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.

As climate change melts away frozen landscapes, scientists rush to discover all they can about the tiny organisms that thrive on ice.
James Gaines, Contributor
New research shows the climate effects likely varied widely around the globe, with the Northern Hemisphere suffering the most.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
Scientists study how some microorganisms deep on the ocean floor affect our climate.
Inside Science Contributor
The accuracy of the next season's weather forecast dives every spring, because of the volatility of Pacific Ocean conditions.
Carolina Cuellar, Contributor
Scientists link the start of movements in the Earth's crust to increasing amounts of aluminum in crystals about 3.6 billion years ago.
James Gaines, Contributor
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