Et tu, Okmok? Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Contributed to Fall of Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic Kingdom

As the Roman Republic began to fall, the Earth suffered from extreme cold and famine that helped push Rome’s instability to its ultimate collapse. The cause of the extreme climate? The eruption of an Alaskan volcano on the opposite side of the world. Continue reading Et tu, Okmok? Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Contributed to Fall of Roman Republic and the Ptolemaic Kingdom

Harvard Underwater

by Jenna Lang figures by Hannah Zucker At some point during my lifetime, Harvard’s campus will flood.  The waters of Boston Harbor will rush around the Charles River dam and surge onto the Harvard Business School campus on one side of the swelling river and onto the Harvard College campus on the other side.  Winthrop House, where my sister will live starting next year, faces … Continue reading Harvard Underwater

3D printed corals grow algae that photosynthesize more efficiently

Central to coral reefs around the world is the deeply interdependent relationship between corals and algae. This interconnection is responsible for algae’s protected habitat, corals’ bright colors, and the mutual exchange of nutrients for photosynthesis. Algae growth is modulated by a process called self-shading, decreasing exposure to light. In an artificial setup, however, this process prevents researchers from growing coral quickly. To prevent this light … Continue reading 3D printed corals grow algae that photosynthesize more efficiently

Ice Cores and Roman Lore: Modern climate science helps scientists and historians piece together the past

by Lorena Lyon figures by Rebecca Senft Today, the discussion of climate change generally relates to human impact on the environment since the Industrial Revolution (1760 to mid-1800s). But, how have humans been impacting the planet before then? And how can we find out? It turns out a type of climate science using something called ice cores can give us detailed information on how past … Continue reading Ice Cores and Roman Lore: Modern climate science helps scientists and historians piece together the past

Listen Closely: Coral reefs are losing their sound

by Samantha Tracy figures by Sean Wilson A solo diver dips under the surface of crashing waves to reveal a plethora of attention-grabbing colors in astounding brightness. The image of a coral reef is exciting and overwhelming for the human brain, but another world comes to life when we close our eyes. A cascading orchestra of gentle bubbling, a faint crackling chorus of snapping shrimp, … Continue reading Listen Closely: Coral reefs are losing their sound