Future Earth 2121

For Earth Day 2021, Inverse is looking ahead, way ahead. Future Earth is a week-long special issue filled with original reporting on how our planet will change over the next 100 years. We report how the apocalypse scenarios from the movies we watch could come true. We offer guides for board games that signal our future doesn’t have to be left to chance. We argue that pop culture convinces us better than any politician that the planet’s creatures are worth it. Future Earth declares again that the future is up to us.

Katie Carey

Other Earths

Future Earth 2121

The future of Earth is 5 other planets

And one bonus prize.

Getty Images

Leaders of Tomorrow

Future Earth 2021

What will Earth look like in 2121? 10 young leaders give their predictions

What do you hope Earth looks like in 2121?

Chris Barker
2050 stories
Culture

Biodiversity loss is making humanity sicker

By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in towns and cities.

Science

Inverse Daily: Carbon-neutral by 2050

In the wake of the news that the 2010s was the hottest-ever decade on record, many are asking what an be done to stop the trend? ‌‌ ‌‌ ‌‌ ‌‌ ‌‌ ‌‌ ‌‌

Science

The Netherlands is sinking and an iconic Dutch symbol is to blame

“In 100 years, sea level rise as a result of climate change is a bigger problem for the Netherlands."

Science

Climate scientist: Our profession is letting down humanity

Forty years of these efforts have not had any impact on the carbon course of humanity.

Science

9 things we love that are being destroyed by climate change

Time to step it up a notch as we enter a new decade.

Science

Climate change: 6 positive stories from around the world in 2019

Climate researchers have not given up hope for our planet.

Innovation

Solar panels will continue to decline in price in the 2020s

The sun is set to shine on solar energy.

Culture

The dark side of plant-based food

Food trends are far more political — and economically motivated — than it seems.

Innovation

Don't discount carbon capture just yet, study says. It could go underwater.

Environmentalists have been reluctant in the past, but scientists say it could really work.

Science

I quit flying for a year. Here's what I learned during my year off.

Air travel only accounts for about three percent of warming, so why all the fuss?

Science

The 5 corrupt pillars of climate change denial

Why are we allowing the people with the most privilege and power to delay us from saving the planet?

Science

To feed the world in 2050 we need to build the plants that evolution didn’t

With the tools we have now, we can’t create new breeds and cultivars fast enough to cope with the rapidly changing conditions.

Innovation

Using A/C outside is terrible for the climate

Qatar is doing it.

Innovation

SpaceX Mars city: Here’s how much Elon Musk's dream would cost

Elon Musk has placed a figure on the scheme that's out-of-this-world.

Science

UN Climate Summit: 5 Major Narratives to Know About

Here are five major stories heading into the UN's week-long climate summit.

Science

We Have One Last Chance to Save the Great Barrier Reef

The outlook for the Great Barrier Reef has been downgraded from “poor” to “very poor.”

Nature stories
Good Living

Gut study reveals why pandas get huge despite their terrible diet

Trust the gut.

Science

How human behavior is endangering England's hidden “rainforests”

Many chalk aquifers are sadly polluted.

Good Eats

Which diet is the healthiest? One eating hack can boost more than your body

It's a no-brainer.

Racism in Nature

Scientists confirm 6 links between race and air pollution

A positive trend in decreasing air pollution masks glaring racial disparities.

Human History

Fossils that "clearly foreshadow" modern humans are 30,000 years older than we thought

Scientists update the age of the Omo I fossils in eastern Africa, pushing the timeline of human history in the region back by some 30,000 years.

Sex Ed

Dolphin study could help us understand the evolution of female pleasure

Scientists suggest the dolphin clitoris plays an important role in sexual pleasure, helping us understand the evolution of this behavior.

Cat Corner

Does my cat think I’m just a bigger cat? It’s complicated

What is Tiddles thinking?

SOS

11 vital climate lessons from 2021 to help you through 2022

This year will be pivotal.

Light as a feather

Revealed: A beautiful connection between birds’ appearances and their behavior

Skunky

Why does cannabis smell? The answer might not be what you think

As always, science has a surprising answer.

Ancient Life

Scientists discover an ancient oceanic reptile that evolved exceedingly fast

Scientists now know how this big boy joined the ranks of ocean giants.

You Need to Calm Down

Elephant study could reduce conflict with humans

This one factor keeps young male elephants cool and calm in the face of humans.

Ocean Breeze

Sea spray could be dousing you in toxic "forever chemicals" — study

Scientists reveal chemicals known as PFAAs, are being transported across long distances on sea spray, thereby entering the atmosphere and impacting human health.

Origin of Life

How did life arise? New study offers fundamental evidence for a disputed theory

Meet LUCA, the ancestor you never knew you had.

Ribbit

Scientists see a strange — and worrying — climate change effect in frogs

It's not a good sign.

City Living

Is planting trees good for cities? Why this question misses an essential truth

This is a two-way street.