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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Oct 09, 2019. 13 comments

Does My Smartwatch's Sleep Tracker Actually Do Anything?

Does My Smartwatch's Sleep Tracker Actually Do Anything?

For most of my adult life, I didn’t really think about sleep: It was just an activity that my body required, for about six to eight hours a night, in order to not feel like garbage the next day. Rarely did I pause to consider the quality of my rest or whether my sleep patterns were “normal.” That is, until I was gifted a Fitbit Charge 3.

Now, just about every morning, I open my phone’s...

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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Aug 20, 2019. 18 comments

The Planet Needs a New Internet

The Planet Needs a New Internet
Alternate InternetThis week, we look at the ways the internet could have been—and could be—different.  

When climate change comes for our coffee and our wine , we’ll moan about it on Twitter, read about it on our favorite websites, and watch diverting videos on YouTube to fill the icy hole in our hearts. We’ll do all this until the websites go dark and the networks go down because eventually,...

18 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 27, 2019. 11 comments

If You Care About Earth, You Should Watch The Expanse

If You Care About Earth, You Should Watch The Expanse

After a close brush with death before Amazon swooped in to save it , The Expanse is officially back for a fourth season in December. Which means that if you’re not already obsessed with the space opera that blends interplanetary politicking and battles with alien monsters, you’ve got a few months to catch up. But it’s not just science fiction fans who can find a lot to love in this show—so...

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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 16, 2019. 6 comments

How Elephants May Help Africa’s Rainforests Fight Climate Change

How Elephants May Help Africa’s Rainforests Fight Climate Change

Although we’re wiping them out with little consideration of it, big herbivores matter. Hippo poop helps Africa’s largest lake flourish ; bison wallowing can enhance insect diversity in the prairie. And Africa’s imperiled forest elephants might just have a role to play in the fight against climate change.

That, at least, is the takeaway of a new modeling study published Monday in Nature...

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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 14, 2019. 6 comments

Update on Our 2020 Climate Summit

Update on Our 2020 Climate Summit

On Friday, The New Republic published an offensive, homophobic attack on Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg. The article was swiftly condemned for being inappropriate, and it was taken down from the site Saturday. In light of these events, The New Republic is withdrawing its participation from our recently announced 2020 Democratic presidential forum on climate change, a decision that...

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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 12, 2019. 13 comments

West Coast Residents Seriously Underestimate the Threat of a Catastrophic Earthquake, Survey Finds

West Coast Residents Seriously Underestimate the Threat of a Catastrophic Earthquake, Survey Finds

As last week’s major earthquakes in Southern California reminded us, we humans are still at the mercy of the geologically-active planet we live on. But despite the ever-present seismic threat, there’s a lot more West Coast cities could be doing to prepare their infrastructure and citizens for disaster, like implementing stricter building codes and restrictions and better early warning...

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Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 11, 2019. 5 comments

Alaska's Wildfire Season Is Exploding, Spreading Smoke Across the State

Alaska's Wildfire Season Is Exploding, Spreading Smoke Across the State

Historic, record-breaking heat isn’t the only environmental malaise that’s gripped Alaska this summer. So has wildfire smoke.

An incredible satellite image taken on July 8 shows smoke spreading far and wide across Alaska as a spate of hot, dry weather causes the state’s wildfire season to kick into high gear. Dense smoke advisories and red flag fire warnings are currently in effect across...

5 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 09, 2019. 18 comments

That Big California Earthquake Left a Scar That's Visible From Space

That Big California Earthquake Left a Scar That's Visible From Space

Friday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Ridgecrest, California, was nothing to sneeze at. The shake, which triggered gas leaks, power outages, and fires, was felt from San Diego to Sacramento. And it ripped open a new fissure in the Earth that didn’t escape the notice of humanity’s ever-growing satellite fleet.

Before-and-after imagery captured by Planet Labs Inc. on July 4 and 6, respectively,...

18 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 03, 2019. 12 comments

The World's Second-Largest Rainforest Is Losing the Carbon It’s Held for a Thousand Years

The World's Second-Largest Rainforest Is Losing the Carbon It’s Held for a Thousand Years

The Congo Basin is the second-largest rainforest on Earth, and like most tropical forests, it’s getting chewed up by humans . That’s a problem for the climate, and not just because trees are a natural sponge helping to mop up humanity’s ever-rising carbon emissions. New research suggests that as trees are replaced with fields for agriculture, carbon that’s been locked up in the Congo’s soils...

12 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 03, 2019.

Backing Up CDs is Once Again Illegal in the UK For Some Reason

Backing Up CDs is Once Again Illegal in the UK For Some Reason

In a useless new ruling that will change nothing, you can no longer legally rip CDs and DVDs for personal use in the UK. Ladies and gents, welcome back to 2002.

Yep, you heard that correctly: Yesterday, a high court in the UK ruled that making digital backups of lawfully purchased, copyrighted music is illegal, quashing a (very very long overdue) 2014 “personal use exemption” rule that...

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 02, 2019. 5 comments

Meet the People Risking Their Lives to Study Our Dying Mountain Glaciers

Meet the People Risking Their Lives to Study Our Dying Mountain Glaciers
Extreme Field WorkA series about how science gets done in Earth's weirdest, wildest environments, from the bottom of the ocean to erupting volcanoes.  

When geoscientist and mountaineer John All started studying the impacts of climate change on world’s highest mountain glaciers over a decade ago, he said it was like monitoring a sick patient. Now, it’s more like doing an autopsy.

“We’re just...

5 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jul 02, 2019. 16 comments

Alaska Is Hot and on Fire

Alaska Is Hot and on Fire

Europe isn’t the only part of the world that’s been roasting and burning of late. So is Alaska.

Record and near-record heat swept the Last Frontier over the weekend, with stations across the state’s interior recording daily highs of close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday. On Sunday, temperatures rose to 92 degrees in Northway near the state’s Yukon border, smashing the all-time heat...

16 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 30, 2019.

You Can Blast Your Selfies to the Moon on this Crowdfunded Rocket

You Can Blast Your Selfies to the Moon on this Crowdfunded Rocket

If a friend told you he was going to blast a rocket to the Moon, and that if you wrote him a check he’d send your selfies along with it, you’d probably tell him to go find a job. But when a group of experienced rocket engineers made the same suggestion, you would probably pay attention.

Yesterday, a small team of engineers announced project “Moonspike,” the world’s first crowdfunding campaign...

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 29, 2019. 4 comments

Scientists Find Dozens of Lakes Buried Far Below Greenland's Ice

Scientists Find Dozens of Lakes Buried Far Below Greenland's Ice

For decades, scientists working in Antarctica have been documenting subglacial lakes, bodies of water buried miles beneath the ice. They’ve spotted more than 400 of them, and even drilled into a few and found evidence for both living and long-dead lifeforms . But despite their ubiquity at the bottom of the world, no one had really looked to see if subglacial lakes were widespread beneath the...

4 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 28, 2019. 4 comments

Wildfire Explodes in Spain as Europe Reels From Record Heat

Wildfire Explodes in Spain as Europe Reels From Record Heat

Fanned by fierce winds and searing temperatures, a wildfire is exploding in size in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain. According to the Catalan interior minister, it could be the worst blaze the region has seen in 20 years.

The fire, which began on Wednesday, spread rapidly and has consumed at least 5,169 hectares (12,773 acres) in the province of Tarragona, according to local...

4 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 27, 2019. 17 comments

Airplane Contrails Have Surprising Effect on the Atmosphere

Airplane Contrails Have Surprising Effect on the Atmosphere

The climate impact of flying isn’t just about carbon emissions. The contrails that airplanes create also influence the temperature of our atmosphere—and a new study finds that impact is set to grow in a big way.

As planes cruise through the upper reaches of the troposphere. spewing exhaust, they also leave behind trails of water vapor that can form streaky cirrus clouds. Most of these contrail...

17 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 27, 2019. 3 comments

The Gateway Protecting the Arctic's Oldest Sea Ice Has Collapsed Months Ahead of Schedule

The Gateway Protecting the Arctic's Oldest Sea Ice Has Collapsed Months Ahead of Schedule

Every summer as the Arctic warms up, seasonal highways open on the ocean, allowing sea ice to migrate southward and melt. Now, satellite data is revealing that the gateway to one critical highway—the Nares Strait dividing northwest Greenland and Canada’s Ellesmere Island—has broken up months ahead of schedule. And that could spell even more trouble for the Arctic’s oldest and most...

3 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 22, 2019. 15 comments

Researchers Discover Giant Freshwater Aquifer off U.S. East Coast

Researchers Discover Giant Freshwater Aquifer off U.S. East Coast

In a welcome bit of news as water shortages hit major cities worldwide, scientists have discovered an enormous low-salinity aquifer off the U.S. East Coast. The researchers say it could indicate other such aquifers trapped beneath the salty seas in ocean sediments across the planet.

Hints of the aquifer’s existence go all the way back to the 1970s, when companies drilling for oil off the...

15 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 21, 2019. 17 comments

Study Warns We Could Melt the Entire Greenland Ice Sheet if We Don't Change Course

Study Warns We Could Melt the Entire Greenland Ice Sheet if We Don't Change Course

If you thought the heat wave-induced melting of half of Greenland’s surface last week was alarming, wait until you hear the long-term projections for its ice sheet.

Research published Wednesday in Science Advances finds that if emissions continue to climb at their current rate, all of Greenland’s ice could melt by the year 3000, causing sea levels to rise 23 feet and redrawing coastlines...

17 Comments

Maddie Stone Maddie Stone Jun 20, 2019.

Astronomers Discover a Strange New Class of Super Earths

Astronomers Discover a Strange New Class of Super Earths

For the first time, astronomers have discovered a class of exoplanets whose atmospheres have been seared away by heat, removing any doubts about what happens when a rocky object wanders too close to a star.

Theorists have long speculated that exoplanets snuggled right up next to their host stars would be subject to “stripping,” or erosion of the atmosphere by high-energy radiation. Now, using...

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