To reduce energy consumption, many jurisdictions around the world are transitioning to outdoor LED lighting. But as new research shows, this solid-state solution hasn’t yielded the expected energy savings, and potentially worse, it’s resulted in more light pollution than ever before.
Air travel is awful, and it’s only going to get worse in the future. But it’s not just that airlines are going to keep jacking up fees, canceling your flights at the last minute, and passing out bags of sand-flavored pretzels that exacerbate your dehydration-fueled headache. Rising global temperatures could make…
Meet Steve, a newly discovered atmospheric phenomenon that’s so strange it still doesn’t have a formal scientific description, hence the placeholder name. Thanks to the work of aurora enthusiasts and atmospheric scientists, we’re now learning more about Steve, but many questions remain.
On December 5th, 1952, a veil of fog rolled over the city of London. It was the start of the deadliest air pollution disaster in British history, and more than sixty years later, an international team of chemists has figured out why.
Those condensation trails in the sky left by aircraft are common, and most of us wouldn’t notice them, but for some, they’re the mark of a secret large-scale spraying program by the government. Well, surprise, no such thing exists (or so the CIA wants you to think). At least, according to science.
The heat is coming, and the corn is sweating. No, seriously. Corn sweat is a thing, and I’m not talking about what happens after you finish an entire box of corn puffs in one go.
Add this to the list of reasons Venus is a blistering hellscape: not only is the surface hot enough to melt lead, not only will the sulfuric acid rainstorms burn gaping holes in your partially-melted spaceship, it’s got a monstrous electric wind that appears to have helped strip all the water out of the atmosphere.…
On May 23rd, something extraordinary happened at the South Pole. For the first time in 4 million years, carbon dioxide concentrations cleared 400 parts per million (ppm). It’s the last climate-monitoring spot on Earth to pass the historic milestone.
Life has been transforming Earth’s atmosphere since the first single-celled organisms evolved. But few instances of atmospheric terraforming compare with what went down 2.7 billion years ago, when air pressure seems to have plummeted to less than half of its current value. What could have caused the worldwide…
It sounds like the plot of a summer blockbuster, but the United Arab Emirates is apparently quite serious about building a mountain to increase rainfall in the region. Would it work? Probably. But instead of launching an infrastructure project where a very rich country attempts to dig its way out of a drought, the UAE…
Venus is a blistering hellscape of a planet that melts anything it comes in contact with, right? Not entirely. The data from the European Space Agency’s first mission to Venus is back, and with it comes some fascinating insights into our nearest neighbor’s atmosphere. It turns out, parts of Venus are very, very cold.
Rain transforms into snow when the temperatures drop below freezing, right? Not necessarily. Supercooling raindrops is really what’s poking these cookie-cutter holes in the clouds over the southeastern United States.
The science of rainbows: it’s something we’re all taught in grade school. Airborne water droplets act like little prisms, bending and splitting light. Mix enough water and sunshine, and you get a brilliant bow of color.
The first images of Venus from its solitary, tardy orbiter are already revealing new secrets about its cloud dynamics. The fourth of the Akatsuki spacecraft’s cameras sent back new details on cloud structure for the planet’s roiling storms that we’ve never seen before.
The aurora borealis is one of the most stunning light shows on Earth, but normally, it’s a treat reserved for the hardy souls living at the coldest edges of the world. The last few nights, however, people across the Northern and Southern hemispheres have enjoyed dazzling, colorful skies, thanks to a geomagnetic storm…
Earlier this month, New Horizons released a batch of absolutely breathtaking photos of Pluto at dusk, including the one above. In these images, particles in Pluto’s thin atmosphere are causing sunlight to scatter, revealing a complex, layered haze.
A glider designed to float to the edge of space on air currents will attempt its first flight on Wednesday. Next year, the Perlan Mission II will launch to soaring altitudes of 90,000 feet, where it’ll harvest invaluable data on Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
Air pollution is decreasing over parts of the Middle East. But researchers say that for most Middle Eastern cities, the clearer air is actually a symptom of conflict, not a sign of progress.
It’s a dark and stormy night, 28,000 feet over the Midwest. Just after 10:30 PM, I’m standing aft of the cockpit of a NASA DC-8, while lightning flashes outside the cabin windows.
The Montreal Protocol of 1987 placed strict controls on the release of ozone-depleting substances. A new study now shows what would have happened to the ozone layer in the absence of this critically important international treaty — and it wouldn’t have been pretty.