Earth

Moving and shaking for 4.5 billion years

The physical processes that sculpt our Earth are dramatic — earthquakes, weather, volcanic eruptions, tectonic motions, climate change. Now, decades of research into the intricately intertwined system that links all oceans and freshwater, the atmosphere and our land is moving us forward toward a better understanding of our world. Here we watch it unfold.

This month in pictures
Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator
Bacteria found around a Brazilian mine could improve copper harvesting.
Joshua Learn, Contributor
Researchers found fewer tree seedlings on noisy plots in a pinyon-juniper woodland, likely because the sound drove away animals that disperse seeds.
Nala Rogers, Staff Writer
There’s now a microscopic plastic cycle that works like any other environmental cycle -- moving from oceans to sky to land and back again.
Katharine Gammon, Contributor
New research supports the idea that pulses of nutrients flushed from Devonian forests fueled ocean algae blooms that suffocated marine life.
Nikk Ogasa, Contributor
Researchers and Aboriginal people are working to protect 3.5-billion-year-old stromatolite fossils in western Australia.
Nala Rogers, Staff Writer
A unique, huge science building has a rainforest, a swamp, a grassland and even an ocean with a coral reef.
Inside Science Contributor
Steers that ate small amounts of seaweed produced far less of the greenhouse gas methane.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
A better understanding of past rainfall swings may help scientists better predict future ones.
Nikk Ogasa, Contributor
Understanding how magnetic fields change is crucial for protecting communications networks and power grids.
Rebecca Boyle, Contributor
New discovery of ancient phosphorus-bearing minerals challenges assumptions about the way early life evolved.
Nikk Ogasa, Contributor
This month brought unusual weather to many spots around the world.
Abigail Malate, Staff Illustrator