From the debut of the world's largest solar plant to Comet ISON, zombified bees to the physics of sailing — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science team. Here's a round-up of our top 10 stories (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2013.
Drilling mud is the slick concoction used to cool and lubricate a drill bit, and it’s used for all kinds of wells, including oil and gas. Environmental groups are turning their attention to drilling mud, which is currently exempted from water monitoring.
The debate over hydraulic fracturing in California is heating up as oil and gas regulators release draft rules for the controversial oil extraction technique.
California Governor Jerry Brown promises, "this will spread," as three states and one province agree on climate goals -- but no mechanism to enforce them.
The eight states that account for about a quarter of the U.S. car market band together to get more electric cars and other "ZEVs" on the road.
Now that California's legislative session is now over, here's a roundup of the environmental bills that passed -- and a review of some big ones that didn't.
The Rim Fire is calling attention to a big problem: California’s forests are overloaded with fuel after a century of putting out fires. There’s a new push to use that fuel to make renewable energy, but it's sparked a heated debate.
Shasta Lake is the largest reservoir in California, and government officials are completing plans to make it even larger by raising the height of the dam. But the expansion has sparked intense debates among local residents, Central Valley farmers, environmentalists, tribal groups and developers.
Valero wants to start using trains to bring crude oil to its Bay Area refinery. But the project is raising concerns about congestion, safety and air pollution in the East Bay city of Benicia – and the connection it may have to Canada’s controversial tar sands.
Californians continue to favor strong, immediate action on climate, but not at any cost. And most of us still drive to work solo.
When you're cooking dinner, the air inside your kitchen can sometimes be just as harmful as smog. Range hoods are designed to capture cooking fumes, but even some expensive models aren’t very effective. Researchers are trying to fix that.
Spent reactor fuel and other high-level radioactive wastes may be better off in soft rocks than hard ones.
After controversy over a threatened species delayed several large solar projects, state officials are trying to broker an agreement between conservation groups and solar companies on a path forward for renewable energy.
The Panoche Valley Solar Farm cleared a hurdle this week. Environmental groups sued to stop the solar project, located near Hollister, but the suit was rejected.
Mounting research questions the safety and effectiveness of flame retardants used in consumer products. The chemicals are also used in the foam plastic insulation that improves energy efficiency in buildings. But a measure that just passed a Senate committee this week could pave the way for fire-safe, energy-efficient buildings without causing harm.
President Obama is introducing a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and support more renewable energy development.
The San Onofre nuclear plant has not operated since January 2012, when a radioactive leak was discovered in one of its generators. The permanent closure could put pressure on California's electrical grid in the long-term. The California Independent System Operator, which manages the grid, does not expect statewide problems with power supply this summer.