ecology
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This Bouncy Siberian Soil Is A Troubling Sign For Our Planet

Siberia, land of frozen lion cubs and inexplicable craters, is in the news again this week thanks to yet another wacky natural phenomenon. Is the ground supposed to bounce like that? Not really, but there’s a likely explanation: Lots and lots of gas.


We've Been Wrong About Lichen For 150 Years

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny green microbe joined forces with a fungus, and together they conquered the world. It’s a tale of two cross-kingdom organisms, one providing food and the one other shelter, and it’s been our touchstone example of symbiosis for 150 years. The trouble is, that story is nowhere near complete.


This Incredible Caterpillar Infestation Can Be Seen From Space

Hordes of gypsy moth caterpillars are currently ravaging parts of the Northeastern United States. Newly released images from space show the alarming damage being done to New England forests by these leaf-munching insects.


A Vast Australian Underwater Forest Is Roasting To Death

One of the largest kelp forests on Earth is dying because of climate change. Australia’s Great Southern Reef has lost 100km of coastline to a series of extreme heatwaves from 2011 to 2013, according to research published this week in Science — and the problem is getting worse.


Herpes Outbreak Among Australia's Green Sea Turtles Likely Triggered By Pollution

Australian scientists in the midst of investigating a herpes outbreak among green sea turtles at the Great Barrier Reef say the blight — which causes abnormal growths on the skin, mouth, eyes and internal organs — is likely due to pollution.


This Could Be The Biggest Threat To Our Climate If We Don't Act Fast

When you think “peatland”, you probably picture water, or mosquitoes, or creepily preserved human artefacts. What most of us don’t consider are catastrophic wildfires — but that’s precisely what scientists are now worried about when it comes to one of the most carbon-rich ecosystems on Earth.


The Most Hopeful Place On Earth For Climate Change

Eastern Canada’s black spruce forests are one of the largest untamed wilderness areas on Earth. And in refreshingly optimistic news, parts of this ecosystem are expected to flourish in a warmer world, creating a refuge for species escaping drought-stricken regions to the south and west.


A Big LA Fire Isn't Worse Because People Are Finally Preparing For The Worst

It had all the elements of a catastrophe: A truck hit an electrical pole in the bone-dry canyons outside LA, exploding a transformer. Winds were brisk with temperatures above 32C. Despite that, the 500-acre blaze that looked particularly scary has only damaged three structures, reportedly because local residents had take the right precautions to protect themselves from bushfire.


Swarms Of Octopus Are Taking Over The Oceans

Something strange is happening to the oceans. As coral reefs wither and fisheries collapse, octopuses are multiplying like mad. As soon as they perceive weakness, they will amass an army and invade the land, too.


Human Ancestors Used To Be Snacks For Ice Age Predators

Humans have been fighting each other for thousands of years, but our ancestors had to worry about all sorts of savage killers. As an ancient, heavily gnawed femur bone highlights, we weren’t always at the top of the food chain.


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