If the world gets warmer by two degrees Celsius, we’re screwed. To prevent that, the United Nations signed the Paris Agreement, an international treaty designed to keep the average global temperature “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”…A.K.A. what the Earth was like before factories started spewing greenhouse gases into the air.
For the past three weeks, biologists aboard the NOAA ship Okeanos Explorerhave been investigating marine sanctuaries in the American Samoan region of the Pacific. They’ve found a smattering of weird and dazzling creatures, reminding us just how little we know about life at the bottom of the ocean.
Miniature satellites are increasingly a big deal, and for good reasons: they’re not only less expensive and easier to deploy than the giant satellites of old, but can cover wider areas. And the White House wants to give them a helping hand. It’s launching an initiative that will foster small satellites with the resources they need to flourish.
We know surprisingly little about our oceans. To help with this glaring blind spot, the XPrize has announced a new $7 million contest to foster innovations in ocean exploration technology.
A rather massive coronal hole was recently spotted on the Sun by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. The region—the size of 50 Earths—is spewing material into space at tremendous speeds. It may look terrifying, but astronomers say it’s nothing to worry about.
This year’s winter “will definitely not be normal,” NASA has said. It is, however, awfully familiar.
It’s not just the sea surface heights, like those above, that look alike—NOAA and NASA both confirm that they’re also seeing wind patterns and water temperatures that look eerily similar to the ‘97 conditions.
We all know that major storms can wreak havoc, flooding cities and decimating infrastructure. But there’s an even bigger worry than wind and rain: space weather. If a massive solar storm hit us, our technology would be wiped out. The entire planet could go dark.