• Blue Marble – NASA

  • Bhutan – Courtesy of Aaron Putnam

  • Oregon – Courtesy of Adam Hudson

  • New Zealand – Courtesy of George Denton

  • Mongolia – Jennifer Draper/Medill

  • Michigan – Medill photo

  • Pacific Ocean – Medill photo

  • Drought, Iowa – Medill photo

  • Medill photo

  • Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica - NA

  • Greenland icebergs - Gary Comer/Courtesy of the Comer Family Foundation

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RAPID GREENLAND ICE MELT THREATENS 25 FEET OF SEA LEVEL RISE

RAPID GREENLAND ICE MELT THREATENS 25 FEET OF SEA LEVEL RISE

By Adam Cohen, Jan. 30, 2017 It’s as if there’s a new apocalyptic blockbuster in theaters, and Joerg Schaefer has a front-row seat. Some of the world’s foremost climate scientists shared their latest field research reports at the annual Comer Climate Conference this past fall in southwestern Wisconsin. None was as jarring as Schaefer’s talk on his…Read More

SCIENTISTS REBUILD THE PAST TO MEET CURRENT CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT

SCIENTISTS REBUILD THE PAST TO MEET CURRENT CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT

By Austin Keating, Video by Tiffany Chen and Austin Keating, Nov. 22, 2017 – Scientists take to the field to study rapid warming and cooling events in Earth’s past. They find clues in ice and rock, lakes and sediment across the globe. Rebuilding climate change patterns from the past enhances predictions for the future as human use of fossil fuels…Read More

REDUCED SNOWPACK DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE MEANS MORE WATER WOES FOR CALIFORNIA

REDUCED SNOWPACK DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE MEANS MORE WATER WOES FOR CALIFORNIA

By Morgan Levey, Dec. 11, 2017 For Californians reeling from the deadly fires in Northern California and the Oroville Dam crisis that displaced thousands, the record-breaking precipitation levels last year may seem like a silver lining after more than five years of drought. Yet it’s precisely these massive swings, from prolonged dry periods to extreme…Read More

SCIENTISTS CALL FOR ACTION TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE NOW

SCIENTISTS CALL FOR ACTION TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE NOW

By Tiffany Chen, Dec. 11, 2017 – Climate change is an urgent threat linked to floods, drought and increasing heat waves.  While carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord meant to cap emissiions and the temperature rise due to them. Scientists gathered at the Comer…Read More

OCEANS SOAK UP CO2 AND BUFFER THE PACE OF GLOBAL WARMING

OCEANS SOAK UP CO2 AND BUFFER THE PACE OF GLOBAL WARMING

By Tiffany Chen The oceans have always held carbon dioxide (CO2) in their vast blue depths during glacial and warm periods throughout Earth’s history, breathing it in and out as the climate warmed or cooled. Scientists are now fishing for clues from the floor of the sea to reconstruct past climate events via ocean chemistry…Read More

MAPPING THE RETREAT OF THE ICE AGES – A FAMILY BUSINESS

MAPPING THE RETREAT OF THE ICE AGES – A FAMILY BUSINESS

By Morgan Levey We think of rising fossil fuel use and the resulting carbon dioxide emissions as key catalysts of climate change in today’s warming world. And changes in climate throughout Earth’s history had many drivers, including geological forces, orbital cycles, ocean circulation and a litany of planetary mechanisms that happen on a microcosmic scale.…Read More

GEOSCIENTIST RICHARD ALLEY’S CLIMATE CRUSADE

GEOSCIENTIST RICHARD ALLEY’S CLIMATE CRUSADE

By Adam Cohen, October 31, 2017 – Richard Alley smiled widely, beer in hand, as he welcomed a group of student journalists to the annual Comer Climate Conference this fall. “I bet you all have a cell phone on you,” he said. “Don’t throw it on the ground!” The students exchanged sideways glances. “It might…Read More

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CHICAGO SAFFRON COMPANY SPICES UP LOCAL ECONOMY IN RURAL AFGHANISTAN

CHICAGO SAFFRON COMPANY SPICES UP LOCAL ECONOMY IN RURAL AFGHANISTAN

Maddie Burakoff and Nefertari Bilal – When Keith Alaniz was serving in the U.S. military in Afghanistan, he noticed a challenge for local farmers. Though they were turning around great products, he said, there was no way for them to reach buyers beyond the local markets. Then Alaniz met Haji Yosef, a farmer who would…

SUSTAINABILITY MAKES GOOD NEIGHBORS AND GOOD CENTS

SUSTAINABILITY MAKES GOOD NEIGHBORS AND GOOD CENTS

By Jessica Mordacq and Izzabelle Murillo – Plant Chicago, a nonprofit housed in a former meat processing warehouse now called The Plant, facilitates a local circular economy involving several niche businesses. This circular economy means waste from one business becomes resources for another. The Plant, located in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood, started with three…

THE PLANT SPEARHEADS EDUCATION AND ECOLOGY AS COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS

THE PLANT SPEARHEADS EDUCATION AND ECOLOGY AS COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS

By Laura Zomosa – “You have reached Sawyer Elementary School. Para español, oprima número dos.” Sidney Sawyer Elementary School sits nestled between Brighton Park and Gage Park, just outside of the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side. On an unseasonably warm Tuesday in March, students from Laura Gluckman’s sixth grade science class took a field…

AQUAPONICS AT PLANT CHICAGO: URBAN FARMING AND A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

AQUAPONICS AT PLANT CHICAGO: URBAN FARMING AND A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

By Grace Wade and Lauren Bell – It is an unassuming brick building located in the Back of the Yards, a South Side neighborhood that once housed the Union Stockyards. But a massive mural of gardeners, produce and farm animals painted on the side of the brick building hints at something more than an abandoned…

SACRED SERVE: A CONSCIOUS CREAMERY IN A COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY

SACRED SERVE: A CONSCIOUS CREAMERY IN A COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY

Text by Elizabeth Guthrie, Video by HyoJung Kim – Sacred Serve calls itself a “conscious creamery,” producing vegan gelato in delicious flavors such as Salted Coconut Caramel and Matcha Mint Chip with organic and non-GMO ingredients. Tucked away in the Back of the Yards, a neighborhood still named for the long-gone Union Stockyards, the business opened…

PLANT CHICAGO MUSEUM PRESERVES STOCKYARDS’ GRITTY LEGACY AMID A HIVE OF GREEN BUSINESSES

PLANT CHICAGO MUSEUM PRESERVES STOCKYARDS’ GRITTY LEGACY AMID A HIVE OF GREEN BUSINESSES

By Leah Dunlevy – Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood is drawing in an influx of green businesses through Plant Chicago. The local nonprofit enterprise has created an environmentally sustainable business model with company partners that recycle wastes from one operation as resources for another in a vintage warehouse, itself recycled into The Plant. Plant Chicago and…

A POST-INDUSTRIAL VISION BRINGS NEW BUSINESSES TO BACK OF THE YARDS

A POST-INDUSTRIAL VISION BRINGS NEW BUSINESSES TO BACK OF THE YARDS

By Molly Glick – Jim Gonksa left his home in Chicago’s Back of the Yards over 45 years ago when his father’s meatpacking job relocated to Bradley, Illinois, where land and rents were more affordable. Today, the majority of the neighborhood’s once-thriving meat processing plants have disappeared. The former Peer Foods factory site on 46th street…

THE PLANT HELPS REVITALIZE CHICAGO’S BACK OF THE YARDS NEIGHBORHOOD

THE PLANT HELPS REVITALIZE CHICAGO’S BACK OF THE YARDS NEIGHBORHOOD

By Kira Fahmy, Luodan Rojas and Alex Schwartz. Photos by Alex Schwartz. The room is a wide open space; the brick walls are mostly bare except for several clusters of pictures and informational placards. This could be any refurbished industrial warehouse, but for the telltale metal rails that run along the ceiling. They are a reminder…

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