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 […]

1985 – 2015 A recent study of Greenland’s ice sheet found that glaciers are retreating in nearly every sector of the island, while also undergoing other physical changes. Some of those changes are causing the rerouting of freshwater rivers beneath the ice. In a study led by Twila Moon of the […]

December 3, 2020. (Click Here for high-resolution view.) Fire season in California generally peaks from May through October. But as global temperatures have risen, so too has the state’s risk for fall season fires. These images show late-autumn fires burning southeast of Los Angeles, alongside the scars of fires from […]

August 16, 2020. (Click here for high-resolution view.) Within an expanse of boreal forest in northwestern Alaska, two treeless stretches of sand stand out—the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes. With crests that rise as high as 100 feet (30 meters) above the surrounding forests, the dunes look like they belong in […]

November 22, 2020 On November 22, 2020, Cyclone Gati became the strongest storm to hit Somalia since satellite records began five decades ago. Gati made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 170 kilometers (105 miles) per hour, a category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The storm brought more than […]

October 22, 2020 On October 14, 2020, a small fire started north of Hot Sulphur Springs in north-central Colorado. Within ten days, the East Troublesome fire had burned through more than 190,000 acres (77,000 hectares) and had become Colorado’s second largest fire (by area) on record. As of October 26, […]