Geologists are familiar with something most of us have never seen—spherules, or microscopic balls of natural glass that hide in sediments all over the world. A new study reports a previously unknown kind of spherule that’s forged during volcanic eruptions as lightning lashes roiling clouds of hot ash.
The San Francisco Public Utilities opened on Friday a new cement-encased, steel-lined tunnel that runs from Sunol Valley to Fremont. It will carry an average of 265 million gallons of water a day for customers of the Hetch Hetchy Water System Improvement Program, which consists of more than 80 projects to seismically retrofit and upgrade an 80-year-old water system serving 2.6 million people in the Bay Area.
A long record of atmospheric observations has put an "official" stamp on the foundation of climate-change science: the greenhouse effect really works the way we've always said it does.
Marine scientists from up and down the West Coast say it's a one-two punch to the Pacific food web.
Love it or hate it, you won't find California's new statewide ban on plastic bags taking effect this year … or ever, unless voters endorse it in November 2016. State elections officials announced Tuesday that plastic bag manufacturers have gathered enough voter signatures to force a statewide vote via referendum at ...Read More
Could using a dishwashing machine increase the chances your child will develop allergies? That's what some provocative new research suggests — but don't rip out your machine just yet.
The sense of smell is a powerful trigger — capable of calling to mind the sight of a new car, or the memory of a freshly mown lawn from many years past. But this power doesn't just serve to remind; it's also captivating scientists and inspiring a burgeoning subculture in ...Read More
Space exploration has suffered its share of setbacks and disappointments over the decades, but few of them stung as much as the 2013 mechanical failure of the Kepler spacecraft, a space telescope designed to accomplish one of the most exciting explorations of space ever: the search for potentially Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.
Combustion, which is simply the burning of something, is a rather complex chemical process. We rely quite heavily on combustion technologies for energy. For example, we burn gasoline to power our cars; we often burn oil or gas in home heating systems; and power plants usually burn coal, oil ...Read More
Plastic is one of those inventions that transformed the world. It's light, durable and you can make lots of things with it. But it's also transforming Earth's oceans ... and not in a good way. A lot of plastic ends up there. Scientists are just now getting a handle on how ...Read More
The Coast Guard and other agencies are investigating an oil spill in the Oakland Estuary overnight that prompted a voluntary evacuation of the Alameda Marina.
Under pressure from a federal deadline and amid news reports that state regulators allowed oil companies to inject wastewater into aquifers clean enough to drink from, officials outlined plans for new safeguards.
The Obama administration is “all in” when it comes to helping California deal with a historic drought, said U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Friday in announcing a new $50 million relief program.
Watching the National Weather Service online radarscope Thursday night after six weeks of midwinter dry weather, you can see there's rain out there offshore. But it has seemed to crawl toward the coast all evening. The Storm at a Glance Rain: Rain moved a little more slowly over the ...Read More
About 6 million people in North America suffer bone fractures each year. While most recover well, 5 to 10 percent of these patients -- half a million Americans annually -- are resistant to healing. UC Davis researchers are developing an improved surgical therapy for such fractures, that uses stem cells to speed recovery.
As stream beds run dry and reservoirs shrink under California's historic drought, the state's water reserves face another threat: contamination. Years of lax regulation have allowed oil companies to pump wastewater laced with oil and chemicals into Central Valley aquifers. We discuss the effects of "wastewater injection" on California's dwindling ...Read More
Regulators say the stricter new standard could save lives and reduce hospitalizations. Critics say it would be costly and would kill jobs.
'Frozen reservoir,' source of a third of California's water, is far below historical average.