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How Green Is My Plug-In?

The carbon impact of the millions of electric vehicles soon to hit the road will depend on the grids that supply them

12 min read
Opening illustration for this feature article.
Illustration: Holly Lindem

“Our goal is to remove the car from the environmental debate,” says Larry Burns, vice president for R&D and strategic planning at General Motors. His vision is that one day cars will emit no harmful pollutants from their tailpipes—or perhaps they’ll have no tailpipes at all. And if the beleaguered automaker survives that long, GM may be able to achieve that goal.

But no company can ever remove cars from the environmental equation. Public impressions are fleeting and malleable, but the laws of physics and chemistry are immutable. Cars require energy to move, and that energy—even if it’s stored in a battery pack rather than in fuel sloshing around in a tank—has to come from somewhere.

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IEEE Medal of Honor Goes to Vint Cerf

He codesigned the Internet protocol and transmission control protocol

2 min read
Photo of a man with a white beard in a dark suit.
The Royal Society

IEEE Life Fellow Vinton “Vint” Cerf, widely known as the “Father of the Internet,” is the recipient of the 2023 IEEE Medal of Honor. He is being recognized “for co-creating the Internet architecture and providing sustained leadership in its phenomenal growth in becoming society’s critical infrastructure.”

The IEEE Foundation sponsors the annual award.

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Forecasting the Ice Loss of Greenland’s Glaciers With Viscoelastic Modeling

Researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany are developing new models to simulate how glaciers behave

8 min read
Aerial view of Nioghalvfjerdsbræ showing the extensive patterns of the crevasses

This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.

To someone standing near a glacier, it may seem as stable and permanent as anything on Earth can be. However, Earth’s great ice sheets are always moving and evolving. In recent decades, this ceaseless motion has accelerated. In fact, ice in polar regions is proving to be not just mobile, but alarmingly mortal.

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