Rising to meet the tide

As the threat of coastal flooding grows, scientists are responding with an inundation of data. Faster and more accurate forecasts can save lives and property.

Carrie Arnold • knowable
Nov. 11, 2020 ~12 min

climate-change food-environment physical-world

Seeking surprises in comets and asteroids

Exploring small bodies in the solar system provides clues to origins

Adam Mann • knowable
Oct. 16, 2020 ~18 min

space-astronomy physical-world

The danger lurking in an African lake

Kivu is no ordinary lake, with dense depths packed with methane and carbon dioxide gas. Its features hold aquatic puzzles, explosive hazards and the capacity to provide valuable energy.

John Wenz • knowable
Oct. 7, 2020 ~11 min

story-behind-a-picture physical-world

Why solar geoengineering should be part of the climate crisis solution

The controversial technology of reflecting sunlight away from the planet could help blunt the worst impacts of climate change

Betsy Mason • knowable
Sept. 16, 2020 ~15 min

climate-change technology qa food-environment physical-world

Why some artificial intelligence is smart until it’s dumb

Machine learning has found uses in fields as diverse as particle physics and radiology, and its influence is growing. But so is the understanding of its limits.

Tom Siegfried • knowable
Aug. 27, 2020 ~14 min

robotics technology physical-world in-review

The origin of mud

For most of Earth’s history, hardly any of the mucky stuff existed on land. It finally started piling up around 458 million years ago, changing life on the planet forever.

Laura Poppick • knowable
Aug. 17, 2020 ~10 min

living-world physical-world

Searching high and low for the origins of life

Researchers think they’re getting warmer: They’ve created amino acids and primitive membranes by simulating conditions found at scalding vents on the ocean floor

Anne N. Connor • knowable
July 21, 2020 ~10 min

living-world physical-world

Beyond the twilight zone

Tidally locked worlds are places of extremes. On one side it’s an endless day, the other a perpetual night. Yet scientists speculate that some may harbor conditions that could support life.

Nathaniel Scharping • knowable
July 7, 2020 ~10 min

space-astronomy physical-world

An elemental problem with the sun

For two decades, astronomers have argued over how much carbon, nitrogen and especially oxygen lie within our closest star — a dispute with implications for the entire universe

Ken Croswell • knowable
June 25, 2020 ~17 min

space-astronomy physical-world

Jupiter revealed

The Juno spacecraft has been circling Jupiter since 2016. Here are four things we’ve learned so far about the biggest planet in the solar system.

Christopher Crockett • knowable
June 5, 2020 ~12 min

space-astronomy physical-world

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