April 6, 2014 |
If you've ever felt the earth shudder beneath your feet during an earthquake, you're no stranger to the effects of Earth's ever-roaming tectonic plates. While scientists have linked the movements of these rigid, puzzle-piece slabs to our planet's most violent events -- quakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions -- they have struggled to explain exactly how they came to exist in the first place. Now, in the journal Nature , two geophysicists have proposed that Earth's outermost layer, or lithosphere, was microscopically weakened and brittled by movement in viscous layers below it billions of years ago. Study authors David Bercovici of Yale University and Yanick Ricard of the Univeristy of Lyon note that Earth is the only planet in the solar system that appears to have tectonic plates that move freely on its surface, propelled by the motion of layers below.
March 21, 2014
Re "Experts warn climate shift threats rising," March 19 I for one am outraged. Scientific consensus is approaching 100% that human civilization is in danger. But our politicians choose to be fooled and intimidated by corporate lobbyists. The fossil fuel industry has spread lies to counter the urgent facts about climate change. It is particularly frustrating when the costs and benefits of transitioning to a renewable future are calculated. According to a recent study, a carbon tax in California, with the revenue returned to the public, would actually grow the state's economy.
July 22, 2011 |
"Another Earth" is quietly and movingly out of this world. Director Mike Cahill has woven sci-fi imaginings and quantum physics theories of parallel universes into a provocative meditation on the prospect of rewriting your life history. It is no simple task to spin such abstract notions into smart (versus cheesy) entertainment, but there is such a strong creative voice stirring in Cahill's first feature that it's easy to forgive the shortcomings. The film stars the ethereal young actress Brit Marling, who co-wrote and co-produced with Cahill, and the rock-solid William Mapother (Ethan on "Lost")
April 12, 2013 |
A geomagnetic storm may be on its way this weekend, and it could be dazzling. Forecasters at NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center say there is a good chance that there will be a geomagnetic storm, or a disturbance in the Earth's magnetic field, this weekend after the solar flare that erupted on the sun Thursday morning. Although Thursday's solar flare was the biggest yet in 2013, it was classified as a mid-level flare. It was still strong enough to cause a brief radio blackout NASA said.
September 24, 2011 |
A defunct NASA satellite, whose doomed descent gained worldwide notoriety, fell back to Earth early Saturday — but exactly when or where the fiery plunge took place could forever be a mystery. "We may never know," said Nicholas Johnson, NASA's chief orbital debris scientist. It probably plunged into the Pacific Ocean, perhaps somewhere between Hawaii and the western coast of North America. There have been no reports of discovered pieces or injuries, further suggesting the debris didn't make it to land, he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1990
In response to Lee Dye's article "Galileo Views Earth With an Alien's Eye" (front page, Dec. 20): In light of all the endless conflicts between men across our planet, Galileo, the spacecraft, seems to have discerned the root of the problem--"it detected no clear sign of intelligent life" on planet Earth! MARILYN E. WHITAKER, Glendale
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 1989
Larry Stammer's report from London, "Saving the Earth: Who Sacrifices?" (Part I, March 13) and the editorial "A Truce With Nature" on the same day give a dire prognosis on the state of the Earth's health. Hopefully, such information will help arouse the consciousness of people as to the sacrifices it will be necessary for us all to make if we are to survive. I wonder, do we stand by and watch our magnificent planet and all the life it holds being destroyed in the same manner we have allowed the continuation of the building of nuclear weapons, spending billions and billions of dollars each year while people starve and our Earth suffers?
September 19, 2013 |
Scientists have done the math, and according to their calculations, life on Earth has 1.75 to 3.25 billion years left to thrive. And that's if a giant asteroid or a nuclear war doesn't finish us off first. Yes, there is a big difference between 1.75 billion and 3.25 billion years, but predicting the end of life on our planet is not an exact science, at least not yet. To arrive at that 1.5-billion-year doomsday spread, graduate student Andrew Rushby of the University of East Anglia in Britain created two slightly different equations that estimate the length of time Earth will remain in the "habitable zone" around the sun. A planet is considered to be in the habitable zone when liquid water can exist on its surface.
December 22, 2009
When Giants Walked the Earth A Biography of Led Zeppelin Mick Wall St. Martin's Press: 504 pp., $27.99