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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.
The Year in Biology
The detailed understanding of brains and multicellular bodies reached new heights this year, while the genomes of the COVID-19 virus and various organisms yielded more surprises.
Work on Earth’s Climate and Other Complex Systems Earns Nobel Prize in Physics
Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann have been honored for their work that led to reliable predictions of the effects of climate change. They will share the Nobel with Giorgio Parisi, who has made pioneering studies of chaotic physical systems.
A Soil-Science Revolution Upends Plans to Fight Climate Change
A centuries-old concept in soil science has recently been thrown out. Yet it remains a key ingredient in everything from climate models to advanced carbon-capture projects.
Cloud-Making Aerosol Could Devastate Polar Sea Ice
An overlooked but powerful driver of cloud formation could accelerate the loss of polar sea ice.
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.
Sudden Ancient Global Warming Event Traced to Magma Flood
A study has cemented the link between an intense global warming episode 56 million years ago and volcanism in the North Atlantic, with implications for 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 Year in Physics
Physicists saw a black hole for the first time, debated the expansion rate of the universe, pondered the origin of time and modeled the end of clouds.