Earth's Systems

  1. Environment

    Burning to learn

    Fires cause billions of dollars of destruction to homes and forests every year. But not all fires are bad, especially for forests. With a better understanding of fire, scientists can both help people prevent dangerous fires — and identify which ones it would be better to let burn.

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  2. Environment

    Explainer: How and why fires burn

    A fire’s colorful flame results from a chemical reaction known as combustion.

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  3. Earth

    Earthquake-triggered lightning?

    An experiment with beads offers support for the claim that a rare type of lightning may accompany some quakes.

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  4. Earth

    Intel STS finalist takes on arsenic poisoning

    Concerned about arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh, Intel Science Talent Search finalist Thabit Pulak invented an affordable filter to help people remove this toxic pollutant from their drinking water.

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  5. Environment

    Does lightning sculpt mountains?

    A new study sparks debate about how much rubble on a mountainside has been blasted loose by powerful bolts from the sky.

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  6. Earth

    Explainer: Ice sheets and glaciers

    Ice sheets and glaciers give scientists clues about climate change.

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  7. Environment

    Explainer: All crude oil is not alike

    Crude oil comes in conventional and unconventional types.

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  8. Earth

    How Earth’s surface morphs

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  9. Climate

    Explainer: Why a tornado forms

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  10. Climate

    Explainer: El Niño and La Niña

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  11. Chemistry

    Explainer: Ocean acidification

    Here’s why shellfish and other animals in the sea suffer when the ocean is forced to absorb too much carbon dioxide.

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  12. Climate

    Watching our seas rise

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