The GIF above, created by NASA, may leave you wondering why our government is building a planetary shield. Something you’re not telling us, NASA? According to the space agency, NASA’s shield plan has nothing to do with intergalactic threats—it’s protection against a danger on the ground. The space agency wants to… »
The Sahara is about the worst place on Earth to find water today, but that wasn’t always the case. Thousands of years ago, its sandy dune fields were lush and verdant. A new scientific paper helps explain why: the Western Sahara used to be irrigated by a vast river network. »
Yemen is not known for its tropical storms, yet the desert country is now facing its second major cyclone within a single week. Ravaged by civil war—and still recovering from Cyclone Chapala—Yemen is once again preparing for a bout of rainfall and flooding.
Computer models suggest that the melting West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) is melting at a rapidly accelerating rate. A new computer simulation shows that at current melting rates, the ice sheet will hit a critical point in about 60 years, and could result in a sea level rise of as much as 10 feet over the next several… »
Scientists have detected a disproportionate number of methane bubble plumes off the Washington and Oregon coast. The warming Pacific ocean may be triggering the release of this powerful greenhouse gas, which has remained frozen beneath the seafloor for thousands of years.
The largest lake in California is slowly fading away, and that’s bad news for local residents. As the Salton Sea’s water sources dwindle, southern Californians are bracing themselves for toxic dust storms, noxious smells—and disease.
Corals around the world are turning white, a dangerous “bleaching event” that’s being triggered by climate change and a burgeoning El Niño. Scientists have seen this sort of thing before, but this event appears to be the worst yet. »
This past weekend, a large portion of an Australian beach suddenly collapsed into the ocean. Initial reports indicated it was a sinkhole, but geologists say it’s more likely to be the result of a unique near-shore landslide. »
Since 1988, the population along China’s Pearl River Delta has grown by a whopping 32 million people. Now boasting a total population of 42 million, it’s the largest urban area on the planet. To put it into perspective, 42 million people is more than the population of Canada, Australia, or Argentina. »
Atsani is the the sixth super typhoon to make an appearance during the 2015 West Pacific Tropical Season, which already surpassed the normal average of four. Prior to achieving its super status, CloudSat’s imager collected information about the storm, allowing for this incredible cross-sectional view. »
By analyzing satellite photos, geologists are able to measure the depth of the lakes that form on glaciers during the summer months. Fascinatingly, the process that produces these lakes is also responsible for their remarkable depth. »
NASA’s Terra satellite recently captured this stunning photo of Saharan dust wafting over the Atlantic ocean. It’s one of several outbreaks this summer that some speculate may be contributing to this year’s relatively peaceful storm season. »
Our current era may go down in history as the century of space exploration and off-Earth resource exploitation. But there are still considerable policy hurdles to overcome in terms of how we regulate such activities. As we turn our eyes to the skies, we should also look south to Antarctica to gain some insight into… »
Ocean conditions in the Pacific Ocean are increasingly suggestive of a potent El Niño event later this year. While that might seem like good news to the water-starved regions of the United States, the resulting torrential rains could be exceptionally hazardous. »
Located in the North Cascades of Washington State in the U.S., Mount Baker is one of the most heavily glaciated and snow-covered mountains in the region. But as these satellite images show, its perma-snow doesn’t look so permanent anymore. »
Anyone following news about California’s drought has read about its effect on nation-nourishing crop yields. But what you probably haven’t read is how the drought is impacting the Golden State’s homegrown vices, including wine, pot, and craft beer—and how their industries are affecting the state in return. »
Recent headlines are warning that the Earth will enter into a “mini ice age” in about 20 years because the sun is heading towards a period of very low output. Here’s why this scenario is extremely unlikely. »
The 50-million-year-old volcano cluster was found by accident about 155 miles (250 km) east of Sydney, but there’s no risk of an eruption. »
A study led by Canadian researchers shows that bumblebees are disappearing in many areas where they lived several decades ago, and climate change is to blame.
A reconstruction of Earth’s continental crust over the eons shows that our planet’s land masses are eroding faster than they’re being replenished—meaning our entire planet could become completely submerged in about two billion years. »