About the Museum Museum News Earth in the News Plan Your Visit Contact Us

Earth in the News

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

  • Spectacular Moroccan fossils redefine evolutionary timelines

    Some of the oldest marine animals on the planet, including armoured worm-like forms and giant, lobster like sea creatures, survived millions of years longer than previously thought, according to a spectacularly preserved fossil formation from southeastern Morocco.

  • Temperature a dominant influence on bird diversity loss in Mexico

    A wide-ranging study of gains and losses of populations of bird species across Mexico in the 20th century shows shifts in temperature due to global climate change are the primary environmental influence on the distributions of bird species.

  • An improved age for Earth's latest magnetic field reversal using radiometric dating

    The Earth's magnetic field experiences reversals such that north becomes south. The age of the latest reversal is unclear. Researchers have dated volcanic ash that was formed immediately before the last reversal. This result and chronology of the associated sedimentary rock identifies the age of the reversal as 780,000 years ago. This new age will contribute calibrating the geological time scale.

  • Rubber expansion threatens biodiversity, livelihoods research suggests

    Increasing amounts of environmentally valuable and protected land are being cleared for rubber plantations that are economically unsustainable, new research suggests. More widespread monitoring is vital to design policy that protects livelihoods and environments.

  • Tundra study uncovers impact of climate warming in the Arctic

    Significant changes in one of Earth's most important ecosystems are not only a symptom of climate change, but may fuel further warming, research suggests. One of the biggest studies to date of key vegetation in the Arctic tundra provides strong evidence that dramatic changes in the region are being driven by climate warming.

  • Risk of interbreeding due to climate change lower than expected

    A surprising study of North and South American mammals, birds and amphibians finds that only about 6 percent of closely related species whose ranges do not currently overlap are likely to come into contact by the end of this century.

  • Geology: Slow episodic slip probably occurs in the plate boundary

    Scientists have discovered slow-moving low-frequency tremors which occur at the shallow subduction plate boundary in Hyuga-nada, off east Kyushu. This indicates the possibility that the plate boundary in the vicinity of the Nankai Trough is slipping episodically and slowly (over days or weeks) without inducing a strong seismic wave.

  • Five-day space weather forecasts?

    Coronal mass ejections (CME), billion-ton solar plasma eruptions moving towards Earth at up to 2500 kilometers per second, can cause extensive and expensive disruption by damaging power, satellite and communication networks. A UK consortium is proposing an operational mission, called Carrington-L5, to give a five-day warning of hazardous solar activity that could inflict severe damage to our infrastructure.

  • The oceans can’t take any more: Fundamental change in oceans predicted

    Our oceans need an immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn't happen, we could see far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems, which would especially be felt in developing countries.

  • Surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone

    The surprising culinary preferences of an abyssal sea anemone have been unveiled by a team of scientists.

  • Creating a stopwatch for volcanic eruptions

    According to new research, there may be a way to predict when Yellowstone volcano will erupt again.

  • Newly discovered 48-million-year-old lizard walked on water in Wyoming

    A newly discovered, 48-million-year-old fossil, known as a 'Jesus lizard' for its ability to walk on water, may provide insight into how climate change may affect tropical species.

  • The public's political views are strongly linked to attitudes on environmental issues

    This report examines the general public's views on a range of science-related topics and explores the degree to which political views, educational attainment, religion and demographic factors are connected to those views. It also focuses on the extent to which people's knowledge about science connects to their views on these topics.

  • State of our countryside: Land use map of United Kingdom reveals large-scale changes in environment

    A University of Leicester free land cover map of the UK reveals national loss of habitats and agricultural land.

  • Seafood supply altered by climate change

    The global supply of seafood is set to change substantially and many people will not be able to enjoy the same quantity and dishes in the future due to climate change and ocean acidification, according to scientists.

  • New process recycles magnets from factory floor

    A new recycling method recovers valuable rare-earth magnetic material from manufacturing waste. The process, which inexpensively processes and directly reuses samarium-cobalt waste powders as raw material, can be used to create polymer-bonded magnets that are comparable in performance to commercial bonded magnets made from new materials. It can also be used to make sintered magnets (formed by pressure compaction and heat).

  • Major midwest flood risk underestimated by as much as five feet, study finds

    As floodwaters surge along major rivers in the midwestern United States, a new study suggests federal agencies are underestimating historic 100-year flood levels on these rivers by as much as five feet, a miscalculation that has serious implications for future flood risks, flood insurance and business development in an expanding floodplain.

  • Ocean algae will cope well in varying climates

    Tiny marine algae that play a critical role in supporting life on Earth may be better equipped to deal with future climate change than previously expected, research shows.

  • New study reveals mechanism regulating methane emissions in freshwater wetlands

    Though they occupy a small fraction of the Earth's surface, freshwater wetlands are the largest natural source of methane going into the atmosphere. New research identifies an unexpected process that acts as a key gatekeeper regulating methane emissions from these freshwater environments.The study describes how high rates of anaerobic methane oxidation substantially reduce atmospheric emissions of methane from freshwater wetlands.

  • Earthquakes in western Solomon Islands have long history, study shows

    Parts of the western Solomon Islands, a region thought to be free of large earthquakes until an 8.1 magnitude quake devastated the area in 2007, have a long history of big seismic events, researchers have found. The team analyzed corals for the study.