Climate

    • Cyanobacteria Catch 22
      Two and a half billion years ago, photosynthetic organisms started releasing oxygen into the atmosphere, changing the balance of gases on Earth. But researchers have long been puzzled as to how the organisms could make that oxygen without poisoning themselves. Now, two groups of
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    • Sick Earth?
      What caused the Permian-Triassic extinction, the largest mass extinction in Earth's history? The most likely explanation for the disappearance of up to 90 percent of species 250 million years ago, said David Bottjer of the University of Southern California, is that "the earth got
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    • Earth’s Crazy Climate
      Ancient rocks from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean suggest dramatic climate changes during the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic Era, a time once thought to have been monotonously hot and humid.
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    • Carbon Balance Killed the Dinos
      New research into a missing link in climatology shows that the Earth was not overcome by a greenhouse period when dinosaurs dominated, but experienced rapid fluctuations in temperature and sea level change that resulted in a balance of the global carbon cycle. The study is
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    • Earth’s Circulatory System
      New scientific findings are strengthening the case that the oceans and climate are linked in an intricate dance, and that rapid climate change may be related to how vigorously ocean currents move heat between low and high latitudes.
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    • Earth Slushie
      A study has turned up strong evidence on the "Slushball Earth" side of a decades-long scientific argument. The study appears in the Sept. 29 Science Express. The lead author is Alison Olcott, a Ph.D. student of earth sciences in the USC College of Letters, Arts
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    • Earth’s Wobble Burps
      Open University researchers have uncovered startling new evidence about an extreme period of a sudden, fatal dose of global warming some 180 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs. The scientists' findings could provide vital clues about climate change happening today and in
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    • Reducing Early Earth
      Using primitive meteorites called chondrites as their models, earth and planetary scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have performed outgassing calculations and shown that the early Earth's atmosphere was a reducing one, chock full of methane, ammonia, hydrogen and water vapor.
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    • Asteroid Skywriters
      Scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, the University of Western Ontario, the Aerospace Corporation, and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories found evidence that dust from an asteroid burning up as it descended through Earth's atmosphere formed a cloud of micron-sized particles.
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    • The Dog Days of the Permian
      Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have created a computer simulation showing Earth's climate in unprecedented detail at the time of the greatest mass extinction in the planet's history.
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    • New Window Into Ancient Ozone Holes
      British researchers have hit on a clever way to search for ancient ozone holes and their relationship to mass extinctions: measure the remains of ultraviolet-B absorbing pigments ancient plants left in their fossilized spores and pollen.
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    • Volcanoes Ate Oxygen
      A number of hypotheses have been used to explain how free oxygen first accumulated in Earth's atmosphere some 2.4 billion years ago, but a full understanding has proven elusive. Now a new model offers plausible scenarios for how oxygen came to dominate the atmosphere.
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    • Patient Planet: Then and Now
      The dramatic and, in some cases, damaging environmental changes sweeping planet Earth are brought into sharp focus in a new atlas launched to mark World Environment Day (WED).
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    • Organic-Rich Soup-in-the-Ocean
      A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates Earth in its infancy probably had substantial quantities of hydrogen in its atmosphere, a surprising finding that may alter the way many scientists think about how life began on the planet.
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    • Snowball Earth Scenario
      Eons ago, giant clouds in space may have led to global extinctions, according to new research that outlines a rare scenario in which Earth iced over during snowball glaciations, after the solar system passed through dense space clouds.
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