Articles by Sarah Zielinski

NASA's Kepler spacecraft launched on March 6, 2009. Today, technology and international collaborations are democratizing the space race.

Space Hub

Opening the Space Race to the Entire World

A new era of collaboration and affordable technology has scientists across the globe sending spacecraft into outer space

A map of gravity variations on the Earth's seafloor, which mostly correspond to underwater ridges and the edges of Earth's tectonic plates.

Journey to the Center of Earth

Study Says Earth's Plate Tectonics May Be Just a Phase

New models suggest that earth's plates could grind to a halt in about five billion years.

The Brazilian rainforest faces threats beyond deforestation.

Unfortunately, Reducing Deforestation Isn’t Enough To Protect Amazon Biodiversity

Logging, wildfires and other human disturbances lead to species die-offs

Scientists injected more than 200 tons of dissolved carbon dioxide into this field in Iceland. Two years later, almost all the carbon had been converted into rock.

Age of Humans

Iceland Carbon Capture Project Quickly Converts Carbon Dioxide Into Stone

More than 95 percent of gas injected into the ground precipitated out as harmless carbonate, scientists calculate

Foraging red knots in Mauritania

When the Arctic Gets Warmer, It Also Affects a Tropical Ecosystem Thousands of Miles Away

As spring arrives earlier in far northern Russia, red knots get smaller—and have trouble in their African winter homes

Coral bleaching

Coral Bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef May Get a Lot Worse in the Future

Climate change could alter temperature patterns in a way that stops corals from preparing for bleaching events

A crackmeter in action, measuring the gaps between a rock sheet and a rock wall

Why Rockfalls Happen on Beautiful Days in Yosemite

Temperatures drive rocks to expand and contract—until one lovely day when slabs may suddenly fall

Stephen Conley flies over Aliso Canyon to take measurements of methane spewing from the natural gas storage facility in Southern California in January 2016.

New Research

The Size of the California Methane Leak Isn’t the Scariest Part of the Story

The Aliso Canyon leak doubled Los Angeles’ methane emissions—and it's just one disaster we were lucky enough to find

The ground cracks as a waterhole on Navajo lands in Arizona dries up.

How Will Native Americans in the Southwest Adapt to Serious Impacts of Climate Change?

A drying landscape and changing water regime are already affecting tribal lands

U.S. species, like this red salamander, may be at risk as a new form of deadly amphibian fungus spreads.

A Ban on Salamanders Is Just Part of the Fight Against This Deadly Fungus

Scientists are deploying a variety of weapons as new clues emerge about the fungal diseases killing off amphibians

A great reed warbler croons at his breeding grounds in the Netherlands.

New Research

These Birds Spend Winter Practicing Their Love Songs for the Ladies

Some migratory species may spend their time in Africa getting ready to woo mates in the spring

Solar panels and wind turbines could help the U.S. reduce carbon emissions for cheaper than you think.

New Research

The U.S. Could Switch to Mostly Renewable Energy, No Batteries Needed

Better electricity sharing across states would dampen the effects of variable weather on wind and solar power

High in the sky, aerosols from airplane exhaust become encased in ice and form the bright contrails seen in a plane’s wake.

Age of Humans

Airplane Contrails May Be Creating Accidental Geoengineering

Dissipating haze from plane exhaust alters how sunlight reaches the Earth and may be unintentionally affecting our climate

The ruins of an ancient Norse settlement still stand near Hvalsey Fjord in Greenland.

New Research

Did Climate Change Make the Norse Disappear From Greenland?

Evidence from glacial deposits adds a new twist to the tale of the mysterious lost settlements

A dry boat dock sits in Huntington Lake after the water receded, in the High Sierra, California. The state is in its fifth year of drought, and more and more, California is turning to Australia—which endured a ten-year drought earlier this century—for solutions.

Age of Humans

What Can Australia Teach California About Drought?

With the Golden State entering its fifth year of drought, people are looking Down Under for solutions

The volcanic plume responsible for the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano in Iceland has also brought up bits of Earth's ancient mantle from deep inside the planet.

New Research

Earth’s Water May Be as Old as the Earth Itself

Ancient volcanic rocks may have preserved tiny samples of the planet’s original moisture

A bird watcher walks through a dried-up riverbed in the Netherlands in 2007.

Age of Humans

A New "Drought Atlas" Tracks Europe's Extreme Weather Through History

The data, based on tree rings, fills in details about past events and could help improve climate modeling for the future

A fisher in New England empties cod from a drag net.

Age of Humans

Why Smarter Fishing Practices Aren't Saving Maine Cod From Collapse

Warming waters are undermining the recovery of the already troubled Gulf of Maine fishery

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is one of the cities that could pass a heat and humidity threshold that would make outdoor conditions unlivable for humans.

Age of Humans

Killer Heat Is Expected in the Persian Gulf by the End of This Century

If no efforts are made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Middle East may experience heat that is intolerable to humans

The wings of the Arctic fritillary butterfly have decreased in size since 1996.

Age of Humans

Greenland's Butterflies Are Shrinking as Temperatures Rise

In the high Arctic, hotter summer weather may be taxing insect metabolism