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Geophysics is the study of the forces that shape the Earth from a global perspective. Learn about gravity, plate tectonics and other topics.

Why is Arctic ice melting 50 years too fast?

It used to take three years to get through the thick ice of the Northwest Passage. Now, you can sail from New York to Korea without hitting any ice at all. Where is all the ice going, and what are the ramifications of it melting 50 years too fast?

Why North America's Lakes Are Getting Distressingly More Salty

Salt used in the winter to deice roadways is having an impact on hundreds of lakes across the region. See more »

Gorgeous 'Jewelry Ice' Is Washing Up on Japanese Beaches Right Now

The unique, annual sea ice phenomenon is created when pure, salt-free river water hits cold, saline seawater near the beaches of Hokkaido. See more »

Niagara Falls Will Temporarily Stop Gushing in 2019

The formidable gusher could stop flowing for a few months in 2019 in order to repair some bridges in dire need. See more »

This Ship Hopes to Be the First to Drill Beneath the Earth's Crust

The JOIDES Resolution expedition launched in early December to drill into the Earth's mantle under the Indian Ocean and gain new geological and biological knowledge. See more »

What conditions are required for life?

We argue that living well requires wine and cheese, but what does living at all require? You might be surprised to find out that there's no single definition. See more »

Could you dig a hole all the way to the Earth’s mantle?

Have you ever read "Journey to the Center of the Earth" and wondered if it were possible to do it? Well, scientists are in the process of giving it their best shot. How hard is it to dig a hole this deep, and what might they find? See more »

How the Living Earth Simulator Will Work

You may have noticed that our planet isn't terribly predictable. Could a German polymath and an unfathomable pile of data change that? See more »

How Famine Works

Famine might bring to mind historical tragedies or modern media coverage of tiny children with swollen bellies. But how does the unimaginable -- a widespread loss of food -- actually happen? See more »

What is gravity?

Of course you know what gravity is. It's the force behind Wile E. Coyote plummeting off the face of a cliff and you stumbling spastically in front of your crush. But did you know it can bend light and help us detect hidden cosmic phenomena, too? See more »

Where does water come from?

Water surrounds us, falling from the sky, rushing down Niagara Falls, pouring from faucets, and yet many of us never ask where it comes from. The answer stretches way back -- before tides and thunderclouds to the big bang. See more »