In the Moment

More Evidence That Pink Snow Will Be a Problem for the Planet

Last year, a team of European researchers was alarmed to learn that glaciers covered in pink snow—caused not by an Ocean Spray truck collision, but by snow-dwelling red algae—were melting faster than the surrounding white ice. Now, another group of researchers has observed the same phenomenon halfway across the world…

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In the Moment

First Surveys Suggest the Everglades Took a Beating From Hurricane Irma

Floridians were spared the brunt of Hurricane Irma’s destructive power last week, when the storm instead took direct aim at some of the most pristine sections of the Everglades. Early reports from scientists suggest that these ecosystems saw serious damage, and could face a long road to recovery.

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In the Moment

Cassini Is Gone and I’m Not Crying You’re Crying

After a 20 year sojourn in the final frontier, at approximately 5:00 AM PT this morning, NASA’s Jet Propulsion laboratory lost contact with the Cassini spacecraft, which had plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere about an hour and a half prior, ending its 13-year exploration of the Saturn system.

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In the Moment

As Alaska Thaws, Everything Changes

HEALY, ALASKA—Bitter winters still dominate life in the Alaskan interior, but a practiced eye can spot the signs of a warming climate, particularly in the ground. Beneath the rolling fields of tussock scattered just north of the Alaska Range, what was once permanently frozen is starting to thaw. The impacts could…

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In the Moment

Irma Is But the Latest Disaster to Strike the Everglades

As Hurricane Irma rakes the west coast of Florida, all eyes are on the cities and human lives in the storm’s path. But Irma is also hammering the Florida Everglades, and the scientists familiar with this fragile ecosystem are concerned the storm could deliver a devastating blow.

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In the Moment

240-Year-Old Nautical Maps Reveal How Badly We’ve Screwed Up Florida’s Reefs

Old sailor’s tales about the seas being so full of fish you could walk on them, or oysters the size of frisbees, tend to inspire skepticism today, and for good reason—most of us have very little direct experience with the oceans, except for the occasional news article about how we’ve screwed it up beyond repair. But…

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In the Moment

How Hurricane Irma Became Such a Monster

Meteorologists were at a loss for words yesterday as Hurricane Irma intensified into a enormous, record-smashing Category 5. Packing “catastrophic” and “life-threatening” winds of 185 miles per hour (300 km/h), the storm now bearing down on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin islands is officially the strongest Atlantic…

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In the Moment

Scientists Aren’t Sure What Climate Change Did to Harvey

Hurricane Harvey and its remnants have quickly become one of the worst natural disasters in US history. The unprecedented duration and intensity of the storm has sparked a heated debate about how much climate change is to blame. The short answer is that we don’t really know, yet. But attempting to answer that question…

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In the Moment

Why Tropical Storm Harvey Is Showing Texas No Mercy

Right now, Houston is in the midst of a catastrophic flood disaster as tropical storm Harvey, which made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on the central Texas coastline Friday night, continues to unleash torrents over the Houston/Galveston metropolitan area. Harvey is expected to drop an additional 15 to 25 inches

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In the Moment

Astronauts Caught a Terrifying Glimpse of Hurricane Harvey Barreling Toward Texas

As Hurricane Harvey barrels toward southwest Texas, astronauts on the International Space Station caught a glimpse of the monster cyclone from a safe viewing distance of 250 miles above the Earth. Honestly, you don’t want to get much closer.

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