The end of the year often prompts moments of reflection. Here is a unique view of our world in 2012, courtesy of the U.S. space agency, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It is our planet on cloudless nights, with electric light, wildfires, and natural and political borders visible, as seen from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership mission satellite.
Natural ecosystems in the United States are under greater stress from climate change than at any previous time in human history, according to a new assessment by academic institutions public and private agencies. The report says these stressed ecosystems are also stressing wild plant and animal species and threatening the nation’s biodiversity.