By monitoring gases emitted from the mouths of volcanoes, scientists could provide days to weeks of warning before an eruption. The latest evidence comes from studies of volcanoes monitored as part of the Volcano Deep Earth Carbon Degassing initiative, where scientists used hardy, long-lived sensors to measure the ratio of carbon to sulfur gases emitted … More Gas changes signal eruptions
SCIENCE How smudged crystals offer windows into a volcano’s eruptive past. Crystals in volcanic rocks contain clocks that offer clues to the volcano’s plumbing and past behavior. The technique, called diffusion chronometry, is catching on among volcanologists. It depends on understanding how the crystals grew out of a magma soup deep underground, accreting layers that … More Crystal clocks
Depending on how you count, there are roughly a dozen subduction zones around the globe, regions where ocean crust is dragged down into Earth along plate boundaries, leading to large earthquakes and melting in the mantle that causes magma to burble up. Subduction zones not only pose a threat to humans, but also act as … More The Subduction Zone Observatory takes shape
Melting of the Greenland ice sheet could expose waste left behind at Camp Century. Read the full story at Science magazine.
Rare cataclysms are hard to study and plan for, but they may be too dangerous to ignore. Read the full story in Science magazine and listen to my interview on the Science podcast.
South Africa has an ambitious plan to address its HIV/AIDS epidemic. I interviewed Jon Cohen about his article in Science magazine chronicling the country’s efforts. Listen to the podcast at Science.
Lavas that originate deep in the mantle offer insight into the early days of planet Earth. Listen to the full podcast at Science.
Researchers have long searched for natural signals that might warn of impending earthquakes, but so far, they haven’t found anything reliable. However, a small group of researchers are studying electromagnetic signals that appear to precede major earthquakes in hopes that they may one day be used for earthquake prediction. Learn more about the approach–and criticism … More Scientists debate whether electromagntic signals precede earthquakes
The early solar system was hot and violent–not the kind of place you’d expect water to hang around. But new measurements of lava from Baffin Island, which may contain samples of deep mantle material, suggest that somehow it did. The findings contradict the conventional view that Earth formed dry and got its water later, from … More The origin of Earth’s water
Plate tectonics created our planet’s ocean basins and mountain ranges, yet scientists still puzzle over how it began. Now, a group of researchers have proposed that mantle plumes could have done the trick. Learn more in my story for Science.