The Arctic is a stunning 20°C warmer than average for this time of year. This is really bad news for layers of sea ice that regulate Earth's climate, and land-based ice sheets that keep sea levels where they should be. As we stare down a US presidency where the transition leader for the Environmental Protection Agency is a climate denier, it's easy to wonder whether it's too late to prevent climate change from destroying our civilisation.
Tagged With evolution
As Charles Darwin showed nearly 150 years ago, species can adapt to changing environmental conditions through the trial-and-error process of natural selection. A discouraging new study shows that climate change is happening too fast for evolution to keep up, placing countless plant and animal species at risk.
Video: The trailer for Lucile Hadzihalilovic's Evolution begins with a young boy discovering a dead body, and that's not even in the top 10 of the creepiest things happening in it. There's the fact that the island seems to be populated solely by other young boys and very stern older women. There's a lot of medical equipment around. And then... there's the starfish. Look, just watch the trailer.
The sixth mass extinction — the one that seven billion humans are doing their darnedest to trigger at this very moment — is shaping up to be like nothing our planet has ever seen. That's the conclusion of a sweeping new analysis, which compared marine fossil records from Earth's five previous mass extinction events to what's happening in the oceans right now.
Centuries-old theories surrounding human height as it correlates to evolution have stated two things: Those closer to the equator were more linear and longer, while people who lived closer to the poles were wider and shorter, but generally bigger. This is according to Allen's Rule and Bergmann's Rule, which were both proposed during the 19th century.
Video: The Joker is easily one of the best villains in film and TV (and obviously, comic book) history, but who is the best Joker? Jack Nicholson combined the mischievous campiness of the character with the deranged thirst for violence. Heath Ledger's The Dark Knight Joker is somehow just as iconic as Nicholson and fit Christopher Nolan's Gotham perfectly. And Mark Hamill has basically become the standard-bearer of the Joker through his work in the animated Batman series.
Buried inside ancient grains of rock salt, a team of geologists has discovered traces of a breathable, animal-friendly atmosphere. If confirmed, the finding will push back the rise of oxygen on Earth hundreds of millions of years, raising new questions about the evolution of complex life both here and beyond our solar system.
The saying "opposites attract" is a little too simple for my liking when it comes to relationships, but if two new studies are any indication, there might be some science behind that theory. Researchers at Charles University in the Czech Republic published a paper last month in Frontiers in Psychology that proposes single people are more attracted to people who look less like them, compared to those in relationships.
Millions of years ago, a pair of exploding stars showered our planet with radioactive fallout. Had those supernovae popped off a bit closer to home, Earth's biosphere would have been toast. But even at a distance of 300 light years, the stellar events might have had an impact on the evolution of life here.
Homo sapiens evolved about 200-150,000 years ago in Africa, but our story as a species stretches back much further than that with early human ancestors. And the evolution of Homo sapiens is itself a tangled tale, full of unanswered questions and gothic family melodrama. Here are a few facts you may not know about the human evolutionary story.