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3,951 articles from TIME

Climate Strange

These are the winters of our discontent. In 2014 much of the eastern half of the U.S. was gripped by cold so extreme that 91% of the Great Lakes was frozen by the beginning of March, the second largest extent of ice in more than 40 years. Throughout the contiguous U.S., average temperatures for the winter were 1°F below the 20th century average. …...

Here Comes the Cold

With Six Weeks left, 2014 is on track to be the warmest year on record globally, continuing a long string of hotter-than-normal years attributed chiefly to climate change. But don’t tell that to people in Casper, Wyo., where the temperature dipped to -25°F on Nov. 12–shattering the city’s all-time record low for the month. …...

Hitching a Ride With Comets

The Space Community has had things rough of late. The explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket and the fatal crash of Richard Branson’s SpaceShipTwo serve as painful reminders of what can go wrong when you take on the cosmos. But things can go quietly, elegantly right too. On Nov. 12, the European Space Agency plans to land a research vessel on a comet in a first-of-its-kind maneuver....

Interstellar, Where No Movie Has Gone Before

It’s huge, it’s cold, it’s soulless. It’s possessed of forces that would rip you to ribbons the second you dared to step off the tiny planetary beachhead it has permitted us. What’s more, it completely defies understanding, at least for anyone who’s not fluent in the language of singularities and space-time and wormholes and all the rest. But never mind, because...

Invasive Species, Coming Soon to a Habitat Near You

The first step to capturing a Burmese python, Jeff Fobb tells me, is to grab it by the tail. “That’s away from the biting end,” he adds helpfully. Fobb is a dangerous-animal specialist with the Miami Dade County Fire Rescue department. I’m at his home in the Miami suburb of Homestead to learn how to track and capture Burmese pythons, which can grow to more than 15 ft. (4.5 m). They choke...

NASA’s New Big Winners

Popular Among Subscribers Never Offline Subscribe Almost Everybody’s Got TalentEnding the War on FatRemember the guy you didn’t like in high school but had to be nice to because he had a car and he gave you lifts? Welcome to U.S.-Russia relations in space. Since 2011, when the last space shuttle stood down, American astronauts have had to...

Ocean’s Dilemma

Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing UsThe early 1960s were a time when there seemed to be no problem so big that American technology couldn’t conquer it, including the eternal threat of drought. The solution seemed simple: build industrial plants capable of...

The (Slow) Greening of America

Popular Among Subscribers No Soldier Left Behind Subscribe The Transgender Tipping PointThe Green Revolution Is HereAmericans who don’t believe in global warming should visit my Miami Beach neighborhood at high tide, when Biscayne Bay surges through our storm drains and swamps our streets. In May, the New York Times ran a photo of sunny-day...

The Man Who Guards The Planet

You don’t want Don Yeomans’ job, no matter how appealing it seems. He’s an astronomer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., which is awfully cool. And he’s one of the lab’s top guys, which is even better. The problem with Yeomans’ job is the pressure. He is never really off duty, and his work is very straightforward: he guards the planet. Really. If morning...

Tom Steyer: Green Giant

Nothing comes free, not even for the President of the United States. So when Barack Obama appeared at Tom Steyer’s San Francisco home for a fundraiser last year, the President had to know there would be an ask. The 56-year-old Steyer is a hedge-fund billionaire and a major-league Democratic donor. He is also convinced that climate change is the biggest threat facing the world—an argument he...

What Comes After Ebola

The headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and prevention in Atlanta is buzzing because of a disease that has never killed a single person on U.S. soil. But that’s how nasty Ebola is. Staffers at the agency’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC)—as close as the infectious-disease world has to a Mission Control—relay data from the field, producing comprehensive maps of the progression...

Why We Just Might Avoid a Climate Catastrophe

It’s easy to get gloomy about climate change when melting sea ice has forced 35,000 walruses onto a skinny patch of Alaskan shoreline. When the first 13 years of this century were among the 14 hottest years on record–and this year could end up topping them all. When scientists who have spent years issuing apocalyptic warnings about epic droughts and rising seas and irreversible tipping...


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Dog Interrupted: Psychotherapy for Pets

Buddie can’t afford to miss taking his meds—and it’s not easy to keep all of them straight. There is the milligram of Xanax he gets every six to eight hours. There are the 30 mg of Prozac he takes daily. There used to be Valium and Ativan, but he moved on to other things when they weren’t helping. Clearly, Buddie has issues, and the fact that he’s a dog doesn’t make them easier to...

Inside the World’s Largest Solar Power Plant

At the edge of the Mojave Desert, about 80 miles (130 km) east of Palm Springs, Calif., millions of midnight blue solar panels stretch to the horizon, angled toward the sky like reclining sunbathers. Here, the sun has few enemies. It shines at least 300 days of the year, bathing the more than 8 million photovoltaic (PV) panels at the Desert Sunlight Solar Farm in daylong streams of rays. All that...

Troubled Waters on Planet Earth

Stand on a beach at sunset and you can almost convince yourself that all is well beneath the waves. But three new studies reveal just how sick the oceans are–and how big a role humans are playing. Start with climate change: according to a report from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2014 was the hottest year on record. …...


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A Cognitive Researcher Explains How Male and Female Brains Aren’t So Different

The British cognitive researcher Gina Rippon tells TIME why male and female brains aren’t so different, explored in her book Gender and Our Brains A popular notion has it that a human being’s most important sex organ is the brain. You say it’s our behavior that’s different; our brains are strikingly similar. Why? This goes all the way back to Charles Darwin, who said that...

Batteries Are the Next Target in China’s Clean-Energy Conquest

Clean-energy promoters hailed Tesla’s announcement of plans for a Nevada “gigafactory”–a reference to the unit for measuring energy storage–back in 2014 as the dawn of a new American industry. The $5 billion facility would eventually produce millions of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles as well as energy storage on the grid. But behind the headlines,...

Electric Vehicles Are Here. Now We Need to Figure Out How to Charge Them

In the century since the dawn of the mass-market car, more than 100,000 gas stations have popped up along the country’s 4 million miles of roads and highways–and a stop to refuel became a crucial part of the quintessential U.S. road trip. But the heyday of the gas station as a place to refuel is probably drawing to a close. Analysts project that sales of electric vehicles will...

Electronic Play Dough

How do you entice kids to learn about electronics? By updating a classic toy that most people already love. That’s the idea fueling London-based Tech Will Save Us and its Dough Universe modeling clay, a Play-Doh-like substance designed to help kids create working electronic circuits. Thanks to the clay’s conductive makeup–including lemon, salt and water–it can be mashed...

Roads? Where We’re Going …

UBER The transportation company is planning to test a program called Uber Elevate, an on-demand network of vertical-takeoff-and-landing electric air taxis for urban areas, as early as 2020. KITTY HAWK A Silicon Valley company backed by Google co-founder Larry Page is working on the Kitty Hawk Flyer, an electric aircraft designed to operate over water and doesn’t require a pilot’s...

Ron Chernow Talks Grant, Hamilton and American Legacies

Above the entrance to Grant’s Tomb in New York City, figures representing Peace and Victory frame an inscription. The slogan’s brevity belies the difficulty of the idea: Let us have peace. On a recent afternoon, the biographer Ron Chernow perched on a nearby bench to discuss his latest offering, Grant, a sweeping study of the Civil War general and U.S. President whose body lies...

The Cheap(er) Private Jet

Private-jet ownership has long been the domain of the ultrawealthy, with costs running into the tens of millions of dollars even before the crew and fuel are factored in. A new jet from aircraftmaker Cirrus could change that. Starting at just under $2 million, the Cirrus Vision Jet is a single-engine private jet designed to be flown by its owner, not a professional pilot, with some training and an...

The Rise of the Pea: How an Unassuming Legume Emerged as a Frontrunner in the Race to Replace Meat and Dairy

No one denies peas are nutritious. Whether they’re delicious—that’s debatable. But arguments over taste no longer matter because peas, specifically yellow peas, are being formulated into so many products, they’re unavoidable, and often invisible. As a crop, the pea has risen and fallen in favor, but today everyone seems to agree that it checks the box against the biggest...

The Tragedies of 2017 Will Test the Bonds That Connect Us, Now and for Years to Come

If you could see grief on a map, there would be rings of anguish radiating from whole regions of the U.S. right now. From Texas to Florida to Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, the hurt would expand with each person affected to the people they’re connected with in all parts of the country. No state would remain untouched by the events of 2017. The magnitude of the suffering over the past few...