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Latest Nature Geoscience Stories

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2009-12-06 13:43:24

The Earth's temperature may be 30-50 percent more sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide than has previously been estimated, reports a new study published in Nature Geoscience this week In the long term, the Earth's temperature may be 30-50% more sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide than has previously been estimated, reports a new study published in Nature Geoscience this week. The results show that components of the Earth's climate system that vary over long timescales "“ such as...

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2009-11-29 12:10:00

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) suggest that the eccentricity of Saturn's orbit around the sun may be responsible for the unusually uneven distribution of methane and ethane lakes over the northern and southern polar regions of the planet's largest moon, Titan. On Earth, similar "astronomical forcing" of climate drives ice-age cycles. A paper describing the theory appears in the November 29th advance online edition of Nature Geoscience. As revealed by Synthetic...

2009-11-23 09:43:37

Using a technique normally used for detecting weak tremors, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that the 2004 magnitude 6 earthquake along the Parkfield section of the San Andreas fault exhibited almost 11 times more aftershocks than previously thought.  The research appears online in Nature Geoscience and will appear in print in a forthcoming edition. "We found almost 11 times more events in the first three days after the main event. That's surprising because...

2009-11-23 09:19:01

A new calculation of Europe's greenhouse gas balance shows that emissions of methane and nitrous oxide tip the balance and eliminate Europe's terrestrial sink of greenhouse-gases Of all global carbon dioxide emissions, less than half accumulate in the atmosphere where it contributes to global warming. The remainder is hidden away in oceans and terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and peat-lands. Stimulating this "free service" of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is considered...

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2009-11-18 07:50:10

Despite the economic effects of the global financial crisis (GFC), carbon dioxide emissions from human activities rose 2 percent in 2008 to an all-time high of 1.3 tons of carbon per capita per year, according to a paper published Nov. 17 in Nature Geoscience. The paper "“ by scientists from the internationally respected climate research group, the Global Carbon Project (GCP) "“ says rising emissions from fossil fuels last year were caused mainly by increased use of coal but there...

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2009-11-09 07:38:14

With an average of four mini-earthquakes per day, Southern California's San Jacinto fault constantly adjusts to make it a less likely candidate for a major earthquake than its quiet neighbor to the east, the Southern San Andreas fault, according to an article in the journal Nature Geoscience. "Those minor to moderate events along the San Jacinto fault relieve some of the stress built by the constantly moving tectonic plates," said Shimon Wdowinski, research associate professor at the...

2009-10-18 12:37:34

According to a new study by geologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Maryland, the wealth of some minerals that lie in the rock beneath the Earth's surface may be extraterrestrial in origin. "The extreme temperature at which the Earth's core formed more than four billion years ago would have completely stripped any precious metals from the rocky crust and deposited them in the core," says James Brenan of the Department of Geology at the University of Toronto and co-author...

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2009-10-12 07:45:00

The strikingly banded rocks scattered across the upper Midwest and elsewhere throughout the world are actually ambassadors from the past, offering clues to the environment of the early Earth more than 2 billion years ago. Called banded iron formations or BIFs, these ancient rocks formed between 3.8 and 1.7 billion years ago at what was then the bottom of the ocean. The stripes represent alternating layers of silica-rich chert and iron-rich minerals like hematite and magnetite. First mined as...

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2009-10-03 11:19:54

Princeton University scientists have shown that, in ancient times, the Earth's magnetic field was structured like the two-pole model of today, suggesting that the methods geoscientists use to reconstruct the geography of early land masses on the globe are accurate. The findings may lead to a better understanding of historical continental movement, which relates to changes in climate. By taking a closer look at the 1.1 billion-year-old volcanic rocks on the north shore of Lake Superior, the...

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2009-09-30 13:53:27

Trichodesmium has important role in nitrogen cycle and carbon sequestration A new study of microscopic marine microbes, called phytoplankton, by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the University of South Carolina has solved a ten-year-old mystery about the source of an essential nutrient in the ocean. Roughly a decade ago scientists discovered a rare form of organic phosphorus in marine organic matter. Not only were the researchers surprised to find this form of...


Word of the Day
callithump
  • A somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns, and other discordant noises; also, a burlesque serenade; a charivari.
'Callithump' is a back-formation of 'callithumpian,' a 'fanciful formation' according to the Oxford English Dictionary. However, the English Dialect Dictionary, says 'Gallithumpians' is a Dorset and Devon word from the 1790s that refers to 'a society of radical social reformers' or 'noisy disturbers of elections and meetings.'
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