Science & Technology



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Commentary: California's majestic desert must be preserved. This proposal can help

As the former superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park — and a 38-year career employee for the National Park Service — I have seen the undeniable benefits that come with conserving our public lands. Nowhere has this become more clear than in the California desert, where conservation efforts have nurtured a growing and sustainable outdoor ...Read more

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After Clean Water Act ruling, states that want to protect affected wetlands need millions

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court stripped federal oversight from millions of acres of wetlands long protected under the Clean Water Act. Now, erecting safeguards to ensure those waters are not polluted, drained or filled in by developers falls to the states.

They’re finding that it’s not easy.

“States and tribes already didn...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Newsom administration advances delta tunnel project despite environmental opposition

In the face of heavy opposition from environmental groups, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his administration are pushing forward with a controversial plan to build a 45-mile water tunnel beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta — a project the governor says is vital to modernizing the state’s aging water system.

State officials ...Read more

File photo/Idaho Statesman/TNS

The future of nuclear energy will be decided in Idaho

The global resurgence for nuclear energy starts in the barren, high desert of Idaho.

Almost every nuclear plant in the world today can trace its lineage back to Idaho National Laboratory’s sprawling 890-square-mile complex. Researchers there were the first to generate electricity from splitting the atom back in 1951, and countless scientists...Read more

At COP28, countries debate if they should phase out fossil fuels

The COP28 climate talks in Dubai are entering their second and final week with delegations positioning themselves on either side of a clearly drawn battle line: whether or not they can commit to phasing out fossil fuels.

The issue has become the most contentious at the largest-ever annual United Nations summit. The approval on the first day ...Read more

Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Commentary: California's greenhouse gas emissions are rising -- and we're not even counting them all

California has committed to substantially reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2045. The pledge is key to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s claims of climate leadership, which featured prominently in his recent visits to China and the United Nations.

But the California Air Resources Board recently released a preliminary ...Read more

Private timberland from Washington to California lost billions in value due to wildfires

A new study from Oregon State University estimates that wildfire and drought caused $11.2 billion in economic losses to privately owned timberland in California, Oregon and Washington over the past two decades.

The study, which analyzed sales of private timberland over 17 years along with wildfire and drought data, found that most of the losses...Read more

Trent Sprague/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Northern sea otter pup rescued in Alaska finds new home at Shedd Aquarium

CHICAGO — In late October, a young sea otter pup was found in the remote coastal town of Seldovia, Alaska, stranded and calling out in distress with no mother in sight. After being rehabilitated, fed and healed, the tiny otter — barely over a month old — began a cross-country trip to his new home in Chicago.

After being rescued by the ...Read more

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Five big takeaways from Sam Altman's conversation with Trevor Noah

When Sam Altman was abruptly fired last month as CEO of artificial intelligence powerhouse OpenAI, the rupture left him with a lot of thinking to do.

But looking back on the experience, Altman told comedian Trevor Noah in a video podcast released Thursday morning, there may have been some upside.

"The empathy I gained out of this whole ...Read more

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Editorial: COP28 needs less talk and more action

In 2015, the world’s governments declared a collective ambition: to limit the rise in global temperatures to just 1.5 degrees Celsius. Since then, two things have become clear. First, the costs of exceeding that threshold are greater than believed eight years ago. Second, the goal looks increasingly difficult to reach. Even if governments ...Read more

Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

China scores a big win in race with US for influence on the moon

China notched a diplomatic victory in its race against the U.S. for influence in space, with Egypt agreeing to support Beijing’s plan for a proposed project on the moon.

The China National Space Administration on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Space Agency that will see them cooperate on the International ...Read more

Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Feds propose shooting one owl to save another in Pacific Northwest

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to enlist shooters to kill more than 500,000 barred owls over the next 30 years in the Pacific Northwest to preserve habitat for northern spotted owls, a protected species.

Barred owls are native to the East Coast but since the 1950s have been expanding their range in the Northwest. They are ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Feds calls for sweeping changes in California shipping after huge oil spill

A federal agency wants changes in how container ships are anchored off Southern California as well as new safety measures for vessels near offshore pipelines to help prevent or minimize ruptures like the one that spilled 25,000 gallons of crude oil off Huntington Beach.

The 2021 spill caused damage to beaches and wetlands and killed scores of ...Read more

Dangerous proximity of ships, pipeline led to California oil spill; investigators urge reform

A federal agency wants changes in how container ships are anchored off Southern California as well as new safety measures for vessels near offshore pipelines to help prevent or minimize ruptures like the one that spilled 25,000 gallons of crude oil off Huntington Beach.

The 2021 spill caused damage to beaches and wetlands and killed scores of ...Read more

Climate negotiators get down to business at COP28 summit

COP28 is approaching the end of the first week and the kings, presidents and prime ministers have flown off. Now, hundreds of seasoned climate diplomats must get down to the tough job of negotiating a text that everyone can agree on.Adnan Amin, who as chief executive officer of COP28 is one of Sultan Al-Jaber’s most senior lieutenants, ...Read more

Los Angeles aims to collect billions more gallons of local water by 2045

LOS ANGELES — Over the next two decades, Los Angeles County will collect billions more gallons in water from local sources, especially storm and reclaimed water, shifting from its reliance on other region’s water supplies as the effects of climate change make such efforts less reliable and more expensive.

The L.A. County Board of ...Read more

Steve Jobs wrote a check in 1976 to Radio Shack. Now it's up for auction

It’s a pristine piece of Silicon Valley history — and it comes with a famous autograph.

A check that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs made out to Radio Shack on July 23, 1976, just months after the pioneering computer company was founded, has gone up for auction.

The latest bid tops $30,000, with less than a day remaining in the sale by RR ...Read more

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'We're hitting new limits.' North Carolina quantum computing bullish on a coveted breakthrough

When Jungsang Kim came to Duke University in 2004, he wasn’t sure he’d live long enough to witness quantum advantage: the elusive moment when a quantum computer outperforms a classical computer to solve a real-world problem.

Back then, the emerging field was more theoretical. The experimental building blocks existed; scientists had already ...Read more


This new AI-powered drone is both a bomb and a boomerang

What if a missile could jet toward a moving target — and then fly back home to try again if it missed?

That's the idea behind the Roadrunner, a novel combination of AI-powered drone, bomb and boomerang designed by the defense tech company Anduril Industries and announced on Thursday.

The company unveiled the product at its Costa Mesa ...Read more

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Jim Rossman: Larger camera bump means newer iPhones can’t use some wireless chargers

This week a reader wrote, “Since purchasing an iPhone 15, my phone doesn’t connect to the Qi charger in my vehicle because the camera bump prevents the phone from lying flat and making contact. Is there a solution for this?”

This is an interesting situation that mainly involves the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 and 15 models.

Apple has increased ...Read more