Reviews & Previews
The Last Volcano
Pegasus Books, $28.95
Since prehistoric times, erupting volcanoes have been both awesome and mysterious. But these days...
Earth is not heading toward a doomsday reversal of its magnetic field, new research assures.
The planet’s magnetic field is about 10 percent wimpier today than when physicists began keeping tabs on it in the 1800s. In the geologic past, such weakening preceded geomagnetic reversals —swaps of the north and south magnetic poles. Such reversals temporarily make the planet more vulnerable to...
Even when the Arctic goes dark and cold, thinning ice could keep the North Pole from cooling off.
The loss of insulating ice between the ocean and atmosphere increases the amount of heat-trapping water vapor and clouds in the Arctic air. That extra moisture keeps air temperatures relatively warm during fall and winter and...
In a pasture outside Edmonton, Canada, you’ll find a few dozen cows doing what cows do: mostly eating. The average animal spends eight-plus hours a day filling its belly, or as is the case with cows, bellies. Along with that enormous appetite, cows are born with the ability to digest almost any plant they can chew, thanks to a multichambered stomach...
Good news, foodies: Truffles are not dangerously radioactive.
After analyzing 82 specimens of Burgundy truffle (Tuber aestivum) from across Europe, researchers report online November 10 in Biogeosciences Discussions that all of the sought-after delicacies contained insignificant...
Two new genetic insights could make plants’ sex more convenient for the people growing and eating them.
Genes that keep a plant from fertilizing itself can be transferred successfully from one species to another across an unexpectedly wide evolutionary gap, says Noni Franklin-Tong of the University of Birmingham in England. And...
Reviews & Previews
The Planet Remade
Princeton Univ., $29.95
The plans sound like something out of the handbook of a James Bond villain: generate artificial volcanic eruptions,...
Airs December 2
Saving the world can be a beautiful thing.
In Racing Extinction, director Louie Psihoyos lays out the case that the world is already in the midst of a sixth mass extinction. In just a...
Molecules entombed inside pristine magmas suggest that Earth’s water came from soggy dust, not icy comets.
The relative abundance of a heavier variety of hydrogen called deuterium serves as a fingerprint of where in the solar system a reservoir of H2O originated (SN: 5/16/15, p. 18)....
BALTIMORE — The greatest extinction in Earth’s history might not have been so great after all. A suspected colossal die-off of roughly 75 percent of land species didn’t accompany the Permian extinction around 252 million years ago, a team of geologists contend.
That divisive result comes from new work in South Africa that redates the demise of Dicynodon — a mammal relative whose...