The levels of carbon dioxide found in the atmosphere in modern times have been found to be nearly ten times higher than any other time since the extinction of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago. The event that came the closest to today’s CO2 levels, the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), occurred 55.5 million years ago, where a spike in greenhouse gasses caused global temperatures to increase by 5–8 °C over what we’re experiencing today. While the existence and cause of the PETM is well established, the source of the massive amount of CO2 that caused the temperature spike has been a complete mystery to scientists.
Astronomers with the Pale Red Dot Project have announced the discovery of an Earth-like planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the star closest to Earth. The newfound planet, currently called "Proxima b", has the fortune of being 1.3 times the mass of the Earth, and orbits within the star’s Goldilocks Zone, meaning that it is just the right size and temperature to host liquid water, one of the requirements for life as we know it.
Scientists have discovered a reliable way to extract renewable energy from ordinary seawater. The research team, from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne’s Laboratory of Nanoscale Biology in Switzerland, employed a natural process called osmosis, where a fluid permeates through a membrane from one side to another.
An Asian studies expert and amateur satellite tracker have voiced their concerns over the possibility that China’s Tiangong-1 space station may be de-orbiting without control from the ground. The station, launched in 2011, was a temporary testbed for the technologies for Tiangong-2, a permanent station scheduled to be launched in September of this year. Beijing’s original plan was to de-orbit the spacecraft in 2013, but Tiangong-1, Chinese for "Heavenly Palace 1", remained in orbit after that date, conducting long-term endurance tests of the now unmanned station’s components.