March 1, 2007, March 14, 2011, February 28, 2021 On March 11, 2011, a magnitude 9.1 earthquake jolted the seafloor about 70 kilometers (45 miles) offshore of Japan’s Tohoku region. It was the largest quake recorded in Japan and the fourth largest in the world since seismic recording began around […]

March 1, 2021 A large iceberg finally split from the Antarctic ice shelf, but another piece stubbornly hangs on. Antarctica’s Brunt Ice Shelf finally calved a large iceberg in February 2021, two years after rifts opened rapidly across the ice and raised concerns about the shelf’s stability. The break was first detected […]

February 23, 2021. (Click HERE for wider, high-resolution view.) An Earth science satellite detected an illuminated plume spreading across Sicily during a night of heightened activity at the Italian volcano. At 1:37 a.m. local time (00:37 Universal Time) on February 23, 2021, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on […]

March 20, 2020. (Click HERE for high-resolution view.) In the vastness of one of the world’s oldest deserts lies a relatively recent geologic feature: the Roter Kamm crater (“Red Comb” in German). An astronaut onboard the International Space Station photographed the crater while orbiting over the Namib Desert. It is […]

In mid-January 2021, the Pacific Northwest of North America was soaked by several episodes of heavy rainfall, leading to widespread flooding and landslides. In mid-January 2021, the Pacific Northwest of North America was soaked by several episodes of heavy rainfall, leading to widespread flooding and landslides. The culprit was a […]

January 11, 2020. (Click here for high-resolution view.) Seawater has been cutting like a knife through A-68A, the enormous Antarctic iceberg drifting in the southern Atlantic Ocean. On January 11, 2021, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-20 satellite acquired this image showing the remainder of A-68A, […]

ANIMATION While there are efforts to reinforce its beaches and marshes, some of Barataria Bay is slowly slipping away Sandwiched between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche, the Barataria Bay in Louisiana is a latticework of shrinking marsh, swamp, and islands. Few other coastlines in the Mississippi River Delta—or anywhere […]

January 5, 2021 In spring and summer, conditions are often just right for populations of the plant-like organisms explode into enormous blooms. The Goldilocks zone typically refers to the habitable area around a star where conditions are right for the existence of liquid water and possibly life. But on Earth, […]

ANIMATION After two years of quiet, Kilauea, Hawaii’s youngest and most active volcano, is erupting again. In the early days of the volcano’s latest eruption, water that had pooled in the volcano’s summit crater (Halema‘uma‘u) since July 2019 was replaced by a lava lake. The water boiled off on December 20, 2020, […]

1979 – 2019 Throughout 2020, the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas endured several notable weather and climate events. In spring, a persistent heatwave over Siberiaprovoked the rapid melting of sea ice in the East Siberian and Laptev Seas. By the end of summer, Arctic Ocean ice cover melted back to the second-lowest […]