Earth news stories

Hundreds of Huge Craters Discovered in the Arctic Ocean
14th June 2017 | | Earth

When Karin Andreassen set out for the Barents Sea, she knew she would find a lot of methane. The cold, shallow body of water just north of where Norway meets Russia is home to oil and gas fields, and methane—the main component of natural gas—naturally seeps out of the seafloor here. Andreassen, a marine geologist at UiT The Arctic University of Norway, also knew from surveys in the 90s that she’d find some underwater craters.

The strange Cook pine trees that always lean towards the equator
14th June 2017 | | Earth

Never mind the Leaning Tower of Pisa – this is the leaning tower of pines.

Cook pines are towering trees that were once restricted to their native home of New Caledonia, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. Through cultivation, they have taken root across tropical, subtropical and temperate regions around the world.

Snowball ‘Tumbleweeds’ Blow Across Antarctica
14th June 2017 | | Earth

Tumbleweeds may be iconic symbols of the American West, but regions around the world have their own versions of the wind-blown plants — even Antarctica.

Antarctica’s “tumbleweeds” look more like snowballs, but like their western namesake, they are created by the wind.

Earliest human impact on geological processes took place 11,500 years ago
11th June 2017 | Ancient, Earth

A new Tel Aviv University study has uncovered the earliest known geological indications of manmade impact on geological processes, in particular erosion of the surface, from 11,500 years ago. Within a core sample retrieved from the Dead Sea, researchers discovered basin-wide erosion rates dramatically incompatible with known tectonic and climatic regimes of the period recorded.

Human activity has polluted European air for 2,000 years, study finds
11th June 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

A new study combining European ice core data and historical records of the infamous Black Death pandemic of 1349-1353 shows metal mining and smelting have polluted the environment for thousands of years, challenging the widespread belief that environmental pollution began with the Industrial Revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.

Noise pollution and air pollution both have negative effects on heart health: study
11th June 2017 | | Earth, Humans

It is not just the pollution caused by traffic that is affecting our health, but also the noise according to a new European study, which found that exposure to excessive traffic noise is linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

Tree-Climbing Goats Keep the ‘Desert Gold’ Growing
10th June 2017 | Animal Life, Earth

What do goats and squirrels have in common?

They both climb trees, of course. While squirrels live amongst the branches, goats, or at least those in arid regions, climb them for dinner. And that’s good for the goats, and the trees.

The first low-cost system for splitting carbon dioxide
10th June 2017 | Earth, Tech

Using Earth-abundant materials, EPFL scientists have built the first low-cost system for splitting CO2 into CO, a reaction necessary for turning renewable energy into fuel.

Plastic Pollutants Pervade Water and Land
10th June 2017 | | Earth

Contamination of marine and terrestrial ecosystems by microplastics is putting individual organisms at risk.

The effects of plastic pollution in terrestrial environments remain largely unknown. To date, the majority of research has focused on aquatic systems, as 10 million to 20 million tons of plastic litter find their way to the oceans each year.

We’re on the brink of mass extinction — but there’s still time to pull back
10th June 2017 | | Earth

Imagine being a scuba diver and leaving your air tank behind you on a dive. That’s essentially what humans are doing as we expand our footprint on the planet without paying adequate attention to impacts on other living things, according to researchers. Both ominous and hopeful, a new report paints a picture of the value of biodiversity, the threats it faces and the window of opportunity we have to save species before it’s too late.

Organic foods backed by landmark report warning pesticides far more dangerous than was thought
9th June 2017 | | Earth

Consumers should consider going organic because pesticides on foods are far more dangerous than was thought, causing damage to the human brain, a major study suggests.

Ice stupas: a Himalayan answer to climate change, water shortage and glacial flooding
9th June 2017 | | Earth

Retreating glaciers have left villages in Ladakh with acute water shortages. Local engineer Sonam Wangchuk, noticing one day how ice under a bridge stayed frozen even in summer, came up with a solution as ingenious as it is beautiful

Giant iceberg poised to snap off from Antarctica: scientists
9th June 2017 | Earth

An expanse of ice roughly the size of Delaware is close to breaking off from the warming Antarctic ice shelf to form one of the world’s largest-ever icebergs, scientists said Thursday.

Huge ice age methane blowout is ill omen for glacier retreat
9th June 2017 | | Earth

Call it the largest fart in Earth’s history. As the most recent ice age came to a close 12,000 years ago, retreating glaciers in the Barents Sea north of Norway triggered unprecedented blowouts of methane gas from massive dome-like features on the seabed.

April marked the 388th month in a row that the global temperature was warmer than average
9th June 2017 | Earth

To find a month when the global average temperature over the land and oceans was below average, you have to go all the way back to December 1984, according to the latest monthly analysis from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Saving Lives and Money: The Potential of Solar to Replace Coal
9th June 2017 | | Earth

By swapping solar photovoltaics for coal, the US could prevent 51,999 premature deaths a year, potentially making as much as $2.5 million for each life saved.

Related: China Will Make as Much Clean Electricity by 2030 as the U.S. Does From All Sources Today

News stories covering the environment, plant life, and the Earth itself.