giant earthquake will strike California this summer. Skyscrapers will topple, the Hoover Dam will crumble and a massive tsunami will wash across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or at least, that’s the scenario that will play out on the big screen in San Andreas. Continue reading What Will Really Happen When San Andreas Unleashes the Big One?
Hundreds of millions of years ago, massive ice caps sheathed Earth’s continents from coast to coast. Only the peaks of the planet’s mountains stood above the ice as glaciers ground and crushed their way through the bedrock, meandering slowly toward the snow-covered plains. Where the glaciers met the oceans, huge blocks of ice and rock calved from the glaciers and dropped into the sea. Life, mostly algae, cyanobacteria and other bacteria, somehow persisted in the small ice-free pockets of ocean water. Like an icy planet in a distant solar system, Earth during its formative years, a juvenile phase known as the “Snowball” Earth, was a far different place than the mostly blue planet of today. Continue reading How Does Earth’s Carbon Cycle Work?
Every several years, magnetic field observatories record quick changes to the position or strength of the planet’s magnetic field, so-called geomagnetic jerks. The cause of these shifts has remained a mystery. Continue reading Blobs in Earth’s Core Could Be Causing ‘Geomagnetic Jerks’ in the Magnetic Field
Researchers report that they’ve observed seismic waves traversing the Earth’s inner core, allowing them to figure out what it’s like: solid, but softer than previously thought. Continue reading Newly Detected Vibrations Show Earth’s Inner Core Is Solid
In a dramatic development, the giant rift in the Larsen C ice shelf has grown an additional 11 miles (17 km) since last week, and the leading tip of the crack is now exceptionally close to the ocean. There’s now very little to prevent a complete collapse—an event that will produce one of the largest icebergs in recorded history.
The beating heart of our planet has remained a mystery for scientists searching for how Earth formed and what went into its creation. But a recent study was able to recreate the intense pressures approaching those found in the center of the Earth, giving researchers a glimpse into our planet’s early days, and even what the core may look like now.
It’s often said that we know less about Earth’s deep interior than we do about the surface of Mars (or maybe even Pluto). A new global map of subatomic particles called antineutrinos is helping to change that. It’s showing scientists just how radioactive our little Blue Marble is.