Earth Science

"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

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

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

During the early Triassic epoch, Washington, D.C. was situated in a massive supercontinent called Pangea

This Map Lets You Plug in Your Address to See How It's Changed Over the Past 750 Million Years

The interactive tool enables users to home in on a specific location and visualize how it has evolved between the Cryogenian period and the present

Magnetic North Is Cruising Toward Siberia, Puzzling Scientists

It has drifted so far that scientists made an emergency revision to the World Magnetic Model

World War II Bombing Shockwaves Were Strong Enough to Reach Edge of Space

Analysis of radio records in the ionosphere showed that Allied Forces' bombing runs over Germany altered the upper atmosphere

What Would Happen if the Earth Stopped Rotating? and More Questions From our Readers

You asked, we answered

Bloede Dam (ca. 2016) near Ilchester, Maryland

Drones Will Track One of the Largest Dam Removals on the East Coast

When a Maryland dam comes down this fall, a team of scientists will deploy drones to monitor the flow of more than two million cubic feet of sediment

Svalbard has the densest population of surging glaciers in the world.

What the Surging Glaciers of Svalbard Tell Us About the Future of Rising Seas

Scientists look to the Norwegian archipelago's fast-moving glaciers to better understand how other accelerating glaciers will behave

‘Earthrise,’ which appeared on the cover of the second and third Whole Earth Catalog, was taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders during lunar orbit, Dec. 24, 1968.

50 Years Ago, the Whole Earth Catalog Launched and Reinvented the Environmental Movement

The publication gave rise to a new community of environmental thinkers, where hippies and technophiles found common ground

Marc Fries examines a magnetic board looking for iron particles recovered from the sea floor.

A Research Ship Is Hunting Meteorite Fragments Off the Coast of Washington

The research ship E/V Nautilus is combing through samples and sediment hoping to recover the first space rock from the ocean floor

The tiny mosquito can be a big summer nuisance.

Why Some Summers Are So Appealing For Mosquitoes

...and so unbearable for you

Say hello to SMAP

This NASA Satellite Can Map the Planet's Soil Moisture Content In Just Three Days

The speedy collection of this data will help with crop management and flood prediction

Are the Sands of the Namib Desert Really Rusting?

The reddish hues of the vast dunes of the Namib Desert in southern Africa are a result of concentrations of iron in the sand

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