Volume 8 Issue 6, June 2015

Volume 8 Issue 6

Fjords have been hypothesized to be hotspots of organic carbon burial. New data from New Zealand and a global compilation of organic carbon data and sedimentation rates shows that fjords sequester carbon at a rate five times higher than other ocean regions. The image shows the view of Doubtful Sound, Fiordland, New Zealand, from the RV Pelican.

Letter p450; News & Views p426




  • Editorial |

    Complex ecological and evolutionary controls of forest dynamics make projecting the future difficult.

  • Editorial |

    Nature Geoscience introduces 3,000-word Methods sections that are integrated with the online paper.



  • Commentary |

    Natural landscapes are shaped by frequent moderate-sized events, except for the rare catastrophe. Human modifications to the Earth's surface are, compared with natural processes, increasingly catastrophic.

    • Richard Guthrie

News and Views

  • News & Views |

    Global surface warming has slowed since the start of the twenty-first century, while Pacific heat uptake was enhanced. Analyses of ocean heat content suggest that the warm water was transferred to the Indian Ocean, through the Indonesian straits.

    • Jérôme Vialard
  • News & Views |

    It is intuitive, but evidence that high levels of precipitation increase erosion rates has been elusive. The ages of exposed porphyry copper deposits reveal that rocks emplaced at depth travel to the surface faster where precipitation rates are high.

    • Jane K. Willenbring
  • News & Views |

    Fjords account for less than 0.1% of the surface of Earth's oceans. A global assessment finds that organic carbon is buried in fjords five times faster than other marine systems, accounting for 11% of global marine organic carbon burial.

    • Richard Keil
  • News & Views |

    The Indian Plate moved north unusually quickly during the late Cretaceous. Numerical simulations suggest that this rapid migration was caused by the pull of two coupled, narrowing subduction zones.

    • Magali Billen
  • News & Views |

    An ancient carbon release resulted in widespread dissolution of carbonates at the sea floor. Numerical simulations suggest that the pattern of dissolution can be explained by a top-down invasion of corrosive bottom waters from the North Atlantic.

    • Morgan F. Schaller
  • News & Views |

    The Earth's long-term silica cycle is intimately linked to weathering rates and biogenic uptake. Changes in weathering rates and the retention of silica on land have altered silica availability in the oceans for hundreds of millions of years.

    • Daniel J. Conley
    •  & Joanna C. Carey


  • Review Article |

    The atmospheric layer that lies above Earth's weather systems can exert a strong downward influence. A review of this influence on storm tracks and surface weather suggests that the dynamical links between the layers hold across timescales.

    • Joseph Kidston
    • , Adam A. Scaife
    • , Steven C. Hardiman
    • , Daniel M. Mitchell
    • , Neal Butchart
    • , Mark P. Baldwin
    •  & Lesley J. Gray


  • Letter |

    Nutrient limitation of plant growth can reduce net plant productivity. Model projections indicate that productivity declines when nitrogen and phosphorus limitations are considered, turning terrestrial ecosystems into a net source of CO2 by 2100.

    • William R. Wieder
    • , Cory C. Cleveland
    • , W. Kolby Smith
    •  & Katherine Todd-Brown
  • Letter |

    Fjords have been hypothesized to be hotspots of organic carbon burial. A global compilation of organic carbon data and sedimentation rates shows that fjords sequester twice as much carbon as other ocean regions.

    • Richard W. Smith
    • , Thomas S. Bianchi
    • , Mead Allison
    • , Candida Savage
    •  & Valier Galy
  • Letter |

    Prior to collision with Eurasia, the Indian Plate rapidly accelerated northwards. Numerical simulations show that the combined pull of two slabs in two parallel, north-dipping subduction systems could have caused this pulse of rapid movement.

    • Oliver Jagoutz
    • , Leigh Royden
    • , Adam F. Holt
    •  & Thorsten W. Becker
  • Letter |

    Tectonic plate and lower-mantle motions are often considered independent. Plate tectonic reconstructions reveal long-lived interactions between mantle plumes and mid-ocean ridges that imply feedback between plate boundaries and the deep mantle.

    • J. M. Whittaker
    • , J. C. Afonso
    • , S. Masterton
    • , R. D. Müller
    • , P. Wessel
    • , S. E. Williams
    •  & M. Seton