Earth & Environment

The "third rock from the Sun"—Earth. With an orbit neither too close nor too far from the Sun, it occupies a unique position in the Solar System. It's the only planet known to man with the right conditions for the origin and evolution of life. During Earth's 4.5 billion-year history, a combination of processes has transformed it into a watery blue, living planet. The Earth's ecosystems involve complex interactions between the biological (living) and physical (non-living) worlds. Scientific research helps us comprehend our effects on the environment and how the environment in turn responds to impacts of our activities.

Restoring tropical forest by planting tree islands

Drs. Karen Holl and Rakan Zahawi, along with Mr. Juan Abel Rosales, talk about their 14-yr study comparing planting "islands" or patches of trees with natural forest regeneration and the more standard plantation-style planting approach

A time-lapse of the Vavilov Ice Cap's collapse

In the last few years, the Vavilov Ice Cap in the Russian High Arctic has dramatically accelerated, sliding as much as 82 feet a day in 2015, according to a new multi-national, multi-institute study

Life at the edge

What makes the shelf break front such a productive and diverse part of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean?

Climate change and the re-greening of Puerto Rico

Forest ecologist Maria Uriarte has been documenting the lives of thousands of individual trees in dozens of plots spread across the island, putting her in a unique position to study hurricanes' damage and the long-term implications.