Reviews & Analysis

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  • Compositional signatures of subducted crust in the deep-mantle sources of ocean island volcanoes in the Atlantic Ocean but not the Pacific reveal that plate motions on Earth’s surface influence the characteristics of Earth’s deepest interior.

    • Richard W. Carlson
    News & Views
  • Large-scale land acquisitions accelerate tropical deforestation, suggests an analysis of two decades of land-deal and forest-cover data. Such exploitation will threaten the future of these globally crucial carbon sinks and biodiversity hotspots.

    • Andreas Neef
    News & Views
  • The morphology and geometry of the plate interface in a subduction zone is heterogeneous and influenced by lower-plate normal faulting, suggests an analysis of seismic data. These properties of subduction interfaces may influence how the largest earthquakes occur.

    • Matt J. Ikari
    News & Views
  • A revised age reconstruction suggests marine-based regions of the Eurasian Ice Sheet melted rapidly, contributing to a major sea-level rise some 14,600 years ago. Such a rapid collapse of massive ice hints at the vulnerability of Earth’s remaining ice sheets.

    • Joseph D. Ortiz
    News & Views
  • Whether Earth’s water was delivered early or late in its formation is debated. The composition of Venus’s atmosphere may indicate that late accretion, the final stage of planet formation, delivered little water to the terrestrial planets.

    • Ramon Brasser
    News & Views
  • Mars’s newest seismometer needed to separate marsquakes from meteorology. Continuous weather observations to keep it honest are revealing new facets of Mars’s churning atmosphere.

    • Nicholas Heavens
    News & Views
  • Geophysical and meteorological measurements by NASA’s InSight lander on Mars reveal a planet that is seismically active and provide information about the interior, surface and atmospheric workings of Mars.

    • W. Bruce Banerdt
    • Suzanne E. Smrekar
    • Mark Wieczorek
  • The biomass of some of the smallest ocean organisms may be stable or even increase in a warming world, suggests a data analysis based on machine-learning techniques.

    • Daniele Iudicone
    News & Views
  • Strengthening and poleward movement of the Southern Westerlies, and increased melting of the Antarctic ice sheet play a primary role in changes observed in the Southern Ocean over the past few decades, according to measurements and modelling.

    • Alessandro Silvano
    News & Views
  • Differential cycling of carbonate and organic carbon in the mantle may link the Great Oxidation Event and the subsequent increase in carbon isotope values, according to a model that links the Earth’s surface and interior.

    • Jeremy K. Caves Rugenstein
    News & Views
  • Glaciers in the Karakoram region, with their balanced or slightly positive mass balance, stand out from global glacier shrinkage, but this anomaly is not expected to persist in the long term, according to an overview of the possible explanations.

    • Daniel Farinotti
    • Walter W. Immerzeel
    • Amaury Dehecq
  • Different methods for determining global mean temperature change are preferable for different purposes, such as estimating carbon budgets versus consistency with the achievement of the Paris Agreement, argues a Perspective that outlines methodological choices and recommends decision pathways.

    • Katarzyna B. Tokarska
    • Carl-Friedrich Schleussner
    • Nathan P. Gillett
  • Tectonic tremor may ultimately be caused by in situ fluid overpressure generated by chemical reactions between a subducting slab and the mantle, according to field and microstructural observations of a shear zone.

    • Kohtaro Ujiie
    News & Views
  • Northern peatlands store over 1,000 Gt of carbon, almost double previous estimates, according to a new analysis of peat core data. The fate of this peat carbon, however, is uncertain in a rapidly changing world.

    • Matthew J. Amesbury
    • Angela Gallego-Sala
    • Julie Loisel
    News & Views