Thomas Sumner

All Stories by Thomas Sumner

  1. water from air prototype converter
    Chemistry

    New tech harvests drinking water from (relatively) dry air using only sunlight

    A prototype device harvests moisture from dry air and separates it into drinkable water using only sunlight.

  2. diver looking at bleached corals
    Climate

    The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing a major coral bleaching event right now

    A second coral bleaching event has struck the Great Barrier Reef in 12 months, new observations reveal, raising concerns about the natural wonder’s future.

  3. a gravel devil
    Earth

    Whirlwinds of crystals called gravel devils spotted in Andes Mountains

    Large whirlwinds in northern Chile can carry gravel-sized gypsum crystals several kilometers before dumping them in mounds.

  4. the moon
    Planetary Science

    Competing ideas abound for how Earth got its moon

    The moon may have formed from one giant impact or from about 20 small ones.

  5. phytoplankton blooms and diatoms
    Oceans

    Thinning ice creates undersea Arctic greenhouses

    Arctic sea ice thinned by climate change increasingly produces conditions favorable for phytoplankton blooms in the waters below, new research suggests.

  6. New Zealand road
    Earth

    Deadly New Zealand quake hopscotched across faults

    The Nov. 14, 2016, earthquake in New Zealand was much larger than thought possible at the time, prompting a rethink of hazard assessments.

  7. image of Arctic sea ice on March 7, 2017
    Climate

    Arctic sea ice hits record wintertime low

    Warm temperatures and heat waves reduced sea ice extent in the Arctic to its smallest maximum extent ever seen.

  8. Oldest rocks yet
    Earth

    Remnants of Earth’s original crust preserve time before plate tectonics

    Canadian rocks containing bits from 4.2 billion years ago suggest that full-fledged plate tectonics had a late start.

  9. monitoring soil carbon emissions
    Earth

    Warming soils may belch much more carbon

    New measurements suggest soils below 15 centimeters deep could play a sizable role in boosting carbon emissions as the planet warms.

  10. Earth's mantle
    Earth

    Earth’s mantle may be hotter than thought

    Earth’s mantle is warmer than previously thought, suggests a new experiment that better accounts for water content in rocks.

  11. Saturn's moon Mimas
    Planetary Science

    Saturn’s ‘Death Star’ moon may not conceal an ocean after all

    A lack of cracks on Mimas suggests that the icy moon of Saturn doesn’t conceal a subsurface ocean of liquid water.

  12. Saturn's moon Mimas
    Planetary Science

    Saturn’s ‘Death Star’ moon may not conceal ocean after all

    A lack of cracks on Mimas suggests that the icy moon of Saturn doesn’t conceal a subsurface ocean of liquid water.