Geophysics

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

Learn More

Could Injecting Particles Into the Stratosphere Slow Global Warming?

Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI) is a controversial possibility in the effort to slow the rate of climate change.

Massive Underground Mud Geyser Is California's 'Slow One'

A bubbling mud pool is moving toward the San Andreas Fault, but scientists don't see evidence of an impending earthquake.

What Causes High Tide and Low Tide? Why Are There Two Tides Each Day?

The oceans' levels change daily across the globe. We know them as tidal changes. But what causes this constant shift in sea level and why is it more dramatic is some places than others?

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Summer Solstice

June 21 marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. There's even a midnight baseball game in Alaska to celebrate the 24 hours of sunlight.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Spring Equinox

The spring, or vernal, equinox traditionally marks the first day of spring — but climate scientists use a different date altogether. Find out more about this and other facts we've gathered for your astronomical pleasure.

5 Reasons Why the Great Lakes Are So Great

The Great Lakes are named so for several reasons, including shipwreck preservation, fresh water and even birdwatching.

Are Mist and Fog the Same?

Fog and mist are similar scientifically. But what makes them different?

Why Do Scientists Think We're Nearing the End of the World?

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock ahead 30 seconds to two minutes before midnight. What bumped up the time again this year?

Tibetan Glacial Ice Core May Hold Clues About Climate Change

Scientists from The Ohio State University have drilled longest ice core from outside the poles.

5 Things You Didn't Know About the Winter Solstice

For centuries, ancient cultures celebrated the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, as the "day the sun came back." Here are 5 enlightening facts about the winter solstice.

5 Things You Didn't Know About the Autumnal Equinox

The autumnal equinox is the day Earth is perfectly angled to the sun, so the day and night are of equal length. Well, almost.

The Caspian Sea Is Evaporating Due to Rising Average Temperatures

The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world, but it's gradually shrinking thanks to a changing climate.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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?

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?

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?

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.

Can we manufacture matter?

We humans love to create. We build soaring skyscrapers from the ground up. We fill blank canvasses with timeless, magnificent art. Can we achieve the ultimate feat and generate matter?

What secrets of gravity have been uncovered in the last 50 years?

Many of us regard the planet's favorite force as pretty straightforward. What goes up must come down, right? As it turns out, gravity has a few more secrets designed to trip us up.


Recommended