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  • The Earth underwent two snowball glaciation events between 720 and 635 million years ago. The preceding expansion of eukaryotic algae and a consequent rise in emissions of organic cloud condensation nuclei may have contributed to the dramatic cooling.

    • Georg Feulner
    • Christian Hallmann
    • Hendrik Kienert
  • Questions about the sensitivity of Earth's climate to greenhouse gas forcing challenge our understanding of climate change. Matthew Huber looks at what we can learn from past greenhouse periods.

    • Matthew Huber
  • People have changed the world irrevocably. Jan Zalasiewicz discusses whether formalization of the Anthropocene as an epoch in geological time will help us understand our place in Earth history.

    • Jan Zalasiewicz
  • The current assessment of climate change is nearing completion. It is now time to consider how best to provide increasingly complex climate information to policymakers, suggests Thomas F. Stocker.

    • Thomas F. Stocker
  • Numerous earthquakes have occurred at subduction zones in the past 5 years, and some were devastating. Kelin Wang describes what we have learned about the seismicity of the shallow zone.

    • Kelin Wang
  • Readily available O2 is vital to life as we know it. James Kasting looks at how and when the first whiffs of oxygen began to reach the Earth's atmosphere.

    • James Kasting
  • Ocean acidification, caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide, is a significant stressor to marine life. Ulf Riebesell charts the rapid rise in ocean acidification research, from the discovery of its adverse effects to its entry into the political consciousness.

    • Ulf Riebesell
  • The last five years have seen a boom in exploration of the Solar System. Barbara Cohen explains that the biggest gains have been right here on Earth.

    • Barbara Cohen
  • A surprising fraction of Earth's element cycling takes place in inland waters. Jonathan Cole suggests that interactions between these water bodies and the terrestrial biosphere are more extensive and interesting than previously thought.

    • Jonathan Cole
  • Record minima in Arctic summer sea ice have been trumping each other. Marika Holland reflects on the likely fate of the northern sea ice cap.

    • Marika Holland
  • The Late Ordovician period, ending 444 million years ago, was marked by the onset of glaciations. The expansion of non-vascular land plants accelerated chemical weathering and may have drawn down enough atmospheric carbon dioxide to trigger the growth of ice sheets.

    • Timothy M. Lenton
    • Michael Crouch
    • Liam Dolan
  • The ocean floor is littered with hundreds of thousands of mostly extinct volcanoes. The origin of at least some of these seamounts seems to rest with mantle plumes.

    • Anthony A. P. Koppers
  • Children everywhere are fascinated by the sky, stars and Sun. Emerging evidence from cultures throughout the world suggests that even young children can acquire knowledge of the Earth and its place in the Universe.

    • Michael Siegal
    • Gavin Nobes
    • Georgia Panagiotaki
  • Homer's Ithaca had been viewed as a work of poetic licence and imprecise geography. However, as recent research shows the island's form may have been disguised over the past two millennia by catastrophic rockfalls, co-seismic uplift events and relative sea-level change.

    • John R. Underhill
  • Since the end of the Apollo era, the Moon has received relatively little attention from planetary scientists. Fresh interest from a new range of nations could lead to insights into our satellite's evolution and resources.

    • Paul Spudis
  • Rapid global warming marked the boundary between the Palaeocene and Eocene periods 55.6 million years ago, but how the temperature rise was initiated remains elusive. A catastrophic release of greenhouse gases from the Kilda basin could have served as a trigger.

    • E. G. Nisbet
    • S. M. Jones
    • C. M. R. Fowler
  • Competition from the New World, a changing climate and technological advances have threatened the Burgundian notion that the quality of wine depends on regional geography and culture. Only flexibility can keep the concept of terroir alive.

    • Michael A. White
    • Philip Whalen
    • Gregory V. Jones
  • On 13 October 1908, Fritz Haber filed his patent on the “synthesis of ammonia from its elements” for which he was later awarded the 1918 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. A hundred years on we live in a world transformed by and highly dependent upon Haber–Bosch nitrogen.

    • Jan Willem Erisman
    • Mark A. Sutton
    • Wilfried Winiwarter
  • In January 2008, 33 years after Mariner 10 flew past the solar system's innermost planet, MESSENGER crossed Mercury's magnetosphere. Ancient volcanoes, contractional faults, and a rich soup of exospheric ions give clues to Mercury's structure and dynamical evolution.

    • Moritz Heimpel
    • Konstantin Kabin