sophie kendall

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Google Invests $12m in South African Solar Plant

Google has announced its first ever renewable energies investment in Africa, putting $12m (103 million Rand) in the Jasper Power Project, a 96 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in South Africa.<p>Once it’s complete, the Jasper Power Project will be among the largest solar installations in Africa, and …

How much water does Earth hold?

If you scooped up all of the world’s water and made it into a giant sphere, how big would it be? Sam Hume explains.<p>We think of Earth as watery – the blue planet. But how much water is there, and where exactly is it held?<p>As well as the obvious places like the oceans, large stores of water can be …

Nuclear power: on the way back?

Our pick of the week from around the web, including the rise of power stations, hating Silicon Valley and how the Romans invented Facebook.<p>El Bulli for all<br>John Lanchester | London Review Of Books | 13 November 2013<br>Lanchester samples Ferran Adria’s free online Harvard course, Science & Cooking, and …

Could we harness power from black holes?

It might seem like an absurd idea, but physicists have long pondered whether black holes could one day be tapped for energy, says Phil Ball. But how possible is it?<p>Imagine the scene: highly advanced civilisations get enormous amounts of energy from black holes, be it extracting it from collapsed …

Ocean 2050: How to sustain our biggest ecosystem

Mankind is consuming the ocean’s resources at an alarming rate. How do we sustain this vital resource for generations to come? National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle outlines some of the ways to save this vital ecosystem.<p>Predicting the future state of the ocean is tricky, partly …

2013: The year in weather

A year of extremes in weather, from heatwaves in Australia and the US to the awesome power of storms on the British coastline.<p><b>More amazing image galleries of the year:</b><p>The year in space<p>The year in amazing design<p>The year in wildlife

Geologists identify trigger for apocalyptic 'super eruptions'

They rank among the most catastrophic natural disasters on Earth, second only in destructive power to an asteroid impact that could ensure humanity meets the same fate as the dinosaurs.<p>Super eruptions make those from normal volcanoes look like sputters of dust. They blast enough material into the …