Environment

Curious Kids: what would happen if the Earth’s core went cold?

Curious Kids: what would happen if the Earth’s core went cold?

The Earth’s core is cooling down very slowly over time. One day, when the core has completely cooled and become solid, it will have a huge impact on the whole planet. Scientists think that when that happens, Earth might be a bit like Mars, with a very thin atmosphere and no more volcanoes or earthquakes. Then it would be very difficult for life to survive – but that won’t be a problem for several billions of years

No Safety Driver Here—Volvo’s Driverless Truck Cuts the Cab

No Safety Driver Here—Volvo’s Driverless Truck Cuts the Cab

Each time there’s a headline about driverless trucking technology, another piece is taken out of the old equation. First, an Uber/Otto truck’s safety driver went hands-off once the truck reached the highway (and said truck successfully delivered its valuable cargo of 50,000 beers). Then, Starsky Robotics announced its trucks would start making autonomous deliveries without a human in the vehicle at all.

What planet Earth might look like when the next supercontinent forms – four scenarios

What planet Earth might look like when the next supercontinent forms – four scenarios

The outer layer of the Earth, the solid crust we walk on, is made up of broken pieces, much like the shell of a broken egg. These pieces, the tectontic plates, move around the planet at speeds of a few centimetres per year. Every so often they come together and combine into a supercontinent, which remains for a few hundred million years before breaking up. The plates then disperse or scatter and move away from each other, until they eventually – after another 400-600 million years – come back together again.

Raging Six-Day-Old Camp Fire Reaches 125,000 Acres in Size

Raging Six-Day-Old Camp Fire Reaches 125,000 Acres in Size

The six-day-old Camp Fire has already attained the unfortunate title of California's deadliest fire. The Camp Fire has already led to 42 deaths with a number of residents still unaccounted for.  It is also the most destructive in California history as well with over 7,000 structures destroyed by the blaze. The fire began on Nov. 08, 2018 and has grown to a staggering 125,000 acres in just under a week. The cause of this blaze is still under investigation. California state regulators are investigating two utility companies that reported incidents close in time and location to the start of the Camp fire.  Over 52,000 people have been evacuated due to the Camp Fire in over 1,300 shelters.  To date the blaze is only 30% contained.

Ocean Cleanup won’t turn a profit, but we should still do it

Ocean Cleanup won’t turn a profit, but we should still do it

A novel “floating pipe” to recover plastic from the ocean has just arrivedon its maiden voyage to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Run by Dutch start-up Ocean Cleanup, the scheme involves a 600m-long floating pipe connected to a net, which herds plastic into place before it is gathered and taken to shore by specialist boats.

2018 Arctic Summertime Sea Ice Minimum Extent Tied for Sixth Lowest on Record

2018 Arctic Summertime Sea Ice Minimum Extent Tied for Sixth Lowest on Record

Arctic sea ice likely reached its 2018 lowest extent on Sept. 19 and again on Sept. 23, according to NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Analysis of satellite data by NSIDC and NASA showed that, at 1.77 million square miles (4.59 million square kilometers), 2018 effectively tied with 2008 and 2010 for the sixth lowest summertime minimum extent in the satellite record.

NASA Balloon Mission Captures Electric Blue Clouds

NASA Balloon Mission Captures Electric Blue Clouds

On the cusp of our atmosphere live a thin group of seasonal electric blue clouds. Forming 50 miles above the poles in summer, these clouds are known as noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds — PMCs. A recent NASA long-duration balloon mission observed these clouds over the course of five days at their home in the mesosphere. The resulting photos, which scientists have just begun to analyze, will help us better understand turbulence in the atmosphere, as well as in oceans, lakes and other planetary atmospheres, and may even improve weather forecasting.

Rogue hurricanes that head northwards may be new normal

Rogue hurricanes that head northwards may be new normal

Shortly after Hurricane Helene formed off the coast of West Africa on September 7, it did something unusual. Instead of following most hurricanes westward across the Atlantic, Helene turned north towards the UK and Ireland. Now downgraded to an “ex-hurricane”, Storm Helene is nonetheless expected to bring strong winds across much of England and Wales when it hits on September 17.

At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025

 At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025

The Australian renewable energy industry will install more than 10 gigawatts of new solar and wind power during 2018 and 2019. If that rate is maintained, Australia would reach 50% renewables in 2025.