Environment

Hothouse Earth: our planet has been here before – here’s what it looked like

 Hothouse Earth: our planet has been here before – here’s what it looked like

Even if carbon emissions are reduced to hold temperature rises at the 2°C guardrail of the Paris Agreement, changes already afoot in the environment such as melting permafrost and forest die-back could accelerate warming well into the future, potentially pushing our planet into what is being called a “Hothouse Earth” state.

Curious Kids: How was the ocean formed? Where did all the water come from?

 Curious Kids: How was the ocean formed? Where did all the water come from?

On Earth there is more ocean than land. Of course, there is also a lot of water locked up as ice at the North and South Poles. Where all that water came from is a very good question. Scientists have been wondering about it for a long time. We are still not exactly sure but it is probably a combination of two places.

Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years. Time is running out for the frozen continent

Antarctica has lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice in 25 years. Time is running out for the frozen continent

Antarctica lost 3 trillion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, according to a new analysis of satellite observations. In vulnerable West Antarctica, the annual rate of ice loss has tripled during that period, reaching 159 billion tonnes a year. Overall, enough ice has been lost from Antarctica over the past quarter-century to raise global seas by 8 millimeters. 

20 Years of Earth Data Now at Your Fingertips

20 Years of Earth Data Now at Your Fingertips

Powerful Earth-observing instruments aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively, have observed nearly two decades of planetary change. Now, for the first time, all that imagery — from the first operational image to imagery acquired today — is available for exploration in Worldview.

As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up

 As more solar and wind come onto the grid, prices go down but new questions come up

Wind and solar energy are growing rapidly in the U.S. As these energy sources become a bigger part of the electricity mix, their growth raises new questions: How do solar and wind influence energy prices? And since power plants last for decades, what should policymakers and investors think about to ensure that investments in power infrastructure pay off in the future?

NASA Visualizes the Dance of a Melting Snowflake

NASA Visualizes the Dance of a Melting Snowflake

NASA has produced the first three-dimensional numerical model of melting snowflakes in the atmosphere. Developed by scientist Jussi Leinonen of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the model provides a better understanding of how snow melts can help scientists recognize the signature in radar signals of heavier, wetter snow -- the kind that breaks power lines and tree limbs -- and could be a step toward improving predictions of this hazard

Wow, Indonesia’s mount Sinabung is making a mess. Here’s the view from space!

Wow, Indonesia’s mount Sinabung is making a mess. Here’s the view from space!

NASA’s Earth Observatory is a vital part of the space agency’s mission to advance our understanding of Earth, its climate, and the ways in which it is similar and different from the other Solar Planets. For decades, the EO has been monitoring Earth from space in order to map it’s surface, track it’s weather patterns, measure changes in our environment, and monitor major geological events.

Scotland Has a Plan to Become a World Leader in Renewable Energy

Scotland Has a Plan to Become a World Leader in Renewable Energy

A new paper outlines objectives Scotland should strive to meet if it wants to emerge a world leader in renewable energy. The nation is already making progress toward that goal, thanks to an increased use of wind power and pledges to phase out fossil fuels.