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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change has convinced the public that climate change is real. To tackle it, the panel needs complementary climate services that provide continuous climate information for all regions and the globe.

    • Martin Visbeck
  • Carbon isotopes of fossil plants and model simulations suggest that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were variable during the period 200 to 60 million years ago. The large decreases in the partial pressure of CO2 coincide with glaciations, providing evidence against climate–CO2 decoupling during the Mesozoic.

    • Benjamin J. Fletcher
    • Stuart J. Brentnall
    • David J. Beerling
  • Thanks to global carbon-cycle feedbacks, the Earth may have escaped global glaciation during the Neoproterozoic era, enabling photosynthesis to continue.

    • Katherine Anderson
    Research Highlights
  • The tropical belt has been widening over past decades — as estimated from a number of independent lines of evidence — shifting the dry subtropical climate zones polewards around the world.

    • Dian J. Seidel
    • Qiang Fu
    • Thomas J. Reichler
    Progress Article
  • Over the past 15 million years, Arctic Ocean circulation has exhibited two distinct modes: during the interglacial periods of the past two million years, including the present, Arctic intermediate water was mainly derived from North Atlantic inflow. By contrast, between 15 and 2 million years ago, and during glacial periods thereafter, brine formation on the Eurasian shelves contributed substantially to Arctic intermediate water.

    • Brian A. Haley
    • Martin Frank
    • Anton Eisenhauer
  • Multibeam mapping of the northwestern Indian Ocean seafloor provides clear evidence of dextral strike-slip motion along the Owen fracture zone and helps constrain the nature of deformation as well as the rate of slip along this little-studied plate boundary.

    • Marc Fournier
    • Nicolas Chamot-Rooke
    • Claude Lepvrier
  • Forests in northern Asia had fewer trees at the peak of the last Ice Age compared with their modern counterparts.

    • Ninad Bondre
    Research Highlights
  • The shift of autumnal colouring of leaves to later in the year is due to high ambient atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and is independent of temperature.

    • Alex Thompson
    Research Highlights