Ultra-dry Death Valley has a temporary lake thanks to extreme rainfall

The view from a kayak on Death Valley’s temporary lake, on 9 February 2024 Michael Kohler/NPS California has experienced heavy rainfall in recent weeks, resulting in the remarkable formation of a rare, temporary lake in Death Valley – the driest place in the US. Record-breaking levels of rain have drenched California over the past month. … Read more

Hawaii’s Coral Ecosystems Are the Latest Reefs to Be Insured against Extreme Storms

CLIMATEWIRE | A niche financial tool is making it easier to repair critical ecosystems after natural disasters — and protect at-risk communities from future extreme weather. The Nature Conservancy announced this week that it has expanded its parametric insurance policy for Hawaii’s coral reefs, guaranteeing a sizable payout if a storm of a certain caliber hits … Read more

Electric Vehicles Aren’t Ready for Extreme Heat and Cold. Here’s How to Fix Them

A bitter cold snap in Chicago forced electric vehicle (EV) drivers to wait in line for hours at charging stations last month; some even found themselves stranded when their battery died while they waited in the queues. The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power most EVs perform poorly in the cold, so scientists and carmakers around … Read more

Bacteria could help turn CO2 to rock under extreme conditions

Some Bacillus bacteria can convert CO2 to rock in extreme environments David Marchal/Getty Images Bacteria may be able to accelerate the mineralisation of carbon dioxide under extreme conditions. Injecting such microbes underground along with captured CO2 could enable more durable storage of the greenhouse gas. Gokce Ustunisik at the South Dakota School of Mines and … Read more

Bacteria found in a mine turn CO2 to rock under extreme conditions

Some Bacillus bacteria can convert CO2 to rock in extreme environments David Marchal/Getty Images Bacteria found deep in a mine shaft in South Dakota may be able to accelerate the mineralisation of carbon dioxide under extreme conditions. Injecting such microbes underground along with captured CO2 could enable more durable storage of the greenhouse gas. Gokce … Read more

A star’s extreme outburst could be tormenting baby planets

An extreme eruption from a young star that resembles the sun suggests budding planets have to exist in a rather savage environment. A team of scientists from the Center for Astrophysics (CfA) used the Submillimeter Array (SMA), an array of telescopes on Maunakea in Hawaii, to observe the young star HD 283572. The crew watched as HD … Read more

Extreme Cold Snaps Could Get Worse as Climate Warms

January 22, 2024 3 min read Climate instability could be distorting the polar vortex, causing cold air outbreaks By Mathew Barlow & The Conversation A pedestrian navigates a snow-covered sidewalk on January 09, 2024 in Iowa City, Iowa. Extremely cold Arctic air and severe winter weather swept southward into much of the U.S. in mid-January 2024, breaking … Read more

We finally know how tardigrades can survive extreme conditions

A tardigrade seen with a fluorescence microscope, with a fluorescent marker highlighting some of its organs Smythers et al./PLoS ONE (CC-BY 4.0) Tardigrades are renowned for their ability to withstand extreme environments – now we know how they do it. Tiny molecular sensors in their cells can detect when they produce too many damaging molecules … Read more

Extreme droughts are worse for plants than we thought

One of the shelters used to mimic extreme drought, this one at the Central Plains Experimental Range, Colorado Melinda Smith Grassland productivity drops by a larger amount than we had thought during extreme drought, according to experiments at 100 sites around the world. The finding suggests plants may struggle to cope with the more frequent … Read more

Extreme close-up of Jupiter’s moon Io captured by Juno spacecraft

This image of Io was captured by the Juno spacecraft NASA/SwRI/MSSS We have just had our closest look at Jupiter’s volcanic moon Io for decades, thanks to NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which passed the moon on 30 December. Juno, which has been orbiting Jupiter since 2016, has been taking increasingly close images of Io in recent … Read more