Editorials

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    With public demand for reproducible science comes a mandate to researchers to ensure their methods are transparent and their data accessible. Nature Geoscience supports these efforts.

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    The first issue of Nature was published 150 years ago, on the 4th of November 1869. In celebration of the anniversary, we highlight some of our favourite geoscience stories from the archives.

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    The geological similarities between icy and rocky worlds invite comparison and cross-fertilization of knowledge.

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    Scrutiny from every angle, by a diverse set of reviewers, improves the peer review process and the papers that we publish.

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    The end of pre-industrial climate — the baseline for assessing the extent of human-induced warming today — is not easy to pinpoint in time. Regardless, the past decades stand out from two millennia of climate fluctuations.

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    China’s rigorous air-pollution control has greatly reduced the levels of fine particles in the atmosphere. Further progress for air quality more broadly will rely on fully accounting for complex chemical reactions between pollutants.

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    Between submission of your paper and its publication stands the peer-review process. Responding to reviewer comments effectively will help to make this stage an edifying rather than painful experience.

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    Geohazards can be too dangerous to study directly but too deadly to ignore. For these types of events, data from physical experiments can plug gaps in both hazard models and understanding.

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    Near-Earth asteroid Bennu is one of a range of bodies in the Solar System to have been reached by space missions in the past months. Crowd-sourcing technologies can help with the exploration of its surface.

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    Two tsunamis generated by distinct geohazards struck Indonesia within six months and killed thousands. Early-warning systems established after 2004 have not prevented devastation.

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    Wildfires are a natural part of many ecosystems, but they can become destructive and less predictable, especially when the system is perturbed. Human activities and climate change lead to interactions with fire dynamics that need our attention.

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    Machine learning allows geoscientists to embrace data at scales greater than ever before. We are excited to see what this innovative tool can teach us.

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    Past and future changes in tropical cyclones and the damage they cause are fiendishly difficult to detect and project. For the Atlantic, progress is being made; other ocean basins lag behind.

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    Fifty years of international ocean drilling have brought enormous insights into the workings of our planet. Incorporating young investigators’ ideas, cooperating internationally and sharing data and samples have been key to this success.

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    Increasing numbers of geoscientists are nurturing an online presence. Nature Geoscience explores the potential benefits of taking your professional life online.

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    As Peer Review Week approaches, Nature Geoscience takes the opportunity to thank its peer reviewers and contemplate how their vital work can be better supported.

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    Earth’s resources may not be running out, but the planet’s capacity to cope with the resulting waste products is limited. Resource geology can no longer be the preserve of the economic, mining or petroleum geologist; sustainably providing for the world’s population requires a broader skillset.

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    A high percentage of international collaborations in a country’s research output can be a sign of excellent networks, or of a reliance on know-how imports. Caution is needed in the latter case, but international collaborations make research more powerful.

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    Marine protected areas can support ecosystem resilience in the face of environmental stress, but only up to a point.

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    Human manipulation of hydrocarbons — as fuel and raw materials for modern society — has changed our world and the indelible imprint we will leave in the rock record. Plastics alone have permeated our lives and every corner of our planet.

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    Whether the climate of early Mars was warm and wet or cold and dry remains unclear, but the debate is overheated. With a growing toolbox and increasing data to tackle the open questions, progress is possible if there is openness to bridging the divide.

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    Preprint servers afford a platform for sharing research before peer review. We are pleased that two dedicated preprint servers have opened for the Earth sciences and welcome submissions that have been posted there first.

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    The East Antarctic ice sheet may be gaining mass in the current, warming climate. The palaeoclimate record shows, however, that it has retreated during previous episodes of prolonged warmth.

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    Great Earth science has been published over the ten years since the launch of Nature Geoscience. The field has also become more interdisciplinary and accountable, as well as more central to society and sustainability.

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    Emissions of CO2 from the continents and underlying mantle are emerging as potentially important drivers of past climate fluctuations.

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    The world's inland waters are under siege. A system-level view of watersheds is needed to inform both our scientific understanding and management decisions for these precious resources.

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    Over the past decade or so, China has turned into a land of opportunity for science. We are keen to witness first hand how the geoscience landscape continues to unfold.

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    Scientists based in North America and men are overrepresented in our authors' reviewer suggestions.

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    Natural disasters can devastate local communities. However, these rare events also often trigger new ways of thinking, and provide a treasure trove of data that must be used to reduce vulnerability.

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    The emerging field of geohealth links human well-being and ecosystem health. A deeper understanding of these linkages can help society mitigate the health costs of economic growth before they become crises.

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    Asking people to trust scientists is not enough in times of doubt. Scientists must trust the people too: to make decisions for themselves, once they know the best available evidence.

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    Authors of research manuscripts should be aware of their authorship, have read the paper and agree with it. What else is required for co-authorship — and what merits only a mention in the acknowledgements — is less clear.

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    Hidden under many kilometres of silicate mantle material, the cores of Earth and other planets are hard to investigate. The Psyche spacecraft, designed to visit a metal body that may be a core stripped of its mantle, could bring a close-up view.

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    Iron is an essential fuel for life in the oceans. The influence of this element on biogeochemistry — and nitrogen cycling in particular — varies across environments and time.

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    Air pollution in large cities remains a persistent public health problem. Adapting air quality forecasts for use by decision makers could help mitigate severe pollution events.

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    Born from astronomy, the study of planets is becoming increasingly geoscience. As divisions between disciplines continue to blur in Solar System studies, at Nature Geoscience we are looking forward to exciting joint projects with Nature Astronomy.

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    The clock is ticking for climate change mitigation. Geoengineering is gaining ground as an option, but it needs to be examined at a large scale to determine its effectiveness and associated risks.

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    Despite much emphasis on diversity in the US, geoscience remains one of the least diverse scientific disciplines. If we want to achieve and maintain diversity, we need to make our work environments welcoming to a broad spectrum of voices.

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    Economic development in a sustainable fashion is metals-intensive. If we cannot afford to ban mining, regulation must be more effective.

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    Communities around the Arctic are already seeing the effects of melting permafrost. Some of the biggest effects of this thaw will probably emerge in the coming centuries.

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    Forests are important for the global carbon cycle, and for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. However, the role forests play in carbon sequestration should not eclipse everything else we value them for.

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    The ocean overturning circulation is potentially sensitive to climate change. In the north and south alike, human influence is less pronounced than we thought, but that is no reason to relax our watchfulness.

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    Billions of years ago, high atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations were vital to life's tenuous foothold on Earth. Despite new constraints, the composition and evolution of Earth's early atmosphere remains hazy.

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    Investigations of sexual harassment are difficult and potentially destructive to all involved. It is imperative that they are carried out quickly, with high priority and acted upon decisively where misconduct is identified.

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    The review process is at the heart of scientific publishing. We would like to share with our readers some of the considerations that go into finding the best possible set of referees for each paper.

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    The Paris Agreement on climate change has shifted international focus to more stringent mitigation, and asked the scientific community to work out what that means on a tight timeline. The challenge is steep, but well worth a go.

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    Groundwater flow meddles with hydrological, environmental and geological processes. As water scarcity issues mount for people living above ground, the vast stores of freshwater in the subsurface require research attention.

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    As the world's leaders are negotiating climate change mitigation in Paris, a strong El Niño brings the warmest year on record. After a decade and a half of slow warming and slow policy progress, 2015 may bring an acceleration of both.

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    The International Year of Soils draws attention to our vital dependence on the fertile crumb beneath our feet. Soil is renewable, but it takes careful stewardship to keep it healthy and plentiful.