Earth news stories

Chew On This For Earth Day: How Our Diets Impact The Planet
25th April 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth

The foods we choose to put on our plates — or toss away – could have more of an ecological impact than many of us realize.

On Earth Day, here are some ways to consider how our diet impacts the planet.

Shrimp from the Sahara sounds crazy, but it may be the future of aquaculture
25th April 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth

Seafood is a big part of humanity’s diet, and it’s been that way for a very long time. According to archaeological evidence, Homo sapiens mastered the art of fishing somewhere around 40,000 years ago — and we’ve been eating seafood ever since.

China’s ‘Great Green Wall’ Fights Expanding Desert
25th April 2017 | Earth

Throughout the past 40 years, the Earth has lost a third of its arable land to erosion and degradation. China’s efforts to fight the problem have seen mixed results.

What the Hell is This Beautiful Thing?
25th April 2017 | Earth

Meet Steve, a newly discovered atmospheric phenomenon that’s so strange it still doesn’t have a formal scientific description, hence the placeholder name. Thanks to the work of aurora enthusiasts and atmospheric scientists, we’re now learning more about Steve, but many questions remain.

New Zealand earthquake gives unexpected benefit
24th April 2017 | | Earth

The Kaikoura earthquake of November 2016 had a measured magnitude of 7.8 and cost the lives of two people on New Zealand’s south island. However, the local council in the resort town of Kaikoura says that coastal uplift caused by the quake raised 120 km (75 miles) of coastline by between one to eight metres (3-26 feet), potentially putting previously at-risk infrastructure out of harm’s way from sea erosion

Britain set for first coal-free day since Industrial Revolution
24th April 2017 | | Earth

The UK is set to have its first ever working day without coal power generation since the Industrial Revolution, according to the National Grid.

The control room tweeted the predicted milestone on Friday, adding that it is also set to be the first 24-hour coal-free period in Britain.

Birds vs. bees: Study helps explain how flowers evolved to get pollinators to specialize
24th April 2017 | | Animal Life, Earth

Flowers that were thought to have evolved to lure hummingbirds, actually have combinations of traits that discourage wasteful visits by bumblebees

Water is streaming across Antarctica: New survey finds liquid flow more widespread than thought
22nd April 2017 | Earth

In the first such continent-wide survey, scientists have found extensive drainages of meltwater flowing over parts of Antarctica’s ice during the brief summer. Researchers already knew such features existed, but assumed they were confined mainly to Antarctica’s fastest-warming, most northerly reaches. Many of the newly mapped drainages are not new, but the fact they exist at all is significant

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters
22nd April 2017 | | Earth

The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic.

Related: The Arctic Ocean May Soon Have Its Very Own ‘Garbage Patch’

New Window Screens Filter Pollution from Air
21st April 2017 | | Earth, Tech

New window screens with pollutant-trapping nanofibers may allow residents of smog-choked cities to breathe easier. The fibers are made of nitrogen-containing polymers and are sprayed onto screens in a technique called blow-spinning, in which a stream of air stretches out droplets of polymer solution in midspray to form an extremely thin layer of nanofibers.

California’s wildflower ‘super bloom’ is so massive you can see it from space
18th April 2017 | | Earth

A wildflower super bloom is underway in Southern California after nearly 10 inches of much-needed winter rain. For four years, the state has struggled with a serious drought that drained reservoirs and prompted water bans. But this year’s El Niño-like winter brought the rain and the wildflowers are taking a giant gulp.

Antarctica’s sleeping ice giant could wake soon
18th April 2017 | | Earth

The massive East Antarctic Ice Sheet looks stable from above — but it’s a dangerously different story below.

Rignot was one of the first scientists to warn about possible trouble in East Antarctica — a region long neglected by climate researchers. In 2013, his team detailed the behaviour of ice around the margin of Antarctica by combining satellite imagery, airborne surveys and climate models.

Receding glacier causes immense Canadian river to vanish in four days
18th April 2017 | | Earth

An immense river that flowed from one of Canada’s largest glaciers vanished over the course of four days last year, scientists have reported, in an unsettling illustration of how global warming dramatically changes the world’s geography.

The terrifying tsunami that devastated Britain
18th April 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Some 8,000 years ago, a tsunami with a run-up height of up to 25m swept Scottish islands and the coastline at 80mph. It may have been caused by climate change. Could it happen again?

Fungal Pesticides Offer A Growing Alternative To Traditional Chemicals
17th April 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Pesticides based on fungi are just one example of biopesticides, a group that also includes bacteria and biochemicals derived from plants.

Biopesticides are a tiny segment of the market for now – but their use is projected to grow at a faster rate than traditional synthetic pesticides over the next few years.

Mimicking an impact on Earth’s early atmosphere yields all 4 RNA bases
15th April 2017 | Ancient, Earth

There aren’t a lot of individual experiments that have ended up being staples of high school textbooks, but Stanley Miller and Harold Urey did one of them. Miller and Urey are the people who sealed up a mixture of gases meant to model the Earth’s early atmosphere and jolted the gas with some sparks. What emerged was a complex mix of chemicals that included amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

Solar storms can drain electrical charge above Earth
15th April 2017 | Earth, Space

New research on solar storms finds that they not only can cause regions of excessive electrical charge in the upper atmosphere above Earth’s poles, they also can do the exact opposite: cause regions that are nearly depleted of electrically charged particles. The finding adds to our knowledge of how solar storms affect Earth and could possibly lead to improved radio communication and navigation systems for the Arctic.

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