Earth in the News

The latest reports of natural disasters and scientific discoveries about the Earth.

  • Remains of bizarre group of extinct snail-eating Australian marsupials discovered

    Fossil remains of a previously unknown family of carnivorous Australian marsupials that lived 15 million years ago have been discovered at the Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site in north-western Queensland. The ancient animals appeared to eat snails using a huge, hammer-like premolar that would have been able to crack the strongest of snail shells.

  • Evidence of ice age at Martian north pole

    Using radar data scientists found evidence of an ice age recorded in the polar deposits of Mars. Ice ages on Mars are driven by processes similar to those responsible for ice ages on Earth, that is, long-term cyclical changes in the planet's orbit and tilt, which affect the amount of solar radiation it receives at each latitude.

  • Researchers identify critical factors that determine drought vulnerability of wheat, maize

    Researchers have identified critical information about the environmental variables and agronomic factors that determine the vulnerability of maize and wheat production to drought.

  • Antarctic fossils reveal creatures weren't safer in the south during dinosaur extinction

    A study of more than 6,000 marine fossils from the Antarctic shows that the mass extinction event that killed the dinosaurs was sudden and just as deadly to life in the polar regions. Previously, scientists had thought that creatures living in the southernmost regions of the planet would have been in a less perilous position during the mass extinction event than those elsewhere on Earth.

  • Scientists explain the art of creating digital hurricanes

    A team of scientists spends its days incorporating millions of atmospheric observations, sophisticated graphic tools and lines of computer code to create computer models simulating the weather and climate conditions responsible for hurricanes.

  • Clouds provide clue to better climate predictions

    A research group from the CERN Cloud experiment has uncovered the processes behind the formation and evolution of small atmospheric particles free from the influence of pollution. Their findings are key to creating accurate models to understand and predict global climate change.

  • Why some climate processes are more effective at warming Earth

    A new paper explains why some climate processes are more effective than others at warming/cooling the Earth. By accounting for these differences we can more accurately determine the most important drivers of climate change in sensitive regions like the Arctic.

  • A warning system for tsunamis

    Scientists have developed the Time Reverse Imaging Method to take real-time data from the ocean sensors and use that information to recreate what the tsunami looked like when it was born. Once scientists have the tsunami source pinpointed, they can use it to make better predictions about what will happen once the waves reach shore. This new method is fast enough to compete with existing algorithms but much more accurate.

  • Coral bleaching 'lifeboat' could be just beneath the surface

    A report commissioned by the United Nations offers a glimmer of hope to those managing the impact of bleaching on the world's coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef. The 35 authors of the United Nations Environmental Programme in-depth report say as the world's surface reefs are being threatened, part of the ecosystem may survive in these barely known deeper environments, known as mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs).

  • Methane-producing microbes in California rocks

    Scientists report that they have found evidence of hardy, methane-producing microbes in water that surfaces from deep underground at The Cedars, a set of freshwater springs in Sonoma County.

  • World's largest coral gene database created

    Scientists have conducted the world's most comprehensive analysis of coral genes, focusing on how their evolution has allowed corals to interact with and adapt to the environment.

  • A history of snowfall on Greenland, hidden in ancient leaf waxes

    The history of Greenland's snowfall is chronicled in an unlikely place: the remains of aquatic plants that died long ago, collecting at the bottom of lakes in horizontal layers that document the passing years. Using this ancient record, scientists have determined that snowfall at one key location in western Greenland may have intensified from 6,000 to 4,000 years ago, a period when the planet's Northern Hemisphere was warmer than it is today.

  • New research unveils an 80% reduction in atmospheric carbon monoxide as a result of car emissions policies

    New research has highlighted the success of automotive technologies and policies in cutting atmospheric carbon monoxide (CO) by 80% within south-east England over the last 18 years. High levels of atmospheric pollutants including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides are harmful to human health and are responsible for an estimated 9,500 deaths per year in London, say investigators.

  • A fiery world aids the peopling of America

    North America experienced regular fires for thousands of years before the arrival of humans in North America according to new research.

  • Sudden shifts in the course of a river on a delta may be predicted, thanks to new study

    Scientists studying deltas show how they may be able to predict where destructive changes in a river's course may occur.

  • 'Canaries' of the ocean highlight threat to world's ecosystems

    A new study highlights the urgent need for action to save our coral reefs as 59 species of finfish disappear from catches over past 65 years.

  • Rich coral communities discovered in Palamós Submarine Canyon in the Northwestern Mediterranian Sea

    A scientific team has found in La Fonera canyon, also known as the Palamós canyon in the Northwestern Mediterranian Sea, deep-water coral communities, a marine ecosystem which is very vulnerable to human activity.

  • Will more snow over Antarctica offset rising seas? Don't count on it

    Heavier snow over Antarctica was supposed to be one of the few brakes on sea-level rise in a warming world. But that prediction is not reliable, says a new study of Antarctic snowfall over the past 31,000 years.

  • New study finds major earthquake threat from the Riasi fault in the Himalayas

    New geologic mapping in the Himalayan mountains of Kashmir between Pakistan and India suggests that the region is ripe for a major earthquake that could endanger the lives of as many as a million people.

  • Scientists predict extensive ice loss from huge Antarctic glacier

    Current rates of climate change could trigger instability in a major Antarctic glacier, ultimately leading to more than 2m of sea-level rise.