How Ants Inspired a New Way to Measure Snow With Space Lasers

How Ants Inspired a New Way to Measure Snow With Space Lasers

“We can measure that distance of each individual photon traveling inside the snow,” says Hu, a researcher at NASA’s Langley Research Center.Just as an ant wanders around its underground colony, a photon shot from a space laser takes a random route through the snow.

What the World’s Largest Organism Reveals About Fires and Forests

What the World’s Largest Organism Reveals About Fires and Forests

“If there were no trees dying, I wouldn’t have a job,” says forest pathologist Mike McWilliams, who calls himself the unofficial tour guide of the massive fungus.McWilliams continues driving, following dirt roads deeper into the forest, where the trees become smaller and closer together.

Farming Drives Toward ‘Precision Agriculture’ Technologies

Farming Drives Toward ‘Precision Agriculture’ Technologies

Agribusiness as a whole is betting that the world has reached the tipping point where desperate need caused by a growing population, the economic realities of conventional farming, and advancing technology converge to require something called precision agriculture, which aims to minimize inputs and the costs and environmental problems that go with them.

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

Using off-the-shelf accelerometers, researchers have been quantifying how trees sway differently over time: when they’re warmer or colder, hydrated or dehydrated, weighed down by snow or unburdened.But with accelerometers, scientists have a new way of measuring how much rain or snow a particular tree in a forest ends up intercepting.

To Resurrect Jordan’s Lost Forests, People Plant Tiny Urban Ones

To Resurrect Jordan’s Lost Forests, People Plant Tiny Urban Ones

The plot is one of a handful of small sites in Jordan’s capital where Assaf and Japanese environmentalist Nochi Motoharu have introduced a planting technique called the Miyawaki method—the first time it’s been used in the Middle East—in hopes of preserving native plants, mitigating the impacts of rampant urbanization, and changing the very way people view the urban landscape.

How to Take Care of Your Electric Vehicle Battery

How to Take Care of Your Electric Vehicle Battery

The Tesla Model 3 (which Hu himself drives) uses nickel-free LFP, which is typically cheaper and safer, with a long battery life: “Hundreds of thousands of miles,” he says.

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

A Bold Idea to Stall the Climate Crisis—by Building Better Trees

Of all the potential fixes for the climate crisis, none has captured hearts and minds quite like tree planting.If newly planted forests aren’t properly cared for and monitored, the trees can die and any carbon they stored will be released back into the atmosphere.

The Amazon Rainforest May Be Nearing a Point of No Return

The Amazon Rainforest May Be Nearing a Point of No Return

For a forest, one way to track resiliency is through a satellite measurement called vegetation optical depth, or VOD, which penetrates through the canopy and detects how much woody biomass there is.

In Alaska, Beavers Are Engineering a New Tundra

In Alaska, Beavers Are Engineering a New Tundra

“Nearby that one is another one, about five miles out is another one, and that’s just one little area.” Harris (Inupiaq) was born in 1957 and spent his childhood across Kotzebue Sound in Sisualik.

Tropical seafloor secrets revealed

Tropical seafloor secrets revealed

NIWA scientists and Toitū Te Whenua Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) have used satellite technology to chart the Cook Islands’ seafloor in never-before-seen detail.The work was done as part of Seabed 2030 - a collaborative project to produce a definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030.

For Insect Farming to Work, Scientists Need to Build a Better Bug

For Insect Farming to Work, Scientists Need to Build a Better Bug

Antoine Hubert, CEO of the French insect-farming startup Ÿnsect, says that the ground mealworms he sells to pet food firms makes up more than 50 percent of his company’s revenue.

Should You Provide Birds Water in Winter?

Should You Provide Birds Water in Winter?

© Sjensen~ / Flickr Throughout the summer months, we supply birds with water, which they use for drinking, bathing, or simply cooling off.Going back to heated birdbaths, if managed properly, we can use these to allow birds to drink from it, and not bathe.

What It's Like to Give Up Air Travel to Curb Climate Change

What It's Like to Give Up Air Travel to Curb Climate Change

Katherine Leswing was sitting in an airport in France with her five-month-old son, waiting to catch a flight home, when she first started to think about giving up flying because of climate change.Instead of traveling the globe, Milner-Brown focuses on exploring her home of Scotland and taking train trips through Europe.

Is There Really Such a Thing as Low-Carbon Beef?

Is There Really Such a Thing as Low-Carbon Beef?

To achieve its certification, Low Carbon Beef requires the meat to come in at least 10 percent below 26.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents per kilogram of carcass weight—a way of expressing greenhouse gas emissions that takes into account the different warming impacts of gases such as methane.

Gravity Could Solve Clean Energy’s One Major Drawback

Gravity Could Solve Clean Energy’s One Major Drawback

As each block descends, the motors that lift the blocks start spinning in reverse, generating electricity that courses through the thick cables running down the side of the crane and onto the power grid.

How an Aquarium Collects Curious Creatures From the Deep

How an Aquarium Collects Curious Creatures From the Deep

Here’s the collection of another comb jelly, with notable tentacles and brilliant flashes of color, likely belonging to a new genus (the classification above species) that hasn’t been formally described by researchers.

Humans Have Broken a Fundamental Law of the Ocean

Humans Have Broken a Fundamental Law of the Ocean

To find out, Sheldon and his colleagues hauled buckets of seawater up to the Hudson’s laboratory and used a plankton-counting machine to total up the size and number of creatures they found.

This Dam Simple Trick Is a Big Green Energy Win

This Dam Simple Trick Is a Big Green Energy Win

There is even more potential out there: A 2016 US Department of Energy report found that an additional 4.8 gigawatts of electricity could be generated by retrofitting non-powered dams over the next three decades.

How To See More Wildlife

How To See More Wildlife

More people are spending time in nature, and many would like to see cool wild animals.Learning the habitat needs of animals, at different times of year, is an essential but overlooked wildlife watching skill.

Why Are You Seeing Lots of Vultures Now?

Why Are You Seeing Lots of Vultures Now?

What I noticed were turkey vultures – one of three vulture species in the U.S. and one of only seven in the western hemisphere – making their way from breeding grounds near the Canadian border to their wintering area as far south as Central or South America.

Actions You Can Take to Tackle Climate Change

Actions You Can Take to Tackle Climate Change

In our world of omnipresent crises and the continuing barrage of dire news about climate change, it often feels easier to just go about our days, hoping and praying that some smart scientist somewhere will figure out a way to deal with it in time.

In New Zealand, People (and Moths) Rediscover Dark Skies

In New Zealand, People (and Moths) Rediscover Dark Skies

The man had made his way from Texas to the Mackenzie region of New Zealand’s South Island for the landscapes, to see vivid swathes of violet lupins set against blue glacial lakes and snowy peaks rising beyond golden tussocked hills.

An Outdated Grid Has Created a Solar Power Economic Divide

An Outdated Grid Has Created a Solar Power Economic Divide

Even if rooftop solar panels were free to everyone, the authors say, homeowners in these areas wouldn’t be able to use power from solar panels to run appliances or charge an electric vehicle without buying a special battery.

We Are The Caretakers Puts Afrofuturism Front and Center

We Are The Caretakers Puts Afrofuturism Front and Center

Scott Brodie, founder of Heart Shaped Games and lead developer on the game, told WIRED, “I look at Afrofuturism as a way to center stories around Black people and the broader diaspora and not being so Western-centric.

Amazon’s Astro Is a Robot Without a Cause

Amazon’s Astro Is a Robot Without a Cause

Even more akin to a robot vacuum cleaner are the array of sensors in the bot: Astro is packed with “ultrasonic sensors, time-of-flight cameras, and other imaging tools that let the robot know what’s around it and where it’s going,” according to The Verge.

The ‘Forever Virus’ Won't Go Away Until Kids Get Vaccinated

The ‘Forever Virus’ Won't Go Away Until Kids Get Vaccinated

Vaccinations were supposed to end our nightmare and we’d enjoy a 2021 “summer of freedom.” But when the season ended with some of the highest case and deaths numbers to date, I knew it was time to talk to Larry Brilliant again.

Worn Down by Covid Anxiety? Keep a Handheld Game With You

Worn Down by Covid Anxiety? Keep a Handheld Game With You

Right now it’s hard to find time to even sit down and watch Netflix for 20 minutes, so having a handheld device provides an opportunity for disconnection in an ever-connected world.It’s hard to find time to recharge because nothing is restful.

Moose in the Morning: 20 Years of Silver Creek

Moose in the Morning: 20 Years of Silver Creek

It’s a mid-August morning, and I’m at The Nature Conservancy’s Silver Creek Preserve in southcentral Idaho, one of my favorite places.It’s trout and moose and mayflies and running water.

AI Can Write Code Like Humans—Bugs and All

AI Can Write Code Like Humans—Bugs and All

Alex Naka, a data scientist at a biotech firm who signed up to test Copilot, says the program can be very helpful, and it has changed the way he works.Despite such flaws, Copilot and similar AI-powered tools may herald a sea change in the way software developers write code.

How My Job Search Forced Me to Catch Up With Technology

How My Job Search Forced Me to Catch Up With Technology

But when you're considering a job at a company, go to your LinkedIn profile to see if you have connections employed at that business.Set up a job alert for the company on your LinkedIn profile.