This month we are turning our magnifying glasses on atmospheres. With global warming upon us, the time is now for a closer look. Can what we do in our cultural and personal atmospheres change what happens in Earth’s atmosphere?
Is Net Zero Emissions an Impossible Goal?
What it would take to suck more carbon dioxide out of the air than we put in.
If Only 19th-Century America Had Listened to a Woman Scientist
Where might the US be if it heeded her discovery of global warming’s source?
Hologram Within a Hologram Hints at Fate of Black Holes
Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog. Like cosmic hard drives, black holes pack troves of data into compact spaces. But ever since Stephen Hawking calculated in 1974 that these dense spheres of extreme gravity give off heat and fade away, the fate of their stored information has haunted physicists. The problem is this: The laws […]
How to Predict Extreme Weather
Climate science is forging a more perfect union between humans and machines.
Are Neural Networks About to Reinvent Physics?
The revolution of machine learning has been greatly exaggerated.
Where to See the Real Living Dead
Everyone knows forests are alive, but Suzanne Simard, who studies complex, symbiotic networks, helps us see that life anew. Even dying, for a tree, is not what it seems.Photograph by Tomasz Wrzesien / Shutterstock Talk of “Mother Trees,” from a scientist studying plant life, can sound fanciful, like something out of a fairy tale. Suzanne […]
Doc Holliday Is Dead But Tuberculosis Is Still Killing Us
In 2002, David M. Morens, now Senior Scientific Advisor at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, wrote an essay called “At the Deathbed of Consumptive Art.” It featured a photograph he took of Robert Louis Stevenson’s resting place atop Mount Vaea on Upolu, an island in Western Samoa. In 1894, at 44, Stevenson, […]
How to Give Mars an Atmosphere, Maybe
The plan for an artificial Martian magnetosphere may sound “fanciful,” but researchers say that emerging research is starting to show that a miniature magnetosphere can be used to protect humans and spacecraft.NASA Earth is most fortunate to have vast webs of magnetic fields surrounding it. Without them, much of our atmosphere would have been gradually […]
As Winters Shrink, Our Discontent Grows
Our sense of order is disappearing with the snow packs.