Is the electric grid ready for extreme space weather?

In the early hours of March 13, 1989, the public utility Hydro-Québec went out of service. The entire province of Quebec lost power for nine hours, interrupting many aspects of public life for the entire day. Space weather — the conditions in outer space nearby Earthwhich are heavily influenced by the sun — was quickly … Read more

Extreme Arctic microbes could aid the search for life on Mars

Never-before-seen microbes living deep beneath the permafrost at one of the coldest and saltiest water springs on Earth could provide a blueprint for life on Mars. At Lost Hammer Spring, which lies above the Arctic Circle in Nunavut, Canada, briny water bubbles up through 2,000 feet (600 meters) of permafrost. The water has a salinity … Read more

Watching the Violent Death of a Rare, Extreme Supergiant Star

Artist’s impression of the red hypergiant star VY Canis Majoris. Located about 3,009 light-years from Earth, VY Canis Majoris is possibly the most massive star in the Milky Way. Credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / R. Humphreys, University of Minnesota / J. Olmsted, STScI / hubblesite.org By tracing molecular emissions in the outflows around … Read more

Why rain and snow made Yellowstone’s flood extreme

Until early this week, Yellowstone National Park was gearing up for a high-traffic summer season. Park staff and local tourism were anticipating many visitors coming to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the country’s first national park and the renaming of 10,551-foot-peak Mount Doane to First Peoples Mountain, in honor of America’s Indigenous people. But the … Read more

Experimental lithium-ion batteries work in extreme cold

Few recent inventions have proven their worth more than the humble lithium-ion battery. It’s only been 30 years since they first left the lab, but they’re what power smartphones in the world palms and put electric cars on the road. They’ll only become more important as critical components of renewable energy grids. Since the early … Read more

New Improved Lithium-Ion Batteries That Last Longer in Extreme Cold

Scientists have improved the electrical performance of lithium-ion batteries in extreme cold with a new anode made with a bumpy carbon-based material. If you have an electric car and drive in the cold, you’re likely well aware of the reduced performance and range when temperatures drop below freezing. Even if you live somewhere warm, you … Read more

Scientists hope to mimic the most extreme hurricane conditions

Winds howl at over 300 kilometers per hour, battering at a two-story wooden house and ripping its roof from its walls. Then comes the water. A 6-meter-tall wave engulfs the structure, knocking the house off its foundation and washing it away. That’s the terrifying vision of researchers planning a new state-of-the-art facility to re-create the … Read more

Climate Change Is a ‘Game Changer’ When It Comes to Heatwaves, Say Experts

All heatwaves today bear the unmistakable and measurable fingerprint of global warming, top experts on quantifying the impact of climate change on extreme weather said Wednesday. Burning fossil fuels and destroying forests have released enough greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to also boost the frequency and intensity of many floods, droughts, wildfires, and tropical storms, … Read more