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  • Kate Moran and Jan Backman took an ice-hardened drillship, two icebreakers and two helicopters to the high Arctic to recover many million-year-old sediments from the Lomonosov Ridge.

    Backstory
  • India and Arabia collide with Eurasia at slightly different velocities. Detailed mapping of the Arabian Sea suggests that this motion started between 3 and 8 million years ago, possibly with a transfer of an Arabian plate wedge to the Indian plate.

    • Charles DeMets
    News & Views
  • In aerosol hot spots around the globe, solar radiation is dimmed down on its way to the Earth's surface. The resulting surface cooling turns out to be almost in balance with heating of the atmosphere due to black carbon.

    • John Seinfeld
    News & Views
  • Neither recycled oceanic crust nor sediments alone can explain the composition of ocean-island basalts, but how about a mixture of the two? Recent modelling using the isotopes of hafnium and neodymium appears to support this contention.

    • Terry Plank
    • Peter E. van Keken
    News & Views
  • Modern deep waters form in the Nordic seas when high-salinity surface waters cool and sink. An analysis of Arctic Ocean sediments suggests that throughout the past fifteen million years, brines created during sea-ice formation controlled the sinking of water.

    • Ellen Martin
    News & Views
  • The atmosphere's lowermost 10 km have long been assumed to be almost solely responsible for weather and climate on Earth. Emerging evidence points to the layer above as an important influence on surface winds and temperatures on seasonal to decadal timescales.

    • Tiffany A. Shaw
    • Theodore G. Shepherd
    News & Views
  • 'Polar-Palooza', a travelling roadshow celebrating the International Polar Year 2007–2009, highlights the scientific passion of those working on Arctic and Antarctic research, along with their ecological concerns.

    • Ronald Amundson
    Books & Arts
  • From about 470 million years ago, the Middle Ordovician period witnessed a rapid increase in biodiversity. This explosion in numbers of species is almost perfectly contemporaneous with an increased frequency of meteorite impacts.

    • Florentin Paris
    News & Views
  • The relationship between carbon dioxide and climate over millions of years has been a source of controversy. Fossilized liverwort leaves can help illuminate both temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 200 to 60 million years ago.

    • Klaus Wallmann
    News & Views
  • Emerging evidence for threefold higher heat flow across the core–mantle boundary prompts a re-evaluation of the role of thermal plumes in geodynamics and the thermal history of the Earth's core and lower mantle.

    • Thorne Lay
    • John Hernlund
    • Bruce A. Buffett
    Review Article
  • Tim Bartholomaus and Suzanne and Bob Anderson hauled 25 kilograms of equipment over 25 kilometres in 25 hours to get a handle on glacier flow — without breaking the bank.

    Backstory
  • Using sophisticated multibeam imaging equipment aboard a French Navy vessel, Marc Fournier and colleagues mapped the structure of the enigmatic Owen fracture zone underneath the Arabian Sea.

    Backstory
  • The speed of a glacier is affected most by sudden jumps in the water supply to the glacier, but it goes back to previous levels if high water inputs are sustained because the glacier's plumbing system adjusts.

    • Timothy C. Bartholomaus
    • Robert S. Anderson
    • Suzanne P. Anderson
    Letter
  • Sea level during the last interglacial stood at least 4 m higher than at present, with evidence of short-term fluctuations of up to 10 m. A new continuous sea level record from the Red Sea and coral ages suggest that during these fluctuations, sea level changes were on the order of 1.6 m per century.

    • E. J. Rohling
    • K. Grant
    • M. Kucera
    Letter
  • Crumpling of the crust above a sinking dense mantle layer, which is underneath central Europe, triggered the formation of the eastern Alps and the Carpathian mountains, and its surroundings were stretched to form the Pannonian Basin.

    • Ninad Bondre
    Research Highlights
  • In each of the three main ocean basins, dense water from around Antarctica circulates in the bottom layers, and in the Atlantic ocean, an upper circulation cell that is driven from the north caps the bottom loop.

    • Heike Langenberg
    Research Highlights