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Celebrate Earth Day at John Muir Family Home

KQED Science | April 16, 2015 | 1 Comment

Celebrate Earth Day at John Muir Family Home

The Muir home in Martinez is a National Historic Site, and there will be live music, free activities, and a silent auction Saturday, April 18. You can also tour the home and walk the famous orchards.

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Alien Life Might Live in Our Own Solar System

KQED Science | April 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Alien Life Might Live in Our Own Solar System

NASA's top scientist says she thinks evidence of life beyond Earth will turn up in the next couple of decades. Why so optimistic? Scientists have been discovering liquid water all around the solar system, and even though life on other planets might look different than it does here on Earth, scientists bet liquid water will be essential.

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Warm Winter Wrought Havoc for Coastal Wildlife

KQED Science | April 5, 2015 | 5 Comments

Warm Winter Wrought Havoc for Coastal Wildlife

Warm air and warm ocean waters together proved bad news this winter for wildlife on the Farallon Islands and along the nothern California coast.

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Why Isn’t Desalination the Answer to All California’s Water Problems?

KQED Science | March 30, 2015 | 161 Comments

Why Isn’t Desalination the Answer to All California’s Water Problems?

After four years of nowhere near enough rain, Californians are wondering where else to look for water, and many are talking about the ocean -- desalination. The problem is, it’s really expensive to turn salt water into drinking water. And it’s hard to do it in a way that’s friendly to sea life. But a group of mayors around Monterey Bay say they don't have any other options.

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A Candid Conversation With California’s ‘Water Czar’

KQED Science | March 23, 2015 | 21 Comments

A Candid Conversation With California’s ‘Water Czar’

The State Water Resources Control Board is California's top arbiter of water supply conflicts. Lately it's been caught in a tug of war between those who would have it tread lightly with local water agencies and those calling for aggressive statewide rationing.

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Ancient Sinkhole Could Presage Mega-Tsunami for Hawaii

KQED Science | March 9, 2015 | 0 Comments

Ancient Sinkhole Could Presage Mega-Tsunami for Hawaii

There's buried treasure here for tsunami hunters, but scarce funding may mean Hawaii remains vulnerable.

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Can Technology Make a Dent in East Bay Traffic?

KQED Science | March 2, 2015 | 4 Comments

Can Technology Make a Dent in East Bay Traffic?

Engineers are betting they can ease a notoriously congested stretch of freeway in the East Bay. But only time will tell how "smart" the I-80 SMART Corridor can be.

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A Visit to Apple’s Secret New Headquarters

KQED Science | February 23, 2015 | 3 Comments

A Visit to Apple’s Secret New Headquarters

From the dust of the former Hewlett Packard campus in Cupertino, a glass and concrete ring is taking shape. Apple is building a new headquarters, and it's going to be bigger than the Pentagon. KQED got a tour and a look at the campus' green features.

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Does California Need More National Monuments?

KQED Science | February 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Does California Need More National Monuments?

Despite initial objections, most national monuments have withstood the test of time. We get some perspective from a leading authority on public lands law.

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Building a Better Bionic Arm by Teaching the Brain a New Signal

KQED Science | February 2, 2015 | 2 Comments

Building a Better Bionic Arm by Teaching the Brain a New Signal

Even the best prosthetics today lack a natural sense that tells the brain where the body is in space. That makes it hard to comb the back of your hair, for example, or thread a belt.

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‘Ridiculous Ridge’ May Be Back to Prolong California Drought

KQED Science | January 23, 2015 | 9 Comments

‘Ridiculous Ridge’ May Be Back to Prolong California Drought

Scientists hope a stubborn high-pressure bubble over the West Coast isn't a replay of the last two winters.

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Tiny Parasite Threatens Native Plants

KQED Science | January 12, 2015 | 6 Comments

Tiny Parasite Threatens Native Plants

A microscopic pathogen got into the roots of some native plants at a restoration project in Alameda County, despite massive efforts to prevent it. Now officials are hoping to stop this microbe before it spreads.

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Future of Berryessa-Snow Mountain Lands in Limbo

KQED Science | January 5, 2015 | 5 Comments

Future of Berryessa-Snow Mountain Lands in Limbo

Faced with a new Republican-led Congress, supporters of special protections for the area are taking their case to the president, urging him to create a new national monument. But there are no guarantees there, either.

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A Thirsty Town Debates Need for New Source of Water

KQED Science | December 22, 2014 | 3 Comments

A Thirsty Town Debates Need for New Source of Water

The central coast town of Cambria faced running out of water this year. This week, the town launches its new emergency water source, but some in the community believe a fight to shut it down is only just beginning.

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Designing the Interstellar Doorbell (Or How to Talk to ET)

KQED Science | December 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

Designing the Interstellar Doorbell (Or How to Talk to ET)

Humans have been sending messages into outer space for decades, hoping some intelligent extra-terrestrial might come upon them. Now, for the first time in history, we have addresses. So, what should we say?

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How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought

KQED Science | December 8, 2014 | 13 Comments

How California’s Water Rights Make It Tough to Manage Drought

Here’s the thing: Water rights in California are based on who got there first. It’s as if you had to line up with all your coworkers to get a cup of coffee at work, and maybe the pot’s empty when the new guy gets to the front. Some are asking, in a drought like the one we’ve been having, is that really fair?

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California Drought Boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ Programs

KQED Science | December 1, 2014 | 6 Comments

California Drought Boosts ‘Cash for Grass’ Programs

California homeowners are replacing Kentucky bluegrass with native species and other water-friendly options to try and cut back on outdoor watering. Depending on what replacement residents choose, water districts may offer a cash reward for tearing out that thirsty lawn.

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California Utilities and Solar Companies Battle Over Electricity Prices

KQED Science | November 24, 2014 | 22 Comments

California Utilities and Solar Companies Battle Over Electricity Prices

Solar companies in California have long been able to tell homeowners they can save a lot of money on power bills by going solar. Now PG&E is proposing a rate change the company says will be more fair for everyone. But solar companies say it’s simply an attack on their industry.

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Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought

KQED Science | November 18, 2014 | 12 Comments

Designing California Cities for a Long-Term Drought

Scientists say it’s possible California’s drought may last a lot longer than a few years. No one knows for sure, but we could all simply have to adjust to a drier climate. That could mean changing the way we build cities to make them more porous. The 'Hydramax,' a futuristic design pictured above, rises with the tide and captures water from the air.

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Parched: California Wildlife Suffers in Drought

KQED Science | November 10, 2014 | 1 Comment

Parched: California Wildlife Suffers in Drought

Birds, salmon and snakes depend on marshes and rivers for survival and migration, and to propagate the species. But many wildlife species are unable to find the water they need as the drought shrinks rivers and dries up wetlands.

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