Michael Irving / New Atlas
IN MAY some 250 scientists and policy types from around the world convened in Gothenburg, Sweden, to discuss a dirty secret of the three-year-old Paris climate agreement. Virtually all simulations which chart paths toward meeting that compact’s goal—to keep temperature rise “well below” 2°C relative to pre-industrial levels—assume not just a sharp reduction in actual emissions but also the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on a massive scale. One reason such “negative emissions” have been absent from climate discussions—the Swedish shindig being the first of its kind—is that no one has a good idea of how exactly to bring them about. The obvious solution is to plant lots of trees, to convert CO2into wood. But this would mean foresting an area with a size somewhere between that of India and Canada. Alternative, engineered fixes have been dogged by potentially stratospheric costs, uncertain efficacy or both.
One of the possible pathways to limitless and clean energy can be found in hollow, doughnut-shaped chambers known as tokamak nuclear fusion reactors. A relatively new player on the scene, a UK company called Tokamak Energy, is claiming a new milestone in the area after heating its ST40 device to 15 million degrees Celsius, similar to temperatures found at the center of the Sun.
AMD is once again pushing its processor technology to new heights. During its Computex keynote today, the company revealed that its second-generation Threadripper CPU will feature up to 32 cores and 64 threads. We’ve known the chip would arrive later this year, but AMD now says it’ll launch in the third quarter. The news also comes on the heels of Intel’s announcement of an impending 28-core, 5GHz chip.