Volume 8 Issue 1, January 2015

Volume 8 Issue 1

Increasing CO2 concentrations are expected to increase plant growth and water efficiency. Tree-ring data covering 150 years from tropical forests show that water-use efficiency has increased with CO2 concentrations but tree growth has not. The image shows the sunset over a rain forest in the Amazon.

Letter p24; News & Views p4

IMAGE: PETER VAN DER SLEEN

COVER DESIGN: DAVID SHAND

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Many insights of Russian scientists are unknown or long-forgotten outside of Russia. Making the Russian literature accessible to the international scientific community could stimulate new lines of research.

Books and Arts

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Carbon dioxide can stimulate photosynthesis in trees and increase their growth rates. A study of tree rings from three seasonal tropical forests shows no evidence of faster growth during 150 years of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

    • Lucas A. Cernusak
  • News & Views |

    Nitrous acid can initiate photochemical air pollution events, but it is not clear where it comes from. Laboratory experiments now suggest that surface-bound nitrite accumulated overnight can release nitrous acid during the daytime.

    • Jonathan Raff
  • News & Views |

    A period of rapid warming about 55.5 million years ago was triggered by a massive release of carbon. The carbon isotope composition of soil nodules provides evidence for a smaller, but still important, carbon release prior to the main event.

    • Stephen Grimes
  • News & Views |

    The fate of water that enters the mantle within subducting slabs is unclear. Laboratory experiments indicate that subducted crust can transport large amounts of water into the deep Earth, and the lower mantle may become more hydrated over time.

    • Masayuki Nishi

Progress Article

  • Progress Article |

    The amount of carbon stored in peats exceeds that stored in vegetation. A synthesis of the literature suggests that smouldering fires in peatlands could become more common as the climate warms, and release old carbon to the air.

    • Merritt R. Turetsky
    • , Brian Benscoter
    • , Susan Page
    • , Guillermo Rein
    • , Guido R. van der Werf
    •  & Adam Watts

Letters

  • Letter |

    Linear sand dunes on equatorial Titan are shaped by winds. The morphologies of smaller dunes that have been reoriented with respect to the linear dune crests suggest that winds shift with long-term orbitally driven climate cycles on Titan.

    • Ryan C. Ewing
    • , Alex G. Hayes
    •  & Antoine Lucas
  • Letter |

    High Arctic soils can act as sources or sinks of methane. Scaled-up field measurements suggest that northeast Greenland’s ice-free soils currently act as a net sink for methane, and may take up more methane with rising temperatures.

    • Christian Juncher Jørgensen
    • , Katrine Maria Lund Johansen
    • , Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen
    •  & Bo Elberling

    Focus:

  • Letter |

    Increasing CO2 concentrations are expected to increase plant growth and water efficiency. Tree-ring data covering 150 years from tropical forests show that water-use efficiency has increased with CO2 concentrations but tree growth has not.

    • Peter van der Sleen
    • , Peter Groenendijk
    • , Mart Vlam
    • , Niels P. R. Anten
    • , Arnoud Boom
    • , Frans Bongers
    • , Thijs L. Pons
    • , Gideon Terburg
    •  & Pieter A. Zuidema
  • Letter |

    Helium-4 is produced in the Earth’s crust and degassed to the atmosphere. Measurements of 4He and 81Kr dating in an aquifer in Brazil suggest that most crustal 4He reaches the atmosphere by the discharge of deep groundwater at the surface.

    • Pradeep K. Aggarwal
    • , Takuya Matsumoto
    • , Neil C. Sturchio
    • , Hung K. Chang
    • , Didier Gastmans
    • , Luis J. Araguas-Araguas
    • , Wei Jiang
    • , Zheng-Tian Lu
    • , Peter Mueller
    • , Reika Yokochi
    • , Roland Purtschert
    •  & Thomas Torgersen

    Focus:

  • Letter |

    Some of the glacial CO2 drawdown has been attributed to CO2 storage in the deep Pacific and Southern oceans. Reconstruction of apparent oxygen utilization suggests that respired CO2 storage was also enhanced in the deep northeast Atlantic.

    • Babette A. A. Hoogakker
    • , Henry Elderfield
    • , Gerhard Schmiedl
    • , I. Nick McCave
    •  & Rosalind E. M. Rickaby
  • Letter |

    The release of massive amounts of carbon led to abrupt warming 55.5 million years ago. An analysis of soil carbonates shows two distinct carbon injections at the event onset, each releasing over 0.9 petagrams of carbon per year over hundreds to thousands of years.

    • Gabriel J. Bowen
    • , Bianca J. Maibauer
    • , Mary J. Kraus
    • , Ursula Röhl
    • , Thomas Westerhold
    • , Amy Steimke
    • , Philip D. Gingerich
    • , Scott L. Wing
    •  & William C. Clyde

Articles