Earth news stories

Project aims to grow a ‘city of trees’
25th January 2017 | | Earth, Misc.

A project aims to plant three million trees – one for every man, woman and child – in Greater Manchester over the next 25 years.

Those behind City of Trees hopes the effort will not only green the region but improve our understanding of the benefits trees provide to society.

Bottom of Siberian Lake Deepens Mystery of Tunguska Event
24th January 2017 | Ancient, Earth, Space

On June 30th, 1908, a massive explosion rocked a remote area of Siberia near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River, leveling trees for 1,000 square miles and creating a mystery that has become known as the Tunguska Event. What caused such destruction? Most experts believed the area was hit by a comet or a meteor, with comet becoming the accepted explanation since no crater nor meteorite fragments were ever found.

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source
24th January 2017 | Earth, Tech

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.

Heat from Earth’s core could be underlying force in plate tectonics
24th January 2017 | Earth

For decades, scientists have theorized that the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates is driven largely by negative buoyancy created as they cool. New research, however, shows plate dynamics are driven significantly by the additional force of heat drawn from the Earth’s core.

Sea-surface temps during last interglacial period like modern temps
24th January 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Sea-surface temperatures during the last interglaciation period were like those of today, a new study reports. The trend is worrisome, as sea levels during the last interglacial period were between six and nine meters above their present height.

Alt: Sea levels could rise by six to nine metres over time, new study warns

The last time the Earth was this warm was 125,000 years ago
24th January 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

The planet sizzled to its third straight record warm year in 2016, and human activity is to blame, federal scientists announced Wednesday.

Related: Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year

A New Tsunami-warning System
23rd January 2017 | | Earth, Tech

After successfully testing a long-range underwater communications system that worked under Arctic Ocean ice, an engineering team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) adapted it for a very different environment—the tropics—and for a different purpose—to provide warnings of impending tsunamis.

Related: Could an Earthquake ‘Invisibility Cloak’ Shield Buildings from Damage?

Plans for world’s first ‘floating city’ unveiled: Radical designs could be built in the Pacific Ocean in 2019
23rd January 2017 | | Earth, Misc., Tech

The world’s first floating city is set to appear in the Pacific Ocean off the island of Tahiti.

The government of French Polynesia has signed a deal with Seasteading Institute to begin construction work in just two years.

It may seem like an ambitious plan, by the group believes semi-independent cities would be the perfect place to try new modes of government and agricultural method.

China scraps construction of 85 planned coal power plants
23rd January 2017 | | Earth

China has suspended 85 planned coal power plants in a bid to meet a government coal capacity target laid out in its latest plan for social and economic development.

The National Energy Administration (NEA) announced the under-construction projects would no longer go ahead as part of measures outlined in its Five Year Plan, Greenpeace reports.

Warming could disrupt Atlantic Ocean current
23rd January 2017 | | Earth

Spewing too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere could shut down the major ocean current that ferries warm water to the North Atlantic, new climate simulations suggest. While not as extreme as the doomsday scenario portrayed in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, such a shutdown could cause wintertime temperatures to plummet by an estimated 7 degrees Celsius or more in northwestern Europe and shift rainfall patterns across the globe.

Bolivian Water Crisis as Glaciers Vanish
23rd January 2017 | Earth

The government of Bolivia, a landlocked country in the heart of South America, has been forced to declare a state of emergency as it faces its worst drought for at least 25 years.

Much of the water supply to La Paz, the highest capital city in the world, and the neighbouring El Alto, Bolivia’s second largest city, comes from the glaciers in the surrounding Andean mountains.

Science Is Vindicating the Gaia Hypothesis, Which Posits That Planets Are Living Things
23rd January 2017 | Earth, Space

Can a planet be alive? Lynn Margulis, a giant of late 20th-century biology, who had an incandescent intellect that veered toward the unorthodox, thought so. She and chemist James Lovelock together theorized that life must be a planet-altering phenomenon and the distinction between the “living” and “nonliving” parts of Earth is not as clear-cut as we think. Many members of the scientific community derided their theory, called the Gaia hypothesis, as pseudoscience, and questioned their scientific integrity. But now Margulis and Lovelock may have their revenge.

A Fight Over a Sacred Mountaintop Will Shape the Future of Astronomy
23rd January 2017 | Earth, Space

For years, it seemed as if the future of the Thirty Meter Telescope was writ in the stars. The enormous, next-generation observatory would explore the birth of galaxies and seek signs of life on alien worlds from atop the dormant volcano of Mauna Kea, one of the best places on Earth to study the sky.

As Above, So Below—a Brain and Sky Coincidence
23rd January 2017 | | Earth, Humans, Weird

An electromagnetic parallel exists between our brains and our atmosphere.

Hermes Trismegistus, thought to be an an ancient Egyptian philosopher, wrote “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below…” The phrase has been summarized as “As above, so below.

Ecuador has begun drilling for oil in the world’s richest rainforest
22nd January 2017 | | Earth

The country is poised to cash in on one of its most valuable assets. But at what cost?

Related: Expert Warning: Current Conservation Efforts Won’t Save Tropical Forests

Multinationals act on ocean-clogging plastics
22nd January 2017 | | Earth

Forty of the world’s biggest companies assembled in Davos agreed on Monday to come up with cleaner ways to make and consume plastic as waste threatens the global eco-system, especially in oceans.

Why 4.5 billion years of fluctuating global temperatures can’t explain climate change today
22nd January 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

One of the most commonly used arguments against human-caused climate change is that Earth has experienced severe fluctuations in temperature over its 4.5-billion-year lifespan, so it doesn’t make sense to start freaking out about it now.

Alt: Earth Temperature Timeline, XKCD

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