Reasons to Believe

Geophysical Design

  • Oceans' Salinity Changed

    You might have seen ScienceNews, Oceans' salinity changed over last half-century; April 26, 2012; … more

  • No Primordial Soup for Earth’s Early Atmosphere

    Winter often means more soup for dinner. Although the seasonal temperatures of Southern California seem moderate compared to places like the Midwest, the chill in the air still makes a good bowl of … more

  • Update on the Quest for an Earth-Like Planet

    During the Middle Ages and especially in Arthurian legend, the quest for the Holy Grail, the cup from which Jesus drank at the Last Supper, became the consuming passion of nobles. They were driven by … more

  • Plains, Minerals, and Mountain Building

    Living in Missouri, family vacations often took us out west to Colorado and other Rocky Mountain states. After a long, flat drive across Kansas and almost half of Colorado, the Rockies–– … more

  • Why I'm Thankful for Earthquakes

    Earthquakes produced some of Earth’s most inspiring sights—the soaring geysers, burbling mud pits, and steaming springs of Yellowstone; the majestic Rockies, Andes, and Himalayas; the lush … more

  • Too Much Oxygen in the Past

    One of my favorite activities is roasting s’mores over the campfire in the cool of the evening. Everyone knows you need graham crackers, chocolate squares, and marshmallows to make … more

  • Solidifying the Last Snowball Earths

    Some of the events in that transformation required major stresses to the planet. For example the formation of continents resulted a couple billion years ago from an epoch of substantial tectonic … more

  • Oxygen Spikes Jumpstart Life's Complexity and Size

    Since life first appeared on Earth, the size of the largest organisms increased in size by a factor of 10 quadrillion (1016 or 10,000,000,000,000,000). Two sudden bursts, each showing an organism … more

  • Mixotrophs - An Evolutionary "Nice Try"

    Amid all the celebration last year over the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of his most famous book, On the Origin of Species,1 I heard little or no mention … more

  • GOE or Die: Earth’s Habitability No Sure Thing

    Jason Bourne lives life on the edge. The protagonist of the Bourne spy fiction thriller series relentlessly pursues the truth, with danger lurking at every turn. Regardless of the peril, he must … more

  • Biological Stirring of the Oceans

    Most of the stuff I want to filter out of the water tends to settle toward the bottom–but the filter inlet sits toward the top of the pool. If my kids and I don't stir the water by swimming, I … more

  • Snowball-Earth Issues

    Throughout Earth's history the potential has existed for geological and astronomical processes to catastrophically disrupt terrestrial life. Scientists continue to find evidence that many such … more

  • The Concentration of Metals for Humanity's Benefit

    Without concentrated ores of insoluble metals embedded into Earth's crust, human civilization would've never advanced beyond a stone-age culture. Today we have the ability to glean unconcentrated … more

  • Ancient Bacteria Saw Northern Lights, Too!

     Working late into the night, the scientist checks the detector status. Operations at the remote Air Force base proceed smoothly as the detector settles into a steady course of data-taking. … more

  • Sulfur-Poor Earth Conducive to Life

    Earth's assortment of elements and compounds distinguishes it from other more "ordinary" planets. As examples, given its size and distance from its star, Earth is extremely water-poor, very … more