Ocean life helps produce clouds, but existing clouds keep new ones at bay

Stand on the ocean’s shore and take a big whiff of the salt spray and you’ll smell the unmistakably pungent scent of the sea. That ripe, almost rotting smell? That’s sulfur. Marine plankton breathe more than 20 million tons of sulfur into the air every year, mostly in the form of dimethyl sulfide (DMS). In […]

Earth’s vegetation is changing faster today than it has over the last 18,000 years

A global survey of fossil pollen has discovered that the planet’s vegetation is changing at least as quickly today as it did when the last ice sheets retreated around 10,000 years ago. Beginning some 3,000-to-4,000 years ago, Earth’s plant communities began changing at an accelerating pace. Today, this pace rivals or exceeds the rapid turnover […]