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  • News

    The ‘roof of the world’ was raised more recently than once thought

    Plant fossils discovered in rocks from the Tibetan Plateau and a new analysis of the area’s geochemistry are rewriting the uplift history of the region dubbed the “roof of the world.” This new research suggests that the story of the rise to its current dizzying height is far more complicated than just raising the roof.

    Previous research has suggested that the plateau reached its current...

    03/11/2019 - 06:00 Earth
  • Editor's Note

    How newsy science becomes Science News

    Helping people stay up to speed on the latest advances in science is a big part of our mission at Science News. We’re aiming for sophisticated and succinct, in a way that works for readers’ busy lives. That means making tough decisions on which of the countless scientific papers being published are worthy of coverage and what breaking news has science that needs explanation and...
    03/07/2019 - 06:15 Science & Society, Health, Earth
  • News

    Muons reveal the whopping voltages inside a thunderstorm

    An invisible drizzle of subatomic particles has shown that thunderstorms may store up much higher electric voltages than we thought.

    Using muons, heavier relatives of electrons that constantly rain down on Earth’s surface, scientists probed the insides of a storm in southern India in December 2014. The cloud’s electric potential — the amount of work necessary to move an electric charge...

    02/15/2019 - 07:00 Earth, Particle Physics
  • News in Brief

    Greenland may have another massive crater hiding under its ice

    Greenland’s ice may be hiding more than one crater left by long-ago meteorite impacts.

    An analysis of satellite and airborne images of the topography beneath the ice sheet has revealed a large, craterlike structure buried beneath two kilometers of ice. It’s just 183 kilometers southeast of Hiawatha, another possible large impact crater described in November (SN: 12/8/18, p. 6). The...

    02/12/2019 - 10:06 Earth
  • News

    An Antarctic expedition will search for what lived under the Larsen C ice shelf

    Maybe the fourth time’s the charm. On February 9, an international team of scientists is embarking on yet another mission to hunt for ocean life that may have once dwelled in the shadow of a giant iceberg (SN Online: 10/13/17).  The scientists, led by researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, are headed to the Larsen C ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, where a...

    02/08/2019 - 14:59 Climate, Oceans, Earth
  • News

    2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record, and it’s getting even hotter

    Overall, 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, and climate change trends suggest that temperatures will only continue to climb, scientists said February 6 during a joint news conference by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

    The agencies’ data show that global atmospheric temperatures in 2018 were on average 0.79 degrees Celsius warmer than the average...

    02/06/2019 - 18:48 Climate, Oceans, Earth
  • Feature

    Five explosive things the 2018 eruption taught us about Kilauea

    After a stunningly volatile 2018, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which had been continuously erupting since 1983, finally seems to be taking a break. Following 35 years of nonstop activity, no lava is currently flowing from the Big Island’s most famous volcano.

    Scientists thought they knew Kilauea pretty well. It’s one of the most closely monitored volcanoes in the world, with instruments...

    01/29/2019 - 07:00 Earth
  • News

    Earth’s core may have hardened just in time to save its magnetic field

    Earth’s inner core solidified sometime after 565 million years ago — just in time to not only save the planet’s protective magnetic field from imminent collapse, but also to kick-start it into its current, powerful phase, a new study suggests.

    The finding, reported online January 28 in Nature Geoscience, supports an idea previously proposed by simulations that Earth’s inner core is...

    01/28/2019 - 15:02 Earth
  • 50 years ago, scientists tried to control earthquakes with earthquakes

    The Federal Council for Science and Technology … recommends a 10-year national earthquake research program to find ways to predict when and where quakes will strike and … [how to] defuse and prevent earthquakes, or at least modify them. Basically, the idea is simple: Inject fluid into underground rock, release the strain and produce a gradual series of tiny earthquakes or tremors...
    01/24/2019 - 07:00 Earth
  • Science Visualized

    Erosion has erased most of Earth’s impact craters. Here are the survivors

    When it comes to impact craters, Earth is the pauper of the solar system.

    Even with a recent, still-to-be-confirmed crater discovery under Greenland’s ice, there are fewer than 200 known impact craters on the planet. Mars, for comparison, has hundreds of thousands.

    Produced by falling space rocks, most impact craters on Earth have been wiped away over time by wind, rain, shifting...

    12/18/2018 - 06:00 Earth