Author Archives: Maddie Stone

Flat Earthers Won’t Believe This News on Antarctica’s Climate

The Arctic is the fastest-warming place on our overheated planet, but so far, its polar opposite has managed to stay pretty cool. Why is Antarctica warming so slowly compared with the Arctic? The answer is complicated, but a new study suggests we’re overlooking a basic reality of geometry.

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A New Look at Proxima b’s Potential Climate Offers Hope for Future Colonists

Ever since astronomers announced the discovery of an Earth-sized exoplanet less than five light years down the cosmic street, the question on every good space cadet’s mind has been whether or not we can colonize it. We’re not going to know if Proxima b is habitable until we can point some very powerful telescopes at it

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How Much Force Could a T.Rex Bite Deliver?

In the 1993 cult classic Jurassic Park, a T. rex manages to scare the living shit out of kid heroes Lex and Tim Murphy by casually ripping apart their Ford Explorer like it’s a scrap of meat. It’s a scene that crystallized the destructive power of this extinct apex predator in the public consciousness—and as a new…

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How Does a 110-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Still Have Its Skin?

An arresting image of a “mummified” dinosaur went viral this weekend after National Geographic broke the story of the 110-million-year-old armored plant-eater, a newfound species of nodosaur whose exquisite remains are now on display in the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta, Canada.

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El Niño Could Be Ready to Party Again as Soon as This Fall

Remember the halcyon days of 2016, when we were bidding adieu to El Niño and recovering from the death of Harambe? Well, the beloved gorilla may have departed this world for good, but El Niño will return. It always does.

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An Amazing Hypothesis for Why the Trappist-1 System Hasn’t Destroyed Itself

When astronomers announced the discovery of seven Earth-sized planets orbiting the ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, Earthlings immediately celebrated the possibility that one of those planetary neighbors could host life. But to physicists, TRAPPIST-1 presented a puzzle: How could those seven planets, all packed around…

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Antarctica’s ‘Dragon Skin’ Ice Is Incredible

Dragon skin ice sounds like something you’d encounter beyond The Wall in the Game of Thrones fantasy realm. But good news nerds, you can find this magical-sounding stuff right here on Earth—though you’ve gotta be lucky, and willing to travel to some of the most hostile environments on the planet. Like the team of…

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These Flowers Hold Clues to Spreading Life Beyond Earth

It feels like we’re constantly searching for a friend out there in the cosmos, only to be repeatedly disappointed. But what if, in our quest to discover life beyond Earth, we’ve overlooking a more important question? What if the question we should really be asking is, how do we ensure life spreads beyond Earth?

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Extremely Relatable Dragonfly Fakes Her Death to Deter Horny Males

It’s a scenario many women in the room are all too familiar with: You’re sitting in the park, enjoying some R&R, when you spy a leery Y-chromosome carrier lumbering your direction, clearly looking to test the pickup line he found on Imgur last night. You could run; you could start talking loudly and to no one in…

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Baby Humpback Whales Whisper to Their Moms Because the Ocean Is Terrifying

The ocean is dark and full of terrors—including hungry orcas, and horny men looking to bang your mom, if you’re a baby humpback whale. And so, you keep your voice to a whisper to avoid these predatory eavesdroppers.

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Bill Nye Spends Most of His New Netflix Show Yelling at the Audience

If you’re skeptical about human-caused climate change or the safety of vaccines, would being berated in front of a live studio audience by a bombastic old man make you change your mind? Then congratulations, Bill Nye’s new Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves The World, is literally just for you!

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Scientists Are Running for Office to Bring Facts Back to Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The first time Philip Stoddard, a professor of biology at Florida International University, ran for mayor of South Miami, he admits he had no idea what he was doing.

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We Just Found Out Antarctica Is Covered in Rivers

In 1908, Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Nimrod team was making its way toward the South Pole when the men were startled by something unexpected: The sound of liquid water, roaring across the frozen wasteland toward the sea. One hundred and nine years later, scientists can confirm that this sound, described by one early…

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March Was Hot

In the past 137 years, there’s only been one March hotter than March 2017, and it was March 2016. That’s according to the latest iteration of NASA’s global temperature dataset, released today, which points to the dreadfully predictable conclusion that our round Earth is still getting hotter.

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The Most Insane Claims From the Climate Conspiracy Manual Just Sent to Thousands of Teachers

The Heartland Institute, America’s leading peddler of climate change denialism, is back with a new installment in its ongoing misinformation campaign. According to InsideClimate, the Koch brothers-backed think tank recently mailed a second edition of its report on the “unsettled” science of global warming to thousands…

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Plants Are Gobbling Up Our Carbon Emissions, But Not Fast Enough

It’s one of the biggest mysteries in this global experiment we’re conducting by pouring 10 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year: What’ll happen to the plants? Will the relentless burning of fossil fuels prompt our leafy green friends to suck down more CO2, tapping the brakes on climate change? Or are…

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Oh My God, Look at Saturn’s North Pole

Recently, Gizmodo space writer Rae Paoletta called Saturn “the golden retriever of the solar system,” and I’m not here to dispute that characterization. But it was a lot easier to think of Saturn as a golden retriever when the planet’s defining hue was, y’know, gold. Not blue. Not electric, alien protomolecule-blue.

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The Plan to Bring a Little Bit of Venus Back to Earth

Venus, arguably the most Earth-like world we know of, is an enigma. Despite decades of studying Venus from afar, and sending off probes to melt into metallic puddles on its surface, we still don’t understand why our nearest neighbor is a toxic hellscape. But scientists hope to change that, with a bold new mission that…

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The Last Scrap of the North American Ice Sheet Is Melting

The planet is warming and Arctic ice is melting. These facts are hardly news. But it’s not just habitat for polar bears that’s being lost—a piece of Earth’s history is disappearing, too.

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An Asteroid Hunter on What We Need to Do to Prevent Armageddon

Humans are rightly terrified by the threat of nuclear war, but there’s also a non-zero chance that a giant rock will come hurling through our atmosphere to ruin every Earthling’s day. When that happened 66 million years ago, it triggered a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But we have something the…

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