On a tiny island at the end of the world, a lonely weather station is slowly tumbling off a cliffside. It’s a perfect metaphor for the state of our planet. Say hello to Vize Island, Russia. It won’t be around much longer.
Geologists finally understand how sandstone arches get their shape. By studying cubes of sand, researchers showed that areas squeezed by vertical stress are strengthened and protected from erosion. This means that it's gravity — and not erosion — that gives rise to elegant sandstone arches, pillars, and alcoves.
Differential erosion is a simple concept with a beautiful impact. Variability in rock hardness changes how it is sculpted by water and wind. It's a bit of a tease that geoscientists look at any strange landscape and attribute it to differential erosion, but it's not far off.
On the same day we learn that lions are all but extinct in West Africa, a new study points to the devastating ecological and environmental impacts of losing large carnivores across the globe.
Biologically speaking, it isn't that hard to create very simple, one-celled organisms. But the leap to multicellular life requires many factors to line up just perfectly. Now a new hypothesis suggests we wouldn't even be here without some well-timed erosion.
Every sixty million years, the biodiversity of our planet's oceans mysteriously crashes. This strange boom and bust cycle goes back 500 million years, and we now might know why: rising continents make the oceans too shallow for species to survive.
South America's Atacama Desert gets less than a millimeter of rain a year, and some areas have probably never received rainfall. Yet there are rocks in the desert that seem to have been eroded by water. What's going on here?