Earth

  1. Agriculture

    New technologies might help keep drought-prone farms green

    After learning how much damage drought can do to crops, two teens designed ways to detect a thirsty plant and make sure it gets enough water.

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  2. Environment

    Local glacier could be gone in a decade, young scientist finds

    A teen calculated the volume of a glacier by drilling into it with jets of steam — then used that to estimate how long before all its ice will be gone.

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  3. Earth

    Here’s how lightning may help clean the air

    Airplane observations show that storm clouds can generate huge quantities of air-cleansing chemicals known as oxidants.

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  4. Ecosystems

    Urchin takeover underlies California’s vanishing kelp forests

    Some 95 percent of kelp forests along its northern coast are gone. Meanwhile, sea otters are helping slow the loss of surviving kelp farther south.

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  5. Chemistry

    New recycling technologies could keep more plastic out of landfills

    Recycling plastics is really hard — especially into useful materials. But new chemical tricks could make recycling easier.

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  6. Microbes

    Several plant-like algae can morph into animal-like predators

    Single-celled green algae swim through water as free cells. Most use only photosynthesis for their energy. But not all of them, a new study shows.

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  7. Physics

    Light levitation might help explore Earth’s ‘ignorosphere’

    A toy called a light mill inspired researchers to invent a new way to fly. They’re using light to levitate small nanotube-coated discs.

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  8. Earth

    Earth as you’ve never seen it before

    Earth is a sphere. Flat maps distort features on that sphere, usually by a lot. Now three scientists think they may have the best solution yet for flattening the planet.

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  9. Climate

    Surfing the winds would make future jet travel greener

    Simple route changes could drastically cut fuel use and greenhouse-gas emissions, a new study finds.

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  10. Environment

    The world wastes roughly a sixth of the food produced each year

    A new United Nations report shows where wastes can be reduced, which would decrease hunger and emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases.

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  11. Health & Medicine

    Urban pollution can pose unseen risks to kids’ immunity and more

    A trio of new studies links immune changes and high blood pressure to inhaling bad air.

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  12. Animals

    Analyze This: Cows burp less methane after early-life treatment

    Calves that receive the 14-week treatment belch less of the greenhouse gas, possibly due to shifts in their gut microbes.

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