About the Museum Museum News Earth in the News Plan Your Visit Contact Us

Earth in the News

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

  • Tundra study uncovers impact of climate warming in the Arctic

    Significant changes in one of Earth's most important ecosystems are not only a symptom of climate change, but may fuel further warming, research suggests. One of the biggest studies to date of key vegetation in the Arctic tundra provides strong evidence that dramatic changes in the region are being driven by climate warming.

  • Risk of interbreeding due to climate change lower than expected

    A surprising study of North and South American mammals, birds and amphibians finds that only about 6 percent of closely related species whose ranges do not currently overlap are likely to come into contact by the end of this century.

  • Geology: Slow episodic slip probably occurs in the plate boundary

    Scientists have discovered slow-moving low-frequency tremors which occur at the shallow subduction plate boundary in Hyuga-nada, off east Kyushu. This indicates the possibility that the plate boundary in the vicinity of the Nankai Trough is slipping episodically and slowly (over days or weeks) without inducing a strong seismic wave.

  • Five-day space weather forecasts?

    Coronal mass ejections (CME), billion-ton solar plasma eruptions moving towards Earth at up to 2500 kilometers per second, can cause extensive and expensive disruption by damaging power, satellite and communication networks. A UK consortium is proposing an operational mission, called Carrington-L5, to give a five-day warning of hazardous solar activity that could inflict severe damage to our infrastructure.

  • The oceans can’t take any more: Fundamental change in oceans predicted

    Our oceans need an immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn't happen, we could see far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems, which would especially be felt in developing countries.

  • Surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone

    The surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone have been unveiled by a team of scientists.

  • Creating a stopwatch for volcanic eruptions

    According to new research, there may be a way to predict when Yellowstone volcano will erupt again.

  • Newly discovered 48-million-year-old lizard walked on water in Wyoming

    A newly discovered, 48-million-year-old fossil, known as a 'Jesus lizard' for its ability to walk on water, may provide insight into how climate change may affect tropical species.

  • The public's political views are strongly linked to attitudes on environmental issues

    This report examines the general public's views on a range of science-related topics and explores the degree to which political views, educational attainment, religion and demographic factors are connected to those views. It also focuses on the extent to which people's knowledge about science connects to their views on these topics.

  • State of our countryside: Land use map of United Kingdom reveals large-scale changes in environment

    A University of Leicester free land cover map of the UK reveals national loss of habitats and agricultural land.

  • Seafood supply altered by climate change

    The global supply of seafood is set to change substantially and many people will not be able to enjoy the same quantity and dishes in the future due to climate change and ocean acidification, according to scientists.

  • New process recycles magnets from factory floor

    A new recycling method recovers valuable rare-earth magnetic material from manufacturing waste. The process, which inexpensively processes and directly reuses samarium-cobalt waste powders as raw material, can be used to create polymer-bonded magnets that are comparable in performance to commercial bonded magnets made from new materials. It can also be used to make sintered magnets (formed by pressure compaction and heat).

  • Major midwest flood risk underestimated by as much as five feet, study finds

    As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain.

  • Ocean algae will cope well in varying climates

    Tiny marine algae that play a critical role in supporting life on Earth may be better equipped to deal with future climate change than previously expected, research shows.

  • New study reveals mechanism regulating methane emissions in freshwater wetlands

    Though they occupy a small fraction of the Earth's surface, freshwater wetlands are the largest natural source of methane going into the atmosphere. New research identifies an unexpected process that acts as a key gatekeeper regulating methane emissions from these freshwater environments.The study describes how high rates of anaerobic methane oxidation substantially reduce atmospheric emissions of methane from freshwater wetlands.

  • Earthquakes in western Solomon Islands have long history, study shows

    Parts of the western Solomon Islands, a region thought to be free of large earthquakes until an 8.1 magnitude quake devastated the area in 2007, have a long history of big seismic events, researchers have found. The team analyzed corals for the study.

  • New luminescence method offers opportunities for geothermal energy

    Rocks store information about the temperatures that they have experienced. Now, for the first time, researchers have developed a method that reveals low-temperature information (from 35 °C and higher) on a relatively short timescale of thousands of years. The new method might find application in locating geothermal reservoirs and in maintaining underground tunnels.

  • 340 undiscovered meteorite impact sites on Earth, geologists calculate

    Researchers have calculated the number of undiscovered meteorite impact sites on Earth's surface. Geologists say a total of 188 have been confirmed so far, and 340 are still awaiting discovery. Meteorite impacts have shaped the development of the Earth and life repeatedly in the past. The extinction of the dinosaurs, for instance, is thought to have been brought on by a mega-collision at the end of the Cretaceous period. But how many traces of large and small impacts have survived the test of time?

  • Monitoring volcanoes with ground-based atomic clocks

    High-precision atomic clocks can be used to monitor volcanoes and potentially improve predictions of future eruptions, researchers report. In addition, a ground-based network of atomic clocks could monitor the reaction of Earth’s crust to solid Earth tides.

  • Largest freshwater lake on Earth was reduced to desert dunes in just a few hundred years

    Researchers used satellite images to map abandoned shore lines around Palaeolake Mega-Chad, and analyzed sediments to calculate the age of these shore lines, producing a lake level history spanning the last 15,000 years.