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Biogeochemistry is the study of how chemical elements flow through living systems and their physical environments. It investigates the factors that influence cycles of key elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.
Some bacteria can use inorganic phosphite and hypophosphite as sources of inorganic phosphorus. Here, the authors report crystal structures of the periplasmic proteins that bind these reduced phosphorus species and show that a P-H…π interaction between the ligand and binding site determines their specificity.
The magnitude of organic carbon burial in lakes and reservoirs is poorly constrained. Here, using a compilation of modern data from the literature and statistical modeling, the authors estimate a global yearly organic carbon burial of 0.15 Pg C in inland waters, of which 40% is stored in reservoirs.
The terrestrial carbon cycle is strongly influenced by El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but how this relationship will change in future is not clear. Here the authors use state-of-the-art models to show that the sensitivity of the carbon cycle to ENSO will increase under future climate change.
The impacts of climate change on natural methane (CH4) emissions via ebullition are unclear. Here, using published and experimental multi-seasonal CH4 ebullition data, the authors find a strong relationship between CH4 ebullition and temperature across a wide range of freshwater ecosystems globally.
The sensitivity of mussel larvae to ocean acidification, particularly during the time of shell formation, remains uncertain. Here, the authors show that larvae can elevate calcium carbonate saturation state beneath their shell to enhance calcification, but this ability is compromised by ocean acidification.
Microbial activity in the sea results in a loss of bioavailable nitrogen. It emerges that the climate phenomenon called the El Niño–Southern Oscillation has a surprisingly large effect on the size of this loss.
The Paris Agreement has increased the incentive to verify reported anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions with independent Earth system observations. Reliable verification requires a step change in our understanding of carbon cycle variability.