Earth's Systems

  1. Climate

    5 things to know about the climate-saving benefits of tree planting

    A recent analysis of the benefits of massive efforts to plant more trees triggered a firestorm of controversy.

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  2. Climate

    Hotspots found for lightning’s superbolts

    A nine-year survey reveals where and when the most energetic lightning strikes — and it’s not what scientists expected.

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  3. Earth

    Explainer: Earth — layer by layer

    Explore the sizzling heat, unimaginable pressures — and some surprise diamonds — that sit beneath our feet. This is the side of Earth that you can’t see.

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  4. Climate

    Explainer: Why some clouds glow in the dark

    A surprise space rock lit up the night sky over California — and left behind a rare type of cloud. Such glowing beauties may become more common with climate change.

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  5. Climate

    Explainer: What is attribution science?

    A relatively new, developing field of science investigates possible links between climate change and extreme weather events.

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  6. Earth

    Explainer: Understanding geologic time

    Geologic time is unimaginably long. Geologists puzzle it out using a calendar called the Geologic Time Scale.

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  7. Climate

    Explainer: The making of a snowflake

    Have you ever wondered how a snowflake gets its shape?

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  8. Climate

    Supercell: It’s the king of thunderstorms

    Not every thunderstorm has the potential to give birth to a tornado. It usually takes this special type.

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  9. Earth

    Explainer: Why sea levels aren’t rising at the same rate globally

    The ocean is rising all over the world. The rise seems speedier in some places. What gives? Many factors, it turns out, affect where — and why — the tide gets high.

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  10. Climate

    Explainer: Earth’s water is all connected in one vast cycle

    Water on Earth is connected in an endless loop called the water cycle.

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  11. Earth

    Explainer: How is water cleaned up for drinking

    Unless you’re drinking well water, city folks typically get drinking water that has been treated in a water-treatment plant. Here’s what that means.

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  12. Climate

    Explainer: The furious eye(wall) of a hurricane or typhoon

    The eyewall is the most intense part of a hurricane. Here’s what drives its fury.

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