14 Stories

Alaskan Villagers Decide to Move Village as Sea Rises

Shishmaref is slowly slipping away

(Newser) - In what was far from an easy decision, residents of a small island village in Alaska voted this week to relocate their home to the mainland, the Guardian reports. The reason? Rising sea levels have been eroding the village of Shishmaref for decades. "The land is going away,"... More »

Cliff About to Collapse Under Calif. Apartments

The city of Pacifica has declared a state of emergency amid erosion concerns

(Newser) - It's only a matter of time before a few apartment complexes along Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica, Calif., fall 100 feet into the sea. That is, if they're not demolished first. With storms pummeling a coastline that has been eroding dramatically since 2008, the city, located just south of... More »

Scientists Pinpoint Worst Drought in 1K Years

Dust Bowl of 1934 was 30% more intense than the runner-up drought of 1580

(Newser) - If you've lately found yourself wondering when the worst drought North America has suffered occurred, here's your answer: 1934. At least, as far as the last millennium goes. In a new NASA study, scientists say that a combination of atmospheric conditions (a high pressure ridge off the West... More »

Mysterious Mounds Attributed to New Source

Theory about soil, erosion may not be sexy, but it's convincing

(Newser) - The mystery of the mounds lives on. A mere six months after researchers said computer modeling proved pocket gophers , over the course of several hundred years of scurrying and burrowing, formed the bizarre-patterned earthen "Mima mounds" in Washington state, a new team of researchers claims that plants are in... More »

Cliff-Dangling Texas Mansion to Be Torched

Homeowner discovers insurance doesn't cover situation

(Newser) - What's worse than having your luxury home fall into a lake? How about having your home fall into a lake and then having to pay for an expensive cleanup using specialized barges? To avoid this fate, the owners of a Texas home on the verge of toppling into Lake... More »

Luxury Home Dangles Off Texas Cliff

Homeowner discovered limestone crack in April

(Newser) - A $700,000 luxury home with stunning views of Lake Whitney is on the verge of getting a view of the bottom of the Texas lake. A large part of the limestone bluff beneath the home has given way, leaving part of it dangling over a cliff, CBS reports. Army... More »

Rich Defend Beach Homes ... but Put Beach at Risk

Environmentalists complain beach fortifications will increase erosion

(Newser) - In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many of the uber-rich who have multimillion-dollar beach homes in the tony town of Southampton, NY, are seeking to keep the ocean from their mansions. They've been spending big bucks ($50,000, in one case, and that could be on the low end)... More »

Why Hurricane Irene Is Good for the Outer Banks

It carries new sand to the area, which helps prevent it from eroding

(Newser) - It's counterintuitive, but it's true, says a Duke University geology professor. Hurricane Irene "is just what" the Outer Banks need. In a conversation with the Los Angeles Times , Orrin Pilkey acknowledges the many, many downsides of the storm: "We are going to see an awful lot... More »

California Town Retreats From Rising Sea

Ventura spends $4.5M on 'managed retreat' operation

(Newser) - The California coastal town of Ventura is spending $4.5 million dollars on its popular Surfers Point to "back off" from increasing coastal erosion and rising water levels—a fate that awaits much of the US coastline, reports the Los Angeles Times . The project involves ripping out a seaside... More »

Iconic Arch in Utah Park Collapses

First to fall since 1991

(Newser) - A popular stone arch collapsed early last week in Utah's Arches National Park, the AP reports. First discovered in 1948, the Wall Arch fell victim to gravity and the very same force that formed the sandstone structure—erosion. "They all let go after a while," said a park... More »

Canyon Older Than Thought?

Study says formation began 17M years ago; others stick to 5-6M

(Newser) - The Grand Canyon might be three times older than previously thought, the Washington Post reports. A study in Science claims that a river—not the Colorado, but a smaller one—began carving the oldest part of the canyon 17 million years ago. It contends that the canyon-building greatly accelerated 5... More »

New Worry: Global Soil Change

Scientists propose calling current geological era 'Anthropocene'—human-made

(Newser) - Earth's changing soils appear less able to support farming and plant and animal diversity because of human activity, a study shows. "Global soil change," which is occurring most severely in Africa and Asia, has a heavier hand in climate change than previously thought, National Geographic reports. Degraded soils... More »

Great Lake Getting Less Superior

(Newser) - Water levels in Lake Superior are down a whole foot this year, and scientists say man is to blame. The world's largest body of fresh water by surface area has suffered an on-and-off drought for four years, but levels may reach an all-time low this summer. Climate change is partially... More »

Miami Beach Battles Sand Hassle

(Newser) - A new kind of sandstorm is brewing in South Florida. As its world-famous beaches face crippling erosion, Miami Beach is hitting up its neighbors for the scarce stuff. But with most of Florida's communities strapped, Miami Beach, like coastal communities in California and Hawaii, is turning to foreign countries, which... More »

14 Stories