May 13, 2012 Archaeologists have stumbled on a room full of wall paintings and numerical calculations in the buried ninth century city of Xultun. The room was apparently an astronomer's workshop, with calculations painted on the walls counting lunar cycles and predicting eclipses.
May 7, 2012 Endurance athletes sometimes say they're "addicted" to exercise, and research suggests that may not be an overstatement. "Our brains have been sort of rewired from an evolutionary sense to encourage these running and high aerobic-activity behaviors," one researcher says.
April 11, 2012 The salty, toxic wastewater that's used in hydrofracking and other gas drilling is likely to blame for small earthquakes in the Midwest, a new study from the U.S. Geological Survey concludes. The water is pumped deep underground, where it lubricates faults and causes them to slip.
April 7, 2012 Known by its nickname "beautiful feathered tyrant," Yutyrannus huali is a cousin of T. rex, 30 feet long and about 3,000 pounds. It had no trouble tearing its prey to pieces, but the dinosaur was also a snappy dresser — it was covered in downy feathers.
April 4, 2012 Tiny particles from power plants and fires help create new clouds, which shade the oceans from the sun. This means changes in sea-surface temperatures. And that has profound effects on weather, influencing the time and amount of rainfall in West Africa, and even the number, strength and path of hurricanes.
March 12, 2012 Grid operators constantly match what power plants are producing with what people and their TVs, microwaves and air conditioners need. But when the electricity comes from unpredictable sources, like wind or solar power, balancing the grid is a challenge, a new study finds.
March 11, 2012 All of Japan's nuclear power plants will be offline by April and might never restart. That's forcing the country to increase its reliance on coal, oil and natural gas. This could cost the country an extra $100 million per day and significantly increase carbon dioxide emissions.
February 22, 2012 Peter Gleick is an outspoken proponent of scientific evidence that humans are responsible for climate change. This week, the MacArthur "genius" grant recipient shocked the scientific community by admitting to lying to obtain internal documents from the Heartland Institute, a group skeptical of climate change.
February 10, 2012 Southern Co. will build the reactors at its Vogtle site in Georgia. An industry-backed group hopes it's the first wave of new reactors, but a coalition of groups plans to sue to stop the project. Among its arguments: Engineers are still figuring out what went wrong at the Fukushima meltdown in Japan last year.
January 30, 2012 Burmese pythons have been slithering around south Florida for decades, but scientists now say the invasive constrictors are so bad, they're eating their way through the swamps. The snakes have decimated populations of mammals like raccoons, possums and white-tailed deer.