1. Earth

    Plastic debris picks up ocean toxics

    Some plastics can accumulate toxic pollutants from water, increasing the risk that they might poison wildlife mistaking these plastics for food.

  2. Earth

    Resuscitating the Gulf’s dead zone

    State, federal, and Indian agencies have joined forces to develop policies aimed at stemming a huge, seasonal zone in the Gulf of Mexico where oxygen levels are too low to sustain most aquatic life.

  3. Earth

    Eye above the Timberline

    The Tundra-Cam, operated by the University of Colorado’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, sits at an elevation of 11,600 feet near the U.S. Continental Divide. Visitors to the Web site can operate the remotely controlled webcam, panning across the mountainous landscape and zooming in on particular features of interest. Go to:

  4. Earth

    Pinning Down the Sun-Climate Connection

    Many scientists propose that changes in the sun's magnetic field and radiation output during its 11-year sunspot cycle also affect the atmosphere, changing Earth's climate by steering weather systems and influencing the amount of cloud cover.

  5. Earth

    Amazon basin is wetter now than in past

    Sediments from the Atlantic Ocean indicate that the now lush Amazon Basin was much drier during the latest ice age.

  6. Earth

    Explorers pinpoint source of the Amazon

    A five-nation team of explorers has used Global Positioning System equipment to confirm that the source of the Amazon is a snowmelt-fed stream high in the Peruvian Andes.

  7. Earth

    Scientists analyze volcanoes’ killing ways

    Death patterns from more than 400 volcanic eruptions through history may reveal ways to reduce the number of fatalities from similar causes in the future.

  8. Earth

    Lake sediment tells of Maya droughts

    Sediment cores taken last year from the bottom of a lake on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula indicate that a series of extended droughts coincided with major cultural upheavals among the Mayan inhabitants of the area.

  9. Earth

    Sediments show bipolar melting cycle

    Both the North and South Poles have experienced regular and simultaneous periods of significant melting during the past 3 million years, according to sediments from the ocean floor at high latitudes.

  10. Earth

    Snowpack chemistry can deplete ozone

    Pollutants trapped in Arctic snow can be reactivated by sunlight when the sun returns to high latitudes in the spring, leading to ozone depletion in the snowpack and at low altitudes.

  11. Earth

    Pollution in India may affect climate

    Computer models show that air pollution over India could be preventing up to 15 percent of the sunlight from reaching the ground in the springtime, possibly causing temperature drops of up to 2 degrees Celsius.

  12. Earth

    Y2K: One of the hottest, wettest yet

    Preliminary data from the National Climatic Data Center indicate the year 2000 will be one of the six hottest and one of the ten wettest years on record.