Broken Bones Stir Debate

Sapiens

A controversial new study places our human ancestors on the North American continent 130,000 years ago—far, far earlier than previously thought

In the fall of 1992, a construction crew made an unusual discovery during a freeway expansion in a coastal area of San Diego County. Buried deep within the silty soil were the bones, tusks, and molars of a mastodon, an elephant-like mammal that once lived in North America. … Read the rest

Preventing Overfishing in the Arctic

The Atlantic

A consortium of countries are meeting in Iceland, where they hope to strike a deal that protects the newly accessible ecosystem

The Arctic Ocean has long been the least accessible of the world’s major oceans. But as climate change warms the Arctic twice as fast as anywhere else, the thick sea ice that once made it so forbidding is now beating a hasty retreat. Since 1979, when scientists … Read the rest

Scars of the Earth

Discover

Forensic anthropologist Amy Mundorff wants to make the search for the missing safer and more successful.

One morning in July 2005, Amy Mundorff rode into the Bosnian countryside, tagging along with a team from the International Commission on Missing Persons. The roads wound past forests, farmland and villages. The group stopped near a filed in a hilly area on the outskirts of a village to meet an informant. From … Read the rest

Cities Beat the Heat

Nature

Rising temperatures are threatening urban areas, but efforts to cool them may not work as planned.

The greenhouses that sprawl across the coastline of southeastern Spain are so bright that they gleam in satellite photos. Since the 1970s, farmers have been expanding this patchwork of buildings in Almería province to grow produce such as tomatoes, peppers and watermelons for export. To keep the plants from overheating in the summer, … Read the rest

Greenland: A Tale of Fire and Ice

NOVA Next

Are wildfires melting Greenland’s glaciers?

During the summer of 2012, fires exploded across the drought-stricken Colorado Front Range—a heavily populated area where the Great Plains meets the Rockies. One evening in early June, lightning struck a tree in the foothills west of Fort Collins. It ignited a fire that burned quietly for a few days and then rocketed downslope, fueled … Read the rest

Dept. of Household Sciences

The Last Word on Nothing

Division of Rubbing and Scrubbing

On a recent quiet Sunday morning, I resolved to clean the caked-on grime on my stove. A roiling pot of pasta had overflowed one night, and in the rush to get plate to table and food to four-year-old’s mouth, the cloudy starchy water had cured onto the enamel around the burner and now refused to budge. Two earlier attempts to … Read the rest

Lady of the Lakes

Nature

Diane Orihel set her PhD aside to lead a massive protest when Canada tried to shut down its unique Experimental Lakes Area.

It was an ominous way to start the day. When she arrived at work on the morning of 17 May 2012, Diane Orihel ran into distraught colleagues. Staff from Canada’s Experimental Lakes Area had just been called to an emergency meeting at the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg. … Read the rest

Frozen Assets

Maclean’s

Ice cores tell the history of Canada’s climate, but now the government doesn’t want them anymore.

In a nondescript government office in the middle of Ottawa’s downtown core lie more than 10,000 years of the Arctic’s climate history. Ice cores drilled from Canada’s northernmost ice caps and ice fields are packed into dog-eared, insulated cardboard boxes and loaded onto floor-to-ceiling shelves in a walk-in freezer in a government building … Read the rest