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  • Flood basalts are connected to Earth’s most extreme environmental crises, yet warming is sometimes observed before surface eruptions. Modelling reveals that a complex buildup of basalt intrusions into the crust releases enough CO2 to cause this pre-eruptive warming.

    • Jennifer Kasbohm
    News & Views
  • Subduction zone formation may be both horizontally and then vertically driven, according to a 4D evolution model of the Puysegur margin, New Zealand. This suggests that the current endmember classification of subduction initiation must be expanded.

    • Fabio Crameri
    News & Views
  • The structure of the overriding plate may control bending and water ingress into the subducting plate based on an exceptional 3D velocity model of the Nankai subduction zone.

    • Donna J. Shillington
    News & Views
  • Storm surge barriers can protect against coastal flooding. Observations from the Venice Lagoon in Italy show that the operation of these types of barriers must be carefully tuned to avoid inhibiting sedimentation and compromising marsh resilience to sea-level rise.

    • Nicoletta Leonardi
    News & Views
  • Evaporative loss of sulfur from molten planetesimals can explain the sub-chondritic sulfur isotope composition of the bulk silicate mantle, suggesting an important role for planetesimal evaporation in establishing Earth’s volatile budget.

    • Yuan Li
    News & Views
  • The fate of sedimentary carbon in rivers is determined by a combination of mineral protection and transit time. Along the fluvial journey from headwaters to sea, biogeochemical transformations control whether carbon is buried or returned to the atmosphere as CO2.

    • William Ford
    • James Fox
    News & Views
  • Northern autumns and winters are getting warmer, and their weather is also getting blander. Observations and climate model simulations reveal that human activities have managed to make today’s weather measurably different than it was only a generation ago.

    • Dáithí A. Stone
    News & Views
  • Sea spray droplets contribute to the exchange of gases between the oceans and atmosphere. Accounting for this spray-mediated pathway may provide more accurate modelling of air–sea interactions and the ocean response to climate change.

    • Magdalena D. Anguelova
    News & Views
  • Reforestation of agricultural lands in Europe increases local and downwind summer rainfall, according to a new analysis of rain-gauge measurements from across the continent. Realistic levels of tree planting could therefore mitigate future droughts expected with climate change.

    • Jessica C. A. Baker
    News & Views
  • Analysis of global ocean carbonate chemistry and water mass age information confirms the substantial in situ dissolution of calcium carbonate particles in the upper water column.

    • Kitack Lee
    • Richard A. Feely
    News & Views
  • High-frequency radar tracking of icebergs floating in front of a glacier in Greenland show that movements of the ice mélange consistently increase before calving events, indicating that mélange has the potential to modulate calving.

    • Irena Vaňková
    News & Views
  • Corals reveal that part of the plate-boundary fault near Sumatra slipped slowly and quietly for three decades before a large earthquake in 1861. The exceptional duration of this slip event has implications for interpreting deformation to assess seismic hazard.

    • Daniel Melnick
    News & Views
  • Near-surface stress patterns, influenced by topography, control the size and location of the largest landslides — but not necessarily smaller ones — according to a study of mountains at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau.

    • Peter van der Beek
    News & Views
  • European mineral soils may lose less organic carbon due to climate change than previously suggested, according to analyses of climate responses from two physical fractions of soil carbon.

    • Lauric Cécillon
    News & Views
  • Nutrient availability influences the susceptibility of marine primary producers to viral infection. For diatoms in iron-limited waters, reduced infection rates impact marine biogeochemical cycles by enhancing the flux of material to depth.

    • Alex J. Poulton
    News & Views
  • Low viscosities may not preclude brittle magma fragmentation under certain conditions, according to field observations and experimental evidence that suggest the conditions for brittle fragmentation may be met in many explosive mafic eruptions.

    • Emma J. Liu
    News & Views
  • Pesticide pollution is a widespread issue. A global risk assessment of 92 active pesticide ingredients suggests 2.5 billion hectares of agricultural land are at risk of pollution by more than one active ingredient.

    • Rupert Lloyd Hough
    News & Views
  • Warm and wet conditions could have episodically punctuated a generally cold early climate on Mars, according to a multidisciplinary modelling approach that potentially solves a five-decade long debate regarding warm conditions on early Mars.

    • Nicolas Mangold
    News & Views
  • Hydrogen ions move freely within the crystal structure of a hydrous mineral under lower mantle conditions, resulting in high electrical conductivity that may make it possible to map water in the deep mantle.

    • Tetsuya Komabayashi
    News & Views
  • Turbidites record ground motion in the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake. Recent events are now revealing how turbidites record earthquakes, but turbidites are triggered in many ways, and testing if ancient turbidites are earthquake-triggered remains challenging.

    • Peter J. Talling
    News & Views