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Earth’s ice caps are in serious trouble. Three new studies reveal how bad the damage is

Like a trio of canaries in a coal mine warbling at the top of their lungs, three recent studies warn of various ways that global warming is drastically changing the planet. Each study involves the cryosphere, or those regions on the planet where water freezes into ice or snow. Both the Arctic and the Antarctic are melting — and scientists are recording the consequences....

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Puzzling new planet is too big for its sun, challenging dominant theories of planet formation

It’s difficult to fathom how much bigger the Sun is than our little planet. Even though it’s just an average-sized star, you could squeeze 1.3 million Earths inside it. But planets in other solar systems don’t always have such a massive size difference, as detailed in an intriguing new report in the journal Science, which describes the discovery of a planet named LHS 3154b....

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Smart climate policy is good for people, not just the environment

It is difficult to read about global heating and climate change without being pessimistic. Every new report warning that humanity is entering “uncharted territory” or exceeding our limits as a stable ecosystem can produce feelings of hopelessness and despair. Yet even as Earth roils through unprecedented heatwaves and animals like river dolphins face extinction, there is still hope that climate change can be at least partially mitigated....

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We can’t stop Antarctica from melting, as scientists warn we are entering “uncharted territory”

Imagine a future in which sea level rise is so severe that apocalyptic floods are a regular occurrence. Hundreds of millions are displaced as their coastal regions become uninhabitable, and as humanity struggles to survive, the map of the Earth’s southernmost region gets radically redrawn. According to a recent study by the British Antarctic Society, climate change has passed a crucial tipping point for the West Antarctic Ice Sheet....

Originally posted on salon.com

Like a saggy balloon, Earth’s core is leaking helium, a new analysis finds

When people hear of a helium leak, they likely imagine a comical scenario involving party balloons and high-pitched voices. Yet scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution suspect that, like a human who has yet to fully burp out a gassy meal, Earth has pockets of helium from when it was formed that it has yet to fully release....

Originally posted on salon.com