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Earth & Environment

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charcoal

BURNING UP  Bits of microscopic charcoal such as this were found along the U.S. Atlantic coast and imaged by an electron microscope. The presence of charcoal supports the idea that a large space rock hit Earth around 56 million years ago near the start of a bout of rapid warming, triggering wildfires.

Baleen whale

BARNACLE BIOGRAPHY  The barnacles that latch on to baleen whales, such as this humpback, may offer a record of their hosts’ movements, even millions of years later, new research suggests.

illustration of ancient earth

DIM SUN  Scarce oxygen and abundant sulfate prevented methane concentrations from getting high enough to explain why Earth didn’t freeze over around 1.8 billion to 800 million years ago when the sun was dimmer, researchers say.

Earth & Environment

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