As snow goes, where go the animals?

As snow goes, where go the animals?
Animals like the wolverine evolved to live in the snow, and they excel in conditions that defeat most animals. How will they fare if (when?) snow continues to decline in their homes? And whassup with the balmy but hidden ecosystem under the snow? More »

Weather: [More data + more computers = better forecasts]

Weather: [More data + more computers = better forecasts]

Weather forecasts improve, but who’s ever satisfied? Check some around-the-corner technologies that will paint a better picture of tomorrow — especially in hot, stormy summer days. What is the promise of GPS, better radar and “hyperspectral” instruments? More »

Exploring a volcano

Exploring a volcano

Watch volcanologists track a giant volcanic field in Chile — site of the fastest uplift on Earth. Laguna del Maule could change our climate. Scientists are racing to understand a strange unrest. What is the threat from this bizarre landscape? More »

Wave power

Wave power

The first ocean wave energy-capturing device with a permit to connect back to a public power grid will enter the Pacific next month. How much power could the U.S. potentially harness from the waves crashing into its the coastline? According to researchers, wave energy might be one of our best renewable resources. 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 »

Reading magma, predicting giant eruptions

Reading magma, predicting giant eruptions

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, but here’s a new view of the historic eruption of a Mediterranean monster. About 3,500 years ago, Santorini’s eruption left a giant caldera and 60-meter layers of pumice. A new study of tiny crystals tracks movement of molten magma before the cataclysm. More »

Watching a continental split

detail of labelled, satellite view of Baja California and Sea of Cortez

Seismic study shows crust thinning as continent divides, giving another view of our restless planet, showing tectonic movement in action, and highlighting a major real-estate investment opportunity. 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 »

Ancient hole, black hole

Ancient hole, black hole

A new report on the ancient universe shows that most galaxies – even all of them – had a black hole at the center, much like modern galaxies. We can understand why a black hole would need to be surrounded by millions of stars, but why should galaxies require black holes? More »

Tsunami: The killer wave

Tsunami: The killer wave

Could an offshore earthquake start a deadly tsunami, as in Sumatra and Japan? Where do tsunamis get their power? How do warning systems work? More »

I robot. Aye science!

I robot. Aye science!

Ocean technology on the move: 1: a robot sub smart enough to find stuff in the deep ocean 2: a metal fish glides for weeks under the ice 3: an electric sinker-bobber that never needs recharging 4: a research jet that flies miles above airliners. 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 »

When earthquakes break…

When earthquakes break...

How do rocks move? What governs how long and violent an earthquake will be? Should we worry about a powder between the grinding rocks? Why do a few earthquakes grow into monsters? More »

Shock and aftershock in Haiti

Shock and aftershock in Haiti
Aftershocks and triggered earthquakes both follow a large earthquake, and they don’t happen at random. Can lessons about the sequence and timing of quakes improve safety? More »