Earth and environmental sciences

  • Article | | open

    Phyllosilicate minerals are critical components of seismogenic fault, shear and subduction zones. Here, the authors provide a new deformation mechanism for phyllosilicates, based on newly discovered crystallographic defects in biotite (ripplocations), affecting our understanding of fault zone processes.

    • Joe Aslin
    • , Elisabetta Mariani
    • , Karl Dawson
    •  & Michel W. Barsoum
  • Article | | open

    The amount of carbon stored in closed hidden reservoirs is unknown. Here the authors use a computational approach to study the evolution of carbon species and observe polymerization of carbon atoms at high pressures, illustrating the potential for a significant carbon reservoir in the Earth’s deep interior.

    • Natalia V. Solomatova
    • , Razvan Caracas
    •  & Craig E. Manning
  • Article | | open

    Viruses can encode genes that regulate the host's translational machinery to their advantage. Here, the authors show that viruses encode ribosomal proteins that can be incorporated into the host’s ribosome and may affect translation.

    • Carolina M. Mizuno
    • , Charlotte Guyomar
    • , Simon Roux
    • , Régis Lavigne
    • , Francisco Rodriguez-Valera
    • , Matthew B. Sullivan
    • , Reynald Gillet
    • , Patrick Forterre
    •  & Mart Krupovic
  • Article | | open

    It is not clear how the public views the acceptability of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Here the authors explored public perceptions of BECCS by situating the technology in three policy scenarios and found that the policy instrument used to incentivise BECCS significantly affects the degree of public support for the technology.

    • Rob Bellamy
    • , Javier Lezaun
    •  & James Palmer
  • Article | | open

    Using seismic data and numerical modelling, here, the authors characterize the three-month period of unrest occurring prior to the 2017 Agung eruption (Bali, Indonesia). They observe a large uplift signal located at ~5 km from Agung summit corresponding to the emplacement of a 10 km deep magma intrusion between Agung edifice and Batur caldera, suggesting a potential magmatic connection between the two volcanic systems.

    • Fabien Albino
    • , Juliet Biggs
    •  & Devy Kamil Syahbana
  • Article | | open

    Coccolithophores are one of the most abundant phytoplankton and calcifying organisms, well-known to produce intricate calcareous exoskeletons made of coccoliths. Here the authors show, by using X-ray nanotomography, the dependence of the grid size on the calcite nucleation site number and on the mass of coccoliths.

    • T. Beuvier
    • , I. Probert
    • , L. Beaufort
    • , B. Suchéras-Marx
    • , Y. Chushkin
    • , F. Zontone
    •  & A. Gibaud
  • Article | | open

    It is unclear whether CO2-stimulation of photosynthesis can propagate through slower ecosystem processes and lead to long-term increases in terrestrial carbon. Here the authors show that CO2-stimulation of photosynthesis leads to a 30% increase in forest regrowth over a decade of CO2 enrichment.

    • Anthony P. Walker
    • , Martin G. De Kauwe
    • , Belinda E. Medlyn
    • , Sönke Zaehle
    • , Colleen M. Iversen
    • , Shinichi Asao
    • , Bertrand Guenet
    • , Anna Harper
    • , Thomas Hickler
    • , Bruce A. Hungate
    • , Atul K. Jain
    • , Yiqi Luo
    • , Xingjie Lu
    • , Meng Lu
    • , Kristina Luus
    • , J. Patrick Megonigal
    • , Ram Oren
    • , Edmund Ryan
    • , Shijie Shu
    • , Alan Talhelm
    • , Ying-Ping Wang
    • , Jeffrey M. Warren
    • , Christian Werner
    • , Jianyang Xia
    • , Bai Yang
    • , Donald R. Zak
    •  & Richard J. Norby
  • Article | | open

    Various physical mechanisms are proposed to explain the heating observed in turbulent astrophysical plasmas. Here, Chen et al. find a signature consistent with one of these mechanisms, electron Landau damping, by applying a field-particle correlation technique to in situ spacecraft data of turbulence in the Earth’s magnetosheath.

    • C. H. K. Chen
    • , K. G. Klein
    •  & G. G. Howes
  • Article | | open

    Historical and future trends in net primary productivity (NPP) and its sensitivity to global change are largely unknown because of the lack of long-term, high-resolution data. Here the authors show that tree-ring isotopes can be used for inferring interannual variability and long-term changes in NPP.

    • Mathieu Levesque
    • , Laia Andreu-Hayles
    • , William Kolby Smith
    • , A. Park Williams
    • , Martina L. Hobi
    • , Brady W. Allred
    •  & Neil Pederson
  • Article | | open

    Meltwater ponding on top of ice shelves is thought to play a role in ice-shelf flexure and fracture, however in-situ evidence of these mechanisms is lacking. Here, the authors provide field-based evidence showing the impact of the filling and draining of four surface lakes on ice-shelf flexure in Antarctica.

    • Alison F. Banwell
    • , Ian C. Willis
    • , Grant J. Macdonald
    • , Becky Goodsell
    •  & Douglas R. MacAyeal
  • Article | | open

    It is challenging to communicate abstract future climate estimates. Here the authors utilized climate-analog mapping and they identified that North American urban areas’ climate by the 2080’s will become similar to the contemporary climate of locations hundreds of kilometers away and mainly to the south, while many urban areas will have no modern equivalent analogs under the RCP8.5 scenario.

    • Matthew C. Fitzpatrick
    •  & Robert R. Dunn
  • Article | | open

    Abandoned and degraded agricultural lands undergo ecological succession that sequesters atmospheric CO2 as soil carbon, but at low rates. Here the authors show that restoration of high plant diversity provides a greenhouse gas benefit by greatly increasing the rate of soil carbon sequestration on such lands.

    • Yi Yang
    • , David Tilman
    • , George Furey
    •  & Clarence Lehman
  • Article | | open

    Surface waves on the boundary between a magnetosphere and the surrounding plasma might get trapped by the ionosphere forming an eigenmode. Here, Archer et al. show direct observations of this proposed mechanism at Earth’s magnetosphere by analyzing the response to an isolated fast plasma jet detected by the THEMIS satellites.

    • M. O. Archer
    • , H. Hietala
    • , M. D. Hartinger
    • , F. Plaschke
    •  & V. Angelopoulos
  • Article | | open

    Oxidation of magnetite has broad implications in geochemistry and environmental science, but its reaction mechanisms are not fully understood yet. Here the authors use Bragg coherent diffractive imaging to show oxidative dissolution of magnetite inducing a rich array of strain and defect structures.

    • Ke Yuan
    • , Sang Soo Lee
    • , Wonsuk Cha
    • , Andrew Ulvestad
    • , Hyunjung Kim
    • , Bektur Abdilla
    • , Neil C. Sturchio
    •  & Paul Fenter
  • Article | | open

    Processes for efficient production of primary, secondary or ternary aminated compounds are constant challenges for chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Here, the authors develop selective and sustainable amination chemistry widely applicable to chemical substrates via formic acid.

    • Hu Li
    • , Haixin Guo
    • , Yaqiong Su
    • , Yuya Hiraga
    • , Zhen Fang
    • , Emiel J. M. Hensen
    • , Masaru Watanabe
    •  & Richard Lee Smith Jr.
  • Article | | open

    There has been a lack of multi-year landscape-scale studies on the effect of neonicotinoids on honeybee health. Here, Osterman et al. show that clothianidin exposure via seed-treated rapeseed has no negative impact on honeybee colony development, microbial pathogens/symbionts or immune gene expression.

    • Julia Osterman
    • , Dimitry Wintermantel
    • , Barbara Locke
    • , Ove Jonsson
    • , Emilia Semberg
    • , Piero Onorati
    • , Eva Forsgren
    • , Peter Rosenkranz
    • , Thorsten Rahbek-Pedersen
    • , Riccardo Bommarco
    • , Henrik G. Smith
    • , Maj Rundlöf
    •  & Joachim R. de Miranda
  • Article | | open

    Fire-derived organic matter (OM) is present throughout the environment, and its impact on nutrient cycling remains poorly understood. Here, the authors show that this pyrogenic OM can retain large quantities of ammonia through covalent bond formation, thereby exerting an important control on nitrogen cycling.

    • Rachel Hestrin
    • , Dorisel Torres-Rojas
    • , James J. Dynes
    • , James M. Hook
    • , Tom Z. Regier
    • , Adam W. Gillespie
    • , Ronald J. Smernik
    •  & Johannes Lehmann
  • Article | | open

    Changing rainfall patterns may drive changes in the structure of tropical savanna. Here Zhang et al. use satellite data from global tropical savannas, and find evidence to suggest that altered rainfall may be favouring woody plants over herbaceous plants in these ecosystems.

    • Wenmin Zhang
    • , Martin Brandt
    • , Josep Penuelas
    • , Françoise Guichard
    • , Xiaoye Tong
    • , Feng Tian
    •  & Rasmus Fensholt
  • Article | | open

    Country difference in macroeconomic cycles-mortality changes relationships has been rarely explored. Here the authors studied the relationship between 2008 recession and daily mortality counts for EU countries and revealed a significant relationship between macroeconomic cycles and mortality trends.

    • Joan Ballester
    • , Jean-Marie Robine
    • , François R. Herrmann
    •  & Xavier Rodó
  • Article | | open

    The role of the Pacific Ocean during the last deglacial is less well known. Here the authors used a complex Earth System Model and found that enhanced intermediate-to-deep ocean stratification, and an isolated carbon pool in the deep North Pacific during the last deglaciation when considered alongside proxy records.

    • X. Gong
    • , L. Lembke-Jene
    • , G. Lohmann
    • , G. Knorr
    • , R. Tiedemann
    • , J. J. Zou
    •  & X. F. Shi
  • Article | | open

    The pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes complex trait adaptation within cystic fibrosis patients. Here, Bartell, Sommer, and colleagues use statistical modeling of longitudinal isolates to characterize the joint genetic and phenotypic evolutionary trajectories of P. aeruginosa within hosts.

    • Jennifer A. Bartell
    • , Lea M. Sommer
    • , Janus A. J. Haagensen
    • , Anne Loch
    • , Rocio Espinosa
    • , Søren Molin
    •  & Helle Krogh Johansen
  • Article | | open

    Tropical cyclones that rapidly intensify are associated with the highest forecast errors and the strongest storms. This study shows that the proportion of tropical cyclones that rapidly intensify recently increased in the Atlantic basin, and that this trend is likely due to anthropogenic forcing.

    • Kieran T. Bhatia
    • , Gabriel A. Vecchi
    • , Thomas R. Knutson
    • , Hiroyuki Murakami
    • , James Kossin
    • , Keith W. Dixon
    •  & Carolyn E. Whitlock
  • Article | | open

    Ferromanganese minerals are abundant in marine environments but the extent of these minerals in subseafloor sediments remains unknown. Here the authors find abundant ferromanganese microparticles in oxic pelagic clays, accounting for 14–16% of the new estimate of the global manganese budget (9.2–47.4 Tt).

    • Go-Ichiro Uramoto
    • , Yuki Morono
    • , Naotaka Tomioka
    • , Shigeyuki Wakaki
    • , Ryoichi Nakada
    • , Rota Wagai
    • , Kentaro Uesugi
    • , Akihisa Takeuchi
    • , Masato Hoshino
    • , Yoshio Suzuki
    • , Fumito Shiraishi
    • , Satoshi Mitsunobu
    • , Hiroki Suga
    • , Yasuo Takeichi
    • , Yoshio Takahashi
    •  & Fumio Inagaki
  • Article | | open

    Multistage crystallization of transition metal oxides often proceeds through a number of metastable intermediates. Here, the authors shed light on this phenomenon by extending Pourbaix diagrams to capture the metastable and nanoscale thermodynamics of manganese oxide nucleation.

    • Wenhao Sun
    • , Daniil A. Kitchaev
    • , Denis Kramer
    •  & Gerbrand Ceder
  • Article | | open

    Changes in chlorophyll-a are used as an indirect proxy for monitoring global changes in marine phytoplankton. Here the authors show that remote sensing reflectance (RRS), such as the ratio of upwelling versus downwelling light at the ocean’s surface, has a stronger and earlier climate-change-driven signal over the 21st century.

    • Stephanie Dutkiewicz
    • , Anna E. Hickman
    • , Oliver Jahn
    • , Stephanie Henson
    • , Claudie Beaulieu
    •  & Erwan Monier
  • Article | | open

    The exact freshwater scenario that caused the 8.2 ka cold event is still debated. This study presents new evidence for a severe Labrador shelfwater freshening 8500 years ago that was caused by the Hudson Bay Ice Saddle collapse following a warming in subsurface waters.

    • Annalena Antonia Lochte
    • , Janne Repschläger
    • , Markus Kienast
    • , Dieter Garbe-Schönberg
    • , Nils Andersen
    • , Christian Hamann
    •  & Ralph Schneider
  • Article | | open

    Reversible phenotypic plasticity is expected to be favoured by long lifespan, as this increases the environmental variation individuals experience. Here, the authors develop a model showing how phenotypic plasticity can drive selection on lifespan, leading to coevolution of these traits.

    • Irja I. Ratikainen
    •  & Hanna Kokko
  • Article | | open

    Size-resolved Black Carbon (BC) particle number emission inventory is not available for global civil aviation. Here the authors converted BC mass emission inventory into number emission inventory and found that aviation BC number emission contributes to 1.3% of total ground anthropogenic emissions and 3.6% on global average.

    • Xiaole Zhang
    • , Xi Chen
    •  & Jing Wang
  • Article | | open

    Recent efforts have been made to apply ecological theory on succession to understand the dynamics of human microbiomes throughout development. Here, Guittar et al. use a trait-based approach to show how microbial traits putatively related to dispersal and environmental tolerance shift in the infant microbiome over the first three years of life.

    • John Guittar
    • , Ashley Shade
    •  & Elena Litchman
  • Article | | open

    Previous surveys of global ocean microbial diversity have focused on planktonic microbes. Here, Zhang et al. use metagenomics to study biofilm-forming marine microbes, increasing the known microbial diversity in the oceans by more than 20% and revealing new biosynthetic gene clusters and CRISPR-Cas systems.

    • Weipeng Zhang
    • , Wei Ding
    • , Yong-Xin Li
    • , Chunkit Tam
    • , Salim Bougouffa
    • , Ruojun Wang
    • , Bite Pei
    • , Hoyin Chiang
    • , Pokman Leung
    • , Yanhong Lu
    • , Jin Sun
    • , He Fu
    • , Vladimir B Bajic
    • , Hongbin Liu
    • , Nicole S. Webster
    •  & Pei-Yuan Qian
  • Article | | open

    It remains controversial whether or not impact melt sheets produced by asteroid impacts were able to undergo large-scale igneous differentiation. Here the authors present evidence for large igneous differentiation in one of these sheets and argue that this process has contributed to the evolution and lithological diversity of the proto-crusts on terrestrial planets.

    • Rais Latypov
    • , Sofya Chistyakova
    • , Richard Grieve
    •  & Hannu Huhma
  • Review Article | | open

    The evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is driven by a combination of climate forcing and non-climatic feedbacks. In this review, the authors focus on feedbacks between the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the solid Earth, and the role of these feedbacks in shaping the response of the ice sheet to past and future climate changes.

    • Pippa L. Whitehouse
    • , Natalya Gomez
    • , Matt A. King
    •  & Douglas A. Wiens
  • Article | | open

    Chinese government has implemented regulations to reduce mining-related methane emission since 2010. Here the authors estimated methane emissions in China using GOSAT satellite observation and results reveal a business-as-usual increase in methane emissions since 2010 despite those ambitious targets.

    • Scot M. Miller
    • , Anna M. Michalak
    • , Robert G. Detmers
    • , Otto P. Hasekamp
    • , Lori M. P. Bruhwiler
    •  & Stefan Schwietzke
  • Article | | open

    It remains unclear when and why the world’s oceans, once largely occupied by bacteria, became dominated by photosynthetic algae. Here, using fossil lipids in million year old rocks, the authors show that predation after the Snowball Earth glaciations created the opportunity for a global shift to algal ecosystems.

    • Lennart M. van Maldegem
    • , Pierre Sansjofre
    • , Johan W. H. Weijers
    • , Klaus Wolkenstein
    • , Paul K. Strother
    • , Lars Wörmer
    • , Jens Hefter
    • , Benjamin J. Nettersheim
    • , Yosuke Hoshino
    • , Stefan Schouten
    • , Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
    • , Nilamoni Nath
    • , Christian Griesinger
    • , Nikolay B. Kuznetsov
    • , Marcel Elie
    • , Marcus Elvert
    • , Erik Tegelaar
    • , Gerd Gleixner
    •  & Christian Hallmann
  • Article | | open

    The estimation of volcanic contribution to climate variability requires identification of global-scale eruptions. Here the authors present a new 2600-year chronology of stratospheric volcanic events that relies on isotopic signature of ice core sulfate, that improves ice core volcanic reconstruction.

    • E. Gautier
    • , J. Savarino
    • , J. Hoek
    • , J. Erbland
    • , N. Caillon
    • , S. Hattori
    • , N. Yoshida
    • , E. Albalat
    • , F. Albarede
    •  & J. Farquhar
  • Article | | open

    The underlying mechanisms structuring dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition and reactivity in rivers remain poorly quantified. Here, the authors pair mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectroscopy to show that hydrology and river geomorphology both shape molecular patterns in DOM composition.

    • Laurel M. Lynch
    • , Nicholas A. Sutfin
    • , Timothy S. Fegel
    • , Claudia M. Boot
    • , Timothy P. Covino
    •  & Matthew D. Wallenstein
  • Article | | open

    Forecasting drought and its impact on agriculture and ecosystems is challenged by a lack of knowledge of vegetation access to deep moisture. Here the authors show that combining vegetation and water storage remote sensing can be used to infer this knowledge, allowing drought impact forecasts months in advance.

    • Siyuan Tian
    • , Albert I. J. M. Van Dijk
    • , Paul Tregoning
    •  & Luigi J. Renzullo
  • Article | | open

    The structure and distribution of strain-level diversity in host-associated bacterial communities is largely unexplored. Here, Ellegaard and Engel analyze strain level diversity of the honey bee gut microbiota, showing that bees from the same colony differ in strain but not phylotype composition.

    • Kirsten M. Ellegaard
    •  & Philipp Engel
  • Article | | open

    Isotopic thermometry of carbonate minerals postulates that their composition reflects thermodynamic equilibrium constants. Here the authors constrain equilibrium relationships between temperature, 18O/16O and clumped isotopes and find that most natural calcites form out of isotopic equilibrium.

    • M. Daëron
    • , R. N. Drysdale
    • , M. Peral
    • , D. Huyghe
    • , D. Blamart
    • , T. B. Coplen
    • , F. Lartaud
    •  & G. Zanchetta
  • Article | | open

    Shrinking Arctic Canada ice caps are revealing preserved landscapes containing a record of past glacier activity. Here the authors show that 14C ages of plants and cosmogenic 14C concentrations from these landscapes indicate that recently exposed landscapes have been continuously ice covered for > 40,000 years.

    • Simon L. Pendleton
    • , Gifford H. Miller
    • , Nathaniel Lifton
    • , Scott J. Lehman
    • , John Southon
    • , Sarah E. Crump
    •  & Robert S. Anderson
  • Article | | open

    Organic nucleation is an important source of atmospheric aerosol number concentration, especially in pristine continental regions and during the preindustrial period. Here the authors find a 16% reduced radiative forcing associated with anthropogenic aerosols when including organic nucleation together with climate and land use change.

    • Jialei Zhu
    • , Joyce E. Penner
    • , Fangqun Yu
    • , Sanford Sillman
    • , Meinrat O. Andreae
    •  & Hugh Coe
  • Article | | open

    The spatio-temporal distributions of these plastics are not fully characterized. Here the authors examined the sources, sinks and pathways and projected microplastic concentrations for 2066 and found that most plastics accumulate in the North Pacific, with the highest concentrations predicted in the East Asia Seas and central North Pacific.

    • Atsuhiko Isobe
    • , Shinsuke Iwasaki
    • , Keiichi Uchida
    •  & Tadashi Tokai
  • Article | | open

    The continental record of the end Permian mass extinction is limited, especially from high paleolatitudes. Here, Fielding et al. report a multi-proxy Permo-Triassic record from Australia, resolving the timing of local terrestrial plant extinction and the relationship with environmental changes.

    • Christopher R. Fielding
    • , Tracy D. Frank
    • , Stephen McLoughlin
    • , Vivi Vajda
    • , Chris Mays
    • , Allen P. Tevyaw
    • , Arne Winguth
    • , Cornelia Winguth
    • , Robert S. Nicoll
    • , Malcolm Bocking
    •  & James L. Crowley
  • Article | | open

    It has been thought that land plants suffered a mass extinction along with animals at the end of the Permian. Here, Nowak et al. show that the apparent plant mass extinction is a result of biases in the fossil record and their reanalysis suggests a lower magnitude and more selective plant extinction.

    • Hendrik Nowak
    • , Elke Schneebeli-Hermann
    •  & Evelyn Kustatscher
  • Article | | open

    The utility of UV vision for visualizing habitat structure is poorly known. Here, the authors use optical models and multispectral imaging to show that UV vision reveals sharp visual contrasts between leaf surfaces, potentially an advantage in navigating forest environments.

    • Cynthia Tedore
    •  & Dan-Eric Nilsson
  • Article | | open

    The mid-Pleistocene transition is recognized as a shift in paleoclimatic periodicity from 41- to 100-kyr cycles. Here the authors present a unique mid-Pleistocene transition of coupled monsoon-vegetation changes from 23- to 100-kyr cycles, which indicates varied sensitivity of past climate to astronomical and ice/CO2 forcing.

    • Youbin Sun
    • , Qiuzhen Yin
    • , Michel Crucifix
    • , Steven C. Clemens
    • , Pablo Araya-Melo
    • , Weiguo Liu
    • , Xiaoke Qiang
    • , Qingsong Liu
    • , Hui Zhao
    • , Lianji Liang
    • , Hongyun Chen
    • , Ying Li
    • , Li Zhang
    • , Guocheng Dong
    • , Ming Li
    • , Weijian Zhou
    • , Andre Berger
    •  & Zhisheng An
  • Article | | open

    Ocean warming contributes to the thinning of the Antarctic ice shelves, however, lack of observations has prevented a quantification of this contribution. Here the authors use geological records to show that 0.3–1.5 °C ocean warming has played a central role on regional ice shelf instability over the last 9000 years.

    • Johan Etourneau
    • , Giovanni Sgubin
    • , Xavier Crosta
    • , Didier Swingedouw
    • , Verónica Willmott
    • , Loïc Barbara
    • , Marie-Noëlle Houssais
    • , Stefan Schouten
    • , Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté
    • , Hugues Goosse
    • , Carlota Escutia
    • , Julien Crespin
    • , Guillaume Massé
    •  & Jung-Hyun Kim