Earth in the News

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

  • Monitoring CO2 leakage sites on the ocean floor

    Injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) deep below the seabed could be an important strategy for mitigating climate change, according to some experts. However, scientists need a reliable way to monitor such sites for leakage of the greenhouse gas. Now, researchers have studied natural sources of CO2 release off the coast of Italy, using what they learned to develop models that could be applied to future storage sites.

  • Origin of massive methane reservoir identified

    New research provides evidence of the formation and abundance of abiotic methane -- methane formed by chemical reactions that don't involve organic matter -- on Earth and shows how the gases could have a similar origin on other planets and moons, even those no longer home to liquid water.

  • Profound patterns in globally important algae

    A globally important ocean algae is mysteriously scarce in one of the most productive regions of the Atlantic Ocean, according to a new article. A massive dataset has revealed patterns in the regions where Atlantic coccolithophores live, illuminating the inner workings of the ocean carbon cycle and raising new questions.

  • Plants could remove six years of carbon dioxide emissions -- if we protect them

    By analysing 138 experiments, researchers have mapped the potential of today's plants and trees to store extra carbon by the end of the century.

  • Stardust in the Antarctic snow

    The rare isotope iron-60 is created in massive stellar explosions. Only a very small amount of this isotope reaches the earth from distant stars. Now, a research team has discovered iron-60 in Antarctic snow for the first time. The scientists suggest that the iron isotope comes from the interstellar neighborhood.

  • All-in-one: New microbe degrades oil to gas

    The tiny organisms cling to oil droplets and perform a great feat: As a single organism, they may produce methane from oil by a process called alkane disproportionation. Previously this was only known from symbioses between bacteria and archaea. Scientists have now found cells of this microbe called Methanoliparia in oil reservoirs worldwide.

  • Roadmap for detecting changes in ocean due to climate change

    When will we see significant changes in the ocean due to climate change? A new study finds that some changes are noticeable already, while others will take up to a century.

  • Why there's a 'sweet spot' depth for underground magma chambers

    Computer models show why eruptive magma chambers tend to reside between six and 10 kilometers underground.

  • Circulation of water in deep Earth's interior

    The existence of water in deep Earth is considered to play an important role in geodynamics, because water drastically changes the physical properties of mantle rock, such as melting temperature, electric conductivity, and rheological properties. Water is transported into deep Earth by the hydrous minerals in the subducting cold plates. Hydrous minerals, such as serpentine, mica and clay minerals, contain water in the form of hydroxyl (-OH) in the crystal structure. Most of the hydrous minerals decompose into anhydrous minerals and water when they are transported into deep Earth, at 40-100 km depth, due to the high temperature and pressure conditions.

  • Microorganisms build the best fuel efficient hydrogen cells

    With billions of years of practice, nature has created the most energy efficient machines. One, [Ne-Fi] hydrogenase, is the oldest in microorganisms and is used for hydrogen metabolism. Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, researchers reveal the proton transfer pathway of this enzyme, a discovery expected to contribute to new biofuel cells.

  • July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet

    Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.

  • Warmer winters are changing the makeup of water in Black Sea

    Warmer winters are starting to alter the structure of the Black Sea, which could foreshadow how ocean compositions might shift from future climate change, according to new research.

  • Climate change 'disrupts' local plant diversity, study reveals

    Researchers have discovered that the numbers of plant species recorded by botanists have increased in locations where the climate has changed most rapidly, and especially in relatively cold parts of the world.

  • Ice sheets impact core elements of the Earth's carbon cycle

    The Earth's carbon cycle is crucial in controlling the greenhouse gas content of our atmosphere, and ultimately our climate.

  • Compost key to sequestering carbon in the soil

    In a 19-year study, scientists dug roughly 6 feet down to compare soil carbon changes in different cropping systems. They found that compost is a key to storing carbon, a strategy for offsetting carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Microplastic drifting down with the snow

    Over the past several years, microplastic particles have repeatedly been detected in sea-water, drinking water, and even in animals. But these minute particles are also transported by the atmosphere and subsequently washed out of the air, especially by snow -- and even in such remote regions as the Arctic and Alps.

  • Solving mystery of pilot Amelia Earhart

    Researchers are setting out to find answers to disappearance of famed pilot Amelia Earhart. An autonomous surface vehicle (ASV), or robot, can explore the seafloor in waters that may be too deep for divers.

  • New insight into glaciers regulating global silicon cycling

    A new review of silicon cycling in glacial environments highlights the potential importance of glaciers in exporting silicon to downstream ecosystems.

  • Researchers develop improved method for studying tsunami risk to bridges, buildings, roads

    Researchers are paving the way toward greater safety for coastal residents and infrastructure by developing a better means of modeling the destructive force of tsunami waves.

  • Unique dietary strategy of a tropical marine sponge

    Research revealed a unique feeding strategy of a marine sponge, wherein the sponge animal acquires important components of its diet from symbiotic bacteria living within the sponge.