Browse Articles

  • News & Views |

    The distribution of iron-loving elements between the mantles of the Moon and Earth may differ from established belief, suggest two studies that determine the hafnium–tungsten ratio and sulfide–silicate melt partitioning of elements in the lunar mantle.

    • Philipp Gleißner
  • Article |

    The European mega-heatwaves in 2003 and 2010 were intensified by torrents of hot air that were transported in from desiccated regions upwind, suggests an analysis of observations and reanalysis data together with a Lagrangian heat-tracking framework.

    • Dominik L. Schumacher
    • , Jessica Keune
    • , Chiel C. van Heerwaarden
    • , Jordi Vilà-Guerau de Arellano
    • , Adriaan J. Teuling
    •  & Diego G. Miralles
  • Article |

    Phosphorus limitation can significantly reduce the response of the Amazon forest to CO2 fertilization, according to ecosystem-model ensemble simulations of a free-air CO2 enrichment experiment.

    • Katrin Fleischer
    • , Anja Rammig
    • , Martin G. De Kauwe
    • , Anthony P. Walker
    • , Tomas F. Domingues
    • , Lucia Fuchslueger
    • , Sabrina Garcia
    • , Daniel S. Goll
    • , Adriana Grandis
    • , Mingkai Jiang
    • , Vanessa Haverd
    • , Florian Hofhansl
    • , Jennifer A. Holm
    • , Bart Kruijt
    • , Felix Leung
    • , Belinda E. Medlyn
    • , Lina M. Mercado
    • , Richard J. Norby
    • , Bernard Pak
    • , Celso von Randow
    • , Carlos A. Quesada
    • , Karst J. Schaap
    • , Oscar J. Valverde-Barrantes
    • , Ying-Ping Wang
    • , Xiaojuan Yang
    • , Sönke Zaehle
    • , Qing Zhu
    •  & David M. Lapola
  • Article |

    Pyrogenic carbon produced from vegetation fires could be a globally important carbon sink, which amounts to 12% of the carbon emitted from wildfires annually, according to a global fire emission database that incorporates the estimate of pyrogenic carbon.

    • Matthew W. Jones
    • , Cristina Santín
    • , Guido R. van der Werf
    •  & Stefan H. Doerr
  • Article |

    Macroalgae can be transported across the open ocean, and substantial amounts can reach the seafloor at 4,000 m depth, according to analyses of metagenome data from global expeditions. Macroalgae are a potentially important oceanic carbon sink globally.

    • Alejandra Ortega
    • , Nathan R. Geraldi
    • , Intikhab Alam
    • , Allan A. Kamau
    • , Silvia G. Acinas
    • , Ramiro Logares
    • , Josep M. Gasol
    • , Ramon Massana
    • , Dorte Krause-Jensen
    •  & Carlos M. Duarte
  • Article |

    Dissolved organic matter is persistent in soil owing to continuous consumption and transformation rather than owing to its recalcitrant molecular properties, according to analyses of molecular changes of dissolved organic matter as it passes through soil.

    • Vanessa-Nina Roth
    • , Markus Lange
    • , Carsten Simon
    • , Norbert Hertkorn
    • , Sebastian Bucher
    • , Timothy Goodall
    • , Robert I. Griffiths
    • , Perla G. Mellado-Vázquez
    • , Liesje Mommer
    • , Natalie J. Oram
    • , Alexandra Weigelt
    • , Thorsten Dittmar
    •  & Gerd Gleixner
  • Comment |

    The climate of South and East Asia is affected by anthropogenic aerosols, but the magnitude of the aerosol imprint is not well known. As regional emissions are rapidly changing, potential related climate risks must be quantified.

    • Bjørn H. Samset
    • , Marianne T. Lund
    • , Massimo Bollasina
    • , Gunnar Myhre
    •  & Laura Wilcox
  • Perspective |

    Recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer above Antarctica has not been straightforward, as a result of human activities and climate change. The recovery process might be delayed by up to decades if further mitigation actions are not taken.

    • Xuekun Fang
    • , John A. Pyle
    • , Martyn P. Chipperfield
    • , John S. Daniel
    • , Sunyoung Park
    •  & Ronald G. Prinn
  • Article |

    The Moon formed around 50 Myr after the Solar System, suggests a lunar silicate Hf/W ratio higher than that of Earth, from high-precision compositional analysis of lunar rock samples.

    • Maxwell M. Thiemens
    • , Peter Sprung
    • , Raúl O. C. Fonseca
    • , Felipe P. Leitzke
    •  & Carsten Münker
  • Article |

    Large volcanic eruptions in the first half of the nineteenth century blurred the transition from the Little Ice Age to anthropogenic warming, and led to sustained cooling, drought in Africa and weakened monsoons, suggests a combination of observations and model simulations.

    • Stefan Brönnimann
    • , Jörg Franke
    • , Samuel U. Nussbaumer
    • , Heinz J. Zumbühl
    • , Daniel Steiner
    • , Mathias Trachsel
    • , Gabriele C. Hegerl
    • , Andrew Schurer
    • , Matthias Worni
    • , Abdul Malik
    • , Julian Flückiger
    •  & Christoph C. Raible
  • Article |

    Multidecadal global-mean temperature fluctuations over the past 2,000 years are consistent in comprehensive climate reconstructions and model simulations, and volcanic eruptions had the most important influence at that timescale between 1300 and 1800 CE.

    • Raphael Neukom
    • , Luis A. Barboza
    • , Michael P. Erb
    • , Feng Shi
    • , Julien Emile-Geay
    • , Michael N. Evans
    • , Jörg Franke
    • , Darrell S. Kaufman
    • , Lucie Lücke
    • , Kira Rehfeld
    • , Andrew Schurer
    • , Feng Zhu
    • , Stefan Brönnimann
    • , Gregory J. Hakim
    • , Benjamin J. Henley
    • , Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist
    • , Nicholas McKay
    • , Veronika Valler
    •  & Lucien von Gunten
  • Editorial |

    The end of pre-industrial climate — the baseline for assessing the extent of human-induced warming today — is not easy to pinpoint in time. Regardless, the past decades stand out from two millennia of climate fluctuations.

  • Article |

    Aridification did not cause the expansion of ecosystems using the C4 photosynthetic pathway in parts of Africa 10 million years ago, according to leaf-wax analyses in deep-sea drill cores, leaving declining atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as the most plausible cause.

    • Pratigya J. Polissar
    • , Cassaundra Rose
    • , Kevin T. Uno
    • , Samuel R. Phelps
    •  & Peter deMenocal
  • Article |

    Deep mantle heterogeneity and large-scale deep mantle convection has been operating since the Palaeoarchaean, according to enriched plume signatures found in a 3.45-billion-year-old ultramafic–mafic suite from the North China Craton.

    • Chao Wang
    • , Shuguang Song
    • , Chunjing Wei
    • , Li Su
    • , Mark B. Allen
    • , Yaoling Niu
    • , Xian-Hua Li
    •  & Jinlong Dong
  • News & Views |

    African savannah grasslands initially proliferated in the late Miocene due to declining atmospheric CO2, rather than previously proposed regional climate drying. Supplanting previous woodland vegetation due to photosynthetic adaptations, these grasslands set the stage for subsequent mammalian evolutionary trends on the continent.

    • Hayley Cawthra
  • Comment |

    Social media is increasingly being used to share near-real-time analysis of emergent and sometimes hazardous geological events. Such open discussion can drive new research directions and collaborations for geoscientists.

    • Stephen P. Hicks
  • Article |

    Elephant disturbance favours the emergence of larger trees with higher wood density, and thereby increases the aboveground biomass in central African forests by up to 60 t ha–1, according to simulations with the Ecosystem Demography model.

    • Fabio Berzaghi
    • , Marcos Longo
    • , Philippe Ciais
    • , Stephen Blake
    • , François Bretagnolle
    • , Simone Vieira
    • , Marcos Scaranello
    • , Giuseppe Scarascia-Mugnozza
    •  & Christopher E. Doughty
  • Article |

    Solid ammonium nitrate particles are formed in the upper troposphere during the Asian monsoons, which bring large amounts of ground ammonia to this altitude, according to integrated analyses of measurements on ammoniated aerosol, together with model simulations.

    • Michael Höpfner
    • , Jörn Ungermann
    • , Stephan Borrmann
    • , Robert Wagner
    • , Reinhold Spang
    • , Martin Riese
    • , Gabriele Stiller
    • , Oliver Appel
    • , Anneke M. Batenburg
    • , Silvia Bucci
    • , Francesco Cairo
    • , Antonis Dragoneas
    • , Felix Friedl-Vallon
    • , Andreas Hünig
    • , Sören Johansson
    • , Lukas Krasauskas
    • , Bernard Legras
    • , Thomas Leisner
    • , Christoph Mahnke
    • , Ottmar Möhler
    • , Sergej Molleker
    • , Rolf Müller
    • , Tom Neubert
    • , Johannes Orphal
    • , Peter Preusse
    • , Markus Rex
    • , Harald Saathoff
    • , Fred Stroh
    • , Ralf Weigel
    •  & Ingo Wohltmann
  • News & Views |

    Ocean-floor plateaus are not voluminous lava flows from central volcanoes as thought, but anomalously thick oceanic crust, suggest magnetic anomaly patterns from the Shatsky Rise, in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.

    • Joanne M. Whittaker
  • Article |

    Permafrost loses carbon at a faster rate than previously thought as climate warms, according to direct soil carbon observations over five years in the field in Alaska’s tundra ecosystem.

    • César Plaza
    • , Elaine Pegoraro
    • , Rosvel Bracho
    • , Gerardo Celis
    • , Kathryn G. Crummer
    • , Jack A. Hutchings
    • , Caitlin E. Hicks Pries
    • , Marguerite Mauritz
    • , Susan M. Natali
    • , Verity G. Salmon
    • , Christina Schädel
    • , Elizabeth E. Webb
    •  & Edward A. G. Schuur
  • Article |

    Controls on the ecological success of marine calcifiers changed from abiotic to biotic in the mid-Jurassic, according an environmental forcing model compared with skeletal taxa.

    • Kilian Eichenseer
    • , Uwe Balthasar
    • , Christopher W. Smart
    • , Julian Stander
    • , Kristian A. Haaga
    •  & Wolfgang Kiessling
  • Article |

    Polluted continental aerosols contain a considerable fraction of ice nucleating particles, suggest analyses of satellite observations and simulations with cloud-resolving models.

    • Bin Zhao
    • , Yuan Wang
    • , Yu Gu
    • , Kuo-Nan Liou
    • , Jonathan H. Jiang
    • , Jiwen Fan
    • , Xiaohong Liu
    • , Lei Huang
    •  & Yuk L. Yung
  • News & Views |

    Earth’s formation by the accretion of volatile-rich carbonaceous chondrite-like materials, without a need for exotic building blocks or secondary volatile loss, is supported by recognition of a plateau pattern for highly volatile elements.

    • Zaicong Wang
  • Editorial |

    China’s rigorous air-pollution control has greatly reduced the levels of fine particles in the atmosphere. Further progress for air quality more broadly will rely on fully accounting for complex chemical reactions between pollutants.

  • News & Views |

    Confidence that banded iron formations record oxic conditions during deposition is established, as a model demonstrates that they are formed of primary iron oxides rather than secondarily altered silicate minerals.

    • Eva E. Stüeken
  • News & Views |

    Deep soil carbon in tropical catchments can be rapidly mobilized to rivers upon land-use change to agriculture, suggest analyses of dissolved organic carbon. Such carbon stocks had been thought stable for millennia.

    • Alf Ekblad
    •  & David Bastviken
  • Article |

    Magma ascent from the near-Moho depth of 24 km to surface eruption took 10 days with melt transport rates of 0.02 to 0.1 m s−1, according to geothermobarometry and diffusion chronometry on primitive olivine crystals from Borgarhraun, Iceland.

    • Euan J. F. Mutch
    • , John Maclennan
    • , Oliver Shorttle
    • , Marie Edmonds
    •  & John F. Rudge
  • Article |

    Tropical deforestation induces the loss and transport of old and biolabile soil organic carbon into rivers, suggest analyses of dissolved organic matter in deforested and pristine catchments in the Congo Basin. The mobilized soil carbon is likely to turn into a carbon source.

    • Travis W. Drake
    • , Kristof Van Oost
    • , Matti Barthel
    • , Marijn Bauters
    • , Alison M. Hoyt
    • , David C. Podgorski
    • , Johan Six
    • , Pascal Boeckx
    • , Susan E. Trumbore
    • , Landry Cizungu Ntaboba
    •  & Robert G. M. Spencer
  • Article |

    The Hadley circulation has been weakening over the past 40 years, as simulated by climate models, and not strengthening as found in observation-based reanalyses, suggests an analysis of both methods that points to artefacts in the reanalyses.

    • Rei Chemke
    •  & Lorenzo M. Polvani
  • Article |

    Only about 15% of water cycle diagrams include human interaction with water, although human freshwater appropriation amounts to about half of global river discharge, according to an analysis of 464 water cycle diagrams and a synthesis of the global water cycle.

    • Benjamin W. Abbott
    • , Kevin Bishop
    • , Jay P. Zarnetske
    • , Camille Minaudo
    • , F. S. Chapin III
    • , Stefan Krause
    • , David M. Hannah
    • , Lafe Conner
    • , David Ellison
    • , Sarah E. Godsey
    • , Stephen Plont
    • , Jean Marçais
    • , Tamara Kolbe
    • , Amanda Huebner
    • , Rebecca J. Frei
    • , Tyler Hampton
    • , Sen Gu
    • , Madeline Buhman
    • , Sayedeh Sara Sayedi
    • , Ovidiu Ursache
    • , Melissa Chapin
    • , Kathryn D. Henderson
    •  & Gilles Pinay
  • Article |

    Ahuna Mons dome on Ceres formed by extrusion of a mixture of brine and solids sourced from a muddy mantle plume, according to numerical modelling of slurry rheology and a gravity anomaly found by the Dawn mission.

    • Ottaviano Ruesch
    • , Antonio Genova
    • , Wladimir Neumann
    • , Lynnae C. Quick
    • , Julie C. Castillo-Rogez
    • , Carol A. Raymond
    • , Christopher T. Russell
    •  & Maria T. Zuber
  • Article |

    Mesosiderite meteorites may originate from a hit-and-run impact on the parent asteroid of eucrite meteorites (probably Vesta), as mesosiderite zircon U–Pb ages are found to coincide with those for eucrites.

    • Makiko K. Haba
    • , Jörn-Frederik Wotzlaw
    • , Yi-Jen Lai
    • , Akira Yamaguchi
    •  & Maria Schönbächler