Editor's picks: Top 10 stories of 2018
This year's list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories and some of our most-read research coverage from 2018.
From revelations about what caused Earth's biggest mass extinction to the staggering costs of runaway climate change and hidden messages in burbling lakes of lava, here are 10 stories from 2018 that shed light on our planet's past, present and future – as well as how we're changing it.
Some seek to answer timely questions, such as whether plastic straw bans really make a difference. Others turn a new page on older ideas – about the signs of an impending earthquake, for example, or the limits on body size in the ocean.
These are our top 10 picks of the many inspiring, troubling and surprising insights provided by Stanford scientists studying Earth this year. We hope they will fuel a fruitful conversation or two among family and friends as you come together for the holidays.