March 7, 2013 |
First the good news: In the last 11,300 years, humans have endured a planet warmer than today's, even as they set about building their earliest civilizations. Now the bad news: That will no longer be true 87 years from now, according to scientists who have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the planet's climate history since the world's ice sheets began their most recent retreat from North America and Europe. New research into Earth's ancient climate is providing a clearer, more detailed view of how the planet's average surface temperature fluctuated over the period known as the Holocene epoch, which continues today.
March 1, 2013 |
A pair of NASA probes has discovered a previously unknown ring of radiation blanketing the Earth, upending a long-standing scientific theory about how charged particles coalesce around the planet, scientists reported Thursday. Just four days after the twin Radiation Belt Storm Probes were launched in August, NASA scientists looked on in amazement as instruments revealed a third belt of high-energy particles between the planet's inner and outer radiation belts, known as the Van Allen belts.
February 21, 2013 |
A wristwatch that reads your text messages out loud, a jacket that heats up when you're cold, eyeglasses that display directions as you walk down the street. Gimmicks, or fashion of the future? Although those products may seem like something out of a James Bond movie, the world's largest technology companies and start-ups alike believe "wearable tech" is the next big frontier, and they have been pouring money and research into developing high-tech clothing and accessories.
February 12, 2013 |
Super Bowl Saturday? Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Super Bowl Wednesday? Um, yeah, not so much. Both are possibilities for 2014, according to an article in Sports Business Journal on the NFL's extensive contingency plan for next year's outdoor championship game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. "The league is considering various options that include the possibility of delaying the contest several days in the event of...
February 7, 2013 |
Shoppers trod carefully in January, lured into stores by retailers dangling post-holiday clearance deals but spending sparingly to balance out higher payroll taxes and lingering economic uncertainty. Same-store sales at major retailers such as Nordstrom, Gap and Costco reported a 5.8% upswing last month from January 2012, handily beating earlier estimates of a 3.5% boost. The data, from Thomson Reuters, features a roundup of 18 retailers sans drug stores such as Walgreens and Rite Aid. Same-store sales account for revenue at retail locations operating for at least a year, stripping out the fluctuations of recent openings and closings.
February 6, 2013 |
They installed the first outdoor Olympic rings Wednesday in Sochi, Russia, a 60-by-30-foot reminder that Thursday marks a year to go before the opening of the 2014 Winter Games. The temperature was 61. That incongruity brings up the first of a baker's dozen questions about what to expect in Sochi. With baking an operative idea. Why are they having the Winter Olympics in a place with palm trees and a subtropical climate? Russian leader Vladimir Putin promised an unlimited budget, and the organizers have overspent that: $51 billion at last count, $11 billion more than the unseemly Olympic record China set for the 2008 Summer Games.
February 2, 2013 |
It all started with the Kingston Trio. One day in 1963, a San Diego kid and his friends got their hands on an album by the popular folk group. Greg Deering, 12 at the time, recalls studying the musicians on the cover and thinking, "I've got to get a banjo" - not out of love for the twangy instrument but mainly because his pal already had a guitar. Fifty years later, Greg, his wife, Janet, and daughter Jamie preside over the bestselling banjo-making business in the U.S. From a small Spring Valley factory, the Deering Banjo Co. is having its best year ever, defying the U.S. skills gap and California's manufacturing doldrums.
January 29, 2013 |
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco used a word he shouldn't have during his first Super Bowl news conference Monday, and he knew it. When asked about the plan to play next year's Super Bowl at the outdoor MetLife Stadium, the New Jersey native called it "retarded" before catching himself and changing the word to "stupid. " "I think it's retarded,” Flacco said of holding the NFL's championship game outdoors in a cold-weather climate. "I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid.
January 28, 2013 |
Heat generated by the Earth's major cities has influenced global weather patterns and is probably responsible for winter warming in parts of North America and northern Asia, according to scientists. So-called waste heat produced by human activities in major urban centers has altered aspects of the jet stream and other atmospheric systems, causing significant warming in some regions and cooling in others, according to a study published recently in Nature Climate Change. "What we found is that energy use from multiple urban areas collectively can warm the atmosphere remotely, thousands of miles away from the energy consumption regions," said lead author Guang Zhang, a research meteorologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.
January 28, 2013 |
A team of storm-chasing scientists sampling rarefied air has found a world of bacteria and fungi floating about 30,000 feet above Earth. The findings, detailed Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that microbes have the potential to affect the weather. Scientists have long studied airborne bacteria, but they typically do so from the ground, often trekking to mountain peaks to examine microbes in fresh snow. Beyond that, they don't know much about the number and diversity of floating microbes, said study coauthor Athanasios Nenes, an atmospheric scientist at Georgia Tech.