Science & Technology



Parasitic creature -- with unique teeth -- found in forests of Asia. It's a new species

In a forest in southern China, a parasitic creature flew through the air. Suddenly, a net enveloped the animal. Scientists looked at their successful catch — and discovered a new species.

Equipped with bug-catching nets, researchers ventured into a forest in Guangzhou in 2022, according to a study published Dec. 1 in the European Journal of ...Read more

KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Al Gore wants to weaken petrostates' power over global climate decisions

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Former Vice President Al Gore said the annual United Nations COP climate summits need to be reformed so that petrostates don’t wield so much power over the final outcome.

The meetings are run by consensus, meaning any one country can block an ...Read more

Dunes and native plants to sprout next year on a California's harbor beach

A relatively low-budget project has received a $57,000 state grant to restore sand dunes and native plants next year to spots along Oceanside's North Strand and Harbor Beach.

Protected from erosion by a long jetty and replenished by annual harbor dredging, the beach is probably Oceanside's widest, about 500 feet from the harbor parking lot to ...Read more

Trump return wouldn't cripple US climate credibility, Kerry says

John Kerry said the U.S. can be trusted to act on climate change no matter what happens in next year’s election.

The U.S.’s word “is 100% percent good,” said Kerry, the U.S. special presidential envoy for climate change. He spoke at the Bloomberg Green summit at COP28 in Dubai.

When asked about the risk to U.S. climate credibility if ...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

After a mild fire year, Southern California crews look ahead to 2024

LOS ANGELES -- On a cool, cloudy morning one day last week, Albert Rivas approached a pile of dry wood in the Angeles National Forest and set it on fire.

The pile roared to life, and within minutes, it was spewing flames at least 10 feet tall. Rivas, a firefighter with the United States Forest Service, paused briefly to admire his handiwork ...Read more

E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Chicago high schooler among 6 area activists who will give young people a voice at global climate summit in Dubai

CHICAGO — Danica Sun, 17, recalls the first moment she felt the call to do something for the environment was a bit cliché: As an elementary school kid, she was unnerved by one of the many viral photos of bedraggled, emaciated polar bears floating on melting slabs of ice.

But the issue really hit home a few years later when she was working on...Read more

Douglas R. Clifford/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

No lettuce for Florida manatees this winter: Experts end feeding trial after two years

TAMPA, Fla. — For the past two winters, Florida wildlife biologists have experimented hand-feeding lettuce to hungry manatees in the Indian River Lagoon as the animals’ natural food source, seagrass, was in short supply from pollution problems.

This winter, though, there won’t be another feeding trial.

Wildlife experts say there are two ...Read more

©Magnolia Press/TNS/TNS

'Limbless' creature found digging beneath rotten tree in Vietnam. It's a new species

In Vietnam’s “driest and hottest” region, a “limbless” forest creature took refuge under a rotten log, scrounging around for termites to eat. Suddenly, something lifted the nearly-blind animal into the air. It tried to defend itself, but to no avail.

Scientists successfully captured the “elusive” animal — and discovered a new ...Read more

NASA and Boeing chase jet contrails with science of climate impact in doubt

Scientific debate is getting heated over what to do about airplane contrails — the wispy lines of water vapor you often see trailing behind a jet.

Those harmless-looking vapor trails sometimes spread out to form thin cirrus clouds. Environmental activists and nonprofits focused on climate change routinely assert contrails contribute more to ...Read more

Ken James/California Department of Water Resources/TNS

Proposal for new water district sparks fear of Northern California 'water grab'

LOS ANGELES — As California grapples with worsening cycles of drought, a proposal to create a new water district in Butte County has sparked fears of a profit-driven water grab by large-scale farmers and outside interests.

In the walnut and almond orchards along State Route 99 near Chico, agricultural landowners have led a yearslong campaign ...Read more

Sammy Fretwell/The State/TNS

A lethal wildlife disease is stalking South Carolina. How 'zombie deer' threaten the state

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Tom Hauge, a veteran wildlife biologist in Wisconsin, was told 21 years ago that a deadly disease had shown up in deer that roamed across the state’s southwest corner.

He knew what that meant. Chronic wasting disease one day could spread across Wisconsin and deplete the deer population that had made his state well known as ...Read more

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS

Exxon CEO, a climate villain to many, makes his debut at COP

Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Darren Woods cuts a strange figure at the COP28 climate summit — an oil executive moving among thousands of government officials, business leaders and activists gathered in Dubai to limit global temperature rise.

After all, he’s the head of the largest American oil and gas company — villainized by some ...Read more

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

US pledges $3 billion for climate aid to poor countries at COP28

The U.S. will pledge $3 billion toward a United Nations fund meant to help developing countries slash greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change — an effort that could help rebuild trust in rich nations’ promises of aid amid pivotal climate talks in Dubai.

The pledge of support for the Green Climate Fund, described by State ...Read more

Exxon among 50 oil producers in controversial climate pact at COP28

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, the world’s largest private and state-sector oil companies, led a pledge by 50 oil and gas producers at the COP28 climate summit to cut emissions from their own operations.

The deal is controversial given none of the companies are agreeing to reduce oil and gas production. But they are planning ...Read more

Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/TNS

Biden delivers COP28 crackdown on methane leaks from oil wells

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration moved Saturday to crack down on methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, by finalizing newly strengthened mandates forcing companies to replace leaky equipment and regularly search for escaping gas.

The final regulation announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Biden administration ...Read more

'Unusual' ancient graves found near Arctic, but no remains discovered inside, study says

Just south of the Arctic Circle, within the vast forests of northern Finland, lies a sandy field dotted with dozens of “unusual” pits.

Workers stumbled upon the site, known as Tainiaro, six decades ago, and since then, its origins have remained elusive.

But now, upon conducting a comprehensive analysis of the site, researchers have ...Read more

King Charles urges action to slow world's descent into danger

King Charles III made an impassioned plea for more climate action at the COP28 summit in Dubai, asserting British commitment to combating global warming amid doubts about Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s own green agenda.

In a speech that made his long- and strongly held views on climate change plain, the British monarch got specific, especially...Read more

COP28 scores early win with $260 million for climate damages

Nearly 200 nations agreed on how to run a fund to help vulnerable countries deal with more extreme weather, and rich nations pledged at least $260 million to start the program, marking a breakthrough as global climate negotiations opened in Dubai.

Delegates at the COP28 summit on Thursday adopted a framework for the World Bank-hosted fund ...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A California dry farmer's juicy apples show how agriculture can be done with less water

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Leaves rustled as Mike Cirone reached into a tree and gently picked an apple. The orchard was filled with a profusion of ripe fruit in shades from golden-green to pinkish red.

But unlike other crops that guzzle water from canals and wells, this bounty of apples grew on its own without irrigation.

Cirone specializes...Read more

EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Following worrying rockfish population data, Maryland looks to cancel spring trophy season for 2024

After five straight years of troubling data on the population of young rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland officials plan to enact emergency regulations canceling this spring’s trophy season for recreational anglers.

The rules would eliminate the once exciting two weeks each spring when anglers targeted large fish swimming up the bay to ...Read more