Earth news stories

Hurricane Irma Turned Caribbean Islands Brown
13th September 2017 | Earth

These natural-color images captured by NASA’s Operational Land Imager (OLI) on satellite show some of Hurricane Irma’s devastating effects on the British and US Virgin Islands. Article also explains some of the science behind what is seen in the photos.

Ancient Wetlands Offer Window into Climate Change and Quandamooka Aborigines
12th September 2017 | Ancient, Earth

Environmental researchers have uncovered a wealth of information about a unique part of Australia that offers never-before-seen insights into climate change since the last ice age.  They cored and dated mud sediment from 16 wetlands on Queensland’s North Stradbroke island, and found six dating to the ice age or earlier, with one being more than 200,000 years old.  Coupled with the existence of the Pleistocene sites, this study demonstrates the long and extensive connection Quandamooka aboriginal people have to that ancient land.

High-Tech Electronics Made from Autumn Leaves
12th September 2017 | | Earth, Tech

Northern China’s roadsides are peppered with deciduous phoenix trees, producing an abundance of fallen leaves in autumn. These leaves are generally burned in the colder season, exacerbating the country’s air pollution problem. Investigators in Shandong, China, recently discovered a new method to convert this biomass organic waste matter into a porous carbon material that can be used to produce high-tech electronics.

The World is Running out of Sand
12th September 2017 | | Earth

When people picture sand spread across idyllic beaches and endless deserts, they understandably think of it as an infinite resource. But over-exploitation of global supplies of sand is damaging the environment, endangering communities, causing shortages and promoting violent conflict.

The True Story of the 1935 Killer Hurricane that Hit the Florida Keys
12th September 2017 | Ancient, Earth

Step back in time with National Geographic’s report of the no-name Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, still the most intense on record to make landfall in the United States, as measured by the low barometric pressures that signal a storm’s strength.  Winds may have reached speeds of 200 mph, sliced the entire second story off a hotel, and killed over 400 people.

Glacier Collapse in Switzerland, Hundreds Evacuated
11th September 2017 | | Earth

Part of Switzerland’s Trift glacier collapsed Sunday, September 10. Geologists had recently noticed significant movement along the “tongue” of the Trift glacier, up to 130 centimetres (50 inches) in a single day.  There remains only about a third of the unstable tongue, police said, adding that the area is under surveillance and “the situation will be continually reevaluated.”

The Fight to Save Ancient Mulberry Trees in London
11th September 2017 | | Earth

The Bethnal Green Mulberry, a gnarly old specimen which, in local lore, is understood to be more than 400 years old and is believed to be the oldest tree in the East End of London is under threat of being uprooted from the earth in the construction of luxury apartments.

The Austrian Park that Turns into a Lake Every Summer
11th September 2017 | Earth

There’s a park in Austria that turns into a lake every summer. When temperatures rise, the snow melts on the mountains surrounding Grüner See, or Green Lake, and fills the meadow with water – leaving benches, trails, and trees completely submerged in crystal-clear snowmelt.

Here are Records Broken by Hurricane Irma so Far
11th September 2017 | | Earth

A meteorologist from Colorado State University has been tracking the relentless storm over the past week, taking note of all the records broken so far.

Hurricane Irma Sucked the Ocean Away from Beaches in the Bahamas
10th September 2017 | | Earth

This natural phenomenon is real and occurs with extremely powerful storms.  Residents were urged to be careful as water levels can often return to normal with great force.  Article contains video clips and social media feeds from multiple sources including a Bahamian meteorologist.

This Map Shows How an Overheated Ocean Made Hurricane Irma a Monster
10th September 2017 | Earth

Map from National Geographic details Hurricane Irma’s approach to the southeastern United States, and the warmer waters providing more energy to fuel the storm.

Deadly Mexico Earthquake Had an Unusual Cause
10th September 2017 | | Earth

A deadly magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck the southern coast of Mexico on 7 September, killing dozens of people and injuring at least 200.  The US Geological Survey says tremor was within the Cocos Plate, not subduction at the plate boundary.

16th Century Globe on an Ostrich Egg is Oldest Depiction of New World
10th September 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

An elaborately carved globe made from joining the lower halves of two ostrich eggs is the oldest known depiction of the New World. The 16th century globe had become lost to the pages of history but resurfaced a few years ago at a London map fair, when it was spotted by an anonymous map collector.

Asteroid Strike and Tsunami May Have Caused Britain’s Floods of 1014
9th September 2017 | | Ancient, Earth, Space

A scientist has leant support to the theory that this flood, mentioned in accounts from Cornwall to Kent, occurred as the result of an asteroid impact which caused a vast tsunami to sweep along the coast of Britain. The differing accounts of the flood of September 28, 1014 — the eve of St Michael’s day — have long intrigued geologists and archaeologists.

Geophysicist Says Weight of Harvey’s Rain Caused Houston to Sink
9th September 2017 | | Earth

As southeast Texas and Louisiana cope with the devastation left behind by hurricane Harvey, NASA scientists now say the event was so extreme, dropping 33 trillion gallons of water, that it caused Houston to drop by nearly an inch.

NASA/UCI Find Evidence of Sea Level ‘Fingerprints’
9th September 2017 | | Earth

Researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, and University of California, Irvine, have reported the first detection of sea level “fingerprints” in ocean observations: detectable patterns of sea level variability around the world resulting from changes in water storage on Earth’s continents and in the mass of ice sheets. The results will give scientists confidence they can use these data to determine how much the sea level will rise at any point on the global ocean as a result of glacier ice melt.

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