Through direct satellite observation, scientists have for the first time shown that levels of ozone-destroying chlorine are declining, resulting in less ozone depletion.
From discovering two neutron stars collisions and a new form of matter called excitonium to creating trees that glow and using magnetic fields to control physical movements in mice, here's look back at the toughest, biggest and hottest science of 2017.
Researchers have for the first time recorded mysterious ‘hum’ generated by Earth’s movement - using seismic instruments on the bottom of the ocean. The first attempt to detect this low-frequency vibrational signal was made in 1959, but it wasn’t until 1998 that researchers were able to prove it exists.
Environmental pollution - from filthy air to contaminated water - is causing more deaths annually than all war and violence combined. According to a study published in the journal the Lancet, pollution around the world now contributes to at least one out of every six premature deaths (roughly 9 million), which is more than smoking, hunger or natural disasters, and more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth’s surface is 2370 degree Celsius (4298 degree Fahrenheit). When a space rock crashed into earth nearly 40 million years ago in what is now Canada, it created hellishly hot temperature in the collision zone for a brief period of time.
Hawking warns Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement could lead to irreversible climate change, turn Earth into a hothouse planet like Venus.
Researchers affiliated with several institutions in Japan and Germany have found evidence that suggests the middle of Earth's mantle holds as much water as the planet's oceans. In the study published in the journal Science Advances, researchers write that the uppermost part of the mantle and lower part closest to the core are relatively “water free” because their dominant minerals, “olivine and bridgmanite,” have limited water storage capacity. However, the layer in between (the mantle transition zone [MTZ] at 410 to 660 kilometers below the surface) could harbor massive amounts of water because it is dominated by the minerals "wadsleyite and ringwoodite," which are known to be able to hold a lot of water.
On April 18, the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, recorded that carbon levels in the atmosphere have exceeded the 410 ppm threshold for the first time in history. Last year, when the earth’s atmospheric CO2 levels were at 400 ppm, scientists predicted that the next milestone of 410 ppm was coming.
The impact of humans on the planet is so profound that we are responsible for driving a new burst of evolution for millions of species including possibly our own. Since human beings have become the dominant influence on the planet, observable even in the geological record, some scientists have urged that our period in history should be nicknamed the ‘Anthropocene.’