Earth news stories

How rice farming may have spread across the ancient world
18th May 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans, Tech

A study of 4000-year-old DNA—a rare find in this region—suggests that rice farming came with farmers migrating from China, where it originated.

Critically endangered South American forests were man made
17th May 2018 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

Critically endangered South American forests thought to be the result of climate change were actually spread by ancient communities, archaeologists have found.

Researchers develop faster test for cannabis quality
17th May 2018 | Earth, Humans

A new method of measuring phytocannabinoids—the primary bioactive molecules in cannabis—will lead to faster, safer and more accurate information for producers, regulators and consumers alike.

Fossil record reveals changes in Earth’s movement and rotation
16th May 2018 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Researchers have found evidence that regular changes in the Earth’s orbit and axis of rotation caused significant changes in both the evolution and extinction rates of an extinct type of plankton.

Maria Reiche: Who was the German governess who devoted her life to Peru’s mysterious Nazca Lines?
16th May 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

‘Lady of the Lines’ theorised strange drawings of birds and animals carved into desert plains were part of ancient astronomical calendar and was crucial to securing their preservation.

Study finds Amazonian rainforests gave birth to the world’s most diverse tropical region
15th May 2018 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

A new study is suggesting many of the plants and animals that call Latin America home may actually have their roots in the Amazon.

Memory transferred between snails, challenging standard theory of how the brain remembers
15th May 2018 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans, Tech

UCLA neuroscientists have reported that they have transferred a memory from one animal to another via injections of RNA.

‘Feel good’ factor not CO2 boosts global forest expansion
15th May 2018 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

The authors refute the idea that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are the key cause of the spread of trees. As countries become better off, farmers focus on good quality soils and abandon marginal lands, the authors say.

An asteroid that nobody knew was coming flew very, very close to our planet. Gulp.
11th May 2018 | Earth, Space, Tech

Named 2018 GE3, it passed us by at about half the distance between Earth and the moon—wicked close.

In ancient rocks, scientists see a climate cycle working across deep time
8th May 2018 | | Ancient, Earth

Scientists drilling deep into ancient rocks in the Arizona desert say they have documented a gradual shift in Earth’s orbit that repeats every 405,000 years, playing a role in natural climate swings.

The New Science of Psychedelics
6th May 2018 | | Earth, Humans

Recent studies are finding that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin can help to alleviate depression, anxiety and addiction—and may have profound things to teach us about how the mind works.

Engineers upgrade ancient, sun-powered tech to purify water with near-perfect efficiency
4th May 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans, Tech

The idea of using energy from the sun to evaporate and purify water is ancient. The Greek philosopher Aristotle reportedly described such a process more than 2,000 years ago.

Earth’s magnetic field is probably not reversing
1st May 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

A study of the most recent near-reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field by an international team of researchers has found it is unlikely that such an event will take place anytime soon.

Did another advanced species exist on Earth before humans?
1st May 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans, Tech

Scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the University of Rochester take a critical look at the scientific evidence that ours is the only advanced civilization ever to have existed on our planet.

Native Knowledge: What Ecologists Are Learning from Indigenous People
27th April 2018 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans, Tech

From Alaska to Australia, scientists are turning to the knowledge of traditional people for a deeper understanding of the natural world.

Asteroids could have delivered water to the early Earth
26th April 2018 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Space

Shooting small rocks from a high-speed cannon showed that some asteroids could have brought water to the early Earth — without all the water boiling away on impact, a new study finds.

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