Discover the world’s most ‘sensitive’ flower

Chinese scientists announced the discovery of four new species of plants from the Gentian genus that can close their petals for a few seconds when touched. The discovery led by Professor Dai Can from the School of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences of Hubei University was made on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in northwest China. According … Read more

Rare snow covers the Sahara desert

AlgeriaSnow and ice cover the sand in the Sahara Desert after the temperature here dropped to -2 degrees Celsius under the influence of a high-pressure cold air mass. Snow falls on the dunes in the desert. Photo: Karim Bouchetata Photographer Karim Bouchetata took a series of pictures of snow and ice covering the town of … Read more

Why does the Tonga volcano produce record amounts of lightning?

The undersea Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano produces unprecedented amounts of lightning, accompanied by explosions that can be heard from thousands of kilometers away. An undersea volcanic eruption in Tonga on January 15 in this image taken from a Japanese weather satellite. Photo: AP Just a few weeks ago, an undersea volcano recognizable through two uninhabited … Read more

The great river dries up like never before due to drought

ParaguayDroughts, high temperatures and unusual declines in major rivers are forecast to cause major economic damage to the South American nation by 2022. “It looks like this year will be even worse than 2021. The total flow of the Paraguay River is at an all-time low,” Carlos Muñoz, director of the Paraguayan Maritime and River … Read more

Australian town records record temperature of 50.7°C

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said the coastal town of Onslow in the west of the country had the highest temperature in the country in 62 years. “Onslow recorded a temperature of 50.7°C on the afternoon of January 13. This is the highest temperature ever recorded in the state of West Australia, equal to … Read more

How the Earth breathes CO2

This graphic by a researcher at the Max Planck Institute shows how plants on Earth take in and release carbon with each season. How the Earth breathes CO2 Earth breathes carbon. Graphics: Markus Reichstein The Earth appears to be inhaling and exhaling in the new graphic that reveals the process of absorbing and releasing carbon … Read more

Mount Everest seen from an altitude of 400 km

Astronauts from the European Space Agency (ESA) photographed Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, while working on the International Space Station (ISS). Mount Everest is more than 8,800 m high, extremely prominent when viewed from Earth. However, this massive mountain is very difficult to detect when viewed from space. On January 4, NASA astronaut Mark … Read more

2021 records the hottest ocean temperature on record

A new report says the global ocean has warmed like never before in 2021, largely due to climate change. Despite the ongoing La Niña event – a climate phenomenon that cools the waters of the Pacific Ocean – the global average temperature of sea water (from the surface to a depth of 2,000 m) is … Read more

Cactus invades Kenya

Kenyan authorities are struggling to find a way to stop the Opuntia cactus from encroaching on farmland in the country’s north. Kenyan farmer tries to destroy a cluster of Opuntia cactus. Photo: Loisaba Conservancy The Opuntia cactus has become a “thorn” for many Kenyans as it slowly chokes their livelihoods. With thick leafless stems covered … Read more

Luminescent snow in the polar regions

RussiaMikhail Neretin caught blue luminescent snow while walking his dog near a field station along the White Sea coast. Blue light spots on snow background. Photo: Alexander Semenov The Russian biologist, Vera Emelianenko, who was traveling with Neretin, decided to investigate the phenomenon. After crushing a snowball and noticing that the halo grew stronger with … Read more