• This Aug. 12, 2012, photo, taken at a research farm at the University of Nevada, Reno, and provided by the university, shows curly cup gumweed, a sticky cousin of the sunflower that is the target of research into efforts to use it to produce biofuels. UNR environmental sciences professor Glenn Miller and a team of scientists are in the second year of a four-year project funded by a $500,000 grant from the USDA. (Whip Villarreal/University of Nevada, Reno via AP)

    Nevada researchers trying to turn roadside weed into biofuel

    RENO, Nev. (AP) — Three decades ago, a University of Nevada researcher who obtained one of the first U.S. Energy Department grants to study the potential to turn plants into biofuels became convinced that a roadside weed — curly top gumweed — was growing along the road to the future.

  • This Nov. 8, 2015 aerial photo shows a small section of the atoll that has slipped beneath the water line only showing a small pile of rocks at low tide on Majuro Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Climate change poses an existential threat to places like the Marshall Islands, which protrude only 6 feet (2 meters) above sea level in most places. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Arkansas a refuge from rising seas in Marshall Islands

    MAJURO ATOLL, Marshall Islands (AP) — Valentino Keimbar hides from the intense heat in the shade of a breadfruit tree, waiting for his basketball game to begin. It was supposed to start a couple of hours ago, maybe three, but time matters little here on the Marshall Islands.

  • In this May 31, 2015 file photo, an Indian man rests in front of an air cooler to cool himself on a hot summer day in Hyderabad, in the southern Indian state of Telangana. Because of man-made global warming and a strong El Nino, Earth’s wild weather this year is bursting the annual heat record, the World Meteorological Organization announced Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File)

    UN weather agency: It’s record hot out there this year

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Because of man-made global warming and a strong El Nino, Earth’s wild weather this year is bursting the annual heat record, the World Meteorological Organization announced on Wednesday.

  • Paula Swedeen, a forest policy specialist for the Washington Environmental Council, poses for a photo as she walks through forest land adjacent to Mount Rainier National Park on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015, near Ashford, Wash. The land is part of a new project of 520 acres on private timberland that allows the private nonprofit Nisqually Land Trust to sell so-called "carbon credits" to individuals and companies - including Microsoft Corp. - who are hoping to offset their carbon footprints. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    Washington project ensures forest stores carbon for decades

    SEATTLE (AP) — Half a small forest still standing near Mount Rainier faced clear-cutting before an effort in Washington state saved the decades-old trees and allowed Microsoft to help finance the project to offset its carbon footprint.

  • A laborer walks past piping at a desalination test facility on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. Authorities took journalists on a tour of the facility to show ways the United Arab Emirates, which relies heavily on desalinated seawater for its drinking water, is trying to make the process more environmentally friendly. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

    Parched Emirates relies on sea as groundwater runs out

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — As skyscrapers and gleaming towers rose with lightning speed across the United Arab Emirates over the past two decades, the Gulf nation’s thirst for water grew at an enormous rate — so much so that today, it threatens to dry up all of the country’s groundwater in as little as 15 years, experts say.

  • In this Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, photo, waves distort the reflection in an indoor wave pool and wind tunnel at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. The university's new wind-wave basin is capable of simulating some of the worst conditions at sea at a 1:50 scale.  (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

    UMaine debuting ocean simulator to test sea-bound technology

    ORONO, Maine (AP) — Builders of everything from cruise ships and ports to oil rigs offshore wind turbines are tasked with the same question — will their work will be strong enough to stand up to the sea?

  • In this July 31, 2015 file photo, two rattlesnakes hide in a crack in a rock at an undisclosed location in western Rutland County, Vt. Jeffrey Lorch, a microbiologist with the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisc., said in a paper published Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, that he has identified the fungus that has been infecting some snake species in the eastern United States. Vermont's small population of rattlesnakes is being threatened by the fungus that was first observed by scientists a few years earlier. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

    Scientists: Fungus causes snake ailment, but reason elusive

    MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A fungus has been identified as the cause of a mysterious ailment that has been infecting some snake species in the eastern United States, threatening some isolated snake populations such as the timber rattlesnakes found in western Vermont.