Earth's Systems

  1. Climate

    Supercell: It’s the king of thunderstorms

    Not every thunderstorm has the potential to give birth to a tornado. It usually takes this special type.

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  2. Earth

    Explainer: Why sea levels aren’t rising at the same rate globally

    The ocean is rising all over the world. The rise seems speedier in some places. What gives? Many factors, it turns out, affect where — and why — the tide gets high.

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  3. Climate

    Explainer: Earth’s water is all connected in one vast cycle

    Water on Earth is connected in an endless loop called the water cycle.

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  4. Earth

    Explainer: How is water cleaned up for drinking

    Unless you’re drinking well water, city folks typically get drinking water that has been treated in a water-treatment plant. Here’s what that means.

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  5. Climate

    Explainer: The furious eye(wall) of a hurricane or typhoon

    The eyewall is the most intense part of a hurricane. Here’s what drives its fury.

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  6. Earth

    Explainer: Where fossil fuels come from

    Despite one oil company famously using an Apatosaurus as its logo, oil, gas and coal don’t come from dinosaurs. They do, however, come from a long time ago.

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  7. Chemistry

    Explainer: CO2 and other greenhouse gases

    Carbon dioxide is just one of several chemicals that contribute to the greenhouse effect. Nitrous oxide, methane and CFCs are other big contributors.

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  8. Planets

    Asteroids may have delivered water to early Earth

    Scientists shot mineral pellets at a simulated planet. It showed an impact wouldn’t have boiled off all of an asteroid’s water.

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    Earth

    How long will Kilauea’s new eruption last?

    A government volcano expert answers burning questions about the ongoing Kilauea eruption.

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  10. Climate

    Analyze This: Climate change could make food less healthy

    Levels of important nutrients are lower in crops exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. How high? Try levels expected to be typical 30 years from now.

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  11. Physics

    Explainer: What is thundersnow?

    Wacky weather produced lots of thundersnow during New England’s recent winter storms. Some scientists now suspect Mother Nature got some human help.

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  12. Physics

    Explainer: Winds and where they come from

    Temperature and pressure are critical factors affecting why the wind blows where it does. Understanding the nature of wind can teach us a lot about weather.

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