Earth

  1. person holding bird with mask caught on its wing
    Animals

    Discarded COVID-19 PPE such as masks can be deadly to wildlife

    From entanglements to ingestion, two biologists are documenting the impact of single-use masks and gloves on animals around the world.

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  2. fish swimming by coral reef
    Oceans

    Corals’ hidden genetic diversity corresponds to distinct lifestyles

    Observation and DNA analysis expose identical reef corals as distinct species with unique ecologies, suggesting much greater coral biodiversity.

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  3. autonomous underwater vehicle Ran amid floating ice
    Climate

    A trek under Thwaites Glacier’s ice shelf reveals specific risks of warm water

    An underwater autonomous craft collected the first data on the chemistry of seawater eroding the icy underbelly of Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier.

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  4. lightning over Alaska
    Earth

    A spike in Arctic lightning strikes may be linked to climate change

    Global warming may be revving up summer thunderstorms in the Arctic, leading to skyrocketing numbers of lightning strikes.

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  5. a collage of deep sea fish larvae
    Animals

    Dazzling underwater photos capture new views and scientific detail of fish larvae

    Lab specimens of fish larvae are often mangled and bleached. Divers and researchers have partnered to study their rich colors and intricate bodies.

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  6. urchin barren
    Ecosystems

    How kelp forests off California are responding to an urchin takeover

    A pair of studies reports 95 percent loss of kelp forests along the northern coast while sea otters are helping maintain surviving kelp farther south.

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  7. a stream with mountains in the background
    Ecosystems

    Simple hand-built structures can help streams survive wildfires and drought

    Building simple structures with sticks and stones — and inviting in dam-building beavers — can keep water where it’s needed to fight drought and wildfires.

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  8. illustration of lightning striking early Earth
    Earth

    Phosphorus for Earth’s earliest life may have been forged by lightning

    Lightning strikes can supply one of life’s essential elements, long thought to be delivered by meteorites billions of years ago.

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  9. archaeological structures from ancient city of Çatalhöyük
    Archaeology

    A tour of ‘Four Lost Cities’ reveals modern ties to ancient people

    In the book 'Four Lost Cities,' author Annalee Newitz uses cities of the past to show what might happen to cities in the future.

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  10. piles of wasted food
    Environment

    The world wasted nearly 1 billion metric tons of food in 2019

    A new United Nations global food waste report shows where waste can be reduced, which would decrease hunger and greenhouse gas emissions.

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  11. three glossy black-cockatoos
    Animals

    A year after Australia’s wildfires, extinction threatens hundreds of species

    As experts piece together a fuller picture of the scale of damage to wildlife, more than 500 species may need to be listed as endangered.

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  12. noctilucent cloud as seen from International Space Station
    Earth

    To understand how ‘night-shining’ clouds form, scientists made one themselves

    A rocket, a bathtub’s worth of water and a high-altitude explosion reveal how water vapor cools the air to form shiny ice-crystal clouds.

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