Articles on Geology

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A polar bear wandering on melting pack ice in Canada, north of the Arctic Circle, during the summer 2017. Scientists say the last interglacial offers lessons for future sea level rise. Florian Ledoux/The Nature Conservancy

Scientists looked at sea levels 125,000 years in the past. The results are terrifying

Antarctica is no longer the sleeping giant of sea level rise. New research delved into the past and found when the Earth warms, its ice sheets can melt extremely quickly.
The muck that’s been accumulating at the bottom of this lake for 20,000 years is like a climate time capsule. Christopher R. Moore

New evidence that an extraterrestrial collision 12,800 years ago triggered an abrupt climate change for Earth

Why did Earth's climate rapidly cool 12,800 years ago? Evidence is mounting that a comet or asteroid collision is to blame, with new support coming from the bottom of a South Carolina lake.
People have been modifying Earth – as in these rice terraces near Pokhara, Nepal – for millennia. Erle C. Ellis

Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene

Hundreds of archaeologists provided on-the-ground data from across the globe, providing a new view of the long and varied history of people transforming Earth's environment.
Micha Berry of the city of Fresno, Calif., which relies heavily on groundwater for its drinking water supply, repairs a groundwater well pump in 2013. AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka

Drilling deeper wells is a band-aid solution to US groundwater woes

Millions of Americans rely on groundwater for their lives and livelihoods, but regulation is piecemeal. A new study maps groundwater wells nationwide and finds that they are drilling steadily deeper.
The town of Schalkenmehren and its adjoining maar lake, Germany. Wikimedia Commons

Firepits of the Gods: ancient memories of maar volcanoes

A maar is a volcanic crater, often filled with water. New research highlights the similarities between oral stories around the world that shed light on the formation of these craters.
Scientists have pieced together Game of Thrones’ geology as the show draws last breath on television. Kal242382 from Wikimedia Commons

We made a moving tectonic map of the Game of Thrones landscape

Even in this fantasy world, geological processes like tectonic plate movement, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions would have built the mountains, carved the rivers, and created vast oceans.
Photographed on Kangaroo Island, this rock – called a ‘zebra schist’ – deformed from flat-lying marine sediments through being stressed by a continental collision over 500 million years ago. Dietmar Muller

How Earth’s continents became twisted and contorted over millions of years

Giant forces slowly move continents across a viscous layer of the Earth, like biscuits gliding over a warm toffee ocean. This stresses the continents, and twists and contorts the crust.
Pedestrians in Tokyo pass a television screen broadcasting a report on May 4, 2019 that North Korea has fired several unidentified short-range projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast. AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

What geology reveals about North Korea’s nuclear weapons – and what it obscures

North Korea is a major military threat to the US and its Asian allies, but exactly how powerful are its nuclear weapons? An earth scientist explains why it's hard to answer this question.

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