When solar storms strike, radio signals jam, power grids go down, GPS systems fail. Two new satellites may soon help NASA scientists understand the effects of space weather down here on Earth. The probes, two years in the making, will finally be launched on Aug. 23.
Stewart Brand, author of Whole Earth Discipline and founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, is working on a new project to bring back extinct animals. From the passenger pigeon to the wooly mammoth, Brand explains why and how the project, "Revive and Restore," plans to bring back some extinct species.
E.O Wilson and Sylvia Earle see the through very different lenses. Wilson started with his eyes to the ground, following ants as they lead him to the study of biodiversity and human nature. Earle dove into the Gulf of Mexico to focus on aquatic plants. That underwater view ultimately led her to study the relationship between degrading seas and life everywhere.
As the climate changes, scientists are documenting measurable shifts in the natural world — from a tremendous loss in Arctic sea ice and an increase in extreme weather like drought, floods and heatwaves, to the migration of plants and animals to new latitudes.
The international conference dedicated to alleviating poverty and leaving the planet livable was the biggest U.N. conference ever, but it may also have been one of the biggest duds. As the organizer put it, "equally unhappy means equally happy."
China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft docked successfully with the orbiting Tiangong 1 test module this week, ticking off another accomplishment for the country's manned spaceflight program. Jonathan McDowell and Joan Johnson-Freese discuss the future of China's space program, and whether a new space race is heating up.
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