News & Comment

  • Editorial |

    Where there is smoke, there are radiative feedbacks. With wildfires becoming a growing problem in the Anthropocene, we need to better understand the influence of fire on the climate system.

  • Comment |

    Underground smouldering fires resurfaced early in 2020, contributing to the unprecedented wildfires that tore through the Arctic this spring and summer. An international effort is needed to manage a changing fire regime in the vulnerable Arctic.

    • Jessica L. McCarty
    • , Thomas E. L. Smith
    •  & Merritt R. Turetsky
  • News & Views |

    Time capsules of fluid, trapped within the oxide minerals from two iron ore deposits reveal an important role for sediment-derived carbonate–sulfate-rich melts in the concentration of iron, a crucial element for humanity’s development.

    • James M. Brenan
  • Comment |

    Land-use and land-cover changes are accelerating. Such changes can homogenize the water cycle and undermine planetary resilience. Policymakers and practitioners must consider water–vegetation interactions in their land-management decisions.

    • Delphis F. Levia
    • , Irena F. Creed
    • , David M. Hannah
    • , Kazuki Nanko
    • , Elizabeth W. Boyer
    • , Darryl E. Carlyle-Moses
    • , Nick van de Giesen
    • , Domenico Grasso
    • , Andrew J. Guswa
    • , Janice E. Hudson
    • , Sean A. Hudson
    • , Shin’ichi Iida
    • , Robert B. Jackson
    • , Gabriel G. Katul
    • , Tomo’omi Kumagai
    • , Pilar Llorens
    • , Flavio Lopes Ribeiro
    • , Diane E. Pataki
    • , Catherine A. Peters
    • , Daniel Sanchez Carretero
    • , John S. Selker
    • , Doerthe Tetzlaff
    • , Maciej Zalewski
    •  & Michael Bruen
  • News & Views |

    Permanent surface deformation caused by the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes has been directly measured, constraining the mechanics of surface damage in earthquakes.

    • Wanpeng Feng
    •  & Rafael V. Almeida
  • Editorial |

    We look at changes in authorship and cross-institutional links in the papers we publish. Both are increasing as the geosciences continue to become more collaborative.

  • Comment |

    It is commonly thought that old groundwater cannot be pumped sustainably, and that recently recharged groundwater is inherently sustainable. We argue that both old and young groundwaters can be used in physically sustainable or unsustainable ways.

    • Grant Ferguson
    • , Mark O. Cuthbert
    • , Kevin Befus
    • , Tom Gleeson
    •  & Jennifer C. McIntosh
  • News & Views |

    Deep, carbon-rich Pacific waters intruded into the South Atlantic some 38 to 28 thousand years ago. This deep Pacific expansion could have represented a considerable sink of atmospheric CO2, one that helped initiate the Last Glacial Maximum.

    • Brian A. Haley
  • Editorial |

    Soils store vast quantities of carbon and have the potential to help mitigate or exacerbate climate change. We need to better understand the interplay of chemical, physical and biological processes that govern soil carbon cycling and stability.

  • News & Views |

    The Archaean atmosphere may have been well oxygenated, according to a reconsideration of sulfur cycling at that time. This challenges the view that sedimentary sulfur records oxygen-poor conditions during Earth’s first two billion years.

    • Desiree Roerdink
  • News & Views |

    Organic carbon in the top metre of Earth’s soils is far older than previously thought, averaging 4,800 years old. These radiocarbon-derived age estimates require us to recalibrate our expectations of ecosystem gains and losses of carbon.

    • Sharon A. Billings
    •  & Lígia F. T. de Souza
  • Editorial |

    Nature Geoscience aims to publish important science, but the journal also strives to offer a platform to voices driving change within the geoscience community. We welcome submissions on community issues that encourage reader engagement and inspire action.

  • News & Views |

    Compositional signatures of subducted crust in the deep-mantle sources of ocean island volcanoes in the Atlantic Ocean but not the Pacific reveal that plate motions on Earth’s surface influence the characteristics of Earth’s deepest interior.

    • Richard W. Carlson
  • News & Views |

    Large-scale land acquisitions accelerate tropical deforestation, suggests an analysis of two decades of land-deal and forest-cover data. Such exploitation will threaten the future of these globally crucial carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.

    • Andreas Neef
  • Editorial |

    As the COVID-19 pandemic halts many research cruise activities, exploration of the oceans by autonomous vehicles continues, highlighting the strengths of robotic research, but also the limitations.

  • Editorial |

    The ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic highlights the very human effort that is peer review. We will continue to do all we can to keep the papers flowing and thank our reviewers and authors for their help and understanding under these difficult circumstances.

  • News & Views |

    The morphology and geometry of the plate interface in a subduction zone is heterogeneous and influenced by lower-plate normal faulting, suggests an analysis of seismic data. These properties of subduction interfaces may influence how the largest earthquakes occur.

    • Matt J. Ikari
  • News & Views |

    A revised age reconstruction suggests marine-based regions of the Eurasian Ice Sheet melted rapidly, contributing to a major sea-level rise some 14,600 years ago. Such a rapid collapse of massive ice hints at the vulnerability of Earth’s remaining ice sheets.

    • Joseph D. Ortiz
  • News & Views |

    Whether Earth’s water was delivered early or late in its formation is debated. The composition of Venus’s atmosphere may indicate that late accretion, the final stage of planet formation, delivered little water to the terrestrial planets.

    • Ramon Brasser
  • Editorial |

    Social distancing in response to COVID-19 need not mean social or scientific isolation. Adaption to technology now could lead to more innovative, sustainable and inclusive communication in the future.

  • Editorial |

    The first marsquakes detected by NASA’s InSight mission mark just the start of seismology on Mars. Both Earth and planetary scientists alike should embrace this new frontier of geophysics.

  • Comment |

    The InSight mission on Mars is currently providing us with the first seismic data from a planetary body other than our own Earth since the 1970s. Past efforts will inform this next chapter in planetary seismology.

    • Yosio Nakamura
  • News & Views |

    Mars’s newest seismometer needed to separate marsquakes from meteorology. Continuous weather observations to keep it honest are revealing new facets of Mars’s churning atmosphere.

    • Nicholas Heavens
  • Editorial |

    Mineral extraction will play an important role in climate change mitigation and green technologies. But ensuring that the net effect of mining is beneficial requires careful monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts.

  • News & Views |

    The biomass of some of the smallest ocean organisms may be stable or even increase in a warming world, suggests a data analysis based on machine-learning techniques.

    • Daniele Iudicone
  • News & Views |

    Strengthening and poleward movement of the Southern Westerlies, and increased melting of the Antarctic ice sheet play a primary role in changes observed in the Southern Ocean over the past few decades, according to measurements and modelling.

    • Alessandro Silvano
  • News & Views |

    Differential cycling of carbonate and organic carbon in the mantle may link the Great Oxidation Event and the subsequent increase in carbon isotope values, according to a model that links the Earth’s surface and interior.

    • Jeremy K. Caves Rugenstein
  • Comment |

    Geoscientists in the United States are predominantly White. Progress towards diversification can only come with a concerted shift in mindsets and a deeper understanding of the complexities of race.

    • Kuheli Dutt
  • Editorial |

    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.

  • Editorial |

    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.

  • Comment |

    Scientists and policymakers must acknowledge that carbon dioxide removal can be small in scale and still be relevant for climate policy, that it will primarily emerge ‘bottom up’, and that different methods have different governance needs.

    • Rob Bellamy
    •  & Oliver Geden
  • Comment |

    Governments disagree even on the current state of climate change engineering governance, as became clear at the 2019 United Nations Environment Assembly negotiations. They must develop mechanisms to provide policy-relevant knowledge, clarify uncertainties and head off potential distributional impacts.

    • Sikina Jinnah
    •  & Simon Nicholson
  • News & Views |

    Tectonic tremor may ultimately be caused by in situ fluid overpressure generated by chemical reactions between a subducting slab and the mantle, according to field and microstructural observations of a shear zone.

    • Kohtaro Ujiie
  • News & Views |

    Northern peatlands store over 1,000 Gt of carbon, almost double previous estimates, according to a new analysis of peat core data. The fate of this peat carbon, however, is uncertain in a rapidly changing world.

    • Matthew J. Amesbury
    • , Angela Gallego-Sala
    •  & Julie Loisel
  • Editorial |

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

  • News & Views |

    The large domes found on the dwarf planet Ceres may not result from cryovolcanism, but from solid-state flow analogous to salt doming on Earth, according to numerical simulations of gravitational loading.

    • Michael Küppers
  • News & Views |

    Wet rice cultivation in the Palu Valley, Indonesia, prepared the ground for the devastating liquefaction-induced landslides that were triggered by the Mw 7.5 earthquake in 2018, suggest two studies of the spatial relationship between landslide morphology and irrigation.

    • Phil R. Cummins
  • News & Views |

    The structure of the lithosphere is key to reconciling the dynamic topography predicted by mantle convection models with residual topography derived from observations, suggest analyses of both models and data.

    • Nicolas Flament
  • Editorial |

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

  • News & Views |

    Subduction processes may have operated very early in Earth’s history according to the heavy silicon isotope compositions of Archaean igneous rocks. The silicon that precipitated out of the Archaean oceans as chert was subducted and melted to yield seawater-like heavy isotope signatures in early granitic rocks.

    • Franck Poitrasson
  • News & Views |

    The distribution of iron-loving elements between the mantles of the Moon and Earth may differ from established belief, suggest two studies that determine the hafnium–tungsten ratio and sulfide–silicate melt partitioning of elements in the lunar mantle.

    • Philipp Gleißner
  • Comment |

    The climate of South and East Asia is affected by anthropogenic aerosols, but the magnitude of the aerosol imprint is not well known. As regional emissions are rapidly changing, potential related climate risks must be quantified.

    • Bjørn H. Samset
    • , Marianne T. Lund
    • , Massimo Bollasina
    • , Gunnar Myhre
    •  & Laura Wilcox
  • Editorial |

    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.