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Kevin Krajick is the editor for science news at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Science, Smithsonian, Newsweek and many other publications. He is author of the book Barren Lands: An Epic Search for Diamonds in the North American Arctic.

Climate, and the Dividing Line Between Forest and Tundra

In northern Alaska’s Brooks Range, the earth as most of us know it comes to an end. From Fairbanks, the northernmost city on the North American road grid, drive up the graveled Dalton Highway. Unpeopled boreal forest stretches in all directions. About 200 miles on, you pass the arctic circle, beyond which the sun never sets in midsummer, nor rises in midwinter.…

Illegal Ivory Almost All from Recent Killing, Study Finds

Researchers analyzing African elephant tusks seized by global law enforcement have confirmed what many suspect: the illegal ivory trade, now running in high gear, is being fueled almost exclusively by recently killed animals. In the first study of its kind, researchers showed that almost all tusks studied came from animals killed less than three years…

At the Jersey Shore, Signs of a Comet, and a Climate Crisis

In a new study, scientists say they have found evidence along the New Jersey coast that an extraterrestrial object hit the earth at the same time a mysterious release of carbon dioxide suddenly warmed the planet, some 55.6 million years ago. The warm period, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), is often cited as…

A Morning That Shook the World: The Seismology of 9/11

In the initial chaos of the Sept. 11 attacks, a seismologist whose usual business is to record natural earthquakes suddenly became an important source for government investigators and media. Won-Young Kim and his colleagues supplied exact times for the plane impacts and building collapses, and informed assessments of their consequences. His discoveries went further, and like many New Yorkers, was deeply affected by the events of that day.