Thomas Sumner

All Stories by Thomas Sumner

  1. Earth

    Newly identified continent Zealandia faces a battle for recognition

    Geologists make the case for a new continent, dubbed Zealandia, found largely submerged beneath the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

  2. Climate

    Antarctic sea ice shrinks to record low

    The Antarctic sea ice extent has reached a new low just two years after hitting a record high.

  3. Oceans

    Fleeting dead zones can muck with seafloor life for decades

    Low-oxygen conditions can fundamentally disrupt seafloor ecosystems and increase carbon burial, new research shows.

  4. Earth

    Dual magma plumes fueled volcanic eruptions during final days of dinosaurs

    Two magma plumes fueled the Deccan volcanic eruptions around the time of the dinosaur extinction 66 million years ago.

  5. Earth

    Oxygen flooded Earth’s atmosphere earlier than thought

    The Great Oxidation Event that enabled the eventual evolution of complex life began 100 million years earlier than once thought, new dating of South African rock suggests.

  6. Planetary Science

    Red Planet’s interior may not churn much

    The magma fueling a Martian volcanic system remained largely unchanged for billions of years, analysis of a newfound meteorite suggests.

  7. Earth

    3-billion-year-old crystals hint at lost continent’s fate

    Zircon crystals from a long-gone continent called Mauritia may have resurfaced during volcanic eruptions on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

  8. Planetary Science

    Oxygen atoms from Earth bombard the moon

    Oxygen atoms originating from the upper atmosphere periodically bombard the moon’s surface, researchers propose.

  9. Oceans

    Climate change may boost toxic mercury levels in sea life

    Increased runoff to the ocean due to climate change could raise neurotoxic mercury in coastal sea life by disrupting the base of the food web.

  10. Earth

    Devastation detectives try to solve dinosaur disappearance

    Dinosaurs and others faced massive losses 66 million years ago from an asteroid impact, volcanic eruptions or maybe a mix of the two.

  11. Environment

    Humans’ stuff vastly outweighs humans

    The human-made technosphere weighs 30 trillion tons and surpasses the natural biosphere in mass and diversity, researchers estimate.

  12. Life

    Asteroid barrage, ancient marine life boom not linked

    Impacts from asteroid debris probably didn’t trigger the boom in marine animal diversity around 471 million years ago during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.