Thomas Sumner

All Stories by Thomas Sumner

  1. Deccan Traps
    Earth

    Mega volcanism indicted in dinosaur demise

    Precision dating strengthens idea that climate-altering Deccan volcanism contributed to dinosaur extinction.

  2. Mojave
    Climate

    California drought worst in at least 1,200 years

    The current California drought is the most severe in 1,200 years, according to historical information gleaned from tree rings.

  3. moon illustration
    Planetary Science

    Ancient moon’s mega magnetic field explained

    Apollo-era moon rocks reveal ancient lunar magnetic field was at least as powerful as the one surrounding modern Earth.

  4. lava flow on Mount Nyiragongo
    Earth

    Studying a volcano in a war zone

    New isotope analyses offer bad news for the people of Goma, a burgeoning city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Mount Nyiragongo may be more dangerous than expected.

  5. A meteorite sample
    Earth

    Earth’s most abundant mineral finally has a name

    Bridgmanite, the planet’s most common mineral, christened after traces found in 1879 meteorite.

  6. Oceans

    Robotic subs reveal thicker Antarctic sea ice

    New measurements by robotic subs suggest that scientists have underestimated Antarctic sea ice thickness.

  7. Lightning
    Climate

    Lightning strikes will surge with climate change

    Climate warming could boost lightning strikes in the United States by roughly 50 percent over the next century.

  8. Paleontology

    Some trilobites sported dual digestive tracts

    CT scans reveal trilobites with two-lane digestive tracts.

  9. sand-filled jellyfish fossil
    Paleontology

    Ancient jellyfish suffered strange, sandy death

    A fossil hints at the unusual series of events that led to an ancient jellyfish’s preservation and may offer clues to understanding odd sand deposits found elsewhere.

  10. hydraulic fracturing
    Environment

    No water contamination found in Ohio’s fracking epicenter

    Methane in Ohio groundwater comes from biological sources, such as bacteria, not fossil fuel exploration.

  11. Paleontology

    Stegosaurus landed a low blow in dino brawl

    During a dinosaur scuffle 147 million years ago, a stegosaurus whipped an allosaurus in the crotch.

  12. raindrop
    Physics

    Falling raindrops break terminal velocity

    Unknown mechanism causes tiny raindrops to fall faster than terminal velocity.