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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.

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.

What can what’s on the moon tell us about our home planet? Image credit: NASA,
Science Wire | Jul 11, 2015

What the moon tells us about Earth

Moon might harbor bits blasted off Earth billions of years ago. These lunar time capsules could hold secrets of what Earth was like as life first emerged.

Photo credit: Mike Quinn
Science Wire | Jul 10, 2015

How to see a green flash

It’s said that once you’ve seen a green flash, you’ll never go wrong in matters of the heart. Here’s all you need to know … plus great pics.