Friday, May 20, 2022

Matt Simon

Carbon-Rich Peat Is Disappearing. But Is It Also Growing?

All of this creates a contradiction that scientists are only beginning to investigate: As the Arctic warms, more peat dries out and ignites, but more vegetation grows, which could eventually form new peat. “People think that there are no...

A Powerful ISS Instrument Will Hunt for Minerals in Dusty Lands

What blows through the Sahara doesn’t stay in the Sahara. The vast African desert regularly burps up clouds of dust that fly into Europe, turning snow-capped mountains orange. They travel clear across the Atlantic Ocean, fertilizing the Amazon rain...

Burning Crops to Capture Carbon? Good Luck Finding Water

A major consideration is the kind of crop you’d grow to feed a wide-scale BECCS system. That would probably be switchgrass or Miscanthus, another kind of grass, neither of which need as much water or added nutrients as a...

The Pandemic Gave Scientists a New Way to Spy on Emissions

Think of the sky as a big bowl of blue soup. Its ingredients include oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, which scientists can precisely measure. But ever since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been adding heaps of extra CO2 by...

Give Fitbits (of Sorts) to the Trees

You might look at a tree swaying in the wind and see botanical tranquility—a hypnotic back and forth of life interacting with air. Scientists appreciate that too, but they also see something else: data in motion. It turns out...

Extreme Heat Is a Disease for Cities. Treat It That Way

Matt Simon is a science journalist at WIRED, where he covers biology, robotics, cannabis, and the environment. He’s also the author of Plight of the Living Dead: What Real-Life Zombies Reveal About Our World—And Ourselves, and The Wasp That...

​​Oceans Aren’t Just Warming—Their Soundscapes Are Transforming

Wander into nature and give a good shout, and only nearby birds, frogs, and squirrels will hear you. Although sensing noise is a critical survival strategy for land animals, it’s a somewhat limited warning system, as sounds—save for something...

Some (Kinda) Good Climate News: 2 Degrees Is Doable

For all the less-than-encouraging news about climate change—rapid sea-level rise, the land itself transforming, serious trouble brewing under Antarctic glaciers—we’ve been getting plenty of hope. The price of renewable energy is crashing, for example, and we’re moving toward a...

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