Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

164,615 subscribers and counting ...

Earth

Image Credit: Arpingstone
Science Wire | Aug 03, 2015

What’s the birthstone for August?

August has two birthstones, peridot and sardonyx.

square-death-valley-california
Science Wire | Aug 03, 2015

US deserts wet until 8,200 years ago

Research suggests that around 8,200 years ago, the climate of the American West began transitioning from a lush landscape to the desert terrain we know today.

square-california-drought-2012-2014-map
Science Wire | Aug 01, 2015

California lacking a year’s worth of rain

Drought and more drought in California, whose accumulated rain debt now equals an average year’s precipitation, according to a new study.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 6.03.23 PM
Science Wire | Jul 30, 2015

Video: The science of dogs

The newest video from AsapSCIENCE is for dog lovers. That is, for everyone!

Image Credit: NASA
Science Wire | Jul 29, 2015

Impacts of climate change on human health

A new report published in The Lancet finds that “tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century.”

Zhenyuan-Sun-Via-Science-cp
Science Wire | Jul 29, 2015

Largest dinosaur with birdlike wings and feathers

Discovery of largest-ever winged dino in China, from 125 million years ago. It was sleek and birdlike with feathers on its arms and torso, but it could not fly.

View interactive map. | July 28, 2015 earthquake in Indonesia.
Science Wire | Jul 28, 2015

Powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocks Indonesia

It struck in Indonesia early today. One person dead. Buildings damaged. No tsunami warning issued. This quake follows a strong earthquake in Alaska yesterday.

ant-man-movie-cp
Science Wire | Jul 28, 2015

Ant expert gives Ant-Man thumbs up

A Boston University biology professor says the movie is “a turning point for ants in cinema,” although he has a few quibbles with the science.

Image Credit: John Fowler
Science Wire | Jul 27, 2015

Night thunderstorms: Top things to know

For anyone who’s been stirred out of bed in the middle of the night by a clap of thunder: Here’s info about those intense storms that happen after the sun sets.

View interactive map>
Science Wire | Jul 27, 2015

6.9-magnitude strikes Alaska’s Aleutian Islands

This region is on the Pacific Ocean’s ‘ring of fire’ – where great land plates meet and one dives beneath another – and so is subject to frequent earthquakes.

Education and warnings, such as this one in California, can help. Photo credit: Gino Zahnd/flickr
Science Wire | Jul 23, 2015

Good news! More sharks!

White shark populations are growing. Here’s why that’s good news.

Colorado flooding by Nina Embervine in Lyons, Colorado.
Science Wire | Jul 22, 2015

New NASA video on flood prediction

Predicting flooding is notoriously difficult, but predictions are improving. Timely video in light of James Hansen’s prediction this week of catastrophic flooding in New York and other coastal cities before the end of this century.

mosquito_bite-square
Science Wire | Jul 22, 2015

How mosquitoes find you to bite you

Mosquitoes use a triple threat of visual, olfactory, and thermal cues to home in on their human targets, a new Caltech study suggests.

The layer of the Earth we live on is broken into a dozen or so rigid slabs (called tectonic plates by geologists) that are moving relative to one another.  Image via USGS
Science Wire | Jul 21, 2015

Earth elements dictate whether plate tectonics can happen

And plate tectonics may be essential for life. A new theory of Earth’s composition suggests another factor to consider in the search for habitable exoplanets.

For State of the Climate in 2014 maps, images and highlights, visit Climate.gov. Image credit: NOAA
Science Wire | Jul 20, 2015

State of the climate 2014: Record warmth

New report – released by American Meteorological Society – based on contributions from 413 scientists from 58 countries around the world.

Earth from space, via NASA
Science Wire | Jul 19, 2015

When Earth’s continents rose above its oceans

Earth’s thick continental crust – the land under our feet – may have risen from the oceans half a billion years earlier than scientists previously thought.

Virga over west Texas, by Deborah Byrd
Science Wire | Jul 17, 2015

What is virga?

We’ve all seen virga, but maybe not known what it’s called. Virga is rain that evaporates before it hits the ground. Enjoy these photos!

An illustration showing docodonts, now extinct mammals that saw an explosion of skeletal and dental changes (including the special molar teeth that give them their name), in the Middle Jurassic. Image: April Neander
Science Wire | Jul 17, 2015

Jurassic saw fastest mammal evolution

A new study suggests that mammal ‘experimentation’ with different body-plans and tooth types peaked in the mid-Jurassic period, 200-145 million years ago

Photo credit: Curtis Beaird
Science Wire | Jul 16, 2015

We love sunflowers! Your best photos

Sunflowers say summertime, yes?

The May 2013 “Springs Fire” burned 25,000 acres northwest of Los Angeles. A new study finds that natural atmospheric events known as stratospheric intrusions, which bring extremely dry air from the upper atmosphere down to the surface, add to the fire danger effects of the Santa Ana winds, and exacerbate some air pollution episodes. Photo credit: Night Owl City/Flickr
Science Wire | Jul 16, 2015

Stratosphere pushes Santa Ana wind wildfires

A study says that the Santa Ana winds have an accomplice when it comes to California wildfires – extremely dry air pulled down from the stratosphere.

ice-skating-coppers
Science Wire | Jul 15, 2015

We’re not heading into mini ice age

Any drop in solar activity will be dwarfed by the impact of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, says Jim Wild of Lancaster University.