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Why observe Earth Day on April 22?

April 22 is the date of Earth Day in part because of Arbor Day, an earlier observance. The focus of Earth Day 2018 is plastic pollution.

This Pacific island is the most plastic-polluted place on Earth

On this Earth Day, explore remote, uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific. It may look idyllic from above, but is littered with millions of tons of plastic.

Our home world from afar

Celebrate Earth Day with these 10 images of Earth from space.

Latest snow on record for thousands of US locations

What’s the latest date that measurable snow has fallen in different parts of the United States? Check this interactive map from NOAA to find your record latest snow.

Was another civilization on Earth before humans?

How do we know earlier industrial civilizations on Earth didn’t rise and fall long before humans appeared? That’s the question posed in a new scientific thought experiment.

March 2018 in top 6 warmest on record

Last month wasn’t as hot as March 2016 or March 2017, but it’s in the warmest 6 since modern record-keeping began in 1880.

Underwater noise pollution stresses aquatic animals

The roar of motors, ping of military sonar, bangs and blasts from offshore development are distracting, confusing, and even killing, aquatic animals.

Why rainbows are curved

A rainbow isn’t a flat 2-dimensional image on the dome of sky. It’s more like a mosaic, composed of many separate bits … in 3 dimensions.

Top 10 things about brown recluse spiders

It’s their active season. Here are some things you might not know.

Earth’s magnetosphere envelops and protects us

A giant bubble of magnetism protects us from the sun’s fury. Take 3 minutes to learn about it, in this new NASA ScienceCast video.

Sahara Desert is expanding

A new study finds that the world’s largest desert has grown by 10 percent since 1920.

Does space weather threaten high-tech life?

The wired Earth of the 21st century is at the mercy of the volatile nature of the sun, says a scientist who studies solar storms.

Antarctic ice grounding lines are shifting

Europe’s CryoSat satellite was used – over 7 years – to track 10,000 miles (16,000 km) of Antarctic coastline. It can be seen warm ocean water is eating away at Antarctica’s floating margins.

Blackbirds in the city: Bad health, longer life

Blackbirds live longer in cities than in forests. But a new genetic analysis suggest that city birds have much poorer health than their rural cousins.

Watch a robot fish swim in the ocean

MIT computer scientists have developed SoFi – a soft, robot fish made of silicone rubber – that can swim alongside real fish in the ocean.

The amazing feathers of an outlandish bird

The super-black feathers of Birds of Paradise absorb almost every last bit of light that strikes them. This black is so dark your eyes can’t focus on its surface.

Arctic winter sea ice extent 2nd lowest

Sea ice in the Arctic grew to its annual maximum extent last week, and joined 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the 4 lowest maximum extents on record, say scientists

Great Pacific Garbage Patch now 3 times size of France

In 2015, a mega-expedition – 30 vessels simultaneously – crossed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and collected 1.2 million plastic samples. They say the problem is getting worse.

A large swath of Texas is heaving and sinking

The oil-rich Permian Basin is having a resurgence in active drilling. Researchers report that, in one place, the ground has shifted 40 inches (about a meter) over the past two-and-a-half years.

Why orange snow in Europe?

You’ve seen the images from last week of Europe’s orange snow? It might have baffled skiers, but meteorologists know … it’s really pretty common.