The beginning of the end started with violent shaking that raised giant waves in the waters of an inland sea in what is now North Dakota. Then, tiny glass beads began to fall like birdshot from the heavens. The rain of glass was so heavy it may have set fire to much of the vegetation

Roughly 430 million years ago, during the Earth’s Silurian Period, global oceans were experiencing changes that would seem eerily familiar today. Melting polar ice sheets meant sea levels were steadily rising, and ocean oxygen was falling fast around the world. At around the same time, a global die-off known among scientists as the Ireviken extinction

A QUT geologist has published a new theory on the thermal evolution of Earth billions of years ago that explains why diamonds have formed as precious gemstones rather than just lumps of common graphite. In the study, published in the journal Chemical Geology, the researchers looked at the magnesium oxide levels in thousands of volcanic rocks,

The storm on Lake Michigan lasted only 15 minutes, but the conditions it put into motion took seven lives. It was the Fourth of July in 2003, near Warren Dunes State Park along the Michigan coast. People left the water during the storm, but once it passed and the sun came out several hours later,

Nitric oxide is a fascinating and versatile molecule, important for all living things as well as our environment. It is highly reactive and toxic; it is used as a signaling molecule; it depletes the ozone layer in our planet’s atmosphere; and it is the precursor of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). Nitrogen oxides are

Over the last 540 million years, the Earth has weathered three major ice ages—periods during which global temperatures plummeted, producing extensive ice sheets and glaciers that have stretched beyond the polar caps. Now scientists at MIT, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the University of California at Berkeley have identified the likely trigger

All over China, a huge change has been taking place without any of us noticing. Rice paddies have been (and are being) converted at an astonishing rate into aquaculture ponds to produce more protein for the worlds growing populations. This change risks creating an unexpected impact on global warming. International researchers, including Prof Chris Freeman

Prehistoric worms populated the sea bed 500 million years ago—evidence that life was active in an environment thought uninhabitable until now, research by the University of Saskatchewan (USask) shows. The sea bed in the deep ocean during the Cambrian period was thought to have been inhospitable to animal life because it lacked enough oxygen to sustain it.

Most schoolchildren learn that the Earth has three (or four) layers: a crust, mantle and core, which is sometimes subdivided into an inner and outer core. That’s not wrong, but it does leave out several other layers that scientists have identified within the Earth. In a study published this week in Science, Princeton geophysicists Jessica

A NASA glaciologist has discovered a possible second impact crater buried under more than a mile of ice in northwest Greenland. his follows the finding, announced in November 2018, of a 19-mile-wide crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier—the first meteorite impact crater ever discovered under Earth’s ice sheets. Though the newly found impact sites in northwest Greenland

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