How Fast Can We Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy System?


Starting later this month, the world’s nations will convene in traumatized Paris to hammer out commitments to slow down global climate change. Any long-term solution will require “decarbonizing” the world energy economy – that is, shifting to power sources that use little or no fossil fuel. »Saturday 3:30pm11/28/15 3:30pm


A New Laser Could Make Materials Hotter Than the Sun Almost Instantly

Ever feel like an insanely high powered laser could solve your problems? Fusion researchers sure do! And now, they may have the blueprint they’ve been searching for. New theoretical work indicates it could be possible to build a laser that heats materials to temperatures hotter than the center of the sun—within a… »11/13/15 1:00pm11/13/15 1:00pm

8 Reasons Why the Tokyo Olympics Will Be the Most Futuristic We've Ever Seen

In 1964, the last time Tokyo hosted the Summer Olympics, the nation revealed one of the biggest mic drops in transportation history: the debut of the shinkansen, the world-famous bullet train that became a Japanese icon. The first high-speed train in the world, it spurred similar technology to spread to Europe and… »9/24/15 2:57pm9/24/15 2:57pm

Now We Actually Have a Real Reason to Dread Solar Eclipses 

Superstitions have surrounded the eerie solar eclipse since time immemorial. And now, for entirely scientific reasons, it turns out we have good reason to fear them. Earth's biggest solar eclipse since 1999 is happening this March, and it could cause some real disruption—thanks to Europe's reliance on solar energy. »2/25/15 12:01am2/25/15 12:01am

What Are Capacitors and Will They Really Charge Your Phone in Seconds?

Your phone died. Again. In these scenarios, who among us has not dreamed the dream of a future where our devices charge instantly and last forever. As capacitors—or even more exciting, ultracapacitors—get better and better at storing energy, they could replace batteries and realize at least one half of that dream. »2/02/15 1:34pm2/02/15 1:34pm

An Odd Hypothesis About Bubbles Could Finally Lead to Nuclear Fusion

Nuclear fusion is the dream of energy scientists the world over, because it promises limitless, clean electricity. Most efforts to kickstart the process use high-intensity lasers, insane magnetic fields and super-hot hydrogen plasmas. But there may be a more humble alternative. It's called sonofusion, and it… »1/30/15 12:17pm1/30/15 12:17pm

Reservoirs and hydropower are often thought of as climate friendly, but new research suggests that w

Reservoirs and hydropower are often thought of as climate friendly, but new research suggests that we may have underestimated the amount of methane they produce. The methane—which is 35 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2 over the span of a century—is produced by bacteria eating nutrient-rich agricultural runoff. »10/30/14 9:50am10/30/14 9:50am

Satellite Images Reveal How the U.S. Oil Boom Is Creating New Cities

This image from NASA reveals a massive cluster of lights in what was — until recently — desolate prairie. This is the Bakken Shale, an oil-rich rock formation stretching across parts of North Dakota, Montana and Canada. The lights are from the illuminated derricks, local boomtowns and gas flares of the oil fields. »10/21/14 2:40pm10/21/14 2:40pm