefit society.
NASA is most often a primary source because its content is credible and includes crucial data on its official Earth expeditions and research. Stay up to date on some of the best environmental science research news in the world with NASA’s Earth Science news site.
Stories to read right now: What a Glacial River Reveals About the Greenland Ice Sheet and SOFIA Offers New Way to Study Earth’s Atmosphere.
🧪 The 1st long-duration biology experiment in deep space completed its assembly and tests — bringing it one step closer to launching on our @NASAArtemis I mission around the Moon! Get more details on BioSentinel’s groundbreaking mission here: https://t.co/ByYxFXstKX pic.twitter.com/9MBXpWoBkB— NASA (@NASA) April 3, 2021
4. The Energy News Network
The nonprofit news site The Energy News Network is dedicated to informing the public and policymakers about the changes in the transition to a clean energy system.
Divided by U.S. regional categories, The Energy News Network publishes environmental and energy policy news from the Midwest, Southeast, Northeast, and West.
Stories to read right now: Former Chicago hospital site provides a blank slate for equitable, efficient development and In a record year for clean energy purchases, Southeast cities stand out.
As more large-scale solar projects line up for connections, developers are being charged upfront for the full cost of the infrastructure upgrades required, a long-common practice that they say is now becoming untenable. https://t.co/8CykGGnRk1— Energy News Network (@energynews_US) April 5, 2021
Grist’s mantra is “Don’t freak out. Figure it out.” Grist has adjusted well to the COVID-19 pandemic by staying up to date with climate news during this unprecedented time. It knows that climate action is urgent but also understands that doom-and-gloom headlines don’t always tell the whole story.
A quote that stood out to me in a 2020 article is, “Coronavirus is Earth’s vaccine. We’re the virus.” It’s a dark ideology, but Grist points out that many embraced the positive side of quarantine. For example, when people posted photos of the clear Venice canals at the beginning of the pandemic.
Grist stands out because its writers are experts on finding reasons for hope and optimism in climate action, but also know how to simultaneously sound the alarm on those who impede progress.
Stories to read right now: Even the Great Lakes’ deepest waters are now warming and This startup says seaweed is the secret to a better faux burger — and a healthier climate.
What the U.S. can learn from the U.K.'s disastrous home retrofit program. https://t.co/LBMjhyRDAS— grist (@grist) April 6, 2021
Nature offers readers around the world peer-reviewed research in science and technology. The site and its journals serve scientists and the public with quick dissemination of authoritative news, results, and trends affecting science.
Editors at Nature and its research journals assess more than 50,000 manuscripts each year. Less than 10% of those are selected for publication.
“Articles published in Nature and the Nature research journals have contributed to some of the world’s most notable scientific advances. From the discovery of radioactive decay, to Watson and Crick’s seminal work on DNA, to Dolly the sheep and cloning…” the site explains.
Stories to read right now: Net-zero carbon pledges must be meaningful to avert climate disaster and 10 years of Nature Climate Change.
A study published in @NatureComms found that not only can localized water shortages impact the global economy, but changes in global demand send positive and negative ripple effects to water basins across the globe. https://t.co/6rhgsbUlpH pic.twitter.com/X67g8a1dxq— Nature Research (@nresearchnews) April 5, 2021
ScienceDaily is a reliable source of research news featuring the latest content from research organizations, scientific journals, and leading universities.
The website covers environmental science categories on plants and animals, earth and climate, and fossils and ruins. There are more than 30 subcategories under the umbrella of environment, such as oceanography and biotechnology.
Stories to read right now: Discovery is key to creating heat-tolerant crops and In predicting shallow but dangerous landslides, size matters.
Photosynthesis could be as old as life itself https://t.co/k66f4xFQPY— ScienceDaily (@ScienceDaily) April 1, 2021
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