Articles on Earth science

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Humanity is already existing well outside of its safe ecological space. Artur

Can civilisation continue? An Earth system scientist explains

The Conversation organised a public question-and-answer session on Reddit in which James Dyke, a lecturer in Complex System Simulation, discussed planetary boundaries and whether global industrialised…
Magnetic traces suggest iron crystals in the innermost core are aligned east-west, rather than north-south. Lachina Publishing Services

Our view of Earth’s inner core is flipped on its side

The planet Earth’s inner core is not a single solid mass but comprised of two layers, and new evidence about the core’s composition from a team of US and Chinese geophysicists suggests that the innermost…
Spotting ancient volcanoes of Britain. University of Bristol

British volcanologist wins earth sciences ‘Nobel’ prize

A British volcanologist has won one of the most prestigious awards in science – the Vetlesen Prize, which is considered to be the earth sciences equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Stephen Sparks of the University…
Humans have ignored the signs. Thomas Hawk

Humanity is in the existential danger zone, study confirms

The Earth’s climate has always changed. All species eventually become extinct. But a new study has brought into sharp relief the fact that humans have, in the context of geological timescales, produced…
Over time, Earth’s plates went from static to dynamic. Modestas Jonauskas/Flickr

What a crack up: hefty continents got tectonic plates moving

Plate tectonics – the large-scale movement of Earth’s lithosphere or outer layers – started around three billion years ago, but how those movements started was a bit of a mystery – until today. With colleagues…
Extreme fire is part of life in places like San Diego, USA, pictured earlier this month. But local fire captain Richard Cordova says it’s “very odd for the month of May to have these types of fires”. Michael Nelson/EPA

Forget ‘saving the Earth’ – it’s an angry beast that we’ve awoken

Environmentalism is undergoing a radical transformation. New science has shown how long-held notions about trying to “save the planet” and preserve the life we have today no longer apply. Instead, a growing…
We live in a ‘wide brown land’ – but we need to figure out how to use it sustainably. Duncan Rawlinson

Groundbreaking earth sciences for a smart – and lucky – country

AUSTRALIA 2025: How will science address the challenges of the future? In collaboration with Australia’s chief scientist Ian Chubb, we’re asking how each science discipline will contribute to Australia…
Broken plates? Thank your nearest shale gas well. pugshi

Can fracking cause bigger, more frequent earthquakes?

Injecting fluids into the Earth, whether to recover natural gas or to obtain thermal energy from the planet, can cause earthquakes. New reports that look at American fracking, deep waste-water injection…

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