Aparna Nathan
at 12:04 PM Jul 4 2017
Nature // 

For 18 million years, the vast expanses of Earth's largest island (no, Australia doesn't count) have been covered by the aptly-named Greenland Ice Sheet, a colossal mass over two kilometers thick that covers 1.7 million square kilometers. But since 1990, scientists have noticed that the ice—which usually melts in the summer and refreezes in colder months—has been melting faster and earlier in the year. In a recent study published in Science Advances, researchers at the University of Bristol have found an unexpected source of this increased melt: sunlight.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
at 12:04 PM Jul 4 2017
Nature // 

Union County, Florida is 250 square miles, nestled in the middle of the state's pan—not the handle—about an hour southwest of Jacksonville and nearly as far from the state's southern border. Residents depend on four things for their county's survival: farming, trucking, timber, and the state's department of corrections. It is the country's third congressional district, the state's smallest county, and the place in Florida that will take the hardest economic hit from climate change, according to a new study released today in the journal Nature.

Rachel Feltman
at 10:22 AM Jun 28 2017
Nature // 

Pandas get a lot of attention—and given how hard it is to keep those black and white bundles of fluff from going extinct, it's not surprising that they take up a huge glut of the world's conservation funding. These are animals that literally evolved to be lazy: the only food they eat, bamboo, is incredibly hard for them to digest, so they have to consume about 30 pounds of it a day (around a fifth of that is actually digested) and expend so little energy that they basically live in a state of suspended animation. They also seem to suffer from pretty constant gastrointestinal disorders, and they're notoriously difficult to breed in captivity. Still, we work to save them. In fact, thanks to aggressive conservation efforts from China, the animals moved from "endangered" to "vulnerable" status in 2016.

Kate Baggaley
at 10:22 AM Jun 28 2017
Nature // 

On May 22, 1960, the largest earthquake ever measured struck off the coast of southern Chile. Once the shaking stopped, Denis García, a resident of the nearby port town Corral, noticed something odd. He was searching for his family, not realizing they were safe and on high ground, when he caught sight of Corral Bay. The waters had drawn back, leaving the seafloor bare. García went to investigate. He did not see the 40-foot-high tsunami barreling toward him until it was too late.

Aparna Nathan
at 12:34 PM Jun 23 2017
Nature // 

We all know what an egg looks like, right? Well, we might know less than we think—bird eggs can be spheres, teardrops, oblong, and anything in between. An interdisciplinary group of scientists may have made progress in cracking the mystery behind how these different shapes emerged.

Sara Chodosh
at 12:34 PM Jun 23 2017
Nature // 

Ticks are horrifying, plain and simple. Even if they weren't vectors for nasty infections, the fact that they swell up like tiny blood balloons and then burst if you don't remove them properly is enough to make you never want to set foot in the woods again. And guess what: they can also make you allergic to hot dogs and hamburgers, which is pretty darn unpatriotic for a tick named Amblyomma americanum.

 
1 2 3 4 5 ... 94
Sign up for the Pop Sci newsletter
Australian Popular Science
ON SALE 03 AUGUST
PopSci Live