Here’s today’s roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

Livermore lab’s Sequoia supercomputer named world’s fastest – San Francisco Business TimesDate: Monday, June 18, 2012, 7:10am PDT An IBM Corp. supercomputer at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has taken the top spot as the world’s fasted supercomputer, ending a hold by systems in China and Japan. The system, called Sequoia, is based on IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) Blue Gene/Q design, which is intended to boost power while conserving energy.

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Burning For Solutions in an Increasingly Fire-Prone WestBurning For Solutions in an Increasingly Fire-Prone West Fire management in the West: A dangerous game of Whac-a-Mole As more than 400 firefighters attack a 2200-acre wildfire in Riverside County, and huge fires continue to burn in Colorado and the Southwest, recent studies have projected that the western U.S, wracked by an increasingly hot and dry climate, will experience more frequent and intense fires in the near future.

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Japan’s Prime Minister Orders Restart of Two Nuclear ReactorsTOKYO – Brushing aside widespread public opposition to avoid feared electric power shortages, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda ordered the reactivation of two nuclear reactors at a plant in western Japan on Saturday, making it the nation’s first plant to go back online since the crisis last year in Fukushima.

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Archaeologist finds oldest rock art in AustraliaCANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An archaeologist says he found the oldest piece of rock art in Australia and one of the oldest in the world: an Aboriginal work created 28,000 years ago in an Outback cave.

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Unmanned Air Force space plane lands in Calif.LOS ANGELES (AP) — An unmanned Air Force space plane steered itself to a landing early Saturday at a California military base, capping a 15-month clandestine mission. The spacecraft, which was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in March 2011, conducted in-orbit experiments during the mission, officials said.

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Hydropower With a Shrinking SnowpackHydropower With a Shrinking Snowpack And why that could show up in your electric bill We’ve mapped all of California’s hydropower dams as part of our series on “Water and Power.” While much is uncertain about California’s warming climate, there is little doubt that it’s already changing the fundamentals of how most of us get our water.

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San Andreas Fault tool listens for signs of quakesEarthquake scientists are testing a remarkable new instrument they say can listen to the faintest sounds of rocks rumbling and grinding deep inside the quake-prone San Andreas Fault. The scientists are using signals from the seismic listening device to monitor signs of earth movement 3,000 feet down in a borehole at the famed site of the Parkfield Experiment in Monterey County, where moderate earthquakes strike with some regularity.

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Rare shark washes up on Pacific Grove beach – San Jose Mercury NewsAn 8- to 9-foot shark that washed up on Asilomar State Beach on Thursday is a rare sea creature that lives in deep waters, dines on giant squid and can grow to lengths of more than 20 feet, said a scientist from the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation in Santa Cruz.

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Author

Jenny Oh

Jenny is a long-time contributor to Bay Area Bites, KQED's popular food blog. She formerly worked as an Interactive Producer for the Science & Environment unit. Jenny graduated with honors from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television program and has worked for WNET/PBS, The Learning Channel, Sundance Channel, HBO and the University of California.

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