A diver sorts through the remains of a ship that sank in 1025 A.D. off the coast of Turkey. Though this site is out of the line of most cyclonic activity, similar sunken ships may contain a trove of information for climate scientists.

Ancient Shipwrecks Offer Clues Into the History of Hurricanes

Patterns in ancient shipwrecks are helping scientists fill in the gaps of the patchy hurricane records

Sled dogs may not have enough snow during the 2016 Iditarod.

Alaska Is Shipping in Snow for This Year’s Iditarod

Could a warm winter make the famous sled race go to the dogs?

Desert Gold wildflowers carpet Death Valley during the 2016 "super bloom."

Death Valley Bursts to Life With Rare “Super Bloom”

A rare spectacle covers Death Valley in wildflowers

An African elephant wanders Hlane National Park in Swaziland. Now, 18 of the park's elephants may be airlifted to the United States due to drought.

Drought May Force 18 Elephants Out of Africa

As the driest rainy season in 35 years threatens southern Africa, elephants have become a flashpoint

A thick wetsuit is mandatory garb for surfers braving the ice-cold ocean.

For New England's Snow Surfers, Surf's Up Even When Temps Are Down

Catch a very cold wave at the New England Mid-Winter Surfing Championships

Sakurajima spews ash in this undated photo.

Watch a Japanese Volcano Put on a Spectacular Show

Lightning and lava? No biggie

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, makes his appearance during the Groundhog Day celebration at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

A Short History of Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil is part of a tradition with roots that extend back thousands of years

The moon rises over the Sahara Desert. New research links a rising moon to lower humidity and a decreased chance of rain.

The Moon's Tidal Forces May Affect How Much It Rains

The higher the moon, the lower the chance of rain

The porcupine is among the animals that thrive beneath winter snows.

There's a Secret World Under the Snow, and It's in Trouble

How do animals survive under the snow? We're only beginning to understand—just as climate change may rewrite everything

Hurricane Alex as seen by NASA satellite on January 14, 2016

A Rare Winter Hurricane Is Making a Beeline for the Azores

Alex is the first January Atlantic hurricane to form in almost 80 years


Ask Smithsonian: What Is Wind?

Whether arriving on a gentle breeze or a stiff gale, air moves like water responding to high and low pressures around the Earth

Do these satellite sea surface images look similar? Experts think so. The image of the Pacific Ocean on the left was taken recently. To the right is a sea surface image taken in December 1997.

This Year's El Niño Looks Menacingly Familiar

The world is bracing for record rains and droughts

Yellow and red are the primary colors in this double rainbow.

Not All Rainbows Have Every Color

Depending on the angle of the sun, ROY G. BIV don't all necessarily appear

This Weekend's Southern Lights Were Nothing Short of Spectacular

The Northern Hemisphere hasn't yet cornered the market for glorious aurorae

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

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

The yellow-bellied sea snake usually swims in tropical waters but this week one made its way to the California shore

Venomous Sea Snake Washes Up on California Beach, and El Niño May Be to Blame

The lost sea snake isn’t the only problem the California can expect to face during a strong El Niño year

High Definition Video of Jupiter Reveals New Weather in the Great Red Spot

Video portrait shows massive storm changing as it shrinks

Cumulus clouds don't literally have silver linings, but their edges are sharper than we thought.

Holograms Show That Puffy Clouds Have Sharp Edges

A laser-based imaging technique let scientists see what happens to water droplets at the borders of cumulus clouds

Climate Change Is Turning 500-Year Floods Into 24-Year Ones

Rising sea levels and an increase in large storms will continue to threaten the Atlantic coast

Lightning strikes near the U.S. Capitol building

Lightning Strikes Can Change Rocks' Atomic Structure

New research suggests that rock crystals melt under the intense force and heat of lightning

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