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Earth's 'geological thermostat' is too slow to prevent climate change

Rock weathering has helped keep Earth’s climate relatively stable for millions of years, but the process isn't fast enough to keep up with human carbon emissions

The mysterious underwater avalanches reshaping Earth

Turbidity currents are cascades of sediment that tumble down Earth’s 9000 submarine canyons carrying carbon, plastics and pharmaceuticals into the deep sea. We are finally learning just how often these dramatic events occur.

Earthquakes suggest Earth's core has started spinning more slowly

Measurements of seismic waves travelling through Earth’s inner core indicate that its rotation may be slowing, switching its direction relative to the rest of the planet’s spin

How a planet became a character in my new novel

My new novel The Terraformers explores what you might include - and leave out - if you were building an Earth-like planet. I spoke to some scientists to see what might work, says Annalee Newitz

Help in the hunt for neutrinos while exploring deep-sea ecosystems

The Deep Sea Explorers project is calling for volunteers to help remove noise from data collected by a neutrino telescope at the bottom of the sea, finds Layal Liverpool

In 2023, we have many opportunities to build a better future

The coming year will be a turning point for the Amazon rainforest, artificial intelligence and even our diets. Let's choose a more hopeful direction for humanity

Wintry scenes top Weather Photographer of the Year competition

Christopher Ison's photo of Storm Eunice and Zhenhuan Zhou’s shot of Niagara Falls covered in ice have taken the top prizes in the Royal Meteorological Society’s annual competition

2022: The year of rolling polycrisis, but with a few glimmers of hope

This year, there were the lows of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, soaring prices and extreme weather, and the highs of an accelerating shift to green energy and space wonders from the James Webb Space Telescope

Tonga volcano eruption was the most explosive of the 21st century

The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in Tonga on 15 January 2022 created 90-metre high tsunamis and shot ash 57 kilometres into the sky

How well do you know your animal poo? Find out with this picture quiz

Can you match these pictures of poo to the animal responsible? This quiz from naturalist Chris Packham is a bit of fun - but you will learn some fascinating faeces facts along the way

Marine sciences must cast off an imperial legacy of ocean exploitation

A century and a half after HMS Challenger embarked on the first global survey of the ocean, some ideas from the era still linger. They urgently need to be left behind, says Helen Scales

The Volcano review: Heartbreaking documentary relives Whakaari tragedy

An intense and moving documentary tells the story of tourists caught on the volcanic island of Whakaari when it erupted in 2019

How did so many giant meat-eating dinosaurs co-exist in the Jurassic?

It took a lot of meat to feed even one species of large carnivorous dinosaur, so how did several survive side-by-side in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods without starving? We might finally have the answer

Yellowstone supervolcano contains twice as much melted rock as thought

There is more melted rock under Yellowstone Caldera – a volcano in Wyoming – than was previously estimated, but that doesn’t change the likelihood of an eruption

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano is erupting for the first time since 1984

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the world’s largest active volcano is erupting in Hawaii, after weeks of increased activity at the caldera

The Darkness Manifesto review: Why we need to turn out the lights

Light pollution disrupts animals and has also been linked to human ailments. Bat scientist Johan Eklöf has some useful fixes in his new book

Landslides can be triggered by small changes in atmospheric pressure

We knew earthquakes and heavy rain could initiate landslides, but now it seems alterations in atmospheric pressure can do it too if combined with certain conditions on the ground

Tonga eruption's volcanic plume reached above the stratosphere twice

The plume ejected by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano in January entered the mesosphere, the layer of atmosphere above the stratosphere, twice during the eruption

BBC Earth Podcast review: Get stuck into nature – wherever you find it

A new season of the BBC Earth Podcast kicks off with Safari, an episode that encourages us to engage with nature, whether it is in the Scottish rainforests or just the scruffy green patch outside your office

Stunning winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

From bees hunting for a mate to a giant sea star procreating, these incredible images are some of the winners in the prestigious wildlife photography competition

Dazzling photograph of pink-breasted galahs in Australian desert

This image of a flock of galahs taking off from a tree was captured by artist and photographer Christian Spencer, while out driving in Australia's Strzelecki desert

Western Arctic Ocean is acidifying four times faster than other oceans

Melting ice has increased how fast Arctic waters are absorbing carbon dioxide, making them more acidic faster. The change could disrupt entire marine ecosystems

Striking photos show scale of development in sub-Saharan Africa

These arresting images of industrial developments in Senegal, South Africa and Namibia were taken by Edward Burtynsky, who spent four years capturing African landscapes using aerial photography

Frozen Planet II review: David Attenborough's sequel dazzles

The spectre of climate change hangs over David Attenborough’s follow-up to Frozen Planet, while two new nature documentary series, Epic Adventures With Bertie Gregory and Super/Natural, are no match for the veteran presenter

Earthquakes seem to come in a more predictable pattern than we thought

A machine learning algorithm can assess how likely it is that a large earthquake will hit a region over the next few years, which could one day help mitigate damage from future quakes

A second asteroid may have struck Earth when the dinosaurs died out

A possible impact crater under the sea off West Africa might have been made by a smaller piece that broke off the asteroid that wiped out most dinosaurs

The hunt for hidden impact craters that could reveal Earth’s deep past

Geologist Ludovic Ferrière travels the world in search of undiscovered impact craters left behind by asteroids and comets striking Earth. He tells us how he finds them

Reclassification of Earth's minerals reveals 4000 more than we thought

Some scientists suggest minerals should be reorganised by the methods that make them, which would increase the known number of minerals on Earth by 75 per cent

More than 950 killed in magnitude 5.9 earthquake in Afghanistan

An earthquake near the city of Khōst in south-east Afghanistan has killed nearly a thousand people and injured hundreds

How long does evolution take? It happens on two different timescales

To make sense of the fact that adaptation can happen quickly and yet true evolutionary change seems to take forever, biologists suggest that evolution runs on two very different clocks

Emissions from rocket launches could affect Earth's weather systems

Increasing numbers of space launches will put more black carbon high in the atmosphere, where it can trap heat from the sun

Dazzling photo of a pink salt lake shortlisted for major competition

Picture of a salt lake in southern Ukraine is shortlisted for Earth Photo 2022, a competition that aims to celebrate the environment and its inhabitants

Vast reservoir of water discovered under the ice in Antarctica

Ice streams in Antarctica carry ice from the continent’s centre to the ocean, and there appears to be a huge amount of water buried beneath one, which may affect its flow

What are the mysterious continent-sized lumps deep inside Earth?

For decades, planetary scientists have been trying to understand the origins of two colossal geological anomalies inside our planet. New insights suggest they could be leftovers from a cosmic collision

All four of the key DNA building blocks have been found in meteorites

We have now discovered all four building blocks of DNA in meteorite samples, suggesting that space rocks may have delivered the compounds to Earth, contributing to the origin of life

AI strips out city noise to improve earthquake monitoring systems

The sounds of cities can make it hard to discern the underground signals that indicate an earthquake is happening, but deep learning algorithms could filter out this noise

30 by 30: The conservation breakthrough we need to save biodiversity

Negotiators are hammering out a bold plan to set aside 30 per cent of global land and sea area for nature by the end of the decade. But can they succeed – and will it work?

River: New film shows Earth's waterways from stunning perspectives

River, a new film narrated by Willem Dafoe with music by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead, documents Earth's waterways from stunning new perspectives

Tiny magnetic waves have been discovered in Earth’s core

Fluctuations in Earth’s magnetic field that repeat every seven years can be used to probe the inner workings of our planet

Red and purple microbes give Australia’s mysterious pink lake its hue

DNA sequencing has revealed that a bright pink lake on an island off Western Australia gets its colour from a mix of salt-loving bacteria and algae

Burst of animal evolution altered chemical make-up of Earth's mantle

The Cambrian explosion 500 million years ago saw a huge variety of animals evolve – and also led to carbon being buried in the seabed and ultimately carried into the planet’s mantle

First evidence that dinosaurs caught potentially fatal coughs

The first evidence of a respiratory infection in a dinosaur suggests that a 15-year-old diplodocid suffered from coughing, sneezing and fever before dying

Geology needs to reinvent itself as we fight against climate change

It is time for geology to embrace our sustainable future and, in turn, be accorded the respect it deserves as a discipline crucial to understanding the world and our relationship to it

Geologists to pinpoint official birthplace of the Anthropocene in 2022

Whether we are in a new geological epoch is still up for debate, but geologists have almost decided where on Earth should be the official birthplace of the Anthropocene

Volcano eruption in Tonga was a once-in-a-millennium event

The underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption has already triggered a tsunami, a sonic boom and thousands of lightning bolts, and could now lead to acid rain

Plumes of rock that feed volcanic hotspots are surprisingly cold

Geologists may need to come up with a new explanation for the sources of volcanic activity in places like Iceland and Hawaii

Tsunamis create magnetic fields that could act as early warning system

The movement of seawater in a tsunami generates a magnetic field that travels ahead of changes in sea level, which could help us predict and prepare for it

Don’t Look Up review: The funniest climate change movie so far

Netflix disaster-satire film Don’t Look Up is a cathartic and hilarious allegory of humanity's hapless efforts to deal with climate change.

Fix the Planet newsletter: The tide is turning for sea power

Once eclipsed by wind and solar, £20 million worth of UK government subsidies mean tidal power may finally begin to make waves

Is Ol Doinyo Lengai the strangest volcano in the solar system?

Tanzania's Ol Doinyo Lengai spews out bizarre black lava, which could help solve mysteries of the planet's mantle.

Why the myth of 'wilderness' harms both nature and humanity

Humans have affected every aspect of life on Earth – from hunting prehistoric beasts to changing the climate – and the illusion that pristine nature still exists undermines our efforts to make a better world, says environmental writer Emma Marris

Mysterious origin of Earth's water may be explained by solar wind

Evidence from asteroids shows that charged particles from the sun can turn dust grains into water – a process that could be useful for space exploration too

Fix the Planet newsletter: Can small nuclear power go big?

Small modular reactors are being pitched as an affordable and fast way to decarbonise power grids but questions about the technology abound

Black lava from this bizarre volcano could reveal Earth's deep secrets

Tanzania's Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only volcano known to spew out carbonatite lava, which could offer fresh clues about Earth's mysterious mantle – but getting hold of a sample is no simple matter

Over three-quarters of the world’s vital carbon stores are unprotected

Ecosystems such as forests and peatlands are vital stores for carbon, but less than a quarter of these areas worldwide have protected status

New mineral davemaoite discovered inside a diamond from Earth's mantle

Trapped inside a tiny diamond, there are tinier crystals of a never-before-seen mineral that makes up 5 per cent of the lower mantle

Satellites find close to 800 methane leaks in past four years

Earth observation satellites have detected leaks of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, in the US, Algeria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

6 charts that show what climate change is doing to our planet

As the COP26 summit in Glasgow meets to discuss global action on climate change, atmospheric scientist Betsy Weatherhead explains what the science says about greenhouse gases and global warming

Watch footage from inside a Category 4 hurricane

Saildrone has captured footage from inside Hurricane Sam.

Marble of ancient Greek statue traced to its likely origin

The marble Colossus of the Naxians on the Greek island of Delos once stood about 9 metres tall, but is now in pieces in the British Museum and Greece

Melbourne rocked by Victoria's biggest earthquake on record

A record magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck in a remote part of Victoria, Australia, on 22 September, damaging buildings in Melbourne but not causing any fatalities

The ozone hole over the South Pole is now bigger than Antarctica

Each year between August and October, the ozone over the South Pole is depleted – this year the hole is larger than 75 per cent of the holes that had formed by this point in the season since 1979

Wildfires give a window into our planet's future

Directly linking wildfires to climate change is still a difficult task – but make no mistake, they are a sign of things to come, writes Graham Lawton

The lost fossil meteorites carrying the secrets of Earth’s past

Fossil meteorites are one of the hardest geological treasures to discover – but now a spate of finds is revealing surprises about Earth’s ancient atmosphere

Colombia's peace treaty accidentally sparks increase in deforestation

The end of Colombia's civil war in 2016 unwittingly caused an increase in deforestation across the country as Marxist guerrillas no longer protect the land

Sea snot swirls in Turkey's Sea of Marmara reach record size

The striking swirls, shot by Muhammed Enes Yildirim, show deadly "sea snot" in Turkey's Sea of Marmara. Made from mucus and microorganisms, they harm tourism and suffocate marine life

Why chemical pollution is turning into a third great planetary crisis

Thousands of synthetic substances have leaked into ecosystems everywhere, and we are only just beginning to realise the devastating consequences

Chris Mason interview: Let's tweak human DNA for life on other planets

To become an interplanetary species, we may have to genetically engineer ourselves to be more resilient, says geneticist Chris Mason. He has a 500-year plan for life away from Earth

Fantastic fungi images capture the magic of mushrooms

These magical images, photographed by Guy Edwardes, capture fungi's enchanting quality and their diversity, from the purple amethyst deceiver to the hallucinogenic but deadly fly agaric

Iceland may be part of a submerged continent called Icelandia

There may be a hidden continent under the North Atlantic, of which Iceland is the only part that extends above water – a relic of a time when Earth’s continents were joined into one

Katla review: A dark, mysterious thriller with a supernatural volcano

Katla on Netflix is a story about a community living in the shadow of a glacial volcano which has been erupting for more than a year. It goes on a supernatural journey showcasing the impacts of grief and trauma with folklore elements and a sprinkling of sci-fi

Ice memory: What ice cores tell us about Earth’s environmental history

Glacial ice records all manner of precious information about the planet’s environmental history, but it is melting fast.

Inside the race to rescue clues to Earth’s past from melting glaciers

Glacial ice records all manner of precious information about the planet’s environmental history, but it is melting fast. The Ice Memory project is scrambling to extract samples for posterity before it’s too late

Uttarakhand flood was caused by rare rock and glacier avalanche

The 2021 flood in Uttarakhand, India, that resulted in over 200 dead and missing was the result of an avalanche that dropped about 27 million square metres of rock and glacier ice from the nearby Ronti mountain

Did you know? Fewer than 100 people have a photographic memory

True photographic memory is yet to be proved but some people have a very rare condition which allows them to recall past events in detail

Science with Sam: Are there volcanoes in space?

From cataclysmic supervolcanos on Earth to ice plumes on Enceladus, the solar system is a wildly volcanic place. This is your guide.

Japanese bay full of fish scales could mark start of the Anthropocene

A bay in south-west Japan could become the place on Earth that geologists use to officially establish the start of the Anthropocene, thanks to an abundance of sardine scales that mark humanity's growing influence on the planet

Earth’s land may have formed 500 million years earlier than we thought

Analysis of ancient rock that may have originated in the ocean’s hydrothermal vents suggests Earth’s continental crust emerged 500 million years earlier than scientists thought

Hailstones are not spheres – they’re shaped more like a rugby ball

A survey done by storm chasers has found that hailstones aren't usually spherical but are an oblong shape called a triaxial ellipsoid, a finding that could improve the models that predict hailstorm dynamics

More fissures are opening up at the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland

This extraordinary aerial shot of a recent volcanic eruption near the city of Reykjavik in Iceland shows the fourth fissure to appear during this series of eruptions

Untouched nature was almost as rare 12,000 years ago as it is now

Most land on Earth has been shaped by humans for at least 12,000 years, suggesting low intensity land use is compatible with preserving biodiversity

Earthquakes in Taiwan are linked to seasonal changes in water levels

Seismic activity in Taiwan happens more often during the dry season when the groundwater built up during monsoon season is depleted, leaving Earth’s crust more likely to rebound under stress

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs gave birth to the Amazon rainforest

The asteroid that hit Earth 66 million years ago eliminated plant-trampling dinosaurs and rained fertilising ash on South America's rainforests, letting flowering plants take over what used to be mostly coniferous forests

Amazing image of farmer fighting locusts among photo award shortlist

Stunning images of a Kenyan farmer fighting off historically huge locust swarms, and a woman receiving her first hug in months are among the nominees in this year's World Press Photo Contest

Huge rogue waves rise from nowhere to sink ships. Can we predict them?

Freak waves cause death and destruction at sea. As climate change looks set to make them more extreme, researchers are scrambling to find ways to predict when and where these killers will strike

One side of Earth's interior is losing heat much faster than the other

The Pacific hemisphere is losing heat from Earth's interior faster than the opposite hemisphere, probably because of where the Pangaea supercontinent was located millions of years ago

Signs that Earth was once almost entirely molten found in ancient rock

Chemical signatures in 3.7-billion-year-old basalt rocks from Greenland support the long-held theory that Earth was once almost entirely molten

Rescue plan for nature: How to fix the biodiversity crisis

We’ve been ravaging the planet’s ecosystems for too long, but crucial decisions this year could be the turning point that help us restore our relationship with nature

RPS Science Photographer of the Year winners and runners up announced

From the dramatic decline of Arctic ice to a colourful dinosaur bone and bubble beats, enjoy the winners of the RPS Science Photographer of the Year competition

Sound waves from fin whale songs could help us study Earth’s crust

Seismologists studying earthquake activity off the US coast recorded fin whale songs, which they found can be used to tell the thickness and makeup of Earth’s crust

Nature and tech create a ‘tree of life’ at Australia’s Lake Cakora

This amazing image, taken using a drone in Lake Cakora, Australia, shows tea tree oil seeping into the lake’s drainage channels to create an arboreal pattern

Volcano in Ecuador can trigger avalanches that travel 60 kilometres

Sangay volcano in Ecuador has collapsed twice in the past 250,000 years, unleashing debris avalanches that caused devastation over 60 kilometres away

2021 preview: We will find out if microplastics are harming our cells

Despite mounting evidence that we eat, drink and breathe microplastics it still isn't clear if they enter our bodies and cause harm, but in 2021 we should get some answers

How geology can help steer us to a more sustainable future

Geologists have often served fossil fuel exploration - now is the time for them to focus on climate change and other global sustainability goals, says Christopher Jackson

The dazzling winners of the British Ecological Society’s photo awards

Images of the extraordinary, but endangered, Dalmatian pelican and weaver ants caring for their young are among those awarded in this year's British Ecological Society’s "Capturing Ecology" photography competition

Plate tectonics may have begun a billion years earlier than thought

Plate tectonics may have begun 4 billion years ago, almost a billion years earlier than we thought, according to a new analysis of ancient rocks

Ammonite review: Here's the true story of palaeontologist Mary Anning

Mary Anning's later life is explored in Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan. The film does a good job of showing the hard work involved in paleontology, but the portrayal of Anning isn't entirely based on fact

Earth’s tectonic plates may have sped up three times in its past

Earth may have experienced three geological big bangs in which its tectonic plates started to move 30 to 50 per cent faster than normal – this may have influenced the evolution of life

British Museum exhibition shows how Arctic culture is under threat

Arctic: Culture and Climate, an exhibition at London’s British Museum, celebrates the resilience and adaptability that has seen the Arctic's Indigenous People survive and thrive in a challenging environment for 30,000 years

Gene-editing CRISPR technique can help us cut emissions from farming

There are risks to using CRISPR, but also to not embracing it, because it will be much harder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food production without gene editing