You are here

By Seth Borenstein The Associated Press

Science Says: Hotter weather turbocharges US West wildfires

As temperatures rise in the U.S. West, so do the flames.

The years with the most acres burned by wildfires have some of the hottest temperatures, an Associated Press analysis of fire and weather data found. As human-caused climate change has warmed the world over the past 35 years, the land consumed by flames has more than doubled.

The heat is back on high: May smashes US temperature records

WASHINGTON — Record heat returned to the United States with a vengeance in May.

May warmed to a record average 65.4 degrees in the Lower 48 states, breaking the high of 64.7 set in 1934, according to federal weather figures released Wednesday. May was 5.2 degrees above the 20th century’s average for the month.

Science Says: Hawaii volcano has oozed hot lava for decades

WASHINGTON — Hawaii’s Kilauea is not your typical blow-the-top-off kind of volcano.

It’s been simmering and bubbling for about 35 years, sending superhot hot lava spewing up through cracks in the ground. This month’s eruptions are more of the same, except the lava is destroying houses miles from the summit.

Wood frogs’ No. 1 option: Hold in pee all winter to survive

WASHINGTON — If you’ve ever been unable to find a bathroom in a moment of need, you know the gotta-go feeling. That’s nothing compared to the wood frog, which doesn’t urinate all winter.

In Alaska, wood frogs go eight months without peeing. And scientists have now figured out how they do it, or more accurately, how they survive without doing it.

America’s air isn’t getting cleaner as fast as it used to

DENVER — For decades America’s air was getting cleaner as levels of a key smog ingredient steadily dropped. That changed about seven years ago when pollution reductions levelled off, a new study found.

This means when tighter federal air quality standards go into effect later this year, many more cities may find themselves on the dirty air list.

Astronomers glimpse cosmic dawn, when the stars switched on

WASHINGTON — After the Big Bang, it was cold and black. And then there was light. Now, for the first time, astronomers have glimpsed that dawn of the universe 13.6 billion years ago when the earliest stars were turning on the light in the cosmic darkness.

And if that’s not enough, they may have detected mysterious dark matter at work, too.

Satellites see big fishing’s footprint on the high seas

WASHINGTON — Scientists tag sharks to see where they roam in the high seas, but until now they couldn’t track the seas’ biggest eater: Humans.

By using ships’ own emergency beacons, researchers got the first comprehensive snapshot of industrial fishing’s impacts around the globe. And it’s huge ‚Äî bigger than scientists thought, according to a new study.