Category: Science

Black Inventor Garrett Morgan Saved Countless Lives with Gas Mask and Improved Traffic Lights

Just before midnight at the close of a hot summer day in 1916, a natural gas pocket exploded 120 feet beneath the waves of Lake Erie. It happened during work on Cleveland’s newest waterworks tunnel, a 10-foot-wide underwater artery designed to pull in water from about five miles out, beyond the city’s polluted shoreline. The…

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Rainmaking Experiments Boom Amid Worsening Drought

As rain clouds swelled over Fort Stockton, Texas, last summer, a little yellow plane zipped through the sky. It was on a mission. Equipped with tanks of water and special nozzles on its wings, the craft soared beneath the gray-white billows. Then, at just the right moment, it released a spray of electrically charged water…

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We Can’t Solve Our Climate Problems without Removing Their Main Cause: Fossil-Fuel Emissions

Toward the end of 2022, I was a panelist at a session on climate change held by a major scientific society. Near the end of the session, a prominent scientist declared that we needed to be “realistic”: oil and gas weren’t going away anytime soon, and we had to accept that as we attempted to…

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How Scientists Are Using AI to Talk to Animals

In the 1970s a young gorilla known as Koko drew worldwide attention with her ability to use human sign language. But skeptics maintain that Koko and other animals that “learned” to speak (including chimpanzees and dolphins) could not truly understand what they were “saying”—and that trying to make other species use human languagein which symbols…

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Scientists Made A New Kind Of Ice That Might Exist On Distant Moons

Scientists have created a new type of ice that matches the density and structure of water, perhaps opening a door to studying water’s mysterious properties. “It might be liquid water frozen in time,” says Martin Chaplin, a specialist in water structure at London South Bank University, who was not involved in the work. “It could…

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Why the Earthquake in Turkey Was So Damaging and Deadly

A major earthquake struck southern Turkey early on Monday, causing extensive damage and killing thousands there and in neighboring Syria. Rescue workers have been searching the rubble of buildings for survivors, who face bitterly cold winter temperatures, as well as electricity and water outages—and the terror of continuing aftershocks. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck close…

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Can We Predict Earthquakes At All?

My hometown of Los Angeles is home to the the earliest reported earthquake dating back to 1769 (and, of course, many more since then). The largest recorded earthquake in the world occurred in Chile in May of 1960 measuring at a magnitude of 9.5 moment magnitudes. A single earthquake can cause costing destruction hundreds of…

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Disasters Displace More Than 3 Million Americans in 2022

More than 3 million adults were forced to evacuate their homes in the past year because of a natural disaster, according to a new Census Bureau tally that marks a rare federal effort to assess the uprooting caused by hurricanes, floods and other events. The Census Bureau estimate far exceeds other counts of US evacuees…

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Coming Soon to Your Podcast Feed: Science, Quickly

[Music] DelViscio: This is Jeff DelViscio, chief multimedia editor here at Scientific American. Bose: And this is Tulika Bose, senior multimedia editor. DelViscio: Hey Tulika. Do you remember the year 2006? Bose: Sure, Jeff. A lot happened. DelViscio: The existence of dark matter was confirmed. The missing link between fish and stuff with four legs–a…

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Coming to Your Podcast Feed Soon: Science, Quickly

[Music] DelViscio: This is Jeff DelViscio, chief multimedia editor here at Scientific American. Bose: And this is Tulika Bose, senior multimedia editor. DelViscio: Hey Tulika. Do you remember the year 2006? Bose: Sure, Jeff. A lot happened. DelViscio: The existence of dark matter was confirmed. The missing link between fish and stuff with four legs–a…

Read More