Earth & Climate

Was our earth once a water world?

This pillow basalt formed the bedrock of the Urozeans 3.2 billion years ago. (Image: Benjamin Johnson) Oceans now cover three quarters of our planet. But...

Primeval “re-evolution”

What was Facivermis from the Cambrian seas? (Image: Franz Anthony) Leg loss 518 million years ago: Researchers have solved the riddle of a bizarre prehistoric...

The survivors of the Toba outbreak

The Dhaba site in India (Image: Christina Neudorf) When the Toba volcano erupted 74,000 years ago, this had worldwide consequences. But they were obviously less...

Possible ancestor of the land plants discovered

Artist's impression of the original green algae. (Image: Dinghua Yang) Tiny plants - a billion years old: Researchers have discovered the oldest known fossils of...

Featured picture: Heavenly rosettes

White swirls on a blue background: what looks like rosettes or spoked wheels are a special form of clouds. Their radiation-like patterns can only...

Mini lizard from the early days of reptiles

Skull fossil of the newly discovered mini lizard Vellbergia bartholomaei (Image: Sobral et al. 2020 / CC-by-sa 4.0) Reptiles are a species-rich class of vertebrates:...

Fish in the Sahara

View of the Takarkori rock shelter in the Sahara. (Image: Savino di Lernia, 2020) The Sahara was once a green and moist savanna. Our ancestors...

Featured picture: A different kind of flower

What seems like a colorful flower here is actually the work of bacteria. The microbes become artists under certain conditions - and form fascinating...

Featured picture: Tired sea lion?

His hearty yawn suggests: This sea lion is pretty tired. In fact, this behavior is not always a sign of drowsiness. The seals yawn...

Featured picture: A new aurora

In regions like Scandinavia and Alaska, colorful lighting effects in the sky are not uncommon. Nevertheless, this aurora is something very special: it is...

Mushrooms are older than expected

Scanning electron microscope image of the petrified mushroom mycelium. (Image: Steeve Bonneville / Université Libre de Bruxelles) Mushrooms are among the first organisms to colonize...

Wooden building as a CO2 sink

Sustainable forestry could enable a material revolution. (Image: Sabine Hortebusch / iStock) Instead of using cement and steel, we should rely on a tried-and-tested natural...

Red Sea as a gas source

View of the Red Sea coast. (Image: Konoplytska / iSTock) Much of the world's natural gas and oil is extracted in the Middle East -...

Ocean circulation is getting faster

Acceleration (orange) and deceleration (blue) of ocean circulation. (Image: Shijian Hu) How does climate change affect global ocean currents? So far, scientists have assumed that...

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