Ancient water = ancient habitat?

Ancient water = ancient habitat?

Geologic dating shows that water has been trapped more than 2 kilometers underground since before the Cambrian explosion. This water contains chemicals that support bacteria in other places. Could the deep biosphere contain relics of the most primitive life? Could such life exist on Mars? More »

Exploring a volcano

Exploring a volcano

Watch volcanologists track a giant volcanic field in Chile — site of the fastest uplift on Earth. Laguna del Maule could change our climate. Scientists are racing to understand a strange unrest. What is the threat from this bizarre landscape? More »

Neutrinos

Neutrinos

Synopsis: To view neutrinos from distant explosions, astrophysicists have set up thousands of detectors in pure ice at the South Pole. What are neutrinos, and what do these scientists hope to learning from them? Find the article: Chasing Neutrinos at… More »

Super-volcanoes!

Super-volcanoes!

Take a modern volcano, and multiply it by 1,000. That’s a super-volcano. Their rare eruptions change landscapes and weather. How long can giant pools of molten rock sit beneath the surface before a super-v blows? A new study says, not long at all… More »

Reading magma, predicting giant eruptions

Reading magma, predicting giant eruptions

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, but here’s a new view of the historic eruption of a Mediterranean monster. About 3,500 years ago, Santorini’s eruption left a giant caldera and 60-meter layers of pumice. A new study of tiny crystals tracks movement of molten magma before the cataclysm. More »

Ocean fish in hot water

Ocean fish in hot water

The ocean’s most valuable fish are caught in a vise. Areas known as dead zones are encroaching on their living zones and pinning them closer to the surface, where they are more vulnerable to becoming the day’s catch. The predicament is yet another side effect of climate change. More »

Watching a continental split

detail of labelled, satellite view of Baja California and Sea of Cortez

Seismic study shows crust thinning as continent divides, giving another view of our restless planet, showing tectonic movement in action, and highlighting a major real-estate investment opportunity. More »

Science on the road!

Science on the road!

Hitting the road? What could be more enlightening than gawking at a cave, exploring a desert, or eyeballing the largest telescope in the world? Need proof that science is not just books and websites or equations and software? Get moving! More »

Tornado prediction

rubble of buildings and damaged car on side of road, sky still cloudy

Three essential elements drive a tornado: Wet air, dry air, and wind shear. What explains the big improvement in tornado prediction? More »

Tsunami: The killer wave

Tsunami: The killer wave

Could an offshore earthquake start a deadly tsunami, as in Sumatra and Japan? Where do tsunamis get their power? How do warning systems work? More »

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Climate: Simple = beautiful?

Earth’s orbit subtly changes over thousands of years, in complex cycles that affect the timing and delivery of sunlight to various regions of the globe. Climatologists have said that when this “Milankovitch cycle” warms the Arctic, it somehow warms the Antarctic. A new study finds that the cycle acts more directly. More »

State of the rivers: Ruinous?

State of the rivers: Ruinous?

Rivers bring water. They house amazing biodiversity. And they are being polluted, tapped, dammed and diverted at a frightening rate. What does a new study of global rivers tell us about something we can’t afford to lose?
More »

When earthquakes break…

When earthquakes break...

How do rocks move? What governs how long and violent an earthquake will be? Should we worry about a powder between the grinding rocks? Why do a few earthquakes grow into monsters? More »

Energy and climate: The hidden stories

Energy and climate: The hidden stories

Climate scientists worry about feedbacks, glacial melting, sea level rise, and the complexity of climate science. What does human behavior tell us about warming? More »