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ChannelYahoo News - Latest News & Headlines    
RSS File: http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/science
Description: The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos.
  • Extinction crisis 'poses existential threat to civilisation'      Tue, 02 Jun 2020 04:48:14 -0400

    Extinction crisis 'poses existential threat to civilisation'A study presents more evidence that the world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction.


    Extinction crisis 'poses existential threat to civilisation'A study presents more evidence that the world is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction.


     

  • Climate change: older trees loss continue around the world      Tue, 02 Jun 2020 00:44:28 -0400

    Climate change: older trees loss continue around the worldEvery six seconds in 2019 the world lost an area of primary forest the size of a football pitch, a study says.


    Climate change: older trees loss continue around the worldEvery six seconds in 2019 the world lost an area of primary forest the size of a football pitch, a study says.


     

  • NASA’s Dragon riders capture the flag, nine years after it was left on the space station      Mon, 01 Jun 2020 19:25:54 -0400

    NASA’s Dragon riders capture the flag, nine years after it was left on the space stationA day after arriving at the International Space Station on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken laid claim to a U.S. flag that symbolizes America's capability to send people to orbit from U.S. soil. The handkerchief-sized flag, sealed in a plastic envelope, has been kept aboard the space station since 2011, when NASA's final space shuttle crew left it behind before making their departure aboard Atlantis. It was displayed above the Harmony module's hatch — and, for a time, stored in an equipment bag, nearly forgotten — with instructions that it was to be taken… Read More


    NASA’s Dragon riders capture the flag, nine years after it was left on the space stationA day after arriving at the International Space Station on SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken laid claim to a U.S. flag that symbolizes America's capability to send people to orbit from U.S. soil. The handkerchief-sized flag, sealed in a plastic envelope, has been kept aboard the space station since 2011, when NASA's final space shuttle crew left it behind before making their departure aboard Atlantis. It was displayed above the Harmony module's hatch — and, for a time, stored in an equipment bag, nearly forgotten — with instructions that it was to be taken… Read More


     

  • Climate change: May was sunniest calendar month on record in UK      Mon, 01 Jun 2020 11:46:34 -0400

    Climate change: May was sunniest calendar month on record in UKMeteorologists say the switch from an extremely wet winter to an extremely dry spring is not "British".


    Climate change: May was sunniest calendar month on record in UKMeteorologists say the switch from an extremely wet winter to an extremely dry spring is not "British".


     

  • SpaceX Nasa Mission: Astronauts on historic mission enter space station      Mon, 01 Jun 2020 10:35:41 -0400

    SpaceX Nasa Mission: Astronauts on historic mission enter space stationNasa's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken complete their 19-hour flight to the orbiting laboratory.


    SpaceX Nasa Mission: Astronauts on historic mission enter space stationNasa's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken complete their 19-hour flight to the orbiting laboratory.


     

  • Conservation: Glimmer of hope for world's rarest primate      Mon, 01 Jun 2020 02:59:49 -0400

    Conservation: Glimmer of hope for world's rarest primateThe discovery of a new breeding pair raises hope for the future of a critically endangered gibbon.


    Conservation: Glimmer of hope for world's rarest primateThe discovery of a new breeding pair raises hope for the future of a critically endangered gibbon.


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: Evolution of the spacesuit      Sun, 31 May 2020 23:46:12 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: Evolution of the spacesuitHow SpaceX's stylish spacesuit differs from other attire flown by astronauts.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: Evolution of the spacesuitHow SpaceX's stylish spacesuit differs from other attire flown by astronauts.


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: Who are the astronauts?      Sun, 31 May 2020 23:46:02 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: Who are the astronauts?BBC News profiles the space travellers who will launch in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: Who are the astronauts?BBC News profiles the space travellers who will launch in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule.


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: What is the Crew Dragon?      Sun, 31 May 2020 23:20:38 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: What is the Crew Dragon?A guide to SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle, which carried astronauts to the space station.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: What is the Crew Dragon?A guide to SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicle, which carried astronauts to the space station.


     

  • ‘Dragon arriving’: For first time, astronauts reach the space station in SpaceX capsule      Sun, 31 May 2020 14:41:32 -0400

    ‘Dragon arriving’: For first time, astronauts reach the space station in SpaceX capsuleFor the first time in nearly nine years, astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station in a spaceship that was made in the USA. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, which was christened Endeavour soon after Saturday's launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, hooked up with the station at 7:16 a.m. PT today. Endeavour brought NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the station's Harmony port, prompting space station commander Chris Cassidy to ring the naval bell that's part of the tradition for welcoming space crews. "Dragon arriving," Cassidy declared. The astronauts and NASA mission controllers spent more… Read More


    ‘Dragon arriving’: For first time, astronauts reach the space station in SpaceX capsuleFor the first time in nearly nine years, astronauts have arrived at the International Space Station in a spaceship that was made in the USA. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule, which was christened Endeavour soon after Saturday's launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, hooked up with the station at 7:16 a.m. PT today. Endeavour brought NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the station's Harmony port, prompting space station commander Chris Cassidy to ring the naval bell that's part of the tradition for welcoming space crews. "Dragon arriving," Cassidy declared. The astronauts and NASA mission controllers spent more… Read More


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: How we got to this point      Sun, 31 May 2020 07:01:55 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: How we got to this pointWhy has SpaceX launched astronauts to the International Space Station for Nasa?


    Nasa SpaceX launch: How we got to this pointWhy has SpaceX launched astronauts to the International Space Station for Nasa?


     

  • SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts begin historic mission on private spaceship      Sun, 31 May 2020 03:18:01 -0400

    SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts begin historic mission on private spaceshipDoug Hurley and Bob Behnken head out on a mission to initiate a new, commercial era in spaceflight.


    SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts begin historic mission on private spaceshipDoug Hurley and Bob Behnken head out on a mission to initiate a new, commercial era in spaceflight.


     

  • Crew Dragon’s astronauts give their SpaceX spaceship a storied name: Endeavour      Sat, 30 May 2020 21:11:35 -0400

    Crew Dragon’s astronauts give their SpaceX spaceship a storied name: EndeavourThe two NASA astronauts who rode SpaceX's first crew-carrying Dragon capsule to orbit today named their spacecraft, continuing a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of America's space effort. "I know most of you, at SpaceX especially, know it as Capsule 206," Hurley said over a space-to-ground video link a few hours after launch. "But I think all of us thought that maybe we could do a little bit better than that. So, without further ado, we would like to welcome you aboard capsule Endeavour." 'Light this candle': SpaceX sends NASA astronauts on historic trip to space station… Read More


    Crew Dragon’s astronauts give their SpaceX spaceship a storied name: EndeavourThe two NASA astronauts who rode SpaceX's first crew-carrying Dragon capsule to orbit today named their spacecraft, continuing a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of America's space effort. "I know most of you, at SpaceX especially, know it as Capsule 206," Hurley said over a space-to-ground video link a few hours after launch. "But I think all of us thought that maybe we could do a little bit better than that. So, without further ado, we would like to welcome you aboard capsule Endeavour." 'Light this candle': SpaceX sends NASA astronauts on historic trip to space station… Read More


     

  • ‘Light this candle!’ SpaceX sends NASA astronauts on historic trip to space station in Dragon capsule      Sat, 30 May 2020 20:00:58 -0400

    ‘Light this candle!’ SpaceX sends NASA astronauts on historic trip to space station in Dragon capsuleSpaceX launched two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station today, becoming the first company to send humans to orbit on a commercial spaceship. The Falcon 9 rocket's liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:22 p.m. ET (12:22 p.m. PT) marked a feat that Americans hadn't been able to do since NASA retired the space shuttles in 2011: sending astronauts into orbit from a U.S. launch pad rather than relying on the Russians. "It is absolutely our honor to be part of this huge effort to get the United States back in the launch business," NASA astronaut… Read More


    ‘Light this candle!’ SpaceX sends NASA astronauts on historic trip to space station in Dragon capsuleSpaceX launched two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station today, becoming the first company to send humans to orbit on a commercial spaceship. The Falcon 9 rocket's liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 3:22 p.m. ET (12:22 p.m. PT) marked a feat that Americans hadn't been able to do since NASA retired the space shuttles in 2011: sending astronauts into orbit from a U.S. launch pad rather than relying on the Russians. "It is absolutely our honor to be part of this huge effort to get the United States back in the launch business," NASA astronaut… Read More


     

  • World's deepest octopus captured on camera      Fri, 29 May 2020 17:00:29 -0400

    World's deepest octopus captured on cameraA "Dumbo" octopus is photographed at a depth of 7,000m in the Indian Ocean's Java Trench.


    World's deepest octopus captured on cameraA "Dumbo" octopus is photographed at a depth of 7,000m in the Indian Ocean's Java Trench.


     

  • Climate change: 'Stunning' seafloor ridges record Antarctic retreat      Fri, 29 May 2020 13:40:36 -0400

    Climate change: 'Stunning' seafloor ridges record Antarctic retreatScientists are learning just how fast the ice margin of Antarctica can retreat in a warming world.


    Climate change: 'Stunning' seafloor ridges record Antarctic retreatScientists are learning just how fast the ice margin of Antarctica can retreat in a warming world.


     

  • Weather concerns complicate plans for SpaceX’s next attempt to launch NASA astronauts      Fri, 29 May 2020 12:59:00 -0400

    Weather concerns complicate plans for SpaceX’s next attempt to launch NASA astronautsNASA and SpaceX are keeping a close eye on the weather in Florida and beyond as they get set for a second attempt to launch two NASA astronauts in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule on Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. During a briefing held today at the billboard-sized countdown clock at Kennedy Space Center, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said mission managers were weighing whether to skip Saturday's first opportunity and go for Sunday instead. The forecast for Sunday is slightly better, with a 60% chance of acceptable weather as opposed to Saturday's 50%. Rain and thick clouds are the primary concerns. Technically,… Read More


    Weather concerns complicate plans for SpaceX’s next attempt to launch NASA astronautsNASA and SpaceX are keeping a close eye on the weather in Florida and beyond as they get set for a second attempt to launch two NASA astronauts in SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule on Saturday. Or maybe Sunday. During a briefing held today at the billboard-sized countdown clock at Kennedy Space Center, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said mission managers were weighing whether to skip Saturday's first opportunity and go for Sunday instead. The forecast for Sunday is slightly better, with a 60% chance of acceptable weather as opposed to Saturday's 50%. Rain and thick clouds are the primary concerns. Technically,… Read More


     

  • Biggest UK solar plant approved      Thu, 28 May 2020 12:33:28 -0400

    Biggest UK solar plant approvedClimate change: Go-ahead for controversial solar farm - the UK's biggest


    Biggest UK solar plant approvedClimate change: Go-ahead for controversial solar farm - the UK's biggest


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: Big day called off because of weather      Wed, 27 May 2020 21:54:17 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: Big day called off because of weatherA late decision is made to delay the first astronaut launch to orbit from US soil in nine years.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: Big day called off because of weatherA late decision is made to delay the first astronaut launch to orbit from US soil in nine years.


     

  • Weather forces delay for SpaceX’s historic launch of NASA’s first Dragon riders to the space station      Wed, 27 May 2020 17:04:40 -0400

    Weather forces delay for SpaceX’s historic launch of NASA’s first Dragon riders to the space stationThe countdown for SpaceX's first crewed launch to the International Space Station ran down to less than 17 minutes, but because the weather didn't cooperate, history will have to wait until Saturday at the earliest. SpaceX called off the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken sitting inside the Crew Dragon capsule on top, and President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence waiting in the wings. Liftoff would have marked the first-ever use of a privately owned spaceship for a crewed orbital launch, the first launch of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil… Read More


    Weather forces delay for SpaceX’s historic launch of NASA’s first Dragon riders to the space stationThe countdown for SpaceX's first crewed launch to the International Space Station ran down to less than 17 minutes, but because the weather didn't cooperate, history will have to wait until Saturday at the earliest. SpaceX called off the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken sitting inside the Crew Dragon capsule on top, and President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence waiting in the wings. Liftoff would have marked the first-ever use of a privately owned spaceship for a crewed orbital launch, the first launch of NASA astronauts from U.S. soil… Read More


     

  • 'Billions of years of evolutionary history' under threat      Wed, 27 May 2020 04:39:52 -0400

    'Billions of years of evolutionary history' under threat'Weird and wonderful' animals unlike anything else on Earth are sliding toward extinction, say scientists.


    'Billions of years of evolutionary history' under threat'Weird and wonderful' animals unlike anything else on Earth are sliding toward extinction, say scientists.


     

  • Record drop in energy investment, warns International Energy Agency      Wed, 27 May 2020 03:59:53 -0400

    Record drop in energy investment, warns International Energy AgencyThe pandemic has caused a record fall in energy investment and will likely lead to more pollution.


    Record drop in energy investment, warns International Energy AgencyThe pandemic has caused a record fall in energy investment and will likely lead to more pollution.


     

  • Dinosaur asteroid's trajectory was 'perfect storm'      Wed, 27 May 2020 03:51:04 -0400

    Dinosaur asteroid's trajectory was 'perfect storm'The angle at which a life-destroying space rock hit Earth 66 million years ago was particularly lethal.


    Dinosaur asteroid's trajectory was 'perfect storm'The angle at which a life-destroying space rock hit Earth 66 million years ago was particularly lethal.


     

  • A-Alpha Bio wins $620,000 grant to work on ‘molecular glue’ for treating disease      Tue, 26 May 2020 19:52:09 -0400

    A-Alpha Bio wins $620,000 grant to work on ‘molecular glue’ for treating diseaseA-Alpha Bio, a Seattle venture that began at the University of Washington, has won a $620,472 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a system that identifies molecules capable of taking disease-causing proteins out of circulation. The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant, awarded on April 30, follows up on an earlier Phase I grant focusing on molecular glue. Such molecules are designed to "glue" a target protein onto another type of protein known as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. The ubiquitin molecules serve as chemical tags that basically tell the cell, "Get rid of the protein that I'm… Read More


    A-Alpha Bio wins $620,000 grant to work on ‘molecular glue’ for treating diseaseA-Alpha Bio, a Seattle venture that began at the University of Washington, has won a $620,472 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a system that identifies molecules capable of taking disease-causing proteins out of circulation. The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant, awarded on April 30, follows up on an earlier Phase I grant focusing on molecular glue. Such molecules are designed to "glue" a target protein onto another type of protein known as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. The ubiquitin molecules serve as chemical tags that basically tell the cell, "Get rid of the protein that I'm… Read More


     

  • Epic 7,500-mile cuckoo migration wows scientists      Tue, 26 May 2020 17:45:36 -0400

    Epic 7,500-mile cuckoo migration wows scientistsScientists have tracked a cuckoo's migratory flight from Africa to its breeding ground in Mongolia.


    Epic 7,500-mile cuckoo migration wows scientistsScientists have tracked a cuckoo's migratory flight from Africa to its breeding ground in Mongolia.


     

  • European contract signed for Moon mission hardware      Tue, 26 May 2020 05:36:32 -0400

    European contract signed for Moon mission hardwareWhen astronauts go back to the Moon in 2024, they'll be using European hardware to get there.


    European contract signed for Moon mission hardwareWhen astronauts go back to the Moon in 2024, they'll be using European hardware to get there.


     

  • Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit rocket fails on debut flight      Tue, 26 May 2020 01:59:55 -0400

    Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit rocket fails on debut flightA California company owned by UK businessman Sir Richard Branson fails to launch a rocket to orbit.


    Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit rocket fails on debut flightA California company owned by UK businessman Sir Richard Branson fails to launch a rocket to orbit.


     

  • Space debris: Smart solutions sought to make orbital traffic safer      Tue, 26 May 2020 01:43:40 -0400

    Space debris: Smart solutions sought to make orbital traffic saferThe UK Space Agency is seeking novel ideas to track all the pieces of debris now moving in orbit.


    Space debris: Smart solutions sought to make orbital traffic saferThe UK Space Agency is seeking novel ideas to track all the pieces of debris now moving in orbit.


     

  • NASA signs off on historic SpaceX crewed launch, leaving weather as final uncertainty      Mon, 25 May 2020 21:58:08 -0400

    NASA signs off on historic SpaceX crewed launch, leaving weather as final uncertaintyMission managers have cleared the final paperwork for SpaceX's first-ever crewed launch, aimed at sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The stage is now set for the first NASA mission to send humans into orbit from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011. Only one big question remained after today's launch readiness review, which looked at all the technical issues surrounding Wednesday's scheduled liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "We're burning down the final paper," Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's commercial crew program, told… Read More


    NASA signs off on historic SpaceX crewed launch, leaving weather as final uncertaintyMission managers have cleared the final paperwork for SpaceX's first-ever crewed launch, aimed at sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The stage is now set for the first NASA mission to send humans into orbit from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011. Only one big question remained after today's launch readiness review, which looked at all the technical issues surrounding Wednesday's scheduled liftoff from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "We're burning down the final paper," Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA's commercial crew program, told… Read More


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: 10 questions about the mission      Mon, 25 May 2020 20:23:29 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: 10 questions about the missionBBC News answers questions about the first orbital launch of astronauts from US soil in nine years.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: 10 questions about the missionBBC News answers questions about the first orbital launch of astronauts from US soil in nine years.


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: What's the mission plan?      Mon, 25 May 2020 19:20:56 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: What's the mission plan?These are the key phases in the first crew mission to go to orbit from the US in nine years.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: What's the mission plan?These are the key phases in the first crew mission to go to orbit from the US in nine years.


     

  • Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket misses going to space during its first air launch      Mon, 25 May 2020 16:25:55 -0400

    Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket misses going to space during its first air launchA new breed of launch vehicle had a shaky first outing today when Virgin Orbit released its LauncherOne rocket from a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet flying over the Pacific Ocean for its first blastoff. "We've confirmed a clean release from the aircraft," Virgin Orbit reported in a tweet. "However, the mission terminated shortly into the flight." In a follow-up Twitter thread, Virgin Orbit said the rocket maintained its stability after release and fired up its first-stage engine. "An anomaly then occurred early in first-stage flight," the company said. The carrier airplane, known as Cosmic Girl, and its crew landed… Read More


    Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket misses going to space during its first air launchA new breed of launch vehicle had a shaky first outing today when Virgin Orbit released its LauncherOne rocket from a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet flying over the Pacific Ocean for its first blastoff. "We've confirmed a clean release from the aircraft," Virgin Orbit reported in a tweet. "However, the mission terminated shortly into the flight." In a follow-up Twitter thread, Virgin Orbit said the rocket maintained its stability after release and fired up its first-stage engine. "An anomaly then occurred early in first-stage flight," the company said. The carrier airplane, known as Cosmic Girl, and its crew landed… Read More


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts complete rehearsal for historic mission      Sun, 24 May 2020 11:44:03 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts complete rehearsal for historic missionDoug Hurley and Bob Behnken ready themselves and their kit for Wednesday's flight to the space station.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts complete rehearsal for historic missionDoug Hurley and Bob Behnken ready themselves and their kit for Wednesday's flight to the space station.


     

  • NASA and SpaceX rehearse for big launch day, complete with a Tesla ride to the pad      Sat, 23 May 2020 18:50:38 -0400

    NASA and SpaceX rehearse for big launch day, complete with a Tesla ride to the padNASA and SpaceX put astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and the rest of the team at Kennedy Space Center in Florida through a "dry dress rehearsal" today in preparation for next week's historic launch to the International Space Station. The simulated countdown covered all of the steps on the timeline for sending the two astronauts on the first-ever crewed trip into space aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon, up to the point of loading propellants into the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A. Hurley and Behnken rode to the pad in a NASA-branded Tesla Model X SUV ⁠— which… Read More


    NASA and SpaceX rehearse for big launch day, complete with a Tesla ride to the padNASA and SpaceX put astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken and the rest of the team at Kennedy Space Center in Florida through a "dry dress rehearsal" today in preparation for next week's historic launch to the International Space Station. The simulated countdown covered all of the steps on the timeline for sending the two astronauts on the first-ever crewed trip into space aboard SpaceX's Crew Dragon, up to the point of loading propellants into the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Launch Complex 39A. Hurley and Behnken rode to the pad in a NASA-branded Tesla Model X SUV ⁠— which… Read More


     

  • Nasa SpaceX crew mission cleared to launch      Sat, 23 May 2020 03:54:52 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX crew mission cleared to launchA review panel finds no technical reason to delay the first US orbital crew launch in nine years.


    Nasa SpaceX crew mission cleared to launchA review panel finds no technical reason to delay the first US orbital crew launch in nine years.


     

  • Antarctic algal blooms: 'Green snow' mapped from space      Fri, 22 May 2020 18:20:30 -0400

    Antarctic algal blooms: 'Green snow' mapped from spaceUK scientists create the first wide-area maps of microscopic algae growing in coastal Antarctica.


    Antarctic algal blooms: 'Green snow' mapped from spaceUK scientists create the first wide-area maps of microscopic algae growing in coastal Antarctica.


     

  • NASA gives crucial thumbs-up to SpaceX’s historic crewed flight to space station      Fri, 22 May 2020 17:43:43 -0400

    NASA gives crucial thumbs-up to SpaceX’s historic crewed flight to space stationNASA today signed off on the first launch to send a crew into orbit from U.S. soil in nearly nine years, and the rocket for that launch had its final test firing. After reviewing mission plans for a day and a half, mission managers cleared SpaceX to send NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station at 4:33 p.m. ET (1:33 p.m. PT) Wednesday. "We had a very successful flight readiness review, in that we did a thorough review of all the systems and all the risks," NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk, who presided over this… Read More


    NASA gives crucial thumbs-up to SpaceX’s historic crewed flight to space stationNASA today signed off on the first launch to send a crew into orbit from U.S. soil in nearly nine years, and the rocket for that launch had its final test firing. After reviewing mission plans for a day and a half, mission managers cleared SpaceX to send NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station at 4:33 p.m. ET (1:33 p.m. PT) Wednesday. "We had a very successful flight readiness review, in that we did a thorough review of all the systems and all the risks," NASA Associate Administrator Steve Jurczyk, who presided over this… Read More


     

  • 'Expect More': Climate Change Raises Risk of Dam Failures      Fri, 22 May 2020 15:15:32 -0400

    'Expect More': Climate Change Raises Risk of Dam FailuresThe dam that failed in central Michigan on Tuesday gave way for the same reason most do: It was overwhelmed by water. Almost 5 inches of rain fell in the area in the previous two days, after earlier storms had saturated the ground and swollen the Tittabawassee River, which the dam held back.No one can say yet whether the intense rainfall that preceded this disaster was made worse by climate change. But global warming is already causing some regions to become wetter, and increasing the frequency of extreme storms, according to the latest National Climate Assessment. The trends are expected to continue as the world gets even warmer.That puts more of the nation's 91,500 dams at risk of failing, engineers and dam safety experts said."We should expect more of these down the road," said Amir AghaKouchak, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Irvine. "It's unfortunate but this is what the trend is going to be."Overall, he and others say, dams in the United States and elsewhere are unprepared for the changes coming in a warming world.The dam that failed Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of about 40,000 people in and around Midland, Michigan, and threatening a chemical complex and toxic waste cleanup site, was designed a century ago, long before climate change was a concern.The dam, at Edenville Township, about 30 miles upstream from Midland, had severe design problems: It had been cited for having spillways that were inadequate to handle a maximum flood, whether affected by climate change or not. (A second dam at Sanford, 10 miles downstream, was overrun by the arriving floodwaters but did not collapse.)But the Edenville Dam was hardly alone in being outdated, with design or maintenance deficiencies or other problems that might make it unsafe. The American Society of Civil Engineers, in its latest report card on infrastructure in 2017, gave the nation's dams a "D" grade.The average age of dams in the United States is nearly 60. And nationwide, about 15,500 are classified as having a high hazard potential; in Michigan, more than 170 dams are in that category, as was the Edenville Dam. Repairing and upgrading high-hazard dams alone could cost tens of billions of dollars.Since the mid-19th century there has been an average of about 10 dam failures a year in the United States, said Martin W. McCann Jr., a civil engineer who directs the National Performance of Dams Program at Stanford University. More than 90% of failed dams are less than about 50 feet high. (Edenville was 54 feet tall.)Rivers and reservoirs swollen by rainfall are the cause of most of the failures. "It's not a new thing per se," McCann said.But some recent dam episodes have been shown to have a climate change link. In February 2017, at Oroville Dam in California, the tallest in the nation, heavy mountain runoff into the reservoir led to the near-failure of an emergency spillway and severe damage to the main spillway. Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated as a precaution and repairs cost more than $1 billion.A later study found that human-caused warming had increased early season runoff in the Sierra Nevada, contributing to the high water levels at the dam.And there is little doubt that extreme rainfall events are getting more frequent. The fourth National Climate Assessment, issued in 2018, showed that the number of heavy precipitation two-day events has increased in all regions except the Southwest since the early 1900s. And since 1950, extreme events increased by more than 50% in the Midwest.But Bill McCormick, who is in charge of dam safety for the state of Colorado and is the incoming president of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, said short-duration extreme precipitation wasn't the only problem.Rainfall of longer duration but less intensity -- an overall wetter climate, which climate models forecast for parts of the United States in coming decades -- can contribute to the risk."They tend to saturate the ground," McCormick said. "Then, if you do get these 4- or 5- inch rains, the ground can't absorb it."That was evident in the Michigan disaster, he said, where even though the two-day deluge was not considered the most extreme possible rainfall event, it still overwhelmed the dam because the ground was already saturated from several days of rain.Dam engineers have usually based their designs on past weather -- what a decade or decades of data show about the maximum potential flood a dam would have to withstand. That would have been how the Edenville Dam was designed in the 1920s.But there was no expectation that future weather patterns might be different.This kind of thinking largely persists today, AghaKouchak said. "Still, our engineering design concept is based on the so-called stationary assumption -- that things will stay the same," he said."But as we get more and more evidence of changes in extremes, the question is if it's reasonable to stay with this stationary assumption," he said. "The answer is, probably not."Some designers are beginning to change their ways, said Robert Lempert, a principal researcher at the RAND Corp. who specializes in climate risk analysis. Legislation recently approved in California, for example, requires state engineers to take climate change into account when designing infrastructure projects."If you're building a dam you want to pull in climate change from the very beginning," he said. "How is climate change going to affect the design of the dam, or even whether I want a dam at all?"For existing dams, operational changes might be called for, such as reducing the water levels behind the dam at certain times of year in anticipation of more extreme storms. "And you want to put climate change on the agenda for any maintenance and upgrades," Lempert said.Those upgrades might include changing spillway designs to incorporate the kind of rainfall pattern that occurred in Michigan, McCormick said. Rather than one designed to handle high peak inflow from a short, extreme storm, designers may opt for one that could cope with larger volumes over a longer time period."You need to look at how a given spillway is designed," he said, "if the circumstances of the rainfall change."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    'Expect More': Climate Change Raises Risk of Dam FailuresThe dam that failed in central Michigan on Tuesday gave way for the same reason most do: It was overwhelmed by water. Almost 5 inches of rain fell in the area in the previous two days, after earlier storms had saturated the ground and swollen the Tittabawassee River, which the dam held back.No one can say yet whether the intense rainfall that preceded this disaster was made worse by climate change. But global warming is already causing some regions to become wetter, and increasing the frequency of extreme storms, according to the latest National Climate Assessment. The trends are expected to continue as the world gets even warmer.That puts more of the nation's 91,500 dams at risk of failing, engineers and dam safety experts said."We should expect more of these down the road," said Amir AghaKouchak, a professor of civil engineering at the University of California, Irvine. "It's unfortunate but this is what the trend is going to be."Overall, he and others say, dams in the United States and elsewhere are unprepared for the changes coming in a warming world.The dam that failed Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of about 40,000 people in and around Midland, Michigan, and threatening a chemical complex and toxic waste cleanup site, was designed a century ago, long before climate change was a concern.The dam, at Edenville Township, about 30 miles upstream from Midland, had severe design problems: It had been cited for having spillways that were inadequate to handle a maximum flood, whether affected by climate change or not. (A second dam at Sanford, 10 miles downstream, was overrun by the arriving floodwaters but did not collapse.)But the Edenville Dam was hardly alone in being outdated, with design or maintenance deficiencies or other problems that might make it unsafe. The American Society of Civil Engineers, in its latest report card on infrastructure in 2017, gave the nation's dams a "D" grade.The average age of dams in the United States is nearly 60. And nationwide, about 15,500 are classified as having a high hazard potential; in Michigan, more than 170 dams are in that category, as was the Edenville Dam. Repairing and upgrading high-hazard dams alone could cost tens of billions of dollars.Since the mid-19th century there has been an average of about 10 dam failures a year in the United States, said Martin W. McCann Jr., a civil engineer who directs the National Performance of Dams Program at Stanford University. More than 90% of failed dams are less than about 50 feet high. (Edenville was 54 feet tall.)Rivers and reservoirs swollen by rainfall are the cause of most of the failures. "It's not a new thing per se," McCann said.But some recent dam episodes have been shown to have a climate change link. In February 2017, at Oroville Dam in California, the tallest in the nation, heavy mountain runoff into the reservoir led to the near-failure of an emergency spillway and severe damage to the main spillway. Nearly 200,000 people were evacuated as a precaution and repairs cost more than $1 billion.A later study found that human-caused warming had increased early season runoff in the Sierra Nevada, contributing to the high water levels at the dam.And there is little doubt that extreme rainfall events are getting more frequent. The fourth National Climate Assessment, issued in 2018, showed that the number of heavy precipitation two-day events has increased in all regions except the Southwest since the early 1900s. And since 1950, extreme events increased by more than 50% in the Midwest.But Bill McCormick, who is in charge of dam safety for the state of Colorado and is the incoming president of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, said short-duration extreme precipitation wasn't the only problem.Rainfall of longer duration but less intensity -- an overall wetter climate, which climate models forecast for parts of the United States in coming decades -- can contribute to the risk."They tend to saturate the ground," McCormick said. "Then, if you do get these 4- or 5- inch rains, the ground can't absorb it."That was evident in the Michigan disaster, he said, where even though the two-day deluge was not considered the most extreme possible rainfall event, it still overwhelmed the dam because the ground was already saturated from several days of rain.Dam engineers have usually based their designs on past weather -- what a decade or decades of data show about the maximum potential flood a dam would have to withstand. That would have been how the Edenville Dam was designed in the 1920s.But there was no expectation that future weather patterns might be different.This kind of thinking largely persists today, AghaKouchak said. "Still, our engineering design concept is based on the so-called stationary assumption -- that things will stay the same," he said."But as we get more and more evidence of changes in extremes, the question is if it's reasonable to stay with this stationary assumption," he said. "The answer is, probably not."Some designers are beginning to change their ways, said Robert Lempert, a principal researcher at the RAND Corp. who specializes in climate risk analysis. Legislation recently approved in California, for example, requires state engineers to take climate change into account when designing infrastructure projects."If you're building a dam you want to pull in climate change from the very beginning," he said. "How is climate change going to affect the design of the dam, or even whether I want a dam at all?"For existing dams, operational changes might be called for, such as reducing the water levels behind the dam at certain times of year in anticipation of more extreme storms. "And you want to put climate change on the agenda for any maintenance and upgrades," Lempert said.Those upgrades might include changing spillway designs to incorporate the kind of rainfall pattern that occurred in Michigan, McCormick said. Rather than one designed to handle high peak inflow from a short, extreme storm, designers may opt for one that could cope with larger volumes over a longer time period."You need to look at how a given spillway is designed," he said, "if the circumstances of the rainfall change."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


     

  • Pollution: Birds 'ingesting hundreds of bits of plastic a day'      Fri, 22 May 2020 09:43:26 -0400

    Pollution: Birds 'ingesting hundreds of bits of plastic a day'Plastic pollutants in UK rivers are finding their way into wildlife and moving up the food chain.


    Pollution: Birds 'ingesting hundreds of bits of plastic a day'Plastic pollutants in UK rivers are finding their way into wildlife and moving up the food chain.


     

  • NOAA selects Univ. of Washington to host regional institute for climate and ocean research      Thu, 21 May 2020 16:08:52 -0400

    NOAA selects Univ. of Washington to host regional institute for climate and ocean researchThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected the University of Washington to host a Pacific Northwest research institute focusing on climate, ocean and coastal challenges, supported by a five-year award worth up to $300 million. The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, or CICOES, will be a collaboration involving UW as well as the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Oregon State University. It'll build on the 42-year history of UW's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, under the continued directorship of UW marine biologist John Horne. CICOES is one of 17 NOAA-supported… Read More


    NOAA selects Univ. of Washington to host regional institute for climate and ocean researchThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected the University of Washington to host a Pacific Northwest research institute focusing on climate, ocean and coastal challenges, supported by a five-year award worth up to $300 million. The Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean and Ecosystem Studies, or CICOES, will be a collaboration involving UW as well as the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Oregon State University. It'll build on the 42-year history of UW's Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, under the continued directorship of UW marine biologist John Horne. CICOES is one of 17 NOAA-supported… Read More


     

  • Nature: Bumblebees' 'clever trick' fools plants into flowering      Thu, 21 May 2020 14:02:24 -0400

    Nature: Bumblebees' 'clever trick' fools plants into floweringScientists discover a new behaviour among bumblebees that tricks plants into flowering early.


    Nature: Bumblebees' 'clever trick' fools plants into floweringScientists discover a new behaviour among bumblebees that tricks plants into flowering early.


     

  • Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit hopes for rocket flight this weekend      Thu, 21 May 2020 11:43:33 -0400

    Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit hopes for rocket flight this weekendUK businessman Sir Richard Branson is looking to Saturday to debut one of his new space systems.


    Sir Richard Branson: Virgin Orbit hopes for rocket flight this weekendUK businessman Sir Richard Branson is looking to Saturday to debut one of his new space systems.


     

  • Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts get to work ahead of historic flight      Thu, 21 May 2020 11:27:18 -0400

    Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts get to work ahead of historic flightNasa's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are a week away from their flight to the space station.


    Nasa SpaceX launch: Astronauts get to work ahead of historic flightNasa's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are a week away from their flight to the space station.


     

  • Astronauts arrive in Florida to set new NASA traditions for crewed spaceflight      Wed, 20 May 2020 18:41:04 -0400

    Astronauts arrive in Florida to set new NASA traditions for crewed spaceflightTwo NASA astronauts landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today to go through a set of pre-launch traditions that haven't been followed for nearly nine years — and create a few new traditions as well. When Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken walked out of a NASA Gulfstream jet and met the press, they began a routine that's due to climax next week with the first orbital launch from U.S. soil since the space shuttle fleet's retirement in 2011. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is due to loft their commercial Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station a week… Read More


    Astronauts arrive in Florida to set new NASA traditions for crewed spaceflightTwo NASA astronauts landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida today to go through a set of pre-launch traditions that haven't been followed for nearly nine years — and create a few new traditions as well. When Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken walked out of a NASA Gulfstream jet and met the press, they began a routine that's due to climax next week with the first orbital launch from U.S. soil since the space shuttle fleet's retirement in 2011. SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket is due to loft their commercial Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station a week… Read More


     

  • Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes Stronger, Researchers Find      Wed, 20 May 2020 08:22:11 -0400

    Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes Stronger, Researchers FindHurricanes have become stronger worldwide during the past four decades, an analysis of observational data shows, supporting what theory and computer models have long suggested: Climate change is making these storms more intense and destructive.The analysis, of satellite images dating to 1979, shows that warming has increased the likelihood of a hurricane developing into a major one of Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds greater than 110 mph, by about 8% a decade."The trend is there and it is real," said James P. Kossin, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and lead author of the study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "There's this remarkable building of this body of evidence that we're making these storms more deleterious."Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the study, said the findings were "much in line with what's expected.""When you see things going up all over the globe like that, the ducks are kind of in order," he said.But in the North Atlantic, where hurricane activity has increased in recent decades and storms have caused tens of billions of dollars of damage in the United States and the Caribbean, factors other than climate change may have played more of a role in the increase in intensity, Emanuel said.Physics suggests that as the world warms, hurricanes and other tropical cyclones should get stronger, because warmer water provides more of the energy that fuels these storms. And climate simulations have long showed an increase in stronger hurricanes as warming continues.But confirming that through observations has been problematic, because of the relatively small number of hurricanes every year and the difficulty of obtaining data on their wind speeds and other characteristics. Even in the United States, storms that do not potentially threaten populations are measured less than others."We're doing collectively a bad job of measuring tropical cyclones around the world," Emanuel said. "We've all believed we should see more intense hurricanes. But it's very very tricky to find it in the data."Kossin and his colleagues got around the limitations by using satellite images of storms worldwide and using computers to interpret them with a long-accepted pattern-matching algorithm, or set of instructions. They had done this before, in a study published in 2013, but that analysis only included imagery from 1982 to 2009 and the findings, while similar, were not statistically significant.In the new study the researchers extended the data set by 11 years, using imagery from 1979 to 2017."The first time through we found trends but they hadn't risen to the level of confidence that we would require," Kossin said. The findings of the new study are statistically significant."This is saying, OK now, the historical observations are also in agreement" with the theory and models, he added.The study looked at tropical storms worldwide because that provided a lot more data than looking at those in just one region. And every region has natural variability or other factors that can affect storm intensity and make it more difficult to tease out the effects of warming."When you look at the picture globally, it tends to wash away that regional variability," Kossin said. "The trend rises above the noise."The North Atlantic has seen increased hurricane activity in recent decades, by a measure that combines intensity with other characteristics like duration and frequency of storms. On Thursday, NOAA will issue its forecast of activity for this season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Forecasts by other organizations have suggested that this year may be an active one.But the North Atlantic is one region where climate change may be overshadowed by other factors, Emanuel said."We do see clear signals and strong trends in the North Atlantic," he said. "The problem is we can't uniquely attribute that to greenhouse gases."Some scientists say that long-term natural variability in sea surface temperatures, on a time scale of decades, has played the major role in affecting North Atlantic storm activity. Others say that mandated reductions in sulfur emissions from fossil-fuel burning over the past few decades may be more important, by affecting ocean temperatures through a series of atmospheric connections.Whatever the main factors are, the study suggests that climate change will play a long-term role in increasing the strength of storms in the North Atlantic and elsewhere, Kossin said. Planning for how to mitigate the effect of major storms must take this into account."From a short time scale, these trends are not going to change the risk landscape," Kossin said. But over the long term, he said, "the risk landscape could change, and in a bad way, not in a good way."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


    Climate Change Is Making Hurricanes Stronger, Researchers FindHurricanes have become stronger worldwide during the past four decades, an analysis of observational data shows, supporting what theory and computer models have long suggested: Climate change is making these storms more intense and destructive.The analysis, of satellite images dating to 1979, shows that warming has increased the likelihood of a hurricane developing into a major one of Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds greater than 110 mph, by about 8% a decade."The trend is there and it is real," said James P. Kossin, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and lead author of the study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "There's this remarkable building of this body of evidence that we're making these storms more deleterious."Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who was not involved in the study, said the findings were "much in line with what's expected.""When you see things going up all over the globe like that, the ducks are kind of in order," he said.But in the North Atlantic, where hurricane activity has increased in recent decades and storms have caused tens of billions of dollars of damage in the United States and the Caribbean, factors other than climate change may have played more of a role in the increase in intensity, Emanuel said.Physics suggests that as the world warms, hurricanes and other tropical cyclones should get stronger, because warmer water provides more of the energy that fuels these storms. And climate simulations have long showed an increase in stronger hurricanes as warming continues.But confirming that through observations has been problematic, because of the relatively small number of hurricanes every year and the difficulty of obtaining data on their wind speeds and other characteristics. Even in the United States, storms that do not potentially threaten populations are measured less than others."We're doing collectively a bad job of measuring tropical cyclones around the world," Emanuel said. "We've all believed we should see more intense hurricanes. But it's very very tricky to find it in the data."Kossin and his colleagues got around the limitations by using satellite images of storms worldwide and using computers to interpret them with a long-accepted pattern-matching algorithm, or set of instructions. They had done this before, in a study published in 2013, but that analysis only included imagery from 1982 to 2009 and the findings, while similar, were not statistically significant.In the new study the researchers extended the data set by 11 years, using imagery from 1979 to 2017."The first time through we found trends but they hadn't risen to the level of confidence that we would require," Kossin said. The findings of the new study are statistically significant."This is saying, OK now, the historical observations are also in agreement" with the theory and models, he added.The study looked at tropical storms worldwide because that provided a lot more data than looking at those in just one region. And every region has natural variability or other factors that can affect storm intensity and make it more difficult to tease out the effects of warming."When you look at the picture globally, it tends to wash away that regional variability," Kossin said. "The trend rises above the noise."The North Atlantic has seen increased hurricane activity in recent decades, by a measure that combines intensity with other characteristics like duration and frequency of storms. On Thursday, NOAA will issue its forecast of activity for this season, which officially runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. Forecasts by other organizations have suggested that this year may be an active one.But the North Atlantic is one region where climate change may be overshadowed by other factors, Emanuel said."We do see clear signals and strong trends in the North Atlantic," he said. "The problem is we can't uniquely attribute that to greenhouse gases."Some scientists say that long-term natural variability in sea surface temperatures, on a time scale of decades, has played the major role in affecting North Atlantic storm activity. Others say that mandated reductions in sulfur emissions from fossil-fuel burning over the past few decades may be more important, by affecting ocean temperatures through a series of atmospheric connections.Whatever the main factors are, the study suggests that climate change will play a long-term role in increasing the strength of storms in the North Atlantic and elsewhere, Kossin said. Planning for how to mitigate the effect of major storms must take this into account."From a short time scale, these trends are not going to change the risk landscape," Kossin said. But over the long term, he said, "the risk landscape could change, and in a bad way, not in a good way."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


     



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