Earth

  1. satellite images from before and after drainage of an ice-covered lake in Antarctica
    Earth

    Satellites show how a massive lake in Antarctica vanished in days

    Within six days, an Antarctic lake with twice the volume of San Diego Bay drained away, leaving a deep sinkhole filled with fractured ice.

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  2. a view to the tops of several tall, skinny trees with light green leaves
    Environment

    Why planting tons of trees isn’t enough to solve climate change

    Massive projects need much more planning and follow-through to succeed – and other tree protections need to happen too.

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  3. Romanesco cauliflower
    Plants

    How Romanesco cauliflower forms its spiraling fractals

    By tweaking just three genes in a common lab plant, scientists have discovered the mechanism responsible for one of nature’s most impressive fractals.

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  4. map of the heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwestern United States in June
    Climate

    Human-driven climate change sent Pacific Northwest temperatures soaring

    As scientists dissect what pushed temperatures up to 5 degrees Celsius above previous records, they may have to revamp how to predict heat waves.

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  5. harvesting equipment in a cornfield
    Agriculture

    A tweaked yeast can make ethanol from cornstalks and a harvest’s other leftovers

    By genetically modifying baker’s yeast, scientists figured out how to get almost as much ethanol from cornstalks as kernels.

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  6. black and white photo of a man in a cap with glasses leaning over a tabletop device while another man looks on
    Earth

    A WWII submarine-hunting device helped prove the theory of plate tectonics

    With a boost from World War II, the fluxgate magnetometer became a portable and invaluable tool.

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  7. Asian giant hornet, AKA 'murder hornet', next to a beer can
    Animals

    Focusing on Asian giant hornets distorts the view of invasive species

    2021’s first “murder hornet” is yet another arrival. This is the not-so-new normal.

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  8. Sakurajima volcano eruption
    Earth

    Invisible bursts of electricity from volcanoes signal explosive eruptions

    Mysterious “vent discharges” could help warn of impending explosions, a study of Japan’s Sakurajima volcano shows.

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  9. illustration of the head of an ancient insect-eating reptile
    Paleontology

    Fossilized dung from a dinosaur ancestor yields a new beetle species

    Whole beetles preserved in fossilized poo suggest that ancient droppings may deserve a closer look.

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  10. Portland residents cooling off in the Oregon Convention Center
    Climate

    3 things to know about the record-smashing heat wave baking the Pacific Northwest

    Road-buckling, cable-melting, life-threatening heat waves in the Pacific Northwest may become more common as global temperatures rise.

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  11. a woman spots a humpback whale tail
    Animals

    ‘Fathom’ seeks to unravel humpback whales’ soulful songs

    The film ‘Fathom’ on Apple TV+ follows the quest of researchers on the ocean’s surface to decipher the eerie symphony of humpback whale calls below.

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  12. image of smoke above Whakaari volcano
    Earth

    A satellite’s view of a deadly 2019 eruption could improve volcano monitoring

    Monitoring volcanoes from space could enhance scientists’ understanding of, and ability to predict, even small eruptions.

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