science
The Last Scrap of the North American Ice Sheet Is Melting

The planet is warming and Arctic ice is melting. These facts are hardly news. But it’s not just habitat for polar bears that’s being lost—a piece of Earth’s history is disappearing, too. Read More >>

science
Scientists Found a New Window Into the Hellish Ancient Earth

Four and a half billion years ago, some dust from a cloud orbiting around a star coalesced into a rocky planet. But unlike most of the dusty balls in our solar system, this one was special—it was just the right distance away from the star that one day after the surface had cooled, water could exist as a liquid, rather than a solid or gas. The planet’s surface eventually fractured into plates that shifted around, becoming continents. All that shifting has rubbed away the details of that ancient Earth. Was the era as hellish as its name, “Hadean” implies, or was Earth always a water-rich orb with moving plates? Read More >>

science
Some Good News About the Worst Mass Extinction in Earth’s History

If the fact that the Earth is careening toward a sixth mass extinction event makes you uncomfortable, good news: it turns out, the biosphere may have rebounded “quickly” after the worst mass extinction in history. That, at least, is the implication of one remarkable fossil assemblage formed less than 2 million years after the so-called Great Dying. Read More >>

environment
What Happens When That Enormous Antarctic Ice Shelf Finally Breaks?

For the past few months, scientists have watched with bated breath as a rift in the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf grows longer by the day. Eventually, the rift will make a clean break, expelling a 2,000 square mile chunk of ice into the sea. It’ll be an epic sight to behold—but what happens after the ice is gone? Read More >>

science
Enormous Pleistocene Landslide Discovered Off the Coast of Australia

Around 300,000 years ago, a ridge near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef collapsed, unleashing a massive undersea avalanche. The ensuing landslide scattered debris for miles and triggered a sizeable tsunami, according to new research. Read More >>

science
A Mind-Boggling Carbon Deposit Was Just Discovered in the Congo

A newly-discovered peatland in the Congo Basin of central Africa contains an estimated 30.6 billion tonnes of carbon in its waterlogged soils — equivalent to three times the total annual carbon emissions of every human being alive today. Read More >>

lava
A Popular Lava Viewing Area Just Collapsed Into the Ocean

“Lava viewing area” sounds like a feature of your favourite Super Mario game, but it’s also a real thing in Hawaii, where you can watch the Kilauea shield volcano spew its fiery guts right into the ocean from a cliff. Or at least, you were able to do that, until the cliff in question crumbled into the ocean on New Years’ Eve. Read More >>

environment
Temperatures at the North Pole Could Rise Nearly 28 Degrees Above Normal Today

With less than two weeks remaining in 2016, we can say with near-certainty that it’s the hottest year on record (the only thing that could pull 12 months of above-average temperatures down now is if our sun suddenly vanished, and in that case we’ve got bigger problems). And if the north pole is any indicator, freak hot weather isn’t going away. In fact, it seems to be getting freakier. Read More >>

earthquakes
Relive 15 Years of Earthquakes in Four Mesmerising Minutes

A few weeks ago, the US National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) released this soothing and terrifying animation of every earthquake it recorded from 1st January 2001 to 31st December 2015. Here’s my suggested backing track, and here’s how the video’s description says to read the map: Read More >>

science
An Iron Hell River Is Flowing Beneath The Earth

Beneath eighteen hundred miles of crust and mantle flows a molten iron hell river whose satanic secrets the European Space Agency has unleashed. Cool! Read More >>

earth sciences
New Hampshire Might Have Volcanoes One Day

Sixty miles beneath the birch-speckled forests of southern New Hampshire, the rocks are hotter than they should be—much hotter. First discovered in the 1970s, the heat anomaly was thought to be the remnants of an ancient hotspot in the Earth’s mantle. Instead, new seismic measurements suggest it’s an area of active upwelling. And that has led geologists to an astonishing conclusion. Read More >>

geology
Two Billion-Year-Old Water Found in Canadian Mine

Canadian Geoscientists have uncovered water that dates back a whopping two billion years. It’s the oldest water ever discovered on Earth, and it could broaden our understanding of how life emerged on our planet — and possibly elsewhere. Read More >>

science
Disturbing 3D Visualisation Will Change the Way You Think About Carbon Emissions

Scientists at NASA have created a stunning high-resolution 3D visualisation showing the complex ebbs and flows of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere over the course of an entire year. It’s a unique perspective that’s sure to change the way you think about this problematic greenhouse gas. Read More >>

enviroment
The Arctic Completely Failed Its 2016 ‘Report Card’

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its annual “Arctic Report Card,” a comprehensive overview of what’s happening at our planet’s North Pole. If it were an actual school report, the Arctic would be on the verge of failing all its GCSEs. Read More >>

science
Scientists Think They Know What Caused That Terrifying Tibetan Avalanche

Over the summer, two enormous avalanches struck the Aru Glacier in Tibet back-to-back. Now, after several months of careful study, scientists think they’ve identified the cause of the first ice slide, which claimed the lives of nine nomadic herders. You’ll be shocked to hear it has to do with climate change. Read More >>