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Articles on Earth science

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Tube worms, anemones and mussels clustered near a hydrothermal vent on the Galapagos Rift. NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, Galapagos Rift Expedition 2011/Flickr

Explorer Robert Ballard’s memoir finds shipwrecks and strange life forms in the ocean’s darkest reaches

Oceanographer Robert D. Ballard, who is best known for finding the wreck of Titanic, has written a memoir recounting his biggest discoveries and calling for more ocean exploration.
A copper mine in Phalaborwa, South Africa. The African continent is home to vast mineral resources. Mark Schwettmann/Shutterstock

Why African countries must invest more in earth sciences

It seems the production of Earth science knowledge in Africa is simply not progressing, despite the world’s interest in (and exploitation of) the continent’s mineral wealth.
Ilya Bobrovskiy

Ancient sponges or just algae? New research overturns chemical evidence for the earliest animals

Ancient fatty molecules, once believed to be traces of some of the first animals to live on Earth, may have been produced by algae instead.
Tharp with an undersea map at her desk. Rolled sonar profiles of the ocean floor are on the shelf behind her. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth’s last frontier

Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.
Earth is really ancient, and humans have only been around for a tiny part of that time. NASA

Curious Kids: how was the Earth made?

All the buildings and the cars and the restaurants, and the phones and even everything that’s inside of you… it all started with an exploding star, billions of years ago.
Droplets rising from the Champagne vent on the ocean floor in the Mariana Islands. Fluids venting from the site contain dissolved carbon dioxide. NOAA Ocean Explorer

Deep sea carbon reservoirs once superheated the Earth – could it happen again?

Thousands of years ago, carbon gases trapped on the seafloor escaped, causing drastic warming that helped end the last ice age. A scientist says climate change could cause this process to repeat.

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