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Imagine wandering through a vast desert, empty for thousands of miles in every direction. Think about the relief and joy you’d feel to encounter an oasis full of life. Swimming through the open ocean, bumping into a coral reef must offer the same burst of biodiversity. Yet, these unique ecosystems are very sensitive…

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What was the weather like in New York last week? You can look it up on weather.com. What was it like on March 7, 1953, in the pre-internet era? You might be able to find it at the library, in the New York Times edition of that day. In fact, with weather data, you can go back pretty far. People began recording daily…

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Should we geoengineer larger ice caps to reflect radiation away from the Earth to cool the climate? Is this a good idea? This article briefly explores these questions, based on the work of Jacob Haqq-Misra of Blue Marble Space Institute of Science.

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An international team of scientists recently detected a new cavity in the 4000 year old Great Pyramid of Egypt! The detection method, muon tomography, is non-intrusive and so the discovery still awaits confirmation using more traditional techniques that involve (minimally invasive) drills and flashlights. But let’s…

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Tsunami are among the most destructive natural events that happen on our planet. From the Japanese term meaning “harbor wave”, tsunami occur when large volumes of water are quickly moved about in the ocean, which can be driven by events like earthquakes and glacial calving (when pieces of a glacier break off and…

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How long has life been around on Earth? Is life an inevitable part of planet formation? The second question is tough to answer, but if life formed soon after the planet formed, then this has important ramifications for the abundance of life in the Universe. In an article published in the leading journal Nature by…

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Although bacteria are unicellular and may be freely swimming in water or crawling on sediments, in many environments they live in clumps called biofilms. Biofilms are groups of bacteria that grow on a surface and huddle together by sticky carbohydrates that they produce. Similar to how emperor penguins pack tightly to…

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It goes without saying that forests are important. As the lung of our planet, they strongly contribute to converting carbon dioxide that we exhale into oxygen for us to breath. Since the dawn of civilization, forests have been under threat. Forests are harvested for wood and many other resources and cleared to make…