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  • Equilibrium climate sensitivity above 5 °C plausible due to state-dependent cloud feedback
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-26
    Jenny Bjordal; Trude Storelvmo; Kari Alterskjær; Tim Carlsen

    The equilibrium climate sensitivity of Earth is defined as the global mean surface air temperature increase that follows a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. For decades, global climate models have predicted it as between approximately 2 and 4.5 °C. However, a large subset of models participating in the 6th Coupled Model Intercomparison Project predict values exceeding 5 °C. The difference has

  • Biological nitrogen fixation detected under Antarctic sea ice
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-26
    Takuhei Shiozaki; Amane Fujiwara; Keisuke Inomura; Yuu Hirose; Fuminori Hashihama; Naomi Harada

    Nitrogen fixation is the primary source of reactive nitrogen in the ocean. Most ecological models do not predict nitrogen fixation in the Antarctic Ocean because of the low availability of iron and high abundance of nitrogen. Here we extensively examined nitrogen fixation in the Antarctic Ocean, and found substantial nitrogen fixation (maximum: 44.4 nmol N l−1 d−1) near the Antarctic coast, especially

  • Moist heat stress extremes in India enhanced by irrigation
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-26
    Vimal Mishra; Anukesh Krishnankutty Ambika; Akarsh Asoka; Saran Aadhar; Jonathan Buzan; Rohini Kumar; Matthew Huber

    Intensive irrigation in India has been demonstrated to decrease surface temperature, but the influence of irrigation on humidity and extreme moist heat stress is not well understood. Here we analysed a combination of in situ and satellite-based datasets and conducted meteorological model simulations to show that irrigation modulates extreme moist heat. We found that intensive irrigation in the region

  • Spatial pattern of super-greenhouse warmth controlled by elevated specific humidity
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-26
    Joep van Dijk; Alvaro Fernandez; Stefano M. Bernasconi; Jeremy K. Caves Rugenstein; Simon R. Passey; Tim White

    Earth’s climate sensitivity, defined as the temperature increase for a doubling of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (\(p_{\mathrm{CO}_2}\)), and the mechanisms responsible for amplification of high-latitude warming remain controversial. The latest Palaeocene/earliest Eocene (LPEE; 57–55 million years ago) is a time when atmospheric CO2 concentrations peaked between 1,400 and 4,000 ppm, which allows

  • Permian–Triassic mass extinction pulses driven by major marine carbon cycle perturbations
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-19
    Hana Jurikova; Marcus Gutjahr; Klaus Wallmann; Sascha Flögel; Volker Liebetrau; Renato Posenato; Lucia Angiolini; Claudio Garbelli; Uwe Brand; Michael Wiedenbeck; Anton Eisenhauer

    The Permian/Triassic boundary approximately 251.9 million years ago marked the most severe environmental crisis identified in the geological record, which dictated the onwards course for the evolution of life. Magmatism from Siberian Traps is thought to have played an important role, but the causational trigger and its feedbacks are yet to be fully understood. Here we present a new boron-isotope-derived

  • Persistently well-ventilated intermediate-depth ocean through the last deglaciation
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-12
    Tianyu Chen; Laura F. Robinson; Andrea Burke; Louis Claxton; Mathis P. Hain; Tao Li; James W. B. Rae; Joseph Stewart; Timothy D. J. Knowles; Daniel J. Fornari; Karen S. Harpp

    During the last deglaciation (~18–11 thousand years ago), existing radiocarbon (14C) reconstructions of intermediate waters in the mid- to low-latitude oceans show widely diverging trends, with some broadly tracking the atmosphere and others suggesting extreme depletions. These discrepancies cloud our understanding of the deglacial carbon cycle because of the diversity of hypotheses needed to explain

  • Active crustal differentiation beneath the Rio Grande Rift
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-10-12
    Jacob H. Cipar; Joshua M. Garber; Andrew R. C. Kylander-Clark; Andrew J. Smye

    Silicon-rich continental crust is unique to Earth. Partial melting during high- to ultrahigh-temperature metamorphism (700 °C to >900 °C) promotes the long-term stability of this crust because it redistributes key elements between the crust and mantle and ultimately produces cooler, more-differentiated continents. Granulites—rocks formerly at high- to ultrahigh-temperature conditions—preserve a record

  • Up in smoke
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-29

    Where there is smoke, there are radiative feedbacks. With wildfires becoming a growing problem in the Anthropocene, we need to better understand the influence of fire on the climate system.

  • Marine organic carbon burial increased forest fire frequency during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-29
    F. Garrett Boudinot; Julio Sepúlveda

    Volcanic-driven nutrient flux to the oceans stimulated marine productivity and organic matter burial during Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2; ~94 million years ago). While the preferential burial of 13C-depleted organic matter led to a general 13C enrichment of sediments during the event, a 2‰ 13C depletion punctuated the first half of the event (known as the Plenus), raising questions about carbon cycle

  • Future warming exacerbated by aged-soot effect on cloud formation
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-29
    Ulrike Lohmann; Franz Friebel; Zamin A. Kanji; Fabian Mahrt; Amewu A. Mensah; David Neubauer

    Clouds play a critical role in modulating the Earth’s radiation balance and climate. Anthropogenic aerosol particles that undergo aging processes, such as soot, aid cloud droplet and ice crystal formation and thus influence the microphysical structure of clouds. However, the associated changes in cloud radiative properties and climate effects remain uncertain and are largely omitted in climate models

  • Arctic fires re-emerging
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-28
    Jessica L. McCarty; Thomas E. L. Smith; Merritt R. Turetsky

    Underground smouldering fires resurfaced early in 2020, contributing to the unprecedented wildfires that tore through the Arctic this spring and summer. An international effort is needed to manage a changing fire regime in the vulnerable Arctic.

  • The magmatic forge
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-21
    James M. Brenan

    Time capsules of fluid, trapped within the oxide minerals from two iron ore deposits reveal an important role for sediment-derived carbonate–sulfate-rich melts in the concentration of iron, a crucial element for humanity’s development.

  • Homogenization of the terrestrial water cycle
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-21
    Delphis F. Levia; Irena F. Creed; David M. Hannah; Kazuki Nanko; Elizabeth W. Boyer; Darryl E. Carlyle-Moses; Nick van de Giesen; Domenico Grasso; Andrew J. Guswa; Janice E. Hudson; Sean A. Hudson; Shin’ichi Iida; Robert B. Jackson; Gabriel G. Katul; Tomo’omi Kumagai; Pilar Llorens; Flavio Lopes Ribeiro; Diane E. Pataki; Catherine A. Peters; Daniel Sanchez Carretero; John S. Selker; Doerthe Tetzlaff;

    Land-use and land-cover changes are accelerating. Such changes can homogenize the water cycle and undermine planetary resilience. Policymakers and practitioners must consider water–vegetation interactions in their land-management decisions.

  • Longwave radiative effect of the cloud twilight zone
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-21
    Eshkol Eytan; Ilan Koren; Orit Altaratz; Alexander B. Kostinski; Ayala Ronen

    Clouds play a key role in Earth’s radiation budget, covering more than 50% of the planet. However, the binary delineation of cloudy and clear sky is not clearly defined due to the presence of a transitionary zone, known as the cloud twilight zone, consisting of liquid droplets and humidified to dry aerosols. The twilight zone is an inherent component of cloud fields, yet its influence on longwave-infrared

  • Global nitrous acid emissions and levels of regional oxidants enhanced by wildfires
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-21
    N. Theys; R. Volkamer; J.-F. Müller; K. J. Zarzana; N. Kille; L. Clarisse; I. De Smedt; C. Lerot; H. Finkenzeller; F. Hendrick; T. K. Koenig; C. F. Lee; C. Knote; H. Yu; M. Van Roozendael

    Nitrous acid (HONO) is a precursor of the hydroxyl radical in the atmosphere, which controls the degradation of greenhouse gases, contributes to photochemical smog and ozone production, and influences air quality. Although biomass burning is known to contribute substantially to global aerosols and reactive gas emissions, pyrogenic contributions to HONO emissions are poorly constrained and often omitted

  • A fundamental role of carbonate–sulfate melts in the formation of iron oxide–apatite deposits
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-21
    Wyatt M. Bain; Matthew Steele-MacInnis; Kan Li; Long Li; Frank K. Mazdab; Erin E. Marsh

    Genetic models for iron oxide–apatite deposits are controversial and span a spectrum from orthomagmatic to hydrothermal endmembers. This lack of consensus is rooted in uncertainties as to the nature and origin of ore-forming fluids in these systems. Here, we present a fluid-inclusion study of mineralizing fluids at two iron oxide–apatite deposits (Buena Vista, Nevada and Iron Springs, Utah). We found

  • Molecular trade-offs in soil organic carbon composition at continental scale
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-14
    Steven J. Hall; Chenglong Ye; Samantha R. Weintraub; William C. Hockaday

    The molecular composition of soil organic carbon remains contentious. Microbial-, plant- and fire-derived compounds may each contribute, but whether they vary predictably among ecosystems remains unclear. Here we present carbon functional groups and molecules from a diverse spectrum of North American surface mineral soils, collected primarily from the National Ecological Observatory Network and quantified

  • Inelastic earthquake damage
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-07
    Wanpeng Feng; Rafael V. Almeida

    Permanent surface deformation caused by the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes has been directly measured, constraining the mechanics of surface damage in earthquakes.

  • Localized fault-zone dilatancy and surface inelasticity of the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-07
    William D. Barnhart; Ryan D. Gold; James Hollingsworth

    Earthquakes produce a spectrum of elastic and inelastic deformation processes that are reflected across various length and time scales. While elasticity has long dominated research assumptions in active tectonics, increasing interest has focused on the inelastic characteristics of earthquakes, particularly those of the surface fault rupture zone itself, and how they relate to ground rupture hazard

  • Slip-rate-dependent friction as a universal mechanism for slow slip events
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-07
    Kyungjae Im; Demian Saffer; Chris Marone; Jean-Philippe Avouac

    A growing body of observations worldwide has documented fault slip transients that radiate little or no seismic energy. The mechanisms that govern these slow slip events (SSEs) and their wide range of depths, slip rates, durations, stress drops and recurrence intervals remain poorly known. Here we show that slow slip can be explained by a transition from rate-weakening frictional sliding at low slip

  • Author Correction: Shape of (101955) Bennu indicative of a rubble pile with internal stiffness
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-02
    O. S. Barnouin; M. G. Daly; E. E. Palmer; R. W. Gaskell; J. R. Weirich; C. L. Johnson; M. M. Al Asad; J. H. Roberts; M. E. Perry; H. C. M. Susorney; R. T. Daly; E. B. Bierhaus; J. A. Seabrook; R. C. Espiritu; A. H. Nair; L. Nguyen; G. A. Neumann; C. M. Ernst; W. V. Boynton; M. C. Nolan; C. D. Adam; M. C. Moreau; B. Rizk; C. Y. Drouet D’Aubigny; E. R. Jawin; K. J. Walsh; P. Michel; S. R. Schwartz; R

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

  • Author Correction: Two decades of glacier mass loss along the Andes
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-01
    I. Dussaillant; E. Berthier; F. Brun; M. Masiokas; R. Hugonnet; V. Favier; A. Rabatel; P. Pitte; L. Ruiz

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

  • Authors on the rise
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-01

    We look at changes in authorship and cross-institutional links in the papers we publish. Both are increasing as the geosciences continue to become more collaborative.

  • Rethinking groundwater age
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-01
    Grant Ferguson; Mark O. Cuthbert; Kevin Befus; Tom Gleeson; Jennifer C. McIntosh

    It is commonly thought that old groundwater cannot be pumped sustainably, and that recently recharged groundwater is inherently sustainable. We argue that both old and young groundwaters can be used in physically sustainable or unsustainable ways.

  • Pacific push into the Atlantic
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-09-01
    Brian A. Haley

    Deep, carbon-rich Pacific waters intruded into the South Atlantic some 38 to 28 thousand years ago. This deep Pacific expansion could have represented a considerable sink of atmospheric CO2, one that helped initiate the Last Glacial Maximum.

  • Coupled Southern Ocean cooling and Antarctic ice sheet expansion during the middle Miocene
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-31
    Thomas J. Leutert; Alexandra Auderset; Alfredo Martínez-García; Sevasti Modestou; A. Nele Meckler

    The middle Miocene climate transition (~14 million years ago) was characterized by a dramatic increase in the volume of the Antarctic ice sheet. The driving mechanism of this transition remains under discussion, with hypotheses including circulation changes, declining carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and orbital forcing. Southern Ocean records of planktic foraminiferal Mg/Ca have previously been interpreted

  • A nutrient control on marine anoxia during the end-Permian mass extinction
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-17
    Martin Schobben; William J. Foster; Arve R. N. Sleveland; Valentin Zuchuat; Henrik H. Svensen; Sverre Planke; David P. G. Bond; Fons Marcelis; Robert J. Newton; Paul B. Wignall; Simon W. Poulton

    Oxygen deprivation and hydrogen sulfide toxicity are considered potent kill mechanisms during the mass extinction just before the Permian–Triassic boundary (~251.9 million years ago). However, the mechanism that drove vast stretches of the ocean to an anoxic state is unclear. Here, we present palaeoredox and phosphorus speciation data for a marine bathymetric transect from Svalbard. This shows that

  • Publisher Correction: The state of rock debris covering Earth’s glaciers
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-14
    Sam Herreid; Francesca Pellicciotti

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

  • Post-impact cryo-hydrologic formation of small mounds and hills in Ceres’s Occator crater
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-10
    B. E. Schmidt; H. G. Sizemore; K. H. G. Hughson; K. D. Duarte; V. N. Romero; J. E. C. Scully; P. M. Schenk; D. L. Buczkowski; D. A. Williams; A. Nathues; K. Udell; J. C. Castillo-Rogez; C. A. Raymond; C. T. Russell

    The intimate mixture of ice and silicate within the uppermost few kilometres of Ceres influences its geology and the evolution of its subsurface. Both ground ice and cryovolcanic processes have been hypothesized to form geologic terrains on Ceres, including within Occator crater, where they have been suggested to influence the post-impact surface evolution. Both types of processes involve the presence

  • Back-propagating supershear rupture in the 2016 M w 7.1 Romanche transform fault earthquake
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-10
    Stephen P. Hicks; Ryo Okuwaki; Andreas Steinberg; Catherine A. Rychert; Nicholas Harmon; Rachel E. Abercrombie; Petros Bogiatzis; David Schlaphorst; Jiri Zahradnik; J-Michael Kendall; Yuji Yagi; Kousuke Shimizu; Henriette Sudhaus

    How an earthquake rupture propagates strongly influences the potentially destructive ground shaking. Complex ruptures often involve slip along multiple faults, which masks information on the frictional behaviour of fault zones. Geometrically smooth ocean transform fault plate boundaries offer a favourable environment to study fault dynamics, because strain is accommodated along a single, wide fault

  • A shift in sulfur-cycle manipulation from atmospheric emissions to agricultural additions
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-10
    Eve-Lyn S. Hinckley; John T. Crawford; Habibollah Fakhraei; Charles T. Driscoll

    Burning fossil fuels has resulted in a prominent yet unintended manipulation of the global sulfur cycle. Emissions of sulfur dioxide and reactive sulfur to the atmosphere have caused widespread health and environmental impacts and have led, ultimately, to calls to decrease sulfur emissions. However, anthropogenic modification of the sulfur cycle is far from over. Using four contrasting case studies

  • Interannual variations in meltwater input to the Southern Ocean from Antarctic ice shelves.
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-10
    Susheel Adusumilli,Helen Amanda Fricker,Brooke Medley,Laurie Padman,Matthew R Siegfried

    Ocean-driven basal melting of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves accounts for about half of their mass loss in steady state, where gains in ice-shelf mass are balanced by losses. Ice-shelf thickness changes driven by varying basal melt rates modulate mass loss from the grounded ice sheet and its contribution to sea level, and the changing meltwater fluxes influence climate processes in the Southern

  • Heavy iron isotope composition of iron meteorites explained by core crystallization.
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-03
    Peng Ni,Nancy L Chabot,Caillin J Ryan,Anat Shahar

    Similar to Earth, many large planetesimals in the Solar System experienced planetary-scale processes such as accretion, melting and differentiation. As their cores cooled and solidified, substantial chemical fractionation occurred due to solid metal–liquid metal fractionation. Iron meteorites—core remnants of these ancient planetesimals—record a history of this process. Recent iron isotope analyses

  • The state of rock debris covering Earth’s glaciers
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-03
    Sam Herreid; Francesca Pellicciotti

    Rock debris can accumulate on glacier surfaces and dramatically reduce glacier melt. The structure of a debris cover is unique to each glacier and sensitive to climate. Despite this, debris cover has been omitted from global glacier models and forecasts of their response to a changing climate. Fundamental to resolving these omissions is a global map of debris cover and an estimate of its future spatial

  • Valley formation on early Mars by subglacial and fluvial erosion
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-08-03
    Anna Grau Galofre; A. Mark Jellinek; Gordon R. Osinski

    The southern highlands of Mars are dissected by hundreds of valley networks, which are evidence that water once sculpted the surface. Characterizing the mechanisms of valley incision may constrain early Mars climate and the search for ancient life. Previous interpretations of the geological record require precipitation and surface water runoff to form the valley networks, in contradiction with climate

  • Soil carbon unearthed
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-31

    Soils store vast quantities of carbon and have the potential to help mitigate or exacerbate climate change. We need to better understand the interplay of chemical, physical and biological processes that govern soil carbon cycling and stability.

  • Persistence of soil organic carbon caused by functional complexity
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-27
    Johannes Lehmann; Colleen M. Hansel; Christina Kaiser; Markus Kleber; Kate Maher; Stefano Manzoni; Naoise Nunan; Markus Reichstein; Joshua P. Schimel; Margaret S. Torn; William R. Wieder; Ingrid Kögel-Knabner

    Soil organic carbon management has the potential to aid climate change mitigation through drawdown of atmospheric carbon dioxide. To be effective, such management must account for processes influencing carbon storage and re-emission at different space and time scales. Achieving this requires a conceptual advance in our understanding to link carbon dynamics from the scales at which processes occur to

  • Materials and pathways of the organic carbon cycle through time
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-27
    Matthieu E. Galvez; Woodward W. Fischer; Samuel L. Jaccard; Timothy I. Eglinton

    The cycle of organic carbon through the atmosphere, oceans, continents and mantle reservoirs is a hallmark of Earth. Over geological time, chemical exchanges between those reservoirs have produced a diversity of reduced carbon materials that differ in their molecular structures and reactivity. This reactive complexity challenges the canonical dichotomy between the surface and deep, short-term and long-term

  • Publisher Correction: Impacts of hydrothermal plume processes on oceanic metal cycles and transport
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-21
    Amy Gartman; Alyssa J. Findlay

    An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

  • Redrawing the early sulfur cycle
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    Desiree Roerdink

    The Archaean atmosphere may have been well oxygenated, according to a reconsideration of sulfur cycling at that time. This challenges the view that sedimentary sulfur records oxygen-poor conditions during Earth’s first two billion years.

  • A seawater-sulfate origin for early Earth’s volcanic sulfur
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    Hiroshi Ohmoto

    Mass-independent fractionation of sulfur isotopes (MIF-S)—as recorded primarily in pre-2.5 billion years ago (Ga) sedimentary rocks—has been interpreted as evidence of photolysis of volcanic SO2 in an anoxic troposphere. Here, I present thermodynamic and kinetic calculations, combined with data on the geology, mineralogy and chemical and isotopic compositions of modern and Archaean (3.8–2.5 Ga) aged

  • Late Cenozoic climate change paces landscape adjustments to Yukon River capture
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    Adrian M. Bender; Richard O. Lease; Lee B. Corbett; Paul R. Bierman; Marc W. Caffee; Tammy M. Rittenour

    Late Cenozoic cooling and changes in glacial–interglacial cycle tempo are thought to increase global rates of erosion starting ~3 million years ago (Ma). Bedrock rivers set rates and patterns of erosion in most landscapes, but constraints on river response to late Cenozoic climate change remain elusive. Here, we determine cosmogenic isotope and luminescence ages of well-preserved bedrock terraces along

  • Last glacial atmospheric CO 2 decline due to widespread Pacific deep-water expansion
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    J. Yu; L. Menviel; Z. D. Jin; R. F. Anderson; Z. Jian; A. M. Piotrowski; X. Ma; E. J. Rohling; F. Zhang; G. Marino; J. F. McManus

    Ocean circulation critically affects the global climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide through redistribution of heat and carbon in the Earth system. Despite intensive research, the nature of past ocean circulation changes remains elusive. Here we present deep-water carbonate ion concentration reconstructions for widely distributed locations in the Atlantic Ocean, where low carbonate ion concentrations

  • Corona structures driven by plume–lithosphere interactions and evidence for ongoing plume activity on Venus
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    Anna J. P. Gülcher; Taras V. Gerya; Laurent G. J. Montési; Jessica Munch

    In the absence of global plate tectonics, mantle convection and plume–lithosphere interaction are the main drivers of surface deformation on Venus. Among documented tectonic structures, circular volcano-tectonic features known as coronae may be the clearest surface manifestations of mantle plumes and hold clues to the global Venusian tectonic regime. Yet, the exact processes underlying coronae formation

  • Preferential localized thinning of lithospheric mantle in the melt-poor Malawi Rift
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    Emily Hopper; James B. Gaherty; Donna J. Shillington; Natalie J. Accardo; Andrew A. Nyblade; Benjamin K. Holtzman; Christopher Havlin; Christopher A. Scholz; Patrick R. N. Chindandali; Richard W. Ferdinand; Gabriel D. Mulibo; Gabriel Mbogoni

    The forces required to initiate rifting in cratonic plates far exceed the available tectonic forces. High temperatures and resultant melts can weaken the lithosphere, but these factors do not readily explain the extension of old and strong lithosphere in magma-poor rifts, such as the Malawi Rift. Here, new seismic converted-wave imaging shows that even in this magma-poor rift, upper-crustal rift basins

  • Carbon loss from northern circumpolar permafrost soils amplified by rhizosphere priming
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-20
    Frida Keuper; Birgit Wild; Matti Kummu; Christian Beer; Gesche Blume-Werry; Sébastien Fontaine; Konstantin Gavazov; Norman Gentsch; Georg Guggenberger; Gustaf Hugelius; Mika Jalava; Charles Koven; Eveline J. Krab; Peter Kuhry; Sylvain Monteux; Andreas Richter; Tanvir Shahzad; James T. Weedon; Ellen Dorrepaal

    As global temperatures continue to rise, a key uncertainty of climate projections is the microbial decomposition of vast organic carbon stocks in thawing permafrost soils. Decomposition rates can accelerate up to fourfold in the presence of plant roots, and this mechanism—termed the rhizosphere priming effect—may be especially relevant to thawing permafrost soils as rising temperatures also stimulate

  • Earth’s soil harbours ancient carbon
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-13
    Sharon A. Billings; Lígia F. T. de Souza

    Organic carbon in the top metre of Earth’s soils is far older than previously thought, averaging 4,800 years old. These radiocarbon-derived age estimates require us to recalibrate our expectations of ecosystem gains and losses of carbon.

  • Mud in rivers transported as flocculated and suspended bed material
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-06
    Michael P. Lamb; Jan de Leeuw; Woodward W. Fischer; Andrew J. Moodie; Jeremy G. Venditti; Jeffrey A. Nittrouer; Daniel Haught; Gary Parker

    Riverine transport of silt and clay particles—or mud—builds continental landscapes and dominates the fluxes of sediment and organic carbon across Earth’s surface. Compared with fluxes of sand-sized grains, mud fluxes are difficult to predict. Yet, understanding the fate of muddy river sediment is fundamental to the global carbon cycle, coastal landscape resilience to sea-level rise, river restoration

  • Papers that matter
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-07-02

    Nature Geoscience aims to publish important science, but the journal also strives to offer a platform to voices driving change within the geoscience community. We welcome submissions on community issues that encourage reader engagement and inspire action.

  • Geomorphological evidence for a dry dust avalanche origin of slope streaks on Mars
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Colin M. Dundas

    Mars has several different types of slope feature that resemble aqueous flows. However, the current cold, dry conditions are inimical to liquid water, resulting in uncertainty about its role in modern surface processes. Dark slope streaks were among the first distinctive young slope features to be identified on Mars and the first with activity seen in orbital images. They form markings on steep slopes

  • Plate tectonics from crust to core
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Richard W. Carlson

    Compositional signatures of subducted crust in the deep-mantle sources of ocean island volcanoes in the Atlantic Ocean but not the Pacific reveal that plate motions on Earth’s surface influence the characteristics of Earth’s deepest interior.

  • Deep-sea eruptions boosted by induced fuel–coolant explosions
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    T. Dürig; J. D. L. White; A. P. Murch; B. Zimanowski; R. Büttner; D. Mele; P. Dellino; R. J. Carey; L. S. Schmidt; N. Spitznagel

    The majority of Earth’s volcanic eruptions occur beneath the sea, but the limited number of direct observations and samples limits our understanding of these unseen events. Subaerial eruptions lend some insight, but direct extrapolation from the subaerial to the deep sea is precluded by the great differences in pressure, thermal conditions, density and rheology, and the interplay among them. Here we

  • Global distribution of sediment-hosted metals controlled by craton edge stability
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Mark J. Hoggard; Karol Czarnota; Fred D. Richards; David L. Huston; A. Lynton Jaques; Sia Ghelichkhan

    Sustainable development and the transition to a clean-energy economy drives ever-increasing demand for base metals, substantially outstripping the discovery rate of new deposits and necessitating dramatic improvements in exploration success. Rifting of the continents has formed widespread sedimentary basins, some of which contain large quantities of copper, lead and zinc. Despite over a century of

  • Distinct formation history for deep-mantle domains reflected in geochemical differences
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Luc S. Doucet; Zheng-Xiang Li; Hamed Gamal El Dien; Amaury Pourteau; J. Brendan Murphy; William J. Collins; Nadine Mattielli; Hugo K. H. Olierook; Christopher J. Spencer; Ross N. Mitchell

    The Earth’s mantle is currently divided into the African and Pacific domains, separated by the circum-Pacific subduction girdle, and each domain features a large low shear-wave velocity province (LLSVP) in the lower mantle. However, it remains controversial as to whether the LLSVPs have been stationary through time or dynamic, changing in response to changes in global subduction geometry. Here we compile

  • Weak magnetic field changes over the Pacific due to high conductance in lowermost mantle
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Mathieu Dumberry; Colin More

    For the past few centuries, the temporal variation in Earth’s magnetic field in the Pacific region has been anomalously low. The reason for this is tied to large-scale flows in the liquid outer core near the core–mantle boundary, which are weaker under the Pacific and feature a planetary-scale gyre that is eccentric and broadly avoids this region. However, what regulates this type of flow morphology

  • The age distribution of global soil carbon inferred from radiocarbon measurements
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Zheng Shi; Steven D. Allison; Yujie He; Paul A. Levine; Alison M. Hoyt; Jeffrey Beem-Miller; Qing Zhu; William R. Wieder; Susan Trumbore; James T. Randerson

    Soils contain more carbon than the atmosphere and vegetation combined. An increased flow of carbon from the atmosphere into soil pools could help mitigate anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide and climate change. Yet we do not know how quickly soils might respond because the age distribution of soil carbon is uncertain. Here we used 789 radiocarbon (∆14C) profiles, along with other geospatial information

  • Observed changes in dry-season water availability attributed to human-induced climate change
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-29
    Ryan S. Padrón; Lukas Gudmundsson; Bertrand Decharme; Agnès Ducharne; David M. Lawrence; Jiafu Mao; Daniele Peano; Gerhard Krinner; Hyungjun Kim; Sonia I. Seneviratne

    Human-induced climate change impacts the hydrological cycle and thus the availability of water resources. However, previous assessments of observed warming-induced changes in dryness have not excluded natural climate variability and show conflicting results due to uncertainties in our understanding of the response of evapotranspiration. Here we employ data-driven and land-surface models to produce

  • Tropical forests lost to land grabbing
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-22
    Andreas Neef

    Large-scale land acquisitions accelerate tropical deforestation, suggests an analysis of two decades of land-deal and forest-cover data. Such exploitation will threaten the future of these globally crucial carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.

  • Tropical forest loss enhanced by large-scale land acquisitions
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-22
    Kyle Frankel Davis; Heejin Irene Koo; Jampel Dell’Angelo; Paolo D’Odorico; Lyndon Estes; Laura J. Kehoe; Milad Kharratzadeh; Tobias Kuemmerle; Domingos Machava; Aurélio de Jesus Rodrigues Pais; Natasha Ribeiro; Maria Cristina Rulli; Mokganedi Tatlhego

    Tropical forests are vital for global biodiversity, carbon storage and local livelihoods, yet they are increasingly under threat from human activities. Large-scale land acquisitions have emerged as an important mechanism linking global resource demands to forests in the Global South, yet their influence on tropical deforestation remains unclear. Here we perform a multicountry assessment of the links

  • Evidence for a hot start and early ocean formation on Pluto
    Nat. Geosci. (IF 13.566) Pub Date : 2020-06-22
    Carver J. Bierson; Francis Nimmo; S. Alan Stern

    Pluto is thought to possess a present-day ocean beneath a thick ice shell. It has generally been assumed that Pluto accreted from cold material and then later developed its ocean due to warming from radioactive decay; in this ‘cold start’ scenario, the ice shell would have experienced early compression and more recent extension. Here we compare thermal model simulations with geological observations

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