As if the devastating effects of bombs dropped on European cities during the Second World War weren’t terrible enough, a surprising new study shows that the shockwaves produced by these bombing raids reached the edge of space, temporarily weakening the Earth’s ionosphere.
During its 15th flyby of Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured a rare image of a Jovian “brown barge.” It’s not nearly as impressive or picturesque as the Great Red Spot, but this big brown splotch is yet another reminder of many complex atmospheric processes happening on our Solar System’s largest planet.
Our oceans are brimming with microscopic phytoplankton—plant-like organisms that contribute significantly to marine diversity. Tiny though they are, these sea critters, when infected with a particular virus, may influence atmospheric processes such as cloud formation, according to new research.
Venus might seem rather Earthly, given its similar size and presence of a thick, carbon dioxide-filled atmosphere. But the more scientists observe it, the more surprises the second planet from the Sun throws at us.
Imagine an unbroken chronological record, dating back a million years, of temperature and atmospheric conditions on Earth. Such a thing could indeed exist in the form of an ancient and undisturbed Antarctic ice core, according to a recent survey.
Astronomers and space fans may have set up lawn chairs outside to watch the eclipse, but Nathaniel Frissell set up his ham radio. As the sky dimmed and daylight turned into an uncanny dusk, the reports started coming in: Communication was dying off over the 20 meter (14 MHz) radio band.
The ozone hole, which we’ve previously described as the “quintessential ‘80s problem” became alarmingly relevant again this week. Scientists reported that emissions of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11), an ozone-destroying substance banned under the Montreal Protocol, have apparently been rising since 2012. Despite a…
The eastern U.S. is now living in a state of permanent Smarch while the West has fast-forwarded through spring.
Stretching 3.5 million square miles across northern Africa, the vast sand dunes and rocky plateaus of the Sahara cover more ground than the continental United States. Now, a pair of scientists is making a provocative claim that the world’s largest desert has expanded 10 percent since the early 20th century,…
The aurora borealis is one of the most spectacular light shows Earth’s skies have to offer—but it’s much more than that. The energy that drives the northern lights could also power upwelling in our planet’s upper atmosphere. Weather permitting, two NASA-funded sounding rockets are launching from Norway this month to…
You only need a handful of ingredients to make a cloud. Water, and maybe a few tiny particles of salt, dust or soot tossed together in the atmosphere is all it takes. And yet that simple concoction results in dozens of cloud types, including some that feel not of this world.
As a general rule, we tend to associate global warming with less snow and ice. But the impacts of our planet’s carbon-fueled fever aren’t always simple, and a new study suggests a double whammy of rising temperatures and natural climactic variability yielded a major uptick in snowfall in south-central Alaska since the…
The always prescient Joan Didion described the Santa Ana winds—currently the driving force behind the devastating California wildfires—and their relationship to Los Angeles this way:
To reduce energy consumption, many jurisdictions around the world are transitioning to outdoor LED lighting. But as new research shows, this solid-state solution hasn’t yielded the expected energy savings, and potentially worse, it’s resulted in more light pollution than ever before.
Air travel is awful, and it’s only going to get worse in the future. But it’s not just that airlines are going to keep jacking up fees, canceling your flights at the last minute, and passing out bags of sand-flavored pretzels that exacerbate your dehydration-fueled headache. Rising global temperatures could make…
Meet Steve, a newly discovered atmospheric phenomenon that’s so strange it still doesn’t have a formal scientific description, hence the placeholder name. Thanks to the work of aurora enthusiasts and atmospheric scientists, we’re now learning more about Steve, but many questions remain.
On December 5th, 1952, a veil of fog rolled over the city of London. It was the start of the deadliest air pollution disaster in British history, and more than sixty years later, an international team of chemists has figured out why.
Those condensation trails in the sky left by aircraft are common, and most of us wouldn’t notice them, but for some, they’re the mark of a secret large-scale spraying program by the government. Well, surprise, no such thing exists (or so the CIA wants you to think). At least, according to science.
The heat is coming, and the corn is sweating. No, seriously. Corn sweat is a thing, and I’m not talking about what happens after you finish an entire box of corn puffs in one go.
Add this to the list of reasons Venus is a blistering hellscape: not only is the surface hot enough to melt lead, not only will the sulfuric acid rainstorms burn gaping holes in your partially-melted spaceship, it’s got a monstrous electric wind that appears to have helped strip all the water out of the atmosphere.…