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Solving the Faint-Sun Paradox
We might have a past faint sun to owe for life’s existence. This has consequences for the possibility of life outside Earth.
Detailed Footage Finally Reveals What Triggers Lightning
Scientists have never been able to adequately explain where lightning comes from. Now the first detailed observations of its emergence inside a cloud have exposed how electric fields grow strong enough to let bolts fly.
The Astronomer Who’s About to See the Skies of Other Earths
After the ultra-powerful James Webb Space Telescope launches later this year, Laura Kreidberg will lead two efforts to check the weather on rocky planets orbiting other stars.
Cloud-Making Aerosol Could Devastate Polar Sea Ice
An overlooked but powerful driver of cloud formation could accelerate the loss of polar sea ice.
Global Wave Discovery Ends 220-Year Search
An 18th-century physicist first predicted the existence of a chorus of atmospheric waves that swoop around Earth. Scientists have finally found them.
How Earth’s Climate Changes Naturally (and Why Things Are Different Now)
Earth’s climate has fluctuated through deep time, pushed by these 10 different causes. Here’s how each compares with modern climate change.
The Voyage to the End of Ice
Summer sea ice could vanish later this decade, with disastrous consequences. It all depends on the physics of ice.
The Scientist Who Cooks Up the Skies of Faraway Worlds
Astronomers will soon take their first glance at the atmosphere of a distant exoplanet. Sarah Hörst is writing the guidebook for these exoplanetary explorers, one that will reveal what a distinctive atmosphere says about the world underneath.
A World Without Clouds
A state-of-the-art supercomputer simulation indicates that a feedback loop between global warming and cloud loss can push Earth’s climate past a disastrous tipping point in as little as a century.