“Planet Earth Report” provides descriptive links to headline news by leading science journalists about the extraordinary discoveries, technology, people, and events changing our knowledge of Planet Earth and the future of the human species. Our caffeine-inspired curation team scours the world, doing your work for you –all in one place.
Nuclear Tests Marked Life on Earth With a Radioactive Spike –Even as it disappears, the “bomb spike” is revealing the ways humans have reshaped the planet, writes Carl Zimmer for The Atlantic. “Within seconds, the fireball had lofted 10 million tons of pulverized coral reef, coated in radioactive material. And soon some of that deadly debris began dropping to Earth.
Russia Is Building an Autonomous Arctic Base to Develop Futuristic Tech. The carbon-zero facility, called “Snowflake,” is meant to demonstrate autonomous renewable power and serve as a base for advanced research when initial construction is finished in 2022, writes Becky Ferreira for Motherboard Vice.
A Tiny, Lab-Size Wormhole Could Shatter Our Sense of Reality –How scientists plan to set up two black holes and a wormhole on an ordinary tabletop, reports reports Phillip Ball and Quanta have predicted. A group led by Sepehr Nezami of the California Institute of Technology has suggested how to actually perform this extraordinary experiment—and it is beginning to work with collaborators to put the idea to the test.
Some parts of California had no rain in February — and are already seeing wildfires. Huge swaths of California experienced its driest February on record, writes Denise Chow for NBC MACH, with some northern areas of the state recording zero precipitation for the entire month, according to the National Weather Service. “California has a fairly restricted rainy season in the winter — between December and March — so we’re highly dependent on what falls during these few core rainy months,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Mysterious ‘Bubbles of Nothing’ That Eat Spacetime. A spontaneous hole in the fabric of reality could theoretically end the universe, but don’t worry: physicists are studying the idea for what it can teach us about the cosmos, writes Carly Minsky for Motherboard/Vice.
Banjo Is Turning Utah Into a Surveillance Panopticon –Banjo is applying artificial intelligence to government-owned surveillance and traffic cameras across the entire state of Utah to tell police about “anomalies,” reports Motherboard Vice. The state of Utah has given an artificial intelligence company real-time access to state traffic cameras, CCTV and “public safety” cameras, 911 emergency systems, location data for state-owned vehicles, and other sensitive data. The company says that it’s combining this data with information collected from social media, satellites, and other apps, and claims its algorithms “detect anomalies” in the real world.
‘Gardens and graveyards’ of coral discovered in hidden canyons off Australia’s coast –– Scientists are interested in these submarine crannies because they sit on the front lines of oceanic climate change. Stunning ‘gardens’ of deep-sea corals have been discovered in the Bremer Canyon Marine Park by Australian and international scientists during an oceanographic expedition aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor.
The Great Barrier Reef Is Heading for a Mass Bleaching of Unprecedented Scale –Forecasts for the largest living structure on Earth have become “devastating,” scientists say, and the coral carnage will be even more widespread than the last mass bleaching in 2016-2017, writes Maddie Stone for Motherboard/Vice. Between 2016 and 2017, half of all corals on the Great Barrier Reef died due to stress and starvation caused by back-to-back heat waves that were amplified by climate change. Only the southern third of the reef was spared significant losses during the disaster, which permanently degraded the ecosystem’s northern reaches.