Neighbourhood watch: what are the other countries in our region doing about carbon?

While the Australian government continues to wrangle with their internal divisions over whether or not to set a target of net zero emissions target for 2050, our nation neighbours to the north are unveiling new policies and goals to tackle their emissions.   Malaysia has unveiled ambitious climate-reduction targets, Singapore is considering raising the price … Continue reading Neighbourhood watch: what are the other countries in our region doing about carbon?

Year of extremes

In 2020, Australia’s climate had more plot twists than an episode of Tiger King. From bushfires that ravaged the country to extreme hailstorms, scorching heatwaves and home-threatening coastal erosion events, the nation saw it all. Now, scientists from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), have summarised the past year’s events in their Annual Climate Statement. Snapshot: … Continue reading Year of extremes

Was Earth once a bit more like Venus?

The degassing of early Earth’s magma ocean may have produced an atmosphere on Earth similar to that found on Venus today – rich in carbon dioxide and relatively poor in nitrogen – new research suggests. Modelling by a team led by Paolo Sossi from Switzerland’s ETH Zürich indicates that the atmospheric differences between the two … Continue reading Was Earth once a bit more like Venus?

Rain really can move mountains

Plate tectonics tends to dominate the common view of the formation of mountains: where two plates meet, rock is pushed up. However, massive shifts in the Earth’s crust can’t take full credit for this awe-inspiring process. As Alan Collins, a geologist at Australia’s University of Adelaide puts it: “Mountains act like lungs do in humans. … Continue reading Rain really can move mountains

How planetary forces shape Earth’s surface

Have you ever wondered why the Earth’s surface is separated into two distinct worlds – the oceans and large tracts of land? Why aren’t land and water more mixed up, forming a landscape of lakes? And why is most of the land relatively low and close to sea level, making coastal regions vulnerable to rising … Continue reading How planetary forces shape Earth’s surface

Earth ‘wobbled’ before two major earthquakes

The earth “wobbled” before two of the largest earthquakes in recent history, according to a new study, but it’s not clear whether this is likely to happen before the next one. Geoscientists investigated recorded signals capturing the movement of global navigational satellite systems (GNSS) stations before the 2010 Maule earthquake in Chile (magnitude 8.8) and Japan’s Tohoku-oki earthquake in … Continue reading Earth ‘wobbled’ before two major earthquakes

Just a few more snaps of Earth

The BepiColombo space mission celebrated Easter with the first of nine flybys that are an integral part of its trip to Mercury. The spacecraft came to with 12,700km of Earth’s surface, using our gravity to adjust its path.  While this did not require any active operations, such as firing thrusters, it included 34 minutes shortly after … Continue reading Just a few more snaps of Earth

Earth’s tilt angle trigger for ending ice ages

International research covering the past million years of global glaciations shows that small changes in the tilt of the Earth’s tilt angle – obliquity – is important for triggering the end of ice ages, or glacial terminations. The study, published in the journal Science, challenges previous contentions that precession – rotational changes that govern when the Earth is closest to the Sun … Continue reading Earth’s tilt angle trigger for ending ice ages

Life on Earth later than we thought

A large proportion of the elements essential to the formation of oceans and life – such as water, carbon and nitrogen – only came to Earth very late in its history, researchers have found. Many scientists previously believed that these elements had already been there at the beginning of our planet’s formation. However, the investigations … Continue reading Life on Earth later than we thought

Fireball over SA could have been a “Minimoon”

Rocks explode in Earth’s atmosphere fairly regularly, and at first glance a bolide spotted over South Australia in 2016 seemed like just any other. However, researchers using an outback network of cameras called the Desert Fireball Network have revealed this was no ordinary rock. Instead, they have suggested the 2016 bolide was in fact a … Continue reading Fireball over SA could have been a “Minimoon”