Earth

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. conservation burial ground for green burials
    Environment

    ‘Green’ burials are slowly gaining ground among environmentalists

    Researchers asked older environmental activists what they planned to do with their bodies after death. Many were unaware of “green” burial options.

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  10. illustration of Plateosaurus
    Paleontology

    Climate change helped some dinosaurs migrate to Greenland

    A drop in CO2 levels helped massive plant eaters called sauropodomorphs trek from South America to Greenland 214 million years ago, says a new study.

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  11. vegetation maps of California regions affected by wildfires
    Earth

    Color-coded radar maps reveal a patchwork of California wildfire destruction

    A composite made up of fine-scale vegetation maps from different years lets researchers track the story of plant loss and regrowth around Los Angeles.

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  12. red ochre handprints in a cave
    Earth

    A magnetic field reversal 42,000 years ago may have contributed to mass extinctions

    The weakening of Earth's magnetic field beginning around 42,000 years ago correlates with a cascade of environmental crises, scientists say.

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