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Earth Sciences (EAR) Discoveries

NSF's public investment in science, engineering, education and technology helps to create knowledge and sustain prosperity. Read here about the Internet, microbursts, Web browsers, extrasolar planets, and more... a panoply of discoveries and innovations that began with NSF support.

Page: Previous |Next (Showing: 31-54 of 54) | Search Discoveries

Photo of Gregory Lehn and Matt Knhosh talking with co-principal investigator Jim McClelland. Permafrost Could Be Climate's Ticking Time Bomb
Researchers conduct fieldwork to track permafrost melting in Alaska and gain insight about the release of carbon into the atmosphere
Released  August 5, 2009
Photo of a researcher collecting soil samples at the Arctic LTER site. Life Underground Critical to Earth's Ecosystems
Scientists travel 'down the rabbit hole' for new view of subterranean biodiversity
Released  July 29, 2009
Photo of researchers collecting microbial biofilms in the Frasassi cave system, central Italy. Caves Reveal Evolution of Ancient Microbes
Jenn Macalady's geomicrobiology group is discovering the rules that enable microbes living in dark, oxygen-free environments to adapt and evolve
Released  March 27, 2009
Photo of Michael Loranty wiring one of many sap flow sensors in the aspen stand. Taking the Pulse of the Forest
Michael Loranty describes 'wiring' a forest for research to determine how much water the trees use
Released  March 18, 2009
Eight thumbnail images and 2008 in Review 2008: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities that made news last year
Released  March 13, 2009
Illustration of dinosaurs dying amid a volcanic eruption. Volcanoes, Not Asteroid, May Have Taken Out the Dinosaurs
New theory of dinosaurs’ demise looks to India
Released  December 8, 2008
Photo of skeletal reconstruction of Majungasaurus, a Late Cretaceous dinosaur from Madagascar. The Bizarre Creatures of Madagascar
Paleontologist David Krause describes his search for the ancestors of mammals that live in Madagascar today
Released  September 24, 2008
Ilustration of a crater formed from the impact of a comet or asteroid in Chesapeake Bay. Crumbling Walls of Ancient Chesapeake Bay Crater Threaten Regional Groundwater Supplies
Saltwater intrusion into collapsing crater also allows microbes to flourish
Released  August 12, 2008
Photo of mountains in China that flank the Min River near the epicenter of the Wenchuan quake. Long Wait Before Next China Quake?
May 12 earthquake rare and unexpected, geologists discover
Released  July 10, 2008
Striped fossil feather and recent woodpecker feather show melanosomes in dark, but not light, areas. Fossil Feathers Preserve Evidence of Color
Organic material reveals remnants of color pigments
Released  July 10, 2008
Photo of insect mine on a 53 million-year-old fossil from Wyoming's Bighorn Basin. Hunt for Fossils Finds Warning for Warming Earth
Graduate student Ellen Currano provides a glimpse of paleontological fieldwork, describing how she collects fossil leaves for research studying the effects of climate change on plants and insect herbivores
Released  May 27, 2008
2007 In Review 2007: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported advances and activities reported last year
Released  January 30, 2008
Photo shows Anne Sheehan when she traveled to Nepal. Risky Science at the Top of the World
Geology Professor Anne Sheehan recounts obstacles faced doing research in Nepal in September 2001
Released  January 2, 2008
Photo shows the aerial view of the Somma-Vesuvius volcano. Feverish Effort Under Way to Understand Mt. Vesuvius
Geologist Lucia Gurioli tells how a life-long interest in the A.D. 79 eruption led to her research interest in Vesuvius' volcanic processes
Released  December 12, 2007
Yellowstone National Park's caldera, a remnant of an ancient volcano, is rising. Yellowstone Rising
Volcano inflating with molten rock at record rate
Released  November 13, 2007
Photo of rock with arrow pointing to "black mat" of algal growth Comet May Have Exploded Over North America 13,000 Years Ago
Caused wooly mammoth extinction, global cooling and end of early human Clovis culture
Released  August 14, 2007
An artist's rendition of the proposed Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory design. Team Selected for the Proposed Design of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory
Released  July 10, 2007
2006 in Review 2006: Year in Review
A look back at some of the NSF-supported activities highlighted last year
Released  January 9, 2007
Two researchers hover over field notes. Molecules Are Fossils, Too
Paleoproteomics lends fresh insight into ancient bones
Released  May 17, 2006
Landscape view with vegetation digitally removed on right; present on left Life Leaves Subtle Signature on Lay of the Land
Living things bring out the planet's softer side
Released  January 31, 2006
Illustration comparing two theories behind the Rio Grande rifting. Deeper View Helps Explain Rio Grande Rift
Subsurface revealed down to the Earth's mantle
Released  March 1, 2005
Earth's inner core Earth's Core Spins Faster than Earth
The motion of the Earth's inner core had never been detected before two seismologists decided to investigate an unproven theory. They discovered that the fast-spinning inner core makes a complete revolution inside the Earth in about 400 years.
Released  July 30, 2004
several views of pterosaur skulls Pterosaur Heads Were Uniquely Adapted for Flight
Taking a high-tech look at fossil skulls, scientists examined the brains of ancient pterosaurs. They found key structures to be specialized and enlarged, a discovery that could revise views of how vision, flight and the brain itself evolved.
Released  July 30, 2004
Generic Discovery Image Deeply Buried Sediments Tell Story of Sudden Mass Extinction
Two international teams of researchers recover evidence of a large meteorite that impacted Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago.
Released  June 25, 2003

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