Earth in the News

The latest reports of natural disasters and scientific discoveries about the Earth.

  • From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

    Plumbing a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado, a team of scientists has found evidence confirming a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the sun. The finding is important because it provides the first hard proof for what scientists call the ''chaotic solar system.'

  • 'Quartz' crystals at Earth's core power its magnetic field

    Scientists at the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology report in Nature (Fen. 22, 2017) unexpected discoveries about the Earth's core. The findings include insights into the source of energy driving the Earth's magnetic field, factors governing the cooling of the core and its chemical composition, and conditions that existed during the formation of the Earth.

  • Insight into a physical phenomenon that leads to earthquakes

    Researchers provide insight into a phenomenon called ageing that leads to more powerful earthquakes.

  • Experiments call origin of Earth's iron into question

    New research reveals that the Earth's unique iron composition isn't linked to the formation of the planet's core, calling into question a prevailing theory about the events that shaped our planet during its earliest years.

  • Winners and losers: Climate change will shift vegetation

    Projected global warming will likely decrease the extent of temperate drylands by one-third over the remainder of the 21st century coupled with an increase in dry deep soil conditions during agricultural growing season.

  • Why are there different 'flavors' of iron around the Solar System?

    New work shows that interactions between iron and nickel under the extreme pressures and temperatures similar to a planetary interior can help scientists understand the period in our Solar System's youth when planets were forming and their cores were created.

  • Unsung hero of science: Assessment

    Assessment adds enormous value to the scientific landscape, creating foundations for government and society.

  • It's more than just climate change

    Accurately modeling climate change and interactive human factors -- including inequality, consumption, and population -- is essential for the effective science-based policies and measures needed to benefit and sustain current and future generations. A recent study presents extensive evidence of the need for a new paradigm of modeling that fully incorporates the feedbacks between Earth systems and human systems.

  • Quest for climate-friendly refrigerants finds complicated choices

    Researchers have just completed a multiyear study to identify the 'best' candidates for future use as air conditioning refrigerants that will have the lowest impact on the climate.

  • Underwater seagrass beds dial back polluted seawater

    Seagrass meadows -- bountiful underwater gardens that nestle close to shore and are the most common coastal ecosystem on Earth -- can reduce bacterial exposure for corals, other sea creatures and humans, according to new research.

  • Snow science supporting our nation's water supply

    Researchers have completed the first flights of a NASA-led field campaign that is targeting one of the biggest gaps in scientists' understanding of Earth's water resources: snow.

  • Old rocks, biased data: Overcoming challenges studying the geodynamo

    Bias introduced through analyzing the magnetism of old rocks may not be giving geophysicists an accurate idea of how Earth's magnetic dynamo has functioned. A team has shown there is a way to improve the methodology to get a better understanding of the planet's geodynamo.

  • How an Ice Age paradox could inform sea level rise predictions

    New research findings explain an Ice Age paradox and add to the mounting evidence that climate change could bring higher seas than most models predict.

  • Global ocean de-oxygenation quantified

    The ongoing global change causes rising ocean temperatures and changes the ocean circulation. Therefore less oxygen is dissolved in surface waters and less oxygen is transported into the deep sea. This reduction of oceanic oxygen supply has major consequences for the organisms in the ocean. Scientists have now published the most comprehensive analysis on oxygen loss in the world's oceans and their cause so far.

  • Scientists report ocean data from under Greenland's Petermann Glacier

    Based on data from the first ocean sensors deployed under Greenland's Petermann Glacier, researchers report that the floating ice shelf is strongly coupled, or tied, to the ocean below and to the adjacent Nares Strait. Warming temperatures recorded at the deepest ocean sensors match data from Nares Strait, which connects the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

  • Extreme waves caught with higher-resolution modeling

    A new study shows that high-resolution models captured hurricanes and big waves that low-resolution ones missed. Better extreme wave forecasts are important for coastal cities, the military, the shipping industry, and surfers.

  • Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change, study shows

    Ice loss from Canada's Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research has found. From 2005 to 2015, surface melt off ice caps and glaciers of the Queen Elizabeth Islands grew by an astonishing 900 percent.

  • Some marine creatures may be more resilient to harsher ocean conditions than expected

    As the world continually emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the oceans are taking a hit, absorbing some of it and growing more acidic. Among other effects, scientists have found that coral reefs and oyster hatcheries are deteriorating as a result. However, scientists studying a type of sea snail report a bit of bright news: The animal can adapt by rejiggering its shell-making process and other functions.

  • Ancient jars found in Judea reveal Earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing

    Surprising new evidence derived from ancient ceramics proves that the Earth's geomagnetic force fluctuates -- not diminishes -- over time, researchers say.

  • Seismicity in British Columbia and hidden continent called Zealandia

    Seismicity in the Pacific Northwest is well documented and includes recent seismic activity on fault systems within the Juan de Fuca Strait. However, the seismic potential of crustal faults within the forearc of the northern Cascadia subduction zone in British Columbia has remained elusive.