By the middle of this century the over 60s will outnumber the under 18s for the first time in human history. This should be good news, but growing old today also means becoming frail, sick and dependent. A healthy old age is good for you and a remarkably good deal for society. Improving the overall health of older Americans could save the US alone enough money to pay for clean drinking water for everyone on Earth for the next 30 years.
Governor Jerry Brown signed a law in 2015 that gave the state until 2030 to have 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy. A new report released this month shows the state may reach or surpass this goal by 2020.
Beer has been around for thousands of years — 5,000, in fact, according to a recent paper. There’s evidence that early Chinese civilizations (around 3400-2900 BC) fermented grains in clay pottery to make some of the earliest brews.
Beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, there lies a continent that is covered by rivers and lakes, the largest of which is the size of Lake Erie. Over the course of a regular year, the ice sheet melts and refreezes, causing the lakes and rivers to periodically fill and drain rapidly from the melt water. This process makes it easier for Antarctica’s frozen surface to slide around, and to rise and fall in some places by as much as 6 meters (20 feet).
Some have suggested solar geoengineering — the injection of aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect sunlight away from the planet — as a way to counter global warming. However, new research suggests the radical process could do as much harm as good.
Sixty-six million years ago, an asteroid struck Earth in what is now the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico. This event, known as the Chicxulub asteroid impact, measured 9 km in diameter and caused extreme global cooling and drought. This led to a mass extinction, which not only claimed the lives of the dinosaurs, but also wiped outabout 75% of all land and sea animals on Earth.
Since June 2017, there have been “swarms” of small earthquakes in the region. Earthquakes are rare at Öræfajökull, so these have prompted meetings between locals, scientists and civil protection authorities. The unusual activity may indicate a reawakening of Öræfajökull, so it is timely to review previous eruptions and the potential effects of a future eruption.
NASA scientists report that, in September, the ozone hole over the Antarctic reached the smallest it has been at peak since 1988. Though this was partially due to climate, the ozone layer also has international cooperation to thank for its recovery.
Ethiopia tends to conjure images of sprawling dusty deserts, bustling streets in Addis Ababa or the precipitous cliffs of the Simien Mountains – possibly with a distance runner bounding along in the background. Yet the country is also one of the most volcanically active on Earth, thanks to Africa’s Great Rift Valley, which runs right through its heart.
Coconuts have been a valued food in tropical areas for thousands of years, traditionally enjoyed as coconut water from the centre of the coconut, coconut flesh, or coconut “milk” (made by steeping the flesh in hot water).
Until recently, anthropologists drew the human family tree in the same way that my 10-year-old son solves a maze. He finds it much easier to work from the end to the beginning, because blind alleys lead with depressing sameness away from the start. In just this way, scientists once traced our own lineage from the present into the past, moving backward through a thicket of fossil relatives, each perched upon its own special branch to extinction.
Once upon a time, fireflies were abundant throughout Japan. For more than 1,000 years, these glowing harbingers of summer shone brilliantly through the fabric of Japanese culture, which celebrated them in poetry and art.
Eyes play a prominent role in our daily social encounters and are sometimes metaphorically referred to as windows to our souls. There now is compelling evidence to support the notion that much information about another person’s mind can be gleaned from his or her eyes.
Few places on earth are as well known for their so-called mysteries as Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui. For a tiny island of 64 square miles, with its nearest neighbours some 1,300 miles away, it has seen more than its fair share of controversy.
Strong, rapid wing beats with hardly any push off let mosquitoes make a fast getaway. The technique is in stark contrast to other insects, like flies, that push off first and then start beating their wings frantically, often tumbling uncontrollably in the process. That strong push off also lets us know they’re there before they have a chance to escape.
New research clarifies the genetic exchange that brought us today’s domesticated apples.Silk Road travelers, trading their goods and ideas across Eurasia, brought with them hitchhiking apple seeds, discarded from the choicest fruit pulled from wild trees. This early selection would eventually lead to the 7,500 varieties of apple that exist today.
Climate change, deforestation, and other threats put a huge portion of wildlife at risk. An international team of scientists have finished a new atlas map that highlights the location of 10,000 reptile species, and shows areas in need of better protection.
Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson is tired of how people deal with hurricanes and wants scientists to look into ways to turn storms into sources of energy. It's an ambitious goal, but one that may not be achievable with our current technology.