Category Archives: Geoscience

Is Progress Outpacing Precaution? Experts Weigh In

Illustration by An Arres.

No one expects the machinery of progress to roll backwards, but sometimes it seems that no one is watching the speedometer (or manning the brakes, assuming any exist).  Is this a fair assessment? If so, should we be worried — and what can we do about it?

In this feature, experts on technology, risk, science, policy and neuroscience discuss risk, innovation and how our values affect our conceptions of both.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
ASU Experts Weigh the Risks of Innovation

NASA Moves Up Psyche Mission Timetable

Image courtesy Space Systems Loral/Arizona State University/Peter Rubin

NASA’s mission to 16 Psyche, the solar system’s only known iron-nickel asteroid, will launch in the summer of 2022, one year earlier than originally planned.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
NASA’s Psyche Mission Will Launch a Year Early, Arrive at Target Four Years Sooner

Arizona’s Kartchner Caverns Steeped in Science, Secrecy

Image of Kartchner Caverns
Photo courtesy Kartchner Caverns State Park.

When co-discovers Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts found the blowhole entrance to the caverns in 1974, they did something extraordinary: They kept it a secret.  And when they could no longer shield the caves through secrecy, they sought out science to help protect Kartchner Caverns post-development.

Research has supported Kartchner ever since, but the reverse is true as well. Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk to find out how:

At Arizona’s Kartchner Caverns, Science Supports Stewardship — And Vice Versa

Beyond the Shadow of a Drought: Southwest U.S. Megadrought Nears Certainty

A dry riverbed in California.
Photo courtesy National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The risk of a severe, multi-decade drought hitting the Southwest United States by the end of the century could reach as high as 99 percent if greenhouse gas emissions continue along current lines, says a paper by a team of scientists from Cornell University, Columbia University and NASA.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
Worst Case: Megadrought Risk Near 99 Percent Under Current Greenhouse Emissions

Climate Change Expands Western U.S. Forest Fires — With Plenty of Help

Smoke from Arizona's Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.
Smoke from Arizona’s Wallow Fire lends color to an Albuquerque, NM sunset. Photo by John Fowler.

Human-induced climate change has doubled forest fire damage in the West over the past 30 years, says a study published online early by the journal PNAS. But human effects on fire extend far beyond climate.

Read/listen to my full story at KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk:
As Western US Forest Fires Expand, Plenty Of Blame To Go Around