Earth Observatory Blog

Submitted on 21 Apr 2017 by:

In honour of Earth Day, I’m calling attention to the reality of climate change around the world. We know that the planet’s climate is warming from many data sources. Ice cores, corals, ocean sediments, and tree rings tell the story of Earth’s climate over the past 800,000 years. Orbital satellites, sea surface temperature readings, and weather stations have recorded change over the past century. They all say the same thing: the planet is warming at an extraordinary rate.

Last year was the hottest on record. It’s the third year in a row to set a new high for the yearly...

Submitted on 02 Dec 2016 by:

Several people who felt the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand earlier this month also witnessed a strange phenomenon — lights flashing across the sky in a range of colours.

These so-called earthquake lights are odd flashes that seemingly coincide with earthquakes. They come in different colours and forms, from floating balls of light to lightning that bolts out of the ground. People have been reporting earthquake lights for thousands of years; the first known account dates back to 373 BCE in ancient Greece. Oftentimes, these mysterious lights have been mistaken for UFOs.

Geophysicists are still unclear on...