Earth's Systems

  1. Environment

    Explainer: How and why fires burn

    A fire’s colorful flame results from a chemical reaction known as combustion.

  2. Earth

    Earthquake-triggered lightning?

    An experiment with beads offers support for the claim that a rare type of lightning may accompany some quakes.

  3. Earth

    Intel STS finalist takes on arsenic poisoning

    Concerned about arsenic poisoning in Bangladesh, Intel Science Talent Search finalist Thabit Pulak invented an affordable filter to help people remove this toxic pollutant from their drinking water.

  4. Environment

    Does lightning sculpt mountains?

    A new study sparks debate about how much rubble on a mountainside has been blasted loose by powerful bolts from the sky.

  5. Earth

    Explainer: Ice sheets and glaciers

    Ice sheets and glaciers give scientists clues about climate change.

  6. Earth

    Explainer: Antarctica, land of lakes

    There are many, although they tend to be buried under rivers of ice.

  7. Environment

    Explainer: All crude oil is not alike

    Crude oil comes in conventional and unconventional types.

  8. Earth

    How Earth’s surface morphs

    Partly melted rock acts like grease to help huge masses of the planet’s surface slip up, around and down.

  9. Climate

    Explainer: Why a tornado forms

    Tornadoes start with a thunderstorm. But they also require other ingredients, such as instability.

  10. Climate

    Explainer: El Niño and La Niña

  11. Chemistry

    Explainer: Ocean acidification

    Here’s why shellfish and other animals in the sea suffer when the ocean is forced to absorb too much carbon dioxide.

  12. Climate

    Watching our seas rise

    Satellites, coral reefs, ancient Roman fishponds and sinking cities help us understand how humans are changing sea level.