Hurricanes

Hurricanes

Synopsis: Hurricanes, the most powerful and dangerous storms of all, get their energy from the difference in temperature between a warm ocean and a cooler atmosphere. A century ago, hurricanes blew in with almost no warning; now they are tracked… More »

Horrific Hurricanes

Horrific Hurricanes

How do hurricanes form? How do we predict their paths? How can we improve predictions? More »

Energy report: Plentiful supplies, warning signs

Energy report: Plentiful supplies, warning signs

Conservation and fracking will help United States reach energy independence by 2030. How will cheap natural gas affect renewable energy? How will a one-third increase in fossil fuel use affect greenhouse warming? Are we about to be locked into a 3.6ºC of global warming? More »

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Melting methane: New thermometer for ancient ocean?

Vast deposits of a strong greenhouse gas are frozen under the ocean. As the ocean warms, this methane is releasing. How much more methane is on the way, and how will it affect climate? More »

Greenhouse gas maps

Greenhouse gas maps

Using at least 20 sources of data, scientists have modeled releases of carbon dioxide from Indianapolis. The new view will help cities map reductions in greenhouse warming, and help people understand that the climate warming problem belongs to everybody. More »

Himalayan glaciers

Himalayan glaciers

A long debate about these giant ice streams has gyrated wildly. Now, satellite data show a moderate loss of mass for a recent six-year period. For inaccessible glaciers, satellites may be the best thing since the ice axe! More »

Mourning the dying weather satellites

Mourning the dying weather satellites

We love accurate weather forecasts, but the weather satellites they rely on are nearing the boneyard. Some replacements have crashed into the ocean, others are in financial limbo. Be very worried about our fragile planet: these satellites also track climate, ice, fire, and the health of forests and ocean! More »

Weather, climate, war

Solemn, young Congolese boy in oversized raincoat, raindrops falling, green grass behind him

Does climate affect war? A study shows increases in conflict during el Niño periods — but only during the warm, dry part of the cycle. More »

Tundra fire: Bad news on warming

line of fires seen as thick barrier of smoke along tundra landscape

The globe warms, and the Arctic starts to burn. If warming causes fires that release carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, will this accelerate further warming? A new study measures carbon releases from the largest tundra fire in North America. More »

Nothing light about lightning

Nothing light about lightning

New instruments are giving a better view of how those astonishingly strong lightning bolts form inside clouds – and we are also getting a better picture of the many ways that lightning can harm us. More »

Tornado prediction

rubble of buildings and damaged car on side of road, sky still cloudy

Three essential elements drive a tornado: Wet air, dry air, and wind shear. What explains the big improvement in tornado prediction? More »

A climate of extremes?

A climate of extremes?

Are extreme heat, wicked cyclones and record rainfalls signs of climate change, or just more changes in the weather? Will warming eliminate record cold days? Will hurricanes get bigger? More »

Planetary limits: More than just global warming

Planetary limits: More than just global warming
Scientists propose 9 limits on human actions: Wrecking ozone, over-using fertilizer, killing species could block key “ecosystem services.” Are there natural limits to fresh water use and pollution? More »

No joke: Laughing gas attacks ozone!

No joke: Laughing gas attacks ozone!
The ozone layer protects Earth from UV rays: Twenty-two years after a treaty to protect ozone, how is the layer doing? What has happened to the ozone hole above Antarctica? More »