Category: Geology

Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution.

Energy poverty is a real problem. Coal is a bogus solution.

Some 1.2 billion people around the world lack access to electricity. 2.8 billion burn charcoal, wood, or other biomass to cook and heat their homes. Lack of access to clean, reliable energy services, or “energy poverty,”...

NASA has found 16,000 asteroids near Earth. Don’t panic.

NASA has found 16,000 asteroids near Earth. Don’t panic.

There are millions of such rocks, called asteroids, in the solar system. An estimated 1 million to 2 million large asteroids exist in the space between Mars and Jupiter.  Sometimes these asteroids collide with...

Solar power is already saving lives in the US. Here’s how.

Solar power is already saving lives in the US. Here’s how.

Solar power is still a fairly tiny portion of US electricity, but it is growing incredibly fast. This is exciting to people for all sorts of reasons — economic development, jobs, local/democratic/decentralized power, and...

The story of human evolution in Africa is undergoing a major rewrite

The story of human evolution in Africa is undergoing a major rewrite

There’s a story that we’ve been telling about the origin of our species. It goes something like this: Around 200,000 years ago, in East Africa — near modern-day Ethiopia — the first Homo sapiens diverged from...

China just built a solar power array that looks like a panda

China just built a solar power array that looks like a panda

A Chinese solar power company has just completed the first phase of an ingenious PR stunt: building a 100MW solar power plant in the shape of a panda bear. According to a release from...

If you die via asteroid, this is how it will happen

If you die via asteroid, this is how it will happen

Asteroids that pose an existential threat to life on Earth only strike once every 500,000 years or more. Even the 140-meter-wide asteroids that could destroy cities and regions rain down death once every 10,000...

A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising.

A new book ranks the top 100 solutions to climate change. The results are surprising.

For all the hand-wringing on climate change over the years, discussion of solutions remains puzzlingly anemic and fractured. A few high-profile approaches, mainly around renewable energy and electric cars, dominate discussion and modeling. But...

Tiny plastic pellets found on 73% of UK beaches

Tiny plastic pellets found on 73% of UK beaches

A search of hundreds of beaches across the UK has found almost three-quarters of them are littered with tiny plastic pellets.  But searches of 279 shorelines from Shetland to Scilly revealed that 205 (73%)...

Ebola Returns, and Central Africa’s Virus Hunters Are Ready

Ebola Returns, and Central Africa’s Virus Hunters Are Ready

A catastrophic Ebola epidemic killed more than 11,300 people in West Africa between 2013 and 2016; so far this new outbreak looks small and containable. It’s also a chance for the world’s disease response...

An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken off from Antarctica

An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken off from Antarctica

Scientists have been expecting this event for months, and say it wasn’t caused by climate change. Sea levels won’t rise from this new iceberg because the ice was already in the ocean. But it’s...