2019 was Earth’s 2nd-hottest year on record

According to independent analyses by both NASA and NOAA, Earth’s global surface temperatures in 2019 ranked 2nd-warmest since 1880.

A graphic showing global average temperatures from 1850 to 1919.

2010 to 2019 was the hottest decade on record

According to the UK’s Met Office, each decade from the 1980s has been successively warmer than all the decades that came before. 2019 concludes the warmest ‘cardinal’ decade (those spanning years ending 0-9) in records that stretch back to the mid-19th century.

Artist's concept of swirling waves.

It’s probably nothing: Gravitational wave burst detected near Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse has dimmed recently, prompting some to wonder if it’s about to explode. An explosion might trigger a gravitational wave burst. Betelgeuse is still there. The nearby gravitational wave burst probably means nothing for this star. Still … 

A little blog with 4 "feet."

Team builds the 1st living robots

The scientists call them “xenobots.” They are tiny living robots assembled from the cells of frogs. Their creators promise advances from drug delivery to toxic waste clean-up.

View from a round window aboard ISS of a powerful, swirling hurricane in the Atlantic.

$1 billion weather/climate disasters: 14 for US in 2019

NOAA reports that 2019 was the 5th consecutive year in which the United States experienced 10 or more $1 billion weather and climate disasters, including fires, hurricanes and flooding.

Partial human skull fossil.

Human evolution: 20 years of discoveries

The pace of archaeological discoveries has picked up in recent decades, helping to refine the human story.

Map showing epicenter of January 7, 2020 earthquake, south of island of Puerto Rico.

Magnitude 6.4 earthquake shakes Puerto Rico

USGS reports that the strong earthquake in Puerto Rico this morning was “widely felt.” Strong to very strong shaking occurred across parts of southern Puerto Rico closest to the event, and moderate shaking occurred across the rest of the island.

Last known appearance of Homo erectus was in Ngandong, Java

New research shows that Homo erectus, an ancestor of human beings, lived as recently as 108,000 to 117,000 years ago in Ngandong, on the Indonesian island of Java.

January’s birthstone is the garnet

Happy birthday, January babies!  Your birthstone is the garnet.

Top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

How to watch a meteor shower. Tips for beginners.