Thomas Sumner

All Stories by Thomas Sumner

  1. Environment

    Gulf oil spills could destroy shipwrecks faster

    In the Gulf of Mexico, leftover crude oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill may be speeding the corrosion of old shipwrecks.

  2. Climate

    Sea level rising fastest in 2,800 years

    The oceans rose faster during the 20th century than any time in the past 2,800 years. More than half of the rise came from global warming.

  3. Climate

    2015 was really hot

    Spurred by global warming and a “super” strong El Niño, 2015 went into the books as the warmest year since record-keeping began — and that was 1880.

  4. Oceans

    Arctic ice travels fast, carrying pollution

    Climate change is melting old sea ice in the Arctic. Now, younger, thinner ice is migrating far and fast, taking pollutants with it.

  5. Physics

    News Brief: Why rainbows can lose some hues

    When the sun is right near the horizon, such as at sunset, its light travels through the most atmosphere. When there’s also plenty of water in the air, this can rob colors from a rainbow, scientists now report.

  6. Environment

    Paris meeting yields climate agreement

    It provides outlines and incentives for nations to curb fossil-fuel use. The goal is to limit global warming to no more than 2° Celsius (3.4 °Fahrenheit) above temperatures typical in the 1750s or earlier.

  7. Climate

    Carbon dioxide has an unexpected effect in Antarctica

    Antarctica’s frigid surface combined with excess carbon dioxide to create cooling above the remote continent, a new study finds.

  8. Microbes

    Fossils show sign of ancient vampire microbes

    Scientists have found 750-million-year-old fossils of cells with puncture wounds. This appears to offer evidence that vampirelike creatures sucked them dry.

  9. Life

    News Brief: Rare gem may hold earliest sign of life

    This fossil, such as it is, offers no indication of what that life might have looked like. It merely holds carbon in a form typical of the type preferentially collected by living organisms.

  10. Earth

    Quake provides test for tsunami prediction

    The 8.3-magnitude Chilean earthquake offered an unexpected chance to test a new way of predicting tsunami damage.

  11. Earth

    Carbon ‘sponge’ found beneath desert

    Watering farmlands in arid parts of the world could have long-term climate benefits, a new study concludes.

  12. Climate

    New El Niño coming on strong

    The current El Niño event could be a record breaker, changing weather patterns worldwide and bringing rain to drought-parched California.