• Rapid, affordable energy transformation in U.S. possible

    The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within fifteen years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study. The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation, and transmission scenarios. It found that with improvements in transmission infrastructure, weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation’s electricity at costs similar to today’s.

  • Record warm years almost certainly the result of human-made climate change

    Recent record warm years are with extremely high likelihood caused by human-made climate change. Without greenhouse-gas emissions from burning coal and oil, the odds are vanishingly small that 13 out of the 15 warmest years ever measured would all have happened in the current, still young century. These odds are between 1 in 5,000 and 1 in 170,000, a new study by an international team of scientists now shows. Including the data for 2015, which came in after the study was completed, makes the odds even slimmer.

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  • De-icing concrete to improve roadway safety

    Researchers have developed a concrete which de-ices itself by adding a pinch of steel shavings and a dash of carbon particles to a traditional concrete recipe. Though the newest ingredients constitute just 20 percent of the otherwise standard concrete mixture, they conduct enough electricity to melt ice and snow in the worst winter storms while remaining safe to the touch.

  • Global water supply under increasing pressure

    A new study projects that global demand for water could more than double by 2050, increasing pressure on already scarce water resources. “Our current water use habits increase the risk of being unable to maintain sustainable food production and economic development for the future generation,” says one researcher. Water efficiency and water saving measures could stabilize demand.

  • Breakthrough in continuous monitoring of CO2 leaks from carbon storage sites

    Underground storage of CO2 produced from fossil fuel burning, rather than releasing it into the atmosphere, could play an important role in suppressing climate change. Ensuring that the CO2 does not leak from the storage site is key – but the high number of surveys necessary to make sure there is no CO2 leak  makes this a costly endeavor. A team of Japanese researchers may have found a means of achieving easier and lower-cost monitoring for leaks of CO2 stored in underground reservoirs.

  • Northeast braces for “snowpocalypse”

    Around seventy-five million Americans are preparing for potentially life-threatening blizzard conditions as the season’s first major Atlantic Coast storm is about to sweep across the East Coast. Forecasters say the storm taking aim at Washington could rank among the biggest snowfalls on record, eclipsing the “Snowmageddon” storm of 2010 that dropped 45.2 cm. At least five states have declared emergencies as the potentially historic blizzard, which is expected to begin today (Friday), will likely dump up to 75 cm of snow in some regions.

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  • U Wyoming could become cybersecurity hub

    Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has requested state funding to develop a program at the University of Wyoming to become a center of excellence in cyber defense. According to the Wyoming Cybersecurity Education Initiative, proposed curriculum in the College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Department of Computer Science would educate students to defend against such attacks and “provide meaningful and sustainable impact to Wyoming’s technology sector through cybersecurity and information assurance higher-education programs.”

  • Warmer oceans could produce more powerful, destructive superstorms

    Hurricane Sandy became the second costliest hurricane to hit the United States when it blew ashore in October 2012, killing 159 people and inflicting $71 billion in damage. Informally known as a “superstorm” after it made landfall, Sandy was so destructive largely because of its unusual size and track. After moving north from the tropical waters where it spawned, Sandy turned out to sea before hooking back west, growing in size and crashing head-on into the East Coast, gaining strength when it merged with an eastbound mid-latitude storm. A new study led by the University of Maryland’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) suggests that a warmer Atlantic Ocean could substantially boost the destructive power of a future superstorm like Sandy.

  • Global ocean warming has doubled in recent decades

    Changes in ocean heat storage are important because the ocean absorbs more than 90 percent of the Earth’s excess heat increase associated with global warming. Lawrence Livermore (LLNL) scientists, working with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and university colleagues, have found that half of the global ocean heat content increase since 1865 has occurred over the past two decades. The observed ocean and atmosphere warming is a result of continuing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Dead ETs: Aliens are silent because they are all extinct

    Life on other planets would likely be brief and become extinct very quickly, say astrobiologists. In research aiming to understand how life might develop, the scientists realized new life would commonly die out due to runaway heating or cooling on their fledgling planets.

  • FBI investigates Kent State professor for ISIS connection

    Julio Pino, an associate history professor at Kent State University, is currently under FBI and DHS investigation, which includes interviews with faculty members and students. Informed sources say that Pino has allegedly tried to recruit students to join ISIS.

  • As climate warms, Colorado high peaks lose glaciers

    Melting of ice on Niwot Ridge and the adjacent Green Lakes Valley in the high mountains west of Boulder, Colorado, is likely to progress as climate continues to warm, scientists have found. Their study reveals declines in ice — glaciers, permafrost, subsurface ice, lake ice — in the Niwot Ridge area over the past thirty years. For glaciers like Arikaree, the time left may be counted in years, not centuries nor millennia, says one expert.

  • Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures the warmest since record keeping began in 1880

    Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The 2015 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York (GISTEMP). Most of the warming occurred in the past thirty years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. “Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASA’s vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden.

  • Immigrants play growing role in U.S. science and engineering (S&E) workforce

    Immigration is a significant factor in decade-long growth in total science and engineering (S&E) workforce. From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the United States rose from 21.6 million to 29 million. This 10-year increase included significant growth in the number of immigrant scientists and engineers, from 3.4 million to 5.2 million. Immigrants went from making up 16 percent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 percent.

  • U.S. science and technology leadership challenged by advances in Asia

    According to the latest federal data, the U.S. science and engineering (S&E) enterprise still leads the world. The United States invests the most in research and development (R&D), produces the most advanced degrees in science and engineering and high-impact scientific publications, and remains the largest provider of information, financial, and business services. However, Southeast, South, and East Asia continue to rapidly ascend in many aspects of S&E. The region now accounts for 40 percent of global R&D, with China as the stand-out as it continues to strengthen its global S&E capacity. At the same time that China and South Korea have continued to increase their R&D investments, the United States’ longstanding commitment to federal government-funded R&D is wavering.