Earth in the News

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

  • Carbon capture could be a financial opportunity for US biofuels

    With recent tax credits and other policies, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it underground is not only possible but profitable for US biofuel refineries.

  • Applying network analysis to natural history

    By using network analysis to search for communities of marine life in the fossil records of the Paleobiology Database, biologists were able to quantify the ecological impacts of major events like mass extinctions and may help us anticipate the consequences of a 'sixth mass extinction.'

  • Earth BioGenome Project aims to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species

    Scientists is proposing a massive project to sequence, catalog and analyze the genomes of all eukaryotic species on the planet, an undertaking the researchers say will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity. Eukaryotes include all organisms except bacteria and archaea. There are an estimated 10-15 million eukaryotic species on Earth.

  • Light at end of the tunnel for world's wildlife and wild places

    A new article finds that the enormous trends toward population stabilization, poverty alleviation, and urbanization are rewriting the future of biodiversity conservation in the 21st century, offering new hope for the world's wildlife and wild places.

  • New research modernizes rammed earth construction

    A building method as old as dirt is being re-examined as a 'new' and viable modern construction material. Compressed soil, also known as rammed earth, is a method of construction that dates back centuries.

  • Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle

    A new study shows that nitrogen-feeding organisms exist all over the deep ocean, and not just in large oxygen-depleted 'dead zones,' changing the way we think about the delicate nitrogen cycle.

  • Grassland plants react unexpectedly to high levels of carbon dioxide

    Plants are responding in unexpected ways to increased carbon dioxide in the air, according to a 20-year study.

  • Rare earth magnet recycling is a grind -- this new process takes a simpler approach

    A new recycling process turns discarded hard disk drive magnets into new magnet material in a few steps, and tackles both the economic and environmental issues typically associated with mining e-waste for valuable materials.

  • Trees are not as 'sound asleep' as you may think

    High-precision three-dimensional surveying of 21 different species of trees has revealed a yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night. The 'sleep cycles' differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.

  • Meteorite diamonds tell of a lost planet

    Scientists have examined a slice from a meteorite that contains large diamonds formed at high pressure. The study shows that the parent body from which the meteorite came was a planetary embryo of a size between Mercury and Mars.

  • Study reveals new Antarctic process contributing to sea level rise and climate change

    A new study has revealed a previously undocumented process where melting glacial ice sheets change the ocean in a way that further accelerates the rate of ice melt and sea level rise. The research found that glacial meltwater makes the ocean's surface layer less salty and more buoyant, preventing deep mixing in winter and allowing warm water at depth to retain its heat and further melt glaciers from below.

  • Bugged out by climate change

    Warmer summer and fall seasons and fewer winter freeze-thaw events have led to changes in the relative numbers of different types of bugs in the Arctic. The study relies on the longest-standing, most comprehensive data set on arctic arthropods in the world today: a catalogue of almost 600,000 flies, wasps, spiders and other creepy-crawlies collected at the Zackenberg field station on the northeast coast of Greenland from 1996-2014.

  • Marine fish won an evolutionary lottery 66 million years ago

    Why do the Earth's oceans contain such a staggering diversity of fish of so many different sizes, shapes, colors and ecologies? The answer, biologists report, dates back 66 million years ago, when a six-mile-wide asteroid crashed to Earth, wiping out the dinosaurs and approximately 75 percent of animal and plant species worldwide.

  • More than 12,000 marine creatures uncovered during West Java deep-sea exploration

    Scientists who participated in the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018 had collected more than 12,000 creatures during their 14-day voyage to survey the unexplored deep seas off the southern coast of West Java, Indonesia.

  • Giant group of octopus moms discovered in the deep sea

    At the bottom of the ocean, scientists discovered hundreds of small pink octopuses and their eggs. The colonies were in warmer water than is healthy for octopuses, which means that they probably won't survive. That makes the scientists think there are probably even bigger colonies thriving in the cool rock crevices nearby.

  • Scientists decipher the magma bodies under Yellowstone

    Using supercomputer modeling, scientists have unveiled a new explanation for the geology underlying recent seismic imaging of magma bodies below Yellowstone National Park.

  • Logging in tropical forests jeopardizing drinking water

    Researchers have found that increasing land clearing for logging in Solomon Islands -- even with best management strategies in place -- will lead to unsustainable levels of soil erosion and significant impacts to downstream water quality.

  • Are the media all 'doom and gloom'? Not when it comes to coverage of our oceans

    The news media are often accused by adopting a 'doom and gloom' tone, especially when it comes to coverage of the environment. However, a new study on how journalists report on the state of our oceans shows that view may be misguided.

  • Virtual contact lenses for radar satellites

    Radar satellites supply the data used to map sea level and ocean currents. However, up until now the radar's 'eyes' have been blind where the oceans are covered by ice. Researchers have now developed a new analysis method to solve this problem.

  • Algae-forestry, bioenergy mix could help make CO<sub>2</sub> vanish from thin air

    An unconventional mélange of algae, eucalyptus and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage appears to be a quirky ecological recipe. But, scientists have an idea that could use that recipe to help power and provide food protein to large regions of the world -- and simultaneously remove carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere.