Earth's Systems

  1. Climate

    Analyze This: 2020 ties with 2016 for hottest year on record

    Last year capped the warmest decade on record. It coincided with a growing increase of warming greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere.

    By
  2. Earth

    Space station sensors saw how weird ‘blue jet’ lightning forms

    A mysterious type of lightning in the upper atmosphere has been traced to a brief, bright flash of light at the top of a storm cloud.

    By
  3. Agriculture

    Dew collector brings water to thirsty plants

    This invention grabs water from the air at night. All it needs is the sun’s warmth the next day to release that moisture to growing plants.

    By
  4. Earth

    Explainer: Our atmosphere — layer by layer

    Earth’s five layers extend from the ground up and into outer space. Each has its own distinct features and serves as the site of different activities and phenomena.

    By
  5. Environment

    Surprising long-haul dust and tar are melting high glaciers

    Dust and tar blown onto high mountains, like the Himalayas, boost the melting of snow and ice far more than scientists had realized. Here’s why.

    By
  6. Computing

    Explainer: What is an algorithm?

    These step-by-step instructions underlie social media, internet searches and other computer-based activities. But what are they exactly? We explain.

    By
  7. Earth

    Scientists Say: Earthquake

    An earthquake is a sudden and sometimes violent shaking of the ground.

    By
  8. Climate

    Student scientists work to help all of us survive a warmer world

    From glaciers in the refrigerator to a rover in the field, here’s how young scientists are looking to help us adapt to climate change.

    By
  9. Plants

    The faster trees grow, the younger they die

    As climate change spurs forest tree growth, it also shortens trees’ lives. That results in a quicker release of climate-warming carbon back into the atmosphere.

    By
  10. Space

    Scientists Say: Gravity

    Gravity is a fundamental force that attracts objects with mass to other objects with mass. It decreases with distance.

    By
  11. A dirty and growing problem: Too few toilets

    As the famous book says, everybody poops. That’s 7.8 billion people, worldwide. For the 2.4 billion with no toilet, the process can be complicated.

    By
  12. Ecosystems

    Soggy coastal soils? Here’s why ecologists love them

    Coastal wetlands can protect our shores from erosion, flooding and rising sea levels.

    By