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  • Seismometers on the NASA InSight lander have identified unusual signals from meteoroid impacts on Mars. Impact locations were confirmed by satellite images of new craters at these sites and directly constrain the martian interior, confirming its crustal structure and ground-truthing the scaling of impact-induced seismicity.

    Research Briefing
  • Over the past 620,000 years, three distinct phases of climate variability in eastern Africa coincided with shifts in hominin evolution and dispersal, according to an analysis of environmental proxy records from a core collected in the Chew Bahir basin of Ethiopia.

    • Verena Foerster
    • Asfawossen Asrat
    • Martin H. Trauth
    Article Open Access
  • Iodine chemistry plays a more important role than bromine chemistry in tropospheric ozone losses in the Arctic, according to ship-based observations of halogen oxides from March to October 2020.

    • Nuria Benavent
    • Anoop S. Mahajan
    • Alfonso Saiz-Lopez
    Brief Communication Open Access
  • Retreat of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet during the late Oligocene was caused primarily by a tectonically driven marine transgression, according to a compilation of Ross Sea surface temperature estimates throughout the Cenozoic.

    • B. Duncan
    • R. McKay
    • J. Bendle
  • Bedrock composition can play a critical role in determining the structure and water demand of forests, influencing their vulnerability to drought. The properties of bedrock can help explain within-region patterns of tree mortality in the 2011–2017 California drought.

    • Christina Tague
    News & Views
  • Bruce Fouke explores the biomineralization of calcium oxalate and apatite kidney stones and the opportunities that lie at the intersection of geology, biology and medicine; a transdisciplinary effort traced back some 350 years.

    • Bruce W. Fouke
    All Minerals Considered
  • The rise and evolution of land plants fundamentally changed how rocks weathered, altering the biogeochemical and geomorphological processes of Earth with ongoing consequences for plants today.

  • Modelling of the effect of reservoirs on the climate through time (1900 to 2060) revealed that although carbon emissions peaked in 1987, reservoir-induced radiative forcing will continue to rise for the next decades. Over time, reservoir emissions are shifting from carbon dioxide to methane-dominated pathways, on which knowledge is largely lacking.

    Research Briefing
  • Spatial variability in forest dieback during the severe drought in California between 2011 and 2017 can be explained by variations in bedrock composition and thus weatherability, according to analyses of the drought responses a series of geologically distinct sites.

    • Russell P. Callahan
    • Clifford S. Riebe
    • W. Steven Holbrook
  • Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is losing mass and has the potential to cause substantial sea level rise. New seabed imagery indicates that the glacier previously retreated at double its current rate, implying that mass loss could accelerate in the near future.

    • Andrew Mackintosh
    News & Views
  • The Thwaites Glacier grounding zone has experienced sustained pulses of rapid retreat over the past two centuries, according to sea floor observations obtained by an autonomous underwater vehicle.

    • Alastair G. C. Graham
    • Anna Wåhlin
    • Robert D. Larter
    Article Open Access
  • The colonization of Earth landmasses by vascular plants around 430 million years ago substantially impacted erosion and sediment transport mechanisms. This left behind fingerprints in magmatic rocks, linking the evolution of Earth’s biosphere with its internal processes.

    • Nicolas D. Greber
    News & Views
  • Colonization of continents by plants some 430 Myr ago enhanced the complexity of weathering and sedimentary systems, and altered the composition of continental crust, according to statistical assessment of zircon compositions.

    • Christopher J. Spencer
    • Neil S. Davies
    • Gui-Mei Lu