Earth

  1. a gloved hand holds plastic pack rings (to hold six canned beverages together), behind the rings is a beach
    Chemistry

    50 years ago, scientists developed self-destructing plastic

    In the 1970s, scientists developed plastic that could quickly break down when exposed to light. But that didn’t solve the world’s pollution problems.

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  2. image of Mt. Rushmore
    Earth

    A new book reveals stories of ancient life written in North America’s rocks

    In ‘How the Mountains Grew,’ John Dvorak probes the interlinked geology and biology buried within the rocks of North America.

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  3. satellite image of Santorini
    Earth

    Greece’s Santorini volcano erupts more often when sea level drops

    During past periods of lower sea levels, when more of Earth’s water was locked up in glaciers during ice ages, the Santorini volcano erupted more.

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  4. illustration of Chicxulub asteroid impact
    Earth

    Dinosaur-killing asteroid may have made Earth’s largest ripple marks

    A tsunami created by the Chicxulub impact could have formed giant ripples found in rock under Louisiana, a new study finds.

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  5. visualization of Alaska’s Yukon Delta
    Climate

    A stunning visualization of Alaska’s Yukon Delta shows a land in transition

    Water and ice helped form the Yukon River’s delta. Now, climate change is reshaping it.

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  6. microscope image of archaea
    Paleontology

    3.42-billion-year-old fossil threads may be the oldest known archaea microbes

    The structure and chemistry of these ancient cell-like fossils may hint where Earth’s early inhabitants evolved and how they got their energy.

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  7. Venus's-flower-basket sea sponge
    Animals

    How intricate Venus’s-flower-baskets manipulate the flow of seawater

    Simulations show that a deep-sea glass sponge’s intricate skeleton creates particle-trapping vortices and reduces the stress of rushing water.

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  8. Shakleton Glacier
    Microbes

    Missing Antarctic microbes raise thorny questions about the search for aliens

    Scientists couldn’t find microbial life in soils from Antarctica, hinting at a limit for habitability on Earth and other worlds.

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  9. a bonobo reclines in a nest made of branches covered in large leaves
    Animals

    Climate change may be leading to overcounts of endangered bonobos

    A changing climate in Congo is affecting how scientists count bonobos’ nests, possibly skewing estimates of the great ape population, a study suggests.

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  10. a field with rows of pine trees alternating with rows of grape vines
    Earth

    Mixing trees and crops can help both farmers and the climate

    Agriculture is a major driver of climate change and biodiversity loss. But integrating trees into farming practices can boost food production, store carbon and save species.

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  11. a satellite photo of a hurricane over Central America
    Climate

    Hurricanes may not be becoming more frequent, but they’re still more dangerous

    A new study suggests that there aren’t more hurricanes now than there were roughly 150 years ago.

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  12. a photo of baobab trees
    Climate

    The first step in using trees to slow climate change: Protect the trees we have

    In all the fuss over planting trillions of trees, we need to protect the forests that already exist.

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