Thomas Sumner

All Stories by Thomas Sumner

  1. sea level map

    Earth’s last major warm period was as hot as today

    Sea surface temperatures today are comparable to those around 125,000 years ago, a time when sea levels were 6 to 9 meters higher, new research suggests.

  2. 2016 temperature difference map

    For three years in a row, Earth breaks heat record

    Spurred by climate change and heat from a strong El Niño, 2016 was the hottest year on record.

  3. fossil eukaryote

    Coastal waters were an oxygen oasis 2.3 billion years ago

    Coastal waters contained enough oxygen to support complex life-forms including some animals hundreds of millions of years before fossils of such life first appear.

  4. tree rings

    Petrified tree rings tell ancient tale of sun’s behavior

    The 11-year cycle of solar activity may have been around for at least 290 million years, ancient tree rings suggest.

  5. crack in Larsen C ice shelf

    Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf nears breaking point

    A fast-growing crack in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf could soon break off a 5,000-square-kilometer hunk of ice into the ocean.

  6. crack in Larsen C ice shelf

    Antarctic ice shelf heading toward collapse

    A fast-growing crack in Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf could soon break off a 5,000-square-kilometer hunk of ice into the ocean.

  7. moon
    Planetary Science

    Many tiny moons came together to form moon, simulations suggest

    Earth’s moon formed from mini-moons generated by a series of medium to large impacts, rather than from one colossal collision, researchers propose

  8. Atlantic Ocean current

    Warming could disrupt Atlantic Ocean current

    The Atlantic current that keeps northwestern Europe warm may be less stable under future climate change than previously thought, revised simulations show.

  9. ocean

    ‘Waterworld’ Earth preceded late rise of continents, scientist proposes

    Cooling mantle temperatures may have lifted Earth’s continents above sea level, helping spur the Cambrian explosion.

  10. NOAA Barrow Research Station

    Data show no sign of methane boost from thawing permafrost

    Rapid Arctic warming has increased emissions of carbon dioxide, but not methane, from northern Alaska tundra.

  11. Lava tube
    Planetary Science

    Moon’s lava tubes could be colossal

    Lava tubes inside the moon could remain structurally sound up to 5 kilometers across and offer prime real estate for lunar colonists.

  12. cooling crust

    Earth’s mantle is cooling faster than expected

    The thinning of newly formed oceanic crust suggests that Earth’s mantle is cooling much faster than previously thought.