Earth Science

The list covers findings in biology, justice and human rights, the environment, and more.

Fifty Things We’ve Learned About the Earth Since the First Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, Americans pledged environmental action for the planet. Here’s what scientists and we, the global community, have done since

Satellite image of the Thomas Fire's burn scar and active flames, in northern Ventura, on December 5, 2017.

Could Wildfire Ash Feed the Ocean’s Tiniest Life-Forms?

Ash falling on the ocean after a wildfire could fuel plankton growth

These are ten of the biggest strides made by scientists in the last ten years.

The Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of the Decade

Breakthroughs include measuring the true nature of the universe, finding new species of human ancestors, and unlocking new ways to fight disease

The Ten Best Science Books of 2019

New titles explore the workings of the human body, the lives of animals big and small, the past and future of planet earth and how it's all connected

An image of the Camp Fire in Northern California on November 8, 2018, from the Landsat 8 satellite.

Scientists Around the World Declare 'Climate Emergency'

More than 11,000 signatories to a new research paper argue that we need new ways to measure the impacts of a changing climate on human society

The sea urchins are causing havoc.

Voracious Purple Sea Urchins Are Ravaging Kelp Forests on the West Coast

The trouble started in 2013, when sea stars, an urchin predator, began to die off

Did a 1964 Earthquake Bring a Dangerous Fungus to the Pacific Northwest?

A new study posits that tsunamis triggered by the Great Alaska Earthquake washed Cryptococcus gattii onto the shore

One witness to an 1859 Northern Lights display was the artist Frederic Edwin Church, who later painted Aurora Borealis (above, detail).

The Crazy Superstitions and Real-Life Science of the Northern Lights

In the latest episode of ‘Re:Frame,’ Smithsonian curators take a deep dive into the dramatic painting ‘Aurora Borealis’ by Frederic Church

The rotation and convection of molten iron at the center of the planet creates a dynamo effect, generating Earth's magnetic field.

Earth's Magnetic Field Could Take Longer to Flip Than Previously Thought

New research suggests a polarity reversal of the planet takes about 22,000 years, significantly longer than former estimates

“Re:Frame,” a video web series produced by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, investigates the compelling role graphite has played in the history of art—and in Teresita Fernández’s work.

How Artist Teresita Fernández Turns Graphite, the Stuff of Stardust, Into Memories

A new episode of the Smithsonian’s ‘Re:Frame,’ explores the origin of graphite, a material artists have used for centuries

Towering over the Fossil Hall is the plant-eating sauropod Diplodocus, which has been on display since 1931 and now is posed with tail in the air.

Amid All the Fossils, Smithsonian's New Dinosaur Exhibition Tells the Complex Story of Life

The much-anticipated exhibition is packed full of Mesozoic dinosaur drama, new science, hands-on discoveries and state-of-the-art museum artistry

Ultimately, to understand how the Earth’s carbon cycle works is to appreciate the human influence currently impacting it.

How Does Earth's Carbon Cycle Work?

Stanford University’s Katharine Maher explains the mechanisms that heat and cool the planet

"I’ve never lost the wonder," says Hans-Dieter Sues (above). "To be the first human to find and touch an extinct creature is a singular moment that cannot be easily put into words."

How Do Paleontologists Find Fossils?

Smithsonian’s Hans-Dieter Sues, who has collected fossil vertebrates in the U.S. and around the world shares some of his tips

The Glacier That Produced the 'Titanic' Iceberg Has Suddenly Stopped Flowing

After a period of losing 66 feet of ice per year, the Jakobshavn Glacier is growing again—but that doesn't mean glaciers aren't in trouble

The Space Station Just Got a New Cutting-Edge Carbon Mapper

The OCO-3 instrument will watch Earth's carbon levels change throughout the day

Police move in behind students blocking entrance to the Santa Barbara wharf on the first anniversary of the Santa Barbara oil spill on January 29, 1970 in Santa Barbara, California.

How an Oil Spill Inspired the First Earth Day

Before Earth Day made a name for the environmental movement, a massive oil spill put a spotlight on the dangers of pollution

Scientists Find a Tiny Speck of Comet Inside a Meteorite

The little fragment found in Antarctica was protected from the elements and preserves the chemical signature of the early solar system

Nepal's first solo mission to measure its iconic peak will determine whether Mount Everest lost some of its height after an earthquake in 2015.

Nepalese Expedition Seeks to Find Out if an Earthquake Shrunk Mount Everest

Scientists and climbers have trained for three years to prepare to take various types of survey's from the summit of the world's highest peak

Some People's Brains Can Sense Earth's Magnetic Field—but No, It Doesn't Mean We Have Magnetoreception 'Superpowers'

A new experiment reveals signs our brains may respond to changes in Earth's magnetic field, but it's unclear whether it impacts behavior

A composite color image of the Western Hemisphere captured by NOAA's GOES-16 satellite from 22,300 miles above the surface, January 15, 2017.

The Risks, Rewards and Possible Ramifications of Geoengineering Earth’s Climate

Injecting aerosols into the stratosphere could help cool the planet, but scientists have yet to study exactly how such solar geoengineering would work

Page 4 of 40