Earth

  1. Kilauea volcano
    Earth

    Did heavy rain trigger Kilauea’s eruption? It’s complicated

    A study suggests the Hawaiian volcano’s outpouring of lava was triggered by heavy rainfall in the months preceding. But some scientists are skeptical.

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  2. Seymour Island landscape
    Paleontology

    The first frog fossil from Antarctica has been found

    An ancient amphibian from Antarctica gives new insight into when the continent got so cold.

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  3. Leaf-cutter ants
    Animals

    Insects’ extreme farming methods offer us lessons to learn and oddities to avoid

    Insects invented agriculture long before humans did. Can we learn anything from them?

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  4. oil storage tanks in Pecos, Texas
    Climate

    A U.S. oil-producing region is leaking twice as much methane as once thought

    Satellite measurements identify the Permian Basin, a massive U.S. oil- and gas-producing area, as a large source of leaked methane to the atmosphere.

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  5. Plate tectonics illustration
    Earth

    Plate tectonics may have started 400 million years earlier than we thought

    Magnetic minerals in ancient rocks suggest that plate tectonics may have been under way as early as 3.2 billion years ago.

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  6. Drought
    Climate

    Climate change made a southwestern U.S. drought one of the worst in 1,200 years

    Tree ring records show that the 2000–2018 drought in southwestern North America is among the most severe to strike the region in over a millennium.

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  7. Hurricane Dorian
    Earth

    Forecasters predict a very active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

    Warmer ocean temperatures could fuel a very active Atlantic hurricane season, with one forecast predicting 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes.

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  8. Moses Bayou
    Environment

    50 years ago, American waterways were getting more protections

    A 1970 bill that became the Clean Water Act helped to double the number of U.S. waterbodies clean enough for swimming and fishing. In January, the U.S. administration changed how waters were defined, effectively removing those protections for half the country’s wetlands.

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  9. MOSAiC scientists
    Environment

    A year long expedition spotlights night life in the Arctic winter

    Scientists anchored to an ice floe near the North Pole are investigating how life survives polar night and what changes will occur as the Arctic continues to warm.

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  10. Ozone in stratosphere
    Climate

    The largest Arctic ozone hole ever measured is hovering over the North Pole

    A strong polar vortex in early 2020 led to what may be a record-breaking hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic.

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  11. Great Barrier Reef aerial survey
    Life

    The Great Barrier Reef is suffering its most widespread bleaching ever recorded

    Major bleaching events are recurring with increasing frequency on the Great Barrier Reef, hindering its recovery.

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  12. Illustration of ancient rainforest near South Pole
    Earth

    Roughly 90 million years ago, a rainforest grew near the South Pole

    A forest flourished within 1,000 kilometers of the South Pole, probably because of high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and an ice-free Antarctica.

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