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Thomas Sumner
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Science Communicator and Journalist
Science Communicator and Journalist

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If all you know about climate change is An Inconvenient Truth, here's what you missed over the last 10 years.

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More than 25 years before the star-studded Los Angeles premiere of An Inconvenient Truth, glaciologist Lonnie Thompson was about as far away from the red carpet as possible. It was 1978, and high in the rugged Andes, Thompson and fellow scientists were witnessing the first glimpses of a pending worldwide disaster. Rising temperatures were melting ancient titans of ice and snow. Mammoth glaciers were disappearing at unprecedented rates and withering to the smallest sizes in millennia. The delicate balance of Earth’s climate was upset.

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Good news, foodies: Truffles are not dangerously radioactive.

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Molecules entombed inside pristine magmas suggest that Earth’s water came from soggy dust, not icy comets.

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Microscopic vampires may have prowled the ancient seas around 750 million years ago. The fossilized remains of their punctured victims may be the oldest direct evidence of predators hunting eukaryotes, a domain of complex organisms that includes plants and animals. #GSA2015

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When choosing a magazine feature topic, always pick something with "boring" right in the name. From a scientific article on the topic: “Never in the course of Earth’s history did so little happen to so much for so long.” My new feature (free to read!) on the debate surrounding oxygen and evolution during Earth's boring billion.

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Weather watching may soon be for the birds.

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Capturing the identity-shifting behavior of neutrinos has won Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur McDonald of Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, the 2015 Nobel Prize in physics. The scientists spearheaded giant underground experiments that revealed that the elusive particles morph from one variety into another. Those crucial findings demonstrated that neutrinos have mass, which confirmed many physicists’ suspicions but defies the standard model, the framework that predicts the properties of nature’s particles and forces. [$]

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The deadly magnitude 8.3 earthquake off the coast of Chile on September 16 sent an enormous pulse of water racing away from the quake’s epicenter, prompting an evacuation of more than 1 million Chileans. This surging seawater provided an unanticipated test for a new, faster way to forecast quake-generated tsunamis.

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Earth’s depths are a hellish place. More than 5,000 kilometers belowground, the iron-rich core scorches at temperatures comparable to the sun’s surface and crushes at pressures akin to the weight of 20 blue whales balanced on a postage stamp.
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