Snow-capped mountains.

Researchers investigate dramatic melt of glaciers in Peru

Glaciers are melting in many places on Earth today. But glacier loss in the Peruvian Andes is happening particularly rapidly. New research reports a reduction of almost 30% between 2000 and 2016.

The last mammoths died on a remote island

A new study suggests that about 4,000 years ago, a combination of isolation, extreme weather, and the arrival of humans on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean killed off Earth’s last population of mammoths.

How deep is the ocean?

On average the ocean is 2.3 miles (3.7 km) deep, but many parts are much shallower or deeper. In the deepest zones, life forms have adapted to live in the dark, under crushing water pressure.

Why leaves change color in fall

The vivid yellows and oranges of autumn leaves are there throughout spring and summer, but hidden.

These giant croc-like carnivores terrorized Triassic dinosaurs

Researchers have identified fossil remains as belonging to rauisuchians, predatory crocodile-like animals that fed on early dinosaurs and mammal relatives 210 million years ago.

Researchers to spend a year trapped in Arctic ice

In October 2019, the research icebreaker Polarstern will drop anchor at an ice floe in the northern Laptev Sea, to spend a year investigating Earth’s Arctic.

A polar bear walking across sea ice.

What climate change in the Arctic means for the rest of us

Air temperatures in the Arctic are increasing at least twice as fast as the global average. What worries climate scientists about the Arctic summer of 2019? And why does it matter for the rest of the world?

2019’s Arctic sea ice minimum 2nd-lowest on record

Arctic sea ice likely reached its smallest extent for 2019 on September 18. At 1.6 million square miles (4.15 million square km), that minimum is now in a 3-way tie for 2nd-smallest in the satellite record.

Drought reveals a lost Spanish Stonehenge

Thanks to 2019’s record drought in Europe, a 7,000-year-old circle of 150 upright stones is back on dry land in western Spain, after 50 years underwater.

Pillar of swirling dust, in the desert.

Scientists use drones to probe earthly dust devils, with an eye toward Mars

Dust devils are common are common on Earth, but ubiquitous on Mars, a desert world. Scientists are using drones carrying cameras and other instruments to gain new insights.

Why Earth has 4 seasons

Some assume our planet’s changing distance from the sun causes the change in the seasons. That’s logical, but not the case for Earth.

Are day and night equal at equinoxes?

September 23 is the equinox. The word means “equal night.” Days and nights are nearly equal now at the equinox, but not quite. Here’s why. Also, we’ve got a new word for you, “equilux.” It’s the word for when day and night are, in fact, equal.

Today in science: Happy birthday Albert J. Myer

As you check your local weather forecast today, give a nod to Albert J. Myer, born on this date in 1828, who helped to establish the US National Weather Service.

Summer 2019 tied for hottest on record for Northern Hemisphere

June through August 2019 was the Northern Hemisphere’s hottest summer on record, tied with 2016. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, the same period marked the 2nd-warmest winter in the 140-year record.

Two asteroids colliding.

Did an asteroid collision cause an ice age on Earth?

Could a collision between 2 asteroids millions of miles away cause an ice age on Earth, some 460 million years ago? A new study of earthly rocks and sediments – plus micrometeorites that fell in Antarctica – suggest it’s possible.

Blue square mottled with white dots and lines.

Volcanic eruption creates moveable islands of pumice

Last month, rafts of pumice, spewed from an undersea volcano and spanning an area about the size of Washington, D.C., appeared in the South Pacific.

What makes a red rainbow?

Have you ever seen a red rainbow? You might, if you’re outside at sunrise or sunset at a time when there’s rain in the air. Red rainbows have a surreal beauty, but their explanation is fairly ordinary. They’re created via the same physics that makes a sunset or sunrise looks red.

Tsunamis, wildfires followed dinosaur-killing impact

A new study that analyzed rock from deep within the Chicxulub impact crater helps reveal what happened within the first 24 hours after the asteroid impact that doomed the dinosaurs.

Why carbon dioxide has such outsized influence on Earth’s climate

Carbon dioxide, CO2, makes up less than one-twentieth of 1% of Earth’s atmosphere. How does this relatively scarce gas control Earth’s thermostat?

A beach covered with plastic trash

Plastic pollution has entered fossil record, says study

A new study has found that plastic pollution is being deposited into the fossil record, with deposits increasing exponentially since 1945.