SCIENCE

The Arctic is a huge, icy cap on the planet that acts like a global air conditioner. But the air conditioner is breaking down, according to scientists who issued a grim "report card" on the Arctic on Tuesday.

They say the North Pole continues to warm at an alarming pace — twice the rate as the rest of the planet, on average. This year was the Arctic's second-warmest in at least 1,500 years, after 2016.

At twilight in late fall, thousands of crows take wing above highways running through Hartford. These crow “commuters” are headed home to roost, but where, exactly, do they go?

One of the largest credit rating agencies in the country is warning U.S. cities and states to prepare for the effects of climate change or risk being downgraded.

Between last year's historic November supermoon and August's partial solar eclipse, a lunar event that's coming on Dec. 3 has taken a bit of a back seat. But 2017's first and only visible supermoon is nothing to sneeze at.

The term "supermoon" is popular vernacular. Its scientific name is perigee syzygy. University of Arizona professor Gurtina Besla says the phrase means two specific things in reference to the moon's placement and phase.

Forest ecologist Christian Marks is dwarfed by one of the oldest elm trees in Massachusetts.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

There are thousands of Elm Streets in America, but not many surviving elms, for which the streets were named. Starting in the mid-20th century, Dutch elm disease killed off millions.

The Boston researcher who examined the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez says it showed the most damage her team had seen in an athlete so young.

Hernandez, whose on-field performance for the New England Patriots earned him a $40 million contract in 2012, hanged himself in a prison cell earlier this year while serving a life sentence for murder. He was 27 years old.

It’s breeding time for deer in Connecticut, which means biologists and hunters are paying close attention to two things: car collisions and acorns.

Slime mold
Aldyn Markle

Academics in Amherst, Massachusetts, have jumped on an unusual source of scientific -- and existential -- investigation: a brainless amoeba known as slime mold.

When people don't get enough sleep, certain brain cells literally slow down.

A study that recorded directly from neurons in the brains of 12 people found that sleep deprivation causes the bursts of electrical activity that brain cells use to communicate to become slower and weaker, a team reports online Monday in Nature Medicine.

It is "extremely likely" that human activities are the "dominant cause" of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers.

The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are "the warmest in the history of modern civilization." The global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over that period. Greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture are by far the biggest contributor to warming.

Pages