Thomas Sumner's Articles
- A single shaft of spewing hot rock created an enormously long chain of mostly undersea mountains in the western Pacific. That chain takes an unexpected eastern curve. The reason, scientists now think, may be a gobbled-up tectonic plate.
- Rapid warming in the Arctic is sapping summer storms of their power to cool. That worsens heat waves across the Northern Hemisphere.
- The supercontinent Pangaea started breaking apart 200 million years ago. This may have been triggered by the shrinking of the Tethys Ocean, a new study finds.
- The lightning associated with some erupting volcanoes can be quite crafty — turning ash into lots of microscopic glass beads.
- Roads and buildings that have mushroomed up around Los Angeles in the past half-century. Now, a study finds they may have created conditions that limit fog. And that could further dry out this very arid part of America’s West Coast.
- Government scientists link directly, for the first time, a boost in warming at Earth’s surface to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. Much of that gas has been released by human activities, such as coal burning and gas-burning vehicles.
- A new study of one of the deadliest U.S. outbreaks of tornadoes sees a possible role for smoke. In this analysis, the smoke had come from fires burning in Central America.
- A half-century search for samples of Earth’s most abundant mineral has ended. This stuff forms only deep in the rocky layer surrounding our planet’s core. But scientists found bits of it in a meteorite that fell in 1879. And finally, this bridgmanite gets a name.
- Warming temperatures will lead to 50 percent more lightning strikes across the 48 U.S. states in the next century, researchers report. That increase could lead to more warming, more fires and even more deaths.
- Scientists have probed the fossilized remains of an ancient jellyfish. It reveals a bizarre sequence of events that led to its preservation 310 million years ago.