Did Microbes Cause The Earth's Most Devastating Mass Extinction?

A little over 250 million years ago, our planet experienced a mass extinction the likes of which have never been seen before or since. About 90% of all species were suddenly wiped out. And new study suggests it wasn't caused by an asteroid or super-volcano — but rather methane-spewing microbes. » 3/31/14 12:00pm 3/31/14 12:00pm

Talk about the end of the world with Annalee Newitz and Seth Mnookin

Today from 12-1 PM PST, Annalee Newitz will be here talking about her new book, Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction. She'll be in conversation with MIT science journalism professor Seth Mnookin, author of The Panic Virus. And with you! Join us in a conversation about mass extinction,… » 5/14/13 11:58am 5/14/13 11:58am

Why Humans Will Survive the Next World-Ending Catastrophe

There's growing evidence that Earth may be headed for a mass extinction, where over 75 percent of all species die out and the world is changed forever. There's also evidence that humans would survive such an event — for better or for worse. Here's why. » 5/01/13 4:11pm 5/01/13 4:11pm

Further evidence that volcanoes can destroy life on Earth

If you think asteroid strikes are scary, I've got some bad news for you. The most deadly events on Earth are caused by . . . Earth. New evidence suggests that underwater volcanoes may have wrecked our planet for thousands of years, and ultimately allowed dinosaurs to rule the world. » 3/21/13 2:31pm 3/21/13 2:31pm

Dinosaurs Went Extinct Almost Immediately After Mexican Asteroid Strike

Scientists using a new and highly precise dating technique have concluded that the late Cretaceous asteroid strike in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula coincided almost exactly with the extinction of the dinosaurs — give-or-take a few tens of thousands of years. While it's clear that other factors were contributing to the… » 2/08/13 8:00am 2/08/13 8:00am

The first land plants pretty much ruined the entire planet

The first, moss-like plants emerged on land about 470 million years ago. In just 25 million years, they stripped the planet of vital minerals, wrecked Earth's carbon cycle, started an ice age, and caused a mass extinction of marine life. » 2/01/12 12:52pm 2/01/12 12:52pm

How to Deflect an Asteroid Attack

A 15 kilometer wide asteroid is headed toward the Earth, but NASA scientists spot it three years before impact. Movie lore not withstanding, what the hell are we supposed to do? Could we even organize the global community enough to stop this flaming ball that astronomers call a near-Earth object (NEO)? Let's find out. … » 11/25/11 3:00pm 11/25/11 3:00pm