Some (Kinda) Good Climate News: 2 Degrees Is Doable

Some (Kinda) Good Climate News: 2 Degrees Is Doable

That shift is clear in a darn near uplifting paper that publishes today in the journal Nature: Modeling by an international team of scientists shows that if nations uphold their recent climate pledges, including those made at COP26, humanity may keep warming under 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the goal outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Four tales of love in the wild, from peacock spiders to pufferfish.

Four tales of love in the wild, from peacock spiders to pufferfish.

© Martijn Klijnstra / Wikimedia Commons Somewhere in the ocean off the coast of Japan, lives a little pufferfish no longer than 120 centimeters producing fantastical geometric circular designs to attract a mate.Unfortunately for males, female peacock spiders only mate once in their lives.

A New Database Reveals How Much Humans Are Messing With Evolution

A New Database Reveals How Much Humans Are Messing With Evolution

In an initial paper published in November 2021 using the new data set (which is called Proceed, for Phenotypic Rates of Change Evolutionary and Ecological Database), Hendry and colleagues reexamined five key questions raised by previous work.

Kids Suffer Climate Anxiety, Too. Adults Can Help

Kids Suffer Climate Anxiety, Too. Adults Can Help

I work with a lot of young people and children in my practice and started to notice them really coming in and talking about this existential fear and worry about climate change.

Old Climate Clues Shed New Light on History

Old Climate Clues Shed New Light on History

Relying on new geochemical techniques for analyzing ice core sediment to determine the dates of ancient volcanic activity down to the year or even season, the paper, published in Nature in 2015, showed that major eruptions worldwide caused precipitous, up-to-a-decade-long⁠ drops in global temperatures.

The US Mountain West Could Soon Face Snowless Winters

The US Mountain West Could Soon Face Snowless Winters

And while extreme events will continue to happen with greater frequency, what will also start to become common are “episodic low- to no-snow” events, when at least half of a mountain basin experiences low snow or none for five consecutive years.

A Flawed, Strange Covid-19 Origin Theory Is Gaining Traction

A Flawed, Strange Covid-19 Origin Theory Is Gaining Traction

That means not only that the virus was in the lab, but that it was amplified to make more of it so it could be used as a control to develop the test, says Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona.

An Experimental Birth Control Attacks Sperm Like a Virus

An Experimental Birth Control Attacks Sperm Like a Virus

Other studies have investigated whether these antibodies could be used to fight off HIV or the virus that causes herpes, and whether they are safe to apply as a topical contraceptive or as an insert like a vaginal ring.“The timing is right,” says Anderson, a coauthor on the EBioMedicine paper, which showed that manufactured antibodies were effective at binding to sperm.

The End of Trash Fish

The End of Trash Fish

My friend, a visiting fish biologist, was thrilled to catch species new to him, like chiselmouth, largescale sucker and northern pikeminnow.It’s time to put the term “trash fish” in the trash, where it belongs, and give these fish the respect (and management) they deserve.

Wait. Northern Paper Wasps Recognize Each Other’s Faces?

Wait. Northern Paper Wasps Recognize Each Other’s Faces?

But they also serve not only an important ecological role, but are providing researchers with a fascinating ability to watch and track evolution in almost real time, says Sara Miller, a post-doctoral fellow in the Sheehan Lab at Cornell University, who published a 2020 study on northern paper wasp facial recognition.

A ‘Last Hope’ Experiment Finds Evidence for Unknown Particles

A ‘Last Hope’ Experiment Finds Evidence for Unknown Particles

In the paper, a team of theorists known as BMW present a state-of-the-art supercomputer calculation of the most uncertain term that goes into the standard model prediction of the muon’s magnetic moment.

Why Covering Canals With Solar Panels Is a Power Move

Why Covering Canals With Solar Panels Is a Power Move

“By covering canals with solar panels, we can reduce evaporation and avoid disturbing natural and working lands, while providing renewable energy and other co-benefits,” says environmental engineer Brandi McKuin of the University of California, Merced, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, lead author on the paper.

Soothe Yourself With a Picture Book About the Internet Dying

Soothe Yourself With a Picture Book About the Internet Dying

Chris Colin, a writer who runs a pandemic-themed children’s newspaper out of the Bay Area, answers that question in his new book OFF: The Day the Internet Died (A Bedtime Fantasy).Illustrated by Rinee Shah and written in the style of Genesis (as in the Book of, not the band), OFF invites readers to imagine weeks, decades, centuries without the internet.What first got you thinking about writing this book?

The Departure of 2 Google AI Researchers Spurs More Fallout

The Departure of 2 Google AI Researchers Spurs More Fallout

“Google has shown an astounding lack of leadership and commitment to open science, ethics, and diversity in their treatment of the Ethical AI team, specifically Drs. Gebru and Mitchell,” he wrote in his own email to the workshop’s organizers, asking them to pass his decision and comments up to Google’s leadership.

Sleuths Read Old Booby-Trapped Letters Without Opening Them

Sleuths Read Old Booby-Trapped Letters Without Opening Them

Writing today in the journal Nature Communications, researchers describe how they used an advanced 3D imaging technique—originally designed to map the mineral content of teeth—to scan four old letters from the Brienne Collection to unfold them virtually, no tearing required.

The AI Research Paper Was Real. The ‘Coauthor’ Wasn't

The AI Research Paper Was Real. The ‘Coauthor’ Wasn't

“The fundamental challenge that we face is that publishing has, for decades, functioned based on trust,” says Suzanne Farley, research integrity director at Springer Nature.

Don’t Tell Einstein, but Black Holes Might Have ‘Hair’

Don’t Tell Einstein, but Black Holes Might Have ‘Hair’

“We would expect that the gravitational signal we would see would be quite different from ordinary black holes that are not extremal,” said Khanna.

Microsoft’s Big Win in Quantum Computing Was an ‘Error’ After All

Microsoft’s Big Win in Quantum Computing Was an ‘Error’ After All

In March 2018, Dutch physicist and Microsoft employee Leo Kouwenhoven published headline-grabbing new evidence that he had observed an elusive particle called a Majorana fermion.

As More Women Enter Science, It’s Time to Redefine Mentorship

As More Women Enter Science, It’s Time to Redefine Mentorship

When a group of researchers at NYU Abu Dhabi published a paper in Nature Communications last fall suggesting that young women scientists should seek out men as mentors, the backlash was swift and vociferous.

Shark numbers decline amid research gaps

Shark numbers decline amid research gaps

New research published in premier science journal Nature last week, with input from NIWA, showed the global population of oceanic sharks and rays has declined by more than 70 per cent in the past 50 years, with ongoing decline likely to lead to the extinction of some species.

Can Freshwater Reserves Protect Tropical Fish Diversity?

Can Freshwater Reserves Protect Tropical Fish Diversity?

A recent article published in the journal Nature shows the potential for freshwater reserves by looking at a network of grassroots protected areas established in the Salween River basin of Thailand.

Why Pandas Are Rubbing Themselves with Horse Manure

Why Pandas Are Rubbing Themselves with Horse Manure

Horse manure has natural compounds that may help pandas feel warm, according to new research in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Giant pandas held in the nature reserve had been seen for years rolling in and rubbing horse manure across their bodies.

Sun-Loving Bacteria May Be Accelerating Glacial Melting

Sun-Loving Bacteria May Be Accelerating Glacial Melting

“What the paper found is that this sediment would not be there without the fact that there's bacteria growing in the sediment and clumping it together so it can't be washed away.” More dark grit, then, could be absorbing more of the sun’s energy, and accelerating the melting of the ice sheet.

Want to Write a Book This Year? These Tools Can Help

Want to Write a Book This Year? These Tools Can Help

You kind of have to work on them, brainstorming different ideas, doing research, and taking notes before you can really get started.Both writers stressed that what tool you use for taking notes doesn’t matter as much as the act of doing it.

A Unique Alliance Could Help Warn Us of Toxic Algae

A Unique Alliance Could Help Warn Us of Toxic Algae

“The public didn’t know what the heck was going on,” says Vera Trainer, an oceanographer at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who studies harmful algal blooms in the Pacific Northwest.Since then, toxic algal blooms that create domoic acid have continued to force the closure of state beaches.

All the Stuff Humans Make Now Outweighs Earth’s Organisms

All the Stuff Humans Make Now Outweighs Earth’s Organisms

“They produce this, I think, very eye-catching and also strong message that these two types of stocks—the biomass stock and anthropogenic mass—they are actually at a crossover point more or less in 2020, plus or minus a couple of years,” says social ecologist Fridolin Krausmann of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, who wasn’t involved in the research but was a peer reviewer for the paper.

Behind the Paper That Led to a Google Researcher’s Firing

Behind the Paper That Led to a Google Researcher’s Firing

Earlier this year, Google artificial intelligence researcher Timnit Gebru sent a Twitter message to University of Washington professor Emily Bender.“This article is a very solid and well-researched piece of work,” says Julien Cornebise, an honorary associate professor at University College London who has seen a draft of the paper.

A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her

A Prominent AI Ethics Researcher Says Google Fired Her

The paper discussed ethical issues raised by recent advances in AI technology that works with language , which Google has said is important to the future of its business .

Six-Word Sci-Fi: Stories Written By You

Six-Word Sci-Fi: Stories Written By You

Submissions and any other materials, including your name or social media handle, may be published, illustrated, edited, or otherwise used in any medium.Illustration: VIOLET REEDYOUR GENES ARE MY GENES NOW.A Story Set in a World Without Paper.

Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math

Want to Fight the Zombie Fire Apocalypse? Weaponize Math

“The magic of cellular automata is that by aggregating very simple rules in a space, it actually is able to capture what is called an ‘emergent behavior,’ which is a behavior that is extremely complex,” says Imperial College London engineer Guillermo Rein, coauthor of a new paper describing the work in the journal Proceedings of the Combustion Institute.