May 24, 2013 — A series of tornadoes struck the central United States this week, including a powerful storm in Oklahoma that killed at least 24 people. Marshall Shepherd, the president of the American Meteorological Society, describes the ingredients of major tornadoes, and how they are predicted.
May 24, 2013 — Scientists say climate change could increase pests and weeds, lengthen growing seasons and turn dry soil to dust. Farmers are already on the offensive, adopting no-till cropping methods to conserve water and experimenting with different seeds. And scientists are using a technique called gene silencing to develop new crops—without tinkering with the plants' DNA.
May 24, 2013 — In parts of the southeastern US, aggressive fire ants have been driven out by an even more recent arrival, the tawny crazy ant. Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, describes the newcomers and how one invasive species can out-invade another.
May 24, 2013 — Populations of frogs, salamanders and other amphibians are declining at an average rate of 3.7 percent each year, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study released this week.
May 24, 2013 — There is some political willingness, but because China is highly decentralized politically, the Communist Party has only limited influence over provincial governments and how they regulate their dirty factories. The powerful state-owned oil companies have also resisted pressure to produce cleaner-burning fuel.
May 23, 2013 — The revival is partly based on the humble sour fruit's growing reputation as a superfood. And in Michigan, a scientist is on a quest to introduce a whole new world of hardier, tastier tart cherries by breeding American trees with ancestral varieties from Eastern Europe.
May 23, 2013 — At nearly seven miles below the water's surface, the Mariana Trench is the deepest spot in Earth's oceans. And the site north of Guam is where director and explorer James Cameron fulfilled a longtime goal of reaching the bottom in a manned craft.
May 23, 2013 — Organizing for Action — a group that formed out of President Obama's re-election campaign — has focused its ire on Republicans it calls "climate change deniers." But some environmentalists are frustrated with the president himself on issues like the Keystone pipeline.
May 22, 2013 — A plant scientist at Mars Inc. has appealed to the world's biggest life sciences companies to help him — by sharing what they already know about 100 crops that could provide better nutrition in Africa. But can the kings of agricultural intellectual property get onboard with open source agricultural information for Africa?
May 22, 2013 — Although scientists have known that a funguslike organism caused the potato blight that triggered the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s, they didn't know which strain was the culprit. But they do now, thanks to the genes in some 19th century potato samples.