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  • News

    Fluid in superdeep diamonds may be from some of Earth's oldest unchanged material

    A surprisingly hardy reservoir of rock left over from just after Earth’s formation still lurks deep inside the planet, according to a new analysis of superdeep diamonds.

    Fluid trapped inside these diamonds, forged hundreds of kilometers underground in Earth’s mantle, bears the chemical signatures of rock that has remained relatively undisturbed for billions of years. This holdout of...

    08/15/2019 - 14:00 Earth, Chemistry
  • News

    A mussel poop diet could fuel invasive carp’s spread across Lake Michigan

    If invasive carp reach Lake Michigan, a buffet of mussel poop and other junk food could help the fish survive and spread.

    Once thought to be a food desert for these fish, the lake may provide enough nutrition for two Asian carp species, bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp  (H. molitrix), thanks to their not-so-picky eating habits, researchers report August 12 in...

    08/13/2019 - 10:50 Ecosystems, Animals, Ecology
  • News

    The worst wildfires can send smoke high enough to affect the ozone layer

    For the first time, scientists have seen exactly how towering clouds that rise from intense wildfires launch smoke high into the atmosphere, where it can linger for months and mess with the protective ozone layer.

    Cooler air closer to Earth’s surface normally keeps smoke from rising too high. But as dozens of fires raged in western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest in the summer of...

    08/08/2019 - 14:00 Climate, Earth
  • News in Brief

    One in 4 people lives in a place at high risk of running out of water

    The world is facing a water scarcity crisis, with 17 countries including India, Israel and Eritrea using more than 80 percent of their available water supplies each year, a new analysis finds. Those countries are home to a quarter of the world’s 7.7 billion people. Further population rise or dwindling water supplies could cause critical water shortages, the researchers warn.

    “As soon as...

    08/08/2019 - 06:00 Earth
  • News

    Mercury levels in fish are rising despite reduced emissions

    Climate change and overfishing may be hampering efforts to reduce toxic mercury accumulations in the fish and shellfish that end up on our plates. Mercury emissions are decreasing around the globe. But new research suggests that warmer ocean waters and fishing’s effects on ecosystems can alter how much mercury builds up in seafood.

    Fishing practices increased methylmercury levels in the...

    08/07/2019 - 15:37 Climate
  • Feature

    With nowhere to hide from rising seas, Boston prepares for a wetter future

    Boston dodged a disaster in 2012. After Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of New Jersey and New York, the superstorm hit Boston near low tide, causing minimal damage. If Sandy had arrived four hours earlier, many Bostonians would have been ankle to hip deep in seawater.

    Across the globe, sea levels are rising, delivering bigger storm surges and higher tides to coastal cities. In Boston,...

    08/06/2019 - 06:00 Climate, Earth, Science & Society
  • News

    How the 5 riskiest U.S. cities for coastal flooding are preparing for rising tides

    The five U.S. cities most at risk from coastal flooding have begun to make plans for adapting to rising sea levels. Some are further along than others. Here’s where their flood resilience efforts stand:


    Florida’s flooding risk comes not just from storms and high tides but also from water seeping up through the porous limestone that underlies much of the state. After 2017’s...

    08/06/2019 - 06:00 Climate, Earth, Science & Society
  • Editor's Note

    Why this warmer world is not just a passing phase

    In the late 1990s, three scientists published a paper charting the Earth’s temperatures over the last millennium. For the first 900 years, the trend line was the definition of boring: just little blips up and down. That changed around 1900, when the mean global temperature shot up, and kept rising.

    That now-famous trend line, dubbed “the hockey stick” because of its sharp upward...

    08/06/2019 - 05:00 Science & Society, Climate
  • Science Visualized

    A new map is the best view yet of how fast Antarctica is shedding ice

    Decades of satellite observations have now provided the most detailed view yet of how Antarctica continually sheds ice accumulated from snowfall into the ocean.

    The new map is based on an ice-tracking technique that is 10 times as precise as methods used for previous Antarctic surveys, researchers report online July 29 in Geophysical Research Letters. That offered the first comprehensive...

    08/05/2019 - 08:00 Earth, Climate
  • News

    Decades of dumping acid suggest acid rain may make trees thirstier

    A forest watered by acid rain may be less able to slake its thirst.

    That’s one finding from a decades-long experiment in the Appalachian Mountains, where the U.S. Forest Service since 1989 has been dousing a 34-hectare patch of forest with an acidifying ammonium sulfate fertilizer three times a year. The chemical served as a proxy for acid rain, which is created when sulfur and nitrogen...

    08/05/2019 - 06:00 Earth, Ecosystems, Pollution